UFC on ESPN 12:
Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas is in the books.
As a fan of the sport of mixed martial arts, I believe that UFC on ESPN 12 on Saturday night was the best MMA card so far this year.
That was a fun five and a half hours of action.
Of the 10 fights that made up UFC on ESPN 12 over the weekend, six ended in stoppages, accounting for a 60 percent stoppage rate.
The 60 percent stoppage rate on Saturday night also included five stoppages in a row from the second undercard fight to the second main card fight.
Dating back to the May 9 UFC 249 card, of the 87 individual UFC fights that have taken place in the last seven weeks, 44 of them have ended without a judge’s scorecard factoring into the decision, making for a 50.5 percent stoppage rate.
The fights themselves:
Jordan Griffin vs. Youssef Zalal:
Youssef Zalal (9-2) outlanded Jordan Griffin (18-8) in total strikes (70-33) in the Featherweight lid-lifter on Saturday night, with Zalal landing two takedowns on Griffin.
Griffin ended up taking this fight by unanimous decision (29-28 on all three scorecards.)
Kay Hansen vs. Jihn Yu Frey:
Kay Hansen (7-3) became the youngest fighter on the UFC’s active roster when the 20-year-old faced off against former INVICTA Fighting Championships Atomweight titleholder Jihn Yu Frey (9-5) in a Strawweight fight where both women made their UFC debut.
Hansen led statistically in all categories over the course of the fight, before locking in on a triangle choke in round three, forcing Frey to tap with two minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the bout.
Tanner Boser vs. Philipe Lins:
This contest in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division didn’t last long.
Boser (18-6) needed just two minutes and 41 seconds to knock Lins (14-5) out with punches, which resulted in fight referee Herb Dean taking a tumble as he was trying to separate Boser from Lins.
Featured Prelim: Khama Worthy vs. Luis Pena:
In the featured undercard Lightweight fight , Khama Worthy (16-6) led Luis Pena (8-3) in two of the three statistical categories.
Worthy secured a guillotine choke in the final round of the fight, leaving Pena, nicknamed “Violent Bob Ross”, to tap with two minutes and seven seconds remaining in the contest.
Julian Erosa vs. Sean Woodson:
The main card of UFC on ESPN 12 began with a 150-lb. catchweight fight matching Erosa (24-8) and Woodson (7-1).
Although Sean Woodson outlanded Julian Erosa on strikes (116-107), Woodson landed three takedowns, the last of which resulted in a D’arce choke in the third round.
Erosa tapped out with two minutes and 46 seconds remaining in the fight.
Takashi Sato vs. Jason Witt:
This was a short Welterweight contest.
Sato (16-3) needed just 47 seconds to land 18 strikes and knock Witt (17-6) out.
Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus:
This Middleweight fight, the first not to result in a stoppage since the opening fight of the card, saw the night’s biggest controversy.
Despite trailing in two of three statistical categories, Brendan Allen (15-3) defeated Kyle Daukaus (9-1) by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27.)
The biggest difference maker in this fight was the percentage of successful significant strikes landed by Allen.
He landed 62 percent of his significant strikes, compared to 59 percent from Daukaus.
The stats read like this:
Strikes landed: Daukaus: 92, Allen 79.
Significant strikes landed: Allen 41, Daukaus 34
Takedowns: Daukaus 3, Allen 0.
Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene:
No controversies were to be found in this Heavyweight fight.
Greene (9-4) was able to capitalize from the bottom position in the third round of the contest, securing an arm triangle and forcing Villante (17-12) to tap with one minute and 16 seconds remaining.
Co-Main Event: Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall:
Perry (14-6) outlanded Gall (6-3) by a 103-59 margin over the course of 15 minutes in the Welterweight co-headliner to win the fight via unanimous decision (29-28 on all three cards.)
Main Event: Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker:
In Saturday’s Lightweight headliner, Poirier (26-6) landed 208 strikes to 182 for Hooker (20-9) over the course of five rounds.
The lone statistical category that Hooker bested Poirier was takedowns (4-1).
After 25 minutes, the scorecards read 48-47, 48-47, 48-46 for Poirier.