FAIRFAX, Va. – “UFC Fight Night 20” takes place at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. tonight and the main card will air live on Spike TV. Headlining the card is a lightweight match between Gray Maynard (8-0, 6-0-1 UFC) and Nate Diaz (11-4, 6-2 UFC). The two first fought each other on season five of The Ultimate Fighter back in 2007.
They squared off in the second semi-final match to see which one would face Manny Gamburyan in the finals. Diaz ended up submitting Maynard via guillotine choke in the second round, and then won in the finals against Gamburyan to become the season five champion and winner of a six-figure contract with the UFC.
If Maynard can win impressively over Diaz tonight, he is right there in the mix for a lightweight title shot with B.J. Penn. Diaz wants to stop Maynard’s winning streak, force the UFC brass to take note, and move himself into the title hunt. ProMMA.info (www.promma.info) will be documenting the fights tonight via live results and round-by-round commentary – won’t you join us? We would love to read your comments.
•Nick Catone def. Jesse Forbes by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Rd 3
•Gerald Harris def. John Salter by TKO (Gn’P) Rd 3 (3:24)
•Rafael dos Anjos def. Kyle Bradley by unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27) Rd 3
•Rory MacDonald def. Michael Guymon by submission (armbar) Rd 1 (4:27)
•Thiago Tavares vs. Nik Lentz ruled majority draw (28-28,28-28,29-27) Rd 3
•Rick Story def. Jesse Lennox by majority decision (30-27,30-27,28-29) Rd 3
•Chris Leben def. Jay Silva via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27) Rd 3
•Amir Sadollah def. Brad Blackburn by unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27) Rd 3
•Aaron Simpson def. Tom Lawlor by split decision (29-28,28-29,29-28) Rd 3
•Evan Dunham def. Efrain Escudero by submission (armbar) Rd 3 (1:59)
•Gray Maynard def. Nate Diaz by split decision (28-29,30-27,29-28) Rd 3
Amir Sadollah vs. Brad Blackburn
Round 1 – Blackburn throws the first strikes, a few punches and a leg kick. Sadollah covering up well on the punches. They exchange in the pocket. Blackburn with some nice body punches. Nice left jab by Sadollah scores. Sadollah has good defense and is standing toe to toe with Blackburn. Blackburn scores with a left hook. Sadollah likes the front kick, and using a nice leg kick over and over. Nice right hand by Sadollah scores on the chin. They clinch up for a moment, and move back to the center. Sadollah rocks Blackburn with a couple of punches. Sadollah puts on the pressure, puts Blackburn on his back with a double leg. Blackburn is up. Sadollah scores with a powerful front kick that rocks Blackburn again, Blackburn clinches for the save, bell sounds. I give that round 10-9 to Sadollah.
Round 2 – Leg kicks by both, and again. They clinch up after a few exchanges. They separate and to back to striking, then back to the clinch. Ref re-starts them in the center. Blackburn catches a leg and tosses Amir to the ground. Amir stands up. Clinch. They throw a few strikes then Blackburn goes for a takedown but can’t get it. They clinch against the cage. One minute left in the round. They move back to the center. Blackburn lands a nice right. A left hand scores for Amir. And another big straight left from Amir. Right hook by Blackburn scores. Leg kick by Sadollah scores. Nice uppercut by Sadollah rocks Blackburn for a moment, just before the bell. I give that round by an edge to Sadollah 10-9.
Round 3 – Leg kick by Amir scores. Body kick by Amir. Amir scores with a big knee that rocks Blackburn badly. Amir takes him down, lands a big elbow, and another. Sadollah in Blackburn’s guard, lands another elbow. Sadollah probably could have finished him on the feet. Blackburn was doing the chicken dance. Sadollah gets side control. Three minutes left. Sadollah looks for full mount but gets stuck back in guard. Sadollah lands a big right punch to the chin. Amir gets in half guard, looking for a D’arce choke. 1:20 left in the fight. Elbow by Amir scores. Amir mostly looking to advance position but not throwing much at all. Ten seconds left and Amir throws a bunch of last second strikes and a kick as he stands. Blackburn raises Amir’s hand signifying him as the winner. I give that round 10-9 to Amir and the fight 30-27 to Amir.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Amir Sadollah def. Brad Blackburn by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Aaron Simpson vs. Tom Lawlor
Round 1 – Lawlor lands the first punch. Big right uppercut by Lawlor. Lawlor grabs a leg then eats some shots. Simpson slips to the ground briefly. He’s up and they exchange shots.Nice combo by Lawlor. Lawlor hurts Simpson with a shot, then lands some punches on top of it. Simpson seems to be okay. They square back up. Big hook from Lawlor rocks Simpson. Lawlor follows it up with more shots, big uppercut. Simpson grabs hold of Lawlor and eats a huge knee. Lawlor trying to finish, and landing shot after shot. How Simpson is surviving, I have no idea. He ate numerous bombs. Simpson is somehow standing. They square up again. Leg kick by Simpson. One minute left in the round. Leg kick by Simpson, but eats a big left for it. Lawlor looked absolutely phenomenal, but Simpson has been allowed to recover, at least as much as he can recover from that in a five minute round. I give that round easily to Lawlor 10-8.
Round 2 – Simpson attacking with kicks and punches, and lands a nice right. Lawlor countering well. Leg kick by Simpson. Simpson grabs Lawlor, lets go, fires a combo of punches, then gets a takedown, is in half guard. Lands some elbows. Lawlor gives up his back, and gets up. Simpson holding on, Lawlor backs up, lands a punch. Two minutes left in the round. Big right hook by Lawlor rocks Simpson. Lawlor takes him down briefly, but he’s back up. Elbow by Lawlor. Three body punches by Simpson. Nice left hand scores for Lawlor, Simpson fires back. Lawlor grabs a standing guillotine briefly, throws a knee to the head. Simpson is out and up and lands a big right, lands another shot. Goes for a takedown, Lawlor pulls a guillotine, bell sounds. I give that round to Lawlor 10-9.
Round 3 – Simpson comes out swinging but Lawlor connects with multiple big punches. That slows down Simpson, stops him in his tracks. Simpson shoots, gets stuffed. Nice right hand by Lawlor. Simpson still attacking, putting on the pressure. Big takedown by Simpson but Lawlor bounces up and gets his own takedown, Simpson bounces up. Grabs a single leg, Lawlor rolls with a kimura attempt, but Simpson ends up on top in full mount. Lawlor gives up his back, Simpson tries to put his hooks in, Lawlor scrambles, Simpson breaks free, takes his back again, has his hooks in. 1:30 left in the fight. Simpson is off, and Lawlor stands up holding Simpson’s leg. Simpson spins free and takes Lawlor’s back again. Lawlor stands, Simpson stands, they trade uppercuts. Lawlor is exhausted, they both score with big punches right before the bell. Fight of the Night (on the main card anyway) in my opinion. I give the last round to Simpson 10-9. I give the fight to Lawlor 29-27.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Aaron Simpson def. Tom Lawlor by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The crowd boos heavily. Terrible decision in my opinion. This one will go down as robbery of the month, and will go down as a nomination for robbery of the year (I’m keeping tabs on all nominations this year). It sucks they had to ruin a great fight with a crappy decision.
Efrain Escudero vs. Evan Dunham
Round 1 – Efrain with a leg kick. Both fighters are undefeated. Dunham goes for a uppercut, misses, then eats one. Efrain shoots, gets a body lock, pressed against the fence. They separate and square off. Dunham has long arms. Dunham swings, Efrain slips the shots. Efrain gets a body lock, throws some knees. Uppercut by Efrain. Again Efrain lands the uppercut, followed by a flying knee, he chases after Dunham who is running. Efrain drops him with a big punch. Dunham pulls guard as Efrain goes in for the ground and pound. Efrain pulls out, pounds on him, then sinks in a guillotine. Efrain lets it go. Dunham gets up. Efrain goes for a flying knee but so does Dunham and Efrain falls to his back, Dunham tries to attack as the bell sounds. I give that round 10-9 to Efrain.
Round 2 – Dunham throws combos but Efrain slips them all. Efrain slips more punches, Dunham lands maybe a left in there. Efrain with an uppercut. Straight left scores for Dunham. Flying knee by Dunham to the body. Right hand by Efrain. Uppercut scores for Efrain twice. Right hand scores for Efrain. Dunham goes for a single leg, finally gets a big loud takedown. Dunham in half guard, lands an elbow or two and some shots to the body. Dunham tags the chin of Efrain. Dunham stands, up-kicks by Efrain, Dunham takes his back, locks in a body triangle. Thirty seconds left, as Dunham looks for a choke. Dunham takes his back and Efrain turtles up as the bell sounds. 10-9 for Dunham.
Round 3 – Efrain locks on a guillotine as Dunham shoots in. Dunham is free. They scramble, back to their feet, Dunham gets the takedown, and has side control. Elbows by Dunham. Dunham gets full mount. Efrain gives up his back and Dunham locks on a body triangle. Dunham locks on a triangle, turns it into an armbar, he’s stretching it, more and more, Efrain is not tapping…. finally he taps. Beautiful performance by Dunham.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Evan Dunham def. Efrain Escudero by submission (armbar) Rd 3 (1:59)
Efrain is laying on the mat wincing in pain. At least he’s a nurse.
Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz
Round 1 – Here we go… Diaz is pissed as usual. Diaz talking to him. Gray swings and misses. Gray swings misses again. Gray has a cut under his right eye. Gray with an overhand right that hits air. Diaz hits some air too. Right hook by Diaz. Leg kick by Diaz. Right hook by Gray. Diaz pawing at him with his right. Overhand right by Gray. Nate ducks another one but gets caught by another. Nate ducks another, still pawing with his right. Uppercut by Gray connects. Knee by Gray. Leg kick twice by Nate. Leg kick by Gray. Nate calls him forward, “come on bitch.” Nate swings and misses a few. Gray lands one. Leg kick by Nate. Leg kick by Nate. Close round. I’m not even scoring that.
Round 2 – Gray choosing to stand and trade with Nate. Nate holding Gray’s hand with his right. Leg kick by Nate. Nate lands a punch. Gray tags Nate with a right hand. Gray with a body shot. Nate with a right hook. Nate with a right and Gray fires back. Gray lands a left. Gray has his hands way down and drops Nate with a knee. Nate is back up, he let him up. Gray lands a punch that drives Nate back. Nate’s hands are looking sloppy. Nate is still using that pawing right hand. Left straight by Nate lands. Nate lands a combo. Both guys throw their arms in the air and the crowd boos. Front kick by Nate. Nate still throwing his arms in the air and the crowd boos. It’s an ugly fight to tell you the truth.
Round 3 – Gray comes out looking loose. Head kick by Diaz but nothing on it. Nate swings at Gray and misses. Gray slips almost every punch that Nate throws. Crowd is booing. It looks like a school yard brawl right now as both guys are swinging ugly with almost no technique, lots of trash talking. Gray slipping Nate’s punches. Crowd still booing. This may be the only time I’ve seen a crowd boo at two guys who are swinging away. Nate getting the better of the standup I guess, but Gray just landed a big shot. Diaz goes to the ground briefly but he’s back up. Gray lands a good shot. Nate shoots, Gray lands a knee. It’s too close to call. I don’t want to call it and I don’t even want to see it. I will tell you this. Please for the love of all that’s holy don’t put Gray Maynard or Nate Diaz in the cage with B.J. Penn – EVER!!!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Gray Maynard def. Nate Diaz by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)