MMA Review: #650: UFC Fight Night 133

UFC Fight Night 133

Boise, Idaho

-Your hosts are Brendan Fitzgerald and Jimmy Smith.

Women’s Bantamweight Fight: Cat Zingano vs Marion Reneau

This was a great-sounding opener as Reneau was coming off three wins out of four and hadn’t lost since 2016, and while Cat hadn’t actually won since beating Amanda Nunes back in 2014 she’d never really looked out of her fights with Julianna Pena and Ketlen Vieira, and this was the first time she’d had two fights in a single year since 2010 (!). Reneau was probably the favourite going in but I don’t pick against Cat so I was obviously taking her.

Round One begins and Zingano pushes forward as Reneau circles on the outside. Good leg kick from Cat early on. Counter right hand lands nicely for Reneau when she throws another though and then a flurry follows. Cat comes back with a nice takedown and plants her on her back, and from there she easily avoids a possible guillotine and settles into the butterfly guard. Good job from Reneau to kick her away and they’re back up. Clinch from Reneau and she moves Cat into the fence, landing some solid punches in the process. Nice knees to the body from Zingano and then Reneau strangely jumps to pull guard. You almost never see that these days. Few good shots get through for Cat and then Reneau escapes to her feet. Nice leg kick from Cat. Reneau is coming up short on her counters now. Heavy left from Zingano wobbles Reneau but she comes back with a flurry to counter a kick and then goes back to the clinch. Beautiful trip takedown from Cat ends the round in side mount. 10-9 Zingano for me.

Round Two and Reneau backs Cat up with a combo that has her rocked, but she switches it up by hitting a takedown to guard again. Her wrestling looks way too good for Reneau to handle. Hard elbows land for Zingano from the guard and she follows with some heavy punches before Reneau scrambles back up. Big right leg kick wobbles Reneau and Cat follows into the clinch. Takedown follows again. Nasty elbow lands for Cat as she picks her spots with Reneau not really going for any submissions surprisingly enough. Cat decides to let her up and lands another leg kick, but eats a sharp counter this time too. Body kick from Zingano lands cleanly. Two minutes to go and a left hand leads to another takedown attempt, but this time Reneau blocks it. Combination lands for Reneau but she takes another leg kick. Stiff jab connects for Reneau, but Zingano shoots and slams her down into guard. Elbow lands for Cat and cuts Reneau this time around the right eye. Round ends with Cat working from the top. Clearly 10-9 for Zingano.

Round Three and Zingano opens with a leg kick and a straight left that snaps Reneau’s head back. Takedown follows and she slams Reneau down and easily avoids a guillotine to move into north/south. Reneau moves around but winds up caught in a front facelock, and Cat controls her from there and then takes the back. Reneau spins into guard to avoid that but she just doesn’t look like she has anything for Cat on the ground. Action slows down a bit as Cat stays pretty conservative inside the guard, but does enough with her elbows to remain in the position. Seconds to go and Zingano continues to work from inside the guard as the crowd get a bit restless. Fight ends with Cat grinding away with elbows from the guard. 10-9 Zingano, got to be 30-27 overall.

Official scores are 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 for Cat Zingano. First win since 2014 for her, amazingly enough! This was a decent fight – it did get slow in parts, but for the most part it was fine – and basically the story was that Reneau couldn’t stop Zingano’s takedown and where she’d had success from her guard before, Cat’s base was just too strong and Reneau couldn’t get anything going at all really. Not as exciting as Cat’s fights with Tate or Nunes but those were classics so no complaints here. It’d be really nice to see Cat fight again in 2018, but for now I’ll just take her getting back into title contention.

Featherweight Fight: Chad Mendes vs Myles Jury

This was Mendes’s first fight since his 2015 ban for a positive test for PEDs, and I was interested to see if he had a lot in the tank as he’d been KOd by Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar in his last two appearances. Opponent Jury was on a two-fight win streak and this was his chance to get a win over a legit name in the division. I was unsure who to pick to be honest but was leaning towards Mendes, assuming he hadn’t lost too much over the three year layoff.

Fight begins and both men move around on the outside with Jury looking like the bigger man, interestingly. Looks like Mendes has definitely lost a bit of size. One minute in and nothing’s landed for either man. Crowd start to boo a little before a couple of big swings miss for Mendes. Couple of kicks get through for Jury but don’t do much damage. Step-in knee ala Cowboy glances for Jury. Suddenly a BIG LEFT HOOK sends Jury down and he’s in trouble. He tries to go for a takedown but eats more punches and ends up on his back, and from there Mendes just DESTROYS HIM WITH PUNCHES until the ref calls it.

That was three years of frustration coming out right there. It took a while for Mendes to land on Jury but when he hit him, he hit him HARD and evidently while he’s lost a bit of size he’s still got that brutal power that got him to the top in the first place. Nice to see him back and I’d say he’s an instant contender, too – a fight with someone like Mirsad Bektic next sounds killer. This was an awesome knockout.

Welterweight Fight: Niko Price vs Randy Brown

This one sounded like an exciting fight if nothing else, as Price had never been the distance in 5 UFC appearances prior to this one, while Brown had looked exciting in all of his 6 UFC outings too. I was taking Price to win as he’s one of those guys who always looks super-ruthless to me even if he’s a bit limited.

Round One and they circle and throw out some feeler strikes before a combination glances for Brown. Price hasn’t thrown much at all yet really. Both men continue to largely glance on their shots but it’s Brown who appears to be slightly more active. Clinch and Brown lands some knees to the body as Price looks for a takedown. Brown stuffs it and they jockey for position before Price dumps him to the ground in guard. Brown shows some mad flexibility in looking for submissions, but Price postures up well to avoid them and curiously moves him towards the fence before landing some punches. Few decent shots get through for Price and then he grabs a front headlock, but Brown escapes to his feet. Brown clinches again and muscles Price into the fence, then manages to take the back in a nice scramble. Price tries to flip over to shake him off, but Brown lands with both hooks sunk in. Price does a nice job to spin over into the guard though, but Brown works to his knees with seconds to go. Wild exchange ends the round with Brown landing a clean knee to the face. 10-9 Brown but it could’ve gone either way really.

Round Two and Price opens with a quick combo to set up the clinch. Takedown attempt follows but Brown reverses and puts Price on his back instead. Price kicks him away but remains on his back, and Brown tries to swing some shots over the top. Upkick misses and Brown drops into the guard, but Price looks for a possible leglock. Brown blocks that, but ends up in an odd position with his head wedged against Price’s left foot, and Price OPENS UP with hammer fists from his back and BROWN IS OUT!~!

Holy shit. That was one of the weirdest KO’s I’ve ever seen. Perhaps the most innovative point blank actually. Hammer fists from the bottom should never be able to knock anyone out but Brown’s head was kept in place by Price’s foot which meant he had no movement to really soak up the punches at all. Weird stuff but insanely cool too. And it’s yet another violent finish from Niko Price who seems to be the best kill-or-be-killed guy on the UFC roster right now.

Featherweight Fight: Dennis Bermudez vs Rick Glenn

Bermudez was looking to right a three-fight skid here which had knocked him out of contention, although to be fair outside of the KO loss to the Korean Zombie he’d never really been beaten badly if that makes sense. Opponent Glenn meanwhile had lost to Myles Jury in his previous fight, and I couldn’t see him doing any better with Bermudez to be honest as I wouldn’t call him a top-level guy like the others who beat Bermudez are.

First round begins and Glenn fires a front kick that just about misses. Lot of kicks early on from Glenn and he dodges a takedown attempt. Good right hand from Bermudez is returned with a glancing head kick from Glenn. Body kick follows. Glenn’s not looking bad with his striking at all here. Takedown attempt from Bermudez misses again. Nice body kick lands for Dennis. Hard left hand connects for Glenn and he follows with another that wobbles Bermudez slightly. Takedown from Bermudez gets Glenn stumbling, but he can’t get him fully down. More kicks land for Glenn before Bermudez wades forward to land a knee to the body. Beautiful shot from Bermudez and he gets Glenn up for a slam…but a blatant fence grab prevents it and the ref misses it entirely. Well, that was bullshit. Nice right to the body from Bermudez. More kicks fire back for Glenn but Bermudez is beginning to look more confident with his combos. Round ends there. 10-9 Glenn but should’ve been 9-9 really as that fence grab warranted a point deduction.

Second round and Glenn again starts throwing out kicks, but Bermudez is angling better already and he lands a couple of punches. Pair of clean left hands connect for Glenn. Big right hand sets up a takedown for Dennis and he lands in the guard. Immediately he stands up over him to look to pass, but Glenn keeps his legs inside to prevent it. Good left hand lands for Bermudez back down into the guard, and he works into half-guard to drop some more before Glenn kicks him away. Scramble leads to Glenn escaping to his feet. Couple more kicks land for Glenn but he’s cut under his left eye. Big slam lands for Bermudez but Glenn kicks him away again. Head kick glances for Glenn. Right hand glances for Dennis. Third takedown is completed by Bermudez but Glenn lands some elbows and an upkick to escape to his feet again. Big knee to the body lands for Bermudez. Body kick follows. Head kick glances again for Glenn. Takedown from Bermudez once again but he just can’t seem to hold Glenn down. Upkick lands for him but Dennis makes him pay with some punches finally. Round ends with Glenn standing up. 10-9 Bermudez for the takedowns as the striking was more even.

Third round and almost all of the forward momentum is coming from Bermudez now. He tags Glenn with a couple of lefts and then takes the back off a scramble, but he gets too high up and Glenn escapes and gets on top for a moment. They pop up and end up clinched, and then Dennis dives on a double leg and gets it, landing in Glenn’s guard. Leglock attempt from Glenn allows him to scramble up, but Bermudez stays on him and lands a knee before going for the takedown again. Glenn defends but he can’t get Dennis down himself. Yet another takedown follows for Bermudez but Glenn grabs a front headlock and scrambles back up. Another one puts him right back down into guard though. This time Dennis manages to keep him down and drops some punches, and Glenn is busted up. He does land some elbows from the bottom though. Nasty elbow connects for Bermudez and he passes the guard and takes the back. Glenn manages to roll into half-guard, but he takes some more shots in the process. Looks like Bermudez is bleeding too. He’s still on top though and this time he keeps Glenn firmly grounded. One minute to go and Glenn does escape to his feet, but he gives up another takedown seconds later. He rolls though and Bermudez winds up on the bottom for a second, but he scrambles out and then gets Glenn down. Glenn sweeps back to his feet, and the round ends there. 10-9 Bermudez and it’s got to be 29-28 for him really.

Judges have it as a split decision, 29-28 Bermudez, 30-27 Glenn and 29-28 for…..Rick Glenn. Horrible decision in my opinion. Firstly the 30-27 is totally indefensible as how did Glenn win the third round in any way, shape or form? You could maybe argue 29-28 I guess but he gave up so many takedowns in the second and really didn’t outstrike Dennis either. Total robbery in my opinion, especially when you throw in the fence grab in the first round. Bermudez is now on a four-fight skid and yet you could argue he actually won his last two fights! This one was totally fine in terms of fight quality, but the decision stunk.

Welterweight Fight: Sage Northcutt vs Zak Ottow

This one looked like a set-up for Sage to me, as despite Ottow coming off a win over Mike Pyle – who’s miles past his prime to be honest – I’d never been impressed with him in the UFC while Sage did appear to be getting better despite struggling a bit in February against Thibault Gouti.

Round One begins and Ottow immediately lands a right hand that buckles Northcutt and puts him down in half-guard! Sage manages to tie him up a bit, and then Ottow stands over him and eats an upkick. Ottow doesn’t do a lot from the top as he struggles to pass the guard, and the action slows down before he tries a guillotine that Northcutt scrambles free of. He remains on the bottom, though, and Ottow seems content to stay in the guard. Armbar attempt from Northcutt follows but Ottow defends it well and remains on top. Ottow stands over him now and looks to drop some punches that don’t really land cleanly, then goes back down into side mount this time. Hip escape puts Sage back in half-guard but Ottow immediately moves back to side mount. Full mount follows and Sage is in trouble. He does a great job of scrambling though and escapes to his feet. Crowd get into it as Northcutt stuns Ottow with a combo, then goes for a guillotine as Ottow takes him down. He can’t get it, but ends up on top anyway and now he takes full mount. Round ends with Northcutt doing damage from the top. 10-9 Ottow but Sage has all the momentum going into the second.

Round Two and Sage flashes the left jab out early on before Ottow shoots on a single leg. Sage defends it pretty well but gets taken down eventually, and Ottow again advances almost to mount. He lands some decent punches too, but Sage makes his way back to his feet. Nice knee to the body and a combo breaks for Sage. Ottow looks a bit static suddenly, and then he shoots again but this time Northcutt stuffs it. Action slows down inside the clinch before Sage opens up with a combo. Left hand sends Ottow down and he’s in trouble, and Sage follows up with a slam as he stands, and then some hammer fists to the side of the head finish things off.

Solid performance by Sage who clearly got hurt bad in the first round and took that round to recover, but then totally styled on the tired Ottow standing in the second round. Obviously he showed holes in his game again but then he’s so young that he’s bound to. It is worrying that he’s now a free agent, though – I don’t think it’s a good move for him to move away from the UFC where he’s already highly paid for a fighter of his calibre and where the promotion clearly wants to build him up – but hopefully he just re-signs soon. This wasn’t the best fight ever but the finish was decent at least.

Heavyweight Fight: Junior Dos Santos vs Blagoy Ivanov

This was a big main event as JDS was coming back from over a year off following a USADA suspension, while former WSOF champion Ivanov – the dude who once beat Fedor in Sambo and almost died when he was stabbed a bit later – was on a 5 fight win streak and had only ever lost to Alexander Volkov. In a bit of an upset I was picking Ivanov, feeling JDS was a bit past his best.

Round One begins and holy shit you can literally see the massive scar where Ivanov was stabbed right in the chest. JDS presses forward early on but both men miss with clubbing blows. Right hand to the body lands for JDS. Overhand right follows but Ivanov takes it well. Big overhand right glances for Ivanov. JDS comes back with a couple of kicks and narrowly misses with a head kick. Herb Dean calls time for a second due to JDS using extended fingers and they restart with the Brazilian still stalking forward. He does eat a right hand though and then both men land stiff rights. Looks like JDS is cut around the left eye. Jimmy Smith is fucking namedropping everyone from Fedor to Igor Vovchanchyn on commentary which is cool. More pot-shots land for JDS but he’s not exactly doing a ton of damage here. Short flurry backs JDS up a bit. Nice right hook lands for Ivanov but he gets backed up again by Dos Santos. Round ends on the feet. Low-output stuff but it was interesting. Probably 10-9 JDS for the forward movement more than anything.

Round Two and again it’s JDS pressing the action. He really starts to throw his kicks too including the wheel kick he used to knock out Mark Hunt, but it doesn’t land. JDS begins to use his jab well to peg Ivanov back, and the Bulgarian looks like he’s struggling to work out what to do. Nice combination lands for Dos Santos. He’s working the body now too. Nasty overhand right lands for JDS. He’s looking almost like he did in his prime in this round. Another clean combo lands for him. Ivanov is just coming up short on everything he’s throwing. One-two lands for JDS. Wild swings miss for Ivanov. His face looks marked up now. Leg kick lands hard for Dos Santos. He keeps on landing and nails Ivanov with a really heavy combo with seconds to go. Round ends just after. 10-9 Dos Santos, clearly.

Round Three and Ivanov actually comes forward to open the round, forcing JDS back a bit. Big flurry lands for Ivanov and he’s got JDS on the run a little. Winging left hand connects for Ivanov but JDS counters with a right hook. Ivanov keeps on coming but JDS lands with another right hand. Couple of shots to the body land for JDS and he follows with a short right that has Ivanov blinking. Looks like he might be in trouble, but he swings back to prevent JDS from swarming him. Announcers confirm it was a punch and not an eye poke, probably a knuckle to the eye. Ivanov gets back to walking JDS down though, and he lands with a decent left hand counter. Two minutes to go and a HUGE LEFT HAND snaps JDS’s head back! That was vicious. Somehow JDS remains standing but he’s clearly rattled as he backs up. Big right hand from Ivanov follows and Dos Santos might be in trouble. He manages to recover though, showing a better chin than in some previous fights. Herb Dean follows by warning him again for a possible eye poke. Take a fucking point! They restart and JDS quickly lands a good right hand. Ivanov keeps on pressing the action only to eat a nice overhand right. Good right hand fires back for the Bulgarian. One-two lands for JDS. Couple of big swings answer for Ivanov and that’s the round. Ivanov got the better strikes off in that round and pressed the action, so call it 10-9 for him.

Round Four and Dos Santos again looks to work his jab, then really cracks Ivanov with a right hook to the body. Couple of swings back JDS up a bit but he comes back with a kick to the body. Right hand answers for Ivanov. Couple more caveman punches put JDS on the retreat. He’s soon back to work with the jab, though. Looks like Ivanov is cut on the hairline. Big left hook lands for Ivanov. JDS comes right back with a nasty right hook. This is a hard-hitting fight. Crowd aren’t too enthused, though. Another wild swing puts JDS on the run. Ivanov is going for it at least but he can’t seem to catch JDS static. Punches land for both men in an exchange. Clean right hand counter lands for JDS and now Ivanov’s looking a bit tired. Couple more right hands connect for the Brazilian. Seconds to go and they continue to exchange, with JDS still landing the better blows. Round ends there. 10-9 Dos Santos and I’d say Ivanov needs a knockout to win now.

Round Five and JDS opens with a big right. Ivanov comes out swinging though, clearly knowing he needs the KO, and he backs up JDS a bit although the Brazilian avoids a clinch. JDS has a bloody nose. Ivanov is just clubbing with these punches but he can’t seem to land cleanly. Vicious body kick lands for JDS. His nose is a mess, though. Exchange continues and an eye poke lands for JDS. Herb Dean decides not to take a point surprisingly, and they restart. Beautiful overhand right lands for JDS but Ivanov takes it well and then chases him down with a swarm of punches. Both guys are landing some pretty heavy shots now. Head kick from JDS is countered by a heavy right from Ivanov. JDS is staying on the move now to try to avoid Ivanov’s cruder shots. Nice right hook from Ivanov. He’s really pushing the pace. Clinch from Ivanov is followed by a solid combo. He’s winning this round but he needs the finish. Big combination from Ivanov but again JDS does enough to keep out of range to survive. Clean right hand from JDS. Both guys look like a total mess, and they continue to swing until the end. 10-9 Ivanov, 48-47 JDS overall for me.

Judges somehow score it 50-45 Dos Santos, confirming that Idaho judges suck after their shoddy performance in the Bermudez/Glenn fight. I have no clue how you don’t give Ivanov R3 and R5 there even if he obviously didn’t win the fight overall. I thought this was a fun, hard hitting – if one-dimensional – fight, and JDS at least showed some flashes of his prior brilliance, even if he still got hit quite a lot despite clearly avoiding trades due to his weaker chin these days. Plus, it’s nice to see a proven top fighter like him being willing to take on guys lower down on the ladder, so nothing but respect for him. Ivanov I think will do fine in the UFC with more experience and maybe if he gets into better shape somewhat.

-Show ends abruptly after the post-fight interview as per usual with these FS1 shows.

Final Thoughts….

Fun show overall with no really shit fights although the main event wasn’t all that memorable in the end. The bad judging in Glenn/Bermudez and the repetitive nature makes that one the worst fight, but it wasn’t horrible or anything, and you can’t fuck with great knockouts like the ones from Mendes, Price and Northcutt. Thumbs up for this one.

Best Fight: Price vs. Brown
Worst Fight: Bermudez vs. Glenn

Overall Rating: ***3/4

Until next time,

Scott Newman: