(Yeesh. That thing never gets easier to look at, does it. / Image via MMAJunkie)
Also known as the TUF: The Smashes Finale, tonight’s UFC card is coming to you live from the Gold Coast, and will feature the season’s lightweight and welterweight finals. (Remember, these are the Brits and Aussies. The “Let Me Bang, Bro” cast gets its big send-off tomorrow in Vegas.)
If you happened to read our brutally honest breakdown of the fights, you know that there’s not much on the line this evening outside of those lovely glass trophies. But at the very least, the lead-off fight between Hector Lombard and Rousimar Palhares should be memorable. Unless it isn’t, which is also possible.
Our own Matt Kaplan will be throwin’ down round-by-round results from the FX main card, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and if you’re watching along with us, please throw your own bullshit into the comments section.
Please stand by…
Hey now. Mk here. Before we get to the liveblog, I just want to say how glad I am that these fights are on tonight. I have two little kids, so the more I hear/see/learn about the school shooting in Connecticut, the more furious/helpless/nervous I become. Once again, MMA is a welcomed respite – for a few hours, at least – and I’m sure I’m not the only one here at CP whose thoughts and prayers are with the families whose lives were forever changed today.
Now let’s get ready to watch some guys fight. Who ya got?
And the fighting robots can only mean one thing: “It’s time!” So cheezy.
Anik and Florian are once again behind the mic, kinda dressed alike too.
Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares
Rd. 1) We’ve got two short, stumpy thumpers going right here. I’m excited for this one. Lombard takes the center of the cage and opens with some kicks and punches, and Palhares accepts the invitation. Lombard misses a wild, leaping hook. Palhares is kicking low…and again…and is dropped by a Lombard right. Palhares circles away to his right and is being stalked by Lombard, who’s looking for a big left.Lombard connects with a big left and Palhares is down. Lombard is in his guard. Lombard is up and lets Palhares up. Lombard is peppering Palhares with big punches against the fence. Palhares is down again. More monster shots. He’s out. Lombard wins it with strikes (Rd. 1. 3:38). Damn, that was a nasty left from Lombard when Palhares was against the fence.
Lombard calls out Bisping in the post-fight interview. I’m down for that.
(That Southern Comfort commercial with the fat dude in the speedo is unreal.)
Colin Fletcher vs. Norman Parke
Rd 1) Joe Martinez is silky on the mic, as usual, and we’re off. Parke wades in with an overhand left and clinches Fletch before pressing him against the cage. He takes down Fletcher, who gets right back up and stuffs another takedown attempt. Woops, Parke trips him down again and is in Fletcher’s half guard, up against the cage. Fletcher is working for a kimura but Parke defends it without issue. Parke is still in half guard and can’t seem to pass. Big elbow from Parke to Fletcher’s face. Parke is in north-south position but passes to half. Fletcher spins out for a second – a scramble – and now it’s Fletcher with side control. He drops a few punches before the horn.
Rd 2) Both men land some early low kicks. Again Parke throws the overhand left, clinches, and moves Fletcher to the fence. And there’s the takedown. Is Fletcher going for a heel hook? Nope. Parke is in side control again. Park is going for a one-armed guillotine, but Fletcher escapes. Parke now has Fletcher mounted, takes his back, but Fletcher escapes and is up on his feet. Parke lands a big left to the side of the head of Fletcher. Knee from Fletcher. Fletcher is throwing plenty of low kicks, but Parke lands some heavy punch combinations. Parke seems to be throwing with much more conviction – and power. Parke gets a takedown just before the round ends.
Rd 3) Kicks to the legs from Fletcher, punches to the head from Parke. Fletcher is swinging upstairs, but no luck. Parke ducks and counters. Solid left from Parke; Fletcher counters with a kick. Fletcher’s left eye is bleeding. Fletcher lands two punches on the jaw, but Parke counters with a left hook. Fletcher lands a left hook to the body. And a knee to the body. Parke has slowed a bit, it seems, and Fletcher is fighting as he should with a minute left. Parke hits two quick takedowns and has Fletcher’s back. Fletcher is up, and the fight ends with Parke pressing Fletcher against the cage. Norman Parke takes the unanimous decision and is the Smashes lightweight winner. Mazel tov on the new contract, Stormin.
The FX show The Americans looks like it could be pretty cool, no?
Robert Whittaker vs. Bradley Scott
Rd 1) Jeers for Scott. Cheers for Whittaker. Both men sample some kicks and punch combinations before Scott presses Whittaker against the fence. Whittaker knees as Scott presses. The crowd is anxious. Whittaker spins away and throws a big, glancing left hook. And another that lands clean on the nose of Scott. Nice right from Whittaker. Scott fires a right down the middle. Whittaker kicks hard at the lead leg and just misses with the right. Whittaker charges in with punches, drops Scott, but Scott is up, and both men are toe to toe. Scott presses forward against the cage. Whittaker is off the cage and counters a Scott right with three hard shots. Knee to the body from Scott, and a big Whittaker left hook lands at the horn.
Rd 2) Both men are firing punches early, and Scott again wants to press against the fence. Whittaker ain’t having it, though. A lead left uppercut and a follow-up right land for Whittaker. Whittaker kicks Scott in the junk, so we’re taking a breather. And we’re back. Scott lands a kick to the body. Some good dirty boxing from both men. Scott trips Whittaker and has the Aussie’s back. Scott is landing some short punches and knees. Scott has two hooks in and is dropping punches. Whittaker nearly sneaks out the back door. Yup, he’s out. Scott is pressing and Whittaker is bloodied. Whittaker lands a good left hook; Scott moves Whittaker against the cage once more. The round ends with Scott and Whittaker trading heavy leather.
Rd 3) Big left hook just misses for Whittaker. Whittaker is looking to turn the lights out with these punches. Scott moves in with punches, but Whittaker counters with hard combos. Whittaker is turning it up with nasty elbows. Scott lands a counter hook. Nasty elbow from Whittaker, followed by a 2 and a 3. Whittaker is getting the better of these exchanges. Scott jabs, Whittaker pounds. Whittaker attacks with a left uppercut that snaps back the head of Scott. Here’s a barrage of punches from Whittaker, and the crowd loves it. Hooks from Scott, elbows and straight punches from Whittaker. Great fight. Close, too. The judges award the unanimous decision victory to local boy Robert Whittaker, your new Smashes welterweight winner.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson
Rd 1) There will be no touching of the gloves in this one. Pearson fires some lead left hooks; Sotiropoulos slips and misses with he counter right. Pearson hits the kick to the inside of the lead leg. Big right form Pearson. Sotiropoulos is wobbly. Damn. Sotiropoulos pushes Pearson against the fence and is looking for a takedown. Knee from Sotiropoulos. both men trade rights. Pearson is landing hard punches and Sotiropoulos backs him off for a second with a close-range knee. A Pearson leg kick puts down Sotiropoulos, who gets right back up. Pearson might be smelling the big KO. Sotiropoulos is keeping his hands up as Pearson fires away. Sotiropoulos grabs a double, drags down Pearson, but Pearson gets back up. Uh oh. Sotiropoulos has Pearson’s back as Pearson is standing beside the fence. Pearson bucks Sotiropoulos off, but Sotiropoulos regains bach control as the round ends.
Rd 2) Sotiropoulos seems to have recovered. Pearson kicks low; Sotiropoulos counters with a straight right. High kick from Sotiropoulos. Body shot from Pearson. Pearson is winding up for the big one, it seems. Both men trade jabs. Sotiropoulos is finding his distance with the left jab. Another high kick from Sotiropoulos. Pearson lands a hard body shot with the right hand. Sotiropoulos counters, but a Pearson left hook drops Sotiropoulos. Sotiropoulos is wobbled again. Pearson’s left hook is getting through. Pearson slips after a left kick, but regains his footing. Another big Pearson left hits before the round ends.
Rd 3) A left hook from Pearson drops Sotiropoulos right away. Sotiropoulos gets up, but Pearson is hammering away. A straight left and a clobbering right hands drops Sotiropoulos, and the ref calls it off after Pearson lands one more right hand to a downed Sotiropoulos. Wow. Big power from Ross the boss. Ross Pearson wins via TKO at 41 seconds into the third.
Not a bad night of fights, CP. See you next time. Mk.