100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. John Lineker - 93.8
2. Davi Ramos - 93.0
3. Mackenzie Dern - 92.9
4. Amanda Nunes - 92.4
5. Alexey Oleynik - 92.4
6. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos - 92.4
7. Cezar Ferreira - 92.3
8. Markus Perez - 92.0
9. Jack Hermansson - 91.4
10. Lyoto Machida - 90.9
UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington
Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Elevation: 1,675'
-Fight of the Night-
John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher
Fighters & Matches 89.4
Top 10 Fighters 92.4
TOTAL 90.9
(Rear-Naked Choke)
     Bochnovic threw a big body kick, followed by some punches, he rushed Perez, pressed him against the fence, and then Perez held him off with a front choke, and then when they hit the ground, Perez took Bochnovic's back. Bochnovic scrambled back to his feet, but Perez stayed close, with a tight clinch, he worked his way into back control again, and then threw Bochnovic to the ground. They continued to scramble around for a while, and Perez tried to setup a D'Arce choke, he couldn't get it, so he took Bochnovic's back again with 90 seconds left in the opening round. He eventually locked on a tight rear-naked choke, and Bochnovic was forced to submit with just 32 seconds remaining in the first round. That was a solid win for Markus Perez, in his home country of Brazil.
      This fight basically consisted of Emeev moving forward, picking apart Mina with a few strikes here & there, and pressuring him during the majority of the fight. Mina had a few nice moments where he would roll for leg locks, but Emeev did a good job escaping the submissions, with minimal effort. In the end, I scored this fight 30-27 for Ramazan Emeev, and all 3 judges agreed, giving him the unanimous decision victory.
      Hermansson came out bouncing around a lot, while picking apart Leites with a lot of leg kicks and some decent punch combinations. Leites tried to score a single leg takedown a minute into the round, but Hermansson did a good job staying on his feet, and then he even flipped Leites, and pinned him against the fence halfway through the round. Hermansson clearly controlled the striking exchanges, and he did a good job controlling Leites on the ground with his wrestling as well. That was a clear round for Hermansson.
     Leites scored a takedown almost immediately to start the second round, and he landed in full mount, putting Hermansson in a lot of danger early on, clearly looking to makeup for losing the first round. Leites slapped on an arm-triangle choke, and I thought the fight might be over, but Hermansson did everything he could to defend against the choke, somehow hanging in there for several minutes, as his head looked like it was about to pop off the entire time. The arm-triangle choke is the submission Leites has won the most fights with, and he still wasn't able to put Hermansson away with it, so Hermansson deserves some definite credit, even though he pretty much got dominated for the duration of the second round.
     Hermansson started the final round with a flying knee, followed by a guillotine choke, but Leites was already in side control, so Hermansson wasn't able to finish him with the choke. Leites broke free 50 seconds into the round, and then he tried to setup an anaconda choke, and he actually had it locked on tight. Hermansson was somehow able to pop his head free, he ended up on top in full mount somehow, he blasted Leites with a clean elbow to the chin, followed it up with some big punches, Leites just covered his face, and the fight was stopped. That was a FANTASTIC stoppage for Jack Hermansson, as he gets a massive win against the Brazilian fighter in Brazil. We also found out that Hermansson broke a rib in the first round, so he proved that he's gritty as hell.
(Corner Stoppage)
      There was an awful lot of clinching happening in the first round. Alves was trying to do damage, while Aliev was mostly trying to control Alves. The strikes landed by Alves were enough to score the round in his favor. Aliev seems pretty strong though. They split up in the final minute of the opening round and traded some strikes, but Alves looked more comfortable during those exchanges.
     The second round was more of the same, with both guys fighting inside a tight clinch against the fence for most of the round. They traded control a few times, but Alves was the only one landing any strikes that seemed noteworthy to me. The referee split them up with a minute left in the round. Aliev's right eye was completely swollen shut, so his corner stopped the fight in between rounds.
(Spinning Wheel Kick & Punches)
      These guys were both trading punches & kicks at a decent pace while circling around each other to start the opening round. Santos seemed to have a slight speed advantage, but they were both landing at a similar pace. Santos unloaded with a clean spinning wheel kick with 90 seconds left in the round, Strickland hit the ground, and Santos finished him off with a series of punches on the ground. That was a FANTASTIC highlight reel finish for Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.
(Face Crank)
      These guys traded a few random punches, but neither fighter seemed very aggressive early in the first round. Hein knocked down Ramos a minute into the round, but it almost looked like Ramos wanted him to come to the ground with him, so Hein let him stand back up a few seconds later. They both threw some hard punches, and then Ramos scored a takedown 2 minutes into the round. Ramos setup a Kimura, they scrambled around wildly, Ramos took Hein's back with one of the slickest transitions I've ever seen, he locked on a face crank, crushed Hein's jaw, and forced him to submit. That was a badass performance by Davi Ramos.
(Ezekiel Choke)
      These guys traded a few punches, they clinched, split up, and then Oleynik kicked Albini in the dick, but he was fine, so the fight continued. Oleynik already had a cut under his right eye, but he didn't seem that concerned about it. They traded a few more punches, and Oleynik's face was already bleeding all over the place. They clinched, Oleynik slapped on a standing Ezekiel choke, they fell to the ground, Oleynik continued to squeeze, and he scores yet ANOTHER submission via Ezekiel Choke. This guy is fucking insane. Albini looked extremely disappointed in himself.
Technical Submission
(Arm-Triangle Choke)
      These guys traded a few strikes, Ferreira immediately shot for a takedown, and after a brief battle for control, Ferreira secured side control 45 seconds into the opening round. Ferreira continued to control Roberson for the duration of the round, until he eventually slapped on an arm-triangle choke with 30 seconds left in the round, and he put Roberson to sleep, handing him the first loss of his career. That was a really strong performance by Cezar Ferreira.
(Front Kick)
      These guys literally just stared at each other for 2 minutes. Belfort threw a few punches, Machida threw a few kicks, and then they went back to staring at each other. That first round really sucked. I would probably score it for Machida for landing more kicks, but neither fighter did enough to feel proud after that first round. They traded some punches to start the second round, Machida threw a few kicks, Belfort looked like he was getting frustrated, and then Machida knocked him the fuck out with a front kick to the chin, ending Belfort's career in brutal fashion.
      This fight started slowly, with both guys circling around each other while trading a few random single strikes here or there, but there wasn't a lot of action in the first couple of minutes of the fight. Lineker was the first to open up with some big punch combinations, and then Kelleher fired back and rocked Lineker with a clean left hook. Lineker unloaded with some big shots 2 minutes into the round, and he knocked Kelleher to the ground in brutal fashion. Lineker then jumped on him to work some ground & pound, but Kelleher recovered enough to pull guard and tie up Lineker to stall for a few seconds. They eventually stood back up, Lineker continued to throw some big shots, and then Kelleher landed with a spinning backfist, but it didn't seem to hurt Lineker at all, and it caused Kelleher to fall down as he knocked himself off balance. Round one pretty clearly goes to Lineker.
     They both came out swinging in the second round, and Lineker landed countless bombs, cracking Kelleher's skull over and over again, but Kelleher did a good job staying in the fight, as he continued to fire back, but he just didn't have the same weight behind his strikes, as the wrecking balls that Lineker was throwing at his face and body. That was an action packed round, with both guys giving it their all, but Lineker is pretty clearly on another level when it comes to striking. I have Lineker ahead 20-18 going into the final round.
     Kelleher thought he'd be slick by shooting for a takedown to start the final round, but Lineker caught him in a guillotine choke on the way in. Kelleher drove through that, and secured the takedown 45 seconds into the round, pinning Lineker against the fence. They eventually stood back up and went back to trading punches again in the center of the cage. Lineker eventually blasted Kelleher with a combination of punches to the head that caused Kelleher to wobble around the cage while Lineker chased him around. Lineker eventually landed a brutal left hand that knocked Kelleher the fuck out. That was another fantastic performance by John Lineker, one of the most exciting fighters in all of MMA.
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      These girls both pumped some jabs, they both threw a few combinations, they were both bouncing around quite a bit, Dern missed weight by 7+ pounds by the way, and then Dern dropped Cooper with a wild right hand that shot out like a cannon. Dern mounted Cooper, took her back, locked on a rear-naked choke, forced Cooper to submit, and that's all she wrote. That's pretty fucked up, because she looked like she was twice Cooper's size, and you can't just miss weight by THAT much, and not get some serious punishment for it, but even with that being said, congrats to Dern for the spectacular first round finish. I feel horrible for Amanda Bobby Cooper though. She deserves a lot of credit for accepting the fight, even though Dern didn't even seem to try to make weight.
      Gastelum almost immediately shot for a takedown, which Jacare stuffed, and then they ended up in a tight clinching stalemate, where they traded control a few times. Jacare grabbed a leg, and lifted it into the air, but Gastelum did a good job balancing on one leg while punching Jacare in the face repeatedly. Souza then dropped down for a leg lock, and used that to pass to side control. He slowly passed to full mount, and threw a few punches, but for the most part, Jacare was all about control, and he wasn't really doing much damage with his striking. Jacare rolled for an armbar with a minute left in the round, Gastelum held on, stacked him, and basically nullified the submission attempt. Round one goes to Jacare, but Gastelum at least made it seem competitive.
     The second round had both guys trading strikes at a similar pace, and then Gastelum knocked down Jacare halfway through the round, but instead of following him to the ground, he just let him stand back up. They both unloaded on each other late in the round, and they both landed some big shots, but I think Gastelum won that round since he scored that knockdown earlier in the round, and Jacare was barely able to walk back to his own corner without help from his team. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     Jacare was plowing forward in the final round, and Gastelum was punching him in the head over and over again. Jacare had that forward movement on his side, and he landed a few decent shots, but I thought Gastelum was pretty clearly outstriking him. Jacare shot for another takedown with 3 minutes left in the fight, but Gastelum quickly scrambled back to his feet and reset like nothing happened. This fight was a really close fight, but I'm scoring it 29-28 for Gastelum, but I don't feel confident, considering we're in Brazil. Two judges agreed with me, giving the split-decision victory to Kelvin Gastelum.
(Elbows & Punches)
      Nunes dropped Pennington in the first 30 seconds with a weird leg kick that somehow knocked her off balance. Pennington looked timid when she popped back up. Nunes then dropped Pennington with another leg kick. Nunes started to work in some big punch combinations, and Pennington looked a little horrified, which is completely out of character compared to what I'm used to seeing from her. Pennington already had some pretty nasty looking welts on her left calf. Pennington landed a few hard punches, but for the most part, the first round was all about Nunes overwhelming Pennington. Round one clearly goes to Amanda Nunes.
      The second round was pretty similar to the first round, with Nunes overwhelming Pennington a bit, but Pennington was fighting back a bit more, and she wasn't knocked down at all, so that's progress I guess. Pennington also scored a slick takedown from the clinch with a minute left in the round, but she didn't do much wtih it once they hit the ground. I still have Nunes ahead 20-18 going into the third round, but the second round was a lot more competitive.
      The third round started with a few back & forth strikes, and then Nunes scored a takedown in the center of the cage 90 seconds into the round. Pennington pulled guard, and basically just tied up Nunes. The referee reset them with 2 minutes left in the round. They traded a few more punches, Pennington shot for a takedown, Nunes stuffed the shot, and they finished out the round with some more clinching, and some more boxing. Nunes is probably ahead 30-27, and she even dropped Pennington with a knee as the buzzer sounded.
      They were both slowing down significantly in the fourth round, but that didn't stop them from trading some random punches & leg kicks, while shooting for takedowns. Nunes scored a takedown 2 minutes into the round, and Pennington tied her up on the ground again. Pennington scrambled back to her feet with 90 seconds left in the round. Pennington was clearly losing, but she was still coming forward, and trying to take the fight to Nunes. Pennington landed some nice punches, but Nunes fired back with some knees. This fight should probably be 40-36 for Nunes going into the final round.
      Between rounds, Pennington told her corner that she's done, she doesn't want to continue, and they told her to give it all she had, and basically just throw the kitchen sink at Nunes. Pennington started the final round looking pretty decent, she landed some hard shots, and then Nunes took her down 90 seconds into the round, landing back inside her guard. Nunes smashed her with some more punches & elbows on the ground, she shattered Pennington's nose, blood was pouring out everywhere, she gave up her back, Nunes continued to pound on her, and the fight was finally stopped. There are going to be some serious conversations about Pennington's corner after this fight, as they really should have stopped the fight after the fourth round. Congrats to Nunes for another fantastic victory, as she's building up one hell of a winning streak as the Champion.