If you ever pondered what a tibia resembles in the flesh, or what it’s like to hand off a tooth in the middle of a cage fight, then UFC Fight Night 171 was for you. The UFC returned to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and delivered once again.
Preliminary Card Recap
To recap, Chase Sherman opened the night with a vicious elbow that led to a stoppage victory early in the 2nd round. This was Sherman’s return to the UFC after his first stint led to a 2-5 record. Sherman is now on a 4 fight win streak and left viewers at home with an incredible post-fight statement. Sherman was ecstatic after the victory, telling Daniel Cormier “You ever order a 10 piece order of wings and get 11”. Next up on the card was the fight of the night between Brian Kelleher and Hunter Azure. Kelleher stunned the contender series prospect with a beautiful left hook in round 2. “Boom” then proceeded to call out Sean O’Malley shortly after.
There has been countless number of gruesome injuries inside of the octagon, but none quite like the gash on Gabriel Benitez’s shin. Benitez gave viewers at home something they’ll have trouble seeing again. The live broadcast had a close up of the leg, where Benitez’s tibia was visible. It was essentially a back and forth kickboxing match that led to an Omar Morales victory by decision. Both were battered, but Morales pressure led the Hard Knocks 365 prospect to victory.
Sijara Eubanks went on to defeat Sarah Moras via unanimous decision to end the preliminary card.
Main Card Recap
The main card opened up in typical Michael Johnson fashion. “The Menace” displayed incredible boxing and technique to win a dominant first round. However, Thiago Moises ended the contest shortly after winning by ankle lock 25 seconds into the 2nd round. In his 50th professional fight, Andrei Arlovski defeated Philipe Lins by decision. The former heavyweight champion was able to improve to 28-19.
In addition, Ricky Simon and Roy Borg battled to a split decision. Borg was on the wrong end of the decision, however, he displayed incredible striking in the matchup. His hands looked as good as they ever have, but Simon’s grappling and cardio proved to be too much in the judge’s eyes.
Drew Dober was the MVP of the evening. Dober has been flying under the radar in the largely crowded lightweight division. Nonetheless, Dober put on a relentless striking clinic over Alexander Hernandez and now has 3 straight victories all via knockout. It would be no surprise if you see him ranked in the top 15 next week. The co-main event of the evening was Ovince Saint-Preux making his heavyweight debut against UFC veteran Ben Rothwell. It was a tightly contested bout, ending in a split decision with “Big Ben” earning his 37th career victory.
Main Event Recap
To review, Glover Teixeira, who came in as the #8 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC dominated Anthony Smith in largely a one-sided affair that is causing some controversy. Anthony Smith came out in the 1st round and looked very good but the first round was the anomaly of the evening. Glover Teixeira then went on to arguably have 10-8 rounds in the 3rd and 4th. After the 4th round, Anthony Smith was visibly defeated and it was the time to end the bout. He even reiterated to his coaches that he was losing teeth. “Lionheart” truly was on display. Many around the fight game including Chael Sonnen in which you can see here, have displayed their criticism over the corner of Smith and referee Jason Herzog for not stopping the fight. To the defense of Herzog, every time it appeared he was going to step in, Glover decided to go for a submission or Smith would do just enough to keep going. UFC Fight Night 171 displayed a very unfortunate ending to an otherwise, very entertaining night of fights.
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