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Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo
Round 1: Feeling out process to start and Trujillo throws a big right that misses. Looked impressive, though. KN is looking for a shot but doesn’t want to get into a firefight, either. Trujillo throws wild and then bowls him over for the takedown, landing in full guard. KN rolls for an omaplata and winds up grabbing an armbar. Brilliant defense from Trujillo and KN scrambles up and grabs back control, smooth flowing movements to him. Trujillo eats a suplex for his efforts to get up, and then tripped back down again. KN is tight on the back as they work against the cage and Trujillo is thrown down again. Suplex attempt is stopped and KN gets him to the ground again. This is beautiful throwing technique by him; as soon as he gets up he’s being ragdolled around. KN isn’t looking for backmount; he’s getting tossed around. Trujillo catches him and scramble leads KN in guard. He grabs a triangle and locks it in. Takes it to mount and looks to move to an armbar. Has it in DEEEEP but Trujillo survives. 10-8 KN
Round 2: Abel comes out looking to work from a distance; after getting slammed so much in the first he wants nothing to do with it. KN, though, bull rushes him and spins behind for back control. Trujillo swims out of a trip attempt and lands some nice hands in the scramble back to the feet. Some wild striking and KN just spins behind him, trip to the ground. His ability to move so quickly in tight spaces is remarkable. Trujillo back up and KN is looking for the slam again and Trujillo goes for the spin again. KN catches him, though, and gets back control. Body triangle from back but he can’t do much, let’s it go and Trujillo back to his feet. KN drags him back to the ground and grabs back control again. This is a back control clinic right now. Roll out and Trujillo spins his way back to his feet, KN doesn’t let him go far and drags him back down. He’s clinging to his back and working from there in spectacular fashion. Trujillo back to his feet but dragged down again. Some striking from back control and KN rides him out to end the round. 10-9 KN, 20-17 KN
Round 3: Trujillo comes out more aggressive but a slip leads to KN dragging him down to the ground again. He’s back up but KN is glued to his back again. He goes for the rolling scramble to get some space and KN has wised up to it, getting nothing. He’s up for a moment and dragged down again. He works some knees to the body and it’s becoming a routine; Abel manages to find a way up and then dragged down to the ground again. KN is just manhandling him right now as it’s repetitive. He winds up in full guard and back up but right back down again. This is almost a mugging right now; Trujillo has the look of a man who has no clue what to do and how to stop it. Round ends with a beautiful throw by KN as Trujillo gets back up. KN 10-9, 30-26
Official decision: Khabib Nurmagomedov 30-27×3
Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker
Interesting note: this is the first time in UFC history that two fighters who’ve won seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” have faced off one another in their first fights in the UFC following the TUF Finale they won. Whitaker on “TUF: The Smashes” while Smith won Season 16 of TUF.
Round 1: Interesting note: this is the first time in UFC history that two fighters who’ve won seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” have faced off one another in their first fights in the UFC following the TUF Finale they won. Whitaker on “TUF: The Smashes” while Smith won Season 16 of TUF. It’s the seventh meeting, overall, between fighters who’ve won the show.
Round 1: Whitaker looks to stay away from Smith, as Smith is looking to throw and then level change. Whitaker stops the takedown early; he’s staying away, moving back whenever Smith is getting close and is showing some good movement to stay away from the cage. Smith is eating some stiff jabs as he gets close; Whitaker’s game plan is excellent so far and he’s sticking to it. Smith is desperately trying to use his footwork to get him close to the cage and Whitaker is landing, then moving back to the center as soon as he can. Smith isn’t throwing anything powerful; he’s looking to throw something quick and go for a takedown but can’t finish the second part of that equation. Nice superman punch to close the gap but Whitaker gets out quickly but a big right, followed by a nice left hook, and Whitaker grabs a double to clear the cobwebs. Smith nearly lands a kimura but the scramble leads to Whitaker getting out of it. 10-9 Smith
Round 2: Big left by Whitaker early and Colton’s rocked. Whitaker is landing some nice shots as he goes for a desperation takedown, can’t complete it and eats some shots. Clears the cobwebs, though, and Smith’s face shows some damage. Whitaker is landing some big shots on the counter; his style is giving Smith some fits. Whitaker’s hands look stellar so far; another takedown attempt and Whitaker’s defense is beautiful against Smith’s takedowns. HIs timing in the fight is giving Smith fits; he found his range early and Colton hits him in his Brits with a knee. Time to take a break, a quick one though. Smith’s turning this into a boxing match when he should throwing more kicks; Whitaker’s legs are screaming “kick me” and he’s looking for the takedown and nothing else. Whitaker tags him with that left hook and lands some nice follow ups as well. Whitaker with some nice uppercuts as he’s getting busted up. Whitaker 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Smith is coming out throwing but Whitaker is eating some big volleys on the counter. Big right and Whitaker swarms him. Ref steps in at :41. Robert Whitaker wins via TKO at :41 of the third round.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway
Round 1:Bermudez uses his strikes early to set up a deep single, can’t finish though. Holloway is using his length to keep Bermudez on the outside, using jabs and movement. Bermudez is coming straight forward and throwing, though, and landing pretty consistently. Holloway’s reach is an advantage but Bermudez is looking for a takedown attempt; can’t finish a single but gets the clinch against the cage for a moment. Bermudez is throwing some leg kicks and Holloway lands a spinning back kick to the face and Holloway is pouring it on. Bermudez is in survival mode now in the clinch, eating a knee to the face beforehand. Another one to the body and Bermudez walks through it this time. Spinning back kick and Bermudez is knocked down, but up quickly, as the round ends. 10-9 Holloway
Round 2: Bermudez goes for the takedown early and Holloway grabs his back on the scramble. Bermudez stands up and back off, Holloway with a nice head kick as he exits. Bermudez is getting leery of moving inside against Holloway; been eating too much as he walks in. Holloway is using his jab and kicks to keep Bermudez at bay. Holloway is landing some nice combinations on Bermudez, who’s wading in but eating some punishment for his efforts. Leg kick by Bermudez wobbles Holloway for a moment. Bermudez with another takedown attempt that goes nowhere; Holloway is landing some nice elbows with his back against the cage. Bermudez is looking for that takedown try but is hesitating when he moves closer. Holloway’s keeping him at bay, using that distance to keep Bermudez away. Bermudez with a high altitude slam and Holloway locks up his arms as soon as he’s on his back. 10-9 Holloway, 20-18
Round 3: Bermudez comes out significantly more aggressive this round. Gets in close and gets the takedown but Holloway is active off his back. Holloway back up quickly, though, and we’re back to the middle of the cage. Bermudez is really pushing the pace this round; he’s fighting like he’s down, which he probably is. Some striking and Bermudez goes for another, gets it but Holloway is back up quickly. His ability to wall walk is impressive. Holloway is looking to counter as Bermudez is throwing wild, failed takedown from Holloway as Bermudez finally grabs a takedown off the clinch, landing in half guard. Switches to full guard as Bermudez starts uncorking some elbows, Holloway holding on. Holloway is a bit bloody now as Bermudez is landing some big elbows with under a minute to go. Bermudez tries to sneak into mount and Holloway defends it well; he’s holding on for dear life right now. Round ends as Bermudez is landing some big elbows. 10-9 Bermudez, 29-28 Holloway. Very close decision, wouldn’t be shocked to see it go to a split decision.
Official decision: 29-28 Holloway, 29-28 Bermudez, 29-28 Bermudez – Bermudez wins via split decision
Mike Pyle vs. Rick Story
Round 1: Story gets him to the floor quickly and Pyle pulls full guard on him. Pyle’s working for an armbar, switches to a shoulder lock, and Story works his way out and back into full guard. He’s got top position and is grinding him right now; Pyle elevates Story and goes for an armbar, nearly catches it but Story defends well and works back into full guard. Pretty simple round so far: Pyle working his way into something off his back and story landing some slight ground and pound as he grinds him down. Pyle back up and eats a big right for his efforts. Story is throwing some bombs on Pyle, swinging wild and with everything he has. Big left to the head following a body shot from Story and Pyle is down and Story is going donkey kong on him, tries to roll out of it and Story is landing some massive shots. Pyle manages to work into full guard, body locks him as the round ends. Story 10-9
Round 2:Pyle is cautious coming in but Story lands a nice body shot early. Story goes for body lock and Pyle defends, Story switches to the single and grabs the takedown. Pyle grabs a kimura and Story is defending well. He’s got guard on Story is out. Back to Story’s top position grind game as Pyle is looking to hip scoot out. Not a lot of action as Pyle is looking to set up an arm lock while Story is grinding him out with to position control. Shocked there hasn’t been a standup as the round ends with not a lot of action. 10-9 Pyle, 19-19
Round 3: Not a lot of action to start as Pyle is staying away, goes for a knee in the clinch but Story goes for a single leg but can’t get it. Story’s slower this round; goes for a takedown and can’t finish, opts for the stand up. Pyle goes for the thai clinch, Story goes for the takedown and can’t finish. Body lock and they’re against the cage. Pyle lands some nice elbows and Story is back to going for takedown against the cage. Story gets him down, Pyle back up and Story has back control on him. Not a lot of action as Story is kneeing the body and Pyle is throwing short elbows. Story lands some nice body shots as Pyle turns into him; Pyle has bloodied him up and is landing some nice shots right now. Story turns the tide with a double and Pyle is on his back. Pyle rolls for an armbar and can’t finish, grabs the back and has a body triangle. Landing some strikes, looking for the choke. Rolls into an armbar but can’t finish as the round ends. 10-9 Pyle, 29-28 Pyle
Official decision: 29-28×2 Pyle, 29-28 Story
Tags: Abel Trujillo, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva, Cain Velasquez, Colton Smith, Dennis Bermudez, Junior dos Santos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Mark Hunt, Max Holloway, Mike Pyle, Mixed Martial Arts, Rick Story, Robert Whittaker, UFC 160