UFC Tampa Recap and Results
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Michelle Waterson
The return to strawweight for Jedrzejczyk was a successful one. That didn't mean Waterson didn't have her moments. The former champion busted up the Karate Hottie's nose early with her volume striking. Joanna also neutralized the kicks of Waterson with a kick-heavy gameplan of her own. The majority of the 1st 2 rounds were spent against the cage in the clinch as Waterson tried to drag the fight to the ground. Waterson was unsuccessful until the final moments of the 2nd round when a body lock takedown got it done. She was able to take Joanna's back, but the former champion fended off what looked like a close rear naked choke attempt. The same scenario happened in the final round, but once again Joanna was able to shake Waterson off of her back and avoid an upset victory.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Jedrzejczyk def. Waterson via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Cub Swanson vs. Kron Gracie
Going into the co-main event nearly everyone considered the jiu-jitsu of Gracie to be the best single weapon for either fighter. That didn't turn out to be the case. Other than a few second span in the final minute of the fight, Gracie was not able to drag Swanson to the ground. Kron looked more than competent on the feet, but Cub had him figured out. He peppered the body of Gracie over and over and over again with right hooks. Gracie never once buckled under that constant pressure, but that was clearly the biggest offense in the fight and earned him a clear victory on the judges scorecards.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Swanson def. Gracie via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Niko Price vs. James Vick
We expected fireworks in this featherweight fight. They just came in a very unexpected way. Price steamrolled Vick early and got him to the ground, but the Texas native was able to reverse it with an amazing sweep. That sweep didn't matter in the slightest. In fact, it spelled the end of Vick's night. He stood up in Price's guard and fell victim to one of the most violent upkick knockouts you will ever see.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Price def. Vick via knockout (upkick) Rd.1 1:44
Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Ribas
This strawweight fight was considered the toughest test of Mackenzie Dern's career. She couldn't pass it. Her jiu-jitsu was neutralized by Ribas judo. Dern tried her best on the feet and was winging big hooks, but she had no answer for the jab
Matt Frevola vs. Luis Pena
This battle between lightweight prospects was the most competitive of the night up to that point. It truly was a tale of 3 entirely different rounds. In the opening round Frevola's forward pressure seemed to overwhelm Pena. He landed solid left hands and was able to get the fight to the ground. Pena held his own and even score a miraculous sweep in the grappling exchange, but the round was clearly Frevola's. The 2nd round was the opposite. Pena fought his fight and was able to keep it at distance and land measured strikes. He even landed a sick flying knee that wobbled Frevola in a big way. The 3rd round was extremely close, but it was more of Frevola's pressure than Pena's distance and that earned him a split decision victory.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Matt Frevola def. Luis Pena via split decision (28-29, 29-28x2)
Eryk Anders vs. Gerald Meerschaert
The story of the main card opener for the majority of the fight was the left hand of Anders against the body kick of Meerschaert. Meerschaert looked like he was trying to drag him into a grappling match when he dropped to the ground after some punches that didn't look like they landed flush for Ya Boi, but Anders wasn't lured into that game. In the final round Anders added some leg and body kicks to his offense. He was rocked by a left hand from Meerschaert in the final minute of the fight, but he survived to get to the judges' scorecards.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Anders def. Meerschaert via split decision (28-29, 29-28x2)
Ryan Spann vs. Devin Clark
Spann and Clark walked into the octagon with about 10 minutes left before the main card was scheduled to begin. It looked like they might not finish in time after the 1st round featured long periods of inactivity. Both fighters must've got the memo on the time before the start of the 2nd round. Spann rocked Gifford against the cage. He ate a few left hands against the cage for his troubles, but he switched things up. He locked in a standing guillotine and Clark was forced to tap.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Spann def. Clark via submission (guillotine) Rd.2 2:01
Mike Davis vs. Thomas Gifford
Mike Davis took this fight on 4 days notice, but it sure didn't look like it. He dominated Thomas Gifford for nearly 15 minutes. It was only nearly 15 minutes because he got the finish with seconds to spare. It was a one punch knockout that resulted with Gifford faceplanting into the octagon canvas with 15 seconds remaining in the final round.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Davis def. Gifford via knockout (punch) Rd.3 4:45
Max Griffin vs. Alex Morono
Griffin and Morono made an early case to get the 50 thousand dollar bonus for fight of the night. Nearly the entire fight was contested on the feet with both welterweights trading haymakers for 15 minutes. Griffin looked like he might have gotten the better of the opening round, but Morono came back in a big way in round 2. He had Griffin on the ropes and nearly had a finish after a barrage of strikes that included a spinning back fist that landed flush. Griffin somehow stayed alive and even answered with a spinning attack of his own. Griffin looked like much more composed in the final round, but that 2nd by Morono was just too much for him to overcome.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Morono def. Griffin via Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27x2)
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Tim Elliott
Frenetic would be the perfect word to describe this fight between top 10 flyweight contenders. The opening minutes were spent on the feet, but the jiu-jitsu of Figueiredo came into play quickly. Elliott shot for a takedown, but was caught in a guillotine and forced to tap.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Figueiredo def. Elliott via submission (guillotine choke) Rd. 1 3:
Marlon Vera vs. Andre Ewell
There was really no break in action at all in this bantamweight match-up. Ewell got inside in the opening minutes and Vera locked up an arm triangle choke and dragged his opponent to the ground. It looked for a moment that the choke would be finished from the bottom, but Chito eventually let the grip go. Throughout the fight, every time that the fighters would clinch Vera would look to lock up that choke. It was his strikes though that would ultimately spell the end for Ewell. In the 3rd round Vera unleashed a barrage of punches and knees that would drop Ewell. Vera would follow it up with ground and pound for the finish.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Vera def. Ewell via TKO (Strikes) Rd.3 3:17
Miguel Baeza vs. Hector Aldana
The Florida native was in charge from the opening bell of this one. His gameplan was using leg kicks and it payed off in a big way. He attacked the left leg of Aldana throughout the 1st round and it didn't last much longer than that. Near the halfway mark of the 2nd round Baeza connected with one more kick directly to Aldana's calf. Aldana crumpled to the mat and that was all she wrote.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Baeza def. Aldana via TKO (Leg Kicks) Rd.2 2:32
Marvin Vettori vs. Andrew Sanchez
Vettori came out aggressive to back up his words from earlier in the week. He was the far more active striker in the opening round. He landed a good share of his punches, but Sanchez was able to block a good portion and not let the most powerful ones sneak through his guard.
The 2nd round saw similar action, but Sanchez was able to have more success. He opened up a cut under the Italian's right eye that also developed into a bit of a mouse. It was still Vettori that landed the more powerful strike including a left hand that connected right down the middle. Both fighters threw power shots to close out the frame.
Vetorri diversified his attack and connected with an outside leg kick to start the final round. Sanchez answered with a kick of his own that had Vettori having to wag his finger to show it didn't hurt as badly as it sounded. We finally saw a bit of a grappling exchange as the fighters clinched up against the cage. Vettori was able to briefly take the back of Sanchez, but the American was able to break the grip and get back out to the center of the octagon. Sanchez went for the finish in the final minute of the fight, but he just missed on a head kick and spinning back elbow attempt.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Vettori def. Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
JJ Aldrich vs. Lauren Mueller
The opening round was a feeling out process for both fighters. The most effective strike was probably a body kick by Mueller. Aldrich flipped the momentum when she was able to score a takedown up against the cage. It didn't last long as Mueller was able to get back to her feet and score a takedown of her own. Mueller came close to taking Aldrich's back, but couldn't wotk all the way there.
Aldrich landed her best strikes of the night to start the 2nd frame, but Mueller was once again able to stop that momentum in short order. She landed some heavy punches that bloodied Aldrich's nose. In the final minute of the round the crowd was brought to their feet as Mueller began talking trash and welcoming Aldrich into a bit of a brawl. The momentum was squarely in her favor heading to the final frame.
Aldrich rebounded quickly from a rough 2nd and was the crisper striker to start the round. She even had Mueller on her heels for the 1st time in the fight with a great combination that looked like it might finish the fight up against the cage. Mueller was able to answer and recover. She circled back out to the center of the octagon and was the advancing fighter for the majority of the final 3 minutes. Aldrich was able to answer that advancing effectively with multiple counter left hands before the final horn sounded.
OFFICIAL RESULT : Aldrich def. Mueller via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)