Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Inside Fights live coverage of UFC on FX 7 (Michael Bisping vs. Vitor Belfort). We’ll be here for the entirety of the card, from the first Facebook fight to Michael Bisping’s post-fight shenanigans, live from Inside Fights HQ in Chicago, IL.
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Lightweight Francisco Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith
Round 1: Not a lot of action for the first minute until Trinaldo throws a massive overhand left that causes Keith to grab the clinch. Trinaldo gets him against the cage and we’re exchanging knees as Trinaldo looks to work a takedown. Trinaldo almost gets one but Keith blocks it with a whizzer. And then he decides to slam him, giving him some airtime before slamming him down and into half guard. Moves into full mount as he’s throwing some bombs. He gets too high and Keith reverses position, winding up in full guard. Trinaldo grabs an armbar from the bottom but can’t finish, Keith works it out and we’re back to our feet against the cage. Trinaldo grabs the takedown and we’re back on the mat. Trinaldo is looking to move into mount but not a lot of action; just enough to prevent a standup but not a ton. Trinaldo 10-9
Round 2:N ot a lot of action to start; Trinaldo is looking to set up that big overhand and Keith is staying back. Throws a high kick and gets caught, Rinaldo pushing him back against the cage. Trinaldo suplexes him again and grabs a head-arm triangle and has it tight. He taps at 1:48 of the second round.
Francisco Trinaldo wins via submission at 1:48 of the second round
Preliminary Card (Fuel TV)
Light Heavyweight Wagner Prado vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Round 1: Prado kind of looks like he’s about to star in a Brazilian update of Magnum PI with his new mustache when he’s grown tonight. Both guys come out firing with strikes as Prado throws some nice hooks that land. Alcantra wants none of it and grabs the clinch, going for a takedown. Prado is fighting it off and Alcantra backs off to the center. Some nice striking as Alcantra is adjusting well; Prado with a nice head kick. Prado is looking to work the body more as Alcantra is doing well to prevent the hooks by switching up his stance. Prado lets his hands go and they start to brawl a little bit; Alcantra is using his kicks well to keep Prado from getting in close. He’s eating some shots to do so. Prado is starting to counter those kicks by going over the top with his strikes but a leg kick is countered into a takedown. Prado is bleeding over his left eye. He forces a standup with a lockdown guard and Prado lands a big right to end the round. Prado 10-9
Round 2: Prado comes out the aggressor as he’s landing some big hooks. Alcantra isn’t moving his head well and is just leaving it out there to get slugged. Not smart strategy against a guy with power like Prado. Lands a big hook but Alcantra grabs a takedown, Prado with a loose guillotine. Prado stands up and almost gets caught in a darce choke. Prado on top as he’s trying to land strikes but Alcantra is doing well by shrimping away. Prado is sitting in half guard throwing strikes but he’s not landing anything really strong. Alcantra rolls to a knee bar and Prado isn’t doing anything to counter and is kind of just trying to roll through. Alcantra locks it in deep and Prado taps at 2:36 of the second round.
Ildemar Alcantara wins via submission (knee bar) at 2:36 of the second round.
Bantamweight Yuri Alcantara vs. Pedro Nobre
Round 1: Alcantra comes out throwing and nearly connects with a flying knee. Nobre accidentally lands south of the border and Alcantra gets time to heal. Nobre gets warned for it but a sportsmanlike glovetap. They just start trading and Nobre grabs a takedown, Alcantra grabs an arm in transition and another scramble gives him a deep kimura. Nobre fights out of it beautifully in the scramble but gives up his back in full back mount. Hooks in deep and he looks to grab a rear naked choke. He’s landing some nice strikes as he flattens him out and we get a break as Alcantra lands in the back of the head. Nobre is down and the doctor is brought out. The fight is being stopped as this is being ruled a no-contest. A bit baffling as the replays show that it doesn’t look like anything dirty landed.
Fight’s officially a No-Contest
Lightweight Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Martins
Round 1: Slow start as Barboza lands a beautiful body kick and a pair of nice leg kicks. And then he kicks Martins in the nuts 30 seconds in for a break. Barboza with a pair of nice hands; everything looks so crisp tonight. He normally looks really good but he’s ON tonight. Martins is trying to find range but Barboza is doing a great job at managing distance. Martins is wading in but is eating a lot of punishment as he moves in. Barboza is just picking him apart right now. Barboza lands a big shot that puts him down to the ground then pounds him out at 2:38 of the first round as Martins taps to strikes.
Edson Barboza wins via submission (strikes) at 2:38 of the first round
Featherweight Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz
Round 1: Got to love the Brazilian crowd as an early chant of “You’re going to die” in Portuguese breaks out early. Lentz starts out fast and grabs a body lock; initially gets the takedown but Nunes is back up early. Lentz is trying to drag him down from behind but Nunes is defending it really well. Nunes is getting drug to the ground but Lentz can’t hold him there; Nunes finally gets him down with a slam and has back mount. He’s working to get a rear naked choke as he’s unloading with some ground and pound while trying to grab a choke. Nunes gets back up, though, and eats a couple of knees to the head as Nunes is still on his back. Lentz drags him to the ground again and Nunes is eating a lot of punishment. Lentz is doing a really good job at keeping him where he wants; Nunes can’t do anything without Lentz dragging him back to the ground or beating him up. 40 seconds left and he’s got back mount but Nunes gets back up again. Lentz drags him down again and he grinds him out to finish the round. 10-9 Lentz
Round 2: Some striking to begin as Nunes looks leery of exchanging because of the takedown in the first round. And Lentz gets a takedown again as he’s in half guard throwing some short elbow. Nunes tries to set up a scramble with a hip escape but Lentz is keeping top control effectively. He grinds him most of the round as he’s just dominating him from top position. Nunes is holding on, trying not to take punishment, as Lentz is just grinding him down at this point. He looks nearly beaten right now. Round ends with Nunes escaping but eating some punishment for it. Nice punch from Nunes drops Lentz as the clock expires. Lentz 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: First round 3 we’ve had tonight. Nunes comes out on his heels as Lentz is being aggressive standing but can’t finish a takedown 40 seconds in. Nunes with a nice combination as Lentz goes for a takedown that gets whizzered away by Nunes. He’s come out with a spark as he’s letting his hands go. Lentz stops all that 90 seconds in as he gets a takedown. Back to the same as Lentz works his top position game. Nunes gets back up after a minute but Lentz is tight to him. Nunes has a spark where he gets to his feet but Lentz drags him back down and lands in mount. Ground and pound from Lentz as Nunes is just getting swarmed. Nunes back to his feet with 30 seconds left and Nunes with a beautiful combination as he gets up. Lentz grabs a desperate takedown and finishes it, riding out the final seconds of the round. 10-9 Lentz, 30-27 Lentz
Official Decision: 30-28,30-27,30-26
Middleweight Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig
Round 1: Come out with a lot of movement but not a lot of strikes; both guys respect the other’s power. Some wild brawling and Markes goes for the takedown, Craig up quickly as Markes can’t finish it and we’re in the clinch against the cage. Markes is looking to set up a level change but Craig is using his hips to keep it standing. Markes grabs a single and drags him to the ground, finally, but can’t complete it as Craig is back up to his feet quickly. Markes finally drags him down violently and Craig is seated with his back to the cage. Markes is looking to drag him flat but Craig is doing a good job controlling his body. Drag attempt and Markes against the cage, Markes gets backmount and nearly completes a rear naked choke with a neck crank. Craig is landing some strikes from this as Markes is looking to get a choke out of this. Craig does a great job of playing hand control, reverses and gets top position in full guard. Not enough time to do anything out of it though. Markes 10-9
Round 2: Craig comes out with a really nice leg kick to start. Markes goes over the top with a punch to try and grab a clinch takedown off it but Craig shrugs it off. Markes with a beautiful high crotch single and finishes it off with a trip, landing in full guard. Craig cage walks but Markes drags him away from the cage and into half guard. Markes is looking for a kimura but Craig is defending it well. Markes passes it, though, and he’s got it deep. He loses it and in the scramble Markes is back on him. Craig is defending well but Markes is just out-working him. Craig back to his feet but Markes isn’t letting him do anything as Craig is against the cage, Markes working on a level change. Ref break with 45 seconds left, back to the middle of the cage. Not a lot of action to end the round as Craig stalks Markes but doesn’t throw anything. 10-9 Markes, 20-18 Markes
Round 3: Markes opens the round going back to the takedown game and we’re back against the cage. Level change to a single leg that he can’t finish as we’re playing the cage dancing game right now. Craig’s got to do something right now; he knows he’s down but all he’s doing is defending. Markes nearly gets a double but some nice defense from Craig. Away from the cage and Craig seperates. Big right knocks Markes down and Craig gets on top, landing some big shots. Markes is holding on to his leg for dear life right now as Craig is landing some nice elbows. Into half guard as Markes is rocked right now. He’s just holding on, trying to recover. Craig is working to move into mount but Markes is doing a good job of defending. Markes tries to get back to his feet but Craig is making him pay for it. He’s working the body with a minute to go and using short elbows to the head. He’s grinding him now and he should be going for a finish; he won’t get a 10-8 off this and lets him up with 30 seconds. Flying knee and Markes takes him down. It’s academic now as round ends with Markes holding him against the cage. 10-9 Craig, 29-28 Markes
Official Decision – 29-28 on all three scorecards for Ronny Markes
Featherweight Godofredo Castro vs. Milton Vieira
Round 1: Some light striking to start but nothing major connecting. Viera with a nice body kick 30 seconds in. Castro with a nice combination and solid inside leg kick. Beautiful right from Castro but Vieira grabs a takedown and we’re to the mat. Castro is looking to work for a kimura and Milton is looking to try and pass. Vieira with some nice positional work as he’s landing just enough to keep Castro honest. Castro is working for subs and Milton is making him pay for it. Beautiful triangle attempt off the bottom doesn’t work and wild scramble leads to a heel hook attempt. Both standing and then Castro continues tonight’s Nutcracker theme. Time to recover for Milton. Castro with some wild strikes and we’re back to the clinch against the cage. Milton doing a job managing distance and takes him down off a failed knee attempt. Castro gets back up but Milton is glued to his back as they run across the cage together. Back standing as Castro gets away. Wild combination from Castro misses, level change from Vieira but time expires before he can complete it. Milton 10-9
Round 2: Castro coming out more aggressive again this round but Vieira with another takedown. Castro in full guard as he goes submission hunting again. Vieira is working to pass but Castro is doing a terrific job keeping him flattened out. Castro finally grabs a kimura but Milton doing a good job defending with his leg. Finally gets it as he sweeps with it into the mount. He loses the kimura but grabs back off an attempted escape. Nice tight body triangle on him, as well. Castro is working for a choke but Milton is doing a good job playing defense. He’s eating a lot of punches for the effort, though. Castro does a good job pounding him out but can’t finish a choke as the round ends. 10-9 Castro, 19-19
Slow start to the round as both guys aren’t doing a whole lot in the opening minute. A lot of jabs but and attempts at a clinch but nothing wild. Both guys have slowed down a bit. Castro with a nice overhand left that doesn’t do much damage. Milton with a nice combination. Castro is pressing the fight right now with a nice combination as both guys are into brawl mode right now. Flying knee from Vieira and Castro grabs the clinch, Milton against the cage. Gets Milton to his knees but back up quickly. Milton with a beautiful kimura attempt and tries to roll through it, scramble leaves Vieira on top in full guard. Castro is looking for that kimura again and we get an odd standup from Mario Yamasaki. Wild overhand right leads to a takedown attempt as hit 80 seconds left. Nice combination from Castro but Milton with a takedown with a minute to go. Viera stands up and tries to do a diving guard pass with a punch. Round ends as Milton postures up and unloads some strikes. 10-9 Vieira, 29-28 Vieira
Official decision – 29-28 Vieira, 29-28 Castro, 29-28 Castro. Castro wins by split decision. Crowd is not impressed with that decision. And Castro jumps on the cage to encourage them to boo him, then bows to them in a classy move.
Main Card (FX)
Lightweight Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Round 1: Tavares the more aggressive fighter but not hitting a lot off KN. KN counters with a nice counter right. Some wild striking here as both guys, who are grapplers, aren’t looking for the ground at all. KN lands a big right and Tavares is down. KN with some violent elbows as Tavares turtles up. This is getting ugly … and it’s over. Khabib Nurmagomedov wins via TKO (strikes) … and he’s just made the first bid for a spot on the 2013 All-Violence team with that one.
Khabib Nurmagomedov wins via TKO (elbows) at 1:55 of the first round
Heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell
Round 1: Rothwell looks a lot lighter on his feet than normal. He looks in remarkable good shape. Gonzaga with a nice single leg and he’s in deep. Rothwell is defending it beautifully, though. Gonzaga drags him down and Rothwell isn’t having it; he’s trained well to prevent this. Finally gets him down and Rothwell is back up to his knees. Gonzaga is all in on this takedown attempt as Rothwell is back up. Some beautiful takedown defense and mat awareness from Rothwell so far. Rothwell back up and split, another failed takedown from Gonzaga and Rothwell is opened up with a beautiful punch from Gonzaga. Gonzaga goes for another takedown but Rothwell defends, presses Gonzaga against the cage. Rothwell backs off and Gonzaga with a couple of beautiful right hands. Gonzaga goes for a deep low single and can’t finish. Both exchange some nice combinations and both are starting to breath hard as the round ends. 10-9 Gonzaga
Round 2: Gonzaga opens with another nice right. He’s figured out his range early and is making Rothwell eat a lot of punishment as he gets in. Nice combination and Gonzaga grabs a guillotine. Has it tight and pulls guard. Rothwell taps at :58 of the second round.
Gabriel Gonzaga wins via submission (Guillotine) at :58 of the second round
Middleweight Daniel Sarafian vs. C.B. Dollaway
Round 1: Sarafian is a MASSIVE star in Brazil as the crowd comes alive by telling Dollaway he’s going to die in no uncertain terms. Dollaway is pawing jabs in but Sarafian is throwing some fire right back at him. CB is keeping his distance and trying to find his range. He has the reach and he’s using it to make him get in close. Sarafian with a nice combination and a massive shot drops the ASU wrestling product. He’s clinging to a leg as he’s clearly rocked. Sarafian backs out as his TDD is a lot better than expected. Sarafian’s hands look stellar right now; Dollaway wants nothing to do with it right now. Dollaway is eating that big overhand right well but Sarafian is now setting it up with a combination. He looks like an absolute star right now. Dollaway does the Nick Diaz taunt and Sarafian obliges him with some haymakers winged at his head. Sarafian 10-9
Round 2: Dollaway has to get him to the ground as fast as he can. Sarafian has busted his face up a little and Sarafian’s hands look just as good as they did in the first. Sarafian with a wild kick that hits air, Dollaway does the same, and now it’s time to grapple against the cage. Circle away and we’re back to the middle of the cage. Sarafian is just teeing off with his right; he’s throwing with such ferocity it’s amazing. Big right and CB is rocked, scramble and Sarafian can’t capitalize. He’s got to do something different, like feint a little more or take him down, or else Sarafian is going to plank him. Sarafian catches a kick and almost takes him down, Dollaway scrambles away well. Dollaway’s standing with him and doesn’t look that bad so far; he’s just getting eaten alive by that counter right. Sarafian is unleashing his full kick arsenal and Dollaway catches him with a big uppercut. Dollaway is on top and is teeing off but can’t quite finish him. We got a fight ladies and gentlemen! 10-9 Dollaway, 19-19
Round 3: Dollaway looks confident coming into this round as both guys are just throwing down right now. Sarafian doesn’t have a lot of pop left as Dollaway isn’t afraid of his power right now. Dollaway looks fresher and he’s dictating the pace; he’s wading in to take some big shots now. He wasn’t doing that in the first two. Big pair of rights from Dollaway and Sarafian is rocked. Dollaway gets the takedown and beautifully moves into mount. Sarafian is gassed and Dollaway grabs back mount. Sarafian up and we’re back to our feet, against the cage for the Brazilian. Dollaway wants him back down and he’s got it. Grabs back again and has back. Dollaway with some strikes as he’s accruing riding time now. Sarafian rolls to his back and Dollaway into mount. Sarafian reverses him with a sweep out of half guard just beautifully. Dollaway grabs half guard and it’s anyone’s fight right now. Sarafian grabs mount and is landing some strike. Dollaway to his stomach and Sarafian grabs back. Hooks in. He’s looking to grab a rear naked choke but CB is defending it beautifully. Dollaway with a nice reversal of his own as we’re 30 seconds to go. Sarafian trying to sweep off that half guard and he hits a pendulum sweep to his feet. Nice knee and Dollaway is hurt. Round ends as Dollaway is hanging on. What a fight.
10-9 Sarafian …. but 3rd round is insanely close. COuld go either way.
Official decision: 29-28 Dollaway, 29-28 Sarafian, 29-28 Dollaway
CB Dollaway wins by split decision
Heckuva fight … can argue either way. He did just enough in the second to steal it, 3rd was exceptionally close. And the Brazilians are crapping all over this. You can barely hear him being interviewed by Jon Anik.
Middleweight Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
Round 1: Slow start to the fight but that’s to be expected; this is five rounds neither fighter has gone the distance to that length in some time. Bisping never, actually, and Belfort back when he challenged Tito Ortiz for the title I believe. Vitor with a head kick; he rarely kicks so it’s a surprise. Neither fighter is unloading with strikes; Vitor goes for a flying knee and follows it with a jab while still in the air. Lots of movement and neither fighter is letting their hands go. Vitor with a spinning head kick. Vitor is looking to set up combinations now; he’s very patient right now. Normally he comes out like a bull in a china shop. He lands a nice counter uppercut as Bisping wades in. Vitor with a nice right. Bisping’s movement is really good right now; his head movement and footwork are really crisp. Vitor accidentally eye pokes him and we have a quick break. Neither guy is committing to anything other than a two punch combination; Bisping lands a nice kick to the body. Belfort with a nice body kick and a followup punch. Vitor’s lands a big left high kick and unloads with some crisp hands. He follows it with some big hands but Bisping survives to live another round. 10-9 Belfort
Round 2: Bisping out more aggressive in this round. Belfort with a couple of nice rights. Bisping keeps circling towards it and Belfort is looking to counter with a big right. The Brit’s movement is really good but he keeps going to Vitor’s power hand in the same way he did against Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Belfort is starting to let his hands go a bit more; Bisping is seeing multiple punches when he wades in instead of one on the counter. Belfort is really relaxed right now and he lands a beautiful left high kick to the head. Bisping is DOWN and Belfort pounds him out. Ref steps in and IT’S OVER.
Vitor Belfort wins via TKO at 1:27 of the second round.
This is only the second time Bisping’s been finished, the first being against Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Oddly enough both were in the second round, as well, against former UFC tournament winners.