TELEVISED CARD PLAY BY PLAY REPORT:
Michael Johnson (9-4) vs. Jonathan Brookins (12-3)
Johnson lands the first shots, and Brookins has to resort to wrestling. Johnson's not letting him take him to the mat. Brookins goes back to stand-up and keeps getting clipped.
He takes a really hard shot to the chin and falls to the mat. Johnson follows up his assault with the hands with a nice knee. Johnson unloads again with another knee and then tosses Brookins to the mat and goes to work on top.
Brookins gets a bit of a rest after standing up, but Johnson continues to win the striking battle. Brookins gets stuffed once again going for the takedown. Brookins is walking around with his hands way too low, but Johnson slows down again and actually goes for his own takedown. Johnson lands a sweet 1-2 to the face of Brookins at the close of the round.
Brookins gets clocked again and resorts to grappling to wind up on Johnson's back. Finally he gets his own ground and pound opportunity and lands some nice blasts to Johnson's face. Brookins hooks in a leg and holds him down. He lands a couple nice elbows, postures up, and works his punches again. Brookins positions himself to land some elbows and nails Johnson's ear with a few. Brookins refuses to let him up, revealing the one aspect of Johnson's game that is still weak. Brookins is tenderizing his face with sharp elbows. He pops Johnson in the face with a few punches, re-adjusts and then jumps back on top of him. Finally Johnson escapes to his feet, but Brookins reaches for another takedown. Johnson lands a few elbows as Brookins keeps him against the cage. Brookins lifts his leg high in the air and slams Johnson hard on his back. More elbows rain down on Johnson's skull. Brookins works for a Kimura but can't get it before the buzzer sounds.
Johnson lands a nice combo early, but Brookins grabs a leg and doesn't let go. He sits Johnson down against the fence and goes to work trying to get top control again where he's most comfortable. Brookins won't let him stand up. Somehow Brookins gets full mount even with Johnson's back on the cage fence. Johnson pops out the back door. It turns into a slugfest again. Johnson pulls off a throw and winds up on top of Johnson again in the middle of the mat. Brookins will win if he can keep Johnson in this position for the rest of the fight. He drops a few elbows and punches but mostly leans on Johnson and smothers him. Inside a minute Brookins has a leg hooked in and keeps side control. He stands up briefly and jumps right back into the punching and ground and pound. The buzzer sounds with Brookins in a superior position and Johnson looks very disappointed in himself and his performance.
The scores should be 29-28 across the board for Brookins. It's unanimous for Brookins, but the judges vary a bit with one judge giving it a 29-27 score.
Stephan Bonnar (15-7-0) vs. Igor Pokrajac (22-7)
Bonnar comes out wild, landing the better shots. Igor counters and catches him early but then gets taken right down. Bonnar wraps him up in a pretzel. Bonnar gets reversed trying an awkward choke. He stands to avoid being on the bottom. Igor is all about the grappling at first, then he steps back. Igor throws a leg kick and then unloads with a punch combo. Bonnar takes the shots to the face and battles back. Bonnar gets a guillotine choke and Igor flips out of it. Bonnar gets top position again and can't do much with it. Igor is strong and locks onto Bonnar's arm. Bonnar throws elbows to the ribs of Igor with his free left arm. Bonnar gets Igor's back and works the same choke that allowed Igor to reverse, but this time he's more patient. Igor gets up with just seconds left.
Igor tries to bang early and connects nicely with a combo. Igor sneaks in some knees, but then Bonnar goes Muay Thai and lands a series of his own knees. Igor tries grappling and has no success. Bonnar manages a judo throw takedown after Igor gives him a Charlie horse knee to the thigh. Bonnar goes right back to a dominating top position, pummeling Igor with head shots from side control. Igor gets warned for throwing a knee to the head from the ground. Igor gets up and tries to bang again, but Bonnar leans on him and keeps him tight against the fence. Bonnar goes to his Muay Thai knees again, and Igor responds in kind. Bonnar throws a few knees to the legs. He backs up and lands some punches, but it backfires. Igor connects with some flush shots of his own, forcing Bonnar back to grappling against the fence. Bonnar lands a very nice elbow and some more punches to close the round.
The replay shows two knees landed to Bonnar's head, so a point gets taken from Igor. Bonnar starts off at a furious pace, landing a spinning back kick and a series of punches. He ends up on the ground on top of Igor. Bonnar is looking sloppy and takes an up-kick trying to readjust from the top. Bonnar gets into near full mount and begins to smother Igor. Bonnar starts throwing left hands like mad, and somehow he's the one bleeding (from the illegal knees). Bonnar gets Igor's back and winds up losing control. He quickly re-establishes his position on top. He drops punches and elbows on top with Igor in a pretzel. Bonnar holds him down for the rest of the round, getting cautioned late by the ref for throwing punches to the back of the head. Mazzagatti takes a point away as the buzzer sounds.
Judges' Scores are 29-6 across the board for Bonnar
Kendall "Spider" Grove (14-7) vs. Demian Maia (13-2)
Both guys are keeping their distance. Nothing solid lands in the first 30 seconds. Maia lands the first good punches and Grove retreats. He comes back moments later with a nice 1-2. He does it again a bit later, moving in and out well. Maia latches onto a leg and brings Grove down to his world. Grove gets busy landing punches and maintains control, even as Grove gets back to his feet. Maia stays behind Grove and goes to work on his long legs. Grove has his back against the fence as Maia tries to secure a double leg. He gets Grove back down on the mat again. Grove looks lost on the ground. Maia gets full mount. Grove turns over and gives up his back. Maia is dropping bombs. Grove is getting clobbered. Grove briefly scrambles out but gets right back into trouble. Maia is smothering him from every possible angle as the round ends.
Back on the feet to begin the round, Grove goes to his boxing and is scoring with punches early. He doesn't want to get close enough to get taken down. Maia tries to grab a leg and can't get it. He tries again and Grove clocks him hard. Maia gets him back on the ground and goes to work. Grove escapes and stands. Maia leans on him while working another takedown attempt. He gets Grove right back down and starts the ground and pound. Maia stands up and takes an up-kick for his troubles. He jumps right back on top and manages to secure Grove's back again. With 30 seconds left to go Maia's in complete control. He begins to throw and land shots on Grove's head as the round ends.
Grove paws with the jab but can't get into the best range without taking shots of his own or risking another takedown. He catches Maia with a right hand, but Maia isn't phased. Grove nails him with another right hand as Maia begins to box with him. Grove is throwing one or two shots at a time, not acting like he needs the KO for the win, which he does. Maia isn't even trying for the takedown. He catches Grove coming in with punches and shows him he can box, too. He finally shoots on a leg and Grove backs up and pulls away. Maia lands a nice right hook as Grove comes in to throw. Grove is circling away, and he gets caught with a leg kick. Finally Maia secures a single leg and holds on even after Grove hits him with a knee to the head. Grove throws some elbows and punches that don't deter Maia, who switches to double leg posture. The fight ends with Maia holding Grove against the fence.
Judges' Scores Should Be Unanimous 30-27 for Maia. Instead it's 29-28 across the board for Maia. Looks like they gave Grove a sympathy round.
Jimmy Hendricks (9-0) vs. Rick Story (11-3)
More grappling than punching early. Story pins Hendricks against the fence briefly and unloads with body and head punches. Hendricks circles away. Story is unloading flurries and landing few shots, and when Hendricks lands Story shoots for takedowns. Both guys seem to be fighting to keep this match on the feet. Both guys are winging punches at the halfway mark, Story lands a hard leg kick and Hendricks follows that with a body kick. They trade one punch at a time for a while, then Story gets aggressive. Hendricks tries to clinch, but Story keeps punching. Hendricks finds his range but doesn't land anything damaging. Story lands a knee and moments later unloads a combo that leaves Hendricks covering up and circling away. Story does it again and a few seconds later lands a leg kick and then catches Hendricks trying to respond in kind. Hendricks catches Story's leg next and lands a nice punch on the way to a takedown. Story scrambles to his feet near the buzzer.
Hendricks starts with some aggression, but Story takes over with punches yet again. He gets a takedown, Hendricks tries a weak guillotine and then works his way back to his feet. Hendricks grapples his way out of trouble. He lands a knee to the head on Story against the fence. Story answers back with a knee to the body. Both guys are punching to the body. Story lands another knee to the body. Hendricks throws some more hooks to the rib, Story rips another knee to the body. Hendricks tries to go for a takedown and gets stuffed. They go back to distance fighting. Hendricks landing the better strikes. Story gets a double leg takedown for some points, but the slippery Hendricks gets back on his feet in short order. Story ends the round on the offensive, pinning Hendricks against the fence and landing hard knees and punches. He briefly loses control and gets clocked by Hendricks a couple times, but he goes back on the offensive as the buzzer sounds.
Hendricks shoots for a takedown right away. He sits Story down against the fence, and Story stands up nicely. Story secures a tight guillotine that Hendricks scrambles out of. Story goes back to work on the ribs with hooks. Hendricks goes back to trying to secure a takedown and using his grappling to regain control. Story is pinned against the fence once again in a sitting position. Story stands up and Hendricks pulls him back to the ground briefly. Story gets right back up again, and it's all grappling. Nobody seems to want to strike anymore in this fight. Hendricks goes back to takedown mode again but can't keep Story down. Hendricks tenderizes Story's legs with knees. Story goes for some elbows and punches to the body inside 30 seconds to go in the fight. The fight ends with Hendricks stubbornly trying for another takedown but not getting it.
Judges score it 29-28 across the board for Rick Story. Looks like he only lost the third.
Leonard Garcia (18-6-1) vs. Nam Phan (16-8)
This is UFC history right here: the first featherweight fight on a televised UFC show. Nam's hands up style is a bit different this time out, and he goes to work slugging right away, pinning Garcia against the fence for a moment. Garcia fights out to the center and throws a few shots of his own. His winging outside shots get blocked by Nam who seems to be pacing himself, waiting for the big right. Garcia lands a hard kick to the chest area. They trade body kicks, and Garcia starts to throw more punches to back Nam up. Phan is still waiting for the right moment, letting Garcia land more punches and kicks. Nam establishes the jab and hits Garcia in the head and body. Garcia lands a hard knee to the body and is showing his complete game, even going for a spinning backfist that doesn't connect. Nam catches him briefly against the cage and backs up. Garcia is getting sloppy, choosing volume over accuracy. Nam gets the jab going again. Both guys look very relaxed. Nam lands a nice leg kick and gets one landed on him near the final minute. Nam explodes with punches and kicks inside a minute, and Garcia fights back in kind. Nam lands a nice glancing head kick and goes back to the body as Garcia wings more punches that don't do much damage. Nam lands a nice combo around the :15 second mark. A pitter patter from Garcia ends the round. He looks frustrated going back to his corner. He's falling right into Nam's game.
Garcia lands a nice body kick to start. He throws some big bombs with the hands and lands another body kick. He's back to high output but can't seem to locate the target. Phan is pacing himself well. He clocks Garcia with a looping left hook followed by a body kick. Phan goes back to the jab but gets clipped almost every time he gets too close. Garcia gets the takedown, but Nam is wall-walking out of it. Back to the feet and Nam lands a rock solid body punch. He gets the 1-2s going and stuns Garcia. Nam sees the opportunity and goes nuts. Garcia is in big trouble. He gets Garcia on the ground and unloads. Now we get to see Nam's ground game as he tries to lock up the rear naked choke. He's riding Garcia's back well. Nam's doing everything he can to lock the RNC. Garcia is defending well but can't get out. Finally, with 10 seconds left he scrambles out of trouble but eats a few punches near the bell.
Garcia starts off with furious punching, knowing he needs this round to win the fight. Garcia is unloading from all angles with kicks, punches, and knees. Nothing is hurting Nam, though, even the shots he's landing. Garcia goes for a takedown again, but Nam won't stay down. Nam is content with letting Garcia punch himself out. Again Nam gets him in trouble against the cage. Garcia fights his way off the fence this time. Nam lands a nice body shot and is moving in and out to avoid the most threatening strikes. Garcia looks exhausted and bends over briefly for Nam to pummel him with some free shots. Nam is speeding up while Garcia is slowing down. Nam lands a great punching combo as Garcia tries to fight back with body kicks. Garcia lands a nice left hook and Phan responds with an accurate flurry. Garcia is throwing more, but Phan is landing his punches at a higher percentage, often catching Garcia flush with the uppercut to the head. Garcia is windmilling up to the bell. Nam lands a hard right for the last punch of the fight.
Tough fight to score, but it looks like Garcia might get the win on output alone. Judges scores: 29-28 Garcia, 30-27 Phan, 29-28 Garcia, met by crowd raining down boos and chants of "bull$hit." Another iffy decision on free TV calls into question the inconsistent scoring plaguing the UFC of late.
Cody McKenzie (11-0) vs. Aaron Wilkinson (6-3)
McKenzie wins by his favorite move: the Guillotine choke. The fight ends at 2:03 of the first round. McKenzie didn't even get the arm under the chin but tightened the choke so hard on Wilkinson's jaw that he had to tap.
Untelevised Card Results:
Dave Branch (7-1) vs. Rich Attonito (9-3)
Branch wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27 on all three judges' cards)
Fredson Paixao (10-3) vs. Pablo Garza (10-1)
Pablo Garza lands a stunning flying knee in the first minute of the fight, laying out Paixoa for the knockout win. Paixao takes nearly 5 minutes to regain consciousness in the aftermath.
Nick Pace (5-1) vs. Will Campuzano (8-2)
Pace wins by submission at 4:33 of the final round by way of a very unorthodox choke. It appeared to be a combination arm/leg triangle he dubbed "the Pace" in the post fight interview.
Ian Loveland (13-7) vs. Tyler Toner (11-2)
Loveland wins by Unanimous Decision by scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 30-26.
Sako Chivitchian (5-0) vs. Kyle Watson (15-7-1)
Watson wins this one hands down, proving he might stick around in the UFC for a little while. The final scores are 30-27 (twice) and 29-28.