Brian Ortega is a slick, slick fighter. While his standup has notably improved over his last couple of fights, obviously it’s his submission that make the man. And against Cub Swanson, that proved to be true again. Swanson out-struck Ortega by a wide margin in the first, yet almost got finished by a standing choke at the end of the round.
During the second round, he wasn’t so lucky.
Ortega clinched up, landed a knee, then quickly snatched up a guillotine. He jumped up on Cub, who tried his best to shake him off. Ortega actually adjusted his grip in the middle of the choke, which is really cool. Swanson was getting cranked and was forced to tap.
Many didn’t think Ortega could hang with the top of the 145-pound division. That idea was thoroughly discredited tonight.
- Jason Knight fought a horrible and strange bout against Gabriel Benitez. First, he lost a point for biting Benitez's finger during a takedown attempt. Yes, you read that right. He bit him. From then on, he was a step behind Benitez all night, not fighting like he normally does at all. I don't know if he was hurt or what, but it was an ugly, ugly performance. The only thing that kept him in the fight was his chin.
- I’m sorry, but I busted out laughing in the second round when Paul Felder (who did an awesome job tonight along with Brendan Fitzgerald) said that Knight had to be “biting down”, unaware of the pun he had just made until it was pointed out to him. “Too soon?” That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen on a UFC show in a long time.
- I loved Benitez introducing himself to Dana White on the mic too. Nothing else needs to be said after that performance.
- Marlon Moraes. Wow. He absolutely destroyed Aljamain Sterling with a knee, sending him falling over into slow-motion unconsciousness. That was legitimately scary, and I hope Sterling is okay. He was stretchered out, but apparently gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was being taken out. That's a good sign.
- Scott Holtzman got a nice win, despite the referee in the fight. Mike Beltran stood him up three different times when he was clearly doing solid work on the ground, once from what looked like mount! Nonetheless, he worked over Darrell Horcher and took home a victory.
- Eryk Anders basically dominated Markus Perez, but man does Perez ever have an iron chin. He must have eaten ten brutal knees over the three rounds, but he never looked rocked. I liked Anders' call out of Lyoto Machida after the fight too.
- Benito Lopez sure started his fight fast, dropping Albert Morales with two flying knees early in the first. Morales fought right back and the first was a barnburner. The pace slowed a ton in the next two rounds, but Lopez did more than enough to get the W. And his hair was strange. So there's that.
- Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche was a back-and-forth fight where Carmouche showed off her crazy strength to get out of two deep armbars. Davis got the win, and rightfully so. It'll be interesting to see how both ladies fare at 125 going forward.
- Andre Soukhamthath picked up a victory out of nowhere. I initially thought it was an early stoppage and Luke Sanders seemed fine, but I was wrong. He clearly went out and was woken up by another punch. Huge win for Soukhamthath, as it probably saved his job.
- Alex Perez has some squeeze, that's for sure. Carls John de Tomas had to fend off chokes for the whole first round, but wasn't able to defend himself any longer and tapped out in the second.
- I really thought Merab Dvalishvili cruised to victory over Frankie Saenz. Saenz did land some effective offense now and again, but it wasn't enough to overcome being taken down a dozen times in 15 minutes. Wrestling is offense. I don't think Saenz deserved a W for landing a few sporadic shots when he was on the feet.
- Iuri Alcantara and Alejandro Perez will win the Lenscrafters performance bonus for Staring Contest of the Night. What a terrible, terrible fight.
- Davi Ramos sure is explosive, and he used to finish a fight out of thin air. In the third round of his fight with a game Chris Gruetzemacher, He got a takedown, jumped onto his opponent's back, and sunk a choke in about four seconds. It was extremely slick.
- In the opener, Antonio Braga Neto got off to a good start, but three years away from the cage took its toll and Trevin Giles took over. After battering Braga Neto for a while, he ended his night with some huge punches in the third.