UFC has an action packed card for Memorial Day weekend.
There isn’t a ton of news out this early before the show, but last night, Chris Weidman said that he thought Vitor Belfort was still cheating.
Also, the Rose Namajunas vs Nina Ansaroff fight, which was on the Fox Sports 1 prelims, is off as Ansaroff weighed in heavy last night and she wasn’t cleared to fight today because of the flu.
We’ll be back for live play by play of the main card later tonight.
John Moraga Vs Joseph Benavidez
The UFC messed up on the graphic. They showed Henry Cejudo rather than Moraga.
Benavidez dropped him immediately and followed up trying to set him hop for a north/south choke, but in the transition, Moraga snuck out. Benavidez powered him back down with a takedown. There was some wild wrestling action late or as Alex Goff says, fighting for an inch.
Moraga was pretty good on his feet for the first part of the round, but soon he was fighting off Benavidez, back against the cage, bloodied, and eventually on his back and fighting off Benavidez’s elbows in side control.
Third round was similar to the second. Moraga withstood a lot of pressure and was doing well on his feet, but once it went to the ground, Benavidez owned him. He should win a unanimous decision.
Winner: Joseph Benavidez by way of unanimous decision
All three judges had it 30-27 for him.
Andrei Arlovski Vs Travis Browne
What a wild fight. Arlovski knocked him loopy early and the Browne never had his feet underneath him. Arlovski used a sweet uppercut/straight right combo and also a backfist and looked more like a backhanded slap. Browne threw a miracle right hand that put Arlovski down, but Browne couldnt really follow up because he was still loopy. Arlovski got back to his feet and pounded Browne against the fence and it was stopped.
Winner: Andrei Arlovski by way of 1st round TKO
John Makdessi Vs Donald Cerrone
Cerrone looks 5 or 6 inches taller than Makdessi. He kicked his thigh to death and landed a head kick that buckled him. He also used his long reach advantage to jab Makdessi at will.
The ending to this fight was quite weird. Cerrone was clearly winning the fight and having his way with him. He blasted Makdessi with a knee to the jaw and then Cerrone threw a leg kick that hit the side of his head. He called timeout in the middle of the cage and it was stopped. It looks like he may have broken his jaw.
Winner: Donald Cerrone by way of 2nd round TKO
Vitor Belfort Vs Chris Weidman
Welp, that was kind of how you expected it to happen. Weidman got himself in a small bit of trouble early by taking a couple chances and Belfort was able to land a few punches. Weidman figured that it was about time to end the nonsense and took him down, mounted him, and destroyed him with punches. Belfort didn’t fight the position and paid for it.
Winner: Chris Weidman by way of 1st round TKO
Daniel Cormier Vs Anthony Johnson
Holy crap. Johnson landed a right hand that sounded like a gun shot. I thought it was over. He missed a wild shot that allowed Cormier to shoot in and start working a takedown. It also allowed him to catch his breath a bit. Johnson broke away and landed another big punch and missed a head kick. Cormier was able to push him up against the cage to end the round.
Johnson came out throwing haymakers again and landed a high kick. Cormier picked up Johnson and dumped him and started to work on his top game. He was in Johnson’s half guard and working for a kimura. Cormier unloaded on him with punches and elbows and Johnson was a bloody mess as the round ended.
Johnson wasn’t long for the fight. He tried to stay on the feet, slipped, and Cormier went to work. He eventually took his back and tapped him out.
Winner: Daniel Cormier by way of 3rd round submission
Cormier cut the money promo at the end. He said, “Jon Jones, get your shit together. I’m waiting for you.”