Mark Munoz Weather Early Storm To Emerge Victorious
The first televised fight on the card got the evening off to a good start as Mark Munoz and Kendall Grove engaged in a back-and-forth battle.
It was Grove who got the better of the early exchanges, connecting solidly with an uppercut as Munoz looked for a takedown. The blow rocked Munoz, who clung desperately to his foe as he tried to regain his composure. The rest of the round continued to go badly for Munoz when he did eventually get Grove to the mat, with the Hawaiian’s numerous submissions attempts putting him into yet more danger.
Munoz showed his heart in surviving the round though, and continued to do so early in the second when Grove knee connected cleanly with his chin. The strike floored him, but somehow he continued fighting, and his persistence began to pay off as the fight started to swing in his favor. Securing top position on his opponent Munoz began to unleash a brutal ground and pound barrage. Grove tried to survive but with no end in sight to the assault the referee eventually was forced to step in to call an end to the fight.
It was an impressive performance from Munoz who once again displayed some of the most devastating ground and pound in the UFC en-route to his third victory in a row.
For Grove however this is yet another setback in his volatile career, but despite going 1-2 in his last three fights his fights are generally entertaining and competitive, and I don’t feel he should be in danger of being cut from the roster.
Rafael Dos Anjos Shows Off His Impressive Ground Game Against Terry Etim
Both fighters entered into this contest with a string of submission victories on their record, but in the end it was Rafael Dos Anjos who showed his superiority on the ground.
It was Etim who appeared to have the upper-hand early in the fight, locking in a guillotine choke but Dos Anjos showed his experience by remaining calm and waiting for his chance to escape.
After escaping the rest of the round played out without major incident, but in the second Dos Anjos turned up the heat and quickly had Etim on his back in side control. A few elbows softened the UK fighter up before the Brazilian switched to north-south position, and eventually moved for an armbar attempt which Etim tried to fight off before being forced to tap.
It’s a big win for Dos Anjos, breaking Etim’s four fight winning streak to take his own unbeaten run to three fights and put himself in the mix at 155lbs. As for the Brit the disappointment in his face after the fight told it’s own story, but at 24 years of age there’s still plenty of time for him to bounce back.
Matt Hughes Earns A Victory Over Another Member Of The Gracie Clan
It had been expected that the clash between Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie would turn out to be an interesting battle of styles, pitting Hughes dominant wrestling against Gracie’s elite level jiu-jitsu. Instead both fighters decided to abandon their main assets and instead look to settle this one on their feet.
Unfortunately neither fighter is a particularly adept striker which resulted in a less than thrilling fight in which the two veterans appeared somewhat hesitant to exchange. Hughes was finding some success with his leg kicks however, and that proved to be the difference between the two in the first two rounds.
In the final round it was clear that the 43 year old Gracie, who hadn’t fought since 2007, was running on fumes, and the constant leg kicks were taking their toll. Hughes remained cautious but continued to chop away at the lead leg of Gracie and finally succeeded in toppling him. Unwilling to follow his opponent to the mat, Hughes helped Gracie back up and continued with more of the same.
At this point the fight was becoming a little embarrassing with Gracie clearly winded and barely able to stand on his leg, but refusing to quit. After being felled with another leg kick he got up one more time before Hughes finally made a concerted effort to finish him, unleashing a series of punches that buckled the Brazilian once more and caused the referee to step in to save him from further punishment.
After the fight Gracie vowed to return to the octagon again but on the strength of this performance perhaps he would be better of to retire rather than endure further punishment.
As for Hughes, he chalks up the 44th win of his career but apart from that gains little forward momentum from this fight.