Who Were The Big Winners From Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee?
We waited for them to run it back and we weren't disappointed. Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta put on a show in the UFC Fight Night Milwaukee main event.
Iaquinta struck first, connecting on a nice spinning backfist after transitioning out of a takedown attempt. He also found the mark with a nice kick to the body. Lee responded with his own kick to the body, as well as a couple nice jabs that opened up a little cut under the left eye of Iaquinta. Both fighters landed some good strikes in a very even first round.
Just over a minute into the second round Lee was ale to take Iaquinta to the canvas and quickly take his back. From there he used some elbows and hammer fists in an attempt to soften Iaquinta up but Iaquinta would eventually slip out of Lee's grasp and get back to his feet. Al's jab started to really find success toward the end of the round, connecting on punch after punch. His right hand also kept touching Lee over the top of each exchange. If not for the takedown, that was a dominant round for Iaquinta.
Iaquinta continued to win the striking exchanges in the third. He was first in the exchange and then quickly out of the exchange, pressuring and hunting down Lee all across the Octagon. Lee's kicks remained an important part of the fight, forcing Iaquinta to keep his distance at times. Lee then successful took Iaquinta down and eventually take his back after a second slam. Then the ultimate game of hand fighting began, with Iaquinta feverishly fighting off the rear naked choke attempt from Lee until the round concluded.
Iaquinta connected first in the fourth. Hitting the "Mo Town Phenom" with a couple big hooks and then a huge head kick. Iaquinta really dominated the stand-up game to this point in the fight. Iaquinta closes the round out with another hook and just really picking Lee apart.
More of the same from Iaquinta to start the final round. Great boxing, a lot of head movement and constant pressure. Lee went for a takedown and the two grappled for a while resulting in neither fighter securing a dominant position. The two broke off the fence and started throwing hands again. Then Iaquinta connected with a big uppercut that appeared to wobble Lee with less than a minute and a half to go. Just relentless attack from Iaquinta, landing everything that he wants to throw. The final 30 seconds were pure bliss for fight fans as Iaquinta crushed Lee and was a showman the entire way. What a performance for Iaquinta.
If you thought that the UFC Milwaukee co-main event was going to be awesome you couldn't have been more correct. Edson Barboza and Dan Hooker showed why they are two of the most exciting fighters in the UFC.
Barboza displayed his electric kicks, butchering the inside of Hooker's right leg. He also stunned Hooker with an overhand right and a big knee to the temple. Great first round for Barboza. But Hooker didn't go away, showing a big chin and big heart. Hooker never stops coming forward and it was interesting to see Barboza deal with the pressure.
In the second the leg kicks from Barboza really started to their toll. Hooker was noticeably gimpy and reacted heavily to every thrown kick. Hooker relentlessly attacked Barboza, leading both lightweights to throw widely. Hooker fell to the ground and Barboza pounced, only to be flipped by Hooker. After the two made their way back to their feet the hands continued to fly. Barboza poured it on hitting Hooker with everything that he had but Hooker moved forward like a zombie absorbing every shot. Hooker has been hurt for nearly the entire round but he just wouldn't go down. Then a big overhand right from Barboza nearly finished the fight as Hooker leaned over but he just never went down. What heart and what grit from Hooker. Barboza absolutely destroyed him for five minutes and he just didn't go down. Wow.
After a brief clinch the two lightweights went back at it. And Baroza crushed Hooker's body with a series of kicks to the body that were so devastating it made the crowd erupt. But yet, he stayed on his feet. Barboza never stopped attacking, smashing Hooker with knees to the body and to the head. Hooker displayed incredible heart but he was just no match for Barboza. Incredible fight and a huge win for Barboza.
Biggest cheer of the night goes to Milwaukee's Sergio Pettis, the crowd is 100 percent behind their hometown fighter. Back at bantamweight, Pettis looked to make an immediate splash taking on the dangerous Rob Font. Both fighters displayed their striking skills in the first round. But it was Font that connected with more strikes, causing some swelling under the right eye of Pettis. Strong round from Font.
The second starts off with a good straight right from Font. Pettis moved around the outside of the Octagon but Font continued to cut him off, landing his jab almost at will. Both fighters threw strikes and connected for much of the round, Pettis' right cross started to find it's home just before he secured a takedown. The round ended just as Font attempted a submission. Another good round.
It's the jab of Font that was the story of this fight. Every time Font threw it, the punch connected. It was the same scenario in the final round of the fight. Pettis pushed forward knowing that he needed to, but Font was still landing the jab. Pettis tagged Font on more than one occasion but Font took him down and executed some ground and pound. Font showed great awareness and fight IQ throughout the fight. Dominant showing for Font, who reminded the fight world that he is still a bantamweight to keep an eye on.
In our first rematch of the night, Jim Miller took on Charles Oliveira. And the score barely took over a minute to be settled. Oliveira lifted Miller up off the ground, slammed him and immediately moved into position to to go for a rear naked choke. After a brief scramble he was able to sink it in and finish Miller. What a year for "Do Bronx".
Dwight Grant impressed fight fans on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series and he did the same at UFC Milwaukee. The welterweight made his UFC debut against the tough Zak Ottow and was dominant in the first round. Grant's movement and defense prevented him from absorbing any damage. He also clocked Ottow with a nice flurry that had "The Barbarian" covering up on the ground. Very impressive first round from Grant.
In the second round Ottow responded by landing a perfect body kick, which was far and away the best strike of the fight for him up until that point. Both fighters continued to feel each other out during the round, with neither having the advantage.
In the third round Ottow took Grant to the ground and controlled him both on the canvas and up against the cage for the majority of the round, but Grant was able to mix in some good strikes once he was free. Very close fight but Ottow was the more active fighter over the last two rounds, earning him the W.
After what was the most intense faceoff on the card, fans could have expected the fight between Green and Klose to be explosive. And they would have been exactly right. Both fighters used kicks to keep their opponent at range. Klose focused on attacking the legs of Green, while Green focused on Klose's body. Good pace and good volume from both guys in round one.
Green constantly talked to Klose, even as he slammed him to canvas early in the second round. But after Klose was able to get to his feet, Klose started having success with his hands. Connecting on some crisp combos before mixing in some nice dirty boxing in the clinch. Just when it seemed like Klose was going to take control and errant takedown attempt resulted in Green landing on top of Klose, working some ground and pound.
Klose brought the fireworks to start the third round, throwing heavy hands and flying attempts. For the first 40 seconds the fans here in Milwaukee were in a frenzy. Klose's striking started really connecting in the final round, but Green kept shaking his head as if the shots weren't hurting him. Klose never stopped moving forward, always keeping Green on his heels. Good fight from both guys but in the end Klose just did more and earned the win.
Our first lightweight fight of the evening featured Jared Gordon and Joaquim Silva. After his recent move to Duke Roufus Sport in Milwaukee, Gordon said that he had made some major strides as a fighter. And he showed it in the opening round against Silva. "Flash" landed multiple big shots and wobbled Silva on two separate occasions. He also secured two takedowns. But at the very end of the round, and out of almost no where, Silva cracked Gordon with a massive flying knee that dropped Gordon to the ground but it the round would come to a close with Gordon still standing.
The second round featured both fighters showing off their stand-up game and both finding success. Gordon's multiple strike combos were effective, as well as his kicks. But it was Gordon's two takedowns that might have won him the round. At the very end Silva attempted a submission and nearly locked it in. Gordon also stood up gingerly indicating that he might have a right leg injury.
The first punch of the third from Gordon was a beautiful cross that stunned Silva, but then "Netto BJJ" fired right back pushing Gordon back with a nice punch of his own. Both fighters standing and throwing absolute bombs back and forth with nearly backing down. And after a handful of exchanges where both fighters landed almost every single shot, it was Silva that finally put the nail in the coffin with a combo that knocked Gordon out against the fence. Wow. Fight of the night so far here in Milwaukee.
It didn't take long for 'The Joker' to get to work. Hermansson engagned with Meerschaert in the clinch, took him down and starting to work his ground game. He moved his way into full-mount, flattened Meerschaert out on the canvas and took his back. From this position Hermansson dominated Meerschaert for the majority of the round, until he was able to secure a guillotine choke and get a first wrong finish.
The two middleweights played the chess match to start the first, keeping range but still throwing plenty of volume. Zak Cummings' kicks were very effective in the first round. Landing a couple head kicks but also attacking the left calf of Trevor Smith. Both fighters experiencing significant swelling and have multiple cuts. Notably, the left eye of Cummings' was nearly swollen shot at the end of the first round.
Smith started the second off with a nice right hook that found its mark. Cummings' leg kicks caused Smith some trouble, as his movement definitely slowed down. Cummings' started having success but Smith counters by surging forward and connecting with his own combo. As the round progressed Cummings was landing with his hands, kicks and started taking control of the fight.
At the beginning of the third round Cummings dropped Smith with a nice shot but as Cummings pounced, Smith was able to reverse the position and execute some ground and pound before Cummings made it back to his feet. Then Cummings hit Smith with a body kick that landed flush, maybe his best kick of the fight. Cummings ended the fight with some devastating knees in the clinch.
Starting off the FS1 prelims were featherweights Danny Ige and Jordan Griffin. After about a minute of feeling each other out Ige was able to secure a takedown after a brief scramble. From there 'Dynamite Dan' executed to ground and pound game on the Milwaukee product. Ige made his way into full-mount and do a little damage before Griffin made it to his feet. The last 30 seconds of the first round were absolute madness as the crowd cheered on Griffin as he blitzed Ige with a full on attack at the bell.
To kick off the second round, Ige lowered his hips and picked Griffin up of the ground before slamming him near the outside of the Octagon. Both fighters worked on the ground, with Griffin reversing position and nearly catching Ige in a rear naked choke. Griffin stood over Ige and poured on straight punches, with Ige throwing up-kick after up-kick in defense.
Close fight heading into the last round and it was Ige that took control of the fight. With just under three minutes remaining in the fight he made sure to get some recognition on the scorecards with multiple takedowns and a submission attempt. Really fun fight but it was Ige's wrestling that helped him earn the decision victory.
What a start! Adam Milstead and Mike Rodriguez didn't waste anytime throwing big shots. It took less than 30 seconds for one of the light heavyweights to drop their opponent, with Rodriguez connecting on a huge shot that put Milstead on his back. Milstead was able to survive, get back to his feet and regain his composure. But Rodriguez wasn't going to let Milstead get out of the round. Rodriguez hit Milstead with a left to the body followed by a massive knee to the liver that crumbled Milstead. Another flurry of shots and just like that Rodriguez was able to get his first UFC win.
If you watched Juan Adam's fight on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series you could tell right away that this heavyweight prospect had big time potential.
In his UFC debut against Chris de la Rocha he started the UFC Milwaukee fight card off with a dominant opening round. Adams picked De La Rocha apart in the stand-up game before taking De La Rocha to the ground and viciously beating him up for the better half of the first round.
In the second round the fight turned into a brawl, with both big men engaged in the clinch throwing shots. At about the halfway mark in the round both fighters started to show signs of fatigue, with De La Rocha forcing the action. De La Rocha's face is battered and bloody but he kept pressing the issue with the UFC newcomer. Adams definitely landed more shots every time the two threw hands and once again Adams was able to take De La Rocha down and connect on some nice elbows before the round was over.
Heading into the last frame it definitely felt like Adams could finish the fight at any point. And less than a minute into the third he did just that. Peppering De La Rocha with multiple shots, followed it up with a big knee to the body then pushed De La Rocha up to the fence and threw shot after shot until it the ref had to stop the fight. Great way to start the night!