Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 145
Taking place in the Czech Republic, UFC Fight Night 145 didn't boast a lot of big names but still managed to provide an entertaining night of fights. The pacing of the show was great, matching that of the other ESPN shows, so it looks like that will be a consistent thing. There were only 2 really uneventful fights, every other bout on the card had something to offer. Here's how the show went:
Light Heavyweight Fight
Thiago Santos def. Jan Blachowicz by TKO (punches) @ 0:39 of Round 3
The first round was pretty measured, and nothing at all like the hockey fight Santos had with Manuwa a few months ago. Blachowicz ate a bunch of leg kicks in the first, and a few more in the second while accomplishing very little. Santos continued to be patient and careful, while constantly pressing forward and keeping Blachowicz guessing. In the third, Santos landed a right-left combo while backing up and put Blachowicz down on the mat. Santos swarmed his fallen opponent and flurried him with a frenzy of punches, finally breaking through Blachowicz's defences and forcing the referee to intervene. A slow start, but Santos pounced for the kill the moment he got an opening — what an incredible streak he's been on since moving up to 205 pounds.
Stefan Struve def. Marcos Rogerio De Lima by Submission (arm triangle) @ 2:21 of Round 2
Almost immediately, De Lima dropped Struve with a punch. For the rest of the round, De Lima alternated between half and full guard, eventually transitioning to mount near the end of the round. De Lima landed a lot of strikes on the ground but the fight was never in danger of being stopped. After an arguable 10-8 round, Struve was able to mount a comeback in the second round. Struve tripped De Lima, and kept searching for an arm triangle which he eventually secured after moving De Lima away from the cage. Struve finally gets back into the win column after some early adversity and Marcos Rogerio De Lima continues to be bad at defending submissions. Post-fight, Struve left his gloves in the centre of the cage but stopped short of saying he was 100% retired. I think this would be a great win to go out on, personally, but we all know how retirement works in MMA most of the time...
Light Heavyweight Fight
Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gian Villante by KO (body punch) @ 1:34 of Round 1
For those dreading another long, plodding, Gian Villante fight, wherein he takes a ridiculous amount of damage in a sloppy light heavyweight fight, today is not your day. After a brief feeling-out process, Oleksiejczuk was able to land hard body shots on Villante. The latter body shot had a slightly delayed reaction, but Villante quickly fell to the canvas once it registered. A perfectly placed liver punch earns Michal Oleksiejczuk a quick KO win over a historically tough 205'er.
Women's Flyweight Fight
Liz Carmouche def. Lucie Pudilova by Unanimous Decision (30-37, 29-28, 29-28)
Carmouche held Pudilova against the fence for the better part of the first round, trying to take her down. She finally got Pudilova down, but wasn't able to advance her position and almost ended up in a guillotine choke as the round ended. At some point, Carmouche incurred a cut in her hairline that left a literal pool of blood on the octagon floor. The second round saw Carmouche take Pudilova down twice, but didn't do much with it. The third was more of the same, leading to a pretty dull fight but a clear win for Carmouche just based on her pressure and control time.
Peter Yan turned in an incredible performance, completely shutting down and beating up John Dodson. Yan never let up his relentless forward pressure, keeping Dodson backed against the fence for the majority of the fight and otherwise stuffed takedowns and beat "The Magician" up for his efforts. The fight was completely one-sided, with Dodson being dominated like never before — and probably absorbing more strikes in this fight than his whole career prior. It's too bad the bantamweight title picture is such a log jammed mess, because Yan has been cutting a swath through the division and should be competing for a title shot in his next fight.
Catchweight Fight (209 lbs)
Magomed Ankalaev def. Klidson Abreu by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
There's not much to say about this fight, except that it was plodding and largely uneventful. Abreu's nose got broken early in the fight, giving us all the horrifying visual of his nose looking similar to Rich Franklin's after Anderson Silva gave him the ability to smell around corners. The fight was 3 rounds of medicore boxing and a lot of clinching and failed takedowns.
Dwight Grant def. Carlo Pedersoli Junior by TKO (punches) @ 4:59 of Round 1
For the most part, this was a tentative opening round from both fighters. Just as it was coming to a close, however, Grant perfectly countered a high left-kick with a right-hand that put Pedersoli out. Pedersoli was spun around and had his mouthguard knocked out by the punch, and Grant followed up with a half-dozen strikes that went completely undefended. The fight was called off just as the round ended. Pedersoli protested the stoppage but the replay was extremely clear: he was out and not defending himself intelligently — or at all.
Chris Fishgold def. Daniel Teymur by Submission (rearnaked choke) @ 1:10 of Round 2
The first round was an exhausting, back-and-forth scrap. Teymur actually lost a point for defending a takedown via grabbing the fence, I was surprised to see the deduction because it's pretty rare the rules regarding fouls are enforced strongly — or at all, in some cases. Teymur was taken down numerous times and very nearly submitted with an armbar near the end of the round. Fishgold seemed really tired, but shot for a takedown and almost immediately took Teymur's back and locked up a tight rear-naked choke after flattening him out. Yet another impressive UFC debut on this fight card, Fishgold's grappling and wrestling look like they'll make him a force to contend with at 145 pounds.
Women's Flyweight Fight
Gillian Robertson def. Veronica Macedo by Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 3:27 of Round 2
After soundly losing the first round-and-a-half of the fight, Robertson was able to threaten an armbar and then transition to full mount. Macedo defended for a bit, but had her back taken as she tried to get back to her feet. From there, Robertson clamped on a tight rear-naked choke and won a fight she was being outstruck 6:1 in.
Damir Hadzovic def. Polo Reyes by TKO (punches) @ 2:03 of Round 2
The story of this fight was Hazdovic's wrestling, which Reyes had no real answer to. After getting taken down and dominated throughout the first round, Reyes suffered a similar fate in the second. Hadzovic was eventually able to take Reyes' back and land dozens of strikes until the referee waved the fight off. A tough loss for the typically exciting Reyes and a definitive win for Hadzovic.
Ismail Naurdiev def. Michel Prazeres by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Another surprising fight, as the debuting Ismail Naurdiev compeltely dominated Michel Prazeres. The first round had a really fast pace, with Prazeres getting staggered and then shooting for a desperation takedown. Much of the fight was spent in exhausting clinch and ground battles, with Naurdiev reversing Prazeres multiple times and even briefly threatening to submit him. By the third, both were completely spent, but Naurdiev eventually began to pull ahead and spent the last 1-and-a-half minutes of the fight wailing on his helpless opponent. I gave him all 3 rounds and the 30-26 scores weren't out of line, the last part of the final round was absurdly one-sided. A very impressive debut for Naudiev — and one short notice, as well!
Catchweight Fight (157 lbs)
Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Rustam Khabilov by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Much to my surprise, Khabilov ended up losing all 3 rounds and they weren't all that close in my opinion. Khabilov was completely unsuccessful in securing takedowns, either failing to get Ferreira down, or being unable to keep him down. Khabilov otherwise spent the rest of the fight looking for counter shots that never materialised, while Ferreira walked him down and appeared to be the much busier fighter. A very impressive showing for Ferreira.
Damir Ismagulov def. Joel Alvarez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
A very unremarkable fight; Ismagulov outclassed Alvarez over the course of all 3 rounds. Aside from one big right-hand in the second round, there was never a moment where it looked like the fight was going to end in a finish. Ismagulov coasted to an easy, forgetable decision win.
Published: February 23rd, 2019.