100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (24 Total):
1. Yoel Romero - 93.3
2. Tyson Pedro - 93.1
3. Tai Tuivasa - 92.7
4. Curtis Blaydes - 92.3
5. Alexander Volkanovski - 92.2
6. Jake Matthews - 92.0
7. Jussier Formiga - 91.8
8. Israel Adesanya - 91.7
9. Luke Jumeau - 90.8
10. Jose Alberto Quinonez - 90.4
UFC 221: Rockhold vs. Romero
Location: Perth, Australia
Elevation: 103'
-Fight of the Night-
Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold
Fighters & Matches 89.2
Top 10 Fighters 92.0
TOTAL 90.6
     These guys both threw some slapping punches at each other, they were moving around quite a bit, and then Jumeau dropped Abe 90 seconds into the opening round with some big punches, but Abe quickly popped back up to his feet. They traded a few more strikes, and then Abe opened up with a wild barrage of clean punches with 2 minutes left in the round, but Jumeau was able to cover his head and weather the storm. Abe eventually backed off, Jumeau moved forward, and then Abe dropped him again with some punches, unloaded with some hammerfists on the ground, I thought he might finish the fight, but Jumeau somehow stood back up and they reset. Abe continued to pick apart Jumeau with big combinations of punches & knees, leaving Jumeau's face chopped up a bit. Round one clearly goes to Daichi Abe.
     The second round started with a quick takedown from Jumeau, but he wasn't able to hold Abe down at all. Abe was clearly slowing down in the second round, which allowed Jumeau to pick him apart with some clean striking, but they both landed some hard shots, so I guess they're both still dangerous. Jumeau's face was a bloody mess at the end of the round, but that's mostly due to damage from the first round. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     The final round started as a standard kickboxing match, both guys landed some solid shots, and then Abe punched Jumeau in the eye, and he damaged Jumeau's eyelids, so the referee gave Jumeau a brief timeout to have the doctor check him out, even though the shot looked legal to me, since it was just the side of his thumb, and not an actual eye poke. The rest of the round was pretty slow, but I'm assuming that round goes to Jumeau, especially since he dropped Abe in the final 10 seconds. This fight COULD be a draw, if you score the first round 10-8 for Abe, but I doubt many people would do that, so I'm expecting a 29-28 decision for Jumeau. The judges were all over the place with the actual scores, but all 3 ended up scoring the unanimous decision victory for Luke Jumeau.
      These guys traded a few random strikes, Quinonez caught a kick, and then took down Ishihara 20 seconds into the opening round. Ishihara popped back up, they clinched, Quinonez pressed him against the fence, and they traded a few random knees. Quinonez continued to grind the shit out of Ishihara against the fence, while he continued to dig for a variety of takedowns. Quinonez took his back halfway through the round, locked on the body triangle, and he started digging for the rear-naked choke, but Ishihara was doing a good job defending against the choke, while squirming around on the bottom. Ishihara finally stood back up with 90 seconds left in the round, and then the referee called a timeout becausce Quinonez's cup was falling out of the top of his shorts. When the fight started back up, Ishihara landed a few punches, and then Quinonez shot for another takedown, but Ishihara was able to stuff the shot this time, so they reset and hopped around for the last few seconds. I'm giving the first round to Quinonez, but Ishihara finished strong, and even dropped Quinonez as the buzzer sounded, so I'm not 100% sure how the judges will score that round.
     The second round started with some kickboxing, and Quinonez was chipping away at Ishihara with some solid leg kicks. Quinonez landed a nice combination, and then Ishihara took him down 2 minutes into the round, but Quinonez popped back up to his feet a few seconds later. They spent the rest of the round with Ishihara moving forward, pressuring Quinonez, but Quinonez was landing the better strikes, with some hard counter leg kicks. Ishihara rocked the shit out of Quinonez with 20 seconds left in the round, Quinonez wobbled around on chicken legs, and then fell down, but recovered on the ground. Round two goes to Ishihara, and he COULD be ahead 20-18 going into the final round, but I have the fight all tied up at this point.
     The final round had both guys trading strikes at a decent pace, with Ishihara still moving forward, while Quinonez was still picking him apart with those counter leg kicks. This was a really close fight that could go either way, but I think I'm going to score this one 29-28 in favor of Jose Quinonez. I wouldn't be shocked if someone gives it to Ishihara though, so I'm sort of expecting a split-decision. All 3 judges agreed with me, giving the unanimous decision victory to Jose Quinonez. I'm a little confused though, because one judge gave him all 3 rounds, and Ishihara CLEARLY won the second round at least.
      The first round had both guys basically moving around in a circle in the center of the cage, trading punches, mostly jabs, and then Hirota shot for one takedown in the final 45 seconds, which Pearson was able to stuff without too much trouble. The first round was really close, and fairly uneventful, but I would probably score it slightly for Pearson, based mostly on landing the cleaner strikes, as well as stuffing the takedown.
     The second round was another round of fairly even boxing, with Pearson picking apart Hirota for most of the round, but Hirota came on strong in the final seconds of the round, landing some of the most significant shots in the round, so that's another round that's a little hard to score, but I would still score it slightly in favor of Pearson, based on the amount of time he controlled that round. This has been a really even fight so far though.
     The final round was another close round of boxing, making the fight a hard one to score, but the judges didn't seem to have much of an issue with it, as two judges gave all 3 rounds to Pearson, and the other scored it 29-28, for the unanimous decision victory, finally ending Ross Pearson's terrible 4-Fight losing streak. He really needs to start finishing some of these fights though, because all of his fights are too close to call, and when you're losing 4 fights in a row, it's clearly time to change something about your game.
Technical Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      These guys clinched early, and Nguyen pressed Silva against the fence, but not a lot happened, so they reset 90 seconds into the opening round. Nguyen threw some hard kicks, and then Formiga clinched and pressed Nguyen against the fence. Formiga scored a takedown with 2 minutes left in the round, landing in side control in the center of the cage. He passed to full mount with 90 seconds left in the round, and threw some short punches, but wasn't doing a lot from the top. Round one goes to Formiga da Silva.
     Nguyen opened a cut high on Formiga's forehead early in the second round with an elbow. They pumped some jabs at each other, and clinched a little bit, but for the most part, the second round was pretty slow paced. Nguyen threw a kick, and Silva quickly took him down around the halfway point of the second round, pinning Nguyen in the center of the cage again. Silva eventually tried to pass to mount, and Nguyen was able to scramble back to his feet. The final minute had Nguyen throwing some punches, but he wasn't landing much of anything with any real significance. I have Formiga ahead 20-18 going into the final round, but the second round could have arguably gone either way. Silva poked Nguyen in the eye in the final 10 seconds, so that might be enough to sway the round in Nguyen's favor, unofficially.
     They both threw some wild punches early in the final round, but neither fighter appears to have much power in their hands. They're winging some shots, but when they connect, it just sounds like wet paper flapping in the wind. Actually, I take that back. As soon as I said that, Formiga dropped Nguyen with a hard spinning back fist, and then he took his back, punched him in the head a lot, slapped on a rear-naked choke, and put Nguyen to sleep. That was a FANTASTIC finish by Jussier da Silva, and it should secure his spot in the Top 5 at Flyweight, in case there was any question going into this fight.
(Punches & Elbows)
      These guys clinched early in the first round, they battled to try to take each other down, and Volkanovski was the first to score a takedown a minute into the round, and he pinned Kennedy against the fence. Volkanovski spent the rest of the round grinding all over Kennedy, while working to improve his position. The second round also started with Volkanovski scoring a takedown, and he continued to grind Kennedy against the fence for a minute or so, before Kennedy finally worked his way back to his feet 90 seconds into the round. They clinched, and then Volkanovski took down Kennedy again. Volkanovski worked some ground & pound, and continued to grind Kennedy into the fence. Volkanovski opened up with some BRUTAL punches & elbows with a minute left in the round, and it looked like he could stop Kennedy at any moment, but the referee allowed him to continue almost until the end of the round, but the referee finally stopped the fight with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second round. That was another fantastic win for Alexander Volkanovski, as he hands Kennedy the first loss of his career.
(Knees & Punches)
      Adesanya is making his UFC debut here, and he has a lot of hype behind him, with an 11-0 record, and a crazy kickboxing record as well. He also looks a little like a small Jon Jones. They traded a few strikes to start the first round, and then Wilkinson clinched and pressed Adesanya against the fence, clearly trying to wear him down without taking much damage at all. Wilkinson tripped Adesanya to the ground 2 minutes into the opening round, but Adesanya immediately popped back up to his feet. Wilkinson continued to work for takedowns, with moderate success, but Adesanya was able to get back to his feet quickly every time. They finally reset with 2 minutes left in the round. Adesanya landed some hard kicks, and then Wilkinson tried to take him down again, but Adesanya did a forward roll to basically flip out of it. I'm giving the first round to Wilkinson based on pressure, but he wasn't very successful with his wrestling gameplan. He was at least able to prevent Adesanya from scoring much with his striking.
     Wilkinson continued to work his wrestling in the second round, but Adesanya seemed to have it figured out, as he was able to stuff almost all of his shots this time, and he also blasted Wilkinson with some hard punches & kicks & knees. Wilkinson started to work his stalemate clinching again around the 2 minute mark of the round, but Adesanya continued to do a good job scrambling out, to create some distance to work. Around the halfway point of the round, Adesanya bloodied Wilkinson's face with some strikes, he blasted him with some hard leg kicks, and Wilkinson looked like he was starting to look for a way out. Adesanya slaughtered him with a series of hard punches, and knees, with a high % of accuracy, and Wilkinson just looked lost, as he covered up against the fence, and collapsed. That was a solid debut for Adesanya in his UFC debut.
      This fight started slowly, with both guys trading single leg kicks every once in a while, as they circled around each other in the center of the cage, like they were preparing for a "Beat It" style knife fight, but neither fighter was really "going for it" at all. It was just a lot of single jabs, and single leg kicks. The first round probably could have gone either way. The second round was a pretty similar round that could have possibly gone either way as well. I have to admit, it's hard to give a shit about fights like this, when you're getting ready for a UFC PPV, and the last fight on the undercard is between the #39 Lightweight in the UFC (Dong Hyun Kim) and the #70 lightweight in the UFC (Damien Brown). I didn't care about this fight, and I don't think the judges did either. The fight was split pretty much right down the middle, giving the edge just slightly to Kim for the split-decision victory, after a 15 minute sparring match, between two guys that could be huge stars if they were fighting in LFA instead. Kim is now on a 3-Fight winning streak, and Brown is on a 3-Fight losing streak.
      Pedro threw some long punches to start the first round, and then he nearly snapped Safarov's leg in half with a huge kick, so Safarov immediately shot for a takedown and pinned Pedro against the fence. Pedro was able to work his way back to his feet, and they reset a minute into the opening round. Pedro chipped away with some leg kicks, he blasted Safarov with a few bombs, Safarov shot for another takedown, and Pedro stuff the shot, and then kicked Safarov in the head. They both landed some solid punches, but Pedro looked like he was really hurting Safarov, as Safarov was in panic mode, trying to get another takedown. He clinched and pressed Pedro against the fence, and then finally dumped him to the ground with around 90 seconds left in the round. He punched Pedro in the head a few times, Pedro stood back up, Safarov pressed him against the fence again, and then Pedro slapped on a brutal Kimura, cranked the shit out of it, Safarov flipped over wildly, and was forced to submit. That was a really solid performance by Tyson Pedro.
      These guys started the first round by boxing with each other, with Matthews landing the harder shots for the most part. Matthews dropped Li with some bombs with around 2 minutes left in the opening round, and then he quickly passed to full mount, and went straight to working his ground & pound. Matthews took his back with 90 seconds left in the round, tried to setup a rear-naked choke, and continued to punch Li in the face from back control. Round one clearly goes to Matthews, maybe even 10-8, as he rocked him with some punches, and completely controlled him on the ground. Matthews looks really strong tonight.
     The second round started with both guys trading punches again, they both landed some hard shots, and then they went to the ground with Matthews locking on a guillotine choke. Li raked the shit out of the eyes of Matthews, Matthews was bleeding heavily from his eyes, and Li was able to escape the submission by commiting a big foul, which the referee told him to "get the fingers out of his eyes" but he didn't punish him for it or anything. They eventually stood back up, and Li was able to pick apart Matthews on the feet for the rest of the round, as Matthews looked like he was still trying to recover from having his eyes nearly ripped out. Round two goes to Li, but he should have lost a point for the eye gouging.
     Matthews scored a quick takedown 45 seconds into the final round, but Li was able to quickly get back to his feet as Matthews kept him pressed against the fence. They eventually split up, went back to trading punches, and then Matthews dropped Li with a massive right hand, and then he tried to wrestle with him, but Li quickly recovered and took the back of Matthews, as he pressed him against the fence. Matthews spun around to try to setup another guillotine, but he couldn't get it, so Li stood above him and threw some punches down at Matthews. Matthews eventually popped back up, and they reset for some more boxing with a minute left in the fight. They continued to brawl at a decent pace until the end of the round, and then Matthews scored another takedown with 10 seconds left in the fight. That was a hell of a fight, and I'm scoring it 29-27 for Jake Matthews. All 3 judges basically agreed, giving him the hard fought unanimous decision.
(Punches & Elbows)
      These guys both threw some big sweaty punches to start the first round, Tuivasa looked like he was landing with the bigger combinations, and then they clinched and Tuivasa pressed Asker into the fence. Tuivasa unloaded with some massive punches & elbows, he destroyed Asker's body with some big punches, and then continued to open up on his head, while Asker just kind of froze with his back against the fence. Tuivasa opened up a massive cut on Asker's left eye, with a brutal elbow, and then he just kind of pushed him, Asker fell over like a sack of potatoes, and the referee stopped the fight. That was a fantastic first round stoppage by Tai Tuivasa.
      The first round had Blaydes walking down Hunt, while picking him apart with punches, using his significant reach advantage for all it was worth. Hunt threw a few solid punches, but he seemed like he was having a hard time finding his way inside. Blaydes then shot for a terrible takedown, but he was still able to bring Hunt to the ground, but he wasn't able to hold him down at all, so they reset halfway through the round. Hunt then blasted Blaydes with some big punches, and chased him around the cage, and he dropped Blaydes, but Blaydes stood back up, and then took down Hunt, this time pinning him for all he was worth, trying to buy himself some time to recover from the big shots landed by Hunt. Hunt put some serious effort into getting back to his feet again, only to have Blaydes fling him to the ground again with another body lock. Blaydes finished out the final minute of the round pounding on Hung with short punches from half mount. I'm giving that round to Blaydes, but I can understand why some people would give that round to Hunt. Blaydes finished the round by passing to full mount, and then taking Hunt's back.
     The second round started with Blaydes IMMEDIATELY shooting for a takedown. Hunt stuff the shot, and they reset 30 seconds into the round. They slowed down significantly, as they both resorted to just throwing single jabs, without really connecting at all. Blaydes scored a takedown halfway through the round, pinning Hunt in the center of the cage this time. Blaydes threw some short punches & elbows, while mostly just smothering Hunt. You could make an argument that the first round could have gone either way, but the second round definitely goes to Blaydes, based mostly on that takedown, and his top control for the last half of the round.
     Blaydes took down Hunt with a power double leg to start the final round, Hunt worked his way back up, and then Blaydes slammed him, and landed in full mount this time, with almost an entire round left to work. Blaydes worked some heavy ground & pound, dropping some punches & elbows, while Hunt basically just laid flat like a 265 pound pancake. Hunt did everything he could to get back to his feet halfway through the round, only to find himself in the middle of a suplex, as you could hear the entire arena get deflated. Hunt stood up one more time, Blaydes threw him down immediately again, and then he continued to pound on Hunt with punches & elbows from side control. Hunt stood up with a minute left in the fight, Blaydes took him down again, continued to pound on him, Hunt stood up one last time with 20 seconds left in the fight, Blaydes threw him down again, and finished the round in full mount, dropping big punches & elbows. That was a 10-8 round for Blaydes, and I'm giving this fight to Blaydes, with a 30-26 scorecard. All 3 judges agreed, giving Blaydes the hard fought unanimous decision victory over a legend.
      The first round started with Rockhold throwing some fast punch combinations, and a few leg kicks, but Romero checked the kicks, which caused a gash to open up on Rockhold's shin. Rockhold knocked Romero off balance a few times with some hard lower leg kicks, but Romero looked calm, like he was just waiting for his moment to explode. Romero landed a hard leg kick that caused Rockhold to wobble for a second with around 2 minutes left in the round. Romero then blasted Rockhold with a massive overhand right, that caused Rockhold to back up. Rockhold opened up a bit in the final 30 seconds and landed some nice shots. So far, I feel like the most damage Rockhold has done, was to his own shin, and Romero hurt Rockhold with the leg kicks he threw, and that overhand left, but... The first round probably has to go to Rockhold.
     The second round started with Romero unloading on Rockhold, chasing him across the cage, while blasting him with some "Belfort vs. Wanderlei" style barrages. Rockhold was able to clinch enough to slow him down some, but Romero clipped him with some BIG shots, opening a cut on Rockhold's right eye. The action slowed down significantly a minute into the second round, as they split up and went back to trading single jabs. Romero unloaded with another wild combination halfway through the round, and then things slowed down again with 2 minutes left in the round. Rockhold landed some nice clean technical punches in the second round, but nothing that compares to the damage done from Romero's flurries. I have this fight all tied up going into the third round.
     Rockhold came out pumping a lot of jabs to start the third round. Romero landed a few solid jabs too, and he was walking down Rockhold. Romero threw another big overhand left, knocked Rockhold down near the fence, and then blasted Rockhold with a big uppercut on the ground when Rockhold tried to sit up. THE END. Romero is the new UFC Middleweight Champion? Nah... He missed weight by 3 pounds. SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW!?! The middleweight division is the most ridiculous division I've ever seen. SO MANY interim champs, so many champs, so many fromer champs, and we don't have ANY Champion right now? Or what? I'm so fucking confused. Romero is a FUCKING BEAST though!