This is the UFC on FOX 13 undercard live blog for the UFC on FOX 13 event at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.
There will be seven fights on the UFC on FOX 13 undercard. John Moraga vs. Willie Gates, Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jerdzejczyk, Joe Riggs vs. Ben Saunders, Jamie Varner vs. Drew Dober, Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman, Joe Ellenberger vs. Bryan Barberena, David Michaud vs. Garret Whiteley, Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin Kimura, and Anthony Birchak vs. Ian Entwistle will be featured on the prelims.
Check out the UFC on FOX 13 undercard below.
Anthony Birchak vs. Ian Entwistle
Round 1: Here we go. First UFC event ever in Arizona opens with Tucson native Anthony Birchak. Birchak comes out swinging and dumps Entwistle onto his back. Birchak looking to rain down punches, but Entwistle latches onto a leglock and starts cranking. Birchak rolls to escape, then rolls and rolls some more. This might actually be in tight. Oh wow, yeah Birchak taps. This arena is dead silent. Birchak hobbles past press row on his way out of the cage. He's hurting.
Ian Entwistle def. Anthony Birchak via submission (heel hook) at 1:04 of R1
Henry Cejudo vs. Dustin Kimura
Round 1: Cejudo making his long-awaited UFC and bantamweight debut here. Jason Herzog is our referee. Cejudo stalking early, flicking his jab and working low kicks. Kimura catches a body kick but can't do anything with it. Surprised Cejudo is looking to stand here. Just as a write that, huge overhand right drops Kimura! Cejudo raining down blows in search of the finish. Kimura avoiding for the most part, and Cejudo lets him stand. Cejudo swarms Kimura into the fence. Cejudo connecting with one-twos, in total command of this fight so far. Big head kick lands for Cejudo at the horn. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cejudo.
Round 2: Definitely a pro-Cejudo crowd here, and they're loving what they see so far. Cejudo tosses out a front kick then unloads with overhand rights. Kimura eats another looping shot followed by a body kick. Cejudo really mixing it up. Kimura pawing out his jab but Cejudo cracks him with another combination. Cejudo walks Kimura into the fence then explodes into a flurry. A few of those shots landed hard. Kimura still in this though. Cejudo connects on another combination then cracks Kimura with a body kick. Cejudo is slugging, man. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cejudo. (20-18 Cejudo.)
Round 3: Cejudo comes in hot and smacks Kimura over-the-top with a right. Low kick for Cejudo. Kimura tries to fire back but Cejudo slips it and launches into a wild counterattack. Kimura sinks back into the fence and eats a slew of shots. Back to the center of the cage, and Kimura looks to establish his jab. Cejudo closes the distance and knees him right in the guts though. Kimura eats a looping right. There's another burst from Cejudo. Wow. This dude is violent three seconds at a time. Cejudo halfway shoots for a double, then switches and goes over the top. Kimura looks lost out there right now. Cejudo swarms him with knees. Cejudo drops down for a double but again abandons it and goes over the top. They slug it out to the end. Fantastic debut for Cejudo. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cejudo. (30-27 Cejudo.)
Henry Cejudo def. Dustin Kimura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
David Michaud vs. Garrett Whiteley
Round 1: Al Guinee is our referee. Michaud walks out to Taylor Swift. That's a thing that just happened. Both guys mixing it up early. Whiteley circling and Michaud stalking. Michaud goes to the body, then sneaks in a hard uppercut. Whiteley looks hurts. Michaud wades back inside but can't follow up. Whiteley digs a hook to the body. Random spinning heel kick from Michaud grazes its target. Whiteley flurries and Michaud slips. Back to the center of the cage. Michaud pressures forward and unloads, cracking Whiteley with a barrage of shots then dumping him onto his back against the cage. Whiteley scrambles and retakes his feet, then fires off a hard knee that just misses. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Michaud.
Round 2: Front kick from Whiteley drops Michaud to his butt, but he scrambles up with a quickness. Michaud storms forward and staggers Whiteley with a flurry. Michaud jumps into side control and goes to work. Someone is leaking blood like a faucet. Looks like Michaud. Whiteley reclaims his guard and his smacking Michaud with all kinds of elbows from the bottom. Whiteley is absolutely coated with Michaud's blood. Michaud trying to work from top position but not getting much off. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Whiteley. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Michaud looking worse for the wear but still coming out firing. Whiteley answers with a hard one-two, then digs inside and goes to the body, eating a few more shots in the process. Another hard one-two from Whiteley, and this time Michaud cracks him good. Not much in the way of movement here, but these two are swinging. Michaud fakes then changes levels for a double and gets it, settling inside Whiteley's guard. The action slows and Guinee stands it up... only for Michaud to instantly drive Whiteley back into the mat. Full guard for Michaud. And there we'll end. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Michaud. (29-28 Michaud.)
David Michaud def. Garrett Whiteley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joe Ellenberger vs. Bryan Barberena
Round 1: Herb Dean is our referee for the opening bout of the FS1 undercard. Ellenberger gets the takedown early. Barberena slowly works to his feet then twists Ellenberger against the fence. They release, and Barberena stalks Ellenberger into the opposite fence only to eat a massive counter. Ellenberger briefly ties up for the trip, then thinks better of it. Barberena back on the offensive. Barberena throwing lots of feints but not committing to anything. And just as a write that he staggers Ellenberger with a short inside flurry. Ellenberger scrambles but eats a few more shots for his troubles. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger.
Round 2: Barberena comes out on fire and the crowd loves it. Ellenberger staying patient, throws out a spinning back kick that misses. Barberena with a little inside low kick. Ellenberger hanging back looking to counter, but Barberena sidesteps a looping right. Barberena starts pawing out his jab, and he lands a solid flurry that forces Ellenberger to escape and reset. Barberena starting to find his rhythm now. Barberena cracks Ellenberger with a hard salvo against the fence. Ellenberger ducks low for a single but has to abandon it after Barberena starts slinging. Follow-up attempt fails for Ellenberger. Good takedown defense there. Ellenberger eats a right and fires back a front kick. Barberena catches Ellenberger with a high kick late and he's feeling it. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Barberena. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Barberena already headhunting but Ellenberger trips him to the floor. Barberena scrambles to his feet. Ellenberger still clinging to a low double against the fence but a few elbows to the dome helps change his mind. Barberena cracks Ellenberger with a right and Ellenberger looks absolutely exhausted. Barberena sees it and swarms. Huge flurry for Barberena, as he ends up inside Ellenberger's guard. Ellenberger tries to scramble but only gives up his back. Barberena just unloading with punches and knees to the body as Ellenberger tries to survive. More hard elbows to the chin for Barberena. Ellenberger not doing much but covering up. And that's all she wrote.
Bryan Barberena def. Joe Ellenberger via TKO (strikes) at 3:24 of R3
Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman has been cancelled due to illness.
Jamie Varner vs. Drew Dober
Round 1: Herb Dean gets the assignment for this lightweight bout. The Phoenix faithful out in droves to support their hometown boy Varner. Varner fights off an early takedown attempt then cracks Dober with a left. Dober ties up and gets an immediate trip into mount. Awful spot early here for Varner, who gives up his back. Dober sinks in both hooks and fishes for the rear-naked. And he gets it. Wow. On the replays, looks like Varner KO'd himself on the initial fall. Another stroke of tough luck for Varner. And Varner announces his retirement.
Drew Dober def. Jamie Varner via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:52 of R1
Joe Riggs vs. Ben Saunders
Round 1: Big John McCarthy is our referee. A year ago this is totally a Bellator fight, and that's a little weird. Anyway, they touch ‘em up and we're off. Riggs storms out and catches Saunders with a right up against the fence. They clinch, and Riggs dumps Saunders to the mat with a power double. Riggs looks hurt. Saunders moves to lock up a rubber guard triangle and Riggs taps before it's in. No clue what just happened. On the replay it looks like Riggs may have tweaked his neck on Saunders' hipbone while sticking the landing.
Ben Saunders def. Joe Riggs via submission (injury) at 0:57 of R1
John Moraga vs. Willie Gates
Round 1: Jason Herzog is the third man for this one. Gates making his UFC debut. Both men trade low kicks. Gates pumps his jab and circles. Moraga staying on the outside, away from Gates' length. Moraga charges inside with a one-two but can't find his mark. He tries it again and this time Gates catches him clean. Good low kick for Gates, and another. Moraga says he got hit below the belt but Herzog missed it. Gates jumps on the opportunity and cracks him good. Moraga drops! Gates lunges on top of him and hunts for the rear-naked. Wow, Moraga sweeps into top position! Crazy action here. Gates kicks him off and we're back to where we started. Moraga hard digs to the body. Weird round to score. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gates.
Round 2: Moraga blocks a high kick and answers by going low. Gates ducks under a right hook. Moraga wades forward into the clinch then cracks Gates good with a high kick. Moraga in full-on stalk mode as he bulls Gates into the fence. Moraga scoring with short elbows and knees. The pace slows significantly until Herzog finally gives into the boos and separates it. Gates tries to close the distance only to get reversed back onto the fence. Moraga wanted to slow this fight down and he did just that. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Moraga. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Moraga immediately closes the distance and gets the fight back to the fence. He gives up on his double let attempt, aaaannnd a huge fight erupts in the crowd. Knew you wouldn't let me down, Phoenix. Moraga continues to grind Gates down against the fence. He's fishing for a guillotine and he nearly gets it. Gates sinks to the mat and Moraga starts blasting him with elbows. Moraga mounted on his back with both hooks in now, still unloading with elbows. Gates just trying to survive. Moraga sinks in a rear-naked and that's that.
John Moraga def. Willie Gates via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:06 of R3
Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Round 1: Alright y'all, last prelim here. Winner likely gets a strawweight title shot against the newly crowned Carla Esparza. Al Guinee is our referee. Gadelha the aggressor early. Gadelha wades inside and trades a hard exchange with Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk wants to throw hands again, but Gadelha drives her into the fence. Great takedown defense from Jedrzejczyk as Gadelha hunts for the trip. Gadelha keeps at it though and finally wrestles Jedrzejczyk down, landing in half guard. Gadelha floats right into mount. She's working on an arm triangle but can't get it. Jedrzejczyk props her back against the fence as she looks to stand. He climbs to her feet but Gadelha is relentless with her double. Jedrzejczyk finally breaks free and reverses. Front kick from Jedrzejczyk, and another. Huge uppercut drops Gadelha! Wow! Jedrzejczyk swarms to finish but can't find her mark as the round ends. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Jedrzejczyk.
Round 2: Gadelha seems to have recovered from that nasty shot. Gadelha immediately closes the distance and dumps Jedrzejczyk onto the mat. Jedrzejczyk trying to use the fence to stand, and she does just that. Gadelha again relentless on that double leg attempt, but again Jedrzejczyk defends and releases. Back to the center of the cage and they start slugging. Jedrzejczyk unloading bursts of jabs and crosses in rapid succession. Big exchanges here as both women swinging for that one-hitter quitter. Gadelha changes levels for a throw and finishes it, settling inside Jedrzejczyk's guard. Jedrzejczyk scoots over to the fence and stands. Going to be an interesting round to score. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gadelha. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Jedrzejczyk looking to mix it up, and whoa, Gadelha is bleeding badly after an incidental headbutt. Nasty cut over her left eye. The doctor takes a look and we're good to go. Oh, Gadelha cracks Jedrzejczyk good with a left in an exchange. Big takedown from Gadelha as she establishes top position inside Jedrzejczyk's guard. Jedrzejczyk scoots to the fence. Jedrzejczyk tries to stand but gets tossed back by Gadelha. Gadelha goes to work on the ground with short elbows and punches. Blood everywhere as these two women battle for the No. 1 contendership. Jedrzejczyk guts up to her feet, but Gadelha isn't giving her an inch of space along the fence. The crowd getting restless here as Gadelha continues to hunt for the takedown. Thirty seconds left as Jedrzejczyk reverses and finally frees herself. Jedrzejczyk goes for broke and lands a few good shots but it's too little, too late. Whoa there! Gadelha totally just Paul Daley'd Jedrzejczyk after the bell, hitting her with a right hook. That was blatant. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gadelha. (29-28 Gadelha.)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Claudia Gadelha via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)