Boxing/MMA

MMA: Ferguson Becomes Next Ultimate Fighter; Guida Dominates Pettis

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Results from the televised main card of the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale from the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, NV. 

Tony Ferguson (10-2) vs. Ramsey Nijem (4-1)
Official time of the stoppage: 3:54 round one.

The intriguing aspect of this season’s finale between Ferguson and Nijem was the perception of the classic “striker vs. wrestler” matchup.  We knew that Ferguson can box and that Nijem can wrestle.  Lost in this miscinseption was that Ferguson’s wrestling was suspect.  However, Ferguson was a high school and colleiget wrestler and early on he dipsplayed this talent by taking down and out wrestling Nijem.  Nijem was game throughout but in the end it was Ferguson’s striking that carried the night.  A clipping left hook put Nijem’s lights out and dropped him to the canvas.  A follow up right hand sealed the deal as referee Josh Rosenthal quickly jumped in to end the fight.  Ferguson, who has been working out with Brock Lesnar’s Death Clutch team, may just have the chops to make it in the UFC. 

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Clay Guida (29-11) UD Anthony Pettis (13-2)
Scores:  30-27, 30-27, 30-27

You knew that when Pettis and Guida met in the Octagon it would be quick and dynamic.  Boy, did these two fighters not disappoint.  Guida set the tone early as he caught a Pettis kick in the opening round and quickly took him down.  While Pettis may have been perceived to be at a disadvantage on his back, the former WEC champion kept Guida honest as he attacked his long-haired foe with an unrelenting chain of submission attempts.  The pace slowed in the second round with both fighters showing a high level of mutual respect toward each other.  Pettis did excite the crowed with a spinning back kick off the cage, but Guida countered back with a double leg takedown.  Still, despite again being on his back Pettis continued to attack and almost snagged an arm bar toward the end of the round.  Guida came out aggressively in the third and final round landing a hard right hand which was followed by a quick takedown of Pettis.  It soon became clear that Guida’s game plan was to hold Pettis down and grind out a victory choosing not to try and trade with the dynamic strike that is Pettis.  Guida exercised this plan to perfection until Pettis was able to counter a takedown and took Guida’s back.  However, Pettis’ lone chance of ending the fight early soon evaporated as Guida was able to buck Pettis off and resumed his ground dominance in route to a victory.  With the loss Pettis sees his potential title shot evaporate. 

Kyle Kingsbury (11-2) UD Fabio Maldonado (18-4)
Scores:  29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Some fights are enjoyable simply because the boil down to good old fashion donnybrooks.  This was the case with Kingsbury and Maldonado who engaged in an enjoyable scrap that may not win points for its technical beauty, but is just plain fun to watch.  Kingsbury looked formidable early on as he used knees from the muay thai clinch to rock Maldonado early on.  However, Maldonado would rally back using crisp punches to the body and some wicked hooks to the head to finish the first round strong.  Kingsbury tried to take things to the ground in the second round but Maldonado managed to sweep these takedowns and again looked to soften up Kingsbury’s body.  Heading into the third round, the fight had been mostly fought at an even pace and the final round of the affair would follow the script of the first two.  Each fighter traded moments of offensive success.  Every punch that would land for Kingsbury would be reciprocated with a hard shot from Maldonado.  However, in the end it would be Kingsbury who got the edge in a fight that was incredibly close

Ed Herman (20-7) TKO (Strikes) RD1 Tim Credur (12-4)
Official time of the stoppage: 0:48 round one.

Credur has been missing in action from the Octagon while healing from injury.  Unfortunately for him, his return to fighting was abruptly halted in the opening round by a vicious Ed Herman uppercut.  Moments into the opening round, Herman landed a clean uppercut that that detonated on the chin of Credur.  Credur hit the ground and the follow up ground and pound from Herman left referee Herb Dean no other option but to stop the fight. 

Chris Cope (5-2) UD Chuck O’Neil (8-4)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27

During the filming of the show Chris Cope was portrayed as a limited fighter who gets by on sheer tenacity.  While that may be true to an extent in his fight against Chuck O’Neil, Cope looked like a fighter who is beginning to morph into a more complete fighter.  While O’Neil may be the more physically gifted fighter, Cope set the tone early in the fight keeping O’Neil at bay with a relentless attack.  It wasn’t all out aggression but it was constant pressure that kept O’Neil from mounting in significant offense.  With his trademark “Whoo” Cope just took O’Neil’s will by keeping an unrelenting assault of strikes that left O’Neil tentative and gun shy.  Cope looked leaps and bounds better than he did when he was filming TUF.  His striking was crisp and effective and his stamina was great.  Solid performance from Cope who took the decision in impressive fashion.