UFC 177 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Dillashaw vs. Soto Fight Card
There's no denying it—a great deal of shuffling left UFC 177 underwhelming on paper.
UFC 176 was cancelled. The highly anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson was pushed back. So was the co-main event between Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso. Even the rematch for the UFC Bantamweight Championship between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao was canceled when the challenger passed out trying to make weight for the main event, according to UFC.com.
Instead, the biggest fight of the night features Dillashaw defending his title against promotional newcomer Joe Soto. While there are a handful of solid lightweight fights and an intriguing women's battle between Bethe Correia and Shayna Baszler, this card feels worthy of a time slot on television during the week instead of a pay-per-view event.
The PPV buys are going to be down, and it's not going to be the best show of the year, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch.
Let's take a look at how the results play out from Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, on Saturday.
Lightweight: Yancy Medeiros vs. Justin Edwards
Yancy Medeiros and Justin Edwards entered Saturday night's fight "oh-for" in the lightweight division, but the 26-year-old Hawaiian was able to put an end to that streak with an impressive submission victory via standing guillotine in the second round.
Edwards had taken the bout on nine days' notice, but he was game and looking to press the action from the beginning. Medeiros didn't back away from the challenge, but you could tell he was looking to use Edwards' aggression against him.
His opportunity came at the 1:54 mark of the second round. While locked in a clinch with Edwards, Medeiros secured the standing guillotine. Edwards went out, which forced the stoppage.
Wow, Jackson was out cold. 2nd time tonight we’ve seen a fighter go to sleep before the tap. Eyes were back in his head.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) August 31, 2014
Both fighters desperately needed a victory. Since Medeiros' move to UFC, he had been stopped in the first round against Rustam Khabilov and Jim Miller, with a no-contest (after testing positive for marijuana) against Yves Edwards sandwiched in between.
Fast Eddie, meanwhile, lost his lightweight debut to Ramsey Nijem in January, marking his third loss in the last four.
A spot on the main card gave each man a golden opportunity to turn things around, though, and Medeiros took full advantage. He looks to be finally settling in (remember, he knocked out Edwards in the first round before the no-contest ruling), and at 26, he has plenty of room to grow and make an impact in this division.
The 31-year-old Edwards' future isn't as bright. There's a good chance this was his last UFC fight.
Lightweight: Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
In an intriguing lightweight fight featuring a red-hot veteran vs. a red-hot prospect, the latter won out as Carlos Diego Ferreira defeated Ramsey Nijem via TKO in the second round.
This fight had great ebb and flow, and at times it appeared Nijem might get the upper hand on Ferreira. Nijem's charges and strikes help to set an excellent pace to the delight of the crowd in Sacramento, but in the second round he ran into a hard right hand that sent him to the mat.
Ferreira wasted no time pouncing on him and finishing the bout at the 1:53 mark of the second round.
Ramsey Nijem wild ride of a fight: Winning, survival mode, winning, survival mode, going for Hail Mary, knocked out.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 31, 2014
It's probably time for lightweight fighters to be put on notice: Ferreira is legit.
After going 8-0 on the regional mixed martial arts circuit, he now has two wins in first pair of UFC fights: a dominant Performance of the Night against Colton Smith and now a victory over Ramsey, who had won his last two in impressive fashion.
Women's Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Two down, two to go for Bethe Correia.
The 31-year-old Brazilian memorably made a four-fingered gesture after her win over Jessamyn Duke in April, signifying she had taken out one of the Four Horsewomen.
On Saturday, she defeated the second in the "stable," Shayna Baszler—who was making her UFC debut—by second-round TKO.
After being outgrappled in the first round, Correia took advantage of a gassed Baszler in the second. The two stood toe-to-toe, but Correia got the best of the exchange. She rocked Baszler with a combination that sent the latter into the cage.
Correia teed off until referee John McCarthy stepped in to call a halt to the bout.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. Correia clearly wants to take out every member of this group, but Marina Shafir would be next, and she has been fighting at featherweight. That leaves Ronda Rousey, the bantamweight champ and best pound-for-pound women's fighter on the planet.
Correia wins via standing TKO in the 2nd. Oh my. She now makes the belt sign to the camera. Wonder if the fingers are coming out ...— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 31, 2014
It might make more sense for Correia to face the winner of Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes scheduled for UFC 178 in September.
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
It obviously wasn't your typical PPV co-headliner, but Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo was a compelling scrap between two fighters who had built momentum in the lightweight division.
In the end, Ferguson was able to grab the win via split decision, giving him three victories in a row.
The bout went back and forth at a frantic pace. In the first round, Ferguson took control with effective striking and he nearly submitted Castillo with a D'Arce choke, but the latter narrowly escaped.
In the second round, Castillo made some nice adjustments card disturbed Ferguson's timing.
With both men seemingly aware that the final round was up for grabs, they came out looking to give their best. Two of the judges saw more rounds for Ferguson and he was the victor to the disgust of the pro-Castillo crowd.
After a 17-month layoff following an injury, Ferguson has looked tremendous. He earned the Submission of the Night against Mike Rio, earned his second-straight first-round stoppage against Katsunori Kikuno and had his way with Castillo on Saturday night.
An opportunity against a ranked fighter should definitely be on the horizon for "El Cucuy."
Bantamweight: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Joe Soto
Dillashaw showed no ill effects of facing an opponent he hadn't trained for. He stopped Soto in the fifth round with a massive head kick and follow-up strikes to retain his title on Saturday night.
Feeling the pressure of shining in front of his hometown crowd, Dillashaw brought the fight to Soto from the very beginning.
Soto was game, but the champion wore him down with a combination of pressure and effective striking.
Although a win over Barao would have been sweeter for Dillashaw, a victory is a victory. Whose next for Dillashaw? Apparently, he's down for whatever.
Dillashaw says he wants to take a little break, but adds: "I'm fighting anybody they want to put in front of me, & I'm going to beat them."— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) August 31, 2014
Dominick Cruz was the bantamweight champion, but a long list of injuries forced him to give up the belt. He's scheduled to face Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178. Could the winner of that bout be next for Dillashaw?
Even in defeat, Soto proved he belonged in the UFC. His next fight will be of interest for MMA fans as well.
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