The main event was an all-action bout filled with high-risk maneuvers, but Yair Rodriguez moved to 9-1 in his career and a perfect 5-0 in the UFC after eking out a split-decision victory over Alex Caceres at UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Rodriguez's constant pressure and unorthodox attacks made the fight fun to watch.
Fox Sports: UFC shared the exciting ending to the wild fight:
Caceres handled Rodriguez's style better than any other UFC opponent the 23-year-old Mexican has faced, but he couldn't consistently land enough counters to sway the judges.
Caceres is one of the few featherweights athletic enough to evade Rodriguez's highlight-reel shots. Unfortunately, that's just one part of the puzzle.
Rodriguez keeps his opponents on their heels with his offense. It would be interesting to see how he performs against someone like Frankie Edgar, who is capable of taking him down.
Then again, someone else already has his eyes on Edgar.
Bermudez Dominates Jason and Calls Out Edgar
The co-main event was supposed to be competitive, but nobody told Dennis Bermudez. He dominated Rony Jason with his quickness, explosive takedowns and ruthless ground-and-pound attack.
Bermudez opened a nasty gash on Jason's forehead in the first round, and it was downhill from there for the Brazilian.
After the lopsided victory, Bermudez had a quick message to deliver during his post-fight interview, via the UFC:
The UFC 205 card is in both Bermudez and Edgar's home state of New York, so the matchup makes sense. Edgar is coming off a loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 200, so he could be ready and hungry for another challenge.
- Justin Ledet def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
- Cub Swanson def. Tatsuya Kawajiri by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
- Teruto Ishihara def. Horacio Gutierrez by first-round technical knockout.
- David Teymur def. Jason Novelli by second-round technical knockout.
- Marcin Tybura def. Viktor Pesta by second-round knockout.
- Court McGee def. Dominic Steele by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
- Maryna Moroz def. Danielle Taylor by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).
- Trevor Smith def. Joe Gigliotti by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26).
- Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Zak Cummings by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
- Thales Leites def. Chris Camozzi by third-round submission (rear-naked choke).
- Dennis Bermudez def. Rony Jason by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
- Yair Rodriguez def. Alex Caceres by split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47).
Analysis and Highlights
Ishihara Is Something Else
Japanese rising star Teruto Ishihara is one of the most electric performers in the UFC. He showed off his exciting style and deadly striking with a knockout victory over Horacio Gutierrez.
This step-back left hook was the end of Gutierrez, as Fox Sports: UFC showed:
After the fight, Ishihara did a little dance to celebrate, courtesy of the UFC:
Whenever you watch him fight, it's hard not to expect something exciting to happen. He rarely lets fans down.
Teymur Topples Novelli and Calls Out Sage Northcutt
Jason Novelli's defense needs some work. He insisted on blocking David Teymur's left hand with his face, and that didn't work out well, as Fox Sports: UFC showed:
Novelli never moved his head despite being caught multiple times with the same punch. Nonetheless, Teymur has continued to show excellent finishing instincts in the UFC.
This was his second straight second-round knockout. After the fight, he called out one of the UFC's brightest young stars, via Fox Sports: UFC:
That would be an interesting fight, but Teymur might be too much for Sage Northcutt at this stage of their careers.
Head-kick knockouts are rare. You almost never see them in the heavyweight division, but when you do, they're memorable.
Add Marcin Tybura's finish against Viktor Pesta to that list.
Fox Sports: UFC shared its excitement:
The final shot was set up perfectly. The preceding shots got Pesta to lower his hands, and then, bang, the kick landed squarely.
Tybura rebounded from his loss to Timothy Johnson in his UFC debut emphatically.