Brock Lesnar came close but names like Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson carried Boxing to a prominence mixed martial arts has yet to reach. Saturday nights encounter could be a step in the right direction towards changing that as the two best heavyweights in the game will lock horns for a second time at UFC 155.
Gray Maynard (10-1-1) vs. Clay Guida (29-12)
Just like Nucky Thompson did many years earlier, Clay Guida and Gray Maynard will try their luck on the Atlantic city boardwalk in pursuit of UFC glory. While both fighters are coming off losses, they fall under a different set of circumstances. Guida’s loss to Benson Henderson cost him a title shot while Maynard’s knockout defeat to Frankie Edgar denied him the lightweight title and gave him the first loss of his career. Pre-fight drama has uncharacteristically in their case, reared its ugly head as Maynard’s camp filed a protest with the New Jersey Athletic Control Board complaining about Clay Guida’s hair. To avoid any commission entanglements to focus on the fight, Guida will braid his hair. Maynard told MMAJunkie.com “I never filed a complaint” and “This was the first I’ve ever heard about it.”
(Coverage I provided at gerweck.net)
UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Color Commentators: Jon Anik & Kenny Florian
– Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft (Referee: Herb Dean)
Pat Barry throws a leg kick and but Morecraft catches it and takes him down. Morecraft is on top and is working for the rear naked choke. Barry turns away and gets back to his feet and lands three stiff jabs. Morecraft ate a few leg kicks as he attempts to shoot for thetakedown. Morecraft shoots again and takes him down and ends up on top in the full mount. He works for a head and arm choke but Barry escapes and Morecraft lands an arm bar but Barry steps over to the right and escapes. Barry misses a head kick and Morecraftthrows a left hook and Barry slips it to land a right hook that drops Morecraft. Jumps on him to land three more punches and Morecraftis out and the ref steps in to call it.
Winner: Pat Barry via KO @ 3:38 of the 1st round.
Pat Barry said during the post fight interview that he knows everyone says James Toneyis his BJJ coach but he proved he can escape submissions and he is here to put on a show. Barry also gave a shout out to all the plankers out there.
– Mike Easton vs. Jared Papazian (referee Mario Yamasaki)
There is some bad blood coming from Easton in the pre fight interview. He says he is going to make Papazian’s UFC debut a debacle. This bantamweight fight is under way and Easton runs to the center of the cage and they are not wasting anytime and swinging for the fences while tied in the clinch. Easton holds Papazian against the fence but Papazian sinks the under hooks and reverses Easton. They continue to land punches and knee in the thai clinch against the fence. The ref breaks it up and they restart in the center. Papazian is keeping him at bay with jabs while Easton is looking for his range with combinations. Easton misses a spinning back kick and eats a left hand for his trouble. Easton lands a thunderous leg kick and they trade punches once again in the thai clinch to close the round.
Papazian lands two straight right hands and Easton took it like it was nothing and lands a leg kick. Papazian is circling away from Easton’s power but Easton lands a nice left hook. Easton is control the cage while Papazian is looking for an uppercut. Easton lands another leg kick and a nice right hand and pins Papazian against the fence. Papazian reverses while lands some knees to the body. The fans boo andYamasaki breaks it up right away to restart the fight in the center. Easton uses a three punch combo to get Papazian against the fence and secures the takedown. Easton peppers away at Papazian while in half guard until Papazian gets back to his feet. The round ends with Easton stuffing a Papazian takedown and winds up on top to land a few more punches.
The competitiveness fight this fight is pretty good as both fighters are keeping a non stop pace. They trade some punches in the center of the cage until Easton pushes Papazian against the fence and Easton lands a knee as the ref breaks up the fight for a restart. Papaziansays the last knee hit him low and takes a few seconds to rest. The fight continues and both men are trading punches back and forth in the clinch. Easton has found his range while Papazian is finding the mark with the uppercutt on the inside. Man, these guys are fighting in close and only using a small amount of the octagon. Easton lands several leg kicks and drops Papazian with a right hand but Papazianpops right back up but looks stunned. They clinch and Papazian gains control against the cage. Easton escapes and they trade back and forth, again, for the last 30 seconds. This will be a tough fight to score.
Winner Mike Easton via majority decision 29-28, 30-27, 29-29
Easton in the post fight interview says he knew Papazian was tough and he knows he has a lot to work. Says he will continue to work his way up to prove he belongs in the UFC.
– Duane Ludwig vs. Josh Neer (referee Josh Rosenthal)
Ludwig caught Neer with a right hand as he came forward but Neer secures a bodylock and works for the takedown. Ludwig avoids thetakedown and hits Neer with another right hand and follows up with a knee to the body and Neer is hurt but signals to the ref that he lost his mouth piece. Fight stops. Ref inserts mouth piece and we resume. Neer eats some serious shots until Neer shoots for a high single and takes him down. Ludwig tries to create some distance with his legs and Neer jumps into his guard. Ludwig tries to get back to his feet but Neer sinks and locks up a high elbow guillotine choke. The ref checks Ludwig’s right arm and he is out and the ref calls it.
Winner Josh Neer via submission at 3:04 of the first round.
Neer said in the post fight interview that he wanted to stand and trade more but Ludwig was getting the better of him and he had to look for the takedown. Says his biggest strength is that he doesn’t like to lose and will to whatever it takes to win. This is Neer’s second straight win in the welterweight division and will fight whoever the UFC puts in front of him.
They air a video package hyping UFC PRIMETIME featuring an inside look at Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 143 on 2/4/12. Jon Anikinterviews Dana White about the primetime series and White says they are two completely different people outside the cage but the same exact person inside the cage. White says Diaz is a fighter who truly wants to do nothing but fight and is looking to finish you.
– Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller (referee Herb Dean)
Pre-fight interview hype, Miller says there is not a guy on the planet he can’t finish when he fights at his best and Guillard guarantees he is going to finish Miller. Miller comes out to “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Melvin gets the lights out superstar entrance treatment and “Fire Breazze” by Al Bizzare is his entrance music of choice.
Tale of the Tape
Miller 155 lbs
Guillard 156 lbs
Guillard misses two flying knees and drops Miller with a left hook. Miller presses forward and with a takedown attempt but Guillard uses his power to stop the take down and lands another knee and right hand. Miller pushes Guillard against the fence but can’t take him down. Guillard pushes him off and lands a right hand down the pipe and goes for another flying knee but Miller catches him and takes him down. Guillard fights back to his feet but Miller is still on on his back with his hooks in. Miller takes away Guillard’s balance and Miller cranks Guillard’s neck and moves it enough to get his forearm under the chin for the choke and Guillard taps out.
Winner: Jim Miller via RNC @ 2:04 of the 1st round
Post fight interview: Miller says Melvin is tough and there are a lot of people in lightweight and “the other division” who don’t want to fight him. Says he is the most dangerous lightweight in the world and is ready to prove it against anyone. Also asks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers for his nephew (son of UFC middleweight Dan Miller) who is going through medical issues.
– Nick Denis vs. Joseph Sandoval (referee Josh Rosenthal)
They air the first prelim from earlier in the night and Denis opens with some combinations. Sandoval fires back but take a few punches for his trouble. They are tied up in the clinch and Denis unleashed and plethora of elbows and Sandoval is out cold before he hits the ground.
Winner: Nick Denis via KO at 0:22 of the 1st round.
– Ariel Helwani interviews Pat Barry in the locker room and Barry says wrestling and BJJ will always be his weakness. Also says that everyone thinks the Deathclutch is done since Brock Lesnar retired but they are wrong and Deathclutch is moving forward.
– Ariel Helwani interviews Josh Neer and Ariel informs Neer that Ludwig said he spit his mouth piece out on purpose. Neer denies it and says he fought for 30 seconds after the mouth piece fell out. Says he is not going to call anyone out but he wants his next fight to be against a tough veteran.
– Prelim results
Daniel Pineda beat Pat Schilling via RNC @ 1:37 of Round 1
Fabricio Camoes beat Tommy Hayden via RNC @ 4:03 of Round 1
Charlie Brenneman over Daniel Roberts via unanimous decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Kamal Shalorus via RNC @ 2:08 of Round 3
Jorge Rivera defeated Eric Schafer via TKO due to strikes @ 1:31 of Round 2. (Rivera announced his retirement from MMA before the fight and will go out with a win)
Bonuses $45,000 for each fighter
Fight of the Night: Barry vs. Morecraft,
Submission of the Night: Jim Miller
Knockout of the Night: Nick Denis
$45,000 for each fighter