Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 147
The UFC's 2019 schedule continued apace, giving North American viewers a nice break in the form of a midday MMA card that had a lot of exciting fights and didn't eat up an entire evening. The "ESPN pacing" appears to be a real thing, and not just a few one-off flukes; a 12-fight card was over in just under 6 hours and I am really enjoying this new trend. There were a few lulls — *cough* middle and light heavyweights *cough* — but overall, UFC Fight Night 147 was a solid show with no major complaints.
Jack Marshman and John Phillips was billed as "the biggest fight in Welsh MMA history" and, as such, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Welsh as the fight was really bad after a decent first round. Marshman won a contentious split decision that I don't have any interest in considering any further. Claudio Silva mauled Danny Roberts on the mat for almost 13 minutes, before eliciting a verbal submission with a belly-down armbar in the third round. The finish was a little weird-looking at first, but Roberts did scream when he slammed Silva — and that can be considered a verbal submission — even if it did seem like an involuntary reaction.
Nathaniel Wood put a grappling clinic on Jose Quinonez, almost submitting him with a D'Arce choke in the first, and clinching him against the fence in the second until he could take the back and quickly lock-up a rear-naked choke and the win. Wood's performance was about as good as one gets, just a completely one-sided victory. Things slowed down significantly as light heavyweights Dominick Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir waged a largely uninteresting battle for 3 rounds. The commentary team and most of my Twitter feed had the fight scored for Oezedmir, but I gave Reyes the last 2 rounds due to better accuracy — Oezdemir looked busy but was backing up and hitting air a lot.
The co-main of Leon Edwards and Gunnar Nelson got things back on track, and Edwards showed a lot of improvement, hanging with Nelson's grappling and handling him on the feet. Nelson looked to have a broken orbital bone on his right-hand side, and was very nearly KO'ed at the end of the second round. Nelson seemed like he was on autopilot for most of the third, until he landed a lunging punch, took Edwards down and immediately mounted him. Edwards held on, ran out the clock and easily won the fight. Leon Edwards has improved considerably as a fighter, I did not expect him to grapple with Nelson — nevermind look good while doing so. I have no idea how one judge had it 29-28 for Nelson (?!) while another had it 29-27 for Edwards... MMA judging, folks...
The main event was a short-lived, but very exciting affair. Till dropped Masvidal early in the first, but he recovered well. Masvidal started to mount a comeback throughout the rest of the first, racking up kicks to the legs and body as well as landing his own punches. In the second, Masvidal started to take over and eventually confused Till with a stance-switch and put him out cold with a 3-punch combo. Jorge Masvidal just served notice that he's still one of the most dangerous fighters at welterweight, while Till should probably give 185 some serious thought. A great showing for Masvidal, who seemed a lot of people seemed to think was being marched to his inevitable doom in this fight.
- Jorge Masvidal def. Darren Till by KO (punch) @ 3:05 of Round 2
- Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson by Split Decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
- Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Nathaniel Wood def. Jose Quinonez by Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 2:46 of Round 2
- Claudio Silva def. Danny Roberts by Verbal Submission (armbar) @ 3:37 of Round 3
- Jack Marshman def. John Phillips by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
The preliminary bouts got things off to a good start. Mike Grundy managed an impressive TKO after being rocked by his opponent, staggering him with a counter and earning a standing TKO that looked to be the correct call by the referee. Next, Molly McCann secured her first UFC win as she and Priscila Cachoeira had a really fun three-round throwdown. McCann looked like she suffered an orbital fracture from a right-hand, and the injury almost got the fight stopped in the final minute, but the doctor let her continue to fight. Dan Ige took just over a minute to smash Danny Henry with punches, take his back and force him to tap to a rear-naked choke.
Things slowed down a bit for the last 3 undercard bouts, as Sparabek Safarov dominated Nicolae Negumereanu for all 3 rounds of their fight and clinched a painfully (literally, har har) obvious UD. I'm not sure why Negumereanu's corner sent him out for the third round — except that MMA is really bad for things like that. Joe Duffy got routed by a much-improved Marc Diakiese, and got out-struck and even out-grappled; Duffy stumbles in his first fight in over a year. The featured prelim between Jordan Rinaldi and Arnold Allen was really fun, with Allen handily out-working his opponent and taking a clear decision win and then apologised for a boring fight in his interview.
- Arnold Allen def. Jordan Rinaldi by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
- Marc Diakiese def. Joseph Duffy by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Sparabek Safarov def. Nicolae Negumereanu by Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-27)
- Dan Ige def. Danny Henry by Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 1:17 of Round 1
- Molly McCann def. Priscila Cachoeira by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mike Grundy def. Nad Narimani by TKO (punches) @ 4:42 of Round 2
I give the show as a whole a B+ grade, and the main event was really satisfying — especially since I've been a huge mark for Jorge Masvidal since his early days in Strikeforce. The UFC schedule is still very dense, but I am appreciating the efficiency of the broadcasts under the ESPN deal.
Published: March 16th, 2019.