UFC Fight Night 25 Undercard Live Blog: McKenzie-Rocha, Dunham-Bailey, More

NEW ORLEANS – This is the UFC Fight Night 25 live blog for all the preliminary bouts on tonight's UFC fights from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The prelims, which will stream live on the UFC's Facebook page, include a pair of lightweight bouts between TUF 12 competitor Cody McKenzie and Vagner Rocha and TUF 12 fighter Shamar Bailey and Evan Dunham.

The live blog is below.

Justin Edwards vs. Jorge Lopez

Round 1:
Wanderlei Silva protege Lopez is making his UFC debut and is a pretty sizable favorite in this one. He's got "The Axe Murderer" in his corner, naturally. Bruce Buffer runs the intros, and we're ready to roll with Kevin Mulhall the third man in the Octagon. They trade in tight early, and Edwards looks for a throw, but settles for a clinch against the cage. But Lopez lifts him for a nice slam – right into a guillotine. Edwards cranks on it, but Lopez rolls out and eventually pops back to his feet. He throws a nice right kick that Edwards counters with some more clinch work. In tight, Edwards lands a couple nice hooks, then a soft slam. But again Lopez pops up. And again Edwards softly takes him down. He looks for a guillotine again, but settles for keeping position on the mat, trying to work ground and pound. The fight moves back to the feet halfway through the round. Jabs are traded, with each fighter landing a nice one in close. A nice knee from Lopez briefly has Edwards on the canvas with Lopez looking for some quick short strikes. But back on the feet, Edwards ties things up again with his back on the fence. Another nice knee from Lopez lands, but Edwards chases him down with a flurry and they trade position along the fence. Lopez landed some decent shots in the round, but MMA Fighting will score the round 10-9 for Edwards.

Round 2:
Edwards opens with a left jab, then eats a high right kick. But he comes back with a spinning back kick right to Lopez's gut. Back along the fence, Edwards again lands a little takedown and has good position in side control. He works to sink in a guillotine and gets it. It looks tight, but Lopez barely pops out and briefly has top position until they go back to their feet. After several Edwards near-chokes so far, Lopez might believe he needs to keep this standing. Edwards again works for a little takedown and works to take Lopez's back. Lopez looks absolutely exhausted as Edwards starts laying on the ground and pound. It's getting close as Mulhall looks in, but Lopez gives one burst of energy and reverses to pop out. After a short stall in the clinch, Mulhall splits them up with 30 seconds left in the round. Edwards lands a couple nice kicks as we get to the end. We'll give another 10-9 round to Edwards heading to the last.

Round 3:
They touch gloves for the last. Lopez has probably been told he'll need to finish, and he lands a nice right hand early. Lopez ties Edwards up, and Edwards throws knees. Then Lopez lifts him for a nice slam. Edwards is looking for an armbar from his side. But Lopez finally gets out of it, gets mount, then takes Edwards' back and starts looking for ground and pound. Edwards is squirming to try and get out, and Lopez gives up the back. He keeps dominant position on the ground, moving from side control to north-south briefly, then back to side control. He lands some short right elbows as Edwards looks for a way out. And finally, Edwards gets back to his feet. With 1:20 left, Lopez again gets a short takedown, but Edwards falls into guard. Edwards gets an armbar with 20 seconds left, but he can't hold it. We'll give the third to Lopez, 10-9, but the fight should go to Edwards 29-28 in a fairly major upset.

Result: Justin Edwards def. Jorge Lopez, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Mike Lullo vs. Robert Peralta

Round 1:
High kick from Lullo to open. Then he eats one to the outside. They trade a few kicks, then Peralta ties up and lands some knees. He uses them to get a soft taekdown before letting Lullo back up. They trade jabs. Then several kicks each. After his UFC debut loss against Edson Barboza last November, you'd think Lullo would be pretty fed up with eating kicks by now. But he's throwing plenty himself. Peralta checks a kick, then comes with a nice combo. Then again. Lullo's left thigh is blistering red from kicks already. Nice right hand from Peralta lands, and he comes back with two more huge kicks to Lullo's lead leg. Peralta then again lands some big kicks that take Lullo off his feet – it's literally like watching a replay of the Lullo-Barboza fight. It's a 10-9 round for Peralta.

Round 2:
More kicks from Peralta. And Lullo has a large hematoma on the left side of his head. Peralta goes right after it. More kicks from Peralta force Lullo to shoot, and he ties things up along the fence. Things stall out for a minute as Lullo keeps Peralta tied up – at least he's not eating kicks. They break at 1:30 and trade leg kicks. Again Lullo shoots, but it's not there. A nice kick from Lullo closes the round. It's definitely a closer round, but we're going to give it to Peralta again, 10-9.

Round 3:
Nice little barrage from Peralta to start things. They stall out, for the most part, for a good long stretch with looking for position, but Peralta comes back and lands some nice shots. Another Lullo shot is stuffed by Peralta. Peralta looks for knees along the fence, and Lullo ties him up and looks for knees of his own. Lullo then lands a pretty gentle takedown, but it's a takedown nonetheless. WIth 40 seconds left, they move back to the feet, and Peralta lands a nice right as a counter to a Lullo kick. But Lullo takes him down again. Not much will happen as the round comes to an end. Closer, and the takedowns might have given the round to Lullo. We'll say they did, barely, and go 10-9 Lullo in the third, but 29-28 Peralta in the fight.

Result: Robert Peralta def. Mike Lullo, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Mike Stumpf vs. T.J. Waldburger

Round 1:
Quick kick from Waldburger takes Stumpf's leg right out from under him, and Waldburger is on his back instantly looking for the kind of finish that fans who had too much to drink on Bourbon Street last night are hoping for. Waldburger isn't doing a ton with the position, but he's trying to get it more secure and look for a choke or some solid ground-and-pound opportunities. He goes for an armbar, it's not there, and Stumpf gets back up and briefly looks for offense. But almost just as quickly, Waldburger has him back down. There's a fun scramble that has Stumpf backing up on the feet, after a rollout, and as Waldburger comes forward Stumpf throws a knee that just misses. And almost before anyone knows what has happened, Waldburger gets an arm, locks it up, looks for a triangle with an arm in and pretty quickly Stumpf is forced to tap.

Result: T.J. Waldburger def. Mike Stumpf, submission (triangle choke), 3:52 Round 1

Seth Baczynski vs. Clay Harvison

Round 1:
After some kick feints, Baczynski lands a nice combo. Harvison follows it with a smacking inside leg kick. They trade in close, and Harvison lands a nice right. But Baczynski comes back strong, lands a couple close shots, then ties things up and looks for knees. A flying knee after they separate just misses. Another a moment later lands. A minute later, after landing more kicks and knees, he throws it again and has Harvison still guessing. With a minute to go, they tie up against the fence. On the break, Baczynski lands a nice right. As the round comes to a close, there's a brief flurry from each fighter. It's a 10-9 round for Baczynski in the first on our card.

Round 2:
In a flash, Baczynski gets Harvison to the ground, dives in, moves in quickly for a rear naked choke attempt, and locks it up. Harvison quickly has to tap. It's an impressive win for Baczynski.

Result: Seth Baczynski def. Clay Harvison, submission (rear naked choke), 1:12 Round 2

Ken Stone vs. Donny Walker

Round 1:
Early tie up from Stone and he pushes Walker along the fence. Stone works to get things to the ground and does, then lands a few decent short shots to the body. Stone works for a rear naked choke and he 's got it. But Walker is trying to fight his way out of it. He rolls over and is refusing to tap. Stone tells the ref to check on Walker, and he is indeed out. Nice win for Stone and the third straight submission tonight.

Result: Ken Stone def. Donny Walker, submission, 2:40 Round 1

Lance Benoist vs. Matt Riddle

Round 1:
Riddle gets tagged early, but he seems OK. And then 45 seconds in, Benoist comes with a crazy high axe kick that just misses. Benoist hits a low knee, and Riddle gets time. He uses that time to be very animated in his recovery, bouncing on his butt. Riddle lands a takedown and looks for some short elbows. Benoist works out of guard. Riddle tries to pass, but winds up defeinding an armbar from Benoist. And shortly Benoist reverses the position and starts working some short shots on top. He's a little more effective with his than Riddle was, and it's turning this round in his favor. He'll finish the round in control on top. We'll score the first round 10-9 for Benoist.

Round 2:
Kick from Benoist can't land to start things off. Riddle comes back with a kick of his own. Benoist is nicely cut and starting to bleed, but he takes Riddle down. Benoist bleeding pretty badly, and Riddle's getting coated with plenty of it. Benoist is on top and looking to posture up and land big shots, but Riddle catches him with a glancing upkick that has the crowd energized. More big shots from Benoist end the round, and as they get up they smile at each other about the blood and give a high five before doing to their corners. We'll give the second to Benoist, 10-9, despite the big cut on his nose.

Round 3:
Riddle is going to go right after Benoist's cut, no doubt about it. And he lands some good shots as the two scramble. Riddle then pops the fight to the ground and starts landing big knees to the body. This has turned into a really fun fight, and the crowd agrees. Riddle has to work out of Benoist's guard. He's trying to work ground and pound, but Benoist is blocking fairly well. Riddle postures up and tries to land a big bomb, but it just misses and Benoist just misses an upkick. With 90 seconds left, Dan Miragliotta is watching closely for a possible standup. But Benoist is looking for a triangle that's not quite happening. With 10 seconds left, Riddle postures up for one big shot. We'll give Riddle the third round, 10-9, but the fight to Benoist, 29-28.

Result: Lance Benoist def. Matt Riddle, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Shamar Bailey vs. Evan Dunham

Round 1:
Nice kicks from Bailey to open up. This would be a huge victory for him. He blocks a high kick from Dunham. Some short exchanges have Dunham landing a nice popping right hand. Dunham then chases him down and has Bailey backing into the fence and slipping briefly. A few more nice jabs from Dunham land. Then he just misses a high kick. Bailey lands a teep, but Dunham returns fire with a left. Bailey's punches are bigger, but not landing as much as Dunham's. So far, this fight is in sharp contrast to Bailey's UFC debut in June, which was spent mostly on the ground. He hasn't gone there yet. Dunham throws a kick that Bailey catches and uses it for a takedown. There's a little bit of activity after the horn that has Bailey visibly upset and Dunham raises his hand to apologize. We'll give a 10-9 round to Dunham.

Round 2:
They touch gloves to open the frame, and Dunham gets off some nice exchanges before they split. Dunham lands a nice high right kick, then one to the face – a front kick. Some nice exchanges get the crowd interested, but Dunham gets the better of them. Nice right from Bailey lands. Dunham answers with a front kick and just misses an uppercut. Bailey blocks a high right kick, then lands a nice right kick of his own to the body. More kicks are exchanged. Still a little surprising Bailey isn't really looking for a takedown – and he's now bleeding near his left eye. Dunham moves in and lands some nice shots as we get to the end of the round. It's another 10-9 for Dunham going to the last.

Round 3:
They touch 'em up for Round 3. And then both come out firing. Nice front kick from Dunham is followed with a right. Bailey staying right in the middle, possibly believing he needs a finish to win. Bailey is getting caught plenty by Dunham, whose striking has been more on point. They trade lefts halfway through, before Bailey just blocks a high kick. Then a right kick to the head from Dunham partially lands. Bailey is cut up on both sides of his face, and Dunham keeps coming. Dunham wants to end the fight, and the crowd senses it. He's landing big shots and kicks, and Bailey is backing up. A kick has Dunham hitting the floor, though, and Bailey moves in quickly but can't capitalize enough. His mouthpiece falls out and there's a brief stoppage to clean it up. WIth 15 seconds left, Dunham gets a guillotine but Bailey will survive the round. It's a 10-9 third for Dunham, and we'll give him the fight 30-27.



Result: Evan Dunham def. Shamar Bailey, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Cody McKenzie vs. Vagner Rocha

Round 1:
Very aggressive opening from McKenzie, who comes forward quickly, then tells Rocha to engage him. McKenzie stared Rocha down constantly rom the moment he got in the cage. Rocha tries to tie things up along the fence, but they break and Rocha immediately lands a low blow. McKenzie gets some time before hopping back in. Rocha has a kick blocked, then misses a looping overhand left. Short takedown from Rocha leads right into McKenzie's signature guillotine, but he can't hold it and Rocha pops his head out and is in top position. A weird ground scramble has both guys looking for submissions, and Rocha looks for an armbar. They pop up briefly, but back down Rocha lands a guillotine that transitions to a side choke. But McKenzie wiggles out and gets back to his feet. He comes forward looking for some big strikes with 30 seconds left, and he lands a couple as Rocha smiles and retreats. Rocha is off to the races as the round closes, looking to stay out of a home run shot. The round actually is very close. We're going to go with McKenzie, 10-9, but it could be either way.

Round 2: Both guys swing at the same time to open, but it's Rocha that lands a couple clean shots. After 30 seconds, McKenzie brings it to the ground into his guard. Rocha stays active and has a modified guillotine locked in, but McKenzie gets out. Rocha is looking to posture up, but McKenzie gets a guillotine that Rocha has to fight his way out of. McKenzie gives his back, though, and Rocha soon gets mount when McKenzie rolls over. It's a bad spot for McKenzie as Rocha locks up his right afm in a body triangle and starts to land some shots. McKenzie gets his arm free, but rolls over and gives his back. Rocha sinks in a rear naked choke and McKenzie is forced to tap.

Result: Vagner Rocha def. Cody McKenzie, submission (rear-naked choke), 3:49 Round 2




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