The main event of UFC on Fox 12 in San Jose, California, didn't end in a TKO or KO as most expected, but it was still a thrilling bout.
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler locked up a title shot with a unanimous-decision win over "The Immortal" Matt Brown. Lawler and Brown put on a great and ferocious show. Both men were seemingly hurt at points during the fight, but Lawler did the best work during the bout.
In the co-feature, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson further proved that he is one of the premier light heavyweights in the world. He scored a sensational first-round TKO win over Brazilian legend "Little Nog" Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
It wasn't a night filled with explosive finishes, but here are the results from a well-fought and entertaining night of fights from San Jose.
|UFC Fight Pass Prelims|
|Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Juliana "Ju Thai" Lima||Women's Flyweight||UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)|
|Gilbert "Durinho" Burns def. Andreas "Real Steel" Stahl||Welterweight||UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Noad "Neo" Lahat def. "Super" Steven Siler||Featherweight||UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Tiago Trator def. Akbarh "El Caballero" Arreola||Lightweight||UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)|
|Brian "T-City" Ortega def. Mike "El Cucuy" De La Torre||Featherweight||Submission in Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)|
|Tim "The Dirty Bird" Means def. Hernani Perpetuo||Welterweight||UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Patrick "Durkin" Cummins def. Kyle "Kingsbu" Kingsbury||Light Heavyweight||UD (30-27, 30-25, 30-24)|
|Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal def. Daron "Detroit Superstar" Cruickshank||Lightweight||UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)|
|Fox Main Card|
|Bobby "King" Green def. Josh "The Punk" Thomson||Lightweight||SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)|
|Dennis "The Menace" Bermudez def. Clay "The Carpenter" Guida||Featherweight||Submission in Round 2 (Rear-Naked Choke)|
|Anthony "Rumble" Johnson def. "Little Nog" Antonio Rogerio Nogueira||Light Heavyweight||TKO First Round (Punches)|
|"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler def. "The Immortal" Matt Brown||Welterweight||UD (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)|
Fight Pass Prelims
The first four fights were what most would expect from early action on this type of card. There were no finishes, but the action was pretty steady in each bout.
Female flyweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk may have been the biggest standout of the early bouts. She never stopped firing and trying to take out Juliana Lima. She didn't finish the fight, but she clearly took the decision.
Brian Ortega got the Fox preliminaries off to a good start. The highly touted and undefeated 23-year-old promptly finished Mike De La Torre via rear-naked choke in the first round of his UFC debut.
The submissions specialist has now made five of his opponents tap out in his young career. The Torrance, California, native delighted the San Jose crowd with his performance and could be laying the groundwork for a run at some established names in 2015.
Patrick Cummins has redeemed himself after an embarrassing UFC debut.
He completely dominated Kyle Kingsbury in front of the latter's hometown crowd to score his second straight win in the UFC. From the opening moments to the final bell, Cummins' masterful wrestling technique and strength made Kingsbury look like a complete amateur.
If there is any criticism to be levied against Cummins' performance, it's that he didn't finish an opponent he had clearly dominated.
Then again, that might be nitpicking. A decision can't get much more lopsided than the one Cummins earned.
What a Chin
Jorge Masvidal survived a massive overhand right from Daron Cruickshank in the first round. For a moment, Masvidal looked to be out cold. Miraculously, he maintained consciousness, popped up to his feet and easily won the second and third rounds.
It was another impressive win for one of the most underrated fighters in the lightweight division.
More Fighting, Less Talking
We've all heard of trash talk in a mixed martial arts contest, but the dialog between Bobby Green and Josh Thomson was strange.
It might have been easier to accept if the bout featured more action. It's barely an exaggeration to say that there was more yapping than scrapping.
Neither fighter saw his stock soar in this one. Green won the fight, but fans scored a victory when the rap battle ended.
Seven and Counting
Dennis Bermudez completely dismantled Clay Guida and finished the show with a rear-naked choke. Bermudez looked smooth, sharp and completely unbothered by Guida's unconventional style.
His boxing, takedown defense and submission skills were on full display.
Rumble Young Man, Rumble
It took 10 fights, but Anthony "Rumble" Johnson delivered the first KO win of the event. He needed only 44 seconds to dispatch Brazilian legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Johnson hurt Nogueira with an overhand right in the first 30 seconds, but he put an end to matters with a series of destructive uppercuts.
Lawler Outlasts Brown
Somehow, Lawler-Brown didn't end in a KO. It wasn't due to a lack of effort from the participants. Lawler and Brown launched some serious firepower in each other's direction but didn't connect on anything that ended the fight.
It was in no way a disappointing main event despite the fact that it didn't deliver the spectacular finish we all expected.
Happy to Be Here
Ortega was beaming after his big win on Saturday night. There are other MMA promotions in the world, but once a fighter lands with the big company with the little name, quotes like this one from Ortega are commonplace:
Jedrzejczyk talks about her impressive win over Lima:
Beaten into Submission...Permanently
How dominant was Cummins in his bout with Kingsbury? Apparently, the former wrestling standout from Penn State University pounded Kingsbury into retirement.
Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting tweeted this post-fight quote from Kingsbury:
Kingsbury: That was definitely my last fight. I told everyone I didn’t want to be a .500 fighter and so enough was enough.— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) July 26, 2014
The loss was Kingsbury's fourth in a row. This was easily the most he's been dominated.
Impressing the Bosses
Jedrzejczyk's performance during the Fight Pass prelims caught the attention of UFC President Dana White:
Wow @JoannaMMA is LEGIT!!! I really like this girl. She is fun to watch!— Dana White (@danawhite) July 26, 2014
Her activity and style could make her a fan favorite.
For a while, it looked as if Ortega's submission victory would be the only stoppage of the night.
Bermudez and Johnson also halted their opponents, but the UFC still recognized Ortega's solid debut:
Apparently, others felt the talking between Green and Thomson was a little weird. Josh Gross of Sherdog and Ben Fowlkes of USA Today chimed in:
Thomson isn't his sharpest. Green is jawing a ton. Odd interplay between the two of them so far.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) July 27, 2014
Is Bobby Green under the impression that there's a public speaking element to the judges' scoring criteria?— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) July 27, 2014
A Proven Finisher
Bermudez whipped away the doubts of at least one skeptic. MMA writer Jordan Breen talked about The Menace's finishing instincts and technique:
I've been skeptical of Bermudez's finishing instincts, but that wasn't the usual whack-a-mole stuff. Solid, technical breakdown and finish.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) July 27, 2014
The End Should Be Near
When you look at what happened to Guida, Nogueira and Kingsbury—all fighters over the age of 30 with at least 15 bouts—it wasn't a good night for the veterans.
YouTuber and online MMA personality Tommy Toe Hold summed up the concept of the night:
No country for old men... #UFConFOX12— Tommy Toe Hold (@TommyToeHold) July 27, 2014
After Johnson’s destruction of Nogueira, Bleacher Report MMA said what we all were thinking about Rumble:
My goodness. Rumble Johnson is a SCARY dude.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) July 27, 2014
The Rowdy Recognizes the Ruthless
After Lawler's hard-fought win over Brown, UFC superstar and women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey posted her congratulations:
Damn what a fight congrats @Ruthless_RL— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) July 27, 2014
Fight Night Bonuses
There should be no arguments about the Fight Night bonuses; per Bleacher Report MMA, the right fighters were honored:
FOTN: Lawler-Brown POTN: Johnson, Bermudez— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) July 27, 2014
After such an inauspicious beginning to his UFC career, Cummins needed to prove there was a reason so much hype surrounded his arrival in the UFC.
Against Kingsbury, Cummins' wrestling was as good as advertised. He'll need to look a little better as a striker against a more accomplished wrestler, but Saturday's win certainly created a buzz.
After taking a shot that would have finished most guys, Masvidal didn't just survive, he excelled. He showed his fighting IQ and poise by recognizing where his major advantage was against Cruickshank.
By showing Octagon control and dominating on the ground, Masvidal earned the nod from the judges in the final two rounds.
Gamebred is 4-1 in the UFC and making the case that he should be under serious consideration for a shot at a major player in the lightweight division.
While The Menace might not be ready for a title shot just yet, he can't be far off. Guida isn't what he used to be, so that does diminish the shine of Bermudez's performance a bit, but not too much.
When a superior fighter is in with an inferior one, he should dominate. That's exactly what Bermudez did. Look for him to get a shot at the likes of Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson or Ricardo Lamas in his next bout.
All right, Rumble was only facing a 38-year-old light heavyweight who probably should have retired after he somehow defeated Rashad Evans in Feb 2013, but Johnson was still amazing on Saturday.
It's hard to imagine any 205-pounder with more momentum. Johnson should be heading into a potential shot at the winner of the upcoming Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier title bout.
Johnson has seemingly arrived as a major star in the UFC.
If there is anyone who deserves a break, it's Lawler. The bout with Brown was Lawler's third in five months. He is in line to get his rematch with welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, but before the second part of that war begins, Lawler should take a few months off to regenerate.
Even the Ruthless need to relax sometimes.
Perhaps understanding and acknowledging when it's time to hang up the gloves makes you a winner of sorts, but in looking at the night's events, Kingsbury was dominated like almost no other opponent in action.
He was so outclassed, there is no wonder he decided to call an end to his career.
There comes a point where a fighter who is known for his grit, durability and reckless style takes too much damage to continue his career. Guida is at that point.
When it becomes hard to find a quality opponent whom Guida can beat, it's probably better that The Carpenter calls it quits.
He's had a great run. Hopefully Saturday's loss will signal the end of it.
Little Nog took a big beating from Johnson. At 38 years old and with a laundry list of accomplishments in the sport of mixed martial arts, Nogueira has nothing else to prove.
Piggybacking off Tommy Toe Hold's tweet, Nogueira ran into his Anton Chigurh on Saturday.
He should heed the tough love Johnson showed him and wait for the Hall of Fame call from White and the Fertitta brothers.
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