Did we really need to hear "he's biting his own tongue off!" complete with a close up of Jim Miller's bloody face and truly endangered exposed tongue? The card for UFC on Fox 3 Diaz Vs. Miller was light on star power but engineered to deliver action for the network. On the whole I'd say it did deliver that. Will be curious to see how the ratings went over the course of the broadcast to gauge the viewer interest in the bouts themselves.
For the most part the UFC got the best outcomes from the fights. Rising title contenders Nate Diaz and Johny Hendricks advance towards lucrative pay-per-view title shots. Hometown boy Jim Miller and aging heel Josh Koscheck did their service to the cause and hopefully didn't suffer excessive injury. Not sure where either of those guys go from here.
I'll break down every fight on the card after the jump...
SBN coverage of UFC on Fox 3
- Nate Diaz came to New Jersey, Jim Miller's home state and shut Miller down. Nate did his whole bit, the taunting, the pitty pat punches in bunches, and the lethal grappling. Diaz has earned a title shot.
- Johny Hendricks had to work to get past Josh Koscheck and was happy to get away with a split decision win. Hendricks survived an early assault from Koscheck that had him reeling and came back with a nice mix of lead uppercuts and left hooks to hurt Koscheck. I hope Koscheck's orbital bone is alright, his right eye looked swollen and it's no secret that it hasn't been the same since Georges St. Pierre shattered it.
- Whoever trained Alan Belcher for Rousimar Palhares needs to write a "how to defend the leg lock" manual for MMA. I'd buy that shizzle. I'm not going to know what to make of what we just saw until I re-watch the fight in slow mo and talk to some 50/50 guard specialists from the BE grappling posse but I know it was beautiful. Belcher really outdid himself.
- Lavar Johnson probably surprised a lot of people by mugging Pat Barry. Barry looked soft and overweight but let's not forget that Johnson fought a very smart fight. Still the fact that Pat Barry had him mounted, side-mounted and was working for an Americana don't say much for Johnson's grappling.
- Michael Johnson surprised me when he started tagging Anthony Ferguson. I had Ferguson pegged as the harder puncher.
- A really nasty thumb to the eye of Tim Elliott helped John Dodson get the breathing room to hep him solve for Elliott's unconventional style. Even a nut shot later in the second didn't take the wind out of Elliott's sails. Another quality fight even if I would strongly argue against the decision.
- John Hathaway and Pascal Krauss made me wish they were doing more UK and European fights.
- Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker put on a man-sized scrap at flyweight. They showed reckless abandon in the initial exchange and largely kept up that pace for the rest of the fight. Linker has some vicious boxing and really worked Gaudinot's body at one point backing him up against the fence for a sustained beating. But Gaudinot persisted, dominated the fight on the ground and finished with a guillotine choke that put Linker out cold.
- Danny Castillo took a round or so to figure out the lanky John Cholish. Cholish had some luck with trips and throws that seemed to take the double leg oriented Castillo by surprise. Cholish's length also seemed to throw Castillo off his striking game initially but Castillo figured it out and ground out the decision by winning the last two rounds.
- Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza has me wondering what division has the greatest average height disparity as the lanky Garza was made to look like a Featherweight Ichabod Crane by Bermudez' take down clinic. Bermudez racked up 8 take downs including at least 3 slams from high crotch lifts that had Garza crawling away by the end.
- Canadian Bantamweights Roland Delorme and Nick Denis put on a brutal exhibition for those watching the UFC's Facebook stream. Denis came out blasting Delorme with crushing knees that would have finished 90% of fighters. But not Nick Denis, he survived the barrage and came back to submit Denis with just a second left.
- Karlos Vemola looked like he was going to pick up another loss but came back to submit Mike Massenzio in the opening bout. Vemola's slam in the first might have turned the tide and his Peruvian Necktie attempt was creative if not enough to get the finish on its own. A beating from top position while he had Massenzio's back created the opportunity for the rear naked choke finish.