Welcome Fight Fans to the UFC 167 main card play by play. I’m Scott Sawitz and will be giving you the blow by blow account of the main PPV card. THe card starts at roughly 9pm CST, so feel free to bookmark this and then come back during fight time.
125 lbs.: Ali Bagautinov vs. Tim Elliott
Round 1: Elliott is coming out with his hands down and his face forward, begging the Russian to throw at him. AB isn’t taking the bait so far. Pair of nice uppercuts to start as he’s looking for a big shot. Elliott using nice head movement to compensate for his hands being down at his hips. AB in but can’t get the body lock takedown. He goes in again but can’t. Elliott is using his length to keep him away. Big knee and Elliott is rocked, AB can’t capitalize on it. Ali looking more for the counter right now as he knows he can hurt Elliott. Elliott is getting out quickly whenever Ali starts to load up. Kick from Elliott and Ali gets the takedown, Elliott right back up but eats a knee to the face for his efforts. Elliott is controlling the center of the cage but Ali is doing a good job landing whenever he gets close. Ali goes in for a single and can’t finish, lands some fast hands on the exit. Big shots and a big kick from Ali as the round ends. Bagautinov 10-9
Round 2: Elliott more aggressive to come out as Ali is looking for the counter. Elliott’s herky jerky style is interesting but he’s not throwing or connecting a lot. Ali is fighting a really strong tactical fight right now. Flying knee from Elliott is caught and he’s slammed, Elliott with an arm-in guillotine and he’s got full guard off it. Ali just throws him down on the ground to get out and Elliott responds with a takedown. Elliott is working ground and pound right now, absolutely relentless, as Ali is trying to get up off his back. Ali is up and we’re back standing. Elliott back to coming in and Ali is countering him fairly successfully again. Elliott in for the takedown and Ali counters, gets the takedown, he’s up quick and Ali can’t get him down during the scramble as we’re back up again. Back to the counter game as the round ends. 10-9 Bagautinov, 20-18
Round 3: Ali is a bit gassed right now and Elliott is starting to push the pace a bit more. He’s starting to throw more, like he knows he needs this round. Nice front kick to the face from Ali as Elliott is starting to let his hands go. Ali is landing a lot on the counters, though, just not as much as he was last round. Ali with some nice overhand rights as Elliott’s chin is holding up substantially. Elliott catches him with a nice flurry with two minutes left. Final two minutes are spent with this style, as Ali is landing nice counters as Elliott is controlling the center but not throwing a whole lot. Elliott pours it on in the final 10 seconds, with a nice takedown to boot. 10-9 Bagautinov, 30-27
Official decision – Bagautinov via unanimous decision (29-28×2, 30-27)
170 lbs.: Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley
Round 1: Woodley with a nice right to start as Koscheck doesn’t touch gloves. Big right from Woodley as Kos is a bit rocked. Nice followup with a knee from Woodley and Koscheck is in deep on a double. Koscheck pushes him against the cage and is holding him there, working for a double. Not a lot of action and Herb Dean gives us a break. Another nice right Woodley as Koscheck is eating some shots. Koscheck with a nice shot of his own. Not a lot of setups as both of these guys are throwing hard. Big right from Woodley and Koscheck is on the ground, eating a lot of shots. Woodley landing some big lefts as and Koscheck grabs full guard, handing on for for life. He ate some BOMBS on that one. Woodley picks him up and walks him into the cage. Koscheck is working to get a standup and gets it. Koscheck is being more aggressive right now as Woodley is looking for the counter. Koscheck comes in and just gets STARCHED by Woodley. He’s out and Herb Dean stops it.
Official decision – Tyrone Woodley wins via KO at 4:38 of the first round
170 lbs.: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald
Round 1: Lawler opening with leg kicks as Rory is content to try and find his distance. Rory is a huge fan favorite in Vegas, apparently, as either a good chunk of the crowd is Canadian or nobody there saw the fight with Ellenberger.
Both guys are feeling each other out right now. Lawler is looking to explode and land something big while Rory is starting to look for level changes. Rory is starting to pump the jab to paralyze Lawler like he did Ellenberger. Rory is doing a good job landing at distance but Lawler isn’t content to stand and eat jabs. Rory isn’t checking any of his kicks, curiously, either. Lawler in with a big right but can’t land it fully. Rory’s ability to get just out of the way of those big punches is something; it’s really good movement. Lawler gets him against the cage but can’t land anything while doing so. Rory really looks good so far and Lawler looks like he deserves to be in this fight. Lawler isn’t paralyzed by his jab, throws a nice head kick that gets caught but tags McDonald with some big hands. Lawler 10-9
Round 2: Lawler is being aggressive and McDonald with the single, tries to treetop him but Lawler fights out of it and lands some nice hands while doing so. Rory is looking more to strike now; Lawler’s takedown defense is good so far and I don’t think Rory likes eating the punches when he gets in close. Lawler with some nice body work against the cage as Rory is using his footwork really well. Both guys are starting to throw a lot more now. McDonald is starting to work the body more and goad Lawler into throwing wild. Lawler isn’t taking the bait, though, as he’s fighting a real technical bout so far. This is why Lawler has gotten so much better in the UFC at 170; he’s refrained from going for broke when he doesn’t have to. Rory is starting to push the jab more and gets a nice double leg, Lawler in butterfly guard. Rory doesn’t do much on top though, and then stands up and grabs a front headlock. He’s not doing much right now, working a cradle to get Lawler to the mat. He’s working it really slowly and winds up in butterfly guard. Lawler is landing some shots on the bottom though. Move to half guard as Lawler opens up with some nice elbows on Lawler. Big elbow misses as McDonald is witing for Lawler to move before teeing off. McDonald 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Both guys come out and Lawler tags him with an uppercut. Rory eats a flying knee and gets the takedown, though, and now Lawler is on his back. Lawler tries to power his way up and McDonald has none of it. Really quick stand up as Rory was doing absolutely nothing on the ground. LAwler is landing some big shots and Rory goes for the takedown. Rory in the scramble and he’s on bottom, in guard. Lawler lands some big shots, then opts to stand up and start throwing. Rory is busted up in the mouth right now as Lawler has found his groove standing. Lawler is landing some big shots and Rory gets eyepoked. Time for a break. Rory in for a takedown and Lawler knocks him down with a combination. Rory rolls for a submission but Lawler has him hurt. He’s in side control and Lawler lets McDonald into half guard. Rory’s a bit out of it right now as Lawler is landing some big shots on him. McDonald is eating some shots from the bottom right now. McDonald working for a sweep and Lawler counters, Rory goes for an armbar and Lawler stands up. Lawler is stalking him down now. Shades of condit/McDonald right now and Mcdonald gets a late takedown. He starts throwing some big elbows but it’s too little too late. Round ends. Lawler 10-9, 29-28 Lawler
Official decision – Lawler wins via split decision (29-28 Lawler, 29-28 McDonald, 29-28 Lawler)
205 lbs.: Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen
Round 1: Sonnen comes out and is immediately in on a double. Can’t quite finish it but gets a clinch against the cage. Rashad working the underhooks and we’re into the cage dancing game. Chael’s keeping Rashad’s hands wrapped up as he doesn’t want Evans to be able to land some big shots. Rashad backs out and we’re in a firefight momentarily. Rashad back into the clinch and both guys are trying to wear one another out. Rashad gets the double and Sonnen is in half guard. Sonnen looking to set up a sweep but Rashad’s top game is stifling right now. Evans is landing some big shots as Sonnen is trying to get up; Evans is doing a great job at keeping him down. Sonnen gives up his back and Sonnen is trying to recover from an elbow. Some big hard shots from Rashad and he’s in full mount. Sonnen is getting lit up right now and Evans is stopped at 4:05 with strikes.
Official decision – Rashad Evans wins via TKO at 4:05 the first round
170 lbs.: UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks
Round 1: Glove tap and here we go. GSP uses his kicking game early and Johny goes for a big punch. GSP level change and gets the takedown but Hendricks is up quick. GSP is looking to wear out the big man early; you can tell his strategy as he’s making Hendricks move. He isn’t also allowing him to load up that left as well. Ref break and we’re back to the middle. GSP in on a single as he was caught by a big uppercut from Hendricks. GSP against the cage on that single. He’s looking to pick the foot as he’s eating some big elbows from Hendricks. Cage dancing as both guys are looking for that takedown. Hendricks with the takedown against the cage, landing in half guard. He’s back up and Hendrick is in on a double. Not a lot of action and GSP circles away. Hard knee from Hendricks as GSP looks to get in. Hendricks is starting to throw low when he thinks GSP is coming in. GSP is starting to use his full striking arsenal as he looks to set up the takedown. Both guys are landing knees to the midsection. GSP is working at a distance now; he doesn’t want to get inside and is throwing some nice head kicks. GSP is looking to go the distance and Hendricks wants to land one big shot. Hendricks 10-9
Round 2: GSP coming out with his kickboxing attack as he’s not looking for a takedown. Hendricks is looking for a counter, a big one at that, and GSP is keeping his distance. HArd left and GSP is a bit wobbly. Hendricks is in the clinch and landing some big shots. GSP has no answer for the power of Hendricks right now and Hendricks goes in for the body lock. GSP circles out and we’re back to the middle. GSP is starting to box more with Hendricks at a distance. He can’t get on the inside with him and will win sticking and moving. His strikes are getting a lot more fluid now. Hendricks is missing big shots but not landing flush if he is. Georges is using his right well. Hendricks is making GSP respect his power right now. GSP’s head movement isn’t what it usually is tonight; Hendricks is able to tag him because of it. He’s landed some big head kicks, though, but Hendricks has a tough chin. Hendricks is starting to slow down, though.
Closer than the first … but but still for the challenger. 10-9 Hendricks, 20-18
Round 3: GSP looks a lot fresher than Hendricks at this point. GSP is starting to really put a harder pace on Hendricks, who’s faded after the 2nd. GSP is more active with his movement and landing more. Hendricks is rushing in quickly, hoping for one punch, but GSP has his timing down now. GSP is pushing him more and hitting him a lot more. GSP is starting to really use his Muay Thai now. GSP is taking over as he’s starting to set the tone of the fight. Hendricks is looking for a takedown but GSP’s movement is keeping him from setting up a level change. GSP is setting up some really nice combinations as well. Hendricks doesn’t have a lot of pop in his hands right now and GSP looks like he just started the first round. Hendricks with a sloppy takedown attempt that misses but Hendricks is on the single and gets it. GSP in full guard and gets up with seconds left in the round. GSP 10-9, Hendricks 29-28
Round 4: Hendricks comes out with a little more energy but he’s fading. GSP looks really good right now and is working some nice combination work. He has Hendricks’ timing down right now and is tagging Hendricks en masse. Hendricks gets a hold of GSP, who slips and Hendricks gets the sloppy Texas Takedown. GSP in full guard and getting stacked as Hendricks postures up. Hendricks landing some ground and pound right now and doing enough to keep GSP on his back. Hendricks lets him up, oddly, as GSP is bleeding right now. He wants the big KO. Might end up being a mistake. He gets in and starts swinging wildly but GSP is landing some nice strikes. Hendricks is landing that uppercut regularly but he doesn’t have a ton of power behind it. GSP with a nice right and in on a body lock, can’t get the takedown and pushes GSP against the cage. Hendricks in on the legs and GSP sprawls as we get some cage work in. Round ends this way. 10-9 GSP, 38-38
This was a tough, tough round to score. I don’t know how to score it. If GSP wins the fifth this will be the round that determines the fight.
Round 5: GSP comes out more aggressive as Hendricks is coming out with another gear. He grabs a single and has it trapped between his legs but Johny’s balance is excellent as he can’t get him down. GSP keeps trying but Hendricks won’t go down. Hendricks presses him against the cage and we’re at a stalemate. GSP follows a failed kimura attempt with a nice combination. Nice combination and he gets the takedown. Hendricks sneaks out and GSP is hanging on to a front headlock. Hendricks is back up to his feet and we’re back to cage dancing. Mario Yamasaki gives us a break from that in 2 minutes. GSP is starting to get desperate now as he’s throwing. GSP in on a single and he’s deep with a minute left. He can’t get it though for a moment and GSP has his back. Cage dancing to end the fight. 10-9 GSP, 48-47 GSP
I don’t know if Hendricks has pulled it off. I think GSP has retained … but I don’t know. This feels like a split decision.
Official decision – Georges St. Pierre wins via split decision (48-47 Hendricks, 48-47 GSP, 48-47 GSP)
Stay tuned for our follow up coverage for the event.
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts, UFC 167