This is the UFC 196 undercard blog for the UFC 196 event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday night.
There will be seven fights on the UFC 196 undercard. Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada, Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb, Vitor Miranda vs. Marcelo Guimaraes, Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly, Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller, Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo, and Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara will be featured.
Check out the UFC 196 undercard live blog below.
Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara
Round 1: And we're rolling. The McGregor show is back in Las Vegas, and this time it's got a little 209 flavor. But first things first: we have an undercard to cover. These first three contests are on UFC Fight Pass. TUF veterans kicking things off in the featherweight division. Chris Tognoni is the third man in the cage. They touch 'em up and we're off. Quick high kick from Ishihara off the glove touch. Erosa, the much larger man, lands a push kick. Big one-two from Ishihara drops Erosa! Erosa recovers and stands. Ishihara connects with a hard inside leg kick. And another. This time Ishihara fakes low then goes high with his kick. Erosa rushes inside and eats a looping left. Erosa catches a leg but can't do anything with it. Nice push kick from Erosa, which puts Ishihara's butt on the mat. He pops back up but Erosa clinches then drives Ishihara to the fence. Tognoni breaks it up. Ishihara opens up immediately and cracks Erosa, only to get dumped onto his back. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Ishihara.
Round 2: They're taking their time, throwing out a few soft kicks. Erosa abruptly rushes inside and gets clipped with a huge counter left hook! Erosa drops! Ishihara follows with another crushing left hand and hammerfists. That's all she wrote! Out cold. Ishihara, who can't speak a lick of English, proceeds to tell Las Vegas: "I love you, my bitches!" Excellent.
UFC 196 official results: Teruto Ishihara def. Julian Erosa via KO (strikes) at :34 of round two
Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo
Round 1: Lightweights up next. Yves Lavigne is the referee in charge of the action. Saggo blocks a high kick, then goes low with an inside leg kick. So far we're seeing a feeling out process as both men find their range. Salas rushes inside and dumps Saggo onto his back, landing inside his full guard. Saggo uses an omoplata to reverse into top control. Slick stuff there. Saggo is working from side control. Saggo goes knee-on-belly then takes Salas' back. One hook in for Saggo, and there's the second. He flattens Salas out and this could be the end. Saggo just unloading with heavy punches. It's over. Tremendous show of patience and grappling technique from Saggo.
UFC 196 official results: Jason Saggo def. Justin Salas via TKO (punches) at 4:31 of round one
Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller
Round 1: Experience galore inside this cage right now. I have no clue how these two haven't fought sooner. Sanchez is back to being the "Nightmare," finally. Chris Tognoni is the third man in the cage. Let's do it. Sanchez rushes inside and hunts for a single leg! They're already trading! Miller creates some distance then misses with a left. Miller goes to his outside leg kick. Nice one-two from Miller. Miller pressures Sanchez into the fence and lets loose. Sanchez circles out, then changes levels for a double. He gets it. Sanchez is in top position but he can't generate any space from Miller's closed guard. Sanchez finally stands, then throws Miller's leg aside and settles into half guard. Short punches and elbows from Sanchez. Surprisingly disciplined round for the Nightmare. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Sanchez.
Round 2: Miller goes back to his inside leg kick and takes the legs out from underneath Sanchez. And another. Sanchez lunges inside with a knee to the dome. Miler answers by cracking a right into the body of Sanchez. Sanchez storms forward and takes Miller to the canvas, landing in half guard. This is a bad spot for Miller. Miller looks to stand, connects with a few slicing elbows to the head, then retakes his feet. Miller hangs back and lands a nice counter knee to the body. Miller staggers Sanchez with a high kick! Miller rushes inside with an elbow but slips! Sanchez gives him a swift knee to the body on the way up. Sanchez eats another right hand, then hunts for a double. Miller stuffs it and locks up a front choke! Hard knees to the body from Miller! Sanchez escapes and continues to pursue a single leg. Miller reverses and takes the back! Great scrambling there. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Miller. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Sanchez rushes out and immediately eats a hard left. Sanchez catches a leg but can't get the takedown. Miller lands a sharp right. Another left hand lands for Miller. Sanchez misses badly on a spinning back kick. Sanchez continues to walk forward. He's starting to open up a bit now. The crowd swells behind Sanchez. Miller dodges a spinning back kick, then lunges inside and whiffs on a right. Sanchez shoots but can't complete the takedown. This round is still up for grabs. Both fighters jab. Sanchez goes over the top with a right. Miller dives low for a double but can't get it. Thirty seconds left. Miller rushes in and briefly gets taken off his feet. Miller is back up and he lands a heavy left! Man, that was a super close round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Sanchez. (29-28 Sanchez.)
UFC 196 official results: Diego Sanchez def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly
Round 1: Chuck Mindenhall here taking over. Referee for this one is Yves Lavigne. They touch them up. Elkins steps in first, trying to connect with a couple. Body shot from Skelly, and for a moment Elkins took a knee. Now he's pushing the action to the fence, and he has Skelly up on the links. Knees to the body, and Elkins doing what he do — landing gritty stuff inside. They break. Nice stiff left from Skelly as Elkins came in. Now they exchange on the fence, and Skelly lands several big shots in a rude exchange there. A couple of those were big shots that hurt Elkins. Now Elkins trips Skelly and takes him down, and Skelly looking for a leg lock. Elkins spinning, and the heel hook in play! Elkins defends, and now Skelly trying for the other leg. Elkins is still trying desperately to spin out of them, but Skelly is relentless. Now he's free, and Elkins landing shots from his knee. They are up. Elkins with a headlock, and he lands from inside. Now they separate. Elkins surges forward with a combo, but lands only the last shot. So far Skelly the more effective. They clinch in the middle of the cage, and Elkins lands a series of uppercuts. Nice sequence for Elkins. They clinch again, and this time Skelly moves the action to the fence, and lands some nice knees to the body — and takes a couple too. They rotate. Elkins pushes the action off the fence, and they come clean. Nice long right hand there from Elkins, who again ducks his head and grinds Skelly into the fence. Round ends there. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Skelly, 10-9.
Round 2: Elkins comes in on a missed high kick and tries to take Skelly's head off with a combo. They clinch in the middle, and there's a pretty good exchange. Elkins ducks and puts Skelly on the fence, then dumps him there where he stood. Now Elkins is trying to get some G&P going, yet again Skelly attacks the leg. Can't get anything, and there's a scramble attempt — Elkins coolly controls it and ends up back on top. He's back to work, as Skelly raises his hips off the canvas for leverage. Side control for Elkins, who has Skelly's arm trapped. Big shots from Elkins. Relentless. He's just hammering away. Skelly now turtled for a second. Skelly struggling back to his feet, and Elkins right on top of him — just slamming his fists into Skelly, and now knees. Skelly on his feet on fence, but he's practically wearing Elkins on his back. Elkins drops back to his knees, lifts Skelly up to drop him down. All Elkins, who is back on top and in side control. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Skelly now waving his hand out there hoping to deflect the blows that Elkins is raining down. Big hammerfists from Elkins. Elkins flirting with a head and arm choke. Can't get it. Instead he goes back to the G&P, big shots — now working the body. All Elkins that round. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Elkins, 10-9 (19-19 overall)
Round 3: Skelly's corner told him not to allow takedowns. Body kick from Elkins, and now a big shot as he immediately takes Skelly's back on his feet, and swerves the action to the fence There he drags him to the canvas. He's all over Skelly again. Skelly stands up, but Elkins posted into his chest, and has him working from suffocation. All Elkins again early in this one, as he again drops Skelly. Elkins now landing brutal elbows. Now as Skelly tries to roll out, Elkins looks for a rear naked — can't get it, and that allows Skelly to scramble back up to his feet. They reset. Elkins at center, and throws a wild combo from there. Nothing lands. Skelly definitely has been fading since midway through R2. Elkins lands a nice punch and rolls around. Again, he comes in with a barrage of punches, and then used the aggression to take Skelly down by the fence — his fifth takedown. He's fishing out Skelly's neck, looking for a choke. Skelly keeping his head down to limit his neck. Now he turns around and gets back to his feet. It's Skelly who has the pressure for the moment, leaning into Elkins on fence. They break. Skelly backs Elkins down, and throws some punches there — not much mustard on them. Nice right hand from the Indiana native. They trade towards the end, but Elkins really made this his fight. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Elkins, 10-9 (29-28 for Elkins overall)
UFC 196 official results: Darren Elkins def. Chas Skelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Vitor Miranda vs. Marcelo Guimaraes
Round 1: Referee for this middleweight bout is Chris Tognoni. They touch gloves. High kick from Miranda his forearms, but the follow-up push kick nearly cleans a clock. Now Guimaraes leans in and pushes Miranda straight back to fence, and from there goes to work. Miranda trying to pry loose. Guimaraes working for a take down with the underhooks. He drops to his knees and Miranda sprawls, and lands elbows as he does. They scramble as Miranda's legs go skyward, but Guimaraes ends up on top of Miranda on fence. Miranda, his back to the links, able to scoot up to his feet, but Guimaraes is right there on him. Finally the referee steps in and separates them. Nice trade in the middle, as the jabs come furious. Nice head kick from Miranda, but it doesn't land clean. Body kick now. Miranda on his bike, but Guimaraes comes flying in winging punches, and Miranda finds himself once again on the fence under siege. Guimaraes toiling there again. Ref warns Guimaraes to not grab fence. Guimaraes dropping knees into Miranda's thighs. He drops low, but can't get the takedown as Miranda slams downward elbows into his crown. Those were landing. Damn. But Guimaraes takes them and stays on, toiling on the fence. Miranda sprawling when necessary. The referee again separates them, and Miranda waves a high kick right by Guimaraes' chin. Guimaraes is handling himself pretty well in space, too, and he lands a leg kick. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Guimaraes, 10-9.
Round 2: They touch gloves again. Front kick from Guimaraes, who continues to pressure. Now he moves in with a couple of wild shots, and back to the fence we go. Guimaraes pressuring, trying to once again put Miranda on his back. Some inside punches from Guimaraes, dirty boxing, but Miranda lands a series of elbows that seem to hurt him there. Could see him buckle. They break, and Miranda lands a head kick! Now he follows up with a couple of big shots and the referee stops the fight. Wow. Miranda had him hurt from the elbows, and then when he got back up, in space, hit him with a couple of punches and then just blasted him with a head kick, right leg. Damn nice finish for Lex Luthor.
UFC 196 official results: Vitor Miranda def. Marcelo Guimaraes via TKO (strikes) at 1:09 of R2
Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
Round 1: Referee for this one is Herb Dean. They touch gloves. Taleb lands first, as he goes into herky-jerky motion. Very unique switching of stances for Taleb. Sliva dekes like he wants to come in, but doesn't — trying to figure out his timing. He swings big with a right hand but doesn't connect. There's Taleb with a switch kick, and then a nice shot to the head. Big leg kick from Silva. Taleb continues to shift, and Silva tries to slam a spinning kick to the body home. Got through a little bit. Silva misses again. He's throwing heat, just not connecting. Taleb looks like he might have rolled his ankle a bit...Taleb waving his jab, and then goes high with a kick that glances off of Silva's head. Now Silva throws a body kick and Taleb catches it and throws him to the ground. Things heating up now. Silva back up, and Taleb waves him forward. Left jab from Taleb. Silva comes in and wildly throws, can't connect. Taleb coolly lets him pass and punishes him with a counter. Taleb giving Silva ton to think about with each shot set up. Nice jab there from Taleb lands, and Silva rushes in for a takedown but goes careening into the fence. Round ends. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Taleb, 10-9.
Round 2: Leg kick from Taleb. He's the more methodical/technical of the two. Silva with a push kick. He wants to get this thing into a brawl; so far Taleb not accommodating. Push kick again from Silva, and he's trying to push the action. Body kick from Taleb, Body kick from Silva, and then on the followup kick he catches it and slams a HUGE right hand home on Silva. That's it! He knocked him out. What a punch. He caught the kick and just let loose with a right hand, right down the hatch. Silva was out on impact, it looked like. Taleb with a follow-up, but it's academic. That's it.
UFC 196 official results: Nordine Taleb def. Erick Silva via KO (punch) at 1:34 of R2
Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Round 1: Big fight for Thatch here, with his two-fight skid after the initial hype. John McCarthy is the third man. Brittney blows the kisses...and here we go. They touch gloves. Bahadurzada holding center, just pivoting around as Thatch circles. Thatch with an early kick, and now a leg kick. Another one, and this time Bahadurzada catches it and throws him off balance. Nothing happening. Thatch switching stances and circling, throwing the odd kick. He's long. There's a leg kick, and then a body kick. So far Bahadurzada standing still, until then — he comes forward winging, and he lands a couple of those shots. Big wide punches from Bahadurzada, this time Thatch wheels out of harm's way. Quick hands from Bahadurzada, and they clinch. Thatch backs Bahadurzada up to the fence, and they trade knees to the body. They break. Bahadurzada keeping his chin tucked down. Nice exchange from Bahadurzada as Thatch comes in, he slams him with several big shots, including an uppercut. Thatch responds wit ha couple of beautiful shots in close himself. He tries a spinning elbow. Now he tackles Bahadurzada, and that sets up a roar from the crowd. Now as he tries to advance, Bahadurzada reverses and he's in side control. Now full guard, and Thatch is fishing for a triangle. Not there, can't get it. Elbows from the bottom from Thatch, as Bahadurzada tries to posture up and get space. Now Thatch scrambles to get to his feet, and Bahadurzada snatches up his legs and keeps him supine. Baby punches from Thatch, as he has his back against the fence still on his butt. Bahadurzada keeping the pressure. Thatch can't get up...until the very end, and as he does Bahadurzada is on his back. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Bahadurzada, 10-9
Round 2: A little swelling under Bahadurzada's eye. They touch them up. Front kick lands to Bahadurzada's face, and now he opens fire with a straight left that lands. Early trouble for Bahadurzada, who then takes Thatch down. That'll kill some momentum. Bahadurzada in Thatch's guard, trying to straighten up. He does, and comes down with a couple of left hammerfists. McCarthy warns Bahadurzada to keep busy. Thatch scrambles, but the New Mexico fighter keeps him reined in. Hammerfists from Bahadurzada, as Thatch begins throwing back from bottom — he's landing, too. Bahadurzada postures up and lands a clean left, but Thatch snugs him back in. McCarthy sees the stall, and stands them up. Leg kick by Thatch back on the feet, and then a right hand lands flush. He tries a high kick, but that's errant. Thatch comes in with the clinch, and there's a knee from Bahadurzada — who then takes Thatch back down. Thatch sucking wind, somewhat surprising coming from Colorado. This time Bahadurzada trying to be busier, landing from Thatch's guard. Elbow lands. Hammerfists, too. Thatch looking for an armbar, and he's getting blasted as he does. All Bahadurzada here. Thatch trying to unload from the bottom as he can, but not affecting Bahadurzada. Big hammerfists from Bahadurzada as Thatch wiggles backwards. He isn't going anywhere. Round ends in just that way. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Bahadurzada, 10-9 (20-18 overall)
Round 3: Final round. They touch gloves again; Thatch's corner was asking him to keep the fight standing and to knock him out. Thatch comes in and Bahadurzada throws wild punches, one of them landing. The right hand, which he hammers home again. Thatch coming in, and he ends up falling backwards with Bahadurzada on top of him. Bahadurzada comes to life landing huge shots, in succession, as Thatch takes them. He recovers just enough to keep the fight going. Still, Bahadurzada is relentlessly going about taking the will from Thatch. He has nothing for him from the bottom, and that's where he's spent the bulk of the fight. Bahadurzada with his head planted into Thatch's chest, and he easily postures up and slams him with a couple of right hands. As the action stifles, McCarthy stands them. Midway through the round. Thatch going to need a knockout. Thatch pursuing, as Bahadurzada rolls around. Just as Thatch looks in, Bahadurzada easily takes him down right in the middle of the cage. Fourth takedown for Bahadurzada. Thatch really huffing from bottom, but at this point he doesn't have much hope. Bahadurzada in Thatch's guard, and landing shots. A minute to go. What a frustrating fight for Thatch. Siyar now working on a side choke — arm triangle — and he's locking it up...and there's the tap. Thatch taps out! He was out of the fight, and finally gets caught in the end.
UFC 196 official results: Siyar Bahadurzada def. Brandon Thatch via submission (arm-triangle) at 4:11 of R3