Boxing/MMA

UFC Fight Night 24 Recap and Analysis

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UFC Light Heavyweight Main Event
Phil Davis (9-0) UD 3 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5) 
Scores:  30-27, 30-27, 30-27

There is a considerable amount of hype surrounding Davis and through his first eight fights it is easy to see why fans are enamored with the amiable young fighter.  However, Saturday night Davis was tasked with taking on one of MMA’s most accomplished and revered fighters in Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.  “Lil Nog” has laid waste to a number of world class fighters in his decorated career and while some may say that his best days are behind him, on Saturday night Nogueira proved those naysayers wrong.  Nogueria controlled the fight in the opening round, stuffing Davis’ takedown attempts and landing a number of hard straight left hands that had Davis looking very one dimensional.  Nogueira’s success carried over into the first part of the second round and Nogueria again looked to be the more aggressive fighter. 

Of course there is a reason why Davis is so ballyhooed in the sports’ media circles and he showed true heart and determination in turning the tide of the fight during the tail end of the second round.  Davis was able to secure takedowns and on the ground issued some hellacious ground and pound that rocked “Lil Nog” throughout the duration of the round. 

Things continued in much the same way entering the third round as Davis’ wrestling allowed him to dictate the pace and control the fight in route to the decision win.  Davis still is extremely green in MMA and while his wrestling is top of the line he needs to work on his striking skill set along with incorporating some submissions into his wrestling game. 

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UFC Welterweight Fight
Anthony Johnson (9-3) UD 3 Dan Hardy (23-9, 1 NC)
Scores:  30-27, 30-27, 30-27

In light of being sidelined for a year with an injury, not to mention a hellacious weight cut to make the 170 pound welterweight limit, Anthony Johnson looked beastly in the opening round of Saturday night’s card.  Dropping Hardy with a concussive leg kick, Johnson was able to keep Hardy on the ground and land more than a few hard ground and pound shots.  Credit to Hardy for trying to fight back on his back with a couple of kimora attempts but Johnson’s wrestling smothered any offense by Hardy.  Unfortunately, Johnson’s assault was limited to some “lay and pray” tactics that prompted a chorus of boos the rain down from the audience in the second round.  The third round featured more action than the previous rounds as Johnson was able to take Hardy’s back and landed some good shots to the head of his opponent in addition to attempting multiple submission attempts.  It will never be considered an entertaining fight but Johnson did more than enough to secure the decision. 

UFC Welterweight Fight
Amir Sadollah (6-2) SUB RD 2 (Strikes) Damarques Johnson (17-9)
Time of Submission:  3:27

Despite the edge in experience enjoyed by Johnson, during the fight it was Sadollah that appeared to be the fighter exhibiting the calmer poise and demeanor.  This swagger may have been attributed to Sadollah’s success in using his Muay Thai to pepper Johnson with a variety of kicks and salvos.  Johnson tried to nullify Sadollah’s attack by taking the fight to the ground.  Sadollah turned things up in the second as her mercilessly battered Johnson with knees in the clinch and ground in bound in the mount.  Things ended for Johnson when Sadollah was able to rain down relentless elbow strikes that left Johnson little option other than to tap out.  Johnson fought bravely for a fighter who took such an assignment on two weeks’ notice, but in the end this fight was all Sadollah. 

UFC Featherweight Fight
Chan Sung Jung (11-3) SUB RD 2 (Twister) Leonard Garcia (19-7-1)
Time of Submission:  4:59

While their initial encounter may have been a war for the ages it was clear Saturday night that both Garcia and Jung had hoped to display an evolution in their fighting styles.  While neither Garcia nor Jung will ever be considered technically sound fighters, they did both show some tightening up of their respective techniques.  However, it was Jung who seemed to be the sharper, more aggressive fighter.  This carried him to the win in the closing seconds of the second round as Jung caught Garcia in a nasty twister, the first ever in the UFC, which had his opponent contorted like a screw that should garner him the “Submission of the Night” bonus.  Eddie Bravo is somewhere smiling.