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We had yet another issue of a bad weight cut and missing weight that has changed the main event from a middleweight title fight to a non-title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. The fight should still be stellar, but the non-title stipulation does take a little bit of sting out of it.
Rafael dos Anjos faces Colby Covington in an interim welterweight title belt. It’s interim because Tyron Woodley has been out with a shoulder injury.
For whatever reason, CM Punk’s fight with Mike Jackson is still one of the most talked about fights on this show. It will probably look closer to amateur MMA than a pro bout, but because the former WWE superstar is back in the octagon, eyes are open.
Mike Jackson Vs CM Punk
Jackson is looking to keep it standing and in striking distance. Punk looks slow. He did land a lead right hand and to get the clinch, which is his game. Jackson is able to land punches, but every time Punk puts his head down, he’s easily closing the distance. Punk got a takedown after Jackson threw a right hand right as Punk was shooting. The round was close, but the round was very ugly.
Punk’s nose is bleeding. Jackson hit him with a right hand and Punk reacted in slow motion. Punk tried for a very sloppy guillotine. Jackson was making fun of him while carrying him and then dropped him down. Punk was throwing punches off his back and Jackson was punching him without even looking. This is the most amateur round in the recent history of the UFC.
The third round was CM Punk being exhausted and Mike Jackson being disinterested in finishing him. It’s almost like they had a handshake agreement in the back or something.
Winner: Mike Jackson by way of unanimous decision
Tai Tuivasa Vs Andrei Arlovski
Arlovski looked good early on. He landed a few punches, but ended up immediately on his back and in Tuivasa’s mount. Somehow Tuivasa was bleeding like a stuck pig. Arlovski tied up his arms and nothing was happening except Arlovski was getting bled on. Back on the feet, Tuivasa started to land some nice shots. Arlovski went down with one of them. Arlovski took the others well.
Both guys landed big shots in the second. Tuivasa hit Arlovski with a left hook that I thought would’ve clearly dropped him, but he stayed up. He landed some nice shots of his own. Whoever is least tired may win the fight in the third.
Tuivasa may have distanced himself from Arlovski in the third. His punches were heavier and landing more cleanly. The left hook was open and he landed a few. He bounced both hands off Arlovski’s face and Arlovski just took them. I didn’t expect Arlovski’s chin to be on point tonight.
Winner: Tai Tuivasa by way of unanimous decision
Megan Anderson Vs Holly Holm
Anderson started out strong backing Holm up and landing. Holm immediately went for the clinch and tied her up against the cage. Holm would throw forearm and elbow strikes with her open left hand. Anderson finally got off the cage and immediately landed two inside shots. Holm got a nice takedown to probably synch the round.
This was an easy round for Holm. Anderson’s corner told her what Holm was trying to do and Holm went out and did it again, immediately putting her up against the cage in the clinch. Anderson got loose and rushed in, throwing a knee. Holm took her down before it landed and got mount immediately. Anderson couldn’t really do much, though Holm couldn’t put her away either.
The third round was exactly the same. Anderson landed one nice punch and then Holm went for the takedown and got her on the ground. She couldn’t finish her and they were both back up, but Holm took her down again. It looks like Anderson has potential, but she was a greenhorn compared to Holm.
Winner: Holly Holm by way of unanimous decision
The scores were 30-27, 30-26, and 30-26.
Colby Covington Vs Rafael dos Anjos
Covington bum-rushed dos Anjos and immediately got a takedown. Covington is working at a super fast pace. RDA is looking to stay calm and weather the storm a bit. RDA is fighting smartly and Covington isn’t as bouncy as he was in the first couple of minutes. Covington probably wins the round simply by advancing as much as he did, but RDA was looking a lot better in the second half of that round.
RDA landed the best shot of the fight and he stunned Covington. Almost like he stopped him in his tracks. But he wasn’t able to followup on it. He landed some tremendous body shots as well. But Covington kept up the pace and got a late takedown and may have stolen this round. He’s throwing a lot of punches, but it doesn’t look like he’s landing many clean.
This was a clear Covington round. He’s tiring RDA out with his constant pressure. RDA is still landing some nice counters, but they’re not helping keep Covington off him. Covington kicked RDA right in the cup and that was the only rest RDA got all round.
RDA landed a big shot and then got Covington on his back immediately. RDA’s counter strikes have much more snap on them in this round too. Covington is tired, but he’s still firing punches. Covington got a late takedown, but this is still RDA’s round.
Covington was able to impose his will on RDA and I think he’s winning this fight. He got a takedown. Near the end, they were swinging for the fences, but it ended with Covington pushing him backward and up against the fence again.
Winner: Colby Covington by way of unanimous decision
The scores were 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47.
Yoel Romero Vs Robert Whittaker
Romero was playing peak-a-boo with his defense. He mostly stayed in his defensive stance while Whittaker attacked him safely in and out, as if to not wake the hibernating bear. He won the round mostly with side kicks to the front leg and some combinations that mostly didn’t land.
Romero has bad swelling underneath his right eye. It closed quickly on him. He was also doing some weird stuff in there, trying to throw off Whittaker’s timing. Whittaker is fighting a really smart fight. He’s staying on the outside and not succumbing to Romero’s goofy tactics.
Romero caught him and Whittaker is holding on for dear life. It was a right hand that dropped him. Romero used all the energy he had to follow up and try to finish him. He got him again, but Whittaker held on. Then Whittaker fired back with elbows of his own. If both guys were human, neither would’ve finished the round. But since they’re not human, they ended up on their feet but nearly holding each other up like Rocky and Apollo.
Whittaker won about 4 minutes and 30 seconds of the round. He looks to be fighting with only one hand as he didn’t really throw his right hand and was holding it gingerly. He was throwing a lot of kicks and landing though to make up for it. Really late in the round, Romero caught him with a hook and he nearly went down. He landed another huge punch and Whittaker looked like he was gonna go. But the round ended.
Romero landed another big shot to start the round. He then nearly killed Whittaker dead with a shot. He followed to the ground, but Whittaker stayed composed and I’m not sure how. The fight ended with Romero lunging at him and trying to end him, but Whittaker was able to defend just well enough. I think Whittaker will get this on the scorecard.
Winner: Robert Whittaker by way of split decision
The scores were 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47.
What a damn fight.