UFC Fight Night 25 is in the books and the results are below:
Jake Ellenberger vs. Jake Shields: Ellenberger via TKO (:53 of Round 1)
Court McGee vs. Dongi Yang: McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-28)
Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik Koch: Koch via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Alan Belcher vs. Jason MacDonald: Belcher via submission (3:48 of Round 1)
Cody McKenzie vs. Vagner Rocha: Rocha via submission (3:49 of Round 2)
Shamar Bailey vs. Evan Dunham: Dunham via unanimous decision (30-27x3)
Lance Benoist vs. Matt Riddle: Benoist via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Ken Stone vs. Donny Walker: Stone via technical submission (2:40 of Round 1)
Seth Baczynski vs. Clay Harvison: Baczynski via submission (1:12 of Round 2)
Mike Stumpf vs. T.J. Waldburger: Waldburger via submission (3:52 of Round 1)
Mike Lullo vs. Robert Peralta: Peralta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Justin Edwards vs. Jorge Lopez: Edwards via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Looking back at Saturday's UFC Fight Night Card, Bleacher Report MMA brings you the memorable moments from the first UFC event in New Orleans since 2000.
TJ Waldburger seemed to have one focus during his bout with Mike Stumpf, get the submission victory, and at the 3:52 mark of Round 1, he accomplished that mission.
Waldburger worked multiple submission attempts during the course of the bout, but the end came when he transitioned from a front choke attempt to an armbar attempt before finally moving on to a triangle choke that brought the fight to a halt.
This one makes the list for a couple reasons—none of them very positive. Stone had the rear-naked choke in very deep on Walker, and it soon became apparent that Walker had no intention of tapping out to the choke, no matter what.
The referee should have been aware of that, as most in the arena were as they viewed the fight. When the lights went out for Walker, a twitch of his arm was visible on the screens placed around the arena, and yet, the referee did not notice it. It took Stone telling the referee his opponent was out for him to come in and call the fight. It seemed as if this one should have been stopped a little faster than it was.
The second reason this makes the list is, why is so much emphasis put on the refusal to tap when the outcome is already known to all? There was not doubt that Stone had the choke in deep, there was no doubt that Walker had no chance of escape, so why not tap?
Sure, I understand the "warrior mentality," but you know what, a loss is a loss is a loss. There's no such thing as a moral victory when you refuse to tap, your opponents hand is still raised and you still get a check in the win/loss column.
Regardless, nice win for Stone.
When Lance Benoist had his hand raised at the end of his battle with Matt Riddle, the crowd reacted as if the city of New Orleans had just announced the banning of the "go cup." In short, they were unhappy.
Sure, Benoist's nose looked a bit different than it had when he entered the cage thanks to a Riddle knee, and sure, Riddle's blonde hair had been given a quick and easy dye job from the blood that Benoist was leaking, but the score cards were correct.
Riddle may have had some pep in his step at the end of the fight and looked none the worse for wear, but he still lost, and hey, he did get an extra $55,000 for "Fight of the Night" so that may help salve the loss.
Shamar Bailey had two stoppage losses on his record heading into UFC Fight Night 25—one via strikes, the other via cuts. Bailey took a pretty good beating at the hands of Evan Dunham, but there was no way Saturday night was going to be his third stoppage loss.
Dunham used the one-two combo throughout the entire three-round bout, earning the unanimous decision and putting his name back in the mix in the lightweight division.
During his in-cage interview, Dunham commented on his game opponent, "He’s a tough guy, Shamar you’re a tough dude. I hit him with some shots that I thought would have put a lot of guys down.”
Bailey may have lost the bout, but he showed that he was a game competitor, delivering the type of fight that many fans want to see.
Vagner Rocha had a tough go in his first UFC bout, facing Donald Cerrone, who had no interest at all in allowing Rocha to fight his type of fight. Rocha's second UFC opponent, Cody McKenzie seemed more willing to engage Rocha on the ground—something he paid for.
Rocha was impressive in his submission attempts, earning the win in the second round when he stopped McKenzie with a rear-naked choke.
While it's true that Rocha has a very solid submission game, it would be kind to call him less than well-rounded. To continue to develop into the total package, Rocha needs to develop his other tools. He can't expect the UFC to continuously match him up against fighters that suit his style.
Alan Belcher's career was on an upward trajectory when he suffered a detached retina, forcing him to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Demain Maia and requiring him to undergo surgery.
Belcher, after a 16-month layoff, was booked on the New Orleans card to face Jason MacDonald, a fighter he made short work of, forcing him to verbally submit to strikes at the 3:48 mark of Round 1.
It was a strong return for Belcher, and much like Rashad Evans and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira before him, Belcher put another nail in the coffin of the theory that is "cage rust."
On Sunday, Jonathan Brookins, who lost a unanimous decision to Erik Koch on Saturday night took to Twitter to post the following:
I apologize to everyone who watched for such a horrible, grotesque fight. -- I am so thankful for the decision, it's what I deserved :)
The tweet was a refreshing and classy move from a fighter that knew he did not deliver his best performance. No excuses, just stating the facts more plainly than most could hope to do.
Jake Shields' father passed away in late August, and no one would have blamed Shields had he pulled out of Saturday's fight against Jake Ellenberger. For his part, Shields said he never really considered withdrawing from the fight.
Jack Shields was also Jake's manager and a huge supporter of his son's career. Walking toward the cage with that loss weighing on him had to have been an emotional time for the former Strikeforce champion.
Shields may not have had his hand raised at the end of his fight with Ellenberger, but he showed a lot of character choosing to fight in honor of his father. Jake Shields deserves a lot of praise for his actions leading up to UFC Fight Night 25.
It took Jake Ellenberger 53 seconds to do what no fighter had been able to do since 2000finish Jake Shields.
While the fight didn't last very long, the result made it clear that Ellenberger is a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division.
Now the question is, what does the UFC do with him? Does he get the winner of the Georges St-Pierre versus Carlos Condit bout? Does he get the winner of the BJ Penn versus Nick Diaz fight or are the other plans for Ellenberger?