It’s been a long time since we’ve had a free UFC event on a damn Wednesday — and tonight’s a good one. Headlined by the welterweight rematch between Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann, UFC Fight Night 27 will also feature the always-game Donald Cerrone in a lightweight battle against the streaking Rafael Dos Anjos, as well as two TUF winners (Kelvin Gastelum and Court McGee) in separate fights, and the return of bantamweight threshing machine Erik Perez. Oh yeah, and Bubba.
Handling the play-by-play for the FOX Sports 1 main card is George Shunick, who will be providing live results after the jump beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and toss your own thoughts into our comments section. Thanks for coming.
Welcome to the live-blog, Potato Nation. We’ve got a solid card for your viewing (err, reading) pleasure tonight, headlined by a rematch between Martin Kampmann and “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit. Both fighters are strong offensively, both on the feet and on the ground. Condit’s probably got better striking defense while Kampmann has the edge in wrestling. The last fight was pretty close, and while the potential for a finish is rather high, this one should be equally well-contested. In addition, we have Donald Cerrone taking on Rafael Dos Anjos, and TUF 17 champion Kelvin Gastelum sees his first action at 170. Suffice it to say, this card shouldn’t lack on action.
Brad Tavares vs. Bubba McDaniel
For all the crap McDaniel – perhaps justifiably – got for his personality on TUF 17, he’s still a decent fighter. He’s not nearly the underdog he’s been made out to be in this fight. Doesn’t mean I think he’ll win. But hey, don’t be surprised if he does. As for Brad Tavares… well, the man has the best takedown defense in UFC middleweight history, so that counts for something.
Fighters touch gloves. Low kick from Tavares. And another. They’re in opposite stances. Tavares goes high, then goes for an inside leg kick. McDaniel circles and Tavares lands yet another outside leg kick. 1-2 from McDaniel who clinches Tavares against the fence. But Tavares maintains his excellent takedown defense and escapes from the clinch. McDaniel lands a cross as he backs Tavares up. Tavares lands another low kick, McDaniel attempts to counter with a cross as Tavares throws another kick, and McDaniel briefly ends up on his back. Tavares lets him up. They exchange and both land. Tavares almost takes McDaniel down but McDaniel grabs a double leg and gets tavares against the fence. McDaniel lands an accidental low blow and they are separated by Dan Miragliotta. McDaniel’s leg is looking red and rather tender. Tavares slips a cross and clinches McDaniel against the fence. Tavares gets underhooks but can’t do much with them. They separate. Tavares lands a nice body kick before the bell. 10-9 Tavares.
Another low kick from Tavares to McDaniel’s lead leg to start. Tavares lands a nice hook to the body after a jab-cross combo. A hook drops McDaniel, but mostly because he was off-balance. He stands and eats another kick to his lead leg. Tavares with a cross counter that lands. McDaniel seems befuddled, but he lands a takedown as Tavares rushes in with sloppy punches. Tavares has butterfly guard and uses it to stand. McDaniel has a front headlock but loses it quickly. They separate. Low kick Tavares. Counter jab drops McDaniel as he was kicking. He stands. More kicks from Tavares. McDaniel simply isn’t doing anything to deter Tavares from abusing his legs. McDaniel lands a left hand lead and almost lands a takedown but Tavares reverses. Tavares stands and kicks McDaniel’s legs as he stands. McDaniel is stood up. Round ends, 10-9 Tavares.
Turns out McDaniel’s lone knockdown in the last round came from a headbutt. It’s that kind of night for him. But he tags Tavares with a left that wobbles him! However, he immediately clinches and Tavares quickly has him pinned against the cage. Not terribly smart. They break. McDaniel eats a shot to the groin and goes down. They pause the action but soon resume. McDaniel beginning to push forward now. He finally manages to land a double in the middle of the ring. McDaniel passes to half guard almost immediately. Tavares works from the open half guard and regains half-butterfly guard. McDaniel passes back to half-guard as Tavares half-heartedly pursues a kimura from the bottom. There’s a scramble, and Tavares ultimately regains guard. Tavares looks for a triangle to no avail. McDaniel passes to half-guard, and he needs a submission quickly. He’s not looking for one, though. He passes to side control, but he’s put back in half guard. McDaniel simply can’t get separation as the round ends. 10-9 for McDaniel, but it comes too late to save him. Should be 29-28 Tavares.
The judges concur. Brad Tavares is your victor by way of unanimous decision. No surprises there.
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Erik Perez
Mizugaki is coming off a justly deserved split-decision over Bryan Caraway. (Just savor that for a moment, will you?) Perez is coming off a victory of Byron Bloodworth, who has unfortunately never managed to quite live up to how epic his name is. Who wins this fight? In a year, I’d definitely say “Goyito.” Right now? Who can say. Mizugaki is a legitimately tough human. It’s a sizeable step up for the Mexican prospect. Should be interesting to see how he responds.
They touch gloves. Both men land hard shots in the center of the ring. Big left hook from Perez following a leaping Mizugaki cross. These guys are throwing heat, if not necessarily connecting most of the time. Big right from Mizugaki lands. Flying knee from Perez. His nose is already bleeding. Counter hook from Perez lands. Big right from Mizugaki as Perez goes from a flying knee. After an exchange, Perez runs through Mizugaki with a takedown. Mizugaki tries to wall-walk with his shoulders against the cage, but Perez is keeping him down. Goyito lands a knee to the body as Mizugaki stands. Perez quickly lands another takedown and they’re in the same position. Mizugaki stands again and reverses position. Perez catches a low kick and pushes Mizugaki back into the fence. He’s able to land a takedown, again in the same position. Again Mizugaki stands. Big double leg from Mizugaki, who finds himself in side control. Goyito looks to stand, but Mizugaki sinks one hook in and looks to take Perez’ back. Now he lets him up against the cage, and Perez reverses position. He lands a knee and works for a single. Mizugaki goes to a knee, then stands as the round ends. 10-9 Perez in an excellent round.
Mizugaki counters a kick with a cross. Then a flying knee with a hook. He lands a cross-hook ombo on Perez. Another hook lands. Perez misses a spinning back kick. Mizugaki misses a big overhand, but he lands a counter right off a kick attempt from Perez. Mizugaki stuffs a double leg attempt. Mizugaki lands a knee as Perez shoots for another. Mizugaki escapes and they reset. Perez is beginning to slow. Mizugaki lands two counter left hooks in quick succession. He shoots for a double, but lands a shot as he returns to his feet after being stuffed. Perez returns with an overhand of his own. Big counter left hooks from Mizugaki. That’s been his money punch this round. He stuffs another Perez takedown against the fence. Mizugaki is down to his knees, but he’s still not down. Perez lands a nice knee to the body as Mizugaki stands. Big counter cross to Perez’ teep. Uppercut from Mizugaki as Perez shoots. Mizugaki sprawls as the round ends. 10-9 Mizugaki, who’s beginning to take over this fight.
Low kick from Perez. Mizugaki lands a counter overhand. He’s dominating these exchanges. Perez lands a teep. Mizugaki slips a Perez cross and lands a big counter hook. He uses the momentum to land a takedown, before they stand again. Perez goes for a takedown, but Mizugaki quickly stands. Perez grabs a guillotine, Mizugaki drops to the ground before returning to his feet. They alternate positions on the fence before Mizugaki lands a takedown off double underhooks. He tries to pass, but only ends up in half-butterfly guard. Mizugaki looks to take Perez’ back after Perez tries to stand. Mizugaki looks to secure an RNC, but Goyito somehow manages to position himself out of harm’s way. They exchange as Perez stands, and then attempts a takedown of his own. Mizugaki is trapped on the fence, and manages to stand again. Mizugaki achieves the dominant position on the fence. They swing to the bell. Close round, but I’d go 10-9 Mizugaki.
Split decision, all 29-28′s, for Takeya Mizugaki. He deserved it. Perez has plenty of time to improve, though. And if both men keep fighting like this, they won’t have to worry about their jobs any time soon.
Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
Court “Matt Brown 2.0″ McGee (don’t worry Matt Brown fans; Matt Brown is something like “Matt Brown 7.0″ right now) looks to get some momentum going after ending a losing streak in his last fight. That said, I’m too impressed with Whittaker’s recent finish of Colton Smith to think that’s gonna be the case. I’ve got Whittaker by decision.
McGee comes out firing kicks. He lands a low kick and shoots for a clinch. Whittaker separates. McGee clearly looking to push the pace early. McGee lands a right and then a body kick. McGee lands two hard leg kicks. Counter jab from Whittaker lands. Then a lead jab lands. Lead right lands. Whittaker beginning to loosen up. He lands a short counter left hook. McGee lands a cross, thena low kick. Whittaker lands a lead right. Whittaker drops McGee with a counter left hook as McGee shoots for a takedown! But McGee quickly recovers. But Whittaker really beginning to land his jab. McGee answering with kicks, most of which are blocked. McGee lands a takedown, but Whittaker easily stands and separates. McGee is cut on the side of his head. Whittaker with a teep. Whittaker lands an over the top elbow as McGee enters to land a combination. Whittaker with a coutner left hook. McGee’s shot is stuffed, but he lands a nice body kick. 10-9 Whittaker, who landed the cleaner shots.
McGee again sets the pace. He looks for a spinning backfist, but it’s blocked. Whittaker goes down from a McGee counter, but it’s just a slip. BUT NOT THE SECOND TIME! McGee lands a straight right that drops Whittaker. Whittaker stands, but McGee is constantly pressuring him and lands a nice uppercut. Now McGee clinches and lands a nice upward elbow as they separate. McGee lands a takedown and goes to take Whittaker’s back. Whittaker escapes. He lands a nice elbow in an exchange. Jab from McGee. Inside elbow from Whittaker. McGee shoots for another takedown, but its stuffed on the fence. McGee lands some uppercuts as they separate. Whittaker is slowing. Nice counter left from Whittaker. Now a counter elbow. Then a counter hook. Whittaker’s lead hand is his best weapon. Whittaker doubles up on his elbow. Whittaker making up for lost ground in this round. They exchange jabs. Whittaker checks a low kick and follows up with a cross-jab combo. They exchange. 10-9 McGee for the knockdown, but Whittaker closed in the end of the round.
Right-left from Whittaker. He lands a jab. Doubles up on the right with an elbow then a backhand. McGee lands a nice hook. Spinning back kick to the body from McGee. A jab stuns Whittaker as the latter rushes in. Cross lands from McGee. Both men land jabs. Whittaker lands another one, more forcefully. Whittaker rushes in with hooks and crosses that land. But by and large, the pace has slowed. McGee’s takedown attempt is stuffed. Whittaker lands a hook and uppercut. Both men are throwing, but not landing as much. Whittaker lands two solid counter hooks, though.Both men throw inside elbows. McGee really bringing the pressure, but he’s not landing much. Whittaker lands a nice inside elbow. Low kick and jab from McGee. Another elbow from Whittaker. Cross lands for McGee. Big exchange by both men at the end. Much like the fight, Whittaker seemed to land the cleaner strikes, at the expense of McGee’s sheer output. I favor the former. 10-9 Whittaker.
30-27, 29-28, and 27-30 (ugh), for the winner, Court McGee. I disagree, but not with any significant amount of vehemence. Let’s move on…
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Brian Melancon
Brian Melancon can strike! Kelvin Gastelum can wrestle! Which will win?! If I had to hazard a guess… I’m going with Gastelum here. But Melancon’s Fedor-esque finish of Seth Baczynski should be fresh in Gastelum’s mind here.
Touch of gloves. Melancon flashes leather. He lands a cross as Gastelum enters his personal space. But the second time, Gastelum lands the takedown. Melancon uses the fences to stand. He escapes. Cross to the body from Melancon. Gastelum lands a double leg, but Melancon stands immediately. Right hook lands for Kelvin. Left hook misses for Melancon. Knee to the body from gastelum. BIG COMBO from Gastelum! He drops Melancon, takes his back and gets the RNC. Takes about one second for Melancon to tap. It’s over. Gastelum rushes him with straights before dropping a dazed Melancon with a left uppercut. He smelled blood and finished instantly. An impressive performance from Kelvin Gastelum.
Oh look, it’s a Matt Brown – aka Matt Brown 7.0 – sighting! Clearly, he was unimpressed with Court McGee’s performance.
Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
This one should be “Cowboy” Cerrone’s to lose. He’s got the advantage in striking, wrestling, and quite possibly submissions as well. Rafael Dos Anjos has a shot if he gets on top and passes Cerrone’s guard. That’s no easy feat. Frankly, I think Cerrone manages to either garner a finish or a dominant decision. Either way, Dos Anjos’ face won’t look too pretty in the morning.
NO GLOVE TOUCH! Low kick from Cerrone. He goes high but Dos Anjos evades. Dos Anjos returns with one of his own, which is blocked. Cerrone misses a knee. nice jab from Dos Anjos. Body kick from Anjos, then an overhand. Cerrone with a knee. Front kick from Cerrone. Then a teep. (Yes, there’s a difference.) Body kick from Dos Anjos. Knee from Cerrone. Dos Anjos with a hookk as they break. Cerrone catches a kick and returns with a low one. Body-head combo from Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos’ kick is blocked. Teep from Cerrone. BIG HOOK DROPS CERRONE! Dos Anjos lands a takedown. Cerrone goes for a triangle, but Dos Anjos escapes, scrambles, and ends up in half-guard. Cerrone regains guard and works for submissions. Dos Anjos tries to pass, but ends up in guard. He lands some nice elbows from the top. Now he works some punches. BIG ELBOW to the head. He is tooling Cerrone with those. Round, 10-9 Dos Anjos.
Low kick checked by Dos Anjos. he lands a body kick. Another body kick. Cerrone lands a leg kick. Then a jab. Dos Anjos barely misses a right hook. He lands a low kick. Cerrone returns with one of his own. Knee lands from Dos Anjos. Then another body kick. He’s working those. Thena nother. Front kick to the body from Cerrone. Cerrone shoots for a takedown! He lands it and sets up in half-guard. Dos Anjos controls his posture though, and looks to sweep. Cerrone survives the scramble, however, but Dos Anjos manages to stand. Now Dos Anjos shoots for a double. Cerrone defends against the cage, and they exchange knees as they break. Jab lands from Cerrone. Body kick from Dos Anjos is blocked. Elbow from Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos lands a double off the fence. Cerrone has butterfly guard, now full guard. Dos Anjos doesn’t land the same type of ground and pound as he did at the end of the last round, but he still takes this one. 10-9 Dos Anjos.
They touch gloves. Dos Anjos kick sails over Cerrone’s head. A leg kick drops Dos Anjos. That sounded hard. He stands. Cerrone’s takedown attempt is stuffed. He misses a knee as Dos Anjos looks to counter with that right hook. Cerrone with a straight to the body. Front kick to the body again. Body kick from Cerrone. Another one lands, but Dos Anjos catches it and looks to land a double. Cerrone defends, however, and is positioned against the cage. He escapes. Cerrone has two minutes to finish. He lands a low kick, but subsequently eats a right hook. Low kick from Cerrone. Then a switch head kick that lands. Dos Anjos looks for a single but nothing comes of it. Cerrone lands a knee to the body. Cerrone mocing forward. He lands a straight to the body. Another low kick lands. Dos Anjos lands a big right hook. Dos Anjos circles away as the round ends. 10-9 Cerrone, but it won’t be enough. Rafael Dos Anjos should take this fight.
Well, I look stupid. Dos Anjos took advantage of Cerrone’s upright posture and capitalized by hitting Cerrone with body kicks and turning the stand up into boxing exchanges when possible. The judges concur that Dos Anjos was the superior fighter, awarding him an unanimous decision with 29-28′s across the board. Alright; time for the main event.
Martin Kampmann vs. Carlos Condit
There’s no way this fight will suck. No way. I don’t care that I just jinxed it. It’s jinx-proof. I’ve got Condit here. Dude’s improved in the years since he’s faced Kampmann. Kampmann hasn’t. That said, I’m wary of Kampmann’s takedowns and submission ability. Condit’s got great submissions and submission defense, but Kampmann’s guillotine is a weapon that Condit doesn’t really have a comparable answer for. Condit survived a few of those in the first fight, but it only takes one. That said, I think Condit will be able to wear Kampmann down and finish him late, in the fourth or fifth round.
Kampmann immediately shoots for a double. Condit resists, but Kampmann lands a trip. Condit working high guard, looking for submissions. Now he’s going for a leglock. Kampmann escapes. We’re back in Condit’s guard. Kampmann stands and lands some middling ground and pound. Condit’s guard is dictating the action, though. Condit attempts to stand, but gets tossed back to the ground. Kampmann looking for Kampmann’s back. But Condit escapes and ends up in Kampmann’s half-guard. Kampmann stands but eats an elbow. Kampmann turns him around and pushes Condit into the fence. He lands yet another takedown and Condit immediately works for a kimura. Condit working from open guard, but there’s not much going on. Kampmann considered a leglock, but Condit uses this opportunity to stand. He lands a few elbows and they separate. Condit misses a spinning back kick, but lands a left hook. Kampmann answers with a single leg, however. Condit works for a triangle as the round ends. 10-9 Kampmann.
Jab from Kampmann lands. High kick from Condit is blocked. Kampmann misses a single leg, and Condit misses a spinning back kick. Both land jabs. Jab from Kampmann. The jab is landing for him consistently. Condit can’t close the distance. Condit lands some punches, but Kampmann clinches and looks for the takedown. It’s unsuccessful, but he lands some shots as they separate. Condit lands a 1-2-3 however. Now Condit clinches and tries to take Kampmann down. It doesn’t work. Still, he’s beginning to find his range. He lands a hook and an uppercut. Kampmann lands a hook of his own. Then a cross. Kampmann is bloodied. Wading in, Kampmann eats a big right. Jab from Condit. Then a cross lands. He’s taking angles, while Kampmann is fighting strictly linearly. A high kick is barely blocked by Kampmann. Kampmann lands a cross. Then another. Spinning back fist from Condit. Kampmann shoots for a double. He can’t get it, and Condit almost takes his back. They separate. Low-high kick combo from Condit. Condit stuffs a takedown and lands a knee. Bell sounds, 10-9 Condit.
Jab from Kampmann. Front kick to the face from Condit, but it doesn’t faze Kampmann. Kampmann wades forward with strikes, clinches, but Condit escapes and lands a right. High kick from Condit blocked. Kampmann shooting for a single and he gets it. Condit immediately postures up from bottom, though. He uses the cage to stand. Condit with a flurry as they separate. Switch low-high kick combo. Condit tees off on Kampmann against the fence. He stuffs a Kampmann takedown. Jab lands for Condit. Low kick Condit. Then a jab-cross combo. Condit is taking over. Left hook lands on the bloody Kampmann. Jab lands. Uppercut. Kampmann misses a high kick. 1-2 from Condit. Condit’s brining the pressure. He’s landing at will. Kampmann is beginning to wobble. Flying knee lands from Condit. Kampmann clinches and looks for the takedown. Condit almost has a front headlock choke! But Kampmann somehow spins out! But Condit takes his back and sinks in an RNC! But Kampmann escapes! Condit maintains position, though. Now he mounts him. He lights Kampmann up as they stand. 10-9, perhaps even 10-8 for Condit even without a knockdown.
Kampmann lands a brief takedown, but Condit immediately stands and escapes. Left hook rocks Kampmann! Condit unloads on him against the fence! The muay thai clinch spells Kampmann’s doom, as knees drop him and Herb Dean steps in. Carlos Condit takes his revenge in brutal fashion.
Carlos Condit proves he’s still just short of the best in the welterweight division. He’ll get another title shot eventually. On a more personal note, I’d just like to thank him for finishing Kampmann when I predicted, saving my fragile ego from my previous terrible prediction. Anyway, that’s that for tonight. Fox Sports 1 gets another excellent card, the fans get another excellent card, Martin Kampmann gets another migraine. Enjoy your Wedesday nights, Potato Nation.
Preliminary card results:
- Dylan Andrews def. Papy Abedi via KO, 1:32 of round 3
- Brandon Thatch def. Justin Edwards via TKO, 1:24 of round 1
- Darren Elkins def. Hatsu Hioki via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
- Jason High def. James Head via submission (guillotine choke), 1:41 of round 1
- Zak Cummings def. Ben Alloway via submission (D’Arce choke), 4:19 of round 1
- Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo ended in a no-contest at 4:59 of round 2. Trujillo landed an illegal knee and Bowling was unable to continue.