Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 152
Emanating from Rochester, New York, UFC Fight Night 152 featured a really entertaining undercard and a solid main card as well. Boasting one of the better finishing rates of 2019 UFC cards, there were few lulls and this event delivered as much as one could reasonably expect from a streaming-only card in this current era of UFC scheduling. The main event was exciting and capped off a good night of fights.
The main card opened with a fun fight between Davi Ramos and the debuting Austin Hubbard. Ramos handily won each round, but Hubbard was game and was only briefly in danger of being finished in the third, when Ramos landed some hard, staggering punches, but he still managed to recover. Ramos took Hubbard down afterward, and spent a lot of time working to progress to mount. Just as he began to land some ground-and-pound, referee Keith Peterson made the baffling decision to stand them up. Hubbard was able to drop Ramos and follow him into his guard for the final minute-and-a-half of the round. Still, Ramos won an obvious clean sweep.
For whatever reason, the UFC decided we needed to see Nik Lentz fight Charles Oliveira for a third time. Just as before, the Brazilian was able to dominate the fight and take a relatively easy win. This time he potentially submitted Lentz, who looked to have tapped to a guillotine choke although it was a single tap — possibly in a bit of gamesmanship — so it didn't count. After an illegal upkick from Oliveira, the fight was restarted with Lentz in his full guard. Oliveira was able to get back to his feet, blast Lentz with punches and score a sudden and vicious TKO. Lentz drops to 0-3 lifetime against "Do Bronx."
Vicente Luque was fed yet another prospect from Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender series. This time it was Derek Krantz, although he fared reasonably well in the first half of the fight, even threatening an arm-in-guillotine choke briefly. Still, the veteran Luque was able to defend, get back to his feet and then blast Krantz with hard punches. In order, he staggered Krantz, then dropped him and finally swarmed on him with punches. A harsh debut for Krantz, who hopefully gets another (more reasonable) fight.
Felicia Spencer made the most of her UFC debut, routing Megan Anderson in a single round and tapping her with a rear-naked choke. Anderson landed a few good punches in the beginning of the round, but as soon as Spencer got in position to take Anderson's back she was unable to shake her off. A great debut for Spencer, as Anderson's stock drops some more after accumulating a 1-2 UFC record.
Ian Heinisch and Antonio Carlos Junior had a fun fight. The Brazilian dominated the first round, but Heinisch just would not concede an inch. A cage-grab that the referee let slide allowed Heinisch to defend a takedown in the second round — and land a hard elbow strike — which changed the complexion of the fight. Heinisch dominated the second half of the fight and won a decision, albeit one with a small bit of controversy.
The main event was a fight that, on paper, looked to be yet another terrible match-up for Rafael Dos Anjos. Pitted against another powerful wrestler, the safe bet would have been Lee by decision, but that ended up not being the case. Lee was able to handily win the first 2 rounds, but at the cost of a lot of stamina, as he clinched RDA against the cage and repeatedly took him down. By the third round, it looked like Lee was fading and by the fourth round it was unmistakable. After a failed takedown attempt, Lee seemed exhausted and RDA pounced on him immediately, first sweeping him and then quickly transitioning to an arm-triangle choke and coaxing a tap shortly thereafter. RDA finally overcomes a terrible, wrestling-based match-up and Kevin Lee racks up another loss.
- Rafael Dos Anjos def. Kevin Lee by Submission (arm-triangle choke) @ 3:47 of Round 4
- Ian Heinisch def. Antonio Carlos Junior by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Felicia Spencer def. Megan Anderson by Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 3:24 of Round 1
- Vicente Luque def. Derrick Krantz by TKO (punches) @ 3:52 of Round 1
- Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz by TKO (punches) @ 2:11 of Round 2
- Davi Ramos def. Austin Hubbard by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Coming in as an 8:1 favourite, Julio Arce foughtly fairly conservatively for the first 2 rounds. I still had him winning, but it was more competitive than the odds would have lead one to expect. Then, in the third round, Arce starched Julian Erosa with a left punch followed by a left kick to the head. A sudden, violent end to the first prelim.
Middleweights Trevin Giles and Zak Cummings looked to be well on their way to a decision — one that the former was winning in my books — until Cummings turned up the pressure in the third round. Eating a hard shot, Cummings dropped Giles with a hard left, followed him to the canvas and locked up a guillotine choke after making a few slight adjustments. Cummings hands Giles his first pro loss and continues his winning streak since dropping to 185.
Patrick Cummins was somehow a betting favourite over Ed Herman, which blew my mind. It also proved to be an inaccurate assessment, as the two waged a brief, violent bout. The scrap ended after Herman grazed Cummins' temple with a knee, staggering him, and allowing "Short Fuse" to finish the job with some follow-up punches as Cummins tried to regain his senses. At this point, Cummins has absorbed a lot of damage in his UFC tenure and doesn't have a whole lot to show for it.
Grant Dawson needed but a single round to figure out his opponent, Michael Trizano, and ran through him in the second. After getting Trizano to the mat, and taking his back, Dawson fished for a rear-naked choke and eventually secured it, forcing the tap and handing his opponent the first loss of his career. This also marked the fourth consecutive finish on the card.
Touted newcomer Michel Pereira lived up to the hype, dispatching Danny Roberts in highlight reel fashion with a flying knee and then knocking him out with a follow-up punch. Pereira looks to be the real deal — an unorthodox, aggressive, action fighter. This was as impressive debut as anyone could make, I can't wait to see him fight again.
Des Green seemingly had a squash match setup for him, but Charles Jourdain proved game despite being tremendously undersized. Green was content to box the whole fight, only shooting for takedowns in the final minutes of the fight. The third was Jourdain's best round, and I scored it for him but Green still won an easy unanimous decision. Green has had some horrible fights previously, but this was fun to watch. Jourdain looked respectable in his debut, despite losing, and should fare much better as a featherweight.
The featured prelim was the second encounter between Sijara Eubanks and Aspen Ladd. The result was the same, however, with Ladd managing to outgrapple Eubanks for almost the whole 15 minutes of the fight. Eubanks lost each round, although there is a (weak) case to be made that she stole the first when she dropped Ladd and rained down some punches in the final seconds. Ladd was tenacious and scored a clear decision win. Eubanks' grappling defence was actually very solid, but she wasn't able to bully her opponent like she used to do at 125 pounds.
- Aspen Ladd def. Sijara Eubanks by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
- Desmond Green def. Charles Jourdain by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Michel Pereira def. Danny Roberts by KO (knee and punch) @ 1:40 of Round 1
- Grant Dawson def. Michael Trizano by Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 2:27 of Round 2
- Ed Herman def. Patrick Cummins by TKO (knee and punches) @ 3:39 of Round 1
- Zak Cummings def. Trevin Giles by Submission (guillotine choke) @ 4:01 of Round 3
- Julio Arce def. Julian Erosa by KO (head kick) @ 1:49 of Round 3
A strong undercard and main card sum up to an A-level event in my books. I have no complaints; we got a bunch of finishes and fun fights, even out of some fighters — and match-ups — that, historically, have produced some rough watching.
Published: May 19th, 2019.