Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC Fight Night 116: Rockhold vs. Branch, emanating from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The event is headlined by the return to action of former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold, who steps inside the Octagon for the first time since losing the championship in June 2016. He looks to get back into the win column and work back towards a title shot when he takes on David Branch, winner of eleven straight fights, including his return bout in the UFC in May.
In the co-main event, Mike Perry looks to build on his potential as he looks for another knockout when he takes on Alex Reyes, who steps in on just a few days' notice after Thiago Alves was forced out due to travel issues stemming from Hurricane Irma. Also on the main card is Kamaru Usman looking to score his tenth straight win as he battles Sergio Moraes.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT
> Jason Saggo (12-3, 3-2 UFC) vs. Gilbert Burns (12-2, 4-2 UFC)
They traded kicks to start off the action. Saggo landed a high kick but ate a body kick from Burns. Burns landed a left hand and followed with a leg kick. Burns is landing punches as he counters leg kicks from Saggo with them. Burns with a straight right hand and then followed with a leg kick and a knee on a clinch break. Burns landed a body kick but Saggo grabbed the leg and forced Burns to his back. Saggo was attacking from a standing position with kicks. Burns got to his feet and landed a right hand. Burns scored a brief takedown but they got up and then Burns dragged the fight back down. Burns with some heavy right hands on top and had the back as the round ended. 10-9 Burns.
Saggo was attacking with kicks to open the round. Burns shot for a takedown but it was defended. Saggo with a body kick. They exchanged kicks. Saggo was landing more kicks at different areas of Burns' body. Burns just missed a huge right hand. Burns landed a combo and then scored a huge slam takedown and pushed Saggo against the fence. Saggo was able to use the fence to get to his feet and they broke. Burns lands a right hand. Saggo with a body kick. Burns then landed a huge right hand that knocked Saggo out cold with just under ten seconds to go in the round. It was a huge punch and Burns gets the win by knockout!
Official Result- Gilbert Burns def. Jason Saggo by knockout (punch) at 4:55 of Round 2
> Krzysztof Jotko (#10, 19-2, 6-2 UFC) vs. Uriah Hall (#14, 12-8, 5-6 UFC)
Hall tried coming out fast but Jotko was able to push him towards the fence. Jotko landed a combo. Hall is keeping his back against the fence but comes forward with a leg kick. Jotko landed some big punches and has Hall in a lot of trouble. Hall went down but got up and Jotko is landing big punches and came close to finishing. Jotko got a takedown and was landing but that takedown may have been a mistake. Jotko gets the back but pulls Hall back down and is landing big punches and gets into the mount. Hall gives up his back and Jotko is landing more punches. Hall gets up but Jotko is on his back. Jotko looked for the choke but didn't have it in and went back to the mount. Hall was able to scramble out to his feet. Both men are tired and wobbling on their feet. Hall landed a left hand that stunned Jotko. We are going to the second. 10-8 Jotko.
Jotko landed an uppercut. Hall missed a spinning high kick but then kind of landed one. Hall then took his back to the fence, which almost cost him the fight in the first. Hall fights best when he is coming forward but he's been going backward most of the fight. He is now starting to come forward and lands a right hand. Hall then dropped Jotko with a right hand and then finished him off. What a comeback from Hall, who looked done in the first as he saves his UFC career for now.
Official Result- Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko by knockout (punches) at 2:25 of Round 2
> Anthony Hamilton (15-7, 3-5 UFC) vs. Daniel Spitz (5-1, 0-1 UFC)
Hamilton went down after Spitz landed a right hand to the temple and Spitz landed a bunch of more punches and the fight was quickly stopped. It happened fast but the fight could have gone longer as it was a questionable stoppage, though Hamitlon stumbled when getting to his feet. This one went less than 30 seconds. A big knockout win by Spitz for his first UFC victory.
Official Result- Daniel Spitz def. Anthony Hamilton by TKO (punches) at :24 of Round 1
> Tony Martin (12-3, 4-3 UFC) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2, 5-2 UFC)
They were feeling each other out early and both landed leg kicks. Aubin-Mercier landed a left hand. Martin landed a right hand and Aubin-Mercier came back with a left hand and a right hook. They traded punches. Aubin-Mercier went for a takedown but it was stuffed by Martin. They were battling for underhooks against the fence. Aubin-Mercier got a takedown with under a minute to go. Martin was able to scramble out to his feet. They traded punches late. Close round. 10-9 Aubin-Mercier.
Aubin-Mercier lands a leg kick and left hand to start the second. He landed a body kick and went for a takedown but it was stuffed by Martin. Aubin-Mercier got a takedown against the fence. Martin has been planted on the mat but both men are landing short punches on the ground. They get to their feet and Aubin-Mercier takes the back. Aubin-Mercier got a takedown against the fence. Aubin-Mercier is landing from the top and Martin can't sweep from out under. 10-9 Aubin-Mercier, 20-18 Aubin-Mercier.
Martin lands a combo with a solid right hand to start the third. Aubin-Mercier goes for a takedown but Martin has the neck and had a choke locked in but it was defended by Aubin-Mercier, who popped his head out. Martin has the back and is working for a choke as he lands short punches. Martin is still working for the neck but it is being defended and he is still landing short punches. Martin landing more to end the fight. Martin got the third. Close fight which will come down to how the first round was scored, and that could have gone either way. 10-9 Martin, 29-28 Aubin-Mercier.
Aubin-Mercier got two of the scorecards for a split decision. Not a bad call as it was close.
Official Result- Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Tony Martin by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD | 10 PM ET/7 PM PT
> Justin Ledet (8-0 1 NC, 2-0 UFC) vs. Zu Anyanwu (14-4, 0-0 UFC)
They are feeling each other out in the first minute. Ledet is looking to land the jab while Anyanwu is looking to counter with an overhand right. Ledet with a right hand. Ledet landed a left hook. Ledet with a straight right hand. Anyanwu landed a right hand finally but backed off. They are fighting slow and it is uneventful. Anyanwu with a right hand to the body. 10-9 Ledet.
They are still feeling each other out as Ledet is landing the jab. He is going with the jab followed by a hook. Anyanwu landed a right hand and just missed the uppercut. Anyanwu landed a right hand but Ledet is landing with more volume. The crowd is booing this. Ledet landing the stiff jab. Slow round again. 10-9 Ledet, 20-18 Ledet.
Anyanwu is on the attack looking to land the right hand and he had Ledet running away as he just landed the right. Anyanwu landing some more punches. Ledet keeping him away with the jab but Anyanwu landed a hard right hand. Anyanwu landed another right hand. Ledet with another jab. Anyanwu's face is a mess with a swollen eye. Anyanwu backs Ledet up with some punches and he lands another right hand. Anyanwu with a late combo. 10-9 Anyanwu, 29-28 Ledet.
Official Result- Justin Ledet def. Zu Anyanwu by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
BREAKING: Mauricio Rua is injured and pulled out of the main event of UFC Fight Night 117 in Saitama, Japan, which takes place on Friday. He was scheduled to face Ovince Saint Preux. In his place, Yushin Okami has signed to return to the UFC and will face Saint Preux.
> Kamaru Usman (#13, 10-1, 5-0 UFC) vs. Sergio Moraes (12-2-1, 6-1-1 UFC)
Moraes was swinging early. Usman then dropped Moraes with a right hand. Moraes got back up and they were trading punches but Usman was landing a lot more volume. Moraes landed a solid right hand. Usman then knocked Moraes out with a big right hand. Moraes actually did a somersault roll and Usman landed one more right hand on the mat. A big knockout win for Usman, who has now won ten straight fights.
Official Result- Kamaru Usman def. Sergio Moraes by knockout (punch) at 2:48 of Round 1
> Gregor Gillespie (9-0, 2-0 UFC) vs. Jason Gonzalez (11-3, 1-1 UFC)
Gonzalez came out with two straight head kicks and a left hand and Gillespie clinched. Gonzalez landed a knee in the clinch. Gillespie then landed a left hand that dropped Gonzalez and he swarmed on top and was looking for the finish but went into the guard. They scrambled to the feet and Gillespie was rocking Gonzalez with punches. They are trading heavy punches. This is fun. Gillespie got a big takedown. Gonzalez is bleeding and Gillespie working in the half-guard but transitions to mount. Gillespie with some big punches from the top, They scramble to their feet. Gonzalez with a head kick. Gillespie gets another takedown. They get to their feet. Gillespie lands a big elbow and then landed a big uppercut that rocked Gilespie. Gillespie with another takedown into the mount but he goes to side control. Gillespie lands more from the top. Exciting round. 10-9 Gillespie.
Gonzalez with another head kick. Gillespie starts landing punches to the body and gets a takedown. Gillespie gets into the mount. Gillespie looking to set up an arm-triangle choke. Gillespie with some pressure and he has the choke locked in tight. Gonzalez is defending and he taps out! Gillespie with the submission win in an exciting fight.
Official Result- Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:11 of Round 2
> Hector Lombard (34-7-1 2 NC, 3-5 1 NC UFC) vs. Anthony Smith (27-12, 3-2 UFC)
Smith with a high kick early. Lombard looking to land the left hand and he is chasing Smith to the fence. Lombard with some punches inside close range. Smith goes to his knees looking for a takedown but Lombard is landing punches. Smith back to his feet. Smith just misses a head kick. Lombard with a couple of leg kicks and then a big body kick. Lombard is landing big punches as Smith retreats towards the fence. Lombard with some leg kicks. Lombard with more big leg kicks and he's landing with his hands. Smith isn't showing much defense. 10-9 Lombard.
Lombard with more leg kicks. They clinched for a moment and Lombard landed on the break. Lombard with more leg kicks. Smith can't get any offense going. Lombard grabs the back and is looking for a takedown. Lombard with some knees to the legs of Smith with the back body locked. They break and Smith lands some elbows. Lombard with a left hand. Smith lands a right hand. Smith lands a right hand and Lombard is stunned and slips to the mat. Lombard grabs Smith and drags him down. 10-9 Lombard, 20-18 Lombard.
They trade inside the first minute of the final round. Lombard with a leg kick and Smith lands to the body. Smith with a right hand that stuns Lombard. They trade kicks. Lombard landing the lefts. Smith then lands a big combo and a right hand knocks Lombard down and Smith finishes him off with a couple more punches on the ground. A big comeback win for Smith as he needed that.
Official Result- Anthony Smith def. Hector Lombard by TKO (punches) at 2:33 of Round 3
> Mike Perry (10-1, 3-1 UFC) vs. Alex Reyes (13-2, 0-0 UFC)
They were trading early and Reyes was landing some good kicks. Perry was missing his punches and they were running around in the Octagon looking to land. They clinched up and Perry landed a vicious knee right to the jaw that knocked Reyes out cold. Violent finish by Perry as he scores another knockout win. Perry called for a fight against Robbie Lawler in his interview.
Official Result- Mike Perry def. Alex Reyes by knockout (knee) at 1:19 of Round 1
> Luke Rockhold (#3, 15-3, 5-2 UFC) vs. David Branch (#9, 21-3, 3-2 UFC)
Branch with a right hand to start and Rockhold lands some body kicks in counters. Branch lands a lot of punches that hurt Rockhold against the fence and Branch gets a takedown but Rockhold right back to his feet. They clinch and Rockhold has Branch against the fence and lands a knee. They break and Rockhold with a leg kick. They clinch again after Branch lands a right hand. Rockhold with a knee to the body as they break. Rockhold with a jumping kick followed by a left hand. They clinch and Rockhold with a knee. Rockhold gets a late takedown despite Branch grabbing the top of the Octagon in an attempt to block. 10-9 Branch.
Rockhold with a body kick. Rockhold lands a left hand. Branch missing his punches. They clinch. Rockhold pushes Branch against the fence and is working for a takedown. Rockhold gets the takedown and has the mount and is landing. He gets the back of Branch and is landing punches. Rockhold working for a finish as he has Branch pinned on the mat and is landing punches. Branch not defending as Rockhold has the back. Rockhold has him flattened out and is landing lots of punches and the referee steps in and stops the fight. Branch actually tapped out due to the punches. Big win for Rockhold is his return as he stamps himself as the possible next title challenger.
Official Result- Luke Rockhold def. David Branch by submission (punches) at 4:05 of Round 2