Nothing like an incredible night of UFC fights in Sydney, Australia! Not one fight reached the judges, which has to leave President, Dana White, just smiling from ear to ear. Luke Rockhold, Al Iaquinta, Robert Whittaker, and Soa Palelei all took care business within two rounds, with just one fight reaching the third round. A card like this will be hard to match tomorrow night in Brazil, but the UFC will do their best to provide the fireworks needed on the FOX Sports 1 card. It is now time to recap what transpired last night with the UFC in Aussie land.
Luke Rockhold defeats Michael Bisping via Submission (Guillotine Choke) rd.2 – It may not have been in the first round, but a dominant performance is a dominant performance, Rockhold put a stamp on Bisping’s title aspirations. First started off kind of slow for the California native, as he was quite contrite with his strikes, more or less just feeling Bisping out in the first round. In the second the kicks came in abundance, and the aggression started coming out in Rockhold. The taller middleweight stalked “The Count” around the cage, finally landing a kick to the side of Bisping’s dome and dropping the ninth ranked middleweight to the ground. Rockhold continues to prove that he is one of the best in the division, and outside Vitor Belfort, the next contender to Chris Weidman’s title.
Al Iaquinta defeats Ross Pearson via TKO (Strikes) rd.2 – In the preview piece on this card, it was mentioned that Iaquinta may possess many problems for Pearson, and his movement was one of them. Pearson could not seem to track him down, and when he did he became flat-footed, and quite frankly he got caught. Iaquinta continues the surge of the Ray Longo trained fighters, while also possibly pushing himself in the top 15 ranks of the lightweight division. Iaquinta caught Pearson with a counter, pressed him up against the cage, and tagged him once again to get the Brit to drop to the ground. An impressive performance for a rising prospect in the lightweight division.
Robert Whittaker defeats Clint Hester via TKO (Strikes) rd.2 – Whittaker halts the streak of Hester, and stops him in emphatic fashion in his middleweight debut. The lead leg kick was a great setup from the jump, keeping Hester off-balance through each exchange. Hester found success of his own, landing a spinning elbow out of nowhere; then stalked Whittaker through the first half of the second round until being caught. “The Reaper” caught Hester with a knee that dropped him, then finished it up with a flurry of ground and pound for good measure. It marks the first time Clint Hester has ever been finished by strikes in his career. Welcome to the middleweight division, Robert Whittaker.
Soa Palelei defeats Walt Harris via TKO (Strikes) rd.2 – Soa Palelei may have had a more impressive performance serenading the Aussies in Sydney then picking up the win itself. “The Hulk” did exactly what was predicted, he was going to be looking for the take down early and often, while finally getting it down to the ground and transitioning to the mount position. From then on it was over for Walt Harris, who had a bit of success in the first, but seemed to have gassed a bit in the second. What a bounce back for Palelei, after suffering a loss in his last fight.
In other notable UFC fights, Jake Matthews continues to add to his undefeated record as he superman punched his way to victory over a game Vagner Rocha. Louis Smolka added highlight side kick to the face to knock out Richie Vaculik, and Anthony Perosh continues to fight off father time as he took care of Guto Inocente in the very first round. Those were just a few matches through a very action packed preliminary card, check down below for the rest of the UFC results.
Vagner Rocha defeated by Jake Matthews by Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) rd.2
Guto Inocente defeated by Anthony Perosh by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) rd.1
Dylan Andrews defeated by Sam Alvey by KO (Punches) rd.1
Richie Vaculik defeated by Louis Smolka by TKO (Head Kick, Strikes) rd.3
Vik Grujic defeated by Chris Clements by TKO (Strikes) rd.1
Luke Zachrich defeated by Daniel Kelly by Submission (Kimura) rd.1
Jumabieke Tuerxun defeated by Marcus Brimage by KO (Head Kick) rd.1
The action does not stop in Sydney, as the UFC carries onto Brazil tomorrow night with Shogun Rua and Ovince St. Preux squaring off in the main event. All the UFC action will be covered here; social media coverage and a follow-up piece will conclude tonight and tomorrow for the Guardian Liberty Voice. As always, stay here for all UFC and MMA related news and events.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA