UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs Miller Recap
This past UFC on Fox marked the networks third installment and the fights did not disappoint. No one could have predicted the end to the main event Nate Diaz vs Jim Miller or the non-stop three round action of the co-main event Josh Koscheck vs Johny Hendricks. Here is a look back at the entire event’s action and awards.
Fight award honors went to Lavar Johnson, Nate Diaz, Louis Gaudinot, and John Lineker who each received $65,000 for their outstanding performances.
Johnson received “knockout of the night” for his performance against top heavyweight Pat Barry. They kicked off the main card with a bang. It all appeared to be over for Johnson in the first round as he got in trouble early, Barry managed to get him into side control to attempt a key-lock. However, Johnson managed to escape, got to his feet, and just released a flurry of uppercuts and hooks. Barry never got the chance to catch his breath as he got caught up against the cage with nowhere to go. Suddenly Barry went down from the raining strikes and the referee called a stop to the fight at 4:38 of the very first round due to technical knockout (strikes).
Nate Diaz was awarded “submission of the night” for his outstanding and unpredictable stoppage of Jim Miller. After aggressively being out-boxed in the first round, Miller attempted to work more of the ground game in the second but later landed right into Diaz’s guillotine choke. While at first it looked like Miller might be able to get out of it, he drops his mouth guard, and Diaz was able to sync the choke in deeper. Miller had no other choice than to tapout at 4:09 of the second round.
The award for “fight of the night” went to both Gaudinot and Lineker for their crowd pleasing flyweight battle. In the first round they appeared to go toe-to-toe exchanging punches, elbows, and flurries all at once, with perhaps a slight edging out by Gaudinot, who was the aggressor. The second round began with Lineker landing some flurries and strikes of his own and took over the pace of the bout. He then attempted to take the bout to the ground for a submission but instead ended up getting caught in a guillotine choke for his efforts. It was lights out for Lineker as he attempted to get Gaudinot off with a slam but the choke was synced in tight. The bout ended at 4:54 of the second round.
The event originally kicked off with the first preliminary bout Massenzio vs Vemola, a middleweight battle of ground specialists. In the first round both fighters stood and went to the ground in a back and forth like action. Massenzio edged out the first round because he landed the most effective strikes and showed dominance on the ground attempting more submissions. Messenzio started the second with good striking on Vemola, who wanted none of that and quickly turned the tables on Messenzio by taking him down. One false move by Massenzio landed him into Vemola’s submission that ended the fight at 1:07 of the second round via rear-naked choke.
The second bout of the evening was Delorme vs Denis, this one finished quickly just as the first round approached its final seconds. Denis hit Delorme hard, rocked him, and managed to take him down, but then a left hook by Delorme changed the tempo and he had the control. In the midst of a flurry Delorme took Denis down and beautifully locked in a rear-naked choke. Denis was done, taped out, and the fight ended with one second left on the clock in the very first round.
Next up was Bermudez vs Garza who took us through all three rounds for the first “win via decision” bout of the evening. There was little to say about this fight, Bermudez clearly out-wrestled Garza for three rounds, managed to take him down at will, and inflicted as much damage as he wanted. Garza attempted some knees and punches but was stuffed every time and just kept getting taken down. The bout ended via unanimous decision victory for Bermudez, judges scored it 30-27 across the board.
The fourth bout of the night was a lightweight battle between “last call” Danny Castillo and New Jersey’s home town fighter John Cholish. This was a lackluster fight as neither ever really committed to the striking game. Cholish landed some shots and even attempted an ankle lock in the third round. Unfortunately for him he pretty much got out-wrestled for three rounds by Castillo who kept getting the take downs to earn the judge’s decision. All three judges scored the bout 30-27 for a unanimous decision victory for Castillo.
Following the Lineker vs Gaudinot fight was a welterweight bout between well-rounded fighters John Hathaway and Pascal Krauss. In the first round Hathaway inflicted the most damage with a devastating knee to the midsection that clearly rocked Krauss. He recovered quickly to disallow Hathaway the possible TKO victory. In the second, Krauss was much more active throwing some good combos and even showed great defense, but Hathaway returned with some take downs and kept the round close. The third showed Hathaway’s supremacy in the ground and in the standup, he landed good shots and broke Krauss’s nose with an overhand right. Only one judge saw Hathaway win two of the three rounds while the rest saw him win all three rounds for a final judges score of (29-28, 30-27, 30-37) they declared Hathaway the winner via unanimous decision.
The following bout was an interesting flyweight match-up between speedy John Dodson and relentless Tim Elliott. The descriptions could not be more accurate as Dodson pushed the pace, got fancy with jumping kicks, and dominated with take downs in the first. Elliott inadvertently got poked in the eye to pause the action for a bit. The second round had Dodson on the defense while he worked in his jabs. Elliott attempted to electrify the crowd with a fancy cartwheel-like kick which of course did no damage but looked good. He inadvertently got a kick to the groin, paused the fight again but they hugged it out and the action continued on to the third. Elliott dominated, found his range and landed the most, frequent, and accurate shots of the match. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 and declared Dodson winner via unanimous decision.
Last bout of the preliminary card featured two “TUF” veterans in Tony Ferguson and Michael Johnson. Ferguson appeared to be the aggressor in the first round but it was all smokes screens as nothing landed. Johnson stayed calm and edged out the round with kicks and shots to the body of Ferguson. In the second Johnson became more active, threw out more combos, and landed some good shots. The third ends the same as Johnson showed his superior striking. Judges scored the bout a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) victory for Johnson.
Though most of the preliminary card fights went to decision, the main card had some surprising action. The second fight of the evening featured a heavy hitting battle between middleweights Rousimar Palhares and Alan “the talent” Belcher. They don’t call Palhares “the leg lock king” for nothing. As soon as the bout began he wasted no time in taking Belcher right to the ground. Minutes after he synced in that leg lock which Belcher masterfully defended and was able to get out of. Belcher fought for position to get on top of Palhares and started to rain down some heavy ground and pound. The referee saw enough and called a stop to the fight at 4:18 of the first round, winner by TKO (strikes).
Even though the co-main event of the evening earned no awards and was at times to the crowds displeasure lackluster, Koscheck vs Hendricks delivered a three round non-stop action fight. There was no disputing Koscheck out struck Hendricks in the third round but the previous two rounds could have been anyone’s bet. With his “Hendo” like fighting technique Hendricks tried to land his left power punch throughout the first and second rounds. He landed some good shots which clearly left Koscheck with a possible re-injured orbital bone. Hendricks also pressured with take downs when he couldn’t get his big punches to land. The judges scored it (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) and declared Hendricks the victor via split decision.
Overall the event’s main event was full of some devastating strikes, some excellent ground work, and some really outstanding bouts.