Fight Night dos Anjos vs. Cerrone

Rafael dos Anjos followed up one of the most surprising wins of 2015, with an exclamation point, destructive TKO win against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in only 1:06 of the first round to retain the UFC lightweight title. dos Anjos landed a kick to the body and followed with a two-punch combo, the straight left landing and rocking Cowboy. dos Anjos then pounced, landing a crazy barrage of punches before the referee finally had to call a stop to the fight.

They said it:
Rafael dos Anjos: “I’m so happy. I just proved that I am here to stay. I’m here with my belt. It’s just the beginning. I have the best team and I am surrounded by great people. Conor McGregor, if you want to come to the lightweight division, know that this is my division. You should stay at featherweight. I will fight you in Brazil. I will go to Ireland to face you.”
Donald Cerrone: “It sucks. I didn’t show up to work. Couldn’t find my gear. He showed up and I didn’t. He did a good job.”

Heavyweight bout: Alistair Overeem defeats Junior Dos Santos
Alistair Overeem used a cautious approach against Junior Dos Santos in the co-main event and it paid off. Overeem landed a counter left hook that sent JDS to the mat and he followed up with a pair of hammer fists before the referee came flying in to stop the fight. JDS wasn’t happy with the stoppage, nor was his contingent of fans in attendance.

They said it:
Alistair Overeem: “Junior is a very dangerous opponent. He throws bombs. He throws strong, so we had to have game plan and figure out his rhythm then slowly pick him apart. He’s very dangerous and strong I had to figure him out I feel confident with the team around me. Thank all of you guys. I feel confident for the next title shot.”

Nate Diaz returned in a big way, taking out Michael Johnosn by unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. Diaz got Johnson to play his game, and in the boxing game there are few that can beat him. His head movement was technical and beautiful. His combinations were glorious. He made Johnson miss and many times Johnson whiffed with huge punches. Diaz outstruck Johnson 136-107 in significant strikes. What a fight!

They said it:
Nate Diaz: “I planned on him coming out fast and hard, so I figured he’d probably slow down. I was just making sure I wasn’t in a hurry and trying to make sure he didn’t get too far ahead. I heard my coach and my corner telling me to open up a bit more, so I was just coasting and trying to be smart instead of reckless.”

Women’s strawweight bout: Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats Randa Markos
Karolina Kowalkiewicz gets the unanimous decision victory over No. 7-ranked Randa Markos in her UFC debut. Karolina improved to a perfect 8-0 in her professional career. Markos was aggressive and brought the fight to Kowalkiewicz throughout all 15 minutes, but in the end Kowalkiewicz demonstrated some world class hand speed and boxing technique, out-striking Markos 108-46 in total strikes and 71-25 in significant strikes. We have another Polish power in the strawweight division.

They said it:
Karolina Kowalkiewicz: “I feel great and this feels amazing. I’m one step closer to my dreams coming true. I still can’t believe this. I had a great camp and I’m so glad that I won. I hope I get back to the Octagon soon. I want a short vacation and then I want to fight, fight, fight. I want to be a champion.”

Charles Oliveira is one of the most feared grapplers in the UFC, with submissions from every conceivable angle, and he pulled off his 13th career sub stoppage at Fight Night Orlando. Oliveira pulled off a standing guillotine choke to submit Myles Jury at 3:05 of Round 1 to give Jury the loss in his featherweight debut.

They said it:
Charles Oliveira: “I trained a lot to knock him out, but during the round, I got in the positon where I was comfortable to work my Jiu-Jitsu and submit him in a guillotine. That’s my specialty.”

Middleweight bout: Nate Marquardt defeats CB Dollaway
Marquardt needed a big win against Dollaway and he got it, knocking out CB with a huge straight right counter punch at 0:28 of Round 2. Marquardt was backing up as Dollaway charged forward and the Great One was able to land the finish blow to end a two-fight losing skid.

They said it:
Nate Marquardt: “I went into this fight working on my mental game. Sticking to technique and not making it an emotional thing. I just focused on points and openings. The first round, I was just closed off trying to see where he was open. I was up against the cage at one point, so he popped me in the mouth but I was fine right after. I feel like I’m back with my coach who I need to be with. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have a lot of skills, but if my basics aren’t there, it won’t work. I’m just excited to be back in the win column. That was probably one of the best fights I’ve ever felt. I was so mentally clear. I felt good, so I’m looking for good stuff to come.”

Making her UFC debut, Valentina Shevchenko made it a memorable one, out-grappling and out-striking UFC/Strikeforce veteran Sarah Kaufman to earn a split decision win with the scores of 28-29, 29-28, 29-28.

They said it:
Valentina Shevchenko: “I took the fight on short notice, so we started my preparation and training really hard. With this short of time, I didn’t get to show everything I wanted or that I was a 17x world champion. I like to fight Muay Thai, and I like to mix different techniques into my training – it all depends on my opponent. Sarah has very good, strong hands and technique. I knew it wasn’t going to be won just by striking, so I had to figure out something clever in the fight. My coach put in my mind: if I can win the standup game, that was good, but to win at grappling would be better. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was five years old, and 22 years of my sporting career are in martial arts. This isn’t just my job, this is my life and this is what I love to do. I knew UFC was a big organization, and there was pressure going into this. But, a fight is a fight and inside the cage, we are all the same. I tried to do the best I can. This fight was good experience for me.”
Sarah Kaufman: “I don’t think it should’ve been a split decision. She deserved to win. I didn’t do enough early on. It’s my own fault and I’m definitely frustrated. I had a great camp and I had a lot to show. I just couldn’t do it tonight.”

Middleweight bout: Tamdan McCrory defeats by Josh Samman
Tamdan McCrory utilized a terrific ground attack from top and off his back before eventually pulling off a triangle choke finish at 4:10 of the third and final round. On top, McCrory moved well and kept the pressure on with big shots at every opportunity, and off his back he put on a BJJ clinic, attacking ferociously and eventually finding the finish.

They said it:
Tamdan McCrory: “There’s always a lot of pressure going into these fights. You have to win. I left and came back six years later, so I didn’t want to look like a scrub. There were a lot of emotions coming into this. I was in a rough place a few years back. I got distracted and had a few hiccups. It’s all about momentum – if you have momentum it’s easy to fight and keep the ball rolling. When you don’t have moment, you’ve got to find it. It’s tough and hard to get motivated. I shot down a few opportunities because I didn’t want to fight at 170. But that whole time, I told my wife I was going to be back in the UFC. I told her: we’re going to get some money and raise some babies. I’ve been telling myself for two years now, every day, I’m going to be back in UFC and I’m going to crush my opponent. Here I am. I said this earlier, the better you are at fighting, the less of it you have to do. My team, we talk about mindset. It doesn’t matter what skills you have or your physique, it’s all up here [in your head]. And that’s what showed tonight.”
Josh Samman: “I gave it everything I had. I really gave it 100 percent. I fought as hard as I could. Everything he threw at me I anticipated, I knew it was going to be very difficult. He was the biggest middleweight I ever fought. He was very similar to me, we both have excellent offense and it was a matter of finding the holes in the other person’s game. I didn’t find his, he found mine. Felt I won the scrambles in the first and the second round and I thought I could do it in the third. I felt I could do it in the third, but he maintained an outstanding pace and I couldn’t keep up with him at the end.”

Nik Lentz won the majority of the wrestling exchanges, most notably executing a terrific throw slam in the first round, and used a higher volume of strikes to win the battle on the feet en route to a split decision victory (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).

They said it:
Nik Lentz: “I’m glad with fighting at 155-pounds. My weight cuts were tough at 145. I should have never been down there. I thought I clearly won, I felt I got in all the shots that mattered and should have won the fight. Overall, it wasn’t the best performance in my life, but every fight is tough in the UFC. I threw a punch early and he made a really weird duck move and I hyperextended my leg a little. He was really tough, but I thought I recovered and definitely won the fight.”

Featherweight bout: No contest ruled between Cole Miller vs. Jim Alers
Cole Miller seemed to be getting the better of things against Jim Alers, using his reach to out-strike Alers throughout the first two rounds. But an inadvertent eye poke by Alers caused the fight to be called due to doctor’s stoppage at 1:44 of Round 2. The bout was declared a no contest.

They said it:
Jim Alers: “I felt like I won the first round. I felt like I was pushing the pace. I kicked him and he fell into it. I’m not sure. I’m really mad. I worked hard on for this. It sucks that the fight had to end that way. I know Cole, he’s a good guy, I don’t think he would have done that (head butt) on purpose. I felt the head butt and I saw blood. I don’t think I had ever seen blood in a fight, but I felt I could continue and told the ref to keep going. I went to school here, my son was born here and I wanted to win for the fans. It sucked that it had to end that way. I really enjoyed training at MMA Masters with the coaches and guys like Samman and Lamas. It’s a really good family atmosphere.”
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Kamaru Usman used his expert wrestling to wear down the UK striker Leon Edwards to collect his second UFC victory and improve to 7-1, taking a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27, 29-28). Usman set up his wrestling game with some nice technical striking. A collection of hooks and straights at various times in the fight that usually led to big takedowns. Usman showed off his wrestling with a few huge power doubles and dominated the majority of the fight.

They said it:
Kamaru Usman: “Just because I’m so hard on myself, I think my performance was a C-. I did not make the Dean’s List. I think I’m better than what I showed. That’s how I train, that’s how I prepare, that’s how much time I’ve put in. This is my life. All of my fights have been finishes and I didn’t get that tonight. It’s just my nature to be this hard on myself. I want to go out there and perform the way I know I’m capable of. I’ve said it to myself countless times and I’ll say it to everyone now; before I’m said and done, I will be king of this division. My performance didn’t show that tonight, but I will come back”

Welterweight bout: Vicente Luque defeats Hayder Hassan
Luque landed a nice setup right hand that caught Hassan, who immediately dropped and looked to shoot. Luque saw the opening and sunk in a beautiful Anaconda choke and Hassan was forced to tap with his feet. Hassan drops second in a row by submission.

They said it:
Vicente Luque: “I just wanted to thank God for all of the blessing that have come to me. I didn’t want this fight to go to the judges. With the judges, you never know so I wanted to make sure I finished it. I saw the anaconda choke and I knew it was in. Once I close it, I won’t lose it. I know I have a very good stand up game and because of my heavy hands, my opponents try to bring the fight to the ground and that’s when I see the opportunity to submit them. That’s what happened tonight and I’m very happy everything went as planned.”

After stuffing another takedown attempt from Henrique midway through the second round after a couple successful takedowns in the first round, it was a nasty left uppercut that landed flush from Ngannou to KO Henrique. Ngannou landed another shot before the referee was able to step in. What an impressive debut for the Paris, France native.

They said it:
Francis Ngannou: “This was my first fight in UFC, so I was a little bit nervous. I knew he was going to get tired after taking me down, so I was just waiting for the right moment. I just had to stick to my game plan.”
Luiz Henrique: “Not my day. I’ll be back stronger.”

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.