100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (18 Total):
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov - 93.3
2. Rose Namajunas - 92.4
3. Zabit Magomedsharipov - 92.4
4. Renato Carneiro - 92.3
5. Chris Gruetzemacher - 91.8
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk - 91.3
7. Al Iaquinta - 91.2
8. Karolina Kowalkiewicz - 90.9
9. Olivier Aubin-Mercier - 90.8
10. Devin Clark - 90.8
UFC 223: Khabib vs. Iaquinta
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Elevation: 59'
-Fight of the Night-
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Al Iaquinta
Fighters & Matches 89.7
Top 10 Fighters 91.7
TOTAL 90.7
     Clark started this fight with a pair of fast punches, followed by a quick body lock takedown. Rodriguez popped back up quickly, and Clark clinched with him against the fence for a minute or so until the referee reset them. They traded some hard punches & kicks, and Rodriguez dropped Clark with a brutal leg kick. He popped back up, and Rodriguez blasted him with a series of hard punches, which Clark just tucked his chin and ate. They traded a few more strikes, Rodriguez got sloppy with a flying knee attempt, and then Clark took him down in the center of the cage. Clark ended the round in back control, beating up Rodriguez against the fence. That was a competitive round, but it pretty clearly goes to Clark.
     The second round was mostly a grinding round with Clark clinched and pressing Rodriguez against the fence for most of the round. They traded a few decent strikes, but for the most part, it was all about the wall & stall. Clark dropped Rodriguez with a massive right hand with a minute left in the round, and then he sort of took him down against the fence, but Rodriguez popped right back up, leading to some more stalling against the fence. I have Clark ahead 20-18 going into the final round. If you're feeling crazy, you could maybe give a round to Rodriguez, but I wouldn't.
     Clark took down Rodriguez early in the third round, and spent 90 seconds or so beating him up while wrestling the shit out of him. Rodriguez then stood back up, and Clark went back to clinching & stalling against the fence. Clark scored another takedown halfway through the round, and Rodriguez spent the last big of his energy working his way toward his fence, to get back to his feet, only to have Clark continue to grind the shit out of him until the end of the round. This fight is a clear cut 30-27 unanimous decision victory for Devin Clark, with only one judge giving one round to Rodriguez.
      This fight started with Evans-Smith moving forward, pumping jabs, throwing some random kicks, and she worked in some solid combinations as well, mostly just landing shots, not really worrying about throwing with any power or anything. Rawlings on the other hand, was just backing up, tucking her chin, and not really throwing anything at all. Rawlings picked up the pace a little bit in the second half of the opening round, but Evans-Smith was still outstriking her by a significant margin. Round one clearly goes to Evans-Smith, and in case there's any doubt, she scored a takedown in the final 5 seconds or so.
     The second round was pretty much a wild brawl, with both girls throwing a lot of strikes, but I still thought Evans-Smith had the upperhand in the majority of the exchanges. It was definitely a closer round than the first though. The final round was another decent round of kickboxing, with Evans-Smith in control for the most part. Rawlings stayed in the fight the entire time, but in my opinion, this should be a 30-27 decision for Ashlee Evans-Smith. All 3 judges agreed, giving her the unanimous decision victory.
(Knees to the Body & Punches)
      This fight started with Aubin-Mercier circling around the outside, Dunham threw a few decent punches, and then Aubin-Mercier folded him over with a knee to the liver, followed by a series of punches, and some more knees against the fence, causing Dunham to collapse, which allowed Aubin-Mercier to get the referee stoppage in under one minute of the first round. That was a solid win for Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
      The first round had both of these girls throwing all kinds of wild punches & knees at each other, with both girls landing some really hard shots, but for the most part, I thought Herrig was a little more aggressive, and she also whipped Kowalkiewicz around in the clinch a little bit, but wasn't able to make anything happen with that. Kowalkiewicz shot for a rolling kneebar with a minute left in the round, and Herrig stuffed the shot, landed a few punches, and then Kowalkiewicz tied her up with a quick triangle, which Herrig was able to defend against, but Kowalkiewicz was able to use that scramble to end the round on top. That was a competitive round, but it's probably going to be scored for Kowalkiewicz.
     The second round was another violent round of striking, with both girls swinging for the fences, throwing a lot of punches, and hard elbows, and knees, with Kowalkiewicz being slightly more aggressive, and then Kowalkiewicz tried to take Herrig down against the fence with around 2 minutes left in the round, but Herrig was able to stay on her feet, so they reset for some more striking. This fight has been a wild brawl so far, but I'm assuming Kowalkiewicz is ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     The final round was another hard round of striking, with both girls landing some big punches, and they were both still swinging for the fences, and I think Herrig might have done enough to pull out that round on the scorecards, as she rocked Kowalkiewicz late in the round, but she wasn't able to get the finish. I'm assuming this is going to be a 29-28 decision for Kowalkiewicz, but I wouldn't be SHOCKED by a split-decision. Yeah, I pretty much called that one. Karolina Kowalkiewicz wins the hard fought split-decision victory.
(Corner Stoppage)
      Lauzon came out swinging, clearly looking for the first round knockout. Gruetzemacher appeared to be somewhat shocked by the aggression, as he was mostly just trying to keep Lauzon at bay by pushing him away. Lauzon landed a big elbow, and then shot for a takedown, but Gruetzemacher was able to stuff the shot without much of a problem, ending up on top inside Lauzon's guard. Gruetzemacher worked some ground & pound, and then Lauzon rolled around looking to setup a heel hook, but Gruetzemacher was able to stand back up, so they reset, and Lauzon immediately started chasing him while throwing punches again. Every time I thought Lauzon was making some real progress, Gruetzemacher would fire back with some wild punches, as he seemed to have the cleaner striking overall, which I think will probably steal the round for Gruetzemacher.
     The second round started with Gruetzemacher picking apart Lauzon with punches, Lauzon was shooting for terrible takedowns, and it was quickly becoming clear that Lauzon wasn't going to be able to hang in there much longer. Gruetzemacher on the other hand still looked pretty fresh a couple of minutes into the second round. As soon as I thought Lauzon was done, he fired back with a barrage of punches, and he landed with a lot of strikes, but they didn't have much power behind them at all anymore. Lauzon's face was all chopped up, his right eye was swollen shut, and he had a massive cut on his forehead. Lauzon still has a ton of heart, but the doctor is going to have to stop this fight in between rounds. I'm shocked Lauzon made it out of the second round. Yeah, Lauzon's corner stopped the fight after the second round.
      Bochniak started this fight by tucking his chin and moving forward, while throwing big punches, but Zabit did a good job controlling the distance by backing up and landing counters. Zabit threw some flashy kicks, and landed with a few hard shots to the head of Bochniak, but Bochniak showed a decent chin. Zabit's kicks are phenomenal. Bochniak started strong, but that round has to go to Zabit, this guy is a fucking wizard.
     Zabit ducked under some punches to start the second round, and he clinched with Bochniak's back, and then he whipped him around a few times before throwing him to the ground, which resulted in Zabit settling into Bochniak's guard. They stood back up 2 minutes into the round and went back to trading punches & kicks. Bochniak started taunting Zabit, as he let him punch him in the face repeatedly, and Bochniak just stuck his tongue out at him and dropped his hands. Zabit blasted Bochniak with a lot of hard clean punches, and then he whipped Bochniak to the ground again. Bochniak threw up an armbar attempt from his guard, but Zabit was able to get out with ease, but that at least allowed Bochniak to get back to his feet. Zabit looked like he was slowing down a bit at the end of the second round, but I still have Zabit ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     Bochniak continued to scream and taunt and all kinds of wild shit in the final round, but that didn't stop Zabit from beating the shit out of him while whipping him around the cage, as Bochniak was bleeding all over the place. Bochniak finally snuck out the back door with 2 minutes left in the round, which allowed him to press Zabit against the fence with a loose back clinch, but when Bochniak tried to score a takedown of his own, Zabit just kicked him in the head while Bochniak was clinging to Zabit's other leg. The round ended with both guys just tucking their chins and swinging for the fences. This is going to be fight of the night for sure. It should also be a 29-28 decision for Zabit as well. All 3 judges agreed, giving the hard fought unanimous decision to Zabit, but Bochniak deserves a ton of credit for being tough as hell too.
      The first round started kind of slowly, but Kattar unloaded with a huge combination of punches a minute or so into the round, which caused Moicano to back up a bit. Moicano landed some hard leg kicks in the last half of the round, but Kattar was still moving forward the entire time, so overall, a somewhat lackluster round of back & forth sparring, I'm scoring that round for Kattar, based mostly on forward movement. It could potentially go either way though depending on how you score Moicano's leg kicks compared to Kattar's big punch combination earlier in the round.
     Moicano started the second round with a slick combination of punches & kicks. Moicano was basically beating the living shit out of Kattar in the second round, blasting him with countless hard leg kicks, and some big punch combinations as well. You could make an argument that the second round was a 10-8 round for Moicano. I scored the first round a draw, so I'm just going to call it 20-18 for Moicano at this point. Kattar needs to get a finish in the final round.
     Moicano continued from where he left on in the second round, as he spent the duration of the third round absolutely destroying Kattar with hard punch & kick combinations, throwing with a lot of power, a lot of speed, and a lot of aggression. I'm not sure what was up with Kattar in this fight, but he just didn't show up tonight. I'm scoring this fight 30-26 for Renato Moicano. All 3 judges agreed, giving Moicano the unanimous decision victory.
      This fight started with Namajunas looking calm & cool, and Jedrzejczyk appeared to be somewhat jittery. Namajunas's striking was smooth like butter, as she basically painted Jedrzejczyk like a muffin. Jedrzejczyk tried to throw some offense, but it was mostly just feints, and Namajunas didn't even flinch at any of those shots. The round ended with 10 seconds of wild brawling. I'm scoring the first round for Namajunas.
     The second round was more of the same, with both girls striking a lot, but Namajunas was pretty clearly outstriking Jedrzejczyk in almost every exchange. The round ended with a little bit of clinching against the fence, with Namajunas in control, but nothing really happened there. I have Namajunas pretty clearly ahead 20-18 going into the third round.
     The third round was another back & forth round of striking, with Jedrzejczyk finally starting to score some points, by working a lot of leg kicks, and she used her slick boxing to follow up with the openings from the leg kicks. I still have Namajunas ahead 29-28 though, going into the fourth round. The fourth round was similar to the third round, so this fight should be all tied up going into the final round.
     The final round was a hell of a back & forth scrap, with both girls landing a lot of solid shots, and it probably could have gone either way, but Namajunas scored a takedown with 20 seconds left in the fight, and I think that MIGHT have been enough to win the fight for Namajunas. You can't really complain too much regardless of how this decision goes, but I'm personally scoring this fight 48-47 for Rose Namajunas. All 3 judges scored the fight 49-46 for Rose Namajunas, as she defends her belt. She's a fucking beast!
      Iaquinta threw a few decent punches, didn't quite land with them, and then Nurmagomedov turned into a bucket of glue, clinched, grabbed Iaquinta's leg, took him down with 100% control of the grappling, and then somehow Iaquinta magically got back to his feet against the fence a few seconds later, only to have Nurmagomedov dump him to the ground again. Nurmagomedov then spent the next couple of minutes riding Iaquinta's back against the fence, while Iaquinta struggled to get back to his feet. Nurmagomedov has to be the most dominant grappler I've ever seen, this guy is fucking relentless. Round one obviously goes to Nurmagomedov, maybe even with a 10-8 scorecard.
      Iaquinta started the second round with a lot of movement, he landed some decent punches, and a body kick, and then Nurmagomedov went back to his grappling, and took Iaquinta to the ground with ease, pinning him against the fence a minute into the round. Nurmagomedov took his back, continued to dominate Iaquinta on the ground, he went for a rear-naked choke, and Iaquinta was able to spin out of it somehow, but it didn't take long for Nurmagomedov to secure back mount again, and he punched Iaquinta in the head repeatedly. Iaquinta is down 20-16 going into the third round, but he deserves some serious credit for at least surviving into the third round. Khabib Nurmagomedov is from another planet.
      The third round was a more evenly matched boxing match, where both guys stayed standing pretty much the entire time, which allowed Iaquinta to land a few solid punches, but by the end of the round, Nurmagomedov still didn't look damaged at all, and Iaquinta's face was all busted up and shit. Khabib is clearly running away with this fight, but again, you have to give props to Iaquinta for surviving into the Championship rounds.
      The fourth round was another weird round of striking, where Nurmagomedov's shots were stuffed with ease, and Iaquinta landed some solid shots with his boxing. I'm tempted to score the fourth round for Iaquinta, even though there is absolutely no way he can win this fight on the scorecards, but I think he deserves to at least win a round given Nurmagomedov's bad gameplan over the course of the third & fourth rounds. So I have this fight scored 39-35 for Nurmagomedov going into the final round.
      Nurmagomedov failed with a bad takedown attempt to start the final round, and then from that moment forward, Iaquinta started beating the shit out of him with hard punch combinations. Nurmagomedov shot for another takedown 2 minutes into the round, and Iaquinta stuffed the shot again. Nurmagomedov threw some wild shit, including a flying knee, and that was enough to finally open up an opportunity to secure another takedown against the fence. He took Iaquinta's back again, they rolled around wildly, and Iaquinta worked his way back to his feet with 90 seconds left in the round, but Nurmagomedov continued to grind him against the fence. Nurmagomedov went for another rear-naked choke with a minute left in the fight, and Iaquinta used his magic to escape again. Iaquinta accepted this fight on basically a day's notice, with NO time to come up with a gameplan, and he still lasted 25 minutes with one of the scariest fighters in the world. Kudos to Al Iaquinta, but yeah, this is a clear cut unanimous decision victory for Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Al Iaquinta deserves more props than anyone else tonight just for the size of the balls he was dragging into the octagon tonight.