Miocic
Stipe Miocic Retains UFC Heavyweight Title at UFC 220 in Boston MA.(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou     Boston MA.  TD Garden

The first PPV event of 2018 for UFC features the Main Event of UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.  The Co-Main Event is for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with Daniel Cormier(c) facing the Swiss phenom Volkan Oezdemir.  This is the fifth trip to Boston’s TD Garden for the UFC. The promotion was previously in the arena for UFC 118 in 2010, UFC Fight Night 26 in 2013, UFC Fight Night 59 in 2015 and UFC Fight Night 81 in 2016.  UFC 220 also features the debut of Featherweight Brandon Davis.  Matt Bessette, Dan Ige, and Julio Arce are all making a debut of sorts as well. All three men competed on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series to earn this spot.

Undercard

Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce

Featherweight Division

Referee:

Round 1:  The event kicks off with two UFC newcomers in Ige and Arce.  The American Ige is on the offensive to begin the first round with a quick takedown and clinch against the cage.  Ige, the wrestler out of Waverly Iowa constantly looking for the takedown, Arce is forcing the American to stand up and strike.  Arce takes advantage of the situation and tags Ige with multiple shots to the head.    Arce, the southpaw tricking Ige with multiple right hooks to stagger his opponent.

My Take: Even though Ige started aggressively, Arce controlled the majority of the round with his strong stand-up.

Round 2:  Arce continues the striking to begin round 2, Ige having a tough time getting Arce to the ground.  Ige is 0/6 with attempted takedowns so far in this fight.  Ige is stuffed again to finish round 2, it is all Arce in this one.

My Take:  Ige cannot get anything going in this fight.  Arce has the timing perfect and it hitting Ige with several counters.  Arce is also winning the footwork battle as he is always one step forward.

Round 3:  Arce is continuing his striking dominance in round 3.  Arce lands a stiff shot to the body and knocks Ige to the ground.  Ige is looking for the big shot but nothing is working for him as Arce is smothering him with constant movement.  Arce cruises to his first official UFC win.

My Take:  The smooth and aggressive Julio Arce dominates round 3 and will win with a Unanimous decision

Julio Arce Defeats Dan Ige via Unanimous decision (30-27)

 

Dustin Ortiz#10 vs. Alexandre Pantoja#11

Flyweight Division

Referee: Dan Miraglotta

Round 1:  The Franklin, TN  native Ortiz starts the fight with a quick takedown, the Brazilian Pantoja able to quickly take the back against the cage.  Pantoja has a deep lock in going for the rear naked choke.  Ortiz is able to survive and eventually takes his back for control to end the round.

My Take:  Pantoja displays why he is the best “back taker” in the flyweight division.

Round 2:  Knowing that he lost the first round, Ortiz comes out on fire to start the second.  Pantoja looks like he is already gassed, Ortiz showing great endurance and conditioning wearing the Brazilian out.  Ortiz continues the clinch against the cage displayed solid control.  Ortiz showing that he can go for days grinding away with the clinch.

My Take:  Ortiz comes back in a fury with a dominating 2nd round.  If Ortiz can keep up the pace he should be able to completely Pantoja out.

Round 3:  Ortiz immediately takes Pantoja down but able to slip out and take the American’s back.  Pantoja gets a warning from the ref to display some action.  Pantoja displays more of his round 1 self by holding Ortiz in the back position.  Dustin shakes his opponent off and brings the aggression to Pantoja. Ortiz does a ton of damage in the final two minutes of the final round.  This is going to be a close decision.

My Take:  The deciding round was a tale of two halves, my guess is that this will be a split decision going to Ortiz.  Should be a controversial one.  Great back and forth in this fight, hats off to both fighters.

Dustin Ortiz Defeats Alexandre Pantoja via Unanimous Decision (29-28)

 

Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan

Welterweight Division

Referee:

Round 1: Alhassan showing the dominance of his striking throughout this fight.  Alhassan landing several overhand rights and Homasi is just trying to survive the round. Homasi goes for a takedown to slow down the pace but is stuffed violently.  Alhassan connects with a nasty uppercut and knocks out Homasi cold!

Abdul Rasak Alhassan Defeats Sabah Homasi via Knockout(3:44)

Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis

Featherweight Division

Referee:

Round 1: Brandon Davis makes his UFC debut in this fight against the Hometown Kid in Bochniak.  Bochniak getting Davis to chase around the octagon while able to land constant leg kicks.  Davis is dealing with a hip injury coming from training camp, we should see Davis try to force this fight to stay on their feet.  Bochniak is able to recognize the weakness and takes Davis to the ground and controls with a clinch.  Bochniak able to control in the clinch for the remainder of the round.

My Take: Bochniak controlling this fight, pulling Davis into land successful leg kicks and counter punches.  10-9 for Bochniak

Round 2: A lot of trash talking coming from Davis, but Bochniak doing his talking with his consistent strikes.  Davis is getting frustrated that Bochniak is not staying still and exchanging.  Davis continues to fall to Bochniak’s gameplan with the constant chasing.  Bochniak is not letting Davis counter with the constant movement.  The Boston native lands his second takedown on Davis to conclude the round.

My Take:  Another Round, Another win for Bochniak.  10-9, Davis has to knock Bochniak out to win.

Round 3:  Bochniak showing impressive conditioning as he continues to move all around the octagon. Davis is showing fatigue, and Bochniak recognizes that and grinds away with a takedown and clinch.  Davis escapes and the fighters exchange punches to finish the fight.

My Take:  And that makes it 3-0 for Bochniak.  He shows his experience against the rookie and grinded away the entire fight.

Kyle Bochniak defeats Brandon Davis via Unanimous Decision(30-27)

The main card Live on PPV

Thomas Almeida#10 vs. Rob Font#14

Bantamweight  Division

Referee: Herb Dean

Round 1:  We are now in the PPV portion of UFC 220 with Mass. native  Rob Font against the hard-hitting Brazilian Thomas Almeida.  Font controlling the pace to start the round with a consistency of moving forward with striking combinations.  Almeida seems to wake up halfway through the round, he is timing Font’s strikes a lot better.  It took Almeida to get hit a couple times to start fighting back.  Almeida tags Font with a counter right and hurts him to finish the round.

My Take: Back and forth with the edge going to Font.  Almeida was asleep more a good portion of this round.

Round 2:  Font comes out blazing in the second with an effective left jab followed by a right uppercut that stuns Almeida.  Font continues the attack, Almeida clinches to survive.  Almeida slows it down briefly with a takedown but Font is able to recover.  Font comes back with several more punches that connect to Font’s skull.  Font connects with a right kick and right uppercut, Almeida buckles and Herb Dean stops the fight!

My Take:  Font impressive in home state with a vicious leg kick that knocks Almeida out.

Rob Font Defeats Thomas Almeida via TKO(Right Kick)

Gian Villante#15 vs. Francimar Barroso

Light heavyweight Division

Referee:

Round 1: Villante is being cornered by former Middleweight champ Chris Weidman in this fight.  Villante starting the fight with a big right hand that connects.  Barroso responds with a right-handed strike of his own.  Gian lands another right hand that staggers Barroso, and continues to display his right-hand power. Barroso goes for a backhand punch but Villante counters with a strong leg kick to the hamstring.  The round finishes with some strikes trading back and forth.

My Take:  Villante is serving up the right hook after every counter and every left jab.  It could just be a matter of time until it connects and does damage.  10-9 for Gian.

Round 2: In the middle of the round Weidman called for Gian to throw the left hook after the right hook as the Brazilian is leaving it open.  Villante followed his coaches instructions by nailing Barroso with a big left hand.  Back and forth action with leg strikes continues in the second round.  Gian is pushing the pace in this fight and Barroso is having difficulty keeping up.

My Take: Villante is cruising in this one, Barroso needs a big 3rd to somehow come back.10-9 Villante

Round 3: Villante pushing the pace in the third with big shots to Barroso.  Barroso is only throwing punches and kicks one at a time, it is giving Villante enough time to counter back with big strikes.  Barroso is not treating this round with any importance even though he is down in the scoring.  Villante is going to win this fight due to strike volume.  Great performance by the Long Island native.

My Take: Villante dominates with the constant striking, this should set up a big matchup in the light heavyweight division for his next fight.

Gian Villante defeats Francimar Barroso via Split Decision(30-27)

Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos

Featherweight Division

Referee:

Round 1:  Kattar and Burgos trading right hands with a lot of excitement to begin the fight.  Burgos goes for the body and connects as Kattar attacks with a counter.  Kattar is piecing together combinations and getting a jump because he is not loading his punches.  Kattar is comfortable with just touching Burgos to throw off his timing.  Strikes are coming in volume for Kattar as the round ends.

My Take:  We have a boxing match in the Octagon with this fight.  Both fighters seem content with the back and forth. 10-9 Kattar

Round 2: Kattar connects with several jabs as the strikes are still coming in for the Mass. born fighter.  Kattar is having no problem finding a home for the left jab, controlling the fight with it.  Kattar gets caught by a jab and blood is now trickling from his nose.  Burgos smells blood quite literally and goes after with combinations to the body and face.  Strikes back and forth to finish the round, this could be an interesting 3rd round.

My Take:  It is the story of the jabs in this fight and Kattar has more of them.  But the momentum may be shifting  Kattar 10-9

Round 3:  Burgos comes in with a nice combination, but Kattar comes in with a huge right uppercut to knock Burgos to the mat.  Kattar swarms over Burgos a ground and pound to end the fight.

Calvin Kattar Defeats Shane Burgos via TKO(punches) (0:33)

(c) Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Referee:

Round 1: Here we go with the first 5 round championship fight of the night. Oezdemir throwing bombs starting the fight, DC is doing his best to avoid them.  DC is trying to put pressure to get close but the Swiss phenom is striking to keep him away.  Oezdemir has slowed the pace down as he is beginning to realize this is likely going to another round.  DC lands a big right hand that stumbles Volkan and gets the single leg takedown.  Punches raining down from Cormier on the ground, locks in a choke but Oezdemir gets saved by the bell.

My Take:  Wow! what a first round by DC.  At the start of the round it didn’t look good for him but all it took was a right hand and a takedown to win that round for Cormier.

Round 2:  The crowd is chanting “Let’s go Cormier” as DC is all over Volkan with another takedown.  Cormier is not going to let Oezdemir up, with DC grinding away. Punches coming in from DC in the side position and Volkan can’t defend.  The ref stops the fight, And Still your Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.

My Take:  DC smothered Volkan and there was nothing Oezdemir could do.  Next up with be Alexander Gustafson for DC.

Daniel Cormier Defeats Volkan Oezdemir by TKO(Ground and Pound)

(c) Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou

UFC Heavyweight Championship

Referee:

Round 1: It is the Battle for the title of “Baddest man on the planet”. It begins with Ngannou coming out quick with a couple landed strikes.  Stipe comes back with a takedown of Ngannou but quickly recovers.  Ngannou landing big shots to the body to prevent any takedowns.  Stipe lands a right hand to the skull of Ngannou and takes him to the ground.  Miocic controlling on the ground, they eventually get up and trade strikes.  Stipe scores another takedown to finish the round.

My Take:  Ngannou does not know what to do on the ground.  If Stipe can keep this up, he can grind this fight away. 10-9 Miocic

Round 2:  Ngannou looks exhausted already as we begin round 2.  The pace slows dramatically as they continue to trade strikes.  Miocic is forcing Ngannou to chase him around the ring and tiring the Cameroon born fighter.  Miocic scores another takedown and has the clinch secured against the cage.  Stipe grinds away for the remainder of the round.

My Take:  Ngannou is only built for 1 round knockouts, he is gassed. 10-9 Miocic.

Round 3:  This is the furthest Francis Ngannou has ever gone in the UFC and it shows.  Stipe once again clinches Ngannou and continues the onslaught. Ngannou recovers and nails Stipe with a right hand but the Cleveland born fighter once again takes him down.  Stipe has 45 ground strikes compared to 0 for Ngannou.

My Take:  Ngannou showed that all it takes is one right hand but will Stipe let him connect?  Not looking likely.  Stipe10-9

Round 4:  Miocic takes Ngannou down again which is the 5th of the fight. The entire round is Miocic controlling the fight on the ground  nothing new, just alot of grinding away from Stipe. 82 -0 total strikes in this round.

My Take:10-9 Stipe  Nothing new

Round 5:  Miocic goes right back to what has worked for him and that is the clinch against the cage.  Stipe continues the pressure and will not let up. There is little resistance from Ngannou as the round goes on.   The fighters stand up but little action as the fight concludes.  Stipe will now hold the record for most Heavyweight Title defenses with 3.

Stipe Miocic Defeats Francis Ngannou Via Unanimous Decision(50-44)