Welcome to Inside Fight’s live coverage of the UFC’s first ever show from Macao. Due to the extreme time difference the action will kick off at 7:30am EST for the Facebook prelims and then go live at 9am EST on Fuel. The event will be broadcast live from the Cotai Arena. Join us here bright and early for all the results as they happen.
Middleweight Bout: Rich Franklin (185) vs. Cung Le (186)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Stanislav Nedkov (203) vs. Thiago Silva (205)
Welterweight Bout: Dong Hyum Kim (170.5) vs. Paulo Thiago (169.5)
Lightweight Bout: Mac Danzig (155) vs. Takanori Gomi (155)
Lightweight Bout: Jon Tuck (156) vs. Tiequan Zhang (155)
Bantamweight Bout: Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (135.5)
Bantamweight Bout: Alex Caceres (136) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135.5)
Flyweight Bout: John Lineker (126) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5)
Middleweight Bout: Tom DeBlass (185) vs. Riki Fukuda (186)
Tom DeBlass (7-1) vs. Riki Fukuda (18-6)
Round 1- Marc Goddard will be the ref for this opening contest. DeBlass opens with a leg kick and then follows it with another and another. Fukuda is keeping the pressure on and is able to score a double leg takedown. DeBlass gets his guard up and Fukuda is having difficulty landing shots on him. Fukuda works the body but DeBlass is utilizing strong defense off his back. DeBlass is back to his feet. The fighters exchange shots tot he face but nothing lands cleanly. Outside leg kick for DeBlass. DeBlass lands a jab but catches an eyepoke at the same time and the action is halted for a few seconds. Fukuda goes for a single leg takedown but DeBlass is able to fend it off. Inside leg kick for Fukuda. Fukuda peppers DeBlass with some punches and kicks though is unable to do any real damage. Fukuda grabs a single leg takedown in the final seconds on the opening stanza. He keeps the action there for the duration and it is enough to steal him a round. 10-9 Fukuda.
Round 2- Hook for Fukuda to open the round. They tie up against the cage and exchange some knees. Fukuda is in the dominant position and works the knees very nicely. Soft outside leg kick for Fukuda. He hits a few more leg kicks as DeBlass is unable to get anything going in round 2. Inside leg kick for Fukuda. Fukuda ties him up and grabs the clinch so that he can land a few more knees. DeBlass comes back with a combo of his own hoping to score some points. Fukuda pushes forward with some crisp shots of his own. The action slows down but Fukuda seems to be in charge as he is able to keep DeBlass moving backwards. They are back up against the cage and Fukuda is able to connect with some shots to the temple. They break and box for a good minute or so. The final seconds tick away and Fukuda has another one in the bag. 10-9 Fukuda.
Round 3- More boxing to open the final round. Fukuda lands a big right hook that startles DeBlass momentarily. Fukuda grabs his with a bearhug and muscles him to the ground for top position. Fukuda starts to work the mid-section of DeBlass. DeBlass seems to be out of gas and Fukuda is doing enough to keep the fight grounded. Fukuda goes for the pass but can’t quite get it and is back in full guard. He fires a few more shots in towards the head of DeBlass. DeBlass tries to fight his way out but gets scolded for hitting the back of the head. DeBlass desperately trying to grab an armbar but cannot find it and Fukuda is relentless. More shots to the side of DeBlass. Goddard stands them up which is a questionable decision. DeBlass tries to land big shots after the stand up but Fukuda quickly ties him up again against the inside of the Octagon and lands some nice shots. The round and the fight come to a close. Fukuda 10-9, once again, giving him a dominant 30-27 win on our scorecard.
Riki Fukuda def. Tom DeBlass via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
John Lineker (19-6) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6)
Round 1- Lineker opens up with a series of leg kicks that land. Urushitani is staying active and councing around the cage trying to find his distance. He lands a leg kick of his own. Urushitani comes forward with a strong kick to the stomach of Lineker. Lineker goes back to the leg kick and finds some success. Neither man is overly eager to commit to anything which has led to a semi-uneventful opening frame. Knee for Urushitani. Stiff jab lands for Lineker. A very right hook for Lineker also finds its mark. Lineker keeps the heat on as he charges forward with a series of punches. None of them do much in the way of damage but he is certainly scoring points with them. Urushitani tries his hand at kickboxing but nothing has really worked for him thus far. Lineker lands a left hook as Urushianti leaps that floors his opponent but he is unable to capitalize on it. Urushitani finds his way back to his feet and the round ends a few seconds later. 10-9 Lineker.
Round 2- After a few seconds of dancing Lineker connects beautifully with a spinning back kick that seems to hurt Urushitani. After a quick recovery Urushitani lands a two kick combo. Lineker comes right back though and hammers Urushitani with a clean shot of his own. Urushitani goes for a headkick but he comes up dry. Lineker charges forward again with a series of punches and he lands cleanly with a few of them. Urushitani seems to be dazed and in danger as Lineker is having all sorts of success here. Inside leg kick for Lineker. Urushitani returns the favor. Urushitani gets poked in the left eye and the action stops for 30 seconds or so. After the timeout LIneker picks up right where he left off, pushing the action and staying in charge. Urushitani finds his range with a right hand. Massive left hook from Lineker. Nasty inside leg kick for Lineker which he follows with two more as the round ends. 10-9 Lineker.
Round 3- Inside leg kick for Lineker lands followed by a big right hand that knocks Urushitani down again. He gets up quickly though and the fight continues. Inside leg kick for Urushitani. Big left hook for Lineker stuns his opponent again. A beautiful 2 punch combo lands for Lineker. Anik and Florian spend some time telling us what an amazing fight this has been despite the evidence. Urushitani throws a kick which is blocked. Lineker comes forward and lands a flurry of punches that once again seem to have Urushitani on the ropes. He can’t quite finish him though and Urushitani is able to create enough diatance to collect his thoughts. Big left for Lineker lands. He goes for the takedown but Urushitani is able to sprawl away from it. They end up tied up against the cage with Lineker in control. Straight left for Urushitani finds Lineker’s chin. Lineker will not stop though as he keeps throwing an insane number of punches. The round and the fight come to a close. 10-9 Lineker again which means that he is up 30-27 on our scorecard as we go to the judges.
John Lineker def. Yasuhiro Urushitani via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Alex Caceras (7-5) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (19-4-4)
Round 1- Caceres opens up as the aggressor trying to land some kicks to start this fight off. Outside leg kick for Tezuka lands. Tezuka goes for the single leg and Caceres tries to grab the guillotine but Tezuka is able to get things to the mat. Caceres tries for a triangle but Tezuka uses the opportunity to pass guard and get into side control. Tezuka is slow to take advantage however as the fight slows down dramatically. Tezuka is possibly looking for the North South Choke but he doesn’t do it fast enough as referee Marc Goddard stands them up. Tezuka goes for an ankle pick but it doesn’t work. Then he tries for the single leg but Caceres does well for himself in fending it off. Tezuka tries desperatly to hold on to the leg but Caceres escapes and gets a takedown of his own. Tezuka once again goes for the ankle, Caceres grabs the back but Tezuka rolls to escape. It works for a minute but Caceras grabs the back again and lands a nice short elbow. Super close round but we see it 10-9 Tezuka.
Round 2- Outside leg kick for Tezuka is the first bit of offense we see in round 2. He lands another while Caceres tries to utilize his spinning attacks. Caceres throws a sidekick but Tezuka grabs it and scores a takedown. Caceres has a modified half guard that he’s working. Tezuka falls into the full guard but can’t really do anything on the ground and Caceras is able to escape and stand up. Outside leg kick for Caceres. Caceres tries a flying knee but it appears to be mostly blocked. Tezuka grabs a leg and tries to wrestle Caceres to the ground. They end up against the cage. Caceres gets away and lands a good, clean punch to the side of Tezuka’s face. Caceres with a short little jab. Tezuka is throwing some strikes of his own. Tezuka goes for yet another single leg but Caceres is able to blast him. Another flying knee from caceras and this one gets through though does limited damaged. 10-9 Caceres.
Round 3- Caceres slips in the opening seconds. Tezuka follows up with a shot that knocks Caceres backwards. They break and then come back together and tie up against the cage. Another break and Caceres tries to start working his jab. Hook for Caceres lands. Another good combo from Caceres finds a home. Some boxing from the fighters. Tezuka goes for another single leg but Caceres has gotten very good at blocking these. Tezuka throws a 1-2 combo but neither shot really lands. Caceres keeps moving and lands a few nice jabs. He also catches Tezuka with a hook on the way in. Another tough hook lands for Caceres. Tezuka starts to look desperate and begins to throw some more strikes. He then ties Caceres up against the cage trying with all his might to score a last second takedown. Instead Caceres locks on side traingle but the round ends before he can do anything with it. 10-9 Cacers giving him a 29-28 advantage on our scorecard.
Alex Caceres def. Motonobu Tezuka via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2) vs. Jeff Hougland (10-5)
Round 1- I guess they only hired two refs for tonight but that is neither here nor there. izugaki comes out throwing bombs. Hougland tries to close the distance and work from the clinch but isn’t really able to. Mizugaki lands another shots that backs Hougland up. Hook for Hougland. Mizugaki backs him up again with some strikes but Hougland falls back on his gameplan and takes him down with a double leg. Mizugaki quickly reverses it though and ends up on top. Hougland grabs an arm looking for a submission but Mizugaki lands some big shot and Hougland releases the hold. Hougland has him in full guard but Mizugaki is able to get some heavy shots through. Two minutes left in the opening frame and Mizugaki is finding all kind of success from the top as he lands shot after shot on Hougland. Hougland appears to be looking for a triangle but Mizugaki will not be stopped as he continues to beat up Jeff Hougland. Mizugaki goes a little too far into the guard and Hougland grabs a nice looking head and arm choke from the bootom that seems to be quite tight. Mizugaki is able to escape though and remaind on top of the American. The round ends and things are looking good for Mizugaki. 10-9 Mizugaki.
Round 2- Mizugaki lands a body shot early on in the round. HE grabs the clinch and connects with a short elbow that staggers Hougland. Hougland looks for a takedown but it isn’t meant to be as Mizugaki flattens him and gets a takedown of his own. And we are right back to where we were last round with Mizugaki on top dominating the action and pasting Hougland with punches to the face. Hougland rolls backwards to escape but Mizugaki pounces and takes the back for a second before Hougland is able to turn over. However, that lands him right back to where he’s been for the majority of the fight which is to say flat on his back. He gets a reprieve though as the ref stands the action back up. Right away Mizugaki connects with a left hook and scores another takedown. Hougland has been completely useless in this fight through the first 10 minutes. Mizugaki is able to slip in a few more blows before the bell rings. 10-9 Mizugaki, easily.
Round 3- Inside leg kick for Mizugaki, followed by a huge shot that drops Hougland for a second. But when Mizugaki comes in to take advantage Hougland grabs him and scores a big power double takedown. But, as has been the case, he can’t stay in control on the ground and within seconds Mizugaki is back in the driver’s seat. They stand up and Hougland tries to throw some punches for a few seconds before Mizugaki predictably takes him back down. The crowd is a little restless but you can hardly blame Mizugaki when Hougland is making it so easy for him to pitch a shutout. Hougland tries to stay active from the bottom but he is unable to get any steam behind any of his punches. He is able to get things standing again and now he has 2 minutes to try and finish the fight. But Mizugaki quickly takes things down again. I assume we are seeing the end of Jeff Hougland’s UFC career. Mizugaki is content to lay on top and run out on the clock on what could be the easiest victory of his career. Hougland is busted open bad in the final seconds which just adds insult to injury. 10-9 Mizugaki again giving him a 30-27 victory on our scorecard and if anybody saw any of those rounds for Hougland then they out of their mind.
Takeya Mizugaki def. Jeff Hougland via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-27)
Can’t say I really disagree with that 30-25 scorecard, I just didn’t see enough offense in any of those rounds from him to give him a 10-8 but Hougland was limp and useless.
Tiequan Zhang (15-3) vs. Jon Tuck (6-0)
Round 1- Very nice of the UFC to put their one Chinese fighter on their one UFC card. They start off boxing. Zhang gets a bodyslam and instantly takes side control. Tuck tries to land some elbows from the bottow but not much comes from it. Zhang tries to land shots from the top but Tuck grabs a big armbar that looks like it has the potential to finish the fight. They roll and and roll and Tuck keeps cranking on the arm but Zhang hangs on and escapes the hold. Tuck is able to take the back though and begins moving towards a rear naked choke. Zhang defends well but Tuck transitions beautifully into full mount. Zhang spins and gives up his back again. Tuck grabs for the neck. He looks like he might be able to lock it in but Zhang is a fighter and the battle continues. Tuck tries to soften them up with blows to Zhang’s face and side. Zhang escapes and gets back to his feet with only a few seconds left in the round. 10-9 Tuck.
Round 2- Tuck opens with a straight to the face and follows it with an attempted head kick. Big left for Tuck lands and Zhang fires back and a war breaks out in the center of the cage. Tuck keeps throwing bombs but Zhang locks him up and takes him down. Zhan’s offense from the top is pretty inert so far and Tuck is able to reverse and land on top. The fight slows down as the two combatants try to gain an advantage. Tuck certainly seems to be ahead on grappling points. He moves into full mount again and has a full two minutes to work with. He pins the right arm of Zhang down with his knee. Tuck transitions around and once again gets the back of Zhang. Tuck tries for a body triangle but can’t get it all the way on. Not much going on near the end of the round as Tuck clings to Zhang’s back. 10-9 Tuck once again.
Round 3- Zhang comes out swinging so I guess he knows that he’s down two rounds to none. Jab for Tuck. Outside leg kick for Zhang. Tuck hits another jab and Zhang swings wildly and misses with two shots. Zhang hammers him with two massive shots right to the kisser and Tuck is stunned and off balance. Tuck tries for some funky kicks but neither of them really land and Zhang is clearly in control of this round. Tuck tries to recover and resorts to throwing some short punches. They exchange kicks. Big right hook for Zhang. Outside leg kick for Zhang. Zhang is actually pushing the action for the first time all night and Tuck is forced to fight while backing up. Inside leg kick for Zhang is checked. Zhang keeps on him with a diet of kicks and punches to the face. Flying knee from Tuck does not find a home. The round and the fight come to a close. We have that round 10-9 Zhang but we have the fight going to Tuck 29-28.
Jon Tuck def. Tiequan Zhang via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Takanori Gomi (33-8) vs. Mac Danzig (21-9-1)
Round 1- Inside leg kick for Danzig. Kick to the body for Danzig. Danzig throws another kick, Gomi catches it and makes him pay with a straight punch. Lots of trepidation from both of them in the early stages of the fight. They exchange punches, Danzig moves in, grabs the clinch and lands a few knees. Gomi counters with a double leg takedown. Danzig grabs for the neck, Gomi escapes but it allows Danzig to stand up. Big leg kick for Gomi. Another and then a right hook to follow. Hook slips through for Danzig. Gomi with a big shot to the chin. Leg kick for Gomi. Danzig follows with one of his own. Danzig leaps forward and gets a nice single leg takedown and then lands a few shots. With a few seconds left Gomi goes for a heel hook and the round ends. 10-9 Gomi though it was close and neither of them looked all that spectacular.
Round 2- Danzig lands a leg kick but has to eat a shot to the face for his trouble. Danzig starts boxing but isn’t doing much in the way of damage. Gomi is looking for the bigger shots but isn’t having any more luck as far as landing is conerned. Gomi works through the defense and hits some big body shots. Quick combo for Danzig connects. Jab from Gomi lands. Gomi goes for a takedown but is shrugged off. Danzig goes for the Thai clinch but only lands a mediocre knee out of it. Leg kick for Gomi. Gomi continues to apply pressure, throwing tough straights and hooks. Danzig comes back with a 2-1 combo and then is able to secure a double leg takedown. Gomi tries to get up but Danzig locks on a dandy guillotine. It looks tight at first but Gomi adjusts his poisition to relieve some of the pressure. Danzig himself readjusts and goes for the finish but Gomi is able to hold on until the end of the round. 10-9 Danzig.
Round 3- Gomi catches Danzig with a sneaky right to open the round that knocks Danzig down. Gomi is right there to get on top and start working his top game. Danzig has a half guard. Gomi starts working for a head and arm choke but Danzig defends and Gomi has to release it. Danzig finds a leg and goes for a knee lock. Gomi defends and tries for a submission of his own. It goes nowhere but Gomi ends up on top which is ultra important in this all decisive round. Danzig stands up after about 30 seconds or so. The two grapple for position. They fight their way tot he mat where Danzig slips around and almost gets the back but Gomi is sneaky and manages to stand up. Nice hook for Danzig. Leg kick for Gomi. Florian comments on how tired both of them are and I am inclined to agree Danzig tries to hurn up the heat. He goes for a takedown but is stuffed. Two uppercuts from the clinch for Danzig. Gomi responds with a few of his own. The fight ends. That was an ultra close round to end an ultra close fight. We are going with Gomi 10-9, giving him a 29-28 advantage on our scorecard though it will be very interesting to see which way the judges fall on this one.
Takanori Gomi def. Mac Danzig via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dong Hyun Kim (15-2-1) vs. Paula Thiago (14-4)
Round 1- Kim goes for the single leg right away but Thiago is able to defend for a bit. He goes for a choke but Kim escapes and maintains his grip on Thiago and scores the takedown. Thiago gives up his back and Kim begins working on getting his hooks in. Kim is looking for some sort of choke, perhaps a modified rear naked is the best way to describe it. He releases that and begins to pound away on the face of Thiago. Thiago is able to get out of one of the hooks. Kim is now focused on getting ahold of Thiago’s arm. Kim now has a body triangle in place. He works over the face of Thiago remaining in complete control of this fight. He begins work on another rear naked choke. Thiago defends well and tries to slip out the back door. Kim still has the back and is still pounding away. With 30 seconds left Kim goes for another choke. He doesn’t quite have it all the way on. He transitions into a neck crank and really torques on it. Somehow Thiago survives but that round was clearly a 10-8 for Kim.
Round 2- Big head kick for Thiago glances off the head of Kim. Kim struggles for a takedown but Thiago grabs the arm and begins to crank on a kimura. It looks tight but Kim man’s up and powers through it to survive. Thiago still has the arm but Kim is looking to take the back. He’s pressty much there but Thiago will not let go of the arm. He finally lets go and Kim gets his arms around the torso of Thiago. Thiago tries to scramble away but is unable. They jockey for position but Kim is easily winning this fight. Kim goes for short elbows to the head and Thiago reverses out the back door and uses it to stand up. Kim moves away and gets Thiago up against the cage. Kim sees an opportunity for a D’Arce choke and he commits to it but the round ends before he has a chance to finish. 10-9 Kim.
Round 3- Kim goes for a crazy spinning back fist that misses and sends him off balance. Didn’t we learn anything from Chael Sonnen? Thiago with a kick that sort of lands. Thiago does seem a bit more urgent here in the final round. Kim grabs a single leg and then spins around and takes the back once again. Kim is very high on Thiago’s back. He tries to soften Thiago up with some shots to the face. Again Thiago tries to slip out the back door but Kim is holding on for dear life. Kim almost has a body triangle on but it isn’t quite there. Kim grounds Thiago again which allows him to move back down the back and improve his position. Kim uncorks some huge shots to the side of Thiago’s head. Now he moves to elbows and Thiago looks to be in danger. Anik will not shut up about how Kim is the UFC’s most accurate welterweight. More big shots for Kim. He even utilizing the double axehandle. More ground and pound to finish and that ends a huge performance for Dong Hyun Kim. 10-8 Kim giving him an extremely dominant 30-25 scorecard as far as we are concerned.
Dong Hyun Kim def. Paulo Thiago via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Light Heavyweight Bout
Thiago Silva (14-3) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (12-0)
Round 1- Nedkov charges ahead and backs Silva up and locks him there. They exchange some knees and try to gain an advantage. Silva lands a strong knee to the thigh of Nedkov. Nedkov isn’t doing much until he floors Silva with a shot. Silva stands up and they begin to brawl. Nedkov plays it safe and ties him up against the Octagon again. Silva lands a knee from the clinch. Nedkov fires back with huge looping punches. Silva looks to be gassed very early on. Nedkov with a nasty leg kick. Once again Nedkov locks him against the cage and tries to land some knees. Silva returns fire but his shots don’t have a ton of mustard on them. Big knee from the Thai clinch for Silva. Nedkov goes for the uppercut, Silva copvers up but Nedkov moves in and ties him up again. Soft knee from Silva but it is enough to break the hold. Nedkov closes the distance again and is looking for a takedown. The round ends. We are going 10-9 Nedkov in the name of Octagon control but it was a close one.
Round 2- Silva comes out kicking and he lands one square in the groin of Nedkov. The fight is paused so that he can recover. Silva throws another kick after the restart. Nedkov throws some punches and closes the distance so I guess he is going with the same strategy here in round 2. He has been very successful at tieing Silva up against the cage and keeping him there for long periods of time. The ref warns them to work so Silva starts to throw some more knees. They get a break from the ref. Nedkov moves in and lands a few shots and ties him up again. it is only because he is able to land some of these punches that his gameplan is working so well. The crowd is getting restless so at least we now know that premature booing is universal in MMA. Silva goes for a punch but Nedkov clocks him in the process. Silva connects with a good punch to the face. Nedkov though seems unaffected and locks Silva up again. If this is the way this fight is going down then I guess we really are getting all judge’s decisions today. Big leg kick for Silva. Huge right from Nedkov knocks Silva over. He gets on top and tries to finish but silva is able to cover up and survive the rest of the round. Uneventful except for the last 20 seconds or so but once again Nedkov wins the round 10-9.
Round 3- Inside leg kick for Silva. Nedkov swings wildly and misses and Silva makes him pay for it. Again Silva lands a beautiful counter strike. Nedkov is stunned and Silva takes him down and easily moves into full mount. Silva is right at home here on the mat and is making NEdkov pay. Nedkov is looking to tie up his opponent and get the stand up. Silva transitions into a head and arm choke and quickly finishes the fight via submission. That should net Silva some serious cash as I like it for submission of the night (obviously) and fight of the night (depending on what happens in the main event).
Thiago Silva def. Stanislav Nedkov via Submission (Arm Triangle), Round 3 (1:45)
Rich Franklin (29-6) vs. Cung Le (8-2)
Round 1- Inside leg kick from Le, counter strike by Franklin. Big outside leg kick for Franklin. Another. And another, Le tries to land a spinning back kick but it comes up short. Franklin with a left. Then he puts together a combo that lands well. Hook for Franklin. Then out of nowhere Le hits an amazing right hook that knocks Franklin out cold. It came out of nowhere and gives what had been a lackluster show a shocking ending. Le gets his second straight UFC victory.