Fabricio Werdum (win) vs. Marcin Tybura
In our Main event of the evening, a Heavyweight bout, we had MMA great and former UFC Heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum face off against exciting young Polish up and comer Marcin Tybura.
In the first round, both men trade low kicks, but Werdum quickly closes the gap and is able to land good punch and kick combos early in the first. As Tybura switches his stance, Werdum powers forward with a heavy punch combo and then a good knee. He is able to switch it up well against Tybura and then, after going for a single leg, switches to a rear waistlock, and takes down Tybura. Werdum can't hold him down for too long though, and as Tybura tries to take Werdum's back, Werdum threatens with a kimura, as the round ends.
In the 2nd, Werdum makes the first move with a good jab and kick combo that backs up the Polish fighter. However Tybura comes back in this round, finding composure and landing some good high kicks clean on Werdum. As Werdum tries to clinch towards the end of the round, Tybura pushes him away, and evades some strikes. Werdum gets the last word with some clinch knees to end the second round.
In the 3rd round, Tybura attacks first with a front kick to the body, but Werdum comes back with one of his own, then landing a grazing knee. As he tries another, he is tripped, but he gets up immediately, and then eats a good counter uppercut from Tybura. Werdum then mixes up his striking, landing good combination punches and low kicks, also knees. After missing a spinning back fist, Werdum lands a 1-2. Werdum then rushes forward and grabs the Thai clinch, landing powerful knees. He drops to look for a single leg, but instead just presses Tybura against the cage. They separate and fight back to the center of the octagon, and they trade jabs as the round ends.
To begin the championship rounds in the 4th, Tybura comes forward but is then caught by a heavy Werdum right hand. Tybura lands a front kick that looked a bit low, enough that Leon Roberts called a pause thinking it was a low blow, but once Werdum demonstrated he was fine, Roberts quickly resumed the action. Werdum then shoots for a takedown, and after holding Tybura on the cage for a moment, and after Tybura briefly escapes Werdum explodes and completes the takedown.
He works on top, and lands a big elbow on Tybura before setting up an Arm-Triangle. Tybura locks up Werdum's left leg in his half guard, however, preventing Werdum from finishing the choke. Werdum passes into side control and bails on the choke. As they get up, Werdum lands a knee, but Tybura lands a takedown, as the round expires.
In the 5th and final round, Tybura comes out strong, landing a high kick that appears to have wobbled Werdum, and he follows up with a couple of jabs. Referee Roberts stops the action briefly to cut some loose tape from the glove of Werdum. As the action resumes, Werdum is looking tired, and Tybura takes advantage, landing another left high kick and then a right hand.
Volkanovski (winner) vs. Young
Now, to kick off the main card, we have a Featherweight bout between Australian MMA veteran and UFC newcomer Alexander Volkanovski goes up against New Zealand's Shane Young, who makes his UFC Debut.
To start out the first, Volkanovski throws a high kick and then a takedown that followed a right hand. He goes for the single leg, but instead he is able to switch to a bodylock and keep Young against the fence. After taking a knee to the body, Young separates, but Volkanovski is right there with him, landing good leg kicks. Volkanovski then comes up with good takedowns, but Young is able to get to his feet quickly, both times.
As they stand, Volkanovski goes back to the leg kicks and then some punches, before going to another takedown. He finds it, and this time he keeps Young down. He looks for the arm triangle, but can't complete it and Young escapes. Before the end of the round, Volkanovski lands some more strikes and leg kicks. In the second round, Volkanovski goes back to his original strategy and clinches Young against the fence to work a Double leg. Young is wise to it though, and stuffs it.
However Volkanovski then lands a good overhand right, following it with a bodylock takedown. After struggling, Young finds his way back up, but eats a hard elbow from Volkanovski as he does. Volkanovski continues to find homes for his strikes, and he backs up Young with combinations. Again Volkanovski lands a good double leg, but again, Young works hard back to his feet. Volkanovski then lands a takedown more towards the center of the cage, but Young springs back up once more as the round ends.
In the 3rd round, Young comes out aggressively, but Volkanovski with his dominant wrestling again pushes Young to the fence looking for a double. After switching position, he lands a good couple of knees, one to the body and one to the head, then it is Young who explodes forward for the takedown.
However, Volkanovski reverses and gets Young into the fireman's carry, taking him down with it and landing on top. This time he keeps Young down, and works to improve position. He ends up in Young's half guard and lands huge strikes. He then goes to knee-on-belly position and Young rolls to his knees, and as he gets up Volkanovski finishes the round with a flurry of punches and knees. Alexander Volkanovski def. Shane Young via Unanimous decision.
Kelly vs. Theodorou (winner)
In the next fight of the evening, we had a Middleweight matchup between Australia's Daniel Kelly, and Canada's Elias 'The Spartan' Theodorou.
To begin the first round, Theodorou uses some good leg kicks on Kelly's braced knee, while Kelly himself is chasing around Theodorou trying to land a huge left hand. As he comes forward, Theodorou lands a good body kick. He lands another and times Kelly's punch, slipping it. Kelly continues to chase around Theodorou, who is using his movement well. Kelly is able to clinch at points, but can't get much done as Theodorou separates each time.
Theodorou goes back to the body kick a few times, but is cautious as Kelly is able to land some of his big punches as counters. The round comes to a close with Kelly failing to throw Theodorou. In the second round, we see the same beginning as the first, with Kelly chasing around Theodorou and occasionally getting a clinch.
But he fails to throw Theodorou at first, as 'The Spartan' defends them well. However Kelly then times the punches of Theodorou and he executes a skillful trip. Theodorou gets back to his feet fast though, and as he is setting up his striking, he accidentally clips Kelly's cup with a low kick. Referee Leon Roberts calls time, but Kelly quickly recovers.
Theodorou goes right back to work with low kicks, then Kelly catches him with a punch in a clinch exchange. However then Theodorou begins working high kicks with great success, finding Kelly's face on a few of his attempts. In the last moments of the round, Theodorou lands a huge right high kick on Kelly, but the Australian eats it and presses forward as the round ends.
In the 3rd round, Theodorou continues to put it on Kelly, finding combination after combination. Kelly takes it all however, and pushes forward, grabbing a clinch. He lands some good uppercuts, then is able to take down Theodorou. He jumps on the back of the Canadian and locks in a rear naked choke, and it's tight. However he is too high on the back, and Theodorou escapes out the back door.
In the last minutes of the round both men throw strikes, Kelly sometimes landing his left, but overall Theodorou doing more work and landing more. Elias Theodorou def. Daniel Kelly via Unanimous Decision.
Jessica-Rose Clark (win) vs. Bec Rawlings
In our co-main event of the evening, UFC Newcomer Jessica-Rose Clark goes up against UFC veteran Bec Rawlings, in a women's flyweight matchup.
To start out, Rawlings pressed forward early, and then she catches a leg kick from Clark and turns it into a takedown. She postures to land some ground and pound, but Clark then sweeps to top position, and she now lands some ground and pound herself. Rawlings attempts an arm bar, but can't finish it as Clark steps over and escapes, moving to half guard and then side control. They then stand, and as Rawlings comes forward and lands some strikes, Clark lands a good right hand.
In the second round, Clark comes out as the aggressor and lands some good strikes on Rawlings to start out strong. Rawlings grabs the clinch, and looks for a takedown, but Clark spins her around and lands a knee. Rawlings now reverses the position, and separates. However, Clark continues forward and lands some good punches before taking down Rawlings. She tries for the Arm-triangle choke, but Rawlings defends well so she can't finish it, moving into full mount instead and finishing the round on top, dropping elbows.
In the third round, both women come out intensely, with Clark landing good counter punches, and Rawlings still coming forward with pressure and power punches. Clark begins utilizing good low kicks to the body and legs of Rawlings. Clark then clinches and goes for the throw, but Rawlings defends and is pushed against the fence by Clark. Rawlings lands a takedown though, but Clark is able to power to her feet. She lands some knees then lands another takedown on Rawlings, finishing the fight on top dropping punches. Jessica-Rose Clark def. Bec Rawlings via Split Decision.
Matthews (winner) vs. Velickovic
In our next fight of the evening, we had Skilled Australian Grappler Jake Matthews go up against Serbian UFC newcomer Bojan Velickovic in a Welterweight bout.
To begin the fight in the first round, Matthews wastes no time and shoots for the single leg, pushing Velickovic to the cage. Matthews keeps Velickovic here for more than half of the round, working for the takedown and eating some strikes while doing it.
However in the last minute he is able to find the takedown. However when he goes to work towards the mount, Velickovic threatens with a heel hook, and Matthews must abandon the position. Velickovic lands a good up kick from his back, but as he gets to his feet, Matthews threatens with the takedown, and the round ends.
In the second round, Velickovic lands a good knee on Matthews, and when the Australian shoots for the takedown, Velickovic is wise to it and grabs onto the guillotine choke. He is able to transition to mount with the choke, but loses it after trying to finish it with one arm. However Velickovic stays in mount and Matthews gives up his back, prompting the Ukrainian to sink both hooks in and look for the choke. Matthews defends it well, and after some jockeying for position he escapes out the back door, and both men stand up. Matthews is able to land a good overhand right, then a good left hook as the round ends.
To begin the third, Matthews switches it up, and comes out throwing leather, specifically Overhand rights. Velickovic comes back with a leg kick, but Matthews is able to land a takedown in the center of the cage. Velickovic is able to maintain guard however, and then gets to his feet, then shoots and lands a takedown on Matthews. He takes Matthews' back, but the Australian powers to his feet, and then is able to shake off Velickovic and fall into top control. The rest of the round saw Matthews land good ground and pound, and then grappling exchanges until the final bell. Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic via Split Decision.
Means v. Muhammad (winner)
In our final Welterweight showcase of the evening, we have UFC veteran Tim Means going up against up-and-comer Belal Muhammad.
In the opening round, both men come out swinging. They continue the exchanges as the round goes on. Means is the more measured fighter, landing long strikes and choosing them cautiously. Muhammad is landing a variety of strikes, and is mixing it up more. He lands a couple of good combinations on Means. After a Means leg kick, Muhammad lands a good right hook, and two solid lefts after that.
Muhammad tries for a takedown but is stuffed, and he then defends a takedown attempt from Means. Muhammad finishes the round strong as he lands a good left in the last 30 seconds. In the second round, Muhammad shoots for the takedown early, but Means is waiting with a guillotine. Muhammad then passes to side control, escaping the choke. He then goes to mount, but Means defends it and is able to escape to his feet.
They begin to exchange strikes some more, but then Means begins working his low kicks. He lands a hard one that sends Muhammad to the ground in a lapse of balance. Means continues to work this low kick, and then defends a takedown from Muhammad.Muhammad ends the round with a good body punch. In the third round, Both men exchange strikes once again, and early on, Means lands a good low kick that spins Muhammad around in place. Muhammad loses a contact lens during the exchange, and after a pause to replace it, Means shoots for a takedown. Muhammad is able to stuff it, and as they go back to striking, Muhammad lands a good combination, but then accidentally eyepokes Means.
Muhammad asks if he's ok and Means says yes, so they fight on. As Muhammad shoots in for a takedown, he is stuffed, but once they are back up, Muhammad again lands a clean combo. In the final moments of the fight, both men exchange shots, but Muhammad lands a spinning backfist as the round ends. Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means via Split Decision.
On Saturday, November 18th, the UFC made its return to Sydney, Australia. This card was originally supposed to feature 'The Super Samoan' Mark Hunt against Marcin Tybura, but after a strange turn of events where the UFC pulled Hunt due to his statements about his brain damage, this main event was now headlined by MMA great Fabricio Werdum and Tybura. This card was full of decisions, so we'll get into it and break down each fight.
Hamilton vs. Wieczorek (winner)
To begin the night on the early prelims, we had a Heavyweight bout between UFC Heavyweight Anthony Hamilton and young Polish up and comer Adam Wieczorek.
To begin the first round, Hamilton comes out pressing forward, but Wieczorek is able to land some push kicks that keep the distance between the two. However Hamilton is able to soon close this distance and press Wieczorek against the cage, then taking him down.
After landing in Half guard, Hamilton goes to work, landing big ground and pound, mostly to Wieczorek's body. Hamilton passes into side control, but Wieczorek is able to work back to full guard. Hamilton then stands and kneels back into half guard, and continues to do what he did before, working ground and pound.
Wieczorek is able to get back to his feet at the end of the round, and Hamilton lands a few strikes before the bell. In the second, Wieczorek comes out strong now, as he lands a high kick on Hamilton that, although partially blocked, sends him to the ground. Wieczorek follows and works into side control on the ground, where he lands some big elbows on Hamilton.
As Wieczorek tries to mount, Hamilton escapes and they get to their feet. Both men look tired as they trade strikes halfway through the round, but Wieczorek is the fresher fighter, staying more active and landing more strikes. They clinch, and Wieczorek tries a throw after a good knee, but Hamilton reverses and is able to trip Wieczorek, spending the last 30 seconds of the round on top.
In the 3rd round, the heavyweights exchange right hands before Hamilton clinches with Wieczorek, pushing him against the fence briefly before they separate and Wieczorek lands a few good strikes. Hamilton shoots for a takedown but can't find it. At this point they strike cautiously, but when Hamilton tries to clinch, Wieczorek is able to defend the takedown and land a couple of knees before the round ends. Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via Unanimous Decision.
Lausa vs. Shelton (winner)
Our next fight takes place in the Flyweight division, where Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa takes on young American Eric Shelton. In the first round, both men started very cautiously, testing range with strikes.
As they end up near the fence, Lausa shoots and lands a double leg takedown, but Shelton is able to sweep him with a kimura from the bottom. Shelton fails to take his back, but works to improve position. Lausa is able to get back up though, and after some strikes, Shelton finds a takedown of his own on Lausa. They both throw strikes on the ground as the bell sounds.
In the second round, Shelton is able to find an early takedown on Lausa, and he begins to go to work on top with ground and pound. Shelton then passes to full mount, where he lands some hard elbows before Lausa bridges and escapes.
He gets back to full guard where he tries a guillotine on Shelton, but fails and Shelton then postures up in full guard and lands huge shots on Lausa. Elbows and punches are his weapon of choice. Lausa tries to strike from his back, but Shelton finishes the round strong on top.
In the 3rd round, Shelton presses forward and is able to land a good counter right as Lausa was throwing. Shelton then is able to secure another takedown, right into Lausa's guard. Lausa wraps up Shelton, but is still taking shots to the body from here. As the round goes on, Shelton dominates Lausa with ground and pound, mixing it up to the body and the head. In the last 15 seconds, they stand, and although Lausa looked for the last second KO, he missed and instead took a couple of knees from Shelton. Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa via Unanimous Decision.
Chambers vs. Kassem (winner)
In the last fight of the early prelims, we have a women's catchweight bout taking place at 120 lbs. between two Australians, Alex Chambers, and the undefeated Nadia Kassem.
To begin the first, Kassem launches a kick that is caught by Chambers, who then tries to work into a bodylock. Kassem is able to separate and land a good left. However Chambers continues forward and clincheswith Kassem once more, finally landing a takedown with 2 minutes gone from the round.
She works ground and pound from inside the guard of Kassem, landing good shots on her. Kassem then dropped back for a heel hook and stayed with it, catching the hold on her second attempt. Chambers looks in trouble, but seems to have been slipping out as Kassem bails on the sub and lands a couple of good lefts on top, but Chambers sweeps to get top position and finishes the round with ground and pound.
In the second round, Chambers comes out aggressively to clinch with Kassem once more. After some wrestling exchanges on the feet, they separate, and Kassem lands a good combination of punches then a high kick. Chambers eats it and lands another takedown though. This time Kassem wants to stay active, and sets up a triangle from the bottom. She secures it, but Chambers isn't tapping. As Kassem begins to transition to the triangle arm bar, Chambers escapes, but Kassem holds onto the arm and sweeps, getting back on top. She tries to take the back, but the round ends.
In the 3rd round, Kassem is able to defend Chambers' first takedown, and then opens up with low kicks on the tired Chambers. Chambers then is able to clinch Kassem and trip her to the ground. The pace slows on the ground, but then Kassem begins to work for another triangle. Chambers defends, but then Kassem looks for the heel hook. She fails, but uses the sub to sweep to top position. They get back to their feet, and Kassem is able to shove back Chambers, unloading with combinations as the round ends. Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via Unanimous Decision.
Brown vs. Camacho (winner)
In the first fight of the Prelims card, we have a Catchweight bout taking place at 160lbs, between Australian Veteran Damien Brown and fellow veteran and former TUF contestant Frank Camacho.
To begin the round, both men trade strikes, but then Brown works for the double leg. He gets Camacho against the fence, but Camacho is able to defend the takedown and reverse position, then going to work on the body of Brown. Brown is able to reverse though, and goes back to the double leg, eating shots from Camacho the whole time. Brown finally gets the takedown but can't hold Camacho down for long.
Again, Brown takes down Camacho, again, Camacho stands right up. Camacho then finds a takedown of his own, but Brown works and is able to get to his feet fast himself. He drives Camacho to the fence and lands a trip, then takes the back of Camacho, but can't secure the choke in time as the round expires. In the 2nd, both men come out swinging much more, Brown landing power shots, but Camacho trying to keep the distance with his strikes.
He then turns it up though, and begins landing more combinations, denies a takedown from Brown, and then some good counters. Brown begins going to leg kicks, but Camacho lands a hard right, and continues to outbox Brown. They clinch in the final minute, and as they separate Camacho slips a few strikes and then lands a good counter right before the bell. In the third round, Brown comes out fast, landing a good elbow and then some good combinationsthat back up Camacho.
However, Camacho continues forward pressure, and although he is eating shots from Brown, he continues with the pressure, backing up the Australian. Camacho then lands good combos on Brown. They go back and forth with huge punches, but then Camacho lands a good shot that backs up Brown. Brown grabs for a single leg, but as they separate he lands a good uppercut. In the last 10 seconds, both men just stand and trade, landing bombs on each other as the round ends. Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via Split Decision.
Tuivasa (winner) vs. Coulter
Next up in the prelims, we have a Heavyweight bout, between explosive Australian Tai 'Bam Bam' Tuivasa and American up and comer Rashad 'The Daywalker' Coulter.
The fight starts fast, as Coulter quickly clinches Tuivasa and presses him against the fence, but Tuivasa reverses and separates. Tuivasa then threw some big punches, but missed, going back to clinching. Coulter pushes him away, then shoots for a takedown. Tuivasa tried to reverse but failed and ended up pulling Coulter on top of him. 'Bam Bam' escapes though, and they go back to exchanging strikes in the center of the octagon.
Tuivasa begins landing some heavy shots on Coulter, and just as Coulter tries to reset, Tuivasa lands a heavy leg kick that hits the back of Coulter's leg, causing him to fall down. As Coulter tries to get to his feet, Tuivasa times him and jumps up, landing a vicious flying knee. Coulter slumps down, out cold, and as he lands, Tuivasa drops one more grazing shot before referee John Sharp rushed in and stopped the fight. Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via R1 KO.
Brooks vs. Lentz (winner)
Next up, we have a lightweight showcase between former Bellator Champion Will Brooks and UFC veteran Nik Lentz.
In the first round, they clinch early, and Lentz lands a good knee to the body while Brooks separates and lands a left as he does. Lentz presses forward, and Brooks then feeds him a leg kick. Brooks then shoots forward, looking for the takedown.Lentz wraps up a guillotine as he is taken down, but Brooks flips over and escapes, and they're back to their feet.
They exchange right hooks, then Lentz stuffs a takedown attempt from Brooks. Brooks lands a jab then comes in to clinch, but it is Lentz who finds the reversal and the rear waistlock, finishing the round in this dominant position.
In the 2nd round, Brooks comes out fast and lands a good uppercut on Lentz as a counter. Brooks is dodging the strikes of Lentz well now, and goes to clinch, landing a bodylock takedown. However as he hits it, Lentz catches him in another guillotine, this time with the arm in. When Brooks tries to roll over, Lentz rolls through with him and keeps the choke tight, landing in full mount, where the choke is tightest. As soon as Lentz is on top, Brooks taps out to the choke. Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via R2 Submission.
Benoit (winner) vs. Mokhtarian
In the featured bout of the prelims, we had a Flyweight bout between American Ryan Benoit and Australian Ashkan Mokhtarian.
In the first round, it started slow as Ashkan circles around waiting for Benoit to attack first. However it is Ashkan who strikes first, landing a good overhand left and backing up Benoit against the cage, then separating to land another overhand left. Ashkan still circles around on the outside, and Benoit raises his arms in frustration as Ashkan avoids him and lands the occasional leg kick. However at the end of the round, Benoit lands the best shot of the fight so far with a big left hook that landed right on Ashkan's jaw.
In the second round, Benoit lands a good shot on the chin of Ashkan again, early. Ashkan then goes high with a kick, then low with a good leg kick. Now it is Benoit circling around, but Ashkan then lands a good left hand. As Benoit moves forward to land a strike of his own, Ashkan turns his back and runs, then resetting and going back to moving around the outside.
This running strategy, while being more and more utilized in MMA, is not fan friendly at all, and Ashkan draws boos from his hometown crowd. In the closing seconds, Benoit again lands a good flurry of punches, finishing the second round strong.
In the 3rd round, Benoit begins to time the left hands of Ashkan, and a combination bloodies the nose of the Australian. Ashkan continues to circle around, drawing more boos, and as he lands a good overhand left, he sits down and loads up to throw another one. Benoit saw it coming though, and launched a well timed right high kick that crashed against Ashkan's jaw.
He fell face first, and although he tried to defend, his body was not responding, he was out. Benoit lands one more punch to the downed Ashkan for good measure and then referee Steve Perceval dives in to stop the fight and save Ashkan from further damage. Ryan Benoit def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via R3 KO.