Right over the top, left hook follows from Wonderboy. Thompson lands a hard left, but Masvidal keeps coming. Round 3: Both guys coming out looking to land, connecting with punches. Round 3: Feels like Masvidal needs a finish in the next five minutes to win this fight. Double-leg shot for Masvidal, stuffed, but it gets him inside briefly. Clean 1-2 from Thompson, who keeps switching stances. Thompson starting to throw more, Masivdal trying to walk him down. Asks for the main event in Austin, Texas in February. Round 2: Vick opens southpaw, but switches back quickly. Counter left connects and Vick is starting to seize control here early in the round. There is no need to rush him at '35 right now, but a showcase opportunity at home in Brazil against someone with a little more Octagon experience would make sense. 2-1 from Zahabi connects with a right to the body behind it. pm: Namajunas tearing up as Dana White places the belt on her shoulder, fighting back tears with Joe Rogan. Namajunas uses her time to reiterate her message from last week of being good to one another before admiring her handiwork on the replay. In fact, I don’t think anyone is and I fully expect her to move to flyweight and win that title at some point in 2018 as well. Talked to Pettis earlier in the week and he sounded really excited about this moment, while also having a fresh perspective after his tough run at '45. pm: So I didn't like the Thompson-Masvidal matchup going in because of exactly what happened - Thompson gets a win, but he has no shot at fighting for the title because he's 0-2 against Tyron Woodley, so now he's handed "Gamebred" a second straight loss and gained very little. They throw to the horn and the crowd gives them a nice ovation at the end of the fight. Looks for 'The Moneymaker,' round kick over the shoulder that he won his debut with, but nothing doing. This is setting up as one of those fights Masvidal complains about losing. He becomes the first man to finish Duffy with strikes. * * * * * pm: Second Fight Pass Prelim on deck with heavyweights Aleksei Oleinik and Curtis Blaydes. UFC 218 is a great card top-to-bottom too - December 2nd on pay-per-view from the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Pre-Fight Pick: Jedrzejczyk – there are levels to this and I just don’t believe Namajunas is on the same level as the champion. pm: Setting up next weekend's main event between Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis, which is a great fight. Right hand lands, but Thompson gets out of the way of the followups. Thompson cuts an angle to the right, crashes a right hand home that drops Masvidal briefly. Thompson moving well, but takes a kick to the body and a clean left upstairs. 1-2 for Thompson pushes Masvidal back without landing too much. It's 2017 and we're still rocking the screamy thrash rock junk that kicked off cards more than a decade ago? pm: pm: It has been a weird, entertaining preliminary card so far and the best of the night is yet to come. pm: ESPN's Brett Okamoto bringing some alternate info to the Paige Van Zant news from earlier: pm: Huge win for James Vick, who needed a solid name on his resume to really get a look in the ultra-deep lightweight division. Pre-Fight Pick: Oleinik – Blaydes loves to wrestle guys to the ground and work them over on the mat, but the 40-year-old Russian has earned 45 of his 55 wins by way of submission, so taking him to the canvas could be a huge mistake. Godbeer recovers half guard and now full guard and he closes it up. Middle-tier heavyweights who will be throwing bungalows from the jump! pm: Saint Preux says he'd like to throw down with Ilir Latifi in Las Vegas at the end of the year. pm: My guy Mike Chiappetta from MMA FIghting summed up that fight perfectly: Round 3: Anderson with an inside leg kick to start. Head kick and Anderson is on another plane of existence. Just completely out of nowhere - left foot to the face and we're done. Head kick from OSP jars Anderson's mouthpiece free and he alerts the referee, who calls time briefly. OSP needs to do a better job breaking free here and giving himself a chance to strike. In on the hips and Anderson dumps OSP to the canvas. Knees inside for Anderson, followed by a spinning elbow. pm: Very good win for Brown, who rallied and controlled the action in the third after getting out-worked in the second.
I mean there have only been two decisions, there has been some weirdness and their have been two thrilling title changes... am: This rivalry is far from over, but for tonight, Dillashaw is the better man. Garbrandt had no response and Dillashaw screams in his face! Round 1: No touch at the instructions; time to get it on... Garbrandt just looking to counter right now, allowing Dillashaw to lead. Low kick from Dillashaw and Garbrandt flurries after him, throwing four or five shots in quick succession. Garbrandt has been going at Dillashaw hard throughout the buildup to this fight, but the former champion has opted to tune most of it out. (Note: i have a standing desk, but a bar stool for moments like this.) pm: Jedrzejczyk has superstar potential and legit charisma - everyone that has ever been in her presence will tell you this - so if she wins here, the UFC must find a way to increase her exposure and do a better job of promoting her going forward. Pre-Fight Pick: Masvidal – he’s very good at dictating pace and pressuring guys that like to work in space, keeping them off balance and forcing them to be defensive. Big John calls time for an eye poke; Hendricks wants to keep going right away. Hendricks trying to cover up and find space, but Costa is bombing away. * * * * * pm: Time for the main card to start in the middleweight division. Good low kick from Duffy, but Vick counters with a jab and a low kick of his own that buckles Duffy's leg a little. Outside kick again for Duffy, followed by a right to the body. Blaydes with a well-timed takedown as Oleinik is off balance. Blaydes up and he launches a kick at Oleinik as he's starting to get up - nearly connects and catches a warning from the referee. Uppercut connects for Blaydes, but Oleinik eats it.
The Skinny: GSP returns for the first time in just about four years fighting up in weight in search of a second UFC title. pm: Alright, so my guess is PVZ fights the winner, which mean she's getting a title fight in the new division in ealry 2018 coming off a first-round submission loss to Michelle Waterson last December... Round 1: Southpaw for Harris, who opens with a front kick. Brown smashing home elbows sporadically and Gall has no answers right now, pressed up against the cage. Round 2: Gall is leaking to start the frame; whoever is in his corner did a terrible job cleaning him up and stopping the bleeding. Gall briefly gets the crucifix, lands a couple elbows. Round 1: Todd Anderson gets the officiating assignment for this welterweight contest... Speaking of terrific, the Alex Rodriguez intro was great; A-Rod making fun of all the New York sports teams. well, they're the Knicks." #BURN #ARODSLAM pm: Why do these New York events always feature some kind of chaos? We're two fights in and there has already been a sketchy finish and use of replay. Another one, but Zahabi checks in, although he looks a little tender already. And what about Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who has the opportunity to equal Ronda Rousey's record for most consecutive successful title defenses on the distaff side of the draw with a victory - she too seems to be on the brink of a breakthrough and has her sights set on a second title in 2018, but first she has to get through the icy, unflappable Rose Namajunas, who looks to make her second bid for the strawweight title a successful one.
So many questions about to be answered for the French-Canadian superstar. Good point by Cormier - GSP looks like a legit middleweight in terms of how he put on the mass; not just a puffy welterweight like Johny Hendricks earlier in the evenings. Anyway - we've had a weird night in the cage and we've got one more preliminary card fight to go and it should be fun. That's all well and good, but the referee is yelling "Time! Sucks hearing Rogan and Cormier say it didn't seem like a fight-ending shot; nothing like basically calling the guy who just ate an illegal kick a wimp for not soldiering on. Gall looking for a way up, but Brown having none of it. Excellent third round effort from Brown here to get the win. Looking for the crucifix, goes to knee-on-belly momentarily, but settles back into side control. Butterflies from Brown, but Gall passes to side control again. Brown tiring and seems content to try and lock up Gall on the mat, but it's not working. 10-9 Gall in Round 2, all even at 19-19 heading into the third and final frame. * * * * * pm: For those just joining the broadcast, it's Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on the call. Really looking forward to seeing Mickey Gall back in action and the lightweight scrap between James Vick and Joe Duffy should be terrific. Is Cody Garbrandt poised to be the next big thing in MMA or will TJ Dillashaw halt his ascension before it really gets underway?
pm: Todd Anderson joins Duffy and Vick in the Octagon and we're live with the final prelim. Anderson drags OSP to the ground again, more work from top position; nothing serious, but it all adds up. OSP up, but Anderson turns right back into front position along the cage. 10-9 Anderson in Round 2; all square at 19-19 heading into the final frame. Wrist control from the back, riding the leg for Anderson. Knee to the body lands for Anderson, OSP circles into space. UFC announces some early dates for 2018 - UFC 220 in Boston on January 20; UFC 211 in Perth, Australia on February 10; UFC 222 on March 3 from Sin City are your first quarter pay-per-view events. Mickey Gall Round 3: Really entertaining fight thus far with each man taking a round, but Gall has all the momentum as the final five minutes begin. Just kind of hanging out here, but the ref is letting them stay there. The Skinny: Bantamweight hopefuls collide in the opening bout of the evening as Zahabi, the younger brother of Tri Star Gym co-founder and GSP’s head coach Firas Zahabi, seeks collect his second UFC victory and maintain his perfect record against the talented 22-year-old Ramos, who earned a unanimous decision win in promotional debut back in February. A little FS1 promo, followed by the awesome "Brass in Pocket" trailer for Jedrzejczyk vs. Should be an outstanding night of fights and plenty to talk about come tomorrow morning. Mickey Gall Fight Pass Prelims (starts at 4pm on UFC Fight Pass) Aleksei Oleinik vs. Ricardo Ramos Tonight's fight card is the best of the year in the UFC and arguably the best collection of championship fights ever assembled on a single UFC event.
10-9 Duffy for me - landed a little more early, scores with the takedowns. Left hand for OSP lands, but he looks a little sluggish compared to Anderson, who is on the balls of his feet, pressing forward. Riding the leg from the right side, Anderson landing elbows and punches to the side of the head. OSP up, but Anderson staying tight with wrist control. Anderson in on the legs, rusn through OSP and scoops him up, dumps him to the mat. On a personal note, I'm not 0-3 with my picks; ugh. Getting all the set-ups out of the way before the first set of fighters make the walk. pm: New Unified Rules in effect, plus limited use of replay. Time to get started with Zahabi and Ramos heading to the cage. pm: Just under 15 minutes until things jump off at MSG.