FightWatch- UFC: Dern vs. Rodriguez
Note: I forgot to publish this last week. My apologies. The FightWatch review for Ladd vs. Dumont will be up in the coming days as well!
FIght 1: (155) Steve Garcia def. Charlie Ontiveros via TKO (ground and pound) at 1:51 of R2
Thoughts: This was a wild fight. Ontiveros dropped Garcia a couple of times in the first minute with some unorthodox striking, then Garcia recovered and got a takedown. A big elbow split Ontiveros open badly right near the end of R1, and he wasn't the same after that. A takedown early in the second, with more brutal punches and elbows led to a violent and bloody end to our first prelim.
Fight 2: (W-115) Loopy Godinez def. Silvana Gomez Juarez via submission (armbar) at of R1
Thoughts: Godinez was an absolute pitbull here, immediately throwing Juarez to the ground and controlling her all around. Juarez got up just long enough to cop a knee to the face, followed by a front kick to the body that almost put her through the fence. Another takedown and Godinez gets the back. Right as the commentary team note that Godinez does not have a submission on her record, she rolls into a belly down armbar to gain the first one of her career. Flawless victory.
Fight 3: (145) Damon Jackson def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Thoughts: Jackson was getting the better of Rosa in the first two rounds in a decent battle. Then, seconds into R3, Rosa lands a spinning back elbow that creates a huge gash in Jackson's head. The Octagon gets absolutely covered in blood. Horror-movie esque. I don't think anyone will forgot the visuals of that 3rd round. Jackson described the blood as "trickling" in the post-fight interview- no sir, that was absolutely drizzling. Pouring. Haven't seen a fight that bloody in a long, long time.
Fight 4: (265) Alexandr Romanov def. Jared Vanderaa via TKO at 4:43 of R2
Thoughts: A classic Romanov performance. The dude is just a giant grizzly bear who throws people around and Hulk Smashes them. Outside a brief trading of strikes in the waning seconds of R1, Romanov held Vanderra down and beat him to a bloody pulp. Referee Mark Smith tried to give Vanderaa every chance, but was ultimately forced to call the fight.
Fight 1:(135) Chris Gutierrez def. Felipe Colares via split decision (28-29, 30-27 X 2)
Thoughts: Great striking battle in this main card opener. Had no business being a split decision though- the judges that called it 30-27 for Gutierrez had it right. Gutierrez was frequently backing up through the fight, but constantly pieced up Colares with jabs and leg kicks, landing double the strikes according to the unofficial stats. Octagon control counts in scoring, but not enough to gives Colares the win.
Fight 2: (W-125) Mariya Agapova def. Sabina Mazo via submission (rear naked choke) at 0:53 of R3
Thoughts: Agapova dominated every aspect of this fight, outclassing Mazo in the striking over 2 rounds. Mazo tried to mix in a takedown and almost got caught wtih a guillotine. Agapova landed a massive right hand in the final frame that floored Mazo and IMMEDIATELY applied the choke to get the tap. Fantastic performance.
Fight 3: (125) Matheus Nicolau def. Tim Elliott via UD (29-28 X 3)
Thoughts: Elliott was very successful in the first round at confusing Nicolau with his unorthodox movement and fighting style. By R2, Nicolau had it figured it and found his boxing range. R3 saw takedowns mixed in for a clean victory over a veteran and name opponent after a rocky start.
Fight 4: (Catchweight- 174) Randy Brown def. Jared Gooden via UD (30-27 X 3)
Thoughts: Really fun fight. Brown fought like he was pissed off the whole time, likely due to Gooden's weight miss. He seemed to pick up a toe injury at some point in the fight, but was still on point with some great striking. Credit to Gooden for not going down after some of the hard shots he took.
Main Event: (W-115) Marina Rodriguez def. Mackenzie Dern via UD (49-46 X 3)
Thoughts: This was the classic striker vs. grappler contest in every sense of the word. Dern has made some slight improvement in his striking, but she looked rather lost on her feet against the much more accomplished striker in Rodriguez. In R2, Dern got it to the ground, and it was Rodgriguez's turn to look like a fish out of water, but she survived the round. Round 3-5 were more of Dern being a step behind on the feet and unable to implement much of her elite ground game. Interesting battle of two specialists which we don't often see to this extent in modern UFC.