Fight Notes: UFC Fight Night 164
The UFC's return to Sao Paolo, Brazil, was a mixed offering. The undercard of UFC Fight Night 164 had a lot of mediocre action and unremarkable fights, with a few exciting finishes sprinkled in. The main card was a bit letdown, with the co-main event ending in a split draw, and the main event just sucking the life out of the room for 5 gruelling rounds. This was not a good night for the UFC, as an unevent fight card was capped off with a final pair of fights that fell short of everyone's expectations.
Opening the main card was a solid, closely fought battle between Wellington Turman and Markus Perez. The first 2 rounds were incredibly close, although it seemed like Turman was pushing a faster pace and initiating more of the action. Perez did well to try and mount a comeback in the third, despite being visibly exhausted, but it just was not enough. It was a good stand-up with, with minimal ground work. Turman ended up taking all 3 rounds on every scorecard, which felt completely fair.
Andre Muniz and Antonio Arroyo had spurts of action, with some frustrating lulls. Muniz was very active in fishing for submissions at times, attempting an armbar and a modified rear-naked choke in the first round. At one point, Muniz landed a grazing knee to Arroyo that initially looked like an illegal strike to a downed opponent, but the replay showed otherwise. Nonetheless, the referee restarted the fight in a neutral position and issued a warning. Arroyo had a clear advantage in the striking but didn't press it much. Conversely, Muniz had a distinct grappling advantage but never had anything close to locked in. Muniz won a 30-27 decision on every scorecard, but the fight never got out of second gear. Muniz showed a lot of skill but was very one-dimensional; Arroyo, likewise, but he was also very sparring with his strikes.
Charles Oliveira and Jared Gordon got things somewhat back on track, as "Do Bronx" starched Gordon in a bit less-than 2 minutes. A pair of right uppercuts just ended Gordon's night, putting him completely out, slumped against the cage. I think Oliveira's post-fight celebration was longer than the fight itself.
Shogun Rua and Paul Craig was about as depressing as I expected. The first round saw Craig manhandle Shogun, and even lace into him with a barrage of punches against the cage. Shogun managed to survive however, and even took the second round by way of takedowns and persistent ground-and-pound. The third round was basically a reprise of the second, except Shogun was a lot more fatigued. Craig kept trying to throw triangles from the bottom — as is his custom — but nothing was even close to threatening. I thought Shogun took the decision win, but the judges had it a split draw. A prime Shogun would have won this fight via bludgeoning murder...
The main event did little liven things up after a tepid co-main, as Jacare Souza and Jan Blachowicz spent a lot of time clinching when they weren't exchaning single strikes in a really ununinteresting kickboxing contest. By the end of the third round, Jacare's corner had him up 3 rounds to none, and were imploring him to attack Blachowicz's left leg, as they said his foot was broken. True or not, Blachowicz threw a lot of low leg kicks at the end of the fourth, even though both of his feet looked swollen. The final round featured no more urgency than any prior rounds. No one every pressed an advantage or even began to build momentum, it was a nearly 50/50 fight for the entirety of the bout. The winner was debatable, but I don't care to ever think about this fight again, it was so aggressively mediocre. The decision for Blachowicz was split and I'm fine with it; I would have been fine with a Jacare win too; the fight was bad and I don't care about the outcome either way.
Blachowicz snags another 'W,' but it probably doesn't do much for his stock. Jacare's first forray at light heavyweight was a losing affair, but at least it wasn't anywhere near as disastrous as Luke Rockhold's similar attempt — also against Jan Blachowicz. I still believe Jacare should stay at 205; hopefully this fight was just a one-off in its tepidity.
- Jan Blachowicz def. Ronaldo Souza by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
- Maurico Rua vs. Paul Craig via Split Draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
- Charles Oliveira def. Jared Gordon by KO (punches) @ 1:26 of Round 1
- Andre Muniz def. Antonio Arroyo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Wellington Turman def. Markus Perez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Randy Brown needed a round to get his bearings, as Warrely Alves did a good job mauling him for most of the opening frame. In the second, Brown came out composed and stated peppering Alves with strikes. Alves took Brown down, but quickly ended up in a triangle and found himself on the defensive. Brown made some adjustments and secured a tap seemingly out of nowhere. A big win for Randy Brown, as Warrely Alves is no joke.
Bobby Green and Francisco Trinaldo was a very, very close fight. The first round had a really fun scramble as the two men traded submission attempts. Trinaldo had more top control in what was otherwise a dead-even round. The second was all stand-up, and Green took that one in my books, defending with good movement and landing more quality punches. The third was really close as well, but it looked like Trinaldo was pressuring more effectively and landing the better strikes. I gave the nod to Trinaldo, but just barely. A good, competitive fight.
Ricardo Ramos needed a little less-than a full round to submit _ Garagori. For the first few minutes, Ramos was content to pick away at Garagori from distance with kicks. ABout midway through the round, Ramos shot for a takedown but wasn't able to keep Garagori down. They clinched against the cage for a bit before separating. Ramos shot for another takedown but then transitioned to Garagori's back and immediately began fishing for a rear-naked choke. Garagori couldn't keep Ramos off his back and quickly got choked completely unconscious. A dominant, impressive win.
Sergio Moraes immediately took James Krause down and then spent 2 minutes in side control. Krause was able to sweep and then spent 2 minutes in Moraes' full guard. They spent the rest of the round striking, with minimal activity. In round 2, Krause landed a couple of kicks to Moraes' calf that seemed to take his legs away. The Brazilian spent the rest of the round just barely surviving, and was dropped twice. The third round saw Krause continue to beat Moraes up, as he offered only token defence. Moraes started flopping to his back a lot, as the fight was clearly out of his reach at this point. Mercifully, Krause ended it with a series of strikes that dropped Moraes and forced the referee to intervene. Not a great fight; Krause looked decent but Moraes just gave up about halfway through.
- James Krause def. Sergio Moraes by TKO (punches) @ 4:19 of Round 3
- Ricardo Ramos def. Garagorian by Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) @ 3:57 of Round 1
- Francisco Trinaldo def. Bobby Green by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Randy Brown def. Warrely Alves by Submission (triangle choke) @ 1:22 of Round 2
The show kicked off with a women's bantamweight fight that was merely okay. Tracy Cortez outpointed Vanessa Melo over 3 rounds, the middle of which was spent almost entirly in a 50/50 clinch position. Cortez was able to take Melo down in the third and landed a lot of ground strikes, although they didn't seem very powerful. Not a bad fight, just not memorable. Cortez was very emotional in her post-fight speech, realising her deceased brother's dream of competing in the UFC. It was an intense moment.
Ariane Lipski came out of the gates swinging right away, dropping Isabel De Padua, and mauling her with ground-and-pound against the cage. De Padua survived and was able to score a takedown of her own, possibly evening the round up — which ended with her in top position and Lipski fishing for a kneebar. The second round was exclusively a ground battle, and De Padua even landed an illegal upkick, but it had minimal effect. The second round ended with Lipski in a very unorthodox kimura-esque submission, but she was able escape just before the bell. Lipski spent the bulk of round 3 in De Padua's guard. A good match up, even if the fight itself wasn't fireworks. Lipski rightfully won a unanimous decision.
Moving up to featherweight didn't do Renan Barao any favours, as he dropped 3 uncompetitive rounds to Douglas Silva De Andrade. Barao was on the defensive for almost all of the fight, had his face cut and bloodied, and was staggered on multiple occasions in the final round. Barao was able to take De Andrade down a few times, but did nothing with the position and was stood up fairly quickly — and without any advance warning — by referee Osiri Maia. I was impressed that Barao didn't get finished, but this was another tough loss as his career downturn continues apace.
- Douglas Silva De Andrade def. Renan Barao by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Ariane Lipski def. Isabella De Padua by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
- Tracy Cortez def. Vanessa Melo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The early prelims were remarkable only for adding another chapter in the steady decline of Renan Barao. The prelims were decent, but the 'featured' bout between James Krause and Sergio Moraes was pretty bad. The main card fizzled at the main and co-main event, resulting in a "D"-level card as far as I'm concerned. Some good moments but overall a very lackluster event. The upcoming 2 week break in the UFC schedule will be much appreciated after this show.
Published: November 17th, 2019.