Jones and Matyushenko. Rogan and Goldie. Munoz and Okami. Arianny and the other girl. Gomi and Griffin. Big John McCarthy (!), assuming he hasn’t been completely relegated to the dark card. It’s been far too long since the UFC has graced us with their presence — particularly on free TV — and it feels good to be hanging with the old gang again. Live round-by-round results from the Versus broadcast will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. Refresh your browser every few minutes for all the latest, and leave us your insightful feedback in the comments section. And please, no unrelated comments about how boring Jake Shields is. At least for one night. Come on, guys, let’s be adults here.
And we’re live in San Diego. The lightweights will open the main card, with both guys trying to avoid a second straight loss.
Takanori Gomi vs. Tyson Griffin
In the intro package for Gomi, they show the one good punch he landed on Florian, three times in a row. Gomi is rockin’ the ginger look, and bouncing around like an excited little kid. Griffin’s skin is as orange as Gomi’s hair.
Round 1: Gomi attacking the body with punches. Griffin scores with a pair of counter-punches. Gomi lands a right hook to the body. He’s slugging. And he lands a hard right hook to Griffin’s chin that shuts Griffin off. Tyson lands face down and the ref jumps in as Gomi dives in to finish. The Fireball Kid climbs the fence ans starts screaming at Dana White. Griffin tries to protest the stoppage. You know, after he wakes up. Early front-runner for KO of the Night. Welcome back, Takanori. Gomi def. Griffin via KO, 1:04 of round 1.
Gomi says he considers this his first fight in the UFC. When he fought Florian, he didn’t know how to "fight American," and now he does. They show the replay of the knockout, and man, Gomi put everything into that hook.
John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger says that Howard’s luck has finally run out, and that "he’s got away with some stuff." Howard guarantees that this will be Fight of the Night. Anybody else getting these "Ocean City Maryland" commercials? It’s enough already. I will never, ever go there. Howard will be giving up five inches in height, but only one in reach. Bruce introduces "Jake! Ellen! BURGER!!!"
Round 1: Ellenberger rushes in with punches off the bell, but Howard swings back and clinches. Ellenberger puts Howard’s back against the fence and starts throwing knees to the body. Howard returns one to Ellenberger’s head. The crowd already boos the clinch. More knees from Ellenberger. Howard’s stuck, and Herb Dean eventually breaks them. Howard comes in firing bombs, and Ellenberger transitions from a clinch to a double-leg. Ellenberger lands in Howard’s guard and throws down an elbow. And another. Now the crowd is booing the ground-fighting, but Ellenberger is doing well controlling Howard and doing a bit of damage from the top. Herb decides to stand them up. Ellenberger works his jab. Howard dashes in and gets clinched and taken down once again. Ellenberger in half guard, trying more elbows. There’s the bell. Clear 10-9 for Ellenberger.
Round 2: Howard lands a head kick that seems to shake Ellenberger up. Howard follows up with punches and Ellenberger wisely takes Howard to the mat with another smooth double. Howard considers a guillotine, but loses it. Ellenberger in half guard. He lands an elbow to Howard’s face. Howard establishes full guard. Another big elbow from Ellenberger. Howard tries to set up an armbar, but he’s not even close. Howard tries to roll off his back, but Ellenberger stays on top, and lands a couple nice punches. Ellenberger slugs to the ribs. The crowd hates this fight. Howard springs up and tries to take Ellenberger down. Ellenberger defends, but Howard storms forward and lights him up with punches. Ellenberger scores the takedown, once again. Another sharp elbow from the top. And again. Howard’s left eye is horribly swollen. Ellenberger stays on top of Howard, throwing down short punches. Another 10-9 for Ellenberger.
Round 3: Howard catches a kick, separates, and throws a huge flying knee that smashes Ellenberger against the fence. Ellenberger skates out of danger and they’re boxing. Ellenberger gets one more takedown. Howard has no answer for them. Ellenberger goes back to the GnP. Herb pauses the fight to get Howard’s nasty eye checked out. The doc says he can’t see and that’s all she wrote. It’s too bad; Howard does his best work in the last five seconds of fights he’s losing. Ellenberger was right about Howard’s luck coming to an end. Howard was wrong about this being Fight of the Night. Ellenberger def. Howard via TKO (doctor’s stoppage), 2:21 of round 3. Ellenberger offers to do the fight over again, for some reason. The crowd responds with a collective "Noooooooooo…"
They show the Charles Oliveira vs. Darren Elkins fight from the prelims, and man does Oliveira know his jiu-jitsu. Elkins scores an early takedown and Oliveira snatches a triangle-armbar off his back, bear-trap-style. It’s over in just 41 seconds, and Oliveira is ridiculously psyched. His victory speech is "Hello UFC, hello San Chiego, no speak English, thank you!"
Chael Sonnen checks in for an interview. Joe Rogan asks him if he writes down his trash talk before he says it. Sonnen stays on message and cuts a nice promo about how he’s going to take Silva’s belt and get him fired by the UFC.
Round 1:Munoz scores first with an overhand right. Okami throws a right hook. A tense opening. Okami with a straight left. And another, that has Munoz on his heels. Munoz whiffs a big head kick. Okami with another left. Munoz shoots low and Okami sprawls and escapes. Munoz attacks with punches and another takedown attempt, which he converts. But Okami quickly gets up and they clinch against the cage. Munoz working for a single-leg. Okami shakes out and lands a knee to the body after they separate. Munoz with another single-leg attempt. Okami sprawls at the bell. I’d give the round to Okami. It took a long time for Munoz to get going.
Round 2: Okami with a 1-2, and a wide uppercut that misses. Munoz with a kick to the body. Munoz with another single-leg attempt. Okami sprawls and works his way free. Okami throws a combo to the head and body, and Munoz clinches. They separate. Munoz drops Okami with a left hook, but Okami quickly gathers himself and scrambles up. Munoz chasing and punching. Munoz with a stiff right. He shoots and Okami sprawls. Okami throws some punches to the side of Munoz’s head. Munoz doesn’t want to give the leg up, so they’re at a stalemate. Okami throws in more punches. Munoz grabs Okami’s waist and finally drags him down at the bell. Close round, but I say Munoz evens the score thanks to the knockdown.
Round 3: Okami throws leather, Munoz tries a takedown but fails. Okami with a great punch combo and Munoz covers up, possibly stunned. Munoz drops to his knees and bounces forward for a completely jacked takedown attempt. Okami avoids and opens up with punches when they’re back on their feet. They clinch briefly. Munoz with another single leg attempt that gets rebuffed. Munoz slips to the mat and Okami seizes the opportunity, diving on. Munoz gets out. Okami tries for a single-leg of his own, but it doesn’t work out. More punches land from Okami. Munoz looks exhausted. Okami batters Munoz with more punches, and the hometown fighter drops for a desperation single leg. Okami sprawls and beats Munoz’s ribs. Munoz is tenacious. He won’t stop trying to put Okami on his back. Okami with punches to Munoz’s head and body. Okami grabs Munoz’s head as they come up and scores with a knee as the last horn sounds. I’m giving that one to Okami.
Okami def. Munoz via split decision. (29-28 Okami x 2, 29-28 Munoz) Not a fight that’s going to propel Okami to a title shot, but it wasn’t his fault.
Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Whoa, "Judo" Gene Lebell is a judge for this match. Again, Jon Jones has a 10.5 inch reach advantage. SMH.
Round 1: Jones is doing this weird Anderson Silva-stance thing. He jabs to the body. He lands a nice leg kick, then a reverse kick to the body. Jones closes the distance and takes Matyushenko down. Vlad briefly threatens the arm, but loses it. Jones passes to side control, then a mounted crucifix. Uh oh. Jones jackhammers down elbows to the head of a completely defenseless Matyushenko until the fight is stopped. Jones def. Matyushenko via TKO, 1:52 of round 1. Jones says he wants a tough, top-ranked guy for his next fight. Joe tries to push him to name somebody specific, but Jones says that Joe Silva does a good job, and he’ll just leave the matchups to him. "You stay classy, San Diego" Jones says. Flawless victory.
So who do you give him next? The winner of Lil’ Nog vs Bader? The winner (or loser) of Rampage vs. Machida? Let us know how you feel, and thanks for reading. We’ll talk more tomorrow…