How well did I do with my predictions for the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 prelim card? Take a look!
Michael Chiesa def Colton Smith via 2nd Rd Submission
The main-card starts out with a slap in the face to me. Evidently I either greatly over-estimated Colton’s wrestling or I vastly under-estimated Chiesa’s grappling skills because this fight went the complete opposite way that I thought it would. I figured Smith’s smothering wrestling skills and top control would beat out the submission-specialist like that standard MMA-logic says, but maybe Chiesa is just a new breed of grappler. Smith executed his gameplan well in the the first round but fighting the wild spider-monkey Chiesa off and winning on top-control, but the second round would play out differently. Chiesa landed a beautiful toss that put Chiesa on the back of Colton Smith, and finished beautifully with a submission. Not a good start for me, but I guess it’s better that this fight panned out the way it did or else we would’ve all been asleep. 0-1 on the main card.
Rustam Khabilov def Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision
The Russian, Khabilov, picks up his third straight victory in the UFC as he sends Masvidal’s UFC record down to 2-1. I expected this to be more of a wrestling match with Khabilov’s glue-like style to overwhelm Masvidal, but only win a split decision as Masvidal would get the better of the striking. While I was right that Khabilov would win a decision, this was more of a striking match-up than I thought it would be. Khabilov showcased his counter-striking skills as well as some versatility as he dropped Masvidal with a beautiful spinning back kick in the third round. Masvidal kept the fight competitive and defended well against Rustam’s wrestling, but Khabilov wins the decision. 1-1 for me.
Yoel Romero def Ronny Markes via 3rd Rd KO
Here’s another instance where I was proven wrong and obviously under-estimated Romero’s skillset. Let’s keep in mind Markes was on a 3-fight win streak in the UFC prior to this, so he is a very tough opponent and an expert grappler. However, he was unable to show this as Romero came to impress. Romero’s freestyle wrestling skills came in to play to me surprise, and kept this primarily as a stand-up fight. Romero was on point on the feet, wearing Markes down with punches, kicks, and elbows until eventually Romero blasted Markes with an overhand left in the third round. Romero showed that he is indeed a prospect to look out for. I drop to 1-2.
Alexis Davis def Liz Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
In a fight that I knew was going to be competive, the manner in which this fight was fought surprised me. I figured bout Davis and Carmouche to battle for positioning in the clinch and in takedowns, and the winner of that would win the fight. However, it proved to be a competitive striking battle which saw Davis’ forward pressure behind her powerful inside leg kick against Carmouche’s counter-punching. While Carmouche managed to open up a cut on Davis, it was that powerful inside leg kick and forward pressure of Davis that won her the decision. Unfortunately, my predictions fall to 1-3.
Tim Kennedy def Rafael Natal via 1st Rd KO
And to seal things off, the American-Hero scores a vicious first round KO. I would’ve thought this fight last much longer, but Kennedy and Natal wasted no time throwing caution to the wind. Natal earned Kennedy’s respect on the feet right away by landing some sharp punches, but Kennedy’s timing and overall outlook on the feet looked much better. He caught Natal moving backwards with a lunging left hook and sealed the deal. A good win for the American here to end tonights’ fights. I close the main card with a 2-3 record. A 7-6 record overall.