Welcome to F4WOnline.com’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 92: Rodriguez vs. Caceres from the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT. This is the first time the Octagon has been in the state of Utah.
This event is headlined by a five-round bout in the featherweight division as Yair Rodriguez puts his five-fight win streak on the line against Alex Caceres.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 7 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
– UFC Fight Night 92 DFS Playbook
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 7 PM ET/4 PM PT)
CHASE SHERMAN (9-1, 0-0 UFC) VS. JUSTIN LEDET (6-0 1 NC, 0-0 UFC) (Dave Seljestad – ref)
Ledet is a big crowd favorite, being from Texas. Sherman comes out to Hulk Hogan’s old NWO them music, Voodoo Chile.
Sherman with early Octagon control. Nice punch combo from Ledet 45 seconds in. Another combo from Ledet and Sherman is cut around his nose and seems wobbled a bit. Sherman fires back with a punch combo. Crowd going nuts already. Ledet with a solid punch combo at 1:30. Sherman landing hard leg kicks. Another nice punch combo from Ledet at 2:15. Sherman with a punch/kick combo. Ledet rocks Sherman with a punch combo at 2:45 but he stays on his feet. Ledet with a knee to the head and more punches. Both guys landing hard punches at 3:00. Ledet ahead in strikes landed 28-25 through 3:15. Sherman with a nice punch combo at 3:45. Ledet landing hard punches and a knee to the head. No idea how Sherman is staying on his feet. Both guys seem to be tiring around 4:30. 10-9 Ledet
Both guys firing away with punches 15 seconds in. Sherman still connecting with leg kicks. Sherman pushing the pace. Ledet landing jabs flush. Total strikes now 57-45 for Ledet. Sherman bleeding pretty heavily from in and around his nose now. Head strikes are 56-22 for Ledet. Sherman stumbles Ledet with a hard leg kick at 2:30. Sherman continuing to advance. Sherman with a body punch combo at 3:30. Sherman really starting to suck wind now. Ledet breathing heavily as well. Punch combo from Sherman at 4:15. Punch combo from Ledet and Sherman’s mouth piece is half out. Sherman taunting Ledet at 4:45. Crowd loving this. 10-9 Ledet, 20-18
Ledet opens with a punch combo. Sherman complaining that he got poked in the eye but ref doesn’t stop it. Sherman bleeding around his right eye now. Head strikes now 85-29 for Ledet. Sherman taunting Ledet again at 1:45. Sherman with a punch combo at 2:00. Sherman still connecting with leg kicks. Ledet mostly landing single punches now, no combination but he’s not taking much damage. Ledet with a punch combo at 2:45 and Sherman sticks out his tongue, taunting him again. Sherman still advancing. Punch combo from Ledet at 3:30. Ledet with another punch combo and Sherman laughing it off and puts his hands on his hips at 4:00. Crowd booed that. Total strikes now 108-77 for Ledet. Sherman chasing Ledet around the Octagon in the last 30 seconds and Ledet landing occasional punches while retreating. Crowd booing heavily and they both flip each other off at the end. 10-9 Ledet, 30-27
WINNER – JUSTIN LEDET (7-0) by decision (30-27 x 3)
HOT TAKE – Ledet showed great boxing skill and will definitely be a prospect. Sherman showed a lot of heart and took a lot of punishment. I think he’s earned another shot but he’s gotta work on his defence
(#5) CUB SWANSON (22-7, 7-3 UFC) VS. (#14) TATSUYA KAWAJIRI (35-9-2, 3-2 UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
Swanson gets a huge reaction with a mixture of boos. Really, he’s probably the most well-known name on the card. Swanson with early Octagon control. Swanson with a punch combo at 45 seconds. Swanson slips after landing a punch but Kawajiri lets him up. Another hard punch combo from Swanson at 1:15. Kawajiri stuffed on a takedown attempt at 1:30. Swanson lands a couple hard elbows to the head while defending. Swanson just misses a head kick but lands a punch combo at 2:15. Kawajiri rocks Swanson with a hard right and then gets a takedown at 2:30. Kawajiri working for an arm triangle as he moves into half guard. Kawajiri into mount at 3:15. Kawajiri not doing much damage yet but he’s got a couple submissions available. Swanson works him back into half guard at 4:15. Kawajiri still looking for the arm triangle. Kawajiri back into full guard at 4:30. Kawajiri landing punches to the head at 4:45. 10-9 Kawajiri
Swanson catches a kick 30 seconds in and lands a punch combo. Kawajiri stuffed on a takedown attempt at 45 seconds. Kawajiri with a kick combo at 1:15. Kawajiri with a takedown attempt at 1:45 but Swanson reverses midstreak and takes Kawajiri’s back and locks in a rear naked choke. Kawajiri defends it but Swanson still on his back. Kawajiri escapes and gets separation at 2:30. Kawajiri with a spinning back elbow as he’s getting hit with an uppercut at 2:45. Swanson with a nice punch combo at 3:00 and Kawajri down. Swanson connects with a knee as Kawajrii is downed. On the replay, it looked like he was aiming for the body but it clearly connected with his head. Kawajiri gets checked out by the doctor but he continues. No point deduction, which was fair. Swanson opens with a punch combo on the restart. Both guys swinging wildly and landing at 3:45. Kawajiri with another takedown attempt but stuffed by Swanson. Total strikes are 51-43 for Kawajiri. Cage clinch with Kawajiri in control at 4:15. Quick separation. Swanson drops Kawajiri with a leg kick but he’s right back up. 10-9 Swanson, 19-19
Kawajiri opens round 3 throwing all kinds of kicks but they all miss. Crowd chanting USA USA USA. Kawajiri with a nice punch combo 45 seconds in and shoots for a takedown but gets stuffed. Kawajiri gets him down at 1:00. Swanson in a sitting position with his back on the fence. Kawajiri to his feet and Swanson follows at 1:45. Kawajiri in control of a cage clinch at 1:45. Swanson landing elbows to the head and knees to the body. Kawajiri with a takedown at 2:15. Ref warning him to work almost instantly. Kawajiri with elbows to the head. Swanson up at 3:00. Swanson with a punch combo at 3:15 and follows with a high kick. Swanson with a knee to the body and Kawajiri is down. Swanson stays on his feet and Kawajiri looking for a leg lock. Swanson escapes and takes his back at 4:00. Kawajiri cut on his left cheek. Swanson with a full body lock at 4:30 and the ref warns him to work as neither guy is thorwing anything. Kawajiri reverses though and gets to his feet. Swanson follows and knocks Kawajiri down with punches as the fight ends. 10-9 Swanson, 29-28 overall
WINNER – CUB SWANSON (23-7) by decision (30-27 x 2; 29-28)
HOT TAKE – Swanson’s second straight win in a very tough division and his only losses since 2011 are to Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar, both top 3 contenders. He’s probably never going to contend for a title but he’s a guy you want around for big fights. Kawajiri is still a top 15 guy and isn’t going anywhere. Really fun fight
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 8 PM ET/5 PM PT)
TERUTO ISHIHARA (8-2-2, 1-0-1 UFC) VS. HORACIO GUTIERREZ (2-2, 0-1 UFC) (Dave Seljestad – ref)
Gutierrez is the big crowd favorite for whatever reason. He was on TUF Latin America, so that could be it. First minute, not much happened with Gutierrez landing a hard leg kick as the biggest blow. Ishihara stuffed on a takedown attempt at 1:15. Gutierrez continuing to land leg kicks. Gutierrez with a nice punch combo at 2:15 and the crowd explodes. Another punch combo from Gutierrez but Ishihara drops Gutierrez with one punch. He tries to get up and eats a couple more punches before the ref stops it.
WINNER – TERUTO ISHIHARA (9-2-2) by KO (punch) at 2:32
HOT TAKE – Ishihara has a lot of power, as evidenced by this KO. Both guys are just 25 and have a future in the sport. Despite Gutierrez’ record, I think he sticks around as he’ll be valuable for the Latin market. Ishihara should probably face a top 30 guy next.
DAVID TEYMUR (4-1, 1-0 UFC) VS. JASON NOVELLI (11-1-1, 0-0 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
Novelli controlling the Octagon early. Teymur with a nice punch combo at 2:15. They trade body kicks. Teymur with a nice punch combo, Novelli answers with a knee to the head at 3:15. Novelli cut under his left eye. Novelli knocks down Teymur with a punch but he gets right up. Teymur backs up Novelli to the cage with a punch combo at 4:00. Teymur ahead 17-5 in significant strikes. Novelli still pushing the pace. 10-9 Teymur
Total strikes in round 1 were 22-6. Novelli controlling the pace to start the round. Teymur shoots for a takedown but defended by Novelli 30 seconds in. Cage clinch with Novelli in control at 45 seconds. Quick separation. Teymur knocks Novelli down with a punch. He gets back up but Teymur just unloads on him and the ref stops it quickly.
WINNER – DAVID TEYMUR (5-1) by TKO at 1:25 of the 2nd round
HOT TAKE – Teymur looked great, obviously. With so many lightweights under contract he’s got a long way to go to move into contention but he should get a higher ranked guy next. It could be one and done for Novelli, unfortunately. Teymur challenged Sage Northcutt for his next fight. Not likely to happen but can’t blame the guy for trying.
VIKTOR PESTA (10-2, 1-2 UFC) VS. MARCIN TYBURA (13-2, 0-1 UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
Tybura with early Octagon control. Nice punch combo from Pesta 45 seconds in. Tybura rocks him with a counter punch. Pesta with a takedown attempt but Tybura sprawls out at 1:45. Tybura wtih a nice punch combo at 2:30. Pesta only 3/23 in strikes landed halfway through the round. Tybura continuing to advance, landing mostly single punches from distance. Significant strikes now 19-4 for Tybura. Pesta with another takedown attempt and eats a knee to the head. Clinch on the cage with Pesta in control at 4:30. Tybura takes control at 4:45 but neither guy doing much from the clinch. 10-9 Tybura
Tybura opens with a punch combo that backs Pesta up. Tybura with a head kick that knocks Pesta out cold.
WINNER – MARCIN TYBURA (14-2) by KO (head kick) at 53 seconds of the 2nd round
HOT TAKE – Tybura looked really good here and in a weak heavyweight division, he’s probably not too far away from the top 15. He should be matched up against a bigger name next time out. Pesta is now 1-3 in the UFC and it’s probably back to European regionals for him but he’ll likely get a call for a future show on that continent if he rings up a few wins.
COURT MCGEE (17-5, 6-4 UFC) VS. DOMINIQUE STEELE (14-7, 1-2 UFC) (Dan Miragliotta – ref)
McGee is the huge crowd favorite, being a local guy. McGee rocks Steele with a punch seconds in and then gets a takedown. McGee takes his back and secures a body lock. McGee working for a rear naked choke. McGee with a neck crank at 1:15. Steele fighti it off though and gets to his feet. Steele in control of a clinch at 1:45. Separation at 2:00. Loud UTAH chants from the crowd. Not much happening in the standup. Steele rocks McGee with a punch combo at 3:30 and follows up with a knee to the body. Steele initiates a cage clinch but McGee breaks away quickly. Steele with another punch combo and clinches up at 4:30. McGee takes control and working for a takedown. They stay in the clinch until the round ends. 10-9 McGee but very close
Nice punch exchange 45 seconds in. Steele with a punch combo tht rocks McGee at 1:00 and again he clinches on the cage. McGee cut on the nose and the right side of his forehead. McGee takes control of the clinch at 1:45. McGee lands some knees to the body. Steele is cut open and bleeding from the forehead just above the nose as well. Separation at 2:30. McGee with a takedown t 3:00. Steele right up though and initiates a cage clinch. McGee quickly takes control. Ref warns them to work. More UTAH chants from the crowd. Steele with elbows to the head at 4:15 while still being controlled in the clinch. Another really close round. 10-9 Steele, 19-19 overall. But really either round could go either way
Huge ovation for McGee as theycome out for Round 3. Steele opens with a punch combo and follows up with an elbow to the head. Total strikes are 43-40 for McGee. Steele with a punch combo at 1:00. Steele with a flying knee and follows up with punches and they end up in a cage clinch with McGee in control at 1:45. Steele with elbows to the body. McGee with a takedown at 2:30 but Steele right up. McGee initiates another cage clinch. Ref warns them to work at 3:00. McGee with light punches to the head but the ref breaks them up at 3:15. Steele wtih a takedown attempt at 3:45 defended by McGee. McGee initiates another cage clinch at 4:00. Crowd erupts at around the 4:30 mark as they think McGee is winning. McGee lands a flush elbow right before the buzzer and should take the round 10-9 and the fight 29-28
WINNER – COURT MCGEE (18-5) by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
HOT TAKE – I think the crowd made the difference there for McGee in a very close fight. McGee was very emotional afterward, saying that it was the first time his kid had seen him fight live. Steele is 1-3 in UFC and could get cut I hope not. He’s obviously a UFC caliber fighter and easily could’ve won this fight. McGee is a long way from contention but he’s a familiar name with a good record. He should probably step up and fight a top 15 guy next.
MAIN CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 10 PM ET/7 PM PT)
(#9) MARYNA MOROZ (7-1, 2-1 UFC) VS. DANIELLE TAYLOR (7-1, 0-0 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
Moroz with early Octagon control. Taylor is really tiny as Moroz isn’t that big and just towers over her. Both ladies very tentative early on with Moroz landing slightly more, but just single strikes. Crowd booing 2:00 in as not much happening. Moroz throwing a lot of punches and kicks but missing almost all of them. Through 3:15, strikes landed are actually 3/53, which is unheard of. Moroz is just way too far away from her to land anything. Taylor is not throwing hardly any strikes though, just avoiding getting hit. Taylor lands an overhand right before the round ends. 10-9 Moroz but could almost be a 10-10 round
2nd round opens the same with Moroz controlling the pace. She controlled 90% of the first round. Total strokes are 13-9 landed for Taylor but Moroz has thrown 106. The judges would not necessarily know how many of those strikes had landed. Crowd booing pretty heavily again at 1:30. Moroz still missing most of her strikes. Taylor rocks Moroz with a hard right but Moroz stays on her feet at 2:15. If this round goes the same as the last round, that could be enough to take it for her. Taylor with a punch combo at 3:45. Moroz still advancing. Significant strikes are 19-19. More loud booing from the crowd at 4:30. 10-9 Taylor, 19-19
Same thing to open round 3. Moroz pushing the pace. She does land a couple punches early. Moroz lands what might be her first body kick at 45 seconds. Moroz rocks Taylor with a head kick at 1:15. Punch combo from Moroz at 1:30. Crowd booing again at 2:15. Moroz lands a hard right at 2:45. Action has kind of moved into the centre of the Octagon now. Moroz with a nice punch combo at 3:15. Ref warns them to engage at 3:45. Nice punch exchange at 4:45. Taylor gets a takedown at the buzzer. 10-9 Moroz, 29-28
WINNER – MARYNA MOROZ (8-1) by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
HOT TAKE – This fight didn’t do Moroz any favors. She came into the UFC and looked like a world beater with a quick sub over Joanne Calderwood but has been pretty mediocre since. Taylor should get another chance in UFC but I’m not sure how well she would do. This wasn’t a very good fight at all.
TREVOR SMITH (13-6, 3-3 UFC) VS. JOE GIGLIOTTI (7-0, 0-0 UFC) (Dan Miragliotta – ref)
Gigliotti opens with a punch combo and initiates a cage clinch 15 seconds in. Smith takes control. Gigliotti landing knees to the body. Smith answering with body punches and knees to the legs. Smith with a takedown at 1:30. Smith landing punches to the head as Gigliotti gets to his feet. Smith still controlling him in a cage clinch. Ref warns them to work at 2:45. After the last fight, this looks like Frye/Takayama. Smith with some light body punches at 3:15. Crowd starting to boo again as they’re still in a clinch. Ref finally breaks them up at 3:30 and he warns Smith for grabbing the fence. Smith with a punch combo. Gigliotti unloads with a combo of his own and they’re right back in a cage clinch. Gigliotti with a takedown but Smith catches him in a guillotine. Gigliotti escapes and tries to take the back but Smith escapes. Smith takes Gigliotti down and lands a knee that looked illegal but the ref allows it. 10-9 Smith
Smith drops Gigliotti with a knee and takes his back on the ground 30 seconds in. Smith with back mount. Gigliotti is pouring blood from his nose while trying to defend a choke. Gigliotti trying to get to his feet while Smith is still on his back. Gigliotti’s nose seems to be broken from the knee that opened the round. Smith still working for a choke but the blood is making it difficult to secure. Gigliotti manaes to get Smith to front position as he’s seated with his back to the cage. Smith landing punches and elbows to the head from half guard. Gigliotti to his feet at 3:15 but Smith takes him down right away. Smith on his back again and working for the rear naked choke. Gigliotti manages to get him off his back while he tries to stand again. Total strikes are 97-17 for Smith. Smith working for a D’Arce choke at 4:45 but the bell ends it. 10-8 for Smith, 20-17
Smith gets a takedown immediately to start the round. Smith with an arm triangle attempt while he tries to advance position. Crowd booing heavily again. Smith landing elbows to the head. Smith into side control at 1:45. Gigliotti to his feet at 2:00. Smith in control of a cage clinch. Separation at 2:30. Gigliotti with a nice punch combo at 2:45. Smith clinches up again but Gigliotti powers out of it. Smith takes him down at 3:00. Smith with 11 minutes of control time through 13 minutes of the fight. Smith again working for an arm triangle and Gigliotti gives up his back. Smith flips him around and gets full mount. Smith landing elbows to the head and body punches. Smith with more elbows to the head at 4:30. Close to another 10-8 but I’ll go 10-9 and 30-26 overall for Smith
WINNER – TREVOR SMITH (14-6) by unanimous decision (30-26 x 3)
HOT TAKE – Smith looked really good, obviously, but I’m not sure if it was his being good or Gigliotti just looking terrible. Gigliotti could be one and done in UFC as he just didn’t seem ready at all. Smith is not nearly a top 15 or probably even top 30 fighter. It will be interesting to see how he does against another veteran though, maybe a Jorge Masvidal type.
SANTIAGO PONZINIBBIO (22-3, 4-2 UFC) VS. ZAK CUMMINGS (19-4, 4-1 UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
Both guys keeping their distance, mainly in the centre of the Octagon, for the first 90 seconds. Ponzinibbio with a punch combo at 1:45. Cummings with a takedown attempt at 2:00 but defended well by Ponzinibbio. Nice punch exchange at 2:30. Ponzinibbio establishing Octagon control. Cummings looks to be cut above his nose. Nasty head kick from Ponzinibbio at 3:30 and follows up with a punch combo. Cummings stays up though. Ponzinibbio cut around his left eye as well. Cummings hit him with a low blow that was accidental but the ref gives him a strong warning. Cummings pushing the pace on the restart. Great punch exchange at 4:45 and Cummings gets a takedown but Ponzinibbio right up. 10-9 Ponzinibbio but very close
Total strikes in round 1 were 20-8 for Ponzinibbio. Cummings has some welling around his left eye. Cummings with a punch combo at 45 seconds. Ponzinibbio’s cut is open again as well. Punch combo from Ponzinibbio followed by a head kick at 1:15. Punch combo from Cummings at 1:45. Cummings cut under his right eye now as well. Cummings with a kick/punch combo at 2:45. Ponzinibbio complaining of an eye poke but ref didn’t see it and makes them keep fighting. Cummings with a takedown attempt stuffed at 3:30. Nice punch exchange to end the round. 10-9 Cummings but another close one, 19-19
Both fighters were given a warning for advancing with their fingers out before the round. With the new rules that have passed, that could be a point deduction in the near future. Head strikes are 47-20 for Ponzinibbio. It seems closer than that. Ponzinibbio with a nice punch combo at 1:15 and he’s controlling the Octagon as well. Ponzinibbio with another combo at 2:15. Nice punch exchange at 3:00. Total strikes are 77-41 now for Ponzinibbio. Cummings with a punch combo at 4:00. Both guys faces are all cut up. 10-9 Ponzinibbio, 29-28 overall
WINNER – SANTIAGO PONZINIBBIO (23-3) by unanimous decision (29-28 x 2; 30-27)
HOT TAKE – Another mediocre fight. Ponzinibbio is usually a pretty exciting fighter but didn’t really show that here. With the win, Ponzinibbio will likely get a top 15 guy next but he doesn’t seem ready for that kind of competition. Cummings had won 2 straight prior to this and his only stoppage loss in UFC was to Demian Maia so he isn’t going anywhere.
(#12) THALES LEITES (25-6, 10-5 UFC) VS. CHRIS CAMOZZI (24-10, 9-7 UFC) (Dan Miragliotta – ref)
Leites shoots for takedown early but they end up in a cage clinch with Camozzi in control. Leites takes control at 45 seconds. Leites takes his back at 1:45 but Camozzi still on his feet. Ref warns them to work at 2:00. Leites drags him down but Camozzi right up. Leites landing punches to the head while working for a choke. Ref warns them again at 2:45. Leites briefly gets him down again but Camozzi right up. Leites still on his back. Hard punches to the head from Leites. Leites with a full body lock as well. Camozzi cut now on his left cheek as that’s where the punches are landing. Crowd booing a bit. Leites gets him down right at the buzzer. 10-8 Leites
Camozzi pressing the action to start but Leites gets a takedown 30 seconds in. Leites in half guard and working on an arm triangle. Camozzi works him back to full guard and lands a couple elbows to the head. Leites into side control at 1:45. Leites working for a D’Arce choke and then takes the back of Camozzi. Camozzi briefly to his feet but Leites drags him right down. Leites with the full body lock. Leites landing punches to the head. Leites loses the body lock at 3:00 but still on Camozzi’s back. He gets it back again at 3:15. Loud booing from the crowd. Camozzi escapes the body lock at 3:45 but Leites still on his back. More punches to the head from Leites. Leites trying to set up a rear naked choke. Leites all over him with punches at the end of the round. 10-8 Leites, 20-16
Camozzi opens with a punch combo as he knows he has to get a finish. He initiates a cage clinch but quick separation. Leites with a takedown 30 seconds in and the crowd erupts with boos. Leites takes his back again and looking for a rear naked choke. Leites landing punches to the head. Leites has his wrist under the chin now but Camozzi fighting it off with everything he has. Leites with a full body lock once again. Leites with a neck crank and gets the tap.
WINNER – THALES LEITES (26-6) by submission at 2:58 of round 3 (rear naked choke)
HOT TAKE – Camozzi is no pushover but Leites made him look like one. He was really close to title contention about a year and will need 2-3 wins against top guys to get there again but he’s definitely got the skills to do it. He looked like a middleweight version of Demian Maia out there. This was just a bad style matchup for Camozzi and he should go in against a standup guy next time out.
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(#8) DENNIS BERMUDEZ (15-5, 8-3 UFC) VS. RONY JASON (14-5 1 NC, 4-2 1 NC UFC) (John McCarthy – ref)
Bermudez controlling the pace early. Jason landing kicks from distance. Bermudez with a nice punch/kick combo at 1:45 and then gets a takedown. Bermudez stands up but Jason stays on his back. Bermudez back into his guard and lands a couple elbows to the head. Jason working for an armbar from the bottom but Bermudez to his feet again. Jason still on his back so Bermudez goes right back into his guard. Jason with another armbar attempt at 2:45. Bermudez with more elbows to the head. Jason busted open and pouring blood from his forehead from the elbows. 20 ground strikes landed from Bermudez. More elbows from Bermudez. The damage to Jason probably makes this a 10-8 round in addition to the domination time for Bermudez. 10-8 Bermudez
Bermudez moves in for a takedown and gets clipped by a punch from Jason but Bermudez still gets it. Bemrudez on his back and Jason’s pouring blood again. Bermudez landing punches to the head. Jason to his feet at 1:30. Crowd erupts when he breaks away from Bermudez. Jason is just covered in blood, including his white tights. Nice body punch combo from Bermudez at 2:30. Bermudez with another takedown. Jason escapes and gets to his feet at 3:00. Bermudez with another takedown at 3:30. Jason up quickly. Jason defends a takedown attempt at 4:30. Crowd loving that. Jason is really tired now and gets takedown right before the round ends. 10-9 Bermudez, 20-17
Jason lands a flying knee 30 seconds in but Bermudez weathers it. Bermudez landing leg kicks. Nice punch/kick combo from Bermudez at 1:15. Significant strikes are 40-16 for Bermudez. Jason stuffs a takedown attempt at 1:45 and working for a guillotine but Bermudez escapes easily. Nice punch exchange at 2:15. Bermudez gets a takedown at 2:45 but Jason switches midway through and ends up on top. Jason into mount and then takes the back of Bermudez and working for a rear naked choke. Bermudez briefly up but Jason drags him right down again. Bermudez with a beautiful escape and ends up in top position. Bermudez with elbows to the head and he’s opened up the cut on Jason again. Bermudez postures up at 4:15 but then right back into Jason’s guard. Hard punches and elbows from Bermudez but Jason up right before the buzzer. Last round was really close. Bermudez did more damage but Jason was closer to finishing. 10-9 Jason, 29-27 Bermudez overall
WINNER – DENNIS BERMUDEZ (16-5) by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26)
HOT TAKE – Bermudez called out Frankie Edgar for November 12 at MSG. With this performance and the standing of both guys, that’s definitely the fight to make. Jason was just way out of his league here and he’s a vet with a familiar name so he’ll get more fights. Bermudez definitely looked like a top 5 guy in there tonight. If he doesn’t get Edgar, he should get the winner of the main event.
(#13) YAIR RODRIGUEZ (7-1, 4-0 UFC) VS. ALEX CACERES (12-8 1 NC, 7-6 1 NC UFC) (Herb Dean – ref)
A lot of fans apparently came up from Mexico for this, which explain the reaction to Gutierrez earlier. Rodriguez landing all kinds of kicks in the first minute with Cacares pressing the action. Rodriguez with a nice punch combo and follows up with more spin kicks. A lot of them are missing but he’s got Cacares confused. Rodriguez lands a head kick but slips. Cacares lets him back up. Cacares takes his back standing and they fall to the floor but Rodriguez gets up quickly. Loud USA chants from the crowd now so Cacares has fans there as well. Total stikes landed are 12-7 for Rodriguez. Rodriguez with a takedown at 4:00 but Cacares up quickly. Rodriguez controlling his back. Cacares escapes at 4:30. Rodriguez still landing kicks as the round ends. 10-9 Rodriguez
Rodriguez knocks Cacares down with a kick early but he gets right up. Rodriguez with a cartwheel kick that misses but the crowd loves it. Rodriguez with a nice punch/kick combo at 1:30. Rodriguez advancing and Cacares practically running away. Rodriguez with a couple leg kicks landed at 2:30. Rodriguez with a takedown attempt at 3:00 and they end up in a cage clinch. Quick separation. CAcares with a nice punch combo at 3:45. Rodriguez with a nice kick combo at 4:00. Rodriguez with body kicks landing at 4:30. 10-9 Rodriguez, 20-18
Cacares advancing to start Round 3. Rodriguez with a nice punch combo at 30 seconds. Rodriguez with a punch/knee combo at 45 seconds. Rodriguez landing leg kicks. Rodriguez with a 32-9 advantage in kicks landed. Rodriguez backs Cacares up with a nice punch combo at 1:30. Rodriguez starting to miss on more of his punches and kicks now. Cacares starting to advance again. Cacares with a nice punch combo at 3:15 and follows up with a hard knee to the body. Cacares rocks Rodriguez with another punch combo at 3:30. Cacares with a takedown at 4:00 and landing punches to the head. Rodriguez working for a submission but eating a lot of punches. Crowd loving this. Cacares all over him with punches but Rodriguez doesn’t seem to fazed by it. Cacares to his feet right before the buzzer and Rodriguez follows. 10-9 Cacares, 29-28 Rodriguez going into the championship rounds
They trade leg kicks to start. Cacares advancing. Significant strikes landed are 76-47 for Rodriguez. Rodriguez is breathing pretty heavy after such a frantic pace in the opening rounds. Rodriguez with a couple leg kicks at 2:30. Nice punch exchange follows. Rodriguez with a leg kick followed by a spinning back fist at 2:45. Rodriguez advancing now. Rodriguez with a punch combo at 3:15. Leg kicks landed are 32-8 for Rodriguez, which is a crazy amount and Cacares doesn’t seem affected by it. Cacares with a nice punch combo at 3:45. Cacares coming on again in the final minute, landing more and evading Rodriguez’ strikes for the most part. 10-9 Rodriguez, 39-37 overall
Crowd chanting LEE-ROY at the start of the round. Cacares initiates a cage clinch at 30 seconds but Rodriguez gets separation quickly. Rodriguez with a couple of hard knees to the body and Cacares looking tired for the first time in the fight. Cacares lands a nice punch combo at 1:15 though and then gets a takedown at 1:30. Total strikes landed are 132-78 for Rodriguez. Rodriguez to his feet and then gets a takedown at 1:45 but Cacares right up. Nice punch exchange at 2:30. Cacares with a punch combo of his own and follows with a body kick at 2:45. Rodriguez backs Cacares up with a punch combo at 3:15. Rodriguez has thrown almost 400 strikes, landing just under 40 % of them. Rodriguez with a punch combo at 4:15. Rodriguez lands a spin kick, followed by a head kick at 4:30. Both guys throwing down at the end of the fight and then Rodriguez does a cartwheel kick right before the buzzer. 10-9 Rodriguez, 49-46 overall
WINNER – YAIR RODRIGUEZ (8-1) by split decision decision (46-49. 48-47 x 2)
HOT TAKE – Not sure how you give Cacares two rounds there, let alone FOUR as one judge did, but the right guy won anyways. Rodriguez had an entertaining fight as expected but he’s not quite ready for the top tier in this divsion and they need to be a little careful with him. Rony Jason might be a good guy to take on next. Cacares stood in there strong and is definitely better than his record would indicate.
Hard to call this a bad show with such a great main event but it really wasn’t a very good main card until Rodriguez and Cacares saved the show.