(And that’s the end of that chapter. / Photo via Getty)
For an event that was initially much better on paper and seemed certain to disappoint, UFC on FOX 9 came through. The card was entertaining and ended in one of the best knockouts in recent memory.
The notable happenings on the prelims:
Sam Stout out-pointed Cody McKenzie, tenderizing the grappler’s liver and body throughout the 15-minute contest. The bashing of McKenzie’s body wasn’t the most interesting part though. No, the most interesting highlight from the fight was McKenzie wearing sponsor-less shorts with the price tag still hanging off them. Apparently, he showed up without shorts or even a mouthpiece. Pretty sad.
Zach Makovsky defeated Scott Jorgensen via decision. Interestingly enough, Makovsky—a former Bellator champ—didn’t have to prove himself in WSOF to get a shot in the UFC. Funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?
Pat Healy dropped a unanimous decision to Bobby Green. The crowd booed the announcement (or maybe they were saying boo-urns). The decision wasn’t horrible although it was pretty clear Green didn’t win all three rounds (but somehow 2/3 judges thought he did).
Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo elevated the card’s energy level. In the first round, Castillo ran over Barboza like a freight train. He floored the Brazilian striker, unleashed vicious ground-and-pound, and nearly choked him out. Somehow, Barboza survived the torrent of offense and even managed to reverse his fortunes in the second round. In that frame, Barboza made use of leg and body kicks to stymie Castillo and nearly finish him. The third round was a little closer and slower-paced. Barboza walked away with a majority decision.
In the last preliminary fight, rising star and late replacement Ryan LaFlare carved up Court McGee‘s face with pinpoint striking. The Long Islander outworked McGee until the third round, where he started to gas a little bit. But LaFlare’s work in the first two rounds was enough to secure a unanimous decision.
The once-much-better main card began with a mismatch (though it was fun to watch). Joe Lauzon brutalized the hopelessly outmatched Mac Danzig for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory. It was a bloody affair. Lauzon tempered his intensity with caution, not over-pursuing any finishes. Instead, he remained content with control and moderate amounts of damage that snowballed into the end result: Danzig’s face looking like it had gone through a wood chipper.
Chad Mendes and Nik Lentz faced off next. Mendes was his normal studly self early on, but succumbed to the fight’s pace. He won the fight via UD. It wasn’t the prettiest performance though. During a post-fight news blurb on FOX, Ariel Helwani claimed Mendes had a sinus infection (I think that’s the first time we’ve heard that excuse), so maybe that explains it.
The co-main event of the evening pitted Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald. The 22-year-old McDonald was out of his depth. Faber took the first round easily enough. In the second, “The California Kid” stunned McDonald and swarmed him. After a few punches against the staggered McDonald, Faber scored a guillotine finish. It was an excellent display of killer instinct. Faber became an animal when he saw McDonald was hurt.
The main event ended in unbelievable fashion. Demetrious Johnson landed a right hook that lawnchair’d Joseph Benavidez in the first round. It’s undoubtedly the most incredible KO in flyweight history and will likely stay that way for quite some time.
TL;DR – UFC on FOX 9 was supposed to be an incredible free card that demanded our attention. It was still fun due to the performances on the main card, but it could’ve been so much more had the plague of injuries never happened.
Demetrious Johnson def. Joseph Benavidez via KO (punch), 2:08 of Round 1
Urijah Faber def. Michael McDonald via submission (guillotine), 3:22 of Round 2
Chad Mendes def. Nik Lentz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Joe Lauzon def. Mac Danzig via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ryan LaFlare def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Edson Barboza def. Danny Castillo via majority decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Bobby Green def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Zach Makovsky def. Scott Jorgensen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Sam Stout def. Cody McKenzie via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Abel Trujillo def. Roger Bowling via TKO (strikes), 1:35 of Round 2
Alptekin Ozkilic def. Daren Uyenoyama via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)