Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 148
This was a really rough fight card, to be truly honest. Aside from the 3 women's fights, the rest of the fight card ended up producing a series of duds and grindy, plodding fights. If it wasn't for a shocking, highlight reel ending to the main event, this fight card would have easily ranked among the worst in recent memory. This is another event where the main event saved things at the last minute, and the ESPN pacing at least ensured that things didn't drag on longer than absolutely necessary.
The opening main card bout looked to be a one-sided pasting on the part of JJ Aldrich, who was seemingly landing strikes at will on Maycee Barber until a flurry of elbows and a straight left and a knee seemed to break Alrich's orbital and force a stop to the fight. Barber was a highly touted prospect going in the fight, and it looked like another hype train was going to be derailed before it even left the station. Barber acknowledged her lack of defence in the post-fight interview, which was good to hear.
Luis Pena, despite missing weight for this featherweight bout, was able to outstrike a relentless but ultimately ineffective Steven Peterson. A good scrap, but the size mismatch, with Pena being 6'3", was really pronounced. I have no idea how Pena even gets close to 145 pounds at his size, and it's disturbing to contemplate. I'd like Pena to move up to 155 at least, but I doubt that's going to happen any time soon.
Jussier Formiga rolled over Deiveson Figueiredo, taking him down and beating him up in each round. Figueiredo could only throw winging punches, almost none of which landed, and otherwise could not string together any offence. Formiga controlled the whole fight, issuing another of his semi-regular reminders that he remains one of the best flyweights in the world. That said, this wasn't a hugely entertaining fight, even if it did feature a strong, tactically sound performance from Formiga.
John Makdessi and Jesus Pinedo wasted 15 minutes of everyone's time, staging a fight with all the intensity of a sparring match on a lazy Sunday. This was a terrible fight with little-to-no action, save for in the final seconds of each round. I can't wait to forget this 'fight.' Makdessi took an easy decision in a lamentable showing.
Curtis Blaydes spent 3 rounds ragdolling Justin Willis. The fight was really tedious to watch, even though Blaydes executed the perfect gameplan to score a lopsided victory. This fight seemed even more unbearable due to the majority of the fight card consisting of underwhelming scraps. Willis was completely outclassed and yet the fight was still plodding and tiresome. The judges couldn't agree on exactly how bad Willis lost, only that he did so resoundingly.
The main event was shaping up to be another slow-burn Anthony Pettis loss, as Stephen Thompson spent most of the first 2 rounds staying at distance and landing a lot of single kicks and punches. Pettis' nose was broken and bled profusely, but the former lightweight champion continued to fight. Then, out of absolutely nowhere, Pettis flatlined Thompson with a Superman punch counter, crumbling the former welterweight title contender to the mat, completely unconscious. It was an incredible win for Pettis and impressive enough to salvage the fight card, pulling things out of the fire at the last moment. Conversely, this was a crushing loss for Thompson, who has been dropped in all of his last 5 fights and now finds himself knocked out cold. One has to wonder about Thompson's durability going forward, while Pettis seems rejuvenated at 170 pounds...
- Anthony Pettis def. Stephen Thompson by KO (punch) @ 4:55 of Round 2
- Curtis Blaydes def. Justin Willis by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
- John Makdessi def. Jesus Pinedo (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jussier Formiga def. Deiveson Figueiredo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luis Pena def. Steven Peterson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Maycee Barber def. JJ Aldrich by TKO (knee and punches) @ 3:01 of Round 2
Eric Shelton and Jordan Espinosa did that thing where 2 wrestlers stage a tedious, unfulfilling kickboxing bout. The decision was really bizarre, as Espinosa was awarded a pair of 30-27 scores which is hard to explain. The fight wasn't very good so I'm not going to dwell on the outcome, however. Chris Gutierrez spent 3 rounds slowly demolishing Ryan MacDonald, battering his legs and body, as well as opening a head wound that left MacDonald covered in his own blood. Next, it took Randa Markos just a little less than 1 round to get Angela Hill to the mat and submit her with an armbar.
Alexis Davis and Jennifer Maia split the first 2 rounds of their fight, with Maia taking the third and clinching her first UFC win. Marlon Vera wasted no time, dropping Frankie Saenz with a punch and finishing him with hammerfists — some of which looked to be directly to the back of Saenz's head — and scoring another finish to put his streak up at 3. Finally, Bryce Mitchell and Bobby Moffett had a good back-and-forth fight, which the former narrowly edged out by threatening submissions despite being outwrestled quite a bit. A decent fight to end the prelims, and Mitchell's post-fight request, demanding camo shorts from Reebok, was an amazing MMA moment.
- Bryce Mitchell def. Bobby Moffett by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marlon Vera def. Frankie Saenz by TKO (punches) @ 1:25 of Round 1
- Jennifer Maia def. Alexis Davis by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Randa Markos def. Angela Hill by Submission (armbar) @ 4:24 of Round 1
- Chris Gutierrez def. Ryan MacDonald by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jordan Espinosa def. Eric Shelton by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
I'm giving this show a C, as the main event was simply incredible and, as previously noted, the women's fights were exciting and sufficiently violent. Everything else was forgettable and not worth even dwelling on now that it's over.
Published: March 24th, 2019.