Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC Fight Night 102: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov, eminating from the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.
The event is headlined by a five-round bout in the UFC's heavyweight division as hard-hitting Derrick Lewis puts his four-fight win streak on the line against Shamil Abdurakhimov, who is looking to score his third straight win inside the Octagon.
Also on the main card is another hard-hitting heavyweight bout as rising prospect Francis Ngannou looks to run his win streak to eight straight as he battles Anthony Hamilton. A pair of light heavyweight bouts round out the main card as Gian Villante gets a late replacement in the form of debuting Saparbek Safarov, and Corey Anderson takes on Sean O'Connell.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 5:45 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
Some additional coverage:
- UFC Fight Night 102 Betting & Fantasy Playbook
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS | 5:45 PM ET/2:45 PM PT
> Juliana Lima (9-3) beat JJ Aldrich (4-2) by decision on scores of 30-27 x 3
Pretty boring fight. Lima dominated with her wrestling and striking, which was just a little bit better than Aldrich, who was making her UFC debut. I had it 30-27 as well, which was really the only score possible. In the third round, ref Keith Peterson stopped the fight for a low blow and Lima had this puzzled look on her face and pointed to her groin and Peterson said something to the effect of "Well, it's there, you know" and then Lima kind of laughed.
She got a post-fight promo but didn't really say anything other than putting over the crowd. JJ Aldrich took this fight on short notice after just fighting two weeks ago in Invicta. She'll get another shot. Lima is now 3-2 in UFC but both her losses were to the current and former champion in the division. She should move up a couple spots in the top 15 after this.
> Ryan Janes (9-1) beat Keith Berish (5-1) by unanimous decision on scores of 29-28 x 3
Janes picked up the win in his UFC debut in a more entertaining scrap than the opener but nothing you need to go out of your way to see. Just two guys who probably belong on the regional circuit slugging it out for 3 rounds. First two rounds were fairly close and I thought Janes clearly won the third. I had the same score as the judges.
Mostly just a standup fight with Janes controlling the Octagon the whole time and both guys landing hard and often but no sustained damage.
Berish was fighting for the first time in over two years due to various injuries. He may not get another shot as he's winless in two UFC fights. He was submitted in his UFC debut but the result was later overtuned when his opponent failed a drug test.
> Marc Diakiese (11-0) won a unanimous decision over Frankie Perez (10-3) on scores of 29-28 x 3
All three rounds were obvious. Diakiese took Perez down 3 times to take that one. Perez took Diakiese down early in the 2nd and held him down for most of the round, doing a lot of damage. In the third Diakiese took Perez down about 2:00 in and held him down, doing just enough to avoid a standup. When Perez finally did get up, Diakiese held him in the clinch. I had the same 29-28 score.
Perez was returning after "retiring" following a win over Sam Stout last year in Saskatoon. This was Diakiese's 2nd straight UFC win after debuting at UFC 204. He's miles away from title contention though.
> Shane Burgos (8-0) won a unanimous decision over Tiago Trator (20-6-1) on scores of 30-26, 29-28 and 29-27
Nothing wrong with any of the judges scores. First round was really close with Trator controlling the grappling aspect and Burgos doing more damage on the feet. I scored it for Trator but it could've gone either way. Round 2 was clearly Burgos and I was close to giving it to him 10-8 and it looks like 2 judges did. He just lit him up on the feet the whole round
In round 3, Burgos was dominating early but Trator came on strong at the end and hurt him at the end.
Really moving now as it's all been decisions and next fighters are already in the Octagon.
> Andrew Sanchez (9-2) won a unanimous decision over Trevor Smith (14-7) on scores of 30-27 x 3
This was basically just a one-sided kick-boxing match in which Sanchez dominated all 3 rounds. Smith had his moments late, but it was clearly Sanchez' fight. He was the TUF middleweight champion in the season before last and is very early in his career but showed a lot of promise here. Smith is tough vet but could get cut after this.
> Gerald Meerschaert (25-8) submitted Joe Gigliotti (7-2) in 4:12
First stoppage of the night and the training partner of CM Punk won with an Annaconda choke in his UFC debut. He looked great and in his 34th career fight, he couldn't have made a better impression. He dominated the standup and then got a takedown and secured the Annaconda fairly easily for the quick tap.
He did a great promo after the fight, saying he's GM3 and he's here to F up the middleweight divison. He also campaigned for the 50K bonus and given it's the only finish, he'll probably get at.
> Randy Brown (9-1) won via TKO over Brian Camozzi (7-3) at 1:25 of the 2nd round
This was a fun fight. Brown got Camozzi to the gorund early in the first but Camozzi had an armbar and was trying to set up a triangle for most of the round and I thought he won the round but it could've gone to Brown, who did more damage on the feet.
In the 2nd, Camozzi went for a takedown but Brown caught him in a choke. He then crumpled Camozzi with a knee to the body and finished him with ground and pound.
Brown was really happy in his post-fight promo. He's a local and asked for a fight on the Brooklyn show. Camozzi was making his UFC debut and will probably get another shot. He's the brother of veteran Chris Camozzi
> Justine Kish (6-0) won a unanimous decision over Ashley Yoder (5-2)
This was a great fight. Kish had the advantage on the feet for each of the first two rounds but Yoder was landing her fair share of shots. Both rounds it went to the ground and in both rounds, Yoder would take over on the ground and they were tough to judge. I had both rounds for Yoder but could easily see them both going to Kish.
Kish took over in round 3, really hurting Yoder on the feet. She took her down halfway through the round though and Yoder ended up sweeping into top position and briefly had mount. But she did no damage and Kish escaped and got to her feet, finishing strong.
In her post-fight promo, Kish apologized for missing weight and said she can't wait for UFC to bring in a flyweight division and that a lot of women feel the same way.
UFC FIGHT PASS MAIN CARD | 9 PM ET/6 PM PT
> Gian Villante (15-7) won via TKO over Saparbek Safarov (8-1) at 2:54 of the 2nd round
Phenomenal fight. Villante was clearly the more skilled fighter but Safarov showed so much heart. He was hurt back with leg kicks in the first and Villante opened up a huge cut under his left eye as well. But Safarov never stopped fighting and hurt Villante bad at the end of the first.
In the second, Villante was targeting the leg with kicks and lighting him up with the punches on the feet. But Safarov was throwing every punch with everything he had. He finally gave up after taking too much punishment and basically stopped fighting, forcing the ref to step in and stop it.
Villante's post fight promo was something else. He dropped a ton of F-bombs, putting over Joe Silva as the best thing that every happened to UFC. He said he was so happy to fight in Albany and invited everyone out for drinks. He also called Safarov a tough little MFer (but not usual the iniitials). I may be a sadist but I'd love to see Safarov against Steve Bosse in 2017.
> Corey Anderson (9-2) won via TKO over Sean O'Connell (17-9) at 2:36 of the 2nd round
This was a complete mismatch and Corey Anderson never looked better, in my opinion. He dominated the first by taking O'Connell down and holding him there. He never really threatened a finish but did a lot of damage in what was a clear 10-8. In the 2nd, he took O'Connell down 15 seconds in and it was more of the same before he finally just let loose on O'Connell and finished him with punches and elbows.
Anderson's interview after the fight was nothing special but he called out Nikita Krylov, who fights tomorrow. He's also changed his nickname from "Beastin' 25/8" to "Overtime". Picked a weird time to finally finish someone with that nickname.
> Francis Ngannou (9-1) submitted Anthony Hamilton (15-6) at 1:57
Ngannou could be a contender. He was ranked #9 coming in here and after winning his first 3 fights by KO, he showed his submission skills here. After being taken down by Hamilton early, he worked his way back to feet and trapped his arm behind his back with a Kimura. He used that to take him down and once on the ground, he cranked it and got the quick tap.
Unfortunately, he doesn't speak English very well and the post-fight interview was a mess. The translator had negative charisma which shouldn't matter but it did here. But if he keeps winning like this, he'll be in title contention in a year. He asked for Arlovski, Travis Browne or Mark Hunt, which are all good names.
> Derrick Lewis (17-4) scored a TKO over Shamil Abdurakhimov (16-5) at 3:42 of Round 4
Awful, awful fight for the first 3+ rounds. Just a slow plodding borefest with Shamil getting takedowns off of missed kicks by Lewis for the first three rounds. On the feet, Lewis basically stalked Shamil around the Octagon. He really seemed to be pacing himself, though, and never ran out of gas.
Shamil would even get dominant positiions but did almost no damage and Lewis would just stand up from side control like it was nothing and even escaped mount at one point. At one point in the third, Shamil was warned by referee Dan Miragliotta to fight, while on the feet, or he'd be deducted a point.
In the fourth, Shamil was clearly tired and Lewis was starting to land more punches. He was finally able to get a takedown of his own and at that point just pummelled Shamil until the ref stepped in and stopped it.
Lewis was asked after the fight who he'd like next. He said that he was planning to call out Travis Browne or Mark Hunt but after this terrible performance he didn't feel he deserves it. He's picked up five straight wins in the heavyweight division, though, and he's going to get a big fight next.
As for Shamil....after this performance, if I never seen him fight again, it will be too soon.
As for this card as a whole, there was some nice finishes but this was exhibit A on UFC running too many shows. It seemed like every other fight had someone making their UFC debut and I'd say every fight had at least one fighter that only the most hardcore MMA fan would recognize the name. If you're going back to watch, check out the Kish fight and the Villante and N'Gannou finishes and you can probably skip just about everything else.