This is the UFC 160 undercard live blog for the Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
There will be seven fights on the undercard. Mike Pyle vs. Rick Story, Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway, Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo, Stephen Thompson vs. Nah-Shon Burrell, Brian Bowles vs. George Roop, and Jeremy Stephens vs. Estevan Payan will be featured on the prelims.
Check out the UFC 160 undercard live blog below.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Estevan Payan
Round 1: Payan's throwing low kicks early and is beating Stephens to the punch. A Stephens kick lands low, and the ref has to be talked into giving Payan a time-out. Back to action. Stephens presses forward and attempts a takedown to no avail. Payan wobbles Stephens with a right. Stephens goes for a takedown, but Payan pulls guard and has a guillotine. Stephens escapes and lands an elbow from the top. Stephens postures up and Payans lands a solid upkick. They scramble back to their feet and the sequence ends with Payan getting a standing choke. They hit the ground, and get right back up, with Stephens landing a knee in the process. One minute left. Payan is cut open from the elbow on the ground, Stephens is also cut. Stephens connects with a right hand which sends Payan backwards. Stephens lands a solid counter right. MMAFighting scores the round for Jeremy Stephens, 10-9.
Round 2: Stephens lands a right to the temple which causes Payan to briefly lose his balance. Otherwise, the pace is slower in the opening minute. Stephens shoots a double and gets the takedown, with Payan postured up on the fence. Payan is back to his feet, with Stephens hanging on to a leg. Eventually Stephens gets Payan back to the mat. Stephens lands a couple more elbows and Payan is bleeding horrifically. Stephens has Payan's back ad is attempting an RNC, but he's having a hard time hanging on with all the blood flow. One minute left, still in the same position with Stephens committed to the choke, but not quite able to clinch it. There are pools of blood all over the mat where they fought on the ground. MMAFighting scores the round for Jeremy Stephens, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Another slow opening minute, but Stephens changes that up with a solid head kick. Payan lands a solid right and Stephens responds in kind. Stephens chases Payan down, picks him up, and slams him. He gets a sitting Payan's back and lands a couple knees. Payan stays on one knee, but Stephens lands a series of right hands. Two minutes left, they're standing. Stephens bodylocks Payan. Payan reverses position, but that just enables Stephens to score another takedown. Payan basically just hangs on til the horn. MMAFighting scores the round for Jeremy Stephens, 10-9 (30-27 overall).
Jeremy Stephens def. Estevan Payan via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27).
Brian Bowles vs. George Roop
Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this bantamweight bout. Roop charges in and eats a four punch combo. He front kicks Bowles, grabs him in a Thai plumb, and grazes him with a knee. Bowles throwing single punches, trying to move in and out. Bowles connects with a left hand and follows with a solid right. Roop scurries to safety. Roop's using kicks to keep Bowles at distance. Bowles checks a high kick. Bowles with a two-punch combo. Roop with a low kick. Roop with a two-punch combo, followed by a head kick. Bowles lands a counter right. Two-punch combo to the body by Bowles connect. He drops Roop with a left with about a minute left, pounces and lands a choke. Roop manages to flip over, but Bowls hangs on to the choke. Roop escapes. Bowles stole the round in the final minute. MMAFighting scores the round for Brian Bowles, 10-9.
Round 2: Roop's regained his composure and is once again establishing his reach advantage. Roop drops Bowles with a crisp straight left hand. Opens up with his ground-and-pound. Bowles tries to get to his feet, but eats a huge right hand. Bowles covers up and Roop lands blows until Dean steps in and calls the fight.
George Roop def. Brian Bowles via TKO at 1:43 of round two.
Stephen Thompson vs. Nah-Shon Burrell
Round 1: Steve Mazzagatti is your referee. Thompson with a push kick and a high kick. Burrell responds by rushing him and landing a two-punch combo. A clinch battle breaks out, Burrell with his back to the fence. They break. One minute in. Thompson connects with a solid kick. Burrell whiffs with a right hand and Thompson scores a takedown. Burrell works back to his feet. Burrell has his back to the fence again as they clinch and trade knees. Burrell lands a solid uppercut. A straight up Greco-Roman wrestling match breaks out for a bit. They break. Thompson is landing more shots, but Burrell landing the heavier blows. One minute left. Burrell goes for a takedown but slips and Thompson ends up on top. They're right back to their feet. More clinch work to finish the round. MMAFighting scores the round for Stephen Thompson, 10-9.
Round 2: More of the same in the opening minute. Burrell respects Thompson's kicks, Thompson respects Burrell's power. Lots of clinch work as a result. Thompson lands a kick to the body and pops him with a high kick. Midway through the round. Thompson sticking and moving and keeping Burrell from getting off. Thompson tries a half-hearted takedown. Burrell stays on his feet. Burrell lands a solid combo and Thompson just misses a high kick. Thompson, the kick boxer, is doing a better job of keeping the fight at a range he wants. Thompson ducks a flying knee and Burrell careens into the cage. MMAFighting scores the round for Stephen Thompson, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Burrell comes out swinging like a guy who knows he's down two rounds, but Thompson is again able to neutralize him with a clinch. Thompson throws kicks when Burrell tries to close the distance. Burrell tags Thompson with a punch and sends him spinning backwards. Thompson regains his bearings and pops him with a head kick. Thompson perfectly times a charging Burell and turns it into a takedown. Burrell right back to his feet. Final minute. Burrell connects with a right uppercut.Burrell again misses a flying knee.More clinch work in the closing seconds. MMAFighting scores the round for Stephen Thompson, 10-9 (30-27 overall).
Stephen Thompson def. Nah-Shon Burrell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo
Round 1: Mario Yamasaki is the referee for this one. We're going to call Nurmagomedov "Khabib" to keep it simple. Lots of movement by both fighters. Trujillo rushes forward and Khabib scampers to safety. Trujillo does it again, lands a combo and a takedown, but Khabib manages to turn it into an armbar. Trujillo rolls out of it, they're back to their feet, but Khabib stays with him, leeps his back, and ultimately lands a throw. Trujillo tries to get up and Khabib slam him right back to the mat. Kahbib scores two more slams. Another one. This is getting ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous, Trujillo has grabbed the fence several times, no call. Khabib scores another takedown, but this time, Trujillo busts loose and gets into his guard. Khabib, though, turns it into a tight triangle choke. Trujillo survives.
MMAFighting scores the round for Khabib Nurmagomedov, 10-9.
Round 2: Trujillo doesn't seem quite as eager to rush in to things this round. Khabib scores another effortless takedown, but Trujillo pops back to his feet and lands a couple big bombs. Khabib gets the better of another exchange and again easily takes him to the mat. More of the same as round one. Tujillo, though, reverses position and lands an elbow before Khabib scrambles to safety. Khabib resumes taking Trujillo down. Wash, rinse, repeat. MMAFighting scores the round for Khabib Nurmagomedov, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: If you guess Khabib opened the round with yet another takedown, congrats, you've been paying attention. Khabib scores one of his bigger slams of the match about two minutes in. He's had so many that it takes something really big to stand out at this point. Trujillo just has no answer. He gets back to his feet, and Khabib scores another big slam. He gets up, Khabib trips him. final minute. Trujillo looks like he's pretty much mentally quit. They stand and clinch over the final seconds. Check that, Khabib lands two more takedowns.
MMAFighting scores the round for Khabib Nurmagomedov, 10-9 (30-27 overall).
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker
Round 1: Whittaker catches Smith with an uppercut coming in. Pops him again coming in. The third time, Smith goes for a takedown, which Whittaker sprawls. Smith throws a low kick and Whittaker rep sons with an uppercut. Smith circling the outside, Whittaker in a stance with his left hand down and his right hand cocked. Smith with a two-punch combo. Whittaker again avoids a takedown. One minute left. Whittaker tags Smith with a right hand as he comes in. Smith drops Whittaker with a sharp right with about 30 seconds left, goes for a Kimura, but Whittaker rolls out of it. Back to their feet. Smith stole the round with the knockdown at the end. MMAFighting scores the round for Colton Smith, 10-9.
Round 2: Both guys come out swinging to start the round, with each fighter landing and Whittaker scoring a knockdown along the way. Pace slows. From where I'm sitting it looks like Smith's right eye may be closing up. This is turning into an entertaining little scrap, with each guy having their moments. Smith goes for a takedown, sticks with it, briefly gets Whittaker down, but Whittaker scampers away. Smith lands a low blow of a kick and referee Chris Tognoni calls a time out. Back to action. A one-two combo ricks Smith and opens a big cut over his left eye. Tremendous closing flurry by Whittaker, who lands a bunch of dirty uppercuts and also a big right hand on the button. MMAFighting scores the round for Robert Whittaker, 10-9 (19-19 overall).
Round 3: Both fighters play to the crowd at the start of the round. Whittaker landing early. Whittaker drops a charging Smith with a right to the jaw, lands a handful of punches, and Tognoni stops the fight.
Robert Whittaker def. Colton Smith via TKO at 0:41 of round three
Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway
Round 1: Herb Dean is the referee for this featherweight fight. Bermudez gets a single-leg, Holloway tries to turn it into a guillotine, and they break. Holloway is using his length advantage to keep Bermudez at bay, but that's about it. Two minutes in and the crowd's getting a bit restless. Two minutes left, Bermudez closes the distance and clinches Holloway along the fence, but they break. Holloway rocks Bermudez with a perfectly placed spinning back kick. He follows Bermudez to the mat, but they're back to their feet. Bermudez bodylocks Holloway along the fence as he clears the cobwebs. Holloway mistimes a spinning back kick, but still manages to clip Bermudez on the torso and drop him. MMAFighting scores the round for Max Holloway, 10-9.
Round 2: Frantic early action as Bermudez goes for a takedown, they bounce off the fence, and Holloway lands on top of him. Holloway briefly gets his back as they standup, then they break. Holloway lands a head kick. Holloway goes for another spinning back kick, but Bermudez spots this one and answers with a two-punch combo. Midway through the round. Bermudez trips Holloway, but he's right back to his feet. They're doing clinch work along the fence, with neither getting a notable advantage. Back to center. Holloway mixing up his kicks, Bermudez throwing low leg kicks. Holloway misses with a roundhouse of a head kick and Bermudez misses a flying knee. Bermudez with a late takedown. That's not enough to take the round, though. MMAFighting scores the round for Max Holloway, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Early action leads to a Bermudez takedown, but they're right back up on their feet. Bermudez with a low kick and a combo. Then a short right followed by a left uppercut. Two minutes in, Bermudez grabs a single-leg, then sweeps Holloway's other foot out from under him. This is Bermudez's strongest round so far. Holloway goes for a takedown, no dice. Two minutes left. Bermudez with the takedown. Bermudez postures up and lands a series of punches, then gets into Holloway's half-guard. Bermudez landing elbows, one of which appears to have cut the bridge of Holloway's nose. A bloodied Holloway holds Bermudez off over the final seconds, and both fighters get a well-deserved round of applause from the crowd after a tough scrap. MMAFighting scores the round for Dennis Bermudez, 10-9 (29-28 Holloway overall).
Dennis Bermudez def. Max Holloway via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Mike Pyle vs. Rick Story
Round 1: Steve Mazzagatti is the referee for this welterweight fight. Pyle pulls guard at his first opportunity. Pyle's great on the ground, and he's making things difficult for Story. Pyle rolls out, gets an opening for a Kimura, and seizes it, but Story's able to spin out of it. Story ends up back in Pyle's guard. They stand and Story starts swinging, but Pyle covers up. Story connects with a right and again tries to open up, but Pyle once again covers up. Final minute, back to center Octagon. Story drops Pyle straight backwards with a shot right on the kisser, but can't put Pyle away. Pyle manages to pull guard. MMAFighting scores the round for Rick Story, 10-9.
Round 3: Slow pace to start round three. Story's looked winded since the end of the first round. Pyle pressing forward, Story backtracking. Story goes for a takedown, doesn't get it. Pyle lands a knee. They clinch. They've clinched to a stalemate, with Pyle up against the fence. They break with about a minute left in the round. Pyle the more active of the two. Pyle opening up, Story's face is bloodied. Pyle works for an armbar, doesn't get it, but he does get Story's back. Fight ends in that position. MMAFighting scores the round for Mike Pyle, 10-9 (29-28 overall).
Mike Pyle def. Rick Story via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).