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UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 results and post-fight analysis

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Tim B. takes a look at a violent, up-and-down final Fox card in Milwaukee.

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The UFC couldn’t have gone out on Fox on a much better note. With the Octagon in Milwaukee, the last card on the big network might not have had the biggest names, but it certainly brought some action on a main card that more than made up for a very uneven undercard.

Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee put on a barnburner of a main event that went down to the bitter end. Some may question Lee’s choice to not wrestle more, since he easily won two rounds when he did. But Iaquinta wouldn’t go down in the fifth when it counted, and he busted Lee up over the final 90 seconds to cement a victory that will remain in the memories of fans for a while.

Afterward he called out Conor McGregor, saying that he lasted to the horn with Khabib Nurmagomedov while Conor got tapped out. He’s right. But while Conor vs. Iaquinta has some interest on paper, I highly doubt that’s the direction the promotion goes. As for Lee, he just sat there stunned at the decision. He believes he won the first three rounds. I would disagree with that - he clearly lost the first, and Iaquinta had him hurt in the fourth and fifth.

Regardless, it a great win for Ragin’ Al.

  • I have a lot to say about the spectacle that was Edson Barboza vs. Daniel Hooker. First, I don’t want to take anything away from Barboza - he’s one of the greatest strikers I’ve ever seen, and he was making me flinch regularly with the stuff he was landing in the first two rounds. Pay that man his money. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
  • Daniel Hooker is not made of skin and bones and organs. He’s made of granite and steel and resilience. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a fighter walk through fire quite like that before. And I’m fine with him coming out for the third round. But I’m with Daniel Cormier on this - there was no need for that sustained beating. After Barboza landed the first ridiculously hard shot of the third, even though Hooker was still walking forward, it was done. The fight was over. Hooker’s corner, and the referee, did not do their jobs.
  • The ref has to see that Hooker is severely compromised. A big part of your job is fighter safety. That beating may have taken years off of Hooker’s career, and that’s at least partially the fault of the ref. Hooker’s corner shares that blame. I get that corner stoppages are rarely a thing in MMA, but they should be. This should have been the definition of one. It was disgusting and frustrating.
  • We’re all fans of violence, or we wouldn’t watch this sport. But I’m not a fan of senseless and uncomfortable violence. And that’s what that was.
  • I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a fighter land his jab more and more effectively than Rob Font did on Sergio Pettis. He was popping his head back with every shot. Pettis is a great fighter, but he might just be too small for 135.
  • In the main card opener, Charles Oliveira just needed to get a hold of Jim Miller once to avenge his loss eight years ago. Nice finish. Weird post-fight speech though. Are you a lightweight or a featherweight?
  • Zak Ottow and Dwight Grant took part in a fight with little to no action. It was horrible. Somehow Ottow won a decision despite landing about 10 total significant strikes and maybe one takedown. Awful.
  • Drakkar Klose and Bobby Green engaged in a rather dull lightweight bout that had no super defining characteristics. It honestly could have gone either way, but Klose took the decision. Apparently Green retired after the fight.
  • Joachim Silva and Jared Gordon was definitely my fight of the night, and was a lot of fun to watch as a fan. Each man had their opponent hurt multiple times and they showed a lot of heart and toughness to survive. Finally in the third, Silva was just a little fresher and ended up smashing Gordon into unconsciousness while he was still on his feet.
  • Speaking of that finish, the ref handled it perfectly. Too many times in MMA a referee will want for a guy to collapse to the mat before they stop it, and that leads to extra damage being doled out that wasn’t necessary. The ref saw that Gordon was out and jumped in right way, even if it’s quite unusual to be in sleepytown but still standing.
  • Gerald Meerschaert makes some really questionable decisions sometimes. While Jack Hermansson has good wrestling and top control/ground and pound, Meerschaert seemed to have multiple avenues of escape when it came to being underneath him. And even when he did escape, he’d do something strange to end up right back down there. Finally Hermansson locked on a nasty arm-in guillotine and GM3 was dead to rights.
  • Hermansson respectfully called out Elias Theodorou or Brad Tavares after the fight. Both of those bouts seem like a natural progression for a guy that’s won four in a row.
  • Zak Cummings picked up a W in his return to middleweight, but it wasn’t pretty. Both him and Trevor Smith didn’t really do much in the fight, and Cummings in particular was making really elementary grappling mistakes on the ground. Smith didn’t take advantage though, and he lost because of it.
  • Dan Ige and Jordan Griffin engaged in a really good fight that helped wipe the taste of the two early fights out of the mouths of fans. The first round in particular was a war. It went back and forth, but it ended up with Ige pulling out a rightful unanimous decision.
  • The Fight Pass prelims featured some big guys. Mike Rodriguez picked up a nice TKO win with some nasty body work. Afterward, it appeared that opponent Adam Milstead retired. The first fight of the night was slow and plodding heavyweight action, where they got tired after the first round and it got ugly fast. In the end though. Juan Adams picked up a victory via TKO early in the third round.