The majority of the main card for UFC on ESPN+ 14: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 has come and gone. Among the winners tonight are Volkan Oezdemir (who smashed through Ilir Latifi), Eduardo Garagorri (who became the first Uruguayan to win in the UFC), and Rodolfo Vieira (who took a submission victory in his UFC debut).
Full results and highlights:
Eduardo Garagorri def. Humberto Bandenay via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28): Featherweight
The first round was a little nervy from both men, perhaps each were somewhat affected by the crowd (who were making noise for the first time all night). Bandenay looked to be the more polished fighter in the opening exchanges, but that all changed when Uruguay’s Garagorri cracked him with a punch that opened a cut in the Peruvian’s hairline. Bandenay looked surprised to take damage and spent the remainder of the round looking to wrap his opponent up to nullify any offense.
Garagorri appeared to grow in confidence heading into the second. However, he ate a big shot from Bandenay, which elicited a wild exchange, followed by a high five. Garagorri was bloodied after that, but that didn’t seem to dull his enthusiasm. The Uruguayan swung wildly at Bandenay when he came into range, but left himself wide open in the process. But Bandenay couldn’t capitalize on that, other than landing a takedown at the end of the round.
Bandenay looked gassed in the third, but he still had enough energy to land a takedown and then hold Garagorri in the clinch. With two minutes left, both men exchanged combinations in the centre of the cage. But it was Garagorri’s punches that seemed to land with greater impact. The last 10 seconds featured some phone-booth-fighting much to the delight of the impatient crowd.
In the end the judges ruled in favour for Garagorri much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
Volkan Oezdemir def. Ilir Latifi by KO (punches), round 2 (4:31): Light heavyweight
After some tense opening moments, Latifi drew first blood — metaphorically — in his fight with Oezdemir by landing a huge takedown against the fence. Oezdemir was able to bounce up, though. On the feet ‘No Time’ was successful in catching Latifi with heavy elbows and knees and swelling up the Swede’s right eye. With Latifi bruised, Oezdemir began hunting him down with leg kicks and overhands. Though, he still had to be mindful of the hard counters the ‘Sledgehammer’ was throwing back at him.
Oezdemir continued out-clubbing Latifi throughout the second round, before eventually landing a huge knee on Latifi’s chin. The strike sent Latifi spiraling to the ground, but he was able to gut it out and survive. He was wobbly, though, and Oezdemir seemingly couldn’t miss after that. Oezdemir punished Latifi with shots to the body, forcing Latifi to drop his hands low. Then the Swiss fighter landed the knockout blows; a huge right hand and a follow up that sent Latifi into the Dreamlands.
Rodolfo Vieira def. Oskar Piechota by submission (arm triangle), round 2 (4:26): Middleweight
Highly decorated BJJ black belt Rodolfo Vierira passed his first test in the UFC. The undefeated fighter did what was expected in taking down Oskar Piechota and submitting him. However, Piechota put up more resistance than what was expected of him.
Vieira introduced himself to Piechota with some crisp jabs that snapped the Pole’s head back. He then charged in for a single leg, but Piechota was able to sprawl and prevent the takedown. Piechota then landed a few nice punches of his own. Vieira’s next takedown was much more successful, though. The rest of the round was spent at the foot of the fence, with Piechota surviving and even landing some nice elbows to the side of Vieira’s head.
Vieira slowed considerably in the second round, but he was still fresh enough to take down Piechota at the 3:30 mark. After that Vieira slowly worked to soften Piechota up and improve his position before landing an unbreakable arm-triangle choke.
Enrique Barzola def. Bobby Moffett by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28): Featherweight
In the beginning of their fight Moffet took the centre of the cage early, as he looked to disrupt Barzola’s flow. The Peruvian answered back with a flashy superman punch that impressed the crowd, but didn’t land. Barzola did follow up with a pair of punches that did find purchase, though. Moffett’s responses included a few solid body kicks, which — in turn — were answered with a quickfire takedown at the end of the round.
Barzola started the second round with another takedown, though he only had Moffett down for a second. Both fighters were loosened up by this point and each was landing shots on the other’s jaw. The best shots of the round were landed by Moffett, though, in a nice combo. Barzola responded to that with another quick takedown just before the buzzer.
Barzola started the third round positively, landing a few nice shots and then an attempted takedown. The American was wise to it, though, and ended up getting the better of Barzola in the ensuing clinch. The action then shifted back to the centre with both men attempting a few home-run swings. Barzola and Moffett traded for the remainder of the fight, with Barzola getting yet another just-for-show-takedown in the dying seconds of the round.
It was a hard fight to score, but two of the three judges went with Barzola.