In my last article I looked at the close fight between John Makdessi and Alan Patrick from UFC 169, judging the bout under the simple criteria of 'Who Did Most To Finish?'. To read more about how and why I came up with this criteria, check out the first article in the story stream when I judged Benson Henderson vs Josh Thomson.
The results of the fan poll in the last article had 76% of those who took part believing Makdessi had done the most to attempt finishing the fight, 9% believing Patrick had, and 15% believing neither fighter had done more than the other to attempt finishing.
This time I'll be judging the Alexis Davis vs Jessica Eye Women's bantamweight bout from UFC 170, which officially ended in a 29-28 split decision win for Davis (courtesy of judges Junichiro Komicho and Marcos Rosales). Judge Chris Lee awarded Eye a 29-28 score.
Here's a quick reminder of the WDMTF format:
- The fight will be watched on mute so I am not influenced by the announcers' commentary.
- The fight will be watched one time only, either live or from a recording
- I will use the 10 point must system to score the rounds, but I will not be going by the unified rules to determine who scores what. I will also more liberally apply 10-10 and 10-8 rounds where I feel necessary to help more accurately reflect the action in the round.
- I will write a commentary of the action as I see it minute by minute for ease of reading and for readers to more easily follow along when watching the fight themselves. I will be judging the round as a whole otherwise.
Onto the fight ...
Makdessi vs Patrick: Who Did Most To Finish?
KJ Gould returns with his experimental judging format by scoring the 'fight' aspect of UFC 169's John Makdessi vs Alan Patrick bout. Read on to find out his findings, as well as the poll results from the last WDMTF fight analysed.
- Minute 1, Leg kick from Davis early, both throwing wild but not particularly powerful strikes, some hockey punches from the clinch. Eye pushing forward and drives Davis into the fence, tries to strike from an underhook and rough Davis up with a forearm. Davis able to pummel to the plum, both land strikes then a clinch break.
- Minute 2, Stiff left from Eye, jammed push kick from Davis, some more hockey punching by both in the clinch but good uppercut from Eye. Eye bullying Davis into the clinch with an underhook against the fence again, Davis able to over-hook and attempts a whizzer Harai-Goshi (aka a 'Hank') but Eye's base is too good and they return to the cage side clinch.
- Minute 3, Eye head pummelling but ref breaks up the clinch. Davis trying to score with leg kicks, but Eye's punches look better. Both are throwing flurries in the pocket and from the clinch but Eye again looking the cleaner striker.
- Minute 4, Neck tie from Davis preventing Eye from body-lock, Davis pummels to get double underhook and Eye over-hooks and sags to avoid being controlled. This time Davis driving Eye to the fence and begin landing knees to body and leg, none of which look to have much behind them though. Both break from the clinch.
- Minute 5, Slight decrease from both in strike volume, Davis looks for a last minute takedown and gets it with Eye holding onto the head from underneath. Davis can't secure side control and settles for top half guard instead, Eye defending well from any ground'n'pound but Davis does land a couple of short elbows.
On the feet Eye was landing cleaner punches, though Davis' attack was more varied. Davis wasn't landing with any significant power though. Eye was stronger in the clinch for the most part, but Davis had her own strong clinch briefly later in the round. Davis scored a takedown but did no real damage with the top half guard control she had save for a couple of short elbows in literally the last couple of seconds of the round. I couldn't pick one over the other in doing the most to finish. 10-10 draw under WDMTF.
- Minute 1, both come out to the center of the ring, Davis with a reasonable looking jab-cross-leg kick combo. Davis doing a better job of keeping distance, looking to use push kicks to keep Eye away from the clinch. Davis committing more to leg kicks but opens up to kick-catches from Eye, though Eye isn't able to maintain the catch.
- Minute 2, Kick from Eye is now caught by Davis who follows up with a trip takedown and looks to control on the ground. Minor hammerfists and punches to the body and head of Eye by Davis, Eye looking to clinch and use half-guard to stifle Davis. A little blood spattering on the mat though it's unclear from whom, I think it might be Davis possibly from a clash of heads while they fight close on the ground.
- Minute 3, Davis looking to heavy shoulder cross face and driver her weight into Eye to open up half guard in an attempt to pass. The pass attempt using her right shin suggests Davis is looking to go to mount. Eye looking to survive the pressure and prevent the transition, at one point her own arm gets caught up against her head as Davis continues to drive. Davis gives up the pass attempt and adjusts posture to attempt some ground'n'pound with Eye only able to defend.
- Minute 4, Davis tripods and looks to shake off Eye's half-guard but fails, returns to low posture and looks for some strikes on the ground while grinding a forearm into Eye's face. Eye works with a shallow lockdownhalf guard and controlling biceps of Davis to prevent being punched. Davis looks to isolate Eye's right arm for an Americana but loses grip before being close to locking it up. More heavy grinding top control from Davis.
- Minute 5, Davis changes strategy, postures up and gives Eye space to move likely as a bait. Davis whizzers Eye before looking for over-under back control with her arms, Eye likely realising the bait is holding onto her half guard. Davis throws some punches before returning to over-under but Eye will not let go of her half guard which would likely lead to Davis getting back control completely.
This round is a pretty clear cut round for Davis in both the unified rules and under my own criteria. In the brief striking on the feet Davis landed better kicks and kept Eye at bay, when Eye did kick back Davis got the takedown. More importantly Davis employed a very MMA beneficial grinding and suffocating top game. A smattering of strikes which by themselves might not seem like munch were the icing on top of Davis attempt at drowning Eye with bodyweight and pressure. Davis did a good job of switching between pass attempts and g'n'p. I'm not considering her attempt at an Americana since it was nowhere near to being complete, and her baiting of Eye was pretty clever strategy though ultimately unsuccessful in getting her back. Still, Davis takes this round. 10-9 Davis under WDMTF.
- Minute 1, Eye still looks loose striking but clearly wary of getting too close to Davis after the last round. Eye looking to pick her shots and counter Davis coming in. Davis throwing leg kicks, Eye kicks but with less commitment for the aforementioned reasons. Eye catches Davis' leg kick which Davis turns away from to get her knee bent ...
- Minute 2, ... breaks free and misses with a spinning backfist. Eye over extends on a jab cross combo that misses, Davis is landing leg kicks, Eye is landing a few punches to the head when Davis is coming in. Eye catches a kick and tries to punch to the head and body in close before a clinch break. Failed shot from Davis Eye brings Davis back up to her level and uses a stiff forearm to break the clinch.
- Minute 3, Eye looking to land counter straight lefts and over-hand rights, good stiff jab from Davis who is still landing leg kicks. Eye now using the push kick to keep Davis at distance. Both have swelling on their face and around the eyes.
- Minute 4, Eye is landing more to the head, Davis is missing but is landing the occasional punch. Some dirty boxing from the clinch by Eye amd a good short uppercut, Davis is still landing leg kicks. Eye is still over extending on the right cross as Davis backs away. Eye is now landing some calf kicks.
- Minute 5, Eye is landing the better punches this round but still more cautious now, Davis is mostly missing with punches but does land a short straight. Davis landing some leg kicks. Level change and failed shot from Davis, eye responds with some punches. Round ends with some conservative kickboxing from both.
Eye landed the cleaner punches to the head, while Davis was landing leg kicks which were more significant than in the first round. A couple of nice calf kicks from Eye but that was mostly it in the kicking department from her other than the occasional push kick. Eye easily avoided Davis takedown attempts. Ugly round but Eye's apparent strike volume to Davis face with less damage from Davis in return gives Eye the round. It was close, but not close enough for a draw round. 10-9 Eye under WDMTF.
Looking at which fighter did the most to finish the fight in my subjective opinion, I ended up with a score of 29-29 for both fighters giving us a draw. I thought neither did more to finish than the other in the first round, Davis did more in round 2 and Eye did more in round 3.
I considered Davis' grinding pressure and suffocating top control in round 2 into effort to lead to a finish because it wasn't a passive or light control. Compared to Josh Thomson's body triangle back control on Benson Henderson in the first WDMTF article I wrote, while uncomfortable for Henderson he was never in a position where he felt like he was being crushed by Thomson as Eye appeared to be against Davis. Eye might protest she was never really in any danger in round 2, but she was being roughed up by Davis who had a good mix of pass attempts, ground control and actively trying to fatigue Eye by making it difficult to move and breathe. Eye also never escaped her position in round 2 instead only looking to survive for 4 out of 5 minutes.
Eye in round 3 knew she had to keep her distance and pick her shots and she did so more successfully than Davis moving forward with leg kicks and mostly missed punches. Davis had her moments when she did land clean, but Eye landed more to the head and completely nullified Davis takedown attempts.
Had the fight continued with unlimited rounds, it's possible Eye could have eventually worn down Davis and got a TKO stoppage. Of course, had the fight been a single, no time limit round, Davis could have continued the pressure from top control and looked to get to a better position for a stoppage or submission on the ground. Within the confines of 3 rounds I personally think a draw is fair and justified, and can see these two fighting again sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Have your say in the poll and comments about the result of the fight, and the WDMTF criteria.
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