Welcome to this afternoon’s card from London, England. We’re live from Inside Fights HQ in Chicago, IL, with the main card. You can catch up on the Facebook portion of the undercard by clicking here.
Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle
Riddle gets booed pretty loudly and he seems to like it. The guy does have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Britain.
Round 1: Riddle opens with some stand up but shoots quickly for a single. Mills is defending well as Riddle gets him up against the cage. Lets it go and to the clinch. He really works for that takedown against the cage and finally gets it 90 seconds in. Mills is looking to wall walk his way back up and does as Riddle can’t cut him off. Mills gets away and back tot he middle of the cage. Mills with some kicks and Riddle drags him down with a single. Mills pops back up against the cage and Riddle doesn’t like what he sees, back to the middle. Wild exchange and Riddle goes to the body lock, Mills against the cage. Riddle tries to drag him down again but Mills is defending well. He switches to a double and Riddle finally gets it. Mills is in butterfly guard and Riddle is looking to pass to side control. Mills is keeping him in half guard with 20 seconds left. Riddle works the body and lands some short elbows to end the round.
Round 2: Mills opens up with some striking and Riddle grabs a single leg, big sweep and Riddle slams Mills to the ground. Riddle lands in north/south and is looking for a north/south choke. Mills is defending well and Riddle gives up on it for side control. Some knees to the body as this is grind time 101 for Riddle. Mills is just clinging on, hoping for a stand up, as Riddle looks to move to mount as Mills is fighting him off. Riddle with some little strikes, landing in volume. Riddle is grinding him right now, landing enough to keep him there but nothing of massive significance. Mills tries to shrimp up but Riddle defends but has half guard at least. Riddle is looking to move to mount and gets there with 70 seconds. Mills gives up his back trying to scramble as Riddle has a body triangle, looking for a choke. 30 seconds left and he grabs an arm triangle loosely, using it to set up short hammer fists. He rides it out as the round ends.
Riddle 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Mills lands some nice strikes to start as Riddle goes for the takedown but can’t finish. Riddle is in full brawl mode for a short while as he and Mills start throwing down. Riddle isn’t looking for a level change for a short while but sets up a single leg off a beautiful right hook, Mills against the cage. Mills is defending well and we’re back into the clinch against the cage. Mills gets off the cage and Riddle is still clinging to that clinch. Whizzer from Mills and he can’t finish it up as Riddle is still on him tight. Riddle gets between his legs and tosses him off, getting the takedown and Mills pulls full guard. Riddle moves to half guard and is landing ground and pound right now. He’s embracing the grind against Mills and Mills is just hanging on for dear life right now. Riddle goes for a kimura but can’t finish, Mills sweeps him and gets top position with a minute to go. We get a stand up with 30 seconds left as Riddle tried to taunt him to go back to the ground. And Riddle goes for a single with 20 seconds left and we end the fight against the cage.
10-9 Riddle, 30-27 Riddle
Official decision: 29-28 Riddle, 29-28 Mills, 30-27 Riddle .. Riddle by split decision.
James Te-Huna vs. Ryan Jimmo
Round 1: Te-Huna comes out and grabs the clinch and Jimmo is against the fence quickly. Some knees are exchanged as Leon Roberts is already warning them to stay busy. And a break a short while later and Jimmo lands a big left kick, Te-Huna is taking a beating as Jimmo is teeing off on him. Te-Huna is bleeding as Jimmo is landing strikes out of full guard. Te-Huna gets back up and goes for a guillotine, Jimmo drops hit right back to the ground for some ground and pound. Jimmo passes into side control off a failed armbar from bottom by Te-Huna and Jimmo is landing some big shots. Te- Huna eventually gets back into full guard and lands some nice elbows off his back. Round ends as Jimmo stays in Te-Huna’s full guard.
Round 2: Jimmo comes out a bit more safety first this round as looking to a land a big kick again instead of getting a brawl. Te-Huna goes for a single and tries a lift, Jimmo counters beautifully and tries to grab one of his own off a body lock. Te-Huna fights off and gets a body lock, slamming Jimmo to the ground. Lands in side control as he’s looking to shrimp his way up. Jimmo is looking for a bridge and to shrimp his way back up but Te-Huna is doing a first rate job of keeping him there. Te-Huna looks to move into the mounted crucifix and then quickly moves into mount, Jimmo moves into deep half as Te-Huna is landing some short elbows on him. Te-Huna with some nice elbows and some big rights as Jimmo is just trying to survive right now. Te-Huna is grinding him down as Te-Huna finishes the round with some nice ground and pound off a posture.
10-9 Te-Huna, 19-19
Round 3: Jimmo more aggressive this round as Jimmo goes for a body lock and can’t finish, Te-Huna grabs one and can’t and then Jimmo with a bodylock against the cage. Some cage work as both guys are trading knees while working for position. Te-Huna pummels under and lands some nice strikes and Jimmo circles away. Te-Huna bull rushes him against the cage and now we’re playing the pummel game again. Te-Huna drags him down and lands in half guard, landing some nice elbows. Jimmo lands some nice shoulder strikes and is grinding Jimmo out right now. Jimmo is trying to use the cage to escape and Te-Huna drags him away, landing some nice elbows and punches. Jimmo is trying to shrimp back up but he’s getting mauled right now.
10-9 Te-Huna, 29-28 Te-Huna
Official Decision: 29-27, 29-28, 29-28 Te-Huna
Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago
Round 1: Santiago comes out with some jabs and Nelson looks to grab a body clinch to bring it to the ground. Santiago backs out and we’re back to the middle. Santiago throws some more as he’s getting a bit wild as Nelson’s horse stance and countering style are making him over commit. Nelson is making Santiago come to him by throwing side kicks to the leg. Santiago with a nice head kick followed by a Thai clinch attempt that goes nowhere. Nelson finally grabs a double and down quickly, Santiago into half guard. Nelson goes for a standing guard pass but Santiago uses it to get back up quickly. Santiago is chasing him down and throwing wild as Nelson is waiting for a good counter but not getting it. Santiago comes in wild again and Nelson to the clinch and gets Santiago against the cage. Santiago circles away and the round ends.
Round 2: Jorge comes in wild to start and Nelson goes for the takedown, can’t finish. Nelson with a beautiful combination and he goes for a double. Drags Santiago to the ground and he’s looking to pass guard. Santiago is holding on to half guard. Nelson tries a standing pass but instead uses to land some big strikes onto Santiago. He’s operating out of Santiago’s full guard as he’s throwing short elbows to grind him down. Nelson is countering Santiago’s open guard but looking for a standing pass and winds up in side control. He’s landing some nice strikes and moves into mount. This is beautiful work from Nelson. Nelson is landing strikes out of top and round ends with Nelson landing some big shots.
10-9 Nelson, 20-18 Nelson
Round 3: Santiago comes in throwing wildly again as Nelson grabs the body clinch but can’t finish the takedown. Nelson is starting to open up with his kicking game; he’s pressing forward more often and landing on Santiago. Santiago grabs the body clinch and it’s up against the cage for Nelson to eat some knees. Santiago backs out but doesn’t let him off the cage. He’s throwing a lot of winged shots right now; he knows he’s down and has to do something big. Santiago lands some big shots on Nelson and Nelson responds with a big uppercut. Santiago is hurt and Nelson is pushing the pace on him. Santiago is gassed right now as Nelson is landing some big shots on him right now. He goes back to the body clinch and tries for the takedown but can’t finish. Nelson with another right and Santiago responds with some big shots of his own. Round ends as Santiago lands a massive right. Nelson walked through it though.
10-9 Nelson, 30-27 Nelson
Official decision: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 Nelson
Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabaté
Round 1: Manuwa opens with a leg kick and Diabate is moving away. Manuwa goes for the body clinch and we’re up against the cage. Manuwa drags him to the ground and we’re into side control. Diabate looks to shrimp his way back up as Manuwa opens up with some nice short elbows. Diabate back up to his feet and they trade in the clinch with short elbows. Manuwa casually tosses Diabate to the ground after landing some nice punches, then lets him back up. Manuwa is landing some nice hooks and Diabate goes for the Thai clinch but Manuwa lands some big shots. Nice big leaping left hook from Manuwa as Manuwa is finding his range. Big knee from Diabate to the midsection and Manuwa drags him to the ground with 10 seconds left. Manuwa stand up to let him back up as the round ends.
Fight ends as Diabate can not continue. Manuwa wins via TKO (Doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of the first round.
Cub Swanson vs. Dustin Poirier
Round 1: Both guys come out throwing down as both are landing; not a lot of feeling out. Swanson is charging forward and throwing whereas Poirier is looking for the counter. Poirier is looking to gauge distance with leg kicks as Cub tends to wade in wild. Poirier grabs the clinch and we’re against the cage. Spirited exchange and Swanson with a big time uppercut following a beautiful head kick. Nice combination from Cub as Poirier catches the kick and takes him down off it. Poirier goes for the guillotine and can’t finish, scramble to finish the round.
Round 2: Poirier comes out more aggressive to start the round as Swanson continues to work body shots. Poirier with a nice combination as both guys are throwing; Swanson with a nice jumping body kick. He’s working from the body on up and it’s effective so far. Poirier with a nice triple jab to follow; these guys aren’t holding back. Poirier grabs a single leg for the takedown and it’s against the cage. Swanson is defending it well and eventually gets away, back to the center. Poirier is more aggressive as Swanson is looking to counter more. Nice body punch/head kick/body punch combination from Poirier, who then double legs Swanson down. Swanson sets up an omoplata but can’t finish but uses it to get back standing. Poirier with some nice striking and goes for a single again on him. Swanson looks to grab a kimura against the fence as the two are jockeying for position against the cage. Swanson gets away with 20 seconds left and Poirier with a nice combination. Swanson ends the round the aggressor.
10-9 Poirier, 19-19
Round 3: Swanson goes for a high kick early after some punching exchanges and Poirier goes in on a double off a slip, backing Cub against the cage. He switches up to a body lock and Swanson is trying to circle off the cage. Poirier lets go and Porier unloads with a beautiful combination as Swanson is just eating punishment across the cage. Poirier with a nice body kick and everything he’s throwing is landing. Swanson goes for the takedown and gets it, Poirier landing in full guard. Swanson starts with the ground and pound and transitions to the back after a scramble. Swanson has full back mount in, loses it as Swanson rides him off it and gets both hooks in. Swanson is on Poirier’s back as he stands up to shake him off as Swanson is a bit high on him. Poirier tries to shake him off and they roll into Swanson getting mount. Swanson stands up and is pouring it on. Poirier back to his feet and we have 60 seconds to throw down. Swanson with a headlock throw beautifully executed, landing with Swanson on his back. He’s got a partial back mount right now as he’s looking to grab an armbar. Poirier is trying to fight it off as Swanson goes for the armbar; Poirier gets out and is throwing hands until the final whistle.
10-9 Swanson, 29-28 Swanson
Official decision: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 Swanson
Renan Barão (ic) vs. Michael McDonald
Round 1: Both fighters a bit tentative to start; this is five rounds so the pace is going to be slower for both. Barao is respecting MacDonald’s power, MacDonald is looking for a big shot. Barao with a beautiful double and lands in side control, MacDonald moves into guard and they’re battling for wrist control. MacDonald gets back up and Barao lets him as we’re back to standing. MacDonald with a beautiful combination as Barao is moving back as soon as he throws a significant strike. Big combination as Barao lands a nice counter. Barao is looking for the counter and use his leg kicking game. Barao with a deep double and MacDonald fights it off beautifully. MacDonald closes the gap and lands some big shots and Barao is HURT! Barao recovers with a body lock and lands some big shots on MacDonald as he goes for the takedown. Barao drags him to the ground as MacDonald pulls him into an open guard. Round ends as both ride out the clock with some light striking.
Round 2: Not a lot of action to start as Barao is a bit hesitant to trade with MacDonald; he’s backing out as soon as MacDonald moves his arm back for a big punch. He felt that power and wants nothing to do with it. Barao with a spinning kick as MacDonald backs away. Barao eats a left as he goes for the clinch, MacDonald out quickly. Barao gets a deep single and takes him down, MacDonald up just as quick. Barao comes in throwing but he hasn’t quite figured out his range just yet. Barao is slowing down and we got an accidental eye poke. MacDonald comes in firing and Barao lands a nice counter. MacDonald is landing jabs but Barao is avoiding the bulk of the power shots from his combinations. Barao with a combination body punch and leg kick, followed by a nice front kick to the face. MacDonald catches a kick and lands a beautiful combination. Round ends as neither fighter lands anything of significant despite throwing some nice combinations. Barao with a spin kick as the buzzer ends … and it looks like he might be cut.
MacDonald 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Slower pace to open the round. McDonald is pressing forward and the two get in a bit of a scrap; Barao is pushing the pace and making MacDonald come to him. McDonald eats a nice combination and Barao is in on the takedown. McDonald is fighting him off with a whizzer but Barao gets him to the ground in side control. McDonald scrambles and muscles him off, though, and we’re back standing. McDonald is starting to win the exchanges now as he’s starting to land more than just jabs. Barao with a nice uppercut. Barao’s offensive has been pretty conservative tonight; usually he’s a lot more flashy in what he does. McDonald is telegraphing more and Barao has figured out his counters now. He’s wading in but Barao is meeting him as he comes with a big strike. Nice spinning kick from Barao to the midsection with 30 seconds left. Barao stalks him for the final 15 seconds of the fight.
Barao 10-9, 29-28 Barao
Round 4: McDonald with a nice left and Barao throws a leaping left hook in kind, neither hitting. Barao gets inside and eats a big left for his troubles. Barao goes for the takedown and McDonald stuffs him on it. Barao with a flying knee and follows it up with a vicious left that misses. McDonald is bleeding through the nose now, i t seems. Barao gets close and is throwing that left wild, can’t hit it but Barao can’t get the takedown either. Barao lands another spin kick and lands flush on it. He’s starting to get comfortable throwing his usual offense. He wades in again and McDonald lands a body shot but misses a hook. He wades in and Barao grabs a body lock and tries to toss McDonald down, can’t but eventually gets him down. He moves quickly to a head-arm triangle and gets into side control but that’s deep. Barao is slowly walking that to the left and McDonald taps at 3:57 of the fourth round.