In a close fight that brought the Honda Center crowd to its feet Dennis Bermudez beat Matt Grice by split decision.
The featherweights were fairly even the first two rounds, but Bermudez (11-3) threw some heavy punches in the third. Grice (15-5) somehow managed to avoid going down, but it was obviously a decisive round as the judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 for Bermudez.
In a lightweight battle to kick off the FX prelims, UFC veteran lightweight Sam Stout pounded out a split-decision victory over Caros Fodor.
The judges scored it 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for the 28-year-old Stout, who was making his 15th appearance on a UFC card. Stout (20-8-1) did a good job attacking Fodor’s body the first two rounds, but former Strikeforce fighter Fodor (7-3) was busier in the third.
In a dominating performance, Kenny Robertson was relentless in his welterweight against Brock Jardine before forcing the submission with a kneebar at 2:57 of the first round.
Robertson (12-2) almost had a rear-naked choke on Jardine (9-3) before eventually getting into a rarely-seen position where he was able to grab Jardine’s ankle and tweak his hamstring/groin hard enough to make him tap.
Neil Magny and John Manley didn’t excite the fans at Honda Center, but Magny did enough to earn the unanimous-decision victory over his castmate from “TUF16″.
The welterweights spend a decent amount of time against the cage, but Magny (8-2) did enough to earn the 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 victory over Manley (7-3).
In the opening fight at UFC 157, Nah-Shon Burrell earned a hard-fought unanimous-decision victory over Yuri Villefort.
The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for Burrell (9-2), who weighed in at 175.8 pounds — 4.8 over the acceptable welterweight limit. Villefort (6-2) agreed to still take the fight but will earn some of Burrell’s fight purse.
In the first women’s fight in UFC history, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defends her belt tonight against Liz Carmouche in the main event at UFC 157 at the Honda Center.
On the undercard was a great featherweight battle Chad Mendes (13-1) vs. Manny Gamburyan (12-7), a longtime friend and training partner of Rousey’s. But that was before Gamburyan broke his thumb — and a nagging elbow injury was also diagnosed as a fractured elbow — and had to back out of the fight two weeks ago.
Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Segura first tweeted the news. Gamburyan confirmed the injuries to MMA Weekly and estimated he’d be sidelined about three months.
“I just want to apologize to the fans and (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. I’ve been training really hard. We’ll fight down the road for sure. My team was the main event, and we’ve been training together for many years, and I really wanted to be part of it too.”
Rousey talked last week about not being on the same card as Gamburyan, who had no bigger and more vocal fan in his last fight — a unanimous-decision victory over Michihiro Omigawa in August on UFC on Fox 4 at Staples Center — than Rousey herself.
“I’m really bummed. I know he was really looking forward to us being on the card together like that. It’s disappointing, but I really do believe everything happens for a reason. And his elbow had been bugging him since his last fight, so if he hadn’t broken his thumb at the last moment, he wouldn’t have ever got that elbow checked out.
It’s terrible that it happened, but I think it’s also probably a little bit of a good thing. Because if he had gone in there with that broken elbow like that, he could’ve irrevocably hurt himself or wrecked his career.
So it’s unfortunate. I feel like that we shouldn’t hurt about what happened, just accept the positive things out of it. You know what? It’s terrible he got hurt, it’s terrible he had to pull out of fight, but it’s good we found out the extent of his injuries and he can be able to address them and deal with the healing and come back better than ever.”
We asked UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to discuss some of the people chiefly responsible for her success. We posted one each day leading up to Rousey’s first defense of her 135-pound title tonight against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Today, Rousey talks about Manny Gamburyan, the UFC featherweight and finalist from Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter” who is a longtime friend and training partner:
Manny! I … love … Manny! I love Manny so much. When I tore my knee out when I was 15 years old, he’s the one who told my mom that he would be down to come and work with me every afternoon, five days a week, for the whole 2003. This was before I was ranked at all at the senior level in judo. This is before I had name anything.
He would show up every single afternoon in his parents’ minivan and work with me on everything I could do on one leg. He taught me my first triangle. He would hold my feet and have me do cartwheels and pushups all over the place. He would do everything he could to help me out and he offered to do it for free. My mom made him do it for $35 a day just to cover his gas. He’s just been the most selfless and caring teammate and friend that I’ve still worked with to this day.
We asked UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to discuss some of the people chiefly responsible for her success. We will post one each day leading up to Rousey’s first defense of her 135-pound title Saturday against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Today, Rousey talks about Leo Frincu, her strength and conditioning coach who owns Results Personal Training in Sherman Oaks:
I love Leo. He’s more like the life coach. I feel like I could be overwhelmed or whatever’s going on or fight camp, strength and conditioning … when you’re pushing yourself physically so hard, a lot of times a lot of emotional things come out. He’s more of the therapist/life coach role.
If I’m having trouble with any of the guys on the team, a lot of time I’ll talk to Leo and he’ll kind of smooth out the situation for everybody. He’s great. He’s a mixture. He’s Mr. Life Coach.
Not only does UFC president White think the co-main event between former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson and former UFC champion Lyoto Machida is a great matchup of styles, but he said the winner gets a shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“Lyoto has a style where he lays back and counterpunches, and Henderson moves forward and he’s aggressive, in your face the entire time,” White said. “I think the fight’s gonna be a great fight.”
UFC president Dana White never passes up a chance to run down those who have been proved wrong.
So for those who razzed him for deciding to put the first women’s fight in promotion history — bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche — as the main event for UFC 157 on Saturday at the Honda Center, it looks like White might get the last laugh.
At a press conference Thursday at the Honda Center, White said this card has already surpassed the gate the last time the UFC was in Anaheim — which featured the heavyweight title bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos at the end of 2012.
“There’s all this talk about pay-per-view buys and wondering how the women would do. I just talked with (Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta) and this fight is trending very well,” White said. “So all the people, all the naysayers and everybody who said this and that about two women headlining a fight, I won’t be a prude, but you know what I usually say about this.”
It was pointed out, however, that one of women’s MMA’s biggest critics used to be White himself. The UFC head honcho was once caught on tape by TMZ claiming women’s MMA would never be in the UFC.
“Actually, the way I look at it is, you know, that’s just me. But there were a lot of people that felt very negative about women fighting in the sport, and I didn’t realize how many people would be so negative about two women headlining a card,” White said. “But after I did my homework and I saw some of these fights, I got into it, I met the girls, it is the right thing to do. I’m proud to be standing here today announcing this fight is gonna happen in two days.”