(Well I hope you’re happy, Wanderlei.)
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to our liveblog for UFC on FUEL TV 9 — or as we like to call it, “The event that Alexander Gustafsson’s eyebrow murdered.” Luckily it’s free, and there are still enough decent scraps on the card to make up for the utter randomness of the headliner, including Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture, Matt Mitrione vs. Philip De Fries, and Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza.
Heading up today’s play-by-play is George Shunick, who will be sticking live results from the “Mousasi vs. Latifi” main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest, and please throw down your own thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for being here. We definitely owe you one.
Thanks to some technical difficulties, you’ve all be spared from an unnecessary snarky introduction paragraph. You lucky bastards. On that note, let’s get right into the action…
Akira Corassani vs. Robbie Peralta
Both fighters come out tenatively. Corassani using feints and head movement, and lands a nice counter right. Corassani constantly moving, and lands a low kick. He evads a combo from Peralta. Low kick Corassani. Peralta rushes in and lands. As Goldie and Kenny Florian note, Corassani’s clearly benefited from training with Frankie Edgar. They exchange on the fence, and Peralta closes the distance. Lands a nice a uppercut and they clinch against the fence. They separate and Corassani lands a nice one-two. Peralta catches a kick and throws a nice knee. Big overhand right from Corassani. He looks for another, but it merely clips Peralta. Nice left from Peralta. Both land with strong punches. Corassani remains active with kicks. Now he rushes in for a takedown, but eats a knee for his efforts. They clinch along the fence. Peralta lands a solid knee and gains dominant position against the cage. They break and the round ends. 10-9 Corassani.
Corassani circles, catches a kick and counters with a right hand. Peralta going for leg kicks now, and Corassani counters with his own. Corassani catches another kick and follows with the same counter. He defends a takedown from Peralta and grabs a Thai clinch. He lands a knee and they break. Corassani looks for an overhand right that grazes Peralta. Corassani lands a big left hook counter, but Peralta lands his own shortly after. He lands a HUGE left hook immediately after, and Corassani slowly drops. He returns to his feet, but Peralta clinches and lands some serious knees to the body. Corassani turns the tables, as he reverses position against the fence and works for a single leg. He almost lands a trip, but Peralta stands. Peralta lands a nice elbow in the clinch and begins to work the body. BIG SHOT from Corassani that leaves him out on his feet. It was the overhand right. They clinch, separate and Peralta lands a jab. Nice left hand from Corassani. Peralta lands a low kick at the bell. 10-9 Corassani in a close round.
Corassani rushes forward and eats a counter left. He’s headhunting with that overhand now, and his movement has suffered. Peralta lands a leg kick. Then a right hand from Peralta followed by a big shot to the body. Corassani doesn’t like where this is heading and opts for the takedown. Peralta works for a kimura, to no avail. He manages to stand, but is immediately taken down via a trip. However, he stands, and they alternate position against the fence with nothing significant landing for either fighter. Corassani is cut, and works for a takedown, switching from double to single to double. It fails, but as Peralta tries to grab a Thai clinch and land a knee, he loses his balance and Corassani capitalizes with a takedown. He passes to half-guard and the round ends. 10-9 Corassani, who should take this unanimously.
30-27 on two scorecards and 29-28 on one for Akira Corassani. No surprise there, Corassani held an edge throughout most of the fight. What the hell is going on with Kenny Florian’s hair? It’s as if the front of his hair became self-aware and attempted to escape his scalp, only to be met with the cruel reality that it was unable to do so, though too stubborn to relinquish the hope of freedom. Which is a rather long-winded way of saying it looks really weird.
Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza
Not really sure what to think about this one. Brandao has the capability to finish, but he’s inconsistent. Garza’s getting on in mileage, but he’s got cardio, reach and skill on the ground. I suppose I’ll favor him.
Brandao lands a solid low kick to start. Garza returns with a head kick, which is blocked. Brandao tries to close the distance with a leaping left hook, but it misses. He lands a solid left hook to right cross combo, though. Garza lands a solid low kick followed by a one-two. Brandao swarms, and eats a knee. Brandao grabs Garza and slams him to the ground with authority. Garza works from half-guard, but does not secure a sweep. Brandao passes to side control, landing short shots from the top. He sinks an arm triangle and Garza almost taps… and he does! Brandao secures the submission in arguably the most impressive performance of his career.
Brandao tells Kenny Florian’s Hair something about “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the blood.” Didn’t really understand anything beyond that. Moving on, we get to see Marcus Brimage get his ass handed to him by Irish phenom Connor McGregor via brutal uppercuts.
Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton
Mike Easton can an extraordinarily frustrating fighter to watch. He over-utilizes head movement and throws punches too far away to connect and rarely initiates any serious action. Fortunately, Brad Pickett will handle that last part. The man is dynamite personified. Should be a barnburner, with Easton perhaps playing the role of the barn.
Picket lands a low kick. They both exchange low kicks. Picket lands a nice counter left hook. Pickett pushing the pace so far. Easton lands a nice kick to the mid section, but gets tossed down. He grabs and leg and works for a takedown, and they end up against the fence. Easton lands a nice knee, and then lands a trip against the fence. Pickett manages to stand on one hand, though, and stands. He lands two solid elbows and reverses position. They separate. Nice low kick from Pickett, then a jab. Nice left hook from Easton, misses with a high kick. Now Pickett looks for a takedown. Easton stops it and lands a high kick. They exchange jabs. Easton lands a combo, but Pickett answers. Easton lands a takedown under a punch from Pickett, but Pickett quickly stands. Both men land. Now Pickett works for a takedown and lands it. The round ends, and it was competitive. Not entirely sure who I’d give that to, so I’ll say 10-10.
Easton lands a left hook followed by a right hand. He shoots for a takedown, but Pickett counters with uppercuts. Nice high kick from Easton, followed by a takedown attempt. He grabs a Thai clinch and lands some knees. Pickett with a nice body shot. They constantly exchange in the center of the ring. Pickett has really brought out the best in Easton. Uppercut-hook from Pickett. Pickett lands a double, but Easton pops right back up. They’re against the fence, and Pickett is working for another takedown and lands it. Before this fight, no one had managed to take Easton down. Still, Easton just pops back up and lands a nice knee. Pickett answers with a powerful combination against the fence. Easton shoots for another takedown and lands it. He passes to half-guard and works for a kimura. Pickett manages to stand, though. Pickett attempts another takedown but it’s stuffed. They exchange in the middle of the Octagon, but Pickett, tiring, backs into the fence and Easton follows. Big spinning elbow from Easton, but Pickett answers with BIG punches. They swing against the fence, both men landing heavily but Pickett gets the best shots in. Another close round. I’m really not sure who’s winning this right now, but I’ll lean Pickett slightly.
Both man land left hooks following slips Spinning back kick from Easton. Pickett remainging active with punches, while Easton lands a solid knee to the midsection. Easton now seems to be tiring as well. Overhand right from Pickett. Easton lands a takedown, but Pickett reverses and ends up in Easton’s guard. Huge moment in this fight. It’s the first time Pickett’s managed to keep Easton down. Easton is not terribly active from the bottom, and Pickett manages to pass to half-guard. Works short punches from the top, and begins to posture up. As Easton turns, Pickett gains a body lock and SLAMS him once Easton stands. Pickett working a front headlock now, as Easton turtles, waiting for an opportunity to stand. Easton stands and lands a solid left hook. Uppercut from Pickett. He pumps his jab again and lands a big right. Pickett lands a solid knee. They exchange for the final twenty seconds, each man landing big shots. Excellent fight. 10-9 Pickett in the final round, and I believe that will be enough to win him the fight. Still, let’s see what the judges have to say…
29-28 for Easton, 30-27 for Pickett and 30-27 Brad Pickett’s Hat tells Kenny Florian’s Hair that his coaches probably weren’t pleased with his hyper-aggressive style and shouts out to his fellow English pub regulars. Good on him. Weird scores, but in a way they’re understandable. Still, the right guy won.
Matt Mitrione vs. Philip De Fries
Can we take a minute to talk about how terrible Kid Rock’s Harley commercial is? “I can’t hear you over the rumble of my freedom”? Expect that to be the campaign slogan for a fringe Tea Party Republican Presidential candidate in 2016. You heard it here first. Anyway, heavyweights…
De Fries shoots for a takedown, but it’s stuffed. De Fries inexplicably crumples on another takedown attempt and Mitrione swarms brutally. Fight’s over, but I have no idea what happened. Heavyweights, bro.
Philip De Fries appears to have KO’d himself by running into Matt Mitrione’s hipbone. Hopefully there won’t be a post-fight interview with Kenny Florian’s Hair after this one. Although it would be hilarious if this somehow won KO of the Night. (Connor McGregor would not find this nearly as amusing.)
They do an interview. Matt Mitrione pretends to speak through his translator, Chris Lytle. Groan. Then he says he almost got arrested last night. And he speaks really fast. Well, that’s that. Now we get treated to a solid fight between Michael Johnson and Reza Madadi to pass the time.
Vadim Finkelstein at a UFC event? Fedor vs. Anderson Silva at MSG in 2013. It’s happening. After all, it’s impossible that a wealthy Russian MMA promoter would be unable to obtain his own tickets to an MMA event on his own, just because he enjoys the sport.
Ross Pearson vs. Ryan Couture
Gotta feel bad for Ryan Couture. Has a legacy he can’t possibly live up to, and he’s probably going to get lamped by Ross Pearson. Hey, at least he’s in the co-main event!
Couruew shoots for a takedown and gets a body lock. He pushes Pearson into the fence, and works some short knees. Pearson reverses position, but only momentarily. He is unable to extricate himself from the cage, as Couture continues to throw knees. Couture works for a double leg, but to no avail. Couture lands a nice elbow and some more knees, then switches for a single. He lands it, but Pearson stands immediately. They’re back on the fence, but finally separate. Right from Pearson is blocked. A high kick from Pearson is blocked. Couture answers with a front kick. A spinning back kick from Couture. (Never thought I’d type that.) Still, most of Couture’s stanup is ineffective. Pearson lands a flying knee, but as a result is back with his back on the fence. Big knee from Pearson from Pearson, though, causes a separation. He follows with a big left hook. He did the most damage, but I’d still favor Couture in that round. 10-9 Couture, but Pearson has the momentum.
Pearson immediately takes the center of the Octagon and lands a jab. Nice right hand from Pearson. And another. Pearson is clearly more comfortable this round. Nice left hook from Pearson, but Couture lands a solid knee then initiates a clinch. They’re against the fence, and Couture lands a solid knee. Both men work to the body and Couture lands a solid combination punctuated by a left hook. Pearson uses an excellent slip land a body shot, then a strong right cross. Another body shot from Pearson. Couture shoots for a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Nice right from Couture. Nice left hook from Pearson. Right to the body from Pearson. Pearson catches a Couture kick and takes him down. As Couture stands, Pearson catches him with a right straight, and he rocks Couture! Pearson is unrelenting and brutalizes Couture, who drops, turtles and the referee steps in. Ross Pearson wins in emphatic fashion.
Pearson tells KFH he broke his foot prior to the fight when he kicked his coaches elbow. Which is a pretty miserable injury to have. Kudos to him. And now time for the main event…
Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi
Personally, I favored Mousasi over Gustafsson when that fight was announced. Needless to say, the late minute replacement hasn’t done much to shake my confidence in “The Dreamcatcher.” (But that nickname… ugh.) Still, imagine if Latifi – a 20-1 underdog – could pull off the upset. Latifi enters to the “Rocky” theme, winning the Most Obvious Entrance of the Evening Award. KFH says Latifi could come out of nowhere, “like Daniel Cormier” before he beat Antonio Silva. I’m sorry, people knew who Daniel Cormier was before he beat “Bigfoot.” Let’s not pretend otherwise. Mousasi enters with the countenance of a man who just really, really wouldn’t mind if you would just let him grab 10 more minutes of sleep before he has to go about his day.
Low kick from Mousasi. Jab from Mousasi. Another low kick. Latifi fires back, though, even if he doesn’t connect. Latifi goes for a takedown, but it’s stuffed and he finds himself against the fence. They break. not mch action, just Mousasi stalking Latifi. Low kick from Mousasi, followed by a one-two. Another jab snaps Latifi’s head back. Latifi looks for a huge overhand, but misses by a mile. He lands a nice counter left hook, though. Right hand from Mousasi, who’s beginning to loosen up. Another right lands. Left kick lands to Latifi’s leg. Mousasi doubles on his jab. He continues to push Latifi back. Another jab. Latifi goads him on, but Mousasi doesn’t care. He continues to jab away as the bell sounds. 10-9 Mousasi.
Mousasi just goes back to throwing his jabs. And they’re still landing. Latifi lands a left, but it doesn’t faze Mousasi. Another jab from mousasi. It’s the story of the fight so far. Goes to the body with it now. Big right from Latifi. Again, Mousasi is unfazed. Mousasi lands a nice left hook, and Latifi thinks better of exchanging. Mousasi lands a right straight and sprawls on Latifi’s takedown attempt. Latifi’s face is getting bloodied now from these jabs. He is relentless. Nice low kick from Mousasi. More jabs. Unending jabs. Infinite jabs. Latifi may have injured his right hand somehow. 10-9 Mousasi.
Jab. Low kick from Latifi. Jab. Right cross from Mousasi followed by a low kick. High kick misses from Latifi. Jab. Jab. Jab-cross. Low kick from Latifi. Jab. Jab to the body. Jab. Jab. Jab-cross. Jab. Low kick from Mousasi. And another. Jab. Latifi throws a nice right hand. Jab. Jab from Latifi! Jab. Jab. Jab. Jab. Jab. Low kick, Latifi. Jab. Mousasi walking aroun with his hands at his waist. Jab-cross. Jab. Jab. Cross. Jab. Latifi’s face is horrendous. Mousasi went for a low kick, Latifi catches it, and Mousasi just decidees to fall down. He has a conversation with his corner, but Latifi doesn’t take too kindly to that. He lands some solid shots, stands and eats a major upkick for his trouble. The round ends, 10-9 Mousasi. Apparently, this is only three rounds, so to the judges we go…
Mousasi wins 30-27 on all cards. He tells KFH he was injured and had a cold. He mentions he may have been guilty of the standup equivalent of lay-and-pray. Ilir Latifi’s face begs to differ. Anyway, that’s it for
tonight today! Enjoy your evenings, Potato Nation.