100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (24 Total):
1. Demetrious Johnson - 95.5
2. Yair Rodriguez - 93.8
3. Edson Barboza - 93.8
4. Walt Harris - 93.2
5. Marcos Rogerio de Lima - 93.1
6. Jon Jones - 92.9
7. James Vick - 92.3
8. Robert Whittaker - 92.0
9. Carla Esparza - 91.4
10. Danny Roberts - 91.4
UFC 197: Jones vs. St. Preux
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Elevation: 2,001'
-Fight of the Night-
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Fighters & Matches 90.7
Top 10 Fighters 92.9
TOTAL 91.8
     The first round had Kevin Lee picking apart Escudero with his punches, and a lot of kicks for the first half of the round. Escudero eventually clinched, grabbed Lee's back, tried to slam him, but he couldn't get him down, and then Lee turned him around and tried to throw Escudero. They broke apart, and Escudero landed some solid punches, possibly rocking Lee, which allowed Escudero to score a takedown late in the round. They popped back up with 30 seconds left. Nothing else happened before the buzzer sounded. I'm giving that round to Lee for controlling most of the round, but it was closed, since Escudero really came on strong late.
     The second round started slow, until Escudero scored a takedown one minute in, but Lee popped right back up. Lee shot for a takedown 30 seconds later, but Escudero stuffed it, and landed some elbows to the side of Lee's head. They broke apart and clinched for a while, traded some strikes, clinch some more, threw some more strikes. I scored the second round for Escudero, based on his aggression. I have it all tied up going into the final round, but Escudero could possibly be up 2-0, I'm not really sure about the first round at this point.
     They traded a few punches to start the final round, and then Escudero kicked Lee square in the nuts. Lee looked aggressive when the fight started back up, but Escudero slowed him down quickly with another clinch, and some short knees to the thighs against the cage. Lee picked up Escudero with 3 minutes left in the fight, and "gently" slammed him to the ground. From there, Lee beat up Escudero with some short punches. Escudero went for a guillotine from half guard, but that went nowhere, as Lee broke free and continued to beat him up. Escudero tried to get back up, Lee went for a guillotine, used that to mount Escudero, Escudero escaped and went for a leg lock, Lee grabbed the fence for a second, and then slaughtered Escudero with some heavy hammerfists. The final 30 seconds of the fight had Lee beating the shit out of Escudero on the ground. Lee CLEARLY won that round, the rest of the fight was close, so I'm going to score this fight 29-28 in favor of Kevin Lee, and all 3 judges agreed, giving him the unanimous decision victory.
(Arm-Triangle Choke)
      Lima started this fight by throwing brutal leg kicks, mixed with a few head kicks. He blasted Hester with some hard punches, knocking him to the ground in the first minute of the fight. He then pinned him against the cage in half mount, and beat him up with short punches. Lima slowly moved into full mount, and Hester was holding on for dear life. Lima continued to pound on him, while Hester slowly regained his guard. Lima postured up, and rained down some fucking BOMBS on Hester's face, brutally beating him with heavy punches & elbows, and Hester's facial expression was showing the pain. Lima then randomly slapped on an arm-triangle choke, and finished the fight via submission late in the first round. That was an awesome display of striking and ground & pound by Marcos Rogerio de Lima.
      Here we have a couple of massive heavyweights, with Harris having a UFC record of 0-3 coming into this fight, and East is making his UFC debut after Dana White found him on the "Looking for a Fight" series. Both guys were throwing heavy punches & kicks, trading at a decent rate. East eventually kicked Harris in the dick. Once the fight started back up, they both started swinging for the fences, in a way that made it look like East was going to knock out Harris against the fence, but Harris was able to hang in there, and landed some solid shots of his own. Things slowed down for a second, and Harris rocked the shit out of East with a massive left hand to the jaw, putting him on his ass, he pinned him, and he beat the living shit out of him with some of the heaviest punches I've seen in a while. The referee eventually had to step in to stop the fight as East's face exploded. It looked like it COULD have maybe been a fast stoppage, but East was getting his ass demolished, so I'm not going to complain about this one. Great win for Walt Harris, bringing his UFC record up to an outstanding 1-3.
      Franca rocked Vick with the first right hand that he threw, and then he immediately took him to the ground. Franca slowly pressed Vick toward the cage, and then they stood back up. Franca secured another takedown, and pressed Vick against the cage again. Franca tried to pass his guard, and Vick started to stand back up, but Franca sucked him back to the ground like quicksand. Vick has a solid defensive guard, but Franca's top control is insane. Vick was clearly looking for a guillotine, and he kept using those scrambles to get back to his feet. Vick blasted Franca with some decent kicks, and some hard punches to the face. Vick also threw a hard spinning back kick to the body. Franca secured another takedown with 20 seconds left in the round. Franca did more damage that round, but with 4+ takedowns, it's hard not to score that round for Franca.
     The fight was ALMOST stopped in between rounds, due to an unintentional eye poke from Vick, that fucked up Franca's left eye in the first round, BUT! Franca lied and said he could see, so... The fight continues... Vick was eating Franca alive on the feet in the second round, slaughtering him with brutal punch combinations, and extremely crisp boxing. Franca eventually landed a spinning backfist, and then took Vick to the ground. Vick got back to his feet with 2 minutes left in the round. Vick spent the rest of the round absolutely destroying Franca on the feet. If it wasn't for the takedown that Franca scored, I might consider scoring that round 10-8 for Vick.
     The final round was another striking clinic delivered by James Vick, as he beat the living shit out of Franca, and dodged most of his strikes, as Franca was throwing himself halfway across the octagon with spinning backfists and random shots that kept missing by miles. Franca landed some really heavy leg kicks, but Vick BLASTED Franca with a flying knee, and a few kicks to the face that nearly ended the fight. This fight was easily 29-28 for Vick, if not 30-27. All 3 judges agreed, giving Vick the hard fought unanimous decision victory. James Vick looked amazing in this fight.
      They spent the first minute or so standing 5+ feet away from each other, without any action at all. They finally clinched, Lima tried to take down Esparza, but Esparza did a good job staying on her feet. There was a brief scramble, and Esparza ended up on top inside Lima's guard. Lima was clearly active with her submission attempts, but Esparza slammed out of an armbar, and was actively trying to pass Lima's half guard. Lima regained guard, and got slammed again. Lima's guard looks dangerous as fuck, but Esparza is doing a good job controlling from the top. Esparza tried to posture up, she tried to land some big punches, but Lima threw some big upkicks that kept Esparza at bay. Esparza finally passed the guard, sort of, with 15 seconds left in the round, which allowed Esparza to land a few decent punches. I really don't know who won that fight. Lima looked more dangerous, but Esparza was on top for most of the round.
     The second round started the same way, with way too much distance between them, no action, and then Lima threw a kick a minute into the round, Esparza caught it, and took Lima down, landing inside her guard again. This time Esparza was able to land some decent punches from half mount. Lima kept throwing upkicks, and looking for armbars, and Esparza kept slamming her, and punching her from the top. There is blood flowing from Esparza's nose. Lima went for a leg lock, used that to sweep Esparza, but Esparza got right back up, and they continued to clinch until the round ended. I scored the second round for Esparza, and probably the first round as well, but it was close, so this fight could be all tied up going into the final round.
     Lima really needs to keep this fight standing, but Esparza took her down 30 seconds into the final round. Esparza landed a few short strikes, while Lima continued to work from an active guard. Lima got back up with 3 minutes left in the fight, but Esparza shot in immediately, drove Lima to the fence, and took her down again. Lima kicked out, Esparza blasted her in the face with a big right hand, and then took her down again, this time with a single leg which allowed her to land in side control. Lima went for an inverted triangle, and used that to sweep Esparza, leaving Lima on top for the final minute of the fight. Lima looked like she was working for an arm-triangle choke, but she couldn't break free from Esparza's half guard. Nice final minute for Lima, but I'm going to have to score this fight 29-28 for Esparza, if not 30-27. All 3 judges gave Esparza all 3 rounds. Decent return for Esparza after being away for almost 14 months, but she really needs to work on her standup, because she looked terrified against the much longer Lima.
      Steele rocked Roberts early with some big punches, he knocked him on his ass, and then jumped on him. Roberts threw up a triangle, and Steel picked him WAY up in the air, and slammed the shit out of him, this time landing in side control. Steele beat up Roberts on the ground for a minute or two, and then they stood up, which allowed Steele to beat up Roberts from inside the clinch. Roberts blasted Steele with a big left hand, and they continued to clinch. Steele landed some hard knees from the clinch, and then Steele picked him up and slammed him again. Round one clearly goes to Steele, but it was a fun competitive round.
     The second round had Steele beating up a tired Roberts, making him look sort of foolish with the way Roberts was throwing strikes through water, and flopping all over the place randomly. Roberts BLASTED Steele with a massive left kick to the body/arms though, which made it look like Roberts could possibly finish the fight, but he wasn't able to follow it up with enough to put Steele away, as Steele continued to clinch with him. The final minute had both guys brawling, Roberts shot for a sloppy takedown, and Steele took his back. I think I have this fight scored 2-0 for Steele going into the final round, but it could be all tied up at this point.
     Roberts landed a solid punch to start the final round, but Steele shot in for a takedown, lifted Roberts into the air again, and dumped him to the ground. Roberts got back to his feet, but Steele continued to clinch the shit out of him, pressing him against the cage. Roberts spent most of the round sitting on his ass against the cage, as Steele just tried to press him through the fence, but not a lot of damage was being delivered by either fighter. The referee stood them up with 90 seconds left in the fight. With a minute left, Roberts landed a head kick, Steele countered with a big knee from the clinch, both guys rocked each other with big punch combinations, and then Steele took Roberts down again. They stood back up, and Steele landed a few more knees from the clinch before the buzzer sounded. I scored this fight 30-27 for Steele, but I don't feel super confident about that score, since it was such a close fight. All 3 judges gave the fight to Roberts, 29-28, and the crowd was pretty pissed about that. So yeah, I'll go ahead and say I think Steele got screwed, even though I admit it was a close fight.
      Sergio spent the first 3 minutes of the first round, dancing around the outside, and picking apart Kelades with crisp strikes. Kelades finally clinched with him, trying to take Pettis to the ground, but Pettis was able to stay standing. Pettis caught a kick, and then tripped Kelades, allowing Pettis to jump into his guard. Round one goes to Pettis.
     Kelades took the fight to the ground in the second round, Pettis tried to catch him in a triangle, and Kelades used that to pass to half guard, but Pettis was able to sweep him soon after. Kelades got back to his feet, and they clinched for a while. Kelades tried to take his back, but Pettis was able to spin him around, pressing Kelades against the cage. The final 90 seconds of the second round had some wild brawling, with both guys throwing winging punches and big kicks. That round could have maybe gone either way. I'm assuming Pettis is ahead, 2-0, but I'm going to call it a draw so far, just to keep it interesting.
     Pettis took Kelades to the ground early in the final round, and controlled him from there for most of the round. Kelades did a decent job getting back to his feet, but Pettis kept driving him against the cage. Kelades landed some hard elbows to defend against the takedowns. Pettis slapped on a guillotine with 30 seconds left in the fight, but Kelades broke free without much of a problem. Kelades slapped on a Peruvian Necktie with 5 seconds left in the fight, but it wasn't enough time to finish it. Pettis should probably win this fight 30-27, maybe 29-28. All 3 judges gave him the fight 30-27 for the unanimous decision victory.
(Head Kick)
      Rodriguez started this fight with a BRUTAL leg kick, Fili caught him with a few punches, Rodriguez threw some wild spinning kicks, and then threw Fili to the ground, where Rodriguez pounded on him with some big punches from the sky. Rodriguez continued to control Fili for a while, Fili tried to kick out of it, and then Rodriguez moved to side control. Rodriguez stood up, kicked Fili's legs on the ground a few times, and then Fili stood back up. Rodriguez blasted him with a few hard shots, and then Fili took Rodriguez down for a couple of seconds at the very end of the round. Round one clearly goes to Rodriguez.
     Rodriguez threw some wild kicks to start the second round, including one flipping drop kick or some shit. It missed, but it looked wild. Fili looked fairly aggressive, until Rodriguez took Fili down with an explosive double leg. Rodriguez unloaded a little bit of ground & pound before standing back up. Rodriguez threw a few more wild kicks, and then threw some sort of flying roundhouse to Fili's face, knocking him the fuck out. Yair Rodriguez has been one of my favorite fighters for a while now, and every time I see him fight, he gets better & better. That was a BADASS videogame style knockout kick. That was fucking AWESOME!!!
      The first round started kind of slow, but in the final 30 seconds, Whittaker nearly knocked out Natal, rocking the shit out of him with some big punch combinations. Whittaker went in for the kill, and Natal was throwing counters to try to keep Whittaker away, but yeah, based on that ending, very clear round for Robert Whittaker.
     The second round was a very close round, with Natal chewing up Whittaker's left leg with heavy kicks, but Whittaker was attacking Natal with some aggressive punches as well, and kicked Natal in the head with a big flying kick at the end of the round. Close round, but I'm scoring that round for Whittaker as well. So I have Whittaker ahead 2-0 going into the final round, but it could be all tied up depending on how the judges score those leg kicks.
     Whittaker was complaining about his right hand being fucked up, and his left leg was clearly fucked up from the kicks, so I was concerned for him going into the third round, but he was able to pick apart Natal with a LOT of left hands, some solid leg kicks of his own, he showed some great takedown defense, he controlled the center of the cage for almost the entire fight, AND he kicked Natal in the face in the final seconds, which rocked the shit out of Natal. In the end, I scored this fight 30-27 for Whittaker, but I can see a possible 29-28, depending on how that second round was scored. All 3 judges gave the fight to Whittaker for the unanimous decision victory.
      This fight has fight of the night potential written all over it. The first round started kind of slow, but as soon as Pettis started to attack, Barboza brutalized the right side of Pettis's face with big left hooks, over and over again, cutting open his eye early. Pettis threw a few wild shots, but missed with most of them. Round one goes to Barboza. The second round was basically a repeat of the first, with Barboza controlling the center of the age, picking apart Pettis with that left hook, and landing a few solid kicks. Pettis landed a few decent shots, but I have Barboza ahead, 2-0, going into the final round. Pettis did a front flip and fell on his ass at the end of the round for no apparent reason. That wild shit is fun to watch, but if it doesn't land, it doesn't score any points in my opinion.
     The final round was 100% all about Barboza brutally beating the shit out of Pettis. He continued to destroy him with that left hook, and he nearly ripped Pettis's left leg off with inside leg kicks. That shit was fucking BRUTAL!!! Barboza is SO fucking fast, and SO fucking brutal with his strikes. As a fan of Edson Barboza, I couldn't be more proud of his performance. That was a one-sided ass beating if I've ever seen one. This fight puts Barboza right back in the mix. All 3 judges agreed, giving him the unanimous decision victory against a former Champion. FUCK YEAH! EVERYBODY HOP ON BOARD THE BARBOZA WAR WAGON!!!
(Knees to the Body)
      FUCK YEAH! That was fucking INSANE!!! I really thought Henry Cejudo was going to be Johnson's toughest test so far, but Demetrious basically ran circles around him, picked him apart with punches, they clinched, and Cejudo took Johnson down with an aggressive trip, but Johnson kicked him halfway across the cage to get back to his feet. From there, it was all about the clinch, where Johnson fucking MAULED Cejudo, with brilliant knees to the body & chin, he fucking ROCKED the shit out of him with a big knee, Cejudo practically ran backwards to escape, and Johnson chased him down, and put him away with expertly placed strikes on his way down. Demetrious Johnson MAY just be the #1 pound for pound fighter in the entire world. We'll see what happens after the Jon Jones fight in a few minutes, but... HOLY SHIT man... Demetrious Johnson is fucking awesome!!!
      The first round was a little slow paced, as both guys were testing the water. Jones seemed super calm, and OSP looked terrified. Jones blasted him with some hard kicks, with a decent amount of variety, he landed some solid punches, and he threw him around a little bit in the clinch. Round one goes to Jones.
      The second round was another round full of Jones picking his shots, and tearing up OSP's knee with those front kicks, he blasted him with some hard elbows from the clinch against the cage, and he threw a wild kick at the end of the round. OSP rocked Jones a couple of times with some punches, but it wasn't enough to make up for the amount of work Jones was putting in. OSP also deserves some credit for showing some solid takedown defense as well. Jones is head 2-0 going into the third round.
      The third round was the same thing again. Jones beat up OSP with a ton of front leg kicks, he hit him with some solid punches, he threw him around a little bit, but he also got hit by a few decent punches by OSP. I'm curious to see how OSP's cardio is going to work for him in the Championship rounds. Jones is ahead 3-0 going into the fourth round.
      Jones finally picked up OSP in the fourth round, and took him down kind of hard, but OSP jumped back up immediately. He got blasted with a knee on the way up, but still, it's just another demonstration of how solid OSP's takedown defense is. Jones picked him up again with 2 minutes left in the round, and he dumped him to the ground, landing in side control. Jones landed some hard short elbows, it looked like he was working toward a possible arm lock, OSP kicked out and tried to stand up, but Jones took him down again, grabbed his back, and blasted him with some heavy punches. Jones stood up, OSP stayed on the ground, Jones threw some soccer kicks to his body, and then blasted him with some SUPER heavy punches & elbows before the round ended. I'm going with a 10-8 round for Jones this time.
      Jones continued to pick apart OSP in the final round, and then he grabbed him again, picked him up over his head, carried him halfway across the cage, and SLAMMED the shit out of OSP. He then stood up and threw another brutal soccer kick to OSP's body. He then let him stand back up, Jones pushed him back toward the cage again, tried to work some elbows, OSP threw some punches in the last few seconds, and missed. The fight ends, and I scored it 50-44 for Jon Jones. The crowd didn't seem quite as hyped as I was, but I thought this was an excellent fight, that had that kind of suspense where you feel like it could end at any second. Now that Jon Jones has had a chance to shake off the ring rust, I expect him to destroy Cormier in his next fight.