Woke up a little late and missed a few fights. Here goes –
Dustin Ortiz vs Brandon Moreno
Bruce Lee was like water. Dustin Ortiz is like glue. He really took the fight to Moreno, and was absolutely relentless with his takedowns. Just offered zero distance and brought a stifling game into the cage tonight. Moreno defended well, stayed active and made it back to his feet every time but Ortiz took Round 1. Ortiz followed the same gameplan in Round 2 but Moreno landed a beautiful headkick and immediately followed up on the ground. Got the bodylock and worked to secure a great RNC that put Ortiz to sleep. A really solid performance by Moreno.
Jake Ellenberger vs Mike Perry
Wtf is up with Jake Ellenberger’s beard? Looks like a possum caught fire. Anyway, this should be a good scrap. Ellenberger has been around for a long time and has some good wins under his belt and ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry is the hungry youngster looking to make a name for himself. Ellenberger starts out well. Both fighters trade, and Ellenberger seems to get the better of the exchange. The separate, and holy crap. Mike Perry takes Ellenberger out with an elbow from hell. Didn’t even need to follow it up. Mike Perry has all the makings of the next big KO artist. Some find his attitude and antics annoying, but he gets the job done. In a flashy manner. And that’s what the UFC likes. Massive win for the young up and comer.
Joe Lauzon vs Stevie Ray
I love watching J Lau fight. The dude has been around forever and is tough as nails. I love his story too. Lauzon is a computer science major turned fighter, and calls himself the Mark Zuckerberg of the UFC! http://www.joelauzon.com/about/joe-lauzon-is-the-ufcs-mark-zuckerberg/ I don’t know about the Zuck reference, but there’s not too many guys out there who can beat the shit out of you, and then fix your laptop.
This fight has reached the ground really really fast. Dominant first round for Lauzon. Kept Ray on the ground and constantly attacked from the top. Round 2 – pretty much the same as Round 1. Good pressure, but no threat of a finish really. Round 3 – Lauzon is gassed. And pretty bad at that. He’s completely unable to mount any offense and Stevie Ray begins to land shots. The round ends with a completely exhausted Lauzon simply surviving on guts. It goes to the judges, and Stevie Ray wins by Majority Decision! Round 3 definitely went to Ray but 1 and 2 had to belong to J Lau. Damn.
John Dodson vs Eddie Wineland
This should be fast paced to say the least. Dodson is a really good fighter but his goofy, grinning schtick can be quite annoying. Wineland looks focused as always and the difference in demeanor is stark. Wineland is 4.5 inches taller and has a significant reach advantage. Let’s go. Round 1 – unreal how fast Dodson moves. Constant movement, and almost impossible to hit. Wineland is keeping busy but nothing is landing, and Dodson is seeing a lot more success. Must be frustrating as hell for Eddie. Round 2 – Wineland has no answer for the speed of Dodson. His nose is busted up a bit and Dodson looks fresh as a sprig of basil on a bowl of Pho. Round 3 – Dodson steps up the offense and lands several shots. He’s way too fast, and Wineland simply can’t connect. The round ends and the crowd boos, but it’s a masterful performance and Dodson takes the decision. Acts like a bit of an idiot in the post fight interview. Gets booed again, but hey you can’t deny the fact that the dude has some serious skills.
Ovince St Preux vs Marcos Rogerio De Lima
De Lima has missed weight for the second fight in a row, loses 30% of his purse to OSP. Crazy. This guy needs to figure out if he belongs at LHW or not. He’s massive for the weight class and definitely looks like he can shed a few pounds. Interesting stat – OSP owns 1 of 2 Von Flue choke finishes in the UFC. Need to look up who has the other one. Anyway, let’s see who takes this one. OSP’s post fight celebration is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. Will we see it today?
Round 1 – both guys throwing heavy leather with De Lima looking slightly more aggressive. Pretty sure he won the round. Round 2 – OSP catches a leg kick and takes the fight to the ground. Lands some solid ground and pound and gets in an odd position where he’s literally just leaning on De Lima’s oesophagus. It didn’t even look like a proper submission, but De Lima taps! Crazy shit! No idea where that came from. Really innovative submission win for OSP. Oh no. He’s going to do that goofy thing he does. Is he supposed to be a dog? A cow? What the fuck is that thing? Anyway, it’s good hear chants of OSP fill the arena. We get another look at that choke and I’m still not sure what the hell that is. OSP’s coach chimes in to say that they’re calling the choke a Von St. Preux. Good shit.
Diego Sanchez vs Al Iaquinta
Diego is one of the originals of the sport. He won the first season of TUF and he’s still fighting. Iaquinta is coming off a really long layoff. Will he show signs of ring rust? Diego Sanchez is the Shia LeBouf of MMA. Comes out with his typical “Yes” chants and comes across as completely crazy. Fight starts and the guys trade shots. 1 min 38 seconds in, Iaquinta lands a killer right cross and drops Diego. Diego pops back up, chomps down on his mouthpiece and it looks like we’re in for an classic insane Sanchez throwdown. Iaquinta has other plans though, and lands another right and knocks Diego out. Weird post fight interview. Nobody can make out what the fuck Iaquinta is even saying. Dude wasted his mic time on national TV.
Main Event (5 rounds): Artem Lobov vs Cub Swanson
Props to Swanson for taking this fight. With a record of 14 – 12 – 1, Artem Lobov really doesn’t have the creds to be headlining a card, let alone against a veteran like Cub Swanson. All the marketing has been around him being Conor McGregor’s training partner and it’s pretty obvious how he landed this fight. For what it’s worth, Lobov says he’s looking for a Griffin-Bonnar-esque war. Let’s see if he can back up the talk.
Good first round – Lobov gets the first takedown but Swanson landed more shots, including a nice headkick towards the end of the round.
Round 2 – Wow. I was wrong. The counter says Lobov landed more shots in Rd. 1. Good round for Swanson. Sneaks in a good takedown and goes to work on the ground. Gets the back but is too high up to get the RNC. Lobov makes it back to his feet, they swing some more and the round ends.
Round 3 – Lobov has a good chin on him, man. Swanson is hitting him with some good shots. I’m liking this fight. Both fighters nod and show a sign a respect and trade shots. The ref pauses the action to check a cut on Lobov’s eyelid, but it’s no big deal and they continue. Swanson throws a crazy cartwheel kick that Lobov catches and get’s a takedown to close the round. Good round.
Round 4 – Some good clinch work in this round with Swanson landing a nice spinning back elbow that lands flush. Lobov eats it like it’s nothing. My Chromecast died and I missed the last minute of the round.
Round 5 – Mutual respect shown. Both guys are looking for the knockout. Both guys are tired and bloodied up. Swanson lands some really creative strikes – hook kicks, head kicks but nothing rattles the Russian’s chin. Swanson lands a fantastic Judo throw towards the end of the round and both guys just pour on the action till the end of the fight. Great show. Swanson gets a very well deserved Unanimous Decision win. Classy post fight interview from Cub Swanson who tips his hat to Lobov.
There were times when I thought Swanson could have really poured it on and finished Lobov, but I guess really was the better strategy. If you’re Swanson, would you really risk getting knocked out by such a small name, at this stage in your career? Props to Cub Swanson for playing safe but still managing to turn in a crowd pleaser.
The UFC should be happy with this event. This is just the kind of card you should put on free TV, to pull in casual viewers. So that wraps up UFC Tennessee. We’ll be back with more ramblings. Hope you guys had fun.
Over and out.