Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of UFC 225 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
We will have a free post-show late tonight as I’ll be joined by two of my friends, Phil Chertok and Ziggy Cao to chat about the card from top-to-bottom.
Jon Anik, Joe Rogan & Jimmy Smith are calling the show.
DAN IGE (8-2) VS MIKE SANTIAGO (21-11) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Ige came out and immediately landed a combination that set up his takedown. He mounted Santiago’s back and punished him with strikes to the side of the head and got the quick stoppage.
WINNER: DAN IGE BY TKO AT 0:50 OF ROUND 1
Ige stated he needed a statement victory after losing his UFC debut to Julio Arce at UFC 220 this past January.
CLAY GUIDA (34-17) VS CHARLES OLIVEIRA (22-8) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Oliveira is a late replacement opponent for Bobby Green.
Guida had a tremendous walkout to “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue. Joe Rogan was losing his mind describing his walkout.
Oliveira began landing with leg kicks to Guida’s lead leg and then started working the jab, which cut Guida by the right eye. Guida shot for a takedown right into a guillotine choke by Oliveira and got the submission.
WINNER: CHARLES OLIVEIRA BY GUILLOTINE AT 2:18 OF ROUND 1
Oliveira stated he wants to fight on the Sao Paulo card in September and wants to go back to featherweight. Oliveira has missed weight four times fighting at featherweight in the UFC.
With the submission win, it ties Oliveira for the most submission victories in the UFC with 10 alongside Royce Gracie.
They announced on the broadcast that the rematch between Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title will take place August 4th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at UFC 227.
JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ (25-4) VS SERGIO PETTIS (16-3) – FLYWEIGHT
Benavidez was stunned early in the first round with a counter and ate several clean shots, which forced Benavidez to take Pettis down and recover. On the feet, Benavidez appeared to be cut on the nose and landed some low calf kicks. 10-9 round for Pettis.
Benavidez threw a lot more in the second round but was also leaving his chin for the taking. Pettis escaped off the cage with a knee and circled out. It was a close round and Benavidez did absorb strikes but had the better shots throughout the round. 19-19 after two rounds.
Benavidez was the more aggressive fighter in the final round and landed a big shot at the start. He also scored his second takedown of the fight, although Pettis unofficially stopped 17 takedowns throughout the fight. Pettis landed a spin kick near the end, but Benavidez threw a series of rights to close out the round. I have it 29-28 for Benavidez.
WINNER: SERGIO PETTIS BY SPLIT DECISION (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
It was a very close fight, although I felt 30-27 is a tough scorecard with Benavidez controlling the third round.
RASHAD EVANS (19-7-1) VS ANTHONY SMITH (28-13) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Evans came in with a karate side stance and Smith went at him with a leg kick. They clinched against the cage and Smith nailed Evans flush with a knee that put Evans out for the quick finish.
WINNER: ANTHONY SMITH BY KO AT 0:53 OF ROUND 1
This was the fifth consecutive loss for Evans and could very well be his final fight.
Smith stated that moving to light heavyweight was the best decision of his career and challenged Sam Alvey to fight on the Lincoln, Nebraska card on August 25th.
RASHAD COULTER (8-3) VS CHRIS DE LA ROCHA (4-2) – HEAVYWEIGHT
The first round was wild as both swung for the fences and landed bombs on one another. Coulter landed more but his technique was almost non-existent and was losing his balance by putting everything into his big shots. De La Rocha got him down and easily mounted Coulter, they go back up and traded big shots and Coulter landed some incredible power shots that De La Rocha ate. I scored it 10-9 Coulter but it was a coin toss.
De La Rocha landed with a right at the start of the second round, took Coulter down and mounted him with ease. De La Rocha tried for a rear-naked choke several times and it took a while as both were exhausted, but finally stopped Coulter with strikes. This was bowling shoe ugly but entertaining in the sense it was a wild brawl with low-level heavyweights.
WINNER: CHRIS DE LA ROCHA BY TKO AT 3:53 OF ROUND 2
De La Rocha admitted his arms were shot during the fight.
MIRSAD BEKTIC (12-1) VS RICARDO LAMAS (18-6) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Lamas is coming off a knockout loss to Josh Emmett in December.
The first round was a battle for control with each getting a takedown, but the round swung in Bektic’s favor as it wore on. Bektic out struck Lamas by a wide margin and displayed strong control of Lamas both against the fence and when he got the fight to the mat with a single-leg off the fence. 10-9 Bektic.
In the second, Bektic was very aggressive going for the takedown as Lamas evaded. Bektic nailed Lamas with a right and a cut was visible under the left eye of Lamas, which was the result of a headbutt. Lamas landed a spinning elbow on the break. Lamas made this close in the final two minutes of the round but I lean Bektic 20-18 after two.
Bektic was in control throughout the round but it was Lamas active with the submission attempts and had several guillotine attempts, one of which looked tight that Bektic would escape and constantly landed on top of Lamas. I gave this round to Lamas.
WINNER: MIRSAD BEKTIC BY SPLIT DECISION (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
You could score this fight many ways and 30-27 for Bektic is a justifiable score and you could even go 29-28 for Lamas with the relatively close Rounds 2 and 3.
CARLA ESPARZA (13-4) VS CLAUDIA GADELHA (15-3) – STRAWWEIGHT
There was a lot of action in the first round with Gadelha landing strikes at the start of the fight. Out of nowhere, Esparza rocked Gadelha with a right hand and she was stunned, Esparza took her down, but Gadelha recovered and took control of the latter part of the round. Gadelha landed a series of strikes at the end and applied a mounted guillotine as the round ended. Gadelha did enough to recover to steal the round on my card. 10-9 Gadelha.
The second round was much clearer with Gadelha dominating the majority of the round on top in half-guard. Esparza got to her feet and was thrown back down with Gadelha maintaining waist control. Esparza got a reversal as the round concluded. I have it 20-18 Gadelha.
The third round was Esparza’s round as she was looking very strong on her feet and mixing up her strikes. She threw a kick, which was caught and led to a takedown for Gadelha. Gadelha was working on top and then Esparza escaped and got her own takedown to end the round on top with strikes. I have it 29-28 for Gadelha.
WINNER: CLAUDIA GADELHA BY SPLIT DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The audience was booing Gadelha, which was ridiculous given so many people scored the fight for her, myself included. This was a really good fight and the best one on the card so far.
ALISTAIR OVEREEM (43-16) VS CURTIS BLAYDES (9-1) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Overeem was knocked out in brutal fashion by Francis N’Gannou in his last fight in December. Blaydes has won four straight fights and coming off a decision win over Mark Hunt in February.
They started off tentative with neither committing to anything. Blaydes times Overeem’s shot and got a takedown. Blaydes is working in half-guard by the fence. There wasn’t a lot of action in the round, but it was 10-9 Blaydes.
The second began with a big knee from Overeem and he attempted a guillotine that Blaydes escaped from. Overeem went for a heel hook but lost it as he torqued on the leg. They go to their feet and Blaydes landed a knee. Overeem went for another knee and was taken down as he executed. Blaydes stayed on top for the rest of the round. 20-18 Blaydes.
Blaydes nailed Overeem with a right hand and unloaded with strikes before taking Overeem down. Blaydes is back to half-guard with the top position just as he controlled from in the second round while mixing in elbows. Blaydes ended up in Overeem’s full guard and started blasting Overeem with big elbows and got the stoppage.
WINNER: CURTIS BLAYDES BY TKO AT 2:56 OF ROUND 3
Blaydes said he is next in line for a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship and wants to fight the winner of Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
CM PUNK (0-1) VS MIKE JACKSON (0-1) – WELTERWEIGHT
Jackson was booed walking while Punk received a big ovation coming out to “Cult of Personality”.
The whole arena was chanting “CM Punk” as the fight began.
Jackson lands with a right hand early and Punk responded with one of his own. They clinched against the fence with Jackson reversing him before they broke. Jackson landed with a pair of rights hands as Punk put him up against the cage again. Punk shot for a takedown but could not get it. Punk finally got a takedown in the final minute. Jackson immediately got up and landed a body shot against the cage. 10-9 Jackson.
In the second, Jackson hit him with a hard right that stunned Punk. Punk leaped for a guillotine and was placed down on his back with Jackson on top. Punk was trying to punch off his back and Jackson was dropping strikes and was just playing with him. 20-17 Jackson.
Jackson nailed him with a left hand to put Punk on his back. Jackson stands up and rocked him with a right hand. Punk is completely done and it’s just a matter of Jackson not striking enough to stop it. Punk was just done here, and it was very poor fighting. Jackson won the round and fight 30-26 on my card.
WINNER: MIKE JACKSON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-26 ALL)
Jackson said if he didn’t fight in the UFC again he suggested fighting for Zuffa Boxing. CM Punk was not interviewed by Joe Rogan after the fight.
They announced Ronda Rousey as the final inductee for this year’s UFC Hall of Fame class in the “Modern Wing” for next month’s ceremony during International Fight Week.
ANDREI ARLOVSKI (27-15) VS TAI TUIVASA (9-0) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Tuivasa came out to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion and it was tremendous.
Arlovski with underhooks and ends up with Tuivasa mounting him. Arlovski just holds onto his arms while Tuivasa has suffered a big cut, Arlovski escapes and gets back to his feet. Tuivasa knocked Arlovski down. Arlovski recovered and came back with strikes of his own at the end. 10-9 Tuivasa.
Arlovski landed a combination and Tuivasa connected with his own. Arlovski sent him to the mat after applying underhooks. Tuivasa accidentally poked Arlovski in the eye. Tuivasa landed a left hook when they restarted. 19-19 after two rounds.
As the third round begins, it’s a very close fight. Tuivasa connected with a left hook and hit him with a flurry against the fence. Arlovski comes back with a pair of shots. Tuivasa connects with a combination at the end. 10-9 Tuivasa and I have it 29-28 for him.
WINNER: TAI TUIVASA BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28 ALL)
Tuivasa earned his third victory in the UFC. He asked Joe Rogan for his shoe to drink out of and Rogan wouldn’t go for it.
HOLLY HOLM (11-4) VS MEGAN ANDERSON (7-2) – FEATHERWEIGHT
This is the first non-title women’s featherweight in UFC history.
Anderson nailed her with a knee immediately and follow up to the body. Holm pressed her against the fence to nullify any offense. Holm landed a front kick to the face. Holm got a takedown and ended up in side control. Anderson the big knee but Holm controlled the rest of the round. 10-9 Holm.
Holm kept Anderson at distance with a sidekick. Holm took her down into half-guard, moves to side control while taking Anderson’s left arm for a potential kimura. Holm moved to the mount position and landed a pair of shots on top. Holm is connecting with strikes on top and dominates the rest of the round. 10-8 for Holm and 20-17 after two rounds.
Anderson starts the round with a right that landed. Holm went for single-leg and placed Anderson against the cage and then took her down into half-guard before mounting Anderson again. They got back to their feet, Holm got a big body lock takedown and mounts Anderson yet again. Holm is dropping strikes on top and controls Anderson for the rest of the fight. I have it 30-25 at the end of the fight for Holm.
WINNER: HOLLY HOLM BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Holm gave a tremendous speech after the fight about wanting to win a title at 145 or 135 and leaning towards fighting at bantamweight. She thanked her team and it capped off arguably her best performance in the UFC.
RAFAEL DOS ANJOS (28-9) VS COLBY COVINGTON (13-1) FOR THE UFC INTERIM WELTERWEIGHT TITLE
Since coming up from lightweight, dos Anjos has been 3-0 at welterweight and is coming off a decision win over Robbie Lawler last December.
Covington immediately gets the takedown against the fence and RDA is cut from his left ear. Covington was all over RDA and moving forward with pressure. RDA hit a pair of knees to the body off the fence. It was a close round and a very face-paced one. 10-9 RDA.
Covington took him down at the start of Round 2. The audience is chanting, “Colby sucks”. RDA nailed him with a hard punch to the body. Covington landed a left uppercut flush. Covington took him down again and got the back. 10-9 Covington and 19-19 after two.
The third round begins with Covington continuing with volume. RDA is still landing flush shots. This was a close round. 10-9 Covington.
The fourth round begins with RDA cracking him with a left hand. RDA gets his own takedown off the fence as Covington appears tired for the first time in the fight. Covington starts swinging with one-minute left in the round. Covington got a single-leg takedown near the end. 10-9 RDA and I have it even going into the fifth round.
Covington got a takedown in the fifth round, but RDA was up quickly. Covington is holding him against the cage before throwing a combination and landing with the left. They start trading in the middle with less than one minute remaining and both land. Super-close round and fight. I have it 48-47 for Covington.
WINNER: COLBY COVINGTON BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
Covington stated he would take this title and place it onto President Donald Trump’s desk before calling Tyron Woodley a “coward”. He hugged Dan Lambert on his way to the back.
ROBERT WHITTAKER (19-4) VS YOEL ROMERO (13-2) IN A NON-TITLE FIGHT
Whittaker began the fight with low kicks from side stance and then mixed in his jab. Romero threw a pair of spinning back fists that missed. 10-9 Whittaker.
It seems evident Romero is conserving energy to avoid the pitfalls he experienced in their first fight. Whittaker worked behind his left jab and has thrown three times as many strikes as Romero by this point. Romero’s right eye is swollen badly. Romero tries to close the distance and can’t get the takedown. 20-18 for Whittaker.
The third round began with Romero rocking Whittaker with a right hand and tries to swarm Whittaker. Romero lands strikes against the cage and Whittaker cracks Romero with an elbow. Romero is attacking with shots and pours it on, Whittaker responds with a head kick. This was one of the best rounds of 2018. 10-9 Romero.
Both were exhausted from the last round and Whittaker reverted to his jab. Whittaker kicked Romero low and led to a time out. Romero stunned Whittaker with a left hand to win the round. 10-9 Romero.
Romero dropped Whittaker with a left hand and got on top with a barrage of strikes. Whittaker was holding onto Romero’s leg to try and recover. Romero took him down off the cage and repeatedly kicked out Whittaker’s legs with ease. 10-9 Romero and I have it 48-47 for Romero.
WINNER: ROBERT WHITTAKER BY SPLIT DECISION (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
This was an excellent fight.
Whittaker said he busted his right hand in the first round and cannot feel it.