UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry Results and Live Reactions to the Steel City Scraps
UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry marks the second mixed martial event this weekend after the latest installment of the Strikeforce Challengers series on Friday. It also caps the fifth consecutive weekend of action in a busy two-month slate of MMA.
What's more, the frenzy isn't over. Not with UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber cued up next weekend as the organization gets an early jump on the country's 235th birthday.
Sure, the fourth edition of the UFC on Versus represents a bit of a lull in the all-you-can-eat (metaphorically) buffet of flying leather and straining joints, but who cares? You can't have title fights and top contenders in the Octagon every weekend, at least not yet.
And as far as non-title, non-cusp-of-a-title fights go, this collection ain't too shabby.
Or at least it wasn't until Nate "The Great" Marquardt was a Saturday scratch from the main event.
Originally, Marquardt was supposed to tussle with Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, but that bout had to be scrapped thanks to yet another injury suffered by Johnson. In related news, Rumble is apparently contemplating a nickname change to "Papier Mache."
Weak jokes aside, the UFC scrambled its stable once Johnson's rotator cuff proved to be a deal breaker and the contingency plan was a winner.
Rick "The Horror" Story is one of the most underrated yet dangerous fighters in the welterweight division. He doesn't have the flashy appeal of Johnson, but he just might be a bigger challenge at 170 pounds. Alas, Story now faces Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman in a ho-hum confrontation.
However, all is not lost.
Pat "HD" Barry and Cheick Kongo now move their pairing of plus strikers to the main event. Additionally, Matt "Meathead" Mitrione is set to continue his assault on the heavyweight ranks and John "Doomsday" Howard takes his explosive act back to the cage in hopes of ending a two-fight losing streak.
As always, Bleacher Report will be cage-side and couch-side, bringing you live results and reactions every step of the way.
So join us on Sunday at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT for the preliminary bouts on Facebook before the proceedings go live on Versus at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.
Main Card Bouts
Heavyweights: Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry—Kongo defeats Barry by KO (punch) at 2:39 of the first round.
Welterweights: Rick Story vs. Charlie Brenneman—Brenneman defeats Story by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Welterweights: John Howard vs. Matt Brown—Brown defeats Howard by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Heavyweights: Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft—Mitrione defeats Morecraft by KO (punches) at 4:28 of the second round.
Preliminary Card Bouts
Featherweights: Tyson Griffin vs. Manvel Gamburyan—Griffin defeats Gamburyan by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29).
Featherweights: Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez—Vazquez defeats Stevenson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Lightweights: Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton—Lauzon defeats Warburton by submission (kimura) at 1:58 of the first round.
Welterweights: Daniel Roberts vs. Rich Attonito—Attonito defeats Roberts by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Lightweights: Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira—Oliveira defeats Lentz by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:48 of the second round (fight under review by athletic commission).
Featherweights: Ricardo Lamas vs. Matt Grice—Lamas defeats Grice by TKO (strikes) at 4:41 of the first round.
Lightweights: Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto—Johnson defeats Faaloloto by TKO (punches) at 4:42 of the first round.
When two strikers the caliber of Pat "HD" Barry and Cheick Kongo come together, you get one of two things—either the explosion of heavy artillery you'd expect or a lackluster snoozefest caused by two men rendered tentative by the other's reputation.
In this case, I'm betting on the former.
Incidentally and apropos of nothing previously written, Dan Miragliotta is the referee for the main event—between Kongo, Barry and Miragliotta, that's a whole lotta dude in the cage.
Barry got off the schneid first with a couple of leg kicks and then the threat of a takedown, but Kongo began to retaliate with leg kicks of his own. That was the first bit of bad news for HD because it created a serious range issue for the massively shorter fighter.
The second bit of bad news was considerably worse.
Barry demolished Kongo with a right hook that sent Cheick sprawling to the ground, then another series of lethal rights and lefts to the at-see Frenchman prompted Joe Rogan to scream (prematurely), "it's over!"
Uh, not quite.
Cheick recovered ever so slightly, re-taking his feet in the process, before another TNT-loaded right hook put him right back on the ground and sent his eyes rolling toward the back of his head. But the big fellas recovered again and quickly this time, scrambling back to his feet in no time.
HD feathered the brakes and tried to pick his spot to finally secure the stoppage, but boy, did he pick the wrong one. Kongo—still not quite back in the world of the firing synapses yet—loaded up a straight right and Barry waltzed directly into it before a short right uppercut landed flush on HD's jaw.
Pat Barry's knees buckled completely and that was all she wrote. A few more short hammerfists knocked HD's eyelids back, which revealed the uppercut had left him with vacant eyes. All in all, it was a spooky last impression as Kongo dazedly celebrated the improbable knockout with Barry's unregistering eyes lolling around in their sockets.
And talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, almost literally.
What a comeback and what a KO for Cheick Kongo.
Cheick Kongo defeats Pat Barry by KO (punch) at 2:39 of the first round.
The most upset man in the arena besides Pat Barry? That would be Matt Mitrione who just watched the Knockout of the Night bonus slip through his hands and into Kongo's.
Rick Story could see that six-fight win streak going up in flames before his very eyes so he came out to start the third stanza with the appropriate desperation. Charlie Brenneman scored the early takedown, but he soon found himself in a compromised position as the Horror had his option of a possible armbar or kimura.
Luckily for the Spaniard, the referee reset the fighters while Story was still struggling to secure the kimura, much to Joe Rogan's dismay.
Of course, Brenneman grabbed yet another takedown and locked on an awkward triangle that had the Spaniard in a heap of trouble before fatigue gave Charlie an opening which he gladly exploited to free himself. From there, the Horror grabbed the mount and started pulping the Spaniard using body slams, but it was all to no avail.
The Horror turned in a dominant final round, but it wasn't good enough as the Spaniard survived the last precarious five minutes and walked away with a unanimous decision on my scorecard.
Charlie Brenneman defeats Rick Story by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Charlie Brenneman picked up in Round 2 right where he left off in the first i.e. on top of Rick Story after an early takedown. He didn't fare quite as well in the position as he did in the first, allowing the Horror to use a guillotine attempt to reverse the dominant-dominated dynamic and re-take his feet.
Of course, that reset just allowed the Spaniard to score a second takedown and, this time, he was able to ride out top position for a significant spurt of time.
The two warriors traded "keep busy" strikes to the torso—Story by way of heel kicks while Brenneman opted for the more conventional short punches to the kidneys—but the Spaniard was in Story's guard so he was also scoring points for control. What's more, Charlie Brenneman moved into side control (improving his position) and kept top control for almost half the round.
Which was enough to deliver the Spaniard his second 10-9 round.
Short of an stoppage, this couldn't be going worse for Rick Story.
This one had all the makings of a quick bout—Rick "The Horror" Story was supposed to face Nate "The Great" Marquardt, but instead got what most would agree was an easier challenge in the form of Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman. Meanwhile, Brenneman was originally scheduled to face T.J. Grant, but instead got what most would agree was a much stiffer challenge in the form of Story.
Furthermore, the Horror was fighting for the second time in less than a month so he should've been primed for violence.
And it sure looked like it would be a brief affair out of the gates as Story powered through a takedown before going to work with those active knees and hands.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the stoppage as the Spaniard tallied a couple takedowns (of varying success) to put Story on the defensive, even keeping him on his back for the last couple minutes of the round. In fact, those last 120 seconds and the abuse Brenneman put on Story's body probably stole him the round.
At least it did on my scorecard, which reads 10-9 Brenneman.
John Howard needed a stoppage to pull victory from the fires of defeat on my scoresheet and that was bad news before the third even started. Doomsday had been on the steady fade since the first round and Matt Brown had barely lost a step i.e. John lost the first two rounds and the fatigue gap was only widening.
True to expectation, the early cessation didn't come for the Boston-born-and-bred warrior.
He did take his first stanza of the contest amid boos from the Pittsburgh crowd, but it wasn't nearly as dominant as it needed to be to make up the apparent difference in the judges' eyes and it never approached stoppage territory.
The notorious striker with nuclear hands never really delivered on that reputation as the Immortal's early standup success might've thrown Howard off his game plan. Whatever the reason, Doomsday spent most of the three rounds straining for takedowns that never happend and it eventually cost him the bout.
Matt Brown defeats John Howard by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
John Howard came out to start the second stanza running on fumes and those gave out with about 150 seconds left in the round. He came out in search of the takedown yet again and even came close to getting one, but he simply didn't have enough in the gas tank to do anything of note.
Matt Brown, on the other hand, is like the Energizer Bunny and turned his attack up when he felt the give in his opponent.
Granted, he didn't turn a blatant advantage into much of anything on the scorecard. In fact, he got swept on the ground before slapping on a messy omoplata before the final horn. Tough round to score because neither man did much of anything in the way of offense and, though the Immortal registered the takedown, he didn't do anything of consequence with it.
Still, I've gotta give the second round to Brown by the same 10-9 margin as the first.
John "Doomsday" Howard has all the explosiveness you could want from a welterweight, but he's having a hard time bringing it to bear thus far in his scrap with Matt "The Immortal" Brown.
Doomsday was supposed to be the guy throwing bombs from his feet and, thus, with the edge in striking. But Brown was the one doling out the majority of the punishment in the first five minutes, at one point convincing the noted Muay Thai practitioner Howard to chase a single-leg takedown like a dog after a bone.
The dynamic was completely reversed by the final horn with Doomsday securing the takedown after absorbing high kicks and surgical knees from the Immortal. Howard also has a looming energy issue as Brown's one of those gladiators who can push the pace until his antagonist breaks.
Score that first round 10-9 for Matt Brown despite some nice early work from Howard and the takedown that amounted to very little if anything.
The second round was decidedly better for Christian Morecraft until the very end, though it might've been more a function of Matt Mitrione trying to steal a few minutes of rest than anything else. Regardless, Morecraft scored a couple takedowns and controlled the early action in the second stanza even if it was more the lay 'n' pray variety than anything else.
Of course, notice I said "until the very end"—it was close to a great round for the World of Morecraft, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
It certainly doesn't count in MMA.
With about 35 seconds left in the round, Mitrione landed a crushing right-left-right flurry that blew the mouthpiece right out of Morecraft's grill and the consciousness from his skull. The ending was so emphatic, Meathead could just watch as his gargantuan adversary toppled to the ground—no follow-up insult to injury was necessary.
Thunderous victory for the undefeated Matt Mitrione; the more we see him, the more it appears we'll have another serious heavyweight shark in the waters.
Matt Mitrione defeats Christian Morecraft by KO (punches) at 4:28 of the second round.
You've gotta love Matt "Meathead" Mitrione—homey knows how to sell a fight, finding reason to harbor animosity against even the most unheralded of foes...like Christian "The World of" Morecraft.
You've also got to respect the way he's transitioned from a professional football career (or at least the whispers of one) to one in mixed martial arts, where he is thriving.
And he continues to thrive in the first five minutes against Morecraft.
The big fellow from Purdue simply took his opponent apart on the feet, scoring early and often with those big paws of his. A straight left put down early in the first and set the tone for the rest of the round. Meathead was too quick and just elusive enough to land and escape, land and escape. He mixed his strikes well, landing with nice kicks to legs and midsection.
Perhaps most impressive was Matt's level of relaxation—he seemed like he was strolling on the beach even when he got caught by straight right from Christian.
Easy 10-9 round for Mitrione, maybe even a 10-8 after Meathead wobbled and put the World of Morecraft back on the canvas, then knocked his mouthpiece out as the round expired.
Manvel "The Anvil" Gamburyan came out and owned the first round by using aggression and superior strength to dictate the pace to Tyson Griffin. Unfortunately for the Anvil, he didn't walk away with a whole lot of damage to show for his ownership. He certainly took the round, 10-9, but Griffin might've considered himself lucky.
I say "might've" because Tyson had an opportunity to come out and assert himself in the second round despite the excruciatingly slow start, but he didn't appear to be doing so when my Facebook feed went dead. So I'll leave it to you, fair viewers, to say whether the American was able to reverse the early course of the hostilities.
Because, based on the final scores, it would appear Griffin took Gamburyan into the deeper water and used his peerless stamina to squeeze out the unanimous decision. Sure didn't look like that was going to be the outcome based on the first six or seven minutes, but that's why the contests go 15.
Tyson Griffin defeats Manvel Gamburyan by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29).
With all the fights Joe "Daddy" Stevenson has had over the years, it's easy to forget he was the winner from The Ultimate Fighter Season 2. It's also absurd that the 44-fight veteran is only 29 years old, making him six years the junior of Javier "Showtime" Vazquez despite boasting more than twice as many fights.
Today, however, it was Showtime who looked like the young, more accomplished warrior.
He controlled the action by stalking his prey behind an effective right jab and straight left while giving Daddy an answer for whatever he tried. Vazquez spend most of the first two round picking his adversary apart on the feet, authoring multiple takedowns and stuffing whatever Joe Daddy threw at him—at one point using a deep standing guillotine to foil Joe Daddy's single-leg takedown attempt.
True, Stevenson staid active off his back and threatened with a submission or two plus he was the fresher fighter in the third, bouncing around with a smile on his face. Nevertheless, even with Father Time doing his part to slow Showtime down, Joe Daddy wasn't able to exploit the tag team well enough to turn the gladiatorial tide in his favor.
Javier Vazquez defeats Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
If you can drag Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon into the second, third or deeper rounds, he becomes a much easier pill to swallow. But that's a hell of a lot easier said than done as Curt Warburton just found out. The man accused of having cardiovascular vulnerabilities showed that such frailties are the only ones he suffers from as he put the Brit on Queer Street with a slick right-left combination, pounced on his fallen foe to deliver some vicious elbows and one horrifying knee to the midsection, transitioned beautifully to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and then ended the fight as quickly as you please via wrenching kimura.
The American Lauzon looked like he could've probably beaten Warburton into submission or forced the ref to take mercy on his victim, but Curt left his right arm out for the taking so J-Lau took him up on the tantalizing offer. He snapped on the kimura, rolled into an even better position from which to finish and then latched on a pseudo-triangle just to make sure there was no quarter for Warburton.
And there wasn't unless you count tapping.
Joe Lauzon defeats Curt Warburton by submission (kimura) at 1:58 of the first round.
It's a good thing the Facebook feed kick on when it did, otherwise I would've missed the show just put on by Rich "Raging Bull" Attonito and Daniel "Ninja" Roberts.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair for the first round and a half as the Raging Bull pressed his advantage on the feet while Ninja used every trick in his book to try to drag the tussle to the ground, finding success on more than one occasion. Alas, after Roberts was able to trip Attonito and take the latter's back, Rich persevered through Daniel's maneuvering for a rear-naked choke before eventually escaping out the back door.
That seemed to be Ninja's last gasp as he looked dog-tired for the remainder.
Exhausted, but not about to give up, Daniel Roberts showed a granite chin as the Raging Bull spend the better part of six minutes teeing off on his adversary. Rich blistered Daniel's rib cage as he was sitting on top him to end the second round and then took target practice from his feet for the final stanza.
Attonito repeatedly found Roberts' chin in the last five minutes, welted up his opponent's right leg with inside leg kicks and came "thisclose" to a stoppage after felling Ninja with a nice head kick. Roberts ultimately recovered from the kick and made it to the final horn, but his victory was only a moral one as Rich Attonito got the real thing.
Rich Attonito defeats Daniel Roberts by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Apparently, we've got our first dose of controversy at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry, otherwise known as the fourth installment of the UFC on Versus.
In what should've been the best fight of the undercard, Charles "do Bronx" Oliveira stopped Nik "The Carny" Lentz by rear-naked choke about halfway through the second round. However, there's a note on the event's Wikipedia page that says the athletic commission is reviewing the tape of the fight so it's possible the result won't stand.
I'd love to weigh in with my first-hand observations, but the Facebook feed just clicked in for the start of the Attonito-Roberts contest so I don't have any to offer. If the Wikipedia entry can be trusted, Oliveira "stunned" the Carny with an illegal strike and it sounds like he took advantage of the dazed Lentz to finish him in the second.
If that's the case, we might have a no contest or even a disqualification coming down the pike. Gotta love the intrigue of an MMA scrap gone awry.
Charles Oliveira defeats Nik Lentz by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:48 of the second round (fight under review by athletic commission).
What's that line again about the best laid plans of mice and men?
The cool thing about the UFC is that it streams most of its preliminary cards via the social media phenomenon Facebook. That's a pretty nice little free perk for its devoted fans. The problem is, at least as far as yours truly is concerned...
THE DAMN THING NEVER FREAKIN' WORKS!!!!!!
Yes, it's a tad frustrating—even more so because it always almost works. So I'll get a few seconds, maybe as much as a minute, of rounds here and there before the thing cuts out. As my man Richard Pryor used to say, it's...enough...too make...ya CRAZY.
Anyhow, I can't tell you exactly how the ending came to be, but the first two fights of the night are booked courtesy of technical knockouts.
Lightweight Michael "The Menace" Johnson of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 fame put Edward Faaloloto to sleep with a flurry of punches as the first round was winding to a close in the opener. Then, Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas did the same to Matt "The Real One" Grice in their featherweight bout.
If my Facebook feeds cooperates, I'll bring you more details of subsequent bouts.
Michael Johnson defeats Edward Faaloloto by TKO (punches) at 4:42 of the first round.
Ricardo Lamas defeats Matt Grice by TKO (strikes) at 4:41 of the first round.