100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (24 Total):
1. Cody Garbrandt - 93.7
2. Adam Milstead - 92.9
3. Jake Collier - 91.7
4. Chris Camozzi - 91.7
5. Lorenz Larkin - 91.5
6. Jeremy Stephens - 91.4
7. Abel Trujillo - 91.2
8. Bryan Caraway - 91.2
9. Erik Koch - 91.1
10. Aljamain Sterling - 91.1
UFC Fight Night 88: Almeida vs. Garbrandt
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Elevation: 2,001'
-Fight of the Night-
Cody Garbrandt vs. Thomas Almeida
Fighters & Matches 89.1
Top 10 Fighters 91.8
TOTAL 90.5
     These guys came out swinging, wildly brawling with each other, both guys got clipped in the chin early, multiple times, both guys were bleeding, both guys were clearly looking for a first round finish. WILD opening 90 seconds. Milstead was basically mauling Rocha with his boxing, Rocha was bleeding all over the place, but he kept coming forward like a zombie. Rocha was looking for takedowns, and eventually brought Milstead to the ground with a minute left in the opening round, but Milstead immediately got back to his feet. That was an insane opening round, which I scored for Adam Milstead.
     They continued to brawl, at a slightly slower pace, in the second round. Rocha continued to look for takedowns, and Milstead continued to show solid takedown defense. The referee had to break up a lazy clinch halfway through the round. Milstead rocked Rocha again with 2 minutes left in the round, and he went in for the kill, but somehow still couldn't finish Rocha. I think Rocha's chin is surprising everyone tonight. Around the 90 second mark, Milstead went in for the kill again, slaughtering a severely bleeding Rocha, with massive punches up against the fence, and Milstead still couldn't knockout Rocha, but the referee stopped the fight anyway, because Rocha was taking way too much damage. That was a pretty awesome UFC debut for Adam Milstead.
      The first round started with Sterling throwing some wild kicks from all kinds of crazy angles. Caraway was clearly getting frustrated, trying to turn it into a brawl, but Sterling was doing a great job keeping his distance. Sterling eventually shot in for a takedown, Caraway did a decent job defending against it, they punched each other in the face a lot in the clinch, and Sterling grabbed Caraway's back, looking for a neck crank, and Caraway looked like he was in serious trouble, as Sterling pounded on his head with punches, but Caraway has solid grappling defense on the ground. Sterling slapped on a full nelson, and cranked the shit out of it, and it looked like he was going to rip Caraway's head off. Crazy grappling, and really great round for Aljamain Sterling. That might even be a 10-8 round for Sterling.
     The second round started with a wild exchange, Caraway cornered Sterling, so Sterling shot for a takedown, jumped headfirst into a guillotine choke, but escaped, and went back to his kicking game. Caraway clinched, pressing Sterling against the cage, but he mostly just held him there, while Sterling blasted him with knees to the body. They broke apart, and Sterling continued to kick Caraway a lot, while throwing some spinning backfists to keep the variety high. Caraway shot in for a takedown, and pinned Sterling against the cage, and Caraway tried to take his back, while looking for chokes, but Sterling did a good job staying in front of him. Caraway worked toward a mount, and landed a few short punches, but Sterling did a good job staying out of serious trouble. I scored that round for Caraway, but I still have Sterling ahead, since I scored the first round 10-8.
     Sterling landed a lot of kicks to start the third round, but Caraway brought him back to the ground one minute into the round. After wrestling around for a couple of minutes, Sterling got back to his feet, but Caraway took him down again, and then Sterling went for an inverted triangle choke, but Caraway escaped that and tried to take his back. Caraway rode Sterling's back for the final 90 seconds of the fight or so, while Sterling was walking around, hoping Caraway would fall off. Caraway clearly won the last 2 rounds, so I guess this fight comes down to whether or not the first round was 10-8 for Sterling. I scored this fight a draw, but I wouldn't be shocked if the judges gave this fight to Caraway. One weird judge gave the fight to Sterling, but the other two gave it to Caraway, for the hard fought split-decision victory, handing Sterling the first loss of his career.
(Rear-Naked Choke)
      The first round started with both guys throwing some decent strikes, Koch rocked Campbell, and then took him to the ground, and eventually ended the round on Campbell's back. Round one goes to Koch. Campbell rocked Koch early to start the second round, with a nice left elbow, and Koch immediately took him to the ground. Koch worked his way toward an arm-triangle choke, but Campbell escaped that by giving up his back. They scrambled around for a couple of minutes, and then Koch slapped on a rear-naked choke, finishing the fight by submission, with a couple of minutes left in the second round. Solid UFC return for Koch after a 25 month layoff.
(Knee & Body Kick)
      Uda is making his UFC debut here, and he started the fight by blasting Collier with some knees from the clinch, Collier's nose broke, and he panicked for a few seconds, while Uda punched him in the face from behind, but Collier was able to recover, as he tried to secure a takedown, but Uda continued to do damage from inside the clinch. Collier tried to throw Uda to the ground with 2 minutes left in the round, and he finally got him down, landing on top, where he tried to unload some ground & pound. He landed some decent punches on the ground, but Uda wrapped him up in his guard. Uda rolled backward, somehow escaped the bad position, grabbed Collier's back, and then nearly mounted him at the end of the round. Personally, I'm scoring that round for Uda, but I can see it going either way. It's hard to ignore a broken nose though.
     They clinched almost immediately to start the second round, and Collier's nose immediately started to bleed all over the place again. Collier rocked Uda with some big punches, a spinning back kick to the body, and then some punches on the ground, forcing the referee to stop the fight. That was a great win for Collier, considering that Uda was undefeated up until this point. Really nice comeback victory for Collier.
      Trujillo blasted Rinaldi with some hard punches early in the first round, and then he tripped him to the ground, landing inside Rinaldi's guard. They eventually stood back up, traded some punches, and Rinaldi shot in for a takedown, but it was stuffed. They continued to trade punches for most of the round, and they both got rocked a little but, but I'm going to have to score that first round for Trujillo, it was pretty close though.
     The second round started with Trujillo catching a kick, he countered it with a couple of punches, and then took down Rinaldi. Rinaldi slapped on an armbar from his guard, Trujillo tried to slam his way out of it, and wasn't QUITE successful, but he eventually shook Rinaldi off of him. Trujillo tried to drop some punches, Rinaldi was looking for another armbar, and Trujillo just stood back up. Trujillo looked tired, he threw some slow punches, and Rinaldi grabbed his back, threw him to the ground, and went for the rear-naked choke. Trujillo defended against the choke for a couple of minutes, Rinaldi flattened him out, continued to look for the choke, and Trujillo did a decent job staying calm, but he barely even tried to escape, he mostly just let the clock run out. Rinaldi dominated him for a solid 3 minutes or so though, and Trujillo finally broke free, dropping a few punches before the buzzer sounded. That MIGHT have been a 10-8 round for Rinaldi.
     Trujillo came out swinging for the final round, and blasted Rinaldi with several hard shots, before Rinaldi shot for a takedown attempt, which Trujillo pretty easily stuffed. Rinaldi shot for another takedown, and Trujillo blasted him in the side of the head with several sharp elbows. Rinaldi then took his back again, but Trujillo escaped by standing up and spinning around. Trujillo continued to batter Rinaldi with hard punches, and Rinaldi was pretty clearly rocked. With 90 seconds left in the fight, Trujillo shot for a takedown, slowly pressing Rinaldi against the cage. Trujillo landed some hard punches on the ground, Rinaldi went for an omoplata, and Trujillo just stood back up. They were both clearly exhausted by the end of the fight. I scored this fight 29-28 for Trujillo, but I'm halfway expecting that weird judge from earlier to give the fight to Rinaldi. All 3 judges agreed with me, giving the fight to Trujillo, 29-28 across the board.
      The first round started really slowly, without much action, until McMann shot for a takedown 90 seconds in, but they just ended up clinching against the cage, with McMann landing a few knees to the body, but nothing with much value. The referee finally reset them 3 minutes into the round. That round was boring as fuck. Round one goes to McMann, for some very basic clinchwork. Jessica Eye isn't fighting at all, WAY too afraid of the takedowns.
     The referee told them both to fight harder before the second round started. They both threw some decent punches in the second round, but it was pretty slow again. McMann shot for a shitty takedown halfway through the round, and Eye stuffed it with ease. McMann then clinched again, and put every ounce of effort that she could muster into another takedown, finally getting Eye to the ground with 2 minutes left in the round. Eye was slowly working toward an armbar, and McMann threw a few punches on the ground. These girls are both on 2-Fight losing streaks, and they could potentially be fighting for their careers here, and neither fighter is really going after it. I have McMann ahead 2-0 going into the final round, but this fight sucks.
     McMann started the third round with a leg kick, and Eye countered with a punch and a kick. This fight is going nowhere. McMann took Eye down again one minute into the final round. McMann took Eye's back, and just hugged her. Eye tried to roll out of it, and McMann continued to hug her back. Someone in the crowd yelled "PUNCH HER IN THE FACE!" and that was PROBABLY the most exciting moment of this fight, but... nobody punched anybody in the face. WAIT! McMann punched Eye a couple of times! McMann then punched Eye in the back of the head a few times, and then continued to cuddle with her. McMann locked on a north-south choke with one minute left in the fight. McMann clearly didn't know how to finish the choke though, so she let it go. These girls both have Bellator written all over them. I honestly don't want to see either fighter in the UFC ever again. Talk about fucking disappointments. Sara McMann wins, 30-27 across the board, in a boring as shit unanimous decision.
      This fight started pretty slowly, with both fighters trading single strikes, and then with 90 seconds left in the round, they both went crazy, trying to kill each other, they both got rocked, and then things slowed down again. I have no idea who won that round. I'm hoping someone pulls ahead more clearly in the last two rounds to clear up any confusion, but I'd probably give the first round slightly to Burkman.
     Felder was clearly in control of the center of the cage, and he clipped Burkman with some crisp punches in the second round. They clinched with 2 minutes left in the round. They split apart, and then Felder rocked the shit out of Burkman with some heavy punches, but Burkman went back to the clinch, looking for another takedown, and he failed again, as Felder just kind of stood there, waiting for Burkman to stop trying. Felder grabbed Burkman's back with 10 seconds left in the round, but nothing really happened. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     Felder threw a wild spinning back kick in the final round, and fell on his ass. Burkman threw some big punches, but missed a lot. They both landed a few things, they clinched for a while, and Burkman poured about a gallon of blood out of his face for some reason. I must have missed some sort of significant shot, because his nose is jacked. The referee split them up with 15 seconds left in the fight, Felder shot for a takedown, Burkman stuffed it and scored a takedown of his own. Apparently Burkman's nose was busted up due to some elbows from the clinch. So yeah, in the end, I'm scoring this fight 29-28 for Felder, but I'm nervous that some judges might give too much credit to Burkman's takedown at the end of the round. All 3 judges agreed with me, and gave the fight to Paul Felder, 29-28.
      Larkin spent the first 3 minutes of the opening round picking apart Masvidal with leg kicks, body kicks, and a few decent punches. Masvidal initiated a clinch with 2 minutes to go, and stalled for a minute or so, before Larkin broke free and continued to stalk him with strikes. With less than 10 seconds left in the round, Masvidal went down with a brutal eye poke. When the fight continued, Larkin landed a few more solid shots, and then the round ended. Round one goes to Larkin.
     The second round started with Larkin kicking Masvidal in the face, and it sounded like a rifle went off. Masvidal just laughed. Larkin continued to pick apart Masvidal with his boxing, throwing a lot of nice combinations. Masvidal started to pick up the pace in the second half of the round, with a lot more forward movement, and a lot more offense in general. Larkin clinched with a minute left in the round, and a few strikes were thrown on the break. Larkin secured a takedown at the very end of the round, and Masvidal tried to stop him with a late guillotine. This fight COULD be tied up going into the final round, but I have it scored for Larkin so far, 2-0.
     The third round started with Larkin stalking Masvidal again, and then he blasted him with another brutal body kick. Masvidal tried to corner Larkin near the cage, but Larkin lashed out with some uppercuts, and then drove Masvidal across the cage in the clinch. Masvidal locked on a standing guillotine choke, but he couldn't quite finish it. The fight turned into a wild brawl, crazy shit happened, fists were flying, blood was flying, Masvidal locked on another guillotine choke, the fight went to the ground, and Larkin rolled out of it. They stood back up, and Masvidal continued to press Larkin against the cage. Masvidal secured another takedown, and then took Larkin's back as Larkin tried to stand back up. Larkin did a good job breaking free from the clinch, and landed some hard punches before pressing Masvidal against the cage again. They broke apart with a minute left in the fight, Larkin landed another nice body kick, and then Masvidal shot for a takedown, but Larkin shrugged it off as they clinched. Masvidal was trying to work his clinch against the cage, and it might have been enough to win the round, but I don't think it was enough to win the fight. I scored this fight 30-27 for Larkin, but expect some 29-28 cards, and wouldn't be shocked if we have a split-decision here. Two judges agreed with me, giving the fight to Larkin by split-decision.
      Camozzi looked really good early in the first round, throwing a lot of strikes, picking apart Miranda. Miranda then started to pick apart Camozzi. Camozzi rushed Miranda, scored some points, and backed off. Miranda blasted Camozzi with some hard shots, grabbed his back, took him down, Camozzi went for a leg lock, and they both sat down near the cage and punched each other for a while. Camozzi cut Miranda's left eyebrow with an elbow. That was a really weird round, but I'd probably score it for Camozzi.
     Miranda was picking apart Camozzi with kicks to start the second round, and then 90 seconds in, Camozzi kicked his legs out from under him, and then pinned Miranda in the center of the cage. Camozzi tried to land some basic ground & pound, but Miranda did a good job defending on the ground. Camozzi then took his back, halfway through the round. Miranda turtled up, and Camozzi beat him up with some elbows, and punches, and knees to the body on the ground. Camozzi did a good job bullying Miranda, not really doing a ton of damage, but he was clearly dominating Miranda on the ground with his grappling & control. Camozzi smothered Miranda, and threw some short elbows. I have Camozzi ahead 2-0 going into the final round, and he finished that round dropping some brutal elbows, opening up all kinds of cuts above Miranda's left eye.
     Miranda's left eyebrow looked like it was going to fall off as he was walking out for the third round. The doctor checked him, sort of said it was ok, and the fight continued. Miranda landed some great strikes to start the final round, and then Camozzi grabbed his back, threw him to the ground, and Miranda tried to spin out of it, but Camozzi just ended up in side control. Miranda stood back up, they continued to clinch, they broke apart, and Miranda tried to take Camozzi's head off with kicks, but he was clearly tired at this point, so Camozzi was able to keep him under control with some additional clinchwork. Miranda landed a nice knee from the clinch, landed some more head kicks, and they traded some wild punches. Miranda sort of rocked Camozzi, but Camozzi was working his jab really well, keeping Miranda at distance. By the end of the fight, they were both bloody as hell. I'm assuming Camozzi will win this fight, at least 29-28, if not 30-27, or maybe even 30-26. Who knows... All 3 judges scored the fight 30-27 for Chris Camozzi.
      Story spent the first 2 minutes of the opening round, chasing Saffiedine, while throwing bombs. Saffiedine landed a head kick, and a few decent punches, but Story was a lot more active, literally running at Saffiedine while swinging. Halfway through the round, he grabbed Saffiedine, threw him to the ground, Saffiedine stood back up, and they clinched. Saffiedine almost called off for this fight, due to a cut on his left knee from training, but he accepted the fight anyway. I mention this, because his knee started bleeding halfway through the first round. Story ended the round by throwing a million body shots in the final 10 seconds. I'm scoring that first round for Story. Saffiedine threw a late head kick after the round ended. We then got a closeup of that cut on his knee, and it looks disgusting.
     Rick Story spent quite a bit of time in the second round, looking for takedowns, but he wasn't very successful. They traded some kicks, Saffiedine shot for a takedown, and Story punched him in the head hard, before stuffing the takedown. They clinched for a while, Saffiedine threw a few decent knees, Story threw a lot of punches to the body. The referee broke them apart with a minute left in the round. This fight is awkward, and the crowd seems dead tonight. I can't blame them. I want to go to sleep. They really should have made this a Saturday card. I have Story ahead 2-0 going into the final round, but it could be all tied up.
     The third round was more of the same, with Saffiedine clinching, and looking to work knees, while Story went crazy with punches to the body again. They continued the grind, with a lot of clinching, a lot of random punches, some kicks, some knees, it was a grueling fight, which in my opinion, should end in a 30-27 decision for Story. All 3 judges agreed for the most part, giving Rick Story the unanimous decision victory after a 20 month layoff due to a neck injury.
      The first round had Barao working his speed, looking crisp on the feet, landing some really hard punches, moving in & out, and avoiding most of the damage that Stephens was trying to throw at him. Barao looks good in his 145 debut. I kind of wish he would have moved to 145 sooner, but I have to admit, Stephens looks significantly bigger than Barao, so... STILL, round one goes to Barao, especially since he not only outstruck Stephens, but he also controlled him with a little bit of grappling.
     Stephens rocked the shit out of Barao pretty early in the second round, and he continued to beat his ass for several minutes with hard punches, as Barao was moving backward, and Stephens was connecting with massive uppercuts. They clinched for a while, and both tried to catch their breath. They traded punches for a little while in the last half of the round, Barao secured a takedown at the end of the round, but Stephens got back up before the buzzer sounded. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     The first 90 seconds of the final round had Barao picking apart Stephens again for the most part, but then he shot in for a takedown, Stephens stuffed it, and they clinched for a few seconds. They traded a few more punches, and then Barao took down Stephens with 2 minutes left in the fight. Barao tried to take his back, but Stephens stood back up, and they clinched. They reset in the center with one minute left in the fight. The fight ended in a 20 seconds brawl. This fight could definitely go either way, but I scored it 29-28 in favor of Renan Barao. All 3 judges disagreed, and gave the fight to Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision.
      Cody Garbrandt basically came out swinging, beat the living shit out of Almeida for 3 minutes or so, rocked him with some heavy punches, Almeida never really got started with any sort of offense. Garbrandt eventually knocked down Almeida, slammed him with some more punches on the ground, and the referee stopped the fight. Almeida is a madman, usually, but tonight, he looked like dog shit. Cody Garbrandt is apparently a little more legit than a lot of people expected. This is hands down the biggest win of Garbrandt's career, as he hands Almeida the first loss of his career, bringing his record to 20-1, and by first round KO of all things. Awesome performance by Cody Garbrandt, taking out Brazil's top prospect.