Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 154
The UFC's 2019 stop in Greenville, South Carolina, was another strong show in a year featuring a lot of strong fight cards despite a borderline oppressive event schedule. Ever portion of the event, from the early prelims to the main card delivered quality fights. There wasn't much to complain about, save for one unwieldy fight on the ESPN prelims. We got a pair of contenders for Fight Of The Night, some quality performances and violent finishes — what more could one ask for.
Opening the main card fights, Kevin Holland and Alessio Di Chirico had a weird fight. It was mostly a stand-up fight, but with long periods on inaction and Holland seeming to stall when they clinched up. Di Chirico looked to be winning the rounds, dazing Holland in the second and taking him down a few times. For whatever reason, the judges gave the fight to Holland and I don't know why. The fight was really forgettable, so I'm not inclined to dwell on it any further. Holland dislocated his shoulder in the second round and, surprisingly, the ringside physician didn't see any problem with him continuing to fight.
While the commentary team made it sound a lot closer of a fight than it really was, Andrea Lee visibly outclassed Montana De La Rosa for almost the entirety of their three-round fight. De La Rosa's best round was the third, where she was able to both secure a takedown and take advantage of it — unlike in prior rounds where Lee got back to her feet in short order. De La Rosa threatened a guillotine choke, but was eventually reversed and Lee ended the round in top position, raining down strikes. A fun fight but De La Rosa was simply not on Lee's level, the latter's striking defence was nonexistent as she ate knees and jabs throughout the fight.
Andre Ewell and Anderson Dos Santos turned in a potential Fight Of The Night performance. All 3 rounds were very high action, with Dos Santos taking a lot of hard shots and getting his face bloodied up. Dos Santos was undeterred, however, and dug really deep in the final round and was able to land strikes, take Ewell down and even threaten submissions. Still, Ewell showed solid defence and was able to get back to his feet and continue pressing his advantage. This was a really fun fight, with both fighters showing very well-rounded skillsets. Ewell clearly won but Dos Santos was far from outclassed.
Randy Brown had the best fight of his career thus far, handling Bryan Barbarena for the first 2 rounds of their fight before destroying him with body shots in the third. Barbarena reminded us all that he is incredibly tough, absorbing a lot of strikes due to Brown's ability to keep him at range, but was finally overwhelmed with kicks and punches to the body. While he showed a lot of urgency in the beginning of the second round, Barbarena seemed 'off' — possibly due to the physical toll of his war with Vicente Luque — while Brown, a significant underdog, made a statement with this win.
The main event was a short, sweet, and incredibly violent affair. Chan Sung Jung needed precious little time to get Renato Moicano's timing, crack him on the jaw, follow him to the ground and finish putting him to sleep with punches. This is a really tough loss for Moicano, and his second in a row; Chan Sung Jung rebounds from his absurd, literal last-second loss to Yair Rodriguez in spectacular fashion.
- Chan Sung Jung def. Renato Moicano by TKO (punches) @ 0:58 of Round 1
- Randy Brown def. Bryan Barbarena by TKO (knee and punches) @ 2:54 of Round 3
- Andre Ewell def. Anderson Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Andrea Lee def. Montana De La Rosa by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-37, 29-28)
- Kevin Holland def. Alessio Di Chirico by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29)
The formal prelims started with a bang, as Jairzinho Rozenstruik destroyed Allen Crowder in 9 seconds — dropping him with 1 punch and knocking him out cold with a follow-up two-piece. Not much to say here, Rozenstruik made the best UFC debut one could hope for. Crowder is now 1-1, after picking up a DQ win over Greg Hardy in his previous fight.
Up next was a strange fight, as Matt Wiman returned to UFC action after a 5-year hiatus. Luis Pena gave Wiman a rough welcome back, beating him up for 2 rounds and most of the third before Dan Margliotta waved the fight off. Wiman seemed extremely rusty, getting pieced up on the feet and absorbing a lot of damage on the ground as he kept fishing for leg locks. The fight could have been stopped a fair bit sooner, but Wiman was given every chance to rally back. Pena looked good, and Wiman seemed very much like a fighter whom the sport has passed by.
Ashley Yoder mauled Syuri Kondo in a fight that was anything but competitive. Kondo was able to do nothing but defend for the whole 15 minutes of the fight. Yoder was able to get Kondo down every round and alternated between ground-and-pound and submission attempts. A great showing for Yoder and a brutal loss for Kondo who lost multiple 10-8 rounds according to several judges.
Dan Ige and Kevin Aguilar split the first two rounds, with Ige taking the first and Aguilar rallying back in the second. Ige was able to get back on track in the final round, heavily pressuring Aguilar, rocking him several times and even scoring a knockdown. This was a really competitive fight, but Ige was able to surge in the third and even racked up a 10-8 on one judge's scorecard. Top notch featured prelim; Aguilar snaps a winning streak but didn't lose much stock, I don't think.
- Dan Ige def. Kevin Aguilar by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Ashley Yoder def. Syuri Kondo by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-24)
- Luis Pena def. Matt Wiman by TKO @ 1:14 of Round 3
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Allen Crowder by KO (punches) @ 0:09 of Round 1
Fight Pass Prelims
Deron Winn and Eric Spicely opened the card with a really fun fight. For the first two rounds, Winn was advancing on Spicely and pummeling him with seemingly endless punch combinations. Spicely was stuck on the defensive for the majority of the bout. By the third, Winn was slowing down — which wasn't a surprise given his extremely high volume striking output — and Spicely was still remaining competitive. Winn retained his undefeated streak with a unnanimous decision in what was an early contender for Fight Of The Night.
Next, Molly McCann and Ariane Lipski threw down for the better part of 15 minutes. McCann, despite being a 2:1 underdog coming into the fight, dominated it from beginning to end. Lipski was able to cut McCann's forehead open with an elbow, but that's the extent of her success. McCann ended the first two rounds with takedowns and the closing seconds of of the third were a phonebooth slugfest. Lipski drops to 0-2 in the UFC and McCann notches a strong win a mere 3 months after suffering a broken orbital.
- Molly McCann def. Ariane Lipski by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Deron Winn def. Eric Spicely by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
I have to give this show an "A," I don't have any substantive criticism of any part of the show. Furthermore, as a long-time fan of "The Korean Zombie" the main event was the perfect cap to a very enjoyable non-pay-per-view event.
Published: June 22nd, 2019.