100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. Michelle Waterson - 92.8
2. Mickey Gall - 92.6
3. Leslie Smith - 92.5
4. Paul Craig - 92.2
5. Alan Jouban - 91.7
6. Alex Morono - 91.7
7. Josh Emmett - 91.7
8. Urijah Faber - 91.7
9. Irene Aldana - 91.3
10. Mizuto Hirota - 90.8
UFC on Fox 22: VanZant vs. Waterson
Location: Sacramento, California
Elevation: 30'
-Fight of the Night-
Leslie Smith vs. Irene Aldana
Fighters & Matches 88.9
Top 10 Fighters 91.9
TOTAL 90.4
     Velickovic spent the first half of the round chipping away at Aliev with leg kicks and basic strikes. Aliev then took him down, and Velickovic threw up an armbar from his guard with around 90 seconds left in the round. It looked like it could be getting kind of tight, but Aliev did a good job defending, and they stood back up with around 30 seconds left in the round, with Aliev pressing Velickovic against the fence for some basic clinching. I would score that round for Velickovic for landing the better strikes on the feet, and also holding onto an armbar for most of the time that they spent on the ground.
     Aliev scored another takedown 90 seconds into the second round, and this time he landed in a slightly better position. Velickovic tried to find another armbar or triangle, but Aliev scrambled to pass to a seated back control against the fence. They continued to scramble around, and Velickovic slapped on a guillotine choke with 90 seconds left in the round, but Aliev popped his head out and continued to grind Velickovic against the fence. That round goes to Aliev. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     The second round started with some back & forth clinching, no real strikes, just clinching against the fence. The fight hit the ground 2 minutes into the round, with Aliev on top again, while Velickovic continued to try to work a fairly active guard game, but he wasn't really coming close to securing any more submissions, like that armbar in the first round. In the end, I scored this fight 29-28 for Sultan Aliev, based on a very basic grinding top game, with only the first round going to Velickovic. One judge gave the fight to Velickovic, and the other two judges gave all 3 rounds to Aliev, for the split-decision victory. Neither fighter looked very good tonight, but it's worth noting that Aliev has been off for 2 years now, so... Not a terrible return, have to knock the rust off somehow, but it wasn't an impressive win at all either.
      Sandoval picked up Serrano a minute into the round, and slammed the shit out of him, but Serrano immediately stood back up. Sandoval threw some wild strikes, pressing Serrano's back against the fence, but Serrano was able to recover, and he landed some decent strikes of his own to convince Sandoval to back off. Sandoval rocked Serrano halfway through the round, but he wasn't able to follow it up with anything beyond some basic clinching. They traded some heavy leg kicks, Serrano tried to slam Sandoval, but Sandoval showed off some good balance, and he finished the round with a flying knee. Round one probably goes to Sandoval.
     Serrano threw some wild kicks to start the second round, Sandoval hammered him with some heavy punches, Serrano dropped, Sandoval slapped on a tight guillotine choke, but Serrano somehow escaped and stood back up. Serrano continued to struggle to throw Sandoval to the ground, while Sandoval just continued to chip away at him on the feet. Serrano's cardio really isn't very impressive for a flyweight. He was landing the heavier shots in the last half of the second round though, so I'm tempted to have this fight all tied up going into the final round, but more than likely, Sandoval is ahead 2-0, based mostly on pressure.
     The third round started with another fast takedown by Sandoval, but he wasn't able to keep him on the ground for longer than 30 seconds, so they stood back up and continued to trade with tired looking punches & kicks. By the end of the fight, all 3 judges gave the fight to Hector Sandoval, for the unanimous decision victory, earning his first win inside the UFC.
      The first round was basically just Wineland dancing around, showing off a lot of fancy footwork, and missing most of the shots that he threw. Mizugaki on the other hand was picking him apart with some clean punch combinations for most of the round. Wineland eventually dropped Mizugaki with a right hand, Mizugaki recovered, shot for a takedown, Wineland dropped him again, hit him a few more times, and the referee jumped in to stop the fight. Congrats to Wineland for the first round stoppage.
      The first round was basically a frantic boxing match, with Aldana chewing up Smith with crisp punch combinations & head movement, while Smith was mostly just ducking down, and throwing looping punches while running forward like a tank with no brakes. Smith randomly dropped Aldana with a looping right hand 2 minutes into the first round, she swarmed her, it looked like the fight was about to be stopped, but Aldana somehow recovered, and stood back up. Smith unloaded on her again with some wild combinations, while Aldana was stuck with her back against the fence. They both continued to slaughter each other with aggressive striking, and Smith blasted Aldana with a bruital spinning back elbow to the jaw. The round ended with Smith unloading like a chainsaw while Aldana just absorbed a million brutal strikes against the fence, but she was saved by the buzzer. Round one clearly goes to Smith.
     Smith continued to approach this fight like a flamethrower in the second round, just pulling that trigger, and swarming Aldana with a barrage of fire. Aldana continued to utilize some decent footwork, and she was still working her jabs, but it's hard to win a fight against a flamethrower, by throwing a jab right down the middle. Aldana turned it up a notch with 90 seconds left in the round, and she unloaded on Smith with some heavy hands, causing Smith to back up some. Smith fired back, and they continued to trade up until the end of the round. That round was basically a draw, but I scored it for Smith based on landing the heavier strikes in the final 10 seconds.
     They continued to brawl wildly in the third round, with Aldana landing the cleaner strikes, but Smith had nonstop forward aggression, and she was landing "punches in bunches" or whatever, and not just a few combinations, but the entire fight was all about her throwing 20 punches at a time. The fight never slowed down, all the way up until the end of the third round, where they were both still swinging violently at each other. That third round should go to Smith, which means that this fight should be a 30-27 decision for Smith, MAYBE a 29-28 for Smith, but I don't see any way Aldana wins this one. All 3 judges agreed, giving the win to Leslie Smith. That's a pretty huge win for her, considering she was a sizeable underdog.
      These guys both started the first round trading some wild strikes, Emmett was kicked in the balls, he poked Holtzman in the eye, and then they went back to trading wild strikes, until Emmett started to work his wrestling halfway through the round. He took down Holtzman a couple of times, but Holtzman did a fantastic job standing back up every time, before absorbing any real damage on the ground. I would probably score that first round for Emmett, but it was competitive.
     They traded some wild strikes to start the second round, Emmett caught a kick 30 seconds into the round, and threw Holtzman to the ground. He stood back up, but Emmett continued to beat him up against the fence with some extremely heavy punches. Holtzman fired back with some aggressive striking of his own, and then Emmett took him down again 90 seconds into the round. They scrambled around for a while, Emmett went for a heel hook, that didn't work, so he took Holtzman's back again. Holtzman shook him off, and took control of the clinch with 90 seconds left in the round. Emmett rocked Holtzman with a flying knee in the final seconds of the round, leading to another round for Emmett. I have him ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     Emmett rocked Holtzman in the final round, 90 seconds in, he went for the finish, and Holtzman collapsed near the fence, but he was able to stand back up, he fired back, but Emmett continued to bully him, backing him up with strikes, while clipping him with some hard shots. Holtzman scored a takedown 2 minutes into the round, but Emmett popped right back up. Emmett took him down halfway through the round, and Holtzman popped back up immediately. In the end, that was a wild fight, it was really competitive, but I feel like Emmett should pretty clearly win this fight. All 3 judges agreed, giving Emmett the hard fought unanimous decision victory.
      The first round was basically just a striking match, with Moontasri picking apart Morono with his superior kicks and some decent punches. Morono fired back with a few decent shots, but that first round should pretty clearly go to Moontasri. Morono started to brawl a bit more in the second round, and even though they both landed some solid shots, Morono looked like he rocked Moontasri a couple of times, so I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     The final round was another round full of Morono aggressively brawling, as he battered Moontasri against the fence with heavy punches, and Moontasri was barely even defending himself at all. Moontasri continued to try to fight back with some random strikes, especially after Morono emptied his gas tank, but in the end, this should be a clear 29-28 decision for Alex Morono, maybe even a 29-27 or something, depending on if anyone wants to throw a 10-8 scorecard on the table. All 3 judges agreed, giving the win to Alex Morono for the unanimous decision victory.
      Covington started this fight with some wild kicks, and then he shot for a takedown a minute into the first round, Barberena did a good job defending for a few seconds, but Covington finally brought him down with the single leg. Barberena continued to try to scramble back to his feet, but Covington refused to let up on him, so he spent the entire round grinding the shit out of Barberena against the fence, with countless takedown attempts, and a lot of clinch control. With some of these takedowns, Barberena is trying to catch himself by posting his arm down to stop himself from hitting the ground, and I wouldn't be shocked if his arm ends up snapping from one of these shots. They stood up with 90 seconds left in the round, traded some punches, Covington landed with some clean ones, and then he took the back clinch again, where Barberena immediately started to threaten him with a standing Kimura attempt, which Covington easily yanked his arm free from. Covington's face looked a little busted up & red by the end of the first round, while Barberena still looked prefectly fine, but it's hard to give that round to anyone other than Covington based on his top control & wrestling.
     Covington started the second round with another takedown, 30 seconds into the round. Barberena eventually stood back up, and they traded some strikes, but in the end, that round goes to Covington as well. The third round was more of the same, with Covington winning the wrestling exchanges, and Barberena doing a decent job keeping the striking competitive, but Covington should still win this fight on the scorecards. All 3 judges agreed, giving the win to Colby Covington for the unanimous decision.
      Hirota cracked Miller early in the first round with some punches, he took him down, Miller stood back up, dropped Hirota, he tried to setup a choke, Hirota swept him, and they stood back up. Hirota took him down again, they traded positions a few times, but by the end of the round, it goes to Hirota for grinding out top position for most of the round.
     The second round started in a similar way, but once Hirota took down Miller, Miller tried to setup a heel hook, and used that to sweep Hirota. Hirota then swept him halfway through the round, ending up back inside Miller's guard with half a round left to work some ground & pound. Miller scrambled around like crazy, and landed a nice upkick, but for the most part, it was another round of Hirota on top, beating up Miller on the ground. I have Hirota ahead 2-0 going into the final round, and I don't think anyone would bother arguing with that score at this point.
     Hirota started the final round by clinching and pressing Miller against the fence. Miller broke free 30 seconds into the round, and then Hirota beat him up on the feet with some very basic looking boxing. Miller landed a decent knee one minute into the round, and then Hirota took him down again, landing in half mount this time. Hirota basically just laid on Miller for a couple of minutes. Miller finally regained guard with 90 seconds left in the round. Hirota continued to pound on him with some basic punches, as we grind out way to another unanimous decision tonight. Congrats to Hirota for beating a decent name, but considering Miller hasn't been a Top 50 fighter in a while, I'm not sure if this win really means anything for Hirota, especially since it was just a boring grinding decision. I'm just glad that it's over, and I'm assuming Miller is going to retire now.
      Silva shot for a single leg takedown as soon as the first round started, and he pressed Craig up against the fence, but Craig was able to stay on his feet, where they traded some knees to the body from the clinch. Craig also landed some nices uppercuts from inside the clinch. Silva continued to dig for a takedown, but Craig sprawled all over him, and then caught him in a tight guillotine choke with around 90 seconds left in the round. Silva held on until the end of the round, but when they stood up, his face was busted up with multiple cuts around his eyes. Round one clearly goes to Paul Craig in his UFC debut.
     Silva looked exhausted at the start of the second round, and Craig came out swinging, backing him up against the fence. Craig then dipped down for a takedown, they clinched for a few seconds, and then Craig sort of pulled guard, Silva looked like he wanted to work some ground & pound, but Craig caught him in an armbar, and finished the fight by submission a couple of minutes into the second round. That was a great performance by Craig in his UFC debut, and Silva looked like shit in this fight, with almost zero gas tank right out of the gate.
      Perry came out pressuring Jouban with forward movement to start the fight, he threw a few punches, and then Jouban dropped him with the first right hand that he threw. Perry was rocked, but he recovered quickly, and continued to pressure with forward movement. They continued to chip away at each other, Perry got a little too aggressive, and Jouban clinched, took his back, and tried to throw Perry to the ground, securing the takedown halfway through the round. Perry scrambled back to his feet 30 seconds later, they traded some strikes, and then Perry rocked Jouban with a head kick, but couldn't follow it up with anything significant. They continued to trade some random strikes, and Jouban still looked rocked all the way up until the end of the round. That was a close round that could have gone either way, but I would probably lean slightly in favor of Jouban, based mostly on the takedown.
     The second round was full of forward movement from Perry, with some random strikes being thrown both ways, and then Jouban dropped him again with some heavy strikes late in the round, and Jouban finished out the round strong, so I have Jouban ahead 2-0 going into the final round, but it could possibly be all tied up, depending on how you scored the first round. The final round was more of the same, but with Jouban pressing forward more, as he continued to pick apart Perry, leading to the unanimous decision victory for Alan Jouban as he hands Perry the first loss of his career. That was also the first time Perry had to go the distance.
      Here we are with Urijah Faber's retirement match, in his hometown. They traded some fast strikes for the first half of the round or so, but neither fighter was actually connecting with anything, since they had too much distance between each other. They clinched halfway through the round, and then Pickett sort of took down Faber against the fence. Faber scrambled back to his feet, and dropped Pickett with a BRUTAL left hook, that clearly knocked Pickett unconscious, but he recovered enough to keep the fight going, but during those few seconds on the ground, Faber took his back, and beat the shit out of him with some solid punches from back mount. This fight probably could have been stopped a couple of times there, but the referee gave Pickett plenty of time to recover. Meanwhile, Pickett rolled to his back, Faber secured full mount, and continued to pound on him with short elbows & punches. Round one was a 10-8 round for Faber.
      The second round had Pickett chipping away at the calf of Faber with some decent kicks, but Faber took him down 2 minutes into the round, and smothered him against the fence. They scrambled around for a while, and Faber tried to secure a guillotine choke, but Pickett was able to stand back up and reset with a minute left in the round. Faber continued to grind Pickett in the final round, they stood back up with 90 seconds left in the round, and Pickett dropped Faber with a left jab, but he let him stand back up. In the final 15 seconds of the fight, Pickett threw a flying knee, Faber dodged it, took his back, and took him to the ground, finishing his career with back control. That was a strong performance by Urijah Faber, and a solid 30-26 unanimous decision victory to cap off a legendary career.
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      These guys clashed 30 seconds into the first round, Northcutt landed some decent strikes from inside the clinch, Gall shot for a takedown, and brought him to the ground inside the first minute of the opening round. He quickly passed to side control, and then started working to setup the guillotine choke. Northcutt secured half guard, Gall smothered the shit out of him with an awkward arm-triangle setup, and then he passed to side control again. Northcutt tried to scramble back to his feet, Gall slapped on a tight guillotine choke, but he didn't have his legs wrapped around Northcutt. Northcutt pulled his head free with 2 minutes left in the round, and then stood up, Gall tried to grab a leg lock, and Northcutt just punched him in the face, and then kicked him a few times on the ground, and they both started talking shit. They stood back up with a minute left in the round, Northcutt threw a low kick, Gall caught it, and took him to the ground again. Northcutt secured full guard, and then threw some palm strikes to the side of Gall's head. Northcutt finished the round with an omoplata attempt, that just allowed Gall to mount him. Round one goes to Gall.
     Northcutt came out showing off some slick footwork to start the second round, and then he blasted Gall with some hard punches, knocking him down 30 seconds into the round. Sage missed with a punch, Gall dropped him with a heavy punch, and then immediately took Northcutt's back, working for the rear-naked choke 90 seconds into the second round. Gall locked that shit on tight, and finished the fight by submission a couple of minutes into the second round. That was a pretty exciting fight while it lasted, fairly competitive, and another rear-naked choke victory for Mickey Gall, bringing his professional record to 4-0, with all of his wins by rear-naked choke. I don't know how confident I am about pitting Gall against guys in the top 20 or so at welterweight, but for now, he's proving to be a pretty solid fighter. Northcutt on the other hand, is still going to have to stay down there at lightweight I'm afraid. He's just not big enough to compete at welterweight in my opinion, as he's 0-2 at welterweight in the UFC, and he's 3-0 at lightweight. You do the math...
     Oooooh, on a side note, after this fight, Mickey Gall called out Dan Hardy, which I would actually be pretty interested in seeing that fight. I would have to pick Hardy, based on Hardy's skills back in the day, but since he retired 4 years ago, then it's kind of hard to pick anyone in that fight, since we have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what to expect from Hardy. Also, Gall said he wants to fight him at 155, so... We'll see what happens with that, but I don't think it would be a bad match to make. I can't really think of a better match for Dan Hardy at this point.
Technical Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      The first round had Waterson keeping VanZant at distance with some nice side kicks, and some decent punches. VanZant went for a head & arm throw, failed, Waterson kind of took her back, they clinched for a few seconds, and then Waterson threw her to the ground with a head & arm throw of her own, and then took her back, and slapped on a tight rear-naked choke. VanZant spent more than a minute trying to defend against a REALLY tight rear-naked choke, but eventually, VanZant went to sleep. That was another fantastic performance by Michelle Waterson. I've been a HUGE fan of hers ever since the first time I saw her fight back in Strikeforce in 2008, and I couldn't be happier with the way she put VanZant to sleep in the first round here, after an 18 month layoff.