Valentina Shevchenko submits Julianna Pena with an Armbar
Tonight in Denver, CO at UFC on FOX 23, the top two ranked female Bantamweights clashed in the main event. In what was being billed as a title eliminator the winner would be in position to challenge Amanda Nunes for the championship. Here are your UFC on FOX 23 Results
Julianna Pena (8-3) faced off against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2) and they immediately found themselves clinched against the fence. Pena delivered some solid knees in the clinch to open the fight. Great timing by Shevchenko as she swept the leg as Pena was kneeing. Pena was able to scramble and find her feet again. Shevchenko with the same takedown and lands some heavy punches and hammerfists from top position. Valentina held top position for the better part of two and a half minutes, and as time expired Pena attempted an armbar but time expired. Good first round. Close, I scored it for Shevchenko.
More clinching against the fence to start the second round. Pena told her corner that her shoulder was bothering her between rounds. Pena continues to land knees, and momentarily takes Valentina down. They fought against the cage in the clinch position some more. Pena throwing knees, and again took Shevchenko down. Pena tried to posture up and throw, but she was unable to land any telling shots. The two fought for position a bit, and Shevchenko threw up an armbar, and just like that, Pena was forced to tap! Huge win for Valentina Shevchenko.
Jorge Masvidal finishes Cowboy Cerrone in the 2nd Round
Donald Cerrone (32-8) had been perfect since his switch to Welterweight. He was 4-0 with all four fights coming by stoppage. Tonight he met Jorge Masvidal (32-11) in what was assumed to be a fight of the year candidate. Wow…what a first round. Both guys came out firing. Cerrone landed leg kicks and jabs, while Jorge landed some big counter shots, including one at the buzzer that dropped Cerrone. Cerrone was hurt, really hurt and and nearly finished. It looked like Herb Dean waved it off. The bell rang to save Cerrone. Or did it? It did. Unbelievable.
Masvidal came out in the second round and repeatedly hit Cerrone. He stung him with a straight left. Cerrone wasn’t looking like he was recovered. Jorge Masvidal landed a big right hand that dropped Cerrone again, and this time referee Herb Dean had to jump in and call a stop as Masvidal unloaded on a dazed Cowboy.
For Jorge Masvidal it was a huge win. He will undoubtedly shoot up the rankings and find himself in the title contention mix. For Cowboy, it’s a step back, but he will undoubtedly be back to put it on the line again before you know it. Great fight, delivered as expected. Monster win for Masvidal.
Francis Ngannou knocks out Arlovski in 92 seconds
Francis Ngannou (10-1) is a monster on his feet and was fighting another striker in Andrei Arlovski (25-14). It didn’t take long for youth to be served. The fighters stood and exchanged a few jabs and then Arlovski missed a shot and Ngannou landed a left hand on the temple of Arlovski. He followed it up with a right hand and Arlovski crumbled to the mat. It was a dominant performance from Francis Ngannou, who is making a ton of noise in the Heavyweight Division.
Jason Knight submits Alex Caceres with a Rear Naked Choke
Alex Caceres (12-10) was coming into this fight after headlining UFC FN 92 in a loss to Yair Rodriguez. Tonight he faced Jason Knight (17-2) who was riding a two fight win streak. Jason Knight came out and landed some heavy punches in the first round. Caceres used speed to counter Knight and landed some shots of his own. Knight landed a big shot that knocked Caceres off balance and to the mat for a moment. He followed that with a big slam and took Alex’ back, and sunk the hooks. He looked to have the arm under the chin but Alex popped out as the round ended. It was a fun first round that I scored for Knight.
The second round saw the action again hit the mat. Knight applied a body triangle and used the position to land big punches and elbows while looking for a rear naked choke. Knight applied it, didn’t have it and released it. He continued to punch away, controlling Caceres with the body triangle. Knight was not letting go, and after a few more punches, he once again applied the choke, squeezing hard. Caceres was forced to tap out to avoid being choked unconscious.
“Smilin” Sam Alvey defeats Nate Marquardt in lackluster clash
Nate Marquardt (35-17) put his experience to task in a tough fight with Sam Alvey (30-8). Two of the undisputed nice guys in MMA, didn’t exactly tear it up in the first round. There was a lot of feeling out, jabs thrown and kicks launched. In the end, not much happened, and the Denver crowd let them know they weren’t entertained.
They started to turn it up in the 2nd Round and both fighters landed heavy combos. However, after a spirited start to the round, things died down a bit and they did a lot of standing and looking. Marquardt’s left eye started showing some damage, and was bleeding. Alvey fired a nice combo that stunned Marquardt as the round ended. It looked to be enough to decisively win the round.
Marquardt’s face was looking worse for wear to begin the third round. Nate landed a big right hand to open the third. Nate was able to wrestle Alvey to the mat, and immediately took Sam’s back. They were right against the fence, and Marquardt didn’t have a lot of room to operate. Alvey was able to explode up to his feet with two minutes and change remaining. Nothing of note took place in that final two minutes and we went to the scorecards again. The referees saw the fight for Sam Alvey, who won a Unanimous Decision.
Rafael Assuncao edges Aljamain Sterling by Split Decision
Raphael Assuncao (24-5) entered this fight with Aljamain Sterling (12-2) looking to rebound from a loss to TJ Dillashaw. Sterling was also looking to come back from defeat, having lost to Bryan Caraway in his last fight. Both fighters exchanged a series of low kicks to start the fight. Aljamain was the victim of a low blow, and that paused the action in round 1.
Round 2 saw another low blow land by Assuncao, but the referee didn’t see it and the fight continued. Assuncao opted not to jump on his injured opponent in what was a show of class. The first two rounds were close, and some of the Denver crowd was getting a little angry at the lack of excitement. It was a lot of kicks, and feints. There was action, but nothing compelling.
The final round saw more of the same, Sterling was the aggressor, moving forward for much of the round. Sterling landed more in the third, and as the bell rang to end the fight, the winner was in doubt. When the judges tallied their cards, it was Rafael Assuncao who earned the victory via split decision.
Valentina Shevchenko defeats Julianna Pena by Armbar at 4:29 of Round 2
Jorge Masvidal defeated Donald Cerrone by TKO at 1:00 of Round 2
Francis Ngannou defeated Andrei Arlovski at 1:32 of Round 1
Jason Knight defeated Alex Caceres by Rear Naked Choke at 4:21 of Round 2
Sam Alvey defeated Nate Marquardt by Unanimous Decision
Raphael Assunção defeated Aljamain Sterling by Split Decision.
Li Jingliang defeated Bobby Nash by KO at 4:45 of Round 2
Jordan Johnson defeated Luis Henrique da Silva by Unanimous Decision
Eric Spicely defeated Alessio Di Chirico by Triangle Choke at 2:14 of Round 1
Marcos Rogerio de Lima defeated Jeremy Kimball by TKO at 2:27 of Round 1
Alexandre Pantoja defeated Eric Shelton via Split Decision
Jason Gonzalez defeated J.C. Cottrell by D’Arce Choke at 3:54 of Round 1