UFC Fight Night 123 2017-12-9
UFC Fight Night Fresno Full Results
Here are the full results for UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, CA:
Main Card (Fox Sports 1)
Brian Ortega def. Cub Swanson by Submission via Guillotine Choke at 3:22 of Round 2 Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling by KO via Knee at 1:07 of Round 1 Scott Holtzman def. Darrell Horcher by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Eryk Anders def. Markus Perez by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 29-28) Benito Lopez def. Albert Morales by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders by TKO via Punches at 1:06 of Round 2 Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas by Submission via d’Arce choke at 1:54 of Round 2 Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Alejandro Perez def. Iuri Alcantara by Unanimous Decision (30-27
- via Bleacher Report
Ortega Beats Swanson Via Submission
This Is True...
And boy, that sounds like a great fight.
Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega Official Decision
Brian Ortega def. Cub Swanson by Submission via Guillotine Choke at 3:22 of Round 2
Ah, the bittersweet nature of MMA.
Brian Ortega scored what was a truly amazing stoppage, no-selling clean shots from one of the featherweight division's best strikers and slapping on a brutal-looking guillotine choke. He is now a bona fide top-five featherweight and could be in line for a shot at the division's champion, Max Holloway.
On the flipside, Cub Swanson's days as a contender are likely over before ever truly starting, despite being a longtime favorite of hardcore fans. That may go for his time as a UFC fighter as well, as he now enters the free agent pool at 34 years old, coming off a loss.
MMA is a great sport sometimes. Other times, it's a sad one...
That Choke, Tho!
Ortega is a wildman.
Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega Round 2
You wouldn't know Swanson was nearly choked unconscious just 60 seconds ago, as he comes off the stool looking no worse for wear, tagging Ortega with right hands. Instead of standing and trading with him, Ortega just plods through a series of right hands and gets the clinch.
Ortega slaps on another guillotine choke and, this time, jumps into guard. It's deep once again, with Cub staying upright to try and force separation but Ortega keeps it locked up and forces the tap! Amazing submission!
Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega Round 1
Cub Swanson immediately starts showing his highly technical striking, popping Ortega with jabs and leg kicks and slipping away before he can respond. Ortega keeps his guard high, avoiding big shots, but can't quite land much of his own.
In the waning seconds of the first round, Ortega gets hold of a front headlock and gets in deep on a guillotine choke. It's tight and Swanson begins turning purple but the horn sounds, saving Swanson and also delivering him the 10-9.
Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez Official Decision
Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
That...was not what the UFC was looking for. This was supposed to be a bit of a tuneup fight for Knight, who was coming off an ugly TKO loss to Ricardo Lamas. Now, instead, there are open questions as to whether he is psychologically shot after being thrown into the featherweight division's deep end.
Yes, this is a big win for Benitez...but it's a much bigger loss for Knight.
Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez Round 3
Knight knows he needs a stoppage here, and he's looking for it, pressing into Benitez's strikes but landing some good shots of his own. Still, Benitez is out-pointing him, tagging Knight with cleaner punches.
Knight's green striking game is taking a toll on his cardio. Benitez is profiling on him to the point where Knight pulls him into full mount position just to get the fight on the ground. That move doesn't pay off for him, as he absorbs punches from a postured Benitez as the horn sounds.
Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez Round 2
Both fighters trade shots in the early phases of the round, and then begin trading takedowns. Benitez is quick to disengage from top position, however, and is (mostly) getting the better of the striking exchanges. Knight hits a dirty fighting double by once again prompting a referee intermission due to an eye poke (though he doesn't lose a point this time).
The action is reset and Knights struggles continue, going through the highly telegraphed motions while landing no serious shots of note. Another 10-9 for Benitez and a decision should be wholly out of reach for Knight now.
Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez Round 1
Gabriel Benitez gets some early shots, prompting a defensive takedown attempt by Jason Knight. Benitez defends and there is a strange, sudden referee separation which is revealed to be due to Knight biting Benitez's hand! The ref takes a point from Knight and resets the action.
Knight comes out hard early, but doesn't maintain that pace, with Benitez out-landing and generally out-working him. A tough start for Knight who likely is down 10-9 to start the fight, and will be forced to get a stoppage to win with the point deduction.
- via Bleacher Report
Moraes Scores Scary KO at FN 123
Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling Official Decision
Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling by KO via Knee at 1:07 of Round 1
That was the kind of win Moraes needed. The Brazilian was an absolute savage as the WSOF bantamweight champion, but he's had trouble really making his mark in the UFC. Well, he did that here by scoring a clean knockout over a solid Sterling.
Moraes should be right in the thick of the bantamweight title picture, but with TJ Dillashaw looking to take the belt to the flyweight division...
Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling Round 1
The two fighters paw at one another and Aljamain Sterling shoots for a takedown. Marlon Moraes catches him with a knee coming in and that is that! Wow!
Stipe Miocic will defend his title from Francis Ngannou at UFC 220 in Boston. While that won't be the biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history (Brock Lesnar has a monopoly on those), it's possibly the best one.
Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher Official Decision
Scott Holtzman def. Darrell Horcher by Unanimous Decision
No surprise here. Holtzman had little trouble turning this into a grinder of a fight and that translated into an easy victory for Hot Sauce. Impressive win? Not really, but still a dominant one.
This loss could lead to the end of Horcher's time as a UFC fighter, however, as he is now 1-2 in the Octagon with his lone win being a less-than-emphatic split decision win over the unknown Devin Powell.
Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher Round 3
Holtzman, unsurprisingly, looks for more takedowns in the early goings of the third round, but Horcher manages to stay upright and land some good shots in the clinch. Holtzman is undeterred, though, and keeps working for the takedown until he gets it. Holtzman gets position to move to mount position but the referee once again stands them up!
Holtzman is justifiably annoyed by the decision while Horcher makes the most of his brief time standing with some haymakers. Ultimately, however, he gets put right back on the ground and stays there until the end of the fight. Another clean 10-9 for Holtzman, and a clean decision win, in all likelihood.
Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher Round 2
Horcher starts making up for lost time with a hard left hand that knocks down Holtzman. Hot Sauce pops right back up, though, and scores a momentum-halting takedown. Horcher eventually makes his way back up, but gets taken right back down. This time, Holtzman postures up and starts landing heavy hammerfists and elbows from half-guard.
The referee, inexplicably, stands the fight up and Horcher swings for the fences. Holtzman is having none of it, though, and scores yet another takedown, resulting in yet another 10-9 round for him.
Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher Round 1
Scott Holtzman is the better fighter on paper, and it's playing out that way in action, too. Early offensive pressure sees Darrell Horcher struggling on his back for much of the first round. He can't advance position in any huge way, but chews up the clock in dominant position. Horcher manages to score a reversal and get some work in towards the end, but not enough to keep Holtzman from getting the clean 10-9.
Over in Bellator...
After an inauspicious start to his reign as Bellator champion, Rafael Carvalho is suddenly a brutal knockout artist. Check out his latest victory!
Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez Official Decision
Eryk Anders def. Markus Perez by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 29-28)
Kind of absurd scorecards but ultimately the right guy won. Anders' physicality and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect in the division, and he had a wise call-out in the post-fight interview; Lyoto Machida. That (somewhat sadly) is a very competitive fight at this point and it might just be one the UFC puts together in early 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez Round 3
Perez isn't looking any fresher in the third and Anders immediately gets him onto the ground. Perez escapes before absorbing too much, but he's looking more and more tired by the second. Anders gets another takedown and Perez is in full survival mode, holding onto a guillotine with little purpose beyond keeping Anders from posturing up for strikes.
Anders eventually gets the space for ground-and-pound but Perez manages to tie him up just enough to avoid serious damage. Still, he doesn't do anything more than survive and that gives Anders an easy, easy win.
Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez Round 2
Perez looks tired in Round 2, and isn't as enthused about bringing the fight to Anders. That's good news for the footballer, too, as he stalks forward and picks his shots on a backpedaling Perez. Anders lands steady shots, but nothing massive.
Perez falls down after a sloppy front kick and Anders starts popping him with ground-and-pound. The Brazilian avoids taking any hard shots, and scrambles his way out of giving him a strong position. Unfortunately, he does nothing to woo the judges and lets Anders ties up the fight on the score cards.
Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez Round 1
Former Alabama footballer Eryk Anders has the athletic advantage over Markus Perez...and Perez knows it, closing the distance and tying up Anders against the cage. He scores a takedown and goes for an anaconda choke, but Anders pops free and escapes back to range.
Anders makes up for lost time by pushing forward looking for massive punches, landing a few good shots. A frantic clinch exchange results in a Perez takedown in the final seconds and that is enough to give him the narrow 10-9.
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez Official Decision
Benito Lopez def. Albert Morales by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
A fine win for the Tuesday Night Contender Series alum, which is exactly what the UFC wanted. Morales, unfortunately, is likely to be shown the door after falling to 1-3-1 in his UFC career.
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez Round 3
Morales shows leg kicks early, trying to throw low-risk techniques to score points in a competitive fight. Lopez is looking quite nimble in the final frame, however, and begins throwing head kicks with impunity.
Morales turns the dial up in the waning seconds of the third to try and swing the round, but doesn't land anything especially noteworthy. More importantly, he doesn't land anything that threatens a much-needed stoppage, which should translate to a win for Lopez.
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez Round 2
The fighters are both conserving their energy after that huge offensive output in the first round, and that's probably wise. Morales is enjoying the center of the cage but Lopez is landing some good shots from his bicycle, particularly with body kicks. Those shots aren't going unanswered, but Morales is struggling to get inside the guard of the lankier Lopez.
It's a far cry from the frantic first round, but it'll look the same on the score cards. 10-9 Lopez.
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez Round 1
Fireworks right away here as Lopez clips Morales with a head kick. All hell breaks loose from there with Morales staggering Lopez with a punch and Lopez rallying right back by landing a pair of flying knees that score a knockdown. Lopez looks for a one-arm guillotine choke, but can't sink it in, allowing Morales to recover and get back up.
The action slows down from there with Morales enjoying back position on a standing Lopez. The fighters basically coast to the horn from there, but they delivered more than enough action in the opening minute. 10-9 Lopez for me.
Here's What Alexis Davis Actually Looked Like
Enough with my wise-cracking! Here's what Davis actually looked like after the flurry from Carmouche late in Round 2.
Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche Official Decision
Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The crowd erupts in boos at the announcement of the decision, but this was a tough call. Davis twice had a fully completed armbar and Carmouche never got especially close to finishing the fight, despite doing more damage.
This is definitely a disappointing loss for Carmouche, though, who entered the newly formed women's flyweight division with a winning streak. While Carmouche could have jumped right into title contention with a big win, Davis is, more or less, spinning her wheels in victory.
I Wasn't Kidding!
And UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou agrees!
Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche Round 3
Those few punches landed by Carmouche towards the end of the second round have Davis coming off the stool looking like an alien. Carmouche knows that Davis isn't in prime condition and immediately goes for the kill, staggering Davis with punches and taking her down.
That's not a wise move, however, as Davis quickly starts working for a triangle choke, followed by an armbar. Once again, it's in deep but once again, Carmouche slams her way out of danger. There's still plenty of time on the clock, but Carmouche maintains a safe level of output from top position, allowing her to seal up the 10-9 without being in danger of another submission.
Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche Round 2
Carmouche tries to get some early offense in but Davis makes her pay by catching a kick and getting a takedown. That's great news for Davis, who thrives in top position. While she doesn't do much damage, she lands punches and elbows from Carmouche's guard for a solid four minutes, chewing up the clock.
The ref breaks them up and Carmouche begins throwing heavy leather. The big punches land and Davis immediately begins swelling, with Carmouche landing a hard takedown right as the horn sounds. That's not quite enough to steal the 10-9 round from Davis, but it is enough to swing the momentum heading into the final round.
Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche Round 1
Davis immediately pushes the action to the cage and works for trips and takedowns. Carmouche reverses position, gets the center of the cage and lands a surprise takedown of her own. Davis manages to escape but Carmouche stays sticky and gets another takedown.
That's good news for Davis, though, as she swings her legs over and gets hold of a wrist. The armbar is in deep but Carmouche muscles her up and gets a miniature slam on her. It doesn't knock her free, but it's enough to let her safely post and ride things out to the horn, and take the 10-9 score card.
This Former Alabama Linebacker Is Putting His Undefeated MMA Record on the LineUFC Fight Night 123 2017-12-9via Bleacher Report
This Former Alabama Linebacker Is Putting His Undefeated MMA Record on the Line
👊 👊 👊
Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath Official Decision
Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders by TKO via Punches at 1:06 of Round 2
That was about as sudden a stoppage as it gets. Soukhamthath seemed completely fine with taking a decision loss but then found a huge right hand that ended Sanders' night. That's a much-needed win for Soukhamthath, who likely would have been released from the UFC with another loss.
Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath Round 2
Sanders looks to continue his early aggression and finds success with it. Soukhamthath plants, though, and finds Sanders' chin with a right hand...and gets the stoppage! Surprising end to the fight.
Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath Round 1
Luke Sanders isn't exactly a destroyer, but Andre Soukhamthath doesn't seem to want any part of this fight. Whether it's the perimeter of the cage or the center, Sanders is controlling the action with Soukhamthath doing little to discourage that. Sanders doesn't land much of note, but he's in control and pressing the action while Soukhamthath seems content in handing him the 10-9.
Don't Know What a D'Arce Choke Is?
No problem, because here's a great angle to check it out, courtesy of Alex Perez.
Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez Official Decision
Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas by Submission via D'Arce Choke at 1:52 of Round 2
Good win for Perez and a good start to the night for alumni of the Tuesday Night Contender Series. There are a few imports from Dana White's ego project up and down this card, and their success is an important storyline on this card. We'll see if they can keep up this success throughout the night.
Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez Round 2
Perez starts Round 2 right where Round 1 ended; on top of CJDT. He shoots for a takedown and CJDT gets into turtle position. That's the position Perez was hoping for, though, and he went right after another d'Arce choke. This time, however, he forces the tap.
Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez Round 1
We have a striker vs. grappler match! De Tomas is looking to maintain distance while Perez hints for takedowns. CJDT manages to defend ably, and land some good shots but Perez ends up getting hold of a front headlock and hunts for a d'Arce choke.
De Tomas bucks his way out of danger, but not to freedom and Perez holds onto the headlock for a length of time. He's back up, but Perez gets another takedown and ends the round on top and, on our cards, in the lead 10-9.
Fighters Aren't Happy About That Decision
Saenz's win over Dvalishvili didn't really upset us here at Bleacher Report. Fighters, though? They're not happy about it. Aljamain Sterling, who fights later tonight, kicked off a tidal wave of criticism over the decision.
Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili Official Decision
Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
A somewhat surprising decision there, but not necessarily a bad one. Dvalishvili had more control of the action throughout the fight, but Saenz landed more strikes and never allowed Dvalishvili to advance position.
Regardless, this was a forgettable bout.
Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili Round 3
Dvalishvili is bleeding profusely from an unintentional headbutt during a takedown attempt. That's not slowing him down, though, and he continues to stick to Saenz like glue. Saenz starts to get creative with his offense, throwing more uppercuts, knees and even a spinning backfist, but Dvalishvili just keeps going for takedowns to the final horn.
He takes the fight in convincing (albeit somewhat boring) fashion on our cards, to the tune of 30-27.
Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili Round 2
Dvalishvili is once again looking to take control with his wrestling and generally doing a good job of it. Saenz is making the adjustments, though, landing more shots at range and getting back up quicker when he's taken down (with occasional help from the referee). He's beginning to look tired, though, while Dvalishvili continues to smother him and that bodes poorly for Saenz, who is starting to look tired.
Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili Round 1
Dvalishvili is all over Saenz. Takedowns come after takedowns after takedowns. They have brief striking exchanges with Saenz getting the better of most of them, but Dvalishvili's wrestling attack is relentless. That time in control is enough to get the 10-9 for the first round, but he needs to be wary of Saenz's striking.
Frank Trigg Isn't the Only Surprise Referee Tonight...
Josh Rosenthal is back! Long considered one of the best refs in the business, Rosenthal suddenly disappeared from the sport due to 37-month sentence for running a marijuana growing operation in 2013. Now back in the game, we'll likely see more of him in the UFC (at least when they're in California).
Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara Official Decision
Alejandro Perez def. Iuri Alcantara by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Genuinely surprised that was an unanimous decision! A fight with that little action is almost always split with the judges.
An important win for Perez, simply to have Alcantara on his resume, but not the kind of performance that will earn him a crack against higher-end competition.
Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara Round 3
More of the same! Alcantara is moving forward, missing punches and kicks. Perez is moving backwards, missing punches and kicks. Perez knocks down Alcantara in the final seconds of the fight but makes no effort to finish it while Alcantara pops back up and cracks him with a right hand.
Those final 20 seconds had more action than the rest of the fight combined! Perez gets the 10-9 here and the 29-28 on our score cards, but that wasn't an impressive showing.
Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara Round 2
The second round is stays relatively the same, with Alcantara throwing low-risk, low-reward offense. The only difference is that Perez begins catching kicks, taking Alcantara down once and stumbling him shortly thereafter. Alcantara is undeterred but absorbing punishment on the way in now.
The horn sounds on another slow round. Perez takes this one 10-9 on Bleacher Report's card...but the judges might see it differently.
Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara Round 1
Alejandro Perez has a big opportunity here and may or may not he a bit anxious about that. Veteran contender Iuri Alcantara kept the output short but effective, flicking leg kicks and his long jabs. Perez did little to really fire back, however. Alcantara stalks forward and lands some late offense to steal the 10-9. The crowd is starting to get frustrated, though...
Here's the Finish!
Ramos wrenched Gruetzemacher down and immediately pounced for the rear-naked choke. Both men were tired towards the end of the fight, but impressive explosion there by Ramos.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos Official Decision
Davi Ramos def. Chris Gruetzemacher by Submission via Rear-Naked Choke at 0:50 of Round 3
Gruetzemacher is one tough guy, but Ramos was better in every area of the cage. Great win for the Brazilian, who proved he belongs after an inauspicious UFC debut.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos Round 3
Ramos shoots for a takedown in the opening seconds of the round. He doesn't get it, but ends up behind Gruetzemacher standing and gets it down. He hunts for the rear-naked choke and gets it with the quickness! Impressive stoppage win for Ramos.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos Round 2
Gruetzemacher once again looks for an explosive start to the round, but this time Ramos knows he's coming. He plants a few heavy shots on Gruetzemacher, knocks him down and takes him down. Gruetzemacher recovers incredibly quickly and gets right back up.
Back at range, Gruetzemacher continues plodding forward but is starting to wear the damage and show some cardio depletion. Ramos is landing, but Gruetzemacher manages to stagger him in the final minute. Before he has the chance to turn it into anything, however, Ramos gets another takedown and rides out the end of the round on top, taking another 10-9.