This is the UFC 197 undercard blog for the UFC 197 event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday night.
There will be seven fights on the UFC 195 undercard. Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Kelades, Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele, Carla Esparza vs. Juliana Lima, Glaico Franca vs. James Vick, Walt Harris vs. Cody East, Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Clint Hester, and Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee will be featured.
Check out the UFC 197 undercard live blog below.
Round 1: Here we go with the first fight of the night. Escudero heads to the octagon listening to a Mexican ranchera while Lee waits in the octagon. Both fighters move to the center of the octagon and the fight is on! Lee circles around Escudero and lands several solid jabs. Lee is looking sharp, landing straight punches on Escudero's face. Escudero is trying to fire back, but nothing is landing solid. Escudero clinches Lee and slams him on the ground. Lee right back up. It's Lee that now controls Escudero on the cling and looks to take him down. Escudero defends well and both fighters resume the stand up battle. Escudero tags Lee with an upper cut and follows up with a nice combination. Ten seconds left and Escudero clinches Lee against the cage.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-10, tied up.
Round 2: Second round starts and Escudero shoots for a nice takedown but Lee defends well. Both fighters land solid strikes, but nothing big. It's Lee that looks for the takedown and clinches Escudero against the cage. They break away from the cage. Escudero catches a kick and pushes Lee against the cage. Both fighters trade knees from the clinch. Not much action going on here. Thirty seconds remaining. Lee sticks with straight punches and lands a few solid shots on Escudero.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Lee.
Round 3: Third and final round. Lee starts off with an interesting stance, raising his arms up high. Escudero lands groin shot on Lee. Lee looks in pain and referee pauses the right. The fight continues. Escudero presses Lee against the cage, lands knees to Lee's thighs. Lee counters and takes down Escudero. Lee advances to half guard and begins to land ground and pound on Escudero. The Mexican fighter doesn't seem to be trying to escape, maybe looking for a stand up. Lee goes for a guillotine from the top but Escudero escapes. Escudero recovers guard and Lee begins to land elbows from the top. Ten seconds left. Lee keeps the pressure and ends on top.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Lee, 30-28 overall.
Round 1: Second fight of the night is up. Dan Miragliotta is the referee for this fight. No glove touch here. Rogerio de Lima unloading heavy leg kicks on Hester. Rogerio de Lima tags Hester and rushes on top. Rogerio de Lima lima moves to half guard and begins punching Hester's face. Three minutes remaining. Rogerio de Lima doing just enough to avoid a stand up. Rogerio de Lima moves to mount and Hester doesn't seem to be trying to escape. Hester hip escapes and recovers half guard. Rogerio de Lima keeps landing shots on Hester. The American now has full guard, but Rogerio de Lima postures up and lands big shots on Hester. The Brazilian passes guard and sinks in an arm triangle from side control. And that's it, Hester taps out, losing via first round submission.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Clint Hester via submission (arm triangle) (Round 1, 4:35)
Walt Harris vs. Cody East
Round 1: Last fight of the Fight Pass prelims is up. The referee for this one will be Mark Smith. A lot of feints from both heavyweights. East with a nice combination. Harris throws a big head kick but misses. Solid kick to the body by East. Three minutes left and Harris gets kicked in the nuts. Referee warns East of the groin shot and the fight is back on. Two minutes left and the two heavyweight begin to brawl it out. The crowd cheers, but noting solid lands. Boom! Harris drops East with a left hand, jumps on top and begins to drop bombs on East. East defends well but several shots filter through. The referee has seen enough and stops the fight. A bloody East seems to be complaining about the stoppage, but it looked like the right call.
Walt Harris def. Cody East via technical knockout (Round 1, 4:18)
Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
Round 1: Referee is this one is Dan Miragliotta. No touch of gloves. Leg kick from Franca, and Vick with an uppercut, and he gets taken down immediately. Full guard here for Vick. Vick scooting rapidly to the fence, where he's trying to get his back on the links. He's back up. Franca keeps him posted there. Immediately Franca drags him back down. He's in Vick's guard, and right now just in control zone. Vick on the scoot again, this time Franca is trapping his leg with his own to keep him bound to the canvas. Futile attempt to stand there for Vick. Franca not getting any G&P yet, but controlling Vick, and keeping him frustrated on his back. Vick fishing for guillotine. Never anything that looks close to materializing (as of yet). Vick stands. Franca stays on him. and leans him back into fence. Nullifying game plan or Franca, and Miragliotta says separate. They reset. Franca got poked in the eye, but ref didn't see it. That looks to have affected him a bit. Spinning kick from Vick lands solid to Franca's torso. No Franca ducks under a strike and takes Vick back down in the middle of the cage. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Franca, 10-9.
Round 2: They took a long, hard look at Franca's eye to see if he's okay between rounds. Doctor just asked, didn't hold up fingers. Anyway, we're back on. Vick trying to land upstairs on Franca, throwing combos up top. He's landing now, too! The left hand lands. Vick coming to life, with an uppercut, and then a right. Vick very good movement in this round, just picking apart Franca and then rolling. Spinning backfist lands from Franca, and now he shoots in and takes Vick back down. Vick not giving him nearly enough resistance on these, but Vick does have jitz, and is decent from his back. He scoots back to fence, and Franca stays right on him. Vick now with his back on the fence, and trying to do as much damage as he can with baby hammerfists. He's back up. Vick is once again freelancing from range while on feet, and boom, nice left uppercut. Franca lands a lunging right there, too. Vick still getting the better of these exchanges. Vick very controlled on the feet, very poised. Leg kick there from Vick, as Franca reduced to countering. Vick just having his way, teeing off from the feet — though Franca is wheeling and throwing. Vick rolls around and lands several left jabs. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Vick, 10-9 (19-19)
Round 3: This one felt destined for the scorecards on that first takedown from Franca. But Vick turning the tables in the second. He is back to tagging Franca early in the third. Couple of stiff left jabs from Vick, and he's mobile. He keeps rolling around staying out of range. Spinning backfist attempt from Franca misses. It's a game of pursuit from Franca, who is trying to cut Vick off. Overhand right from Franca doesn't get through. Vick now puts his head down and presses Franca to the fence, and can't get anything done there. They break. Vick better on his horse, anyway, making Franca try and chase him down. Not that Vick isn't initiating the contact — most times he is. Couple more jabs from Vick, and he does a lap around the cage. Flying knee well-timed from Vick, and that crashes right into Franca's chin. Wow. But Franca, perhaps a little desperately, moving after him. Vick has made this his fight, but right then Franca lands a big strike! Vick coolly walks it off. Franca loading up on the right, but it's telegraphed, and Vick easily steps clear of it. Front kick from Vick lands flush! Wow. This fight will end, and looks like Vick's. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Vick, 10-9 (29-28 overall for Vick)
Round 1: John McCarthy is the ref for this one. Been 13 months since Esparza lost her belt. She returns. Esparza in the center, and they are feeling each other out right now. Lima very low, anticipating take down attempt. Now Esparza comes in swinging, and Lima tries to take her down — can't get it done. But Lima ties Esparza up and shoves her into fence, and now she's working with underhooks in. Esparza escapes, and take down. Full guard for Lima, and Lima looking for armbar from bottom. Very active from her back. Esparza swivels and trying to get some room to blast her. They are spinning around as Esparza emerges in Lima's half-guard. She postures up trying to get to mount, but can't and back to guard. A slam from Esparza, trying to wrest herself free from Lima's clutch. She remains on top, but Lima is definitely threatening. Upkick from LIma lands! But Esparza goes through the next one and right back into guard. Now she's trying to get in side control. Esparza landing from the top now, nothing greatly clean, but adding the shots up. Another upkick as Esparza stands, and then a series of others. Esparza staying busy, landing from top. Think Lima may have sneakily won that round with upkicks and bottom offensive threats. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Lima, 10-9
Round 2: Esparza circles from deep range. She's looking to shoot. Lima swings with a right hook. The exchanges are brief when they happen from this range. FInally Esparza sees her moment and shoots in for a takedown, and gets it. Esparza with some knees into Lima's thigh. Lima very active from the ground again. Esparza trying to pass into side control, and doing little damage with her punches as she does. Lima landing elbows from bottom. She's been pretty effective from her back. Yet this time Esparza is doing much better on top. She's landing the right hand. Esparza stands, and the upkicks again — Lima has been landing with those. Esparza swims back into her guard, and slams Lima down trying to pry her loose. Top control is all Esparza's, but she's having difficultly capitalizing in full. Another slam. These are violent, just trying for room. Hammefists from Esparza, and now LIma trying to attack the leg. That enables her to scramble and get to her feet. And Lima returns the favor and takes Esparza down; that was short-lived. Right back up. Lima posts Esparza on the fence, and the round ends there. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Esparza, 10-9 (19-19 overall)
Round 3: Big right hand from Esparza misses. It's all set up; we know what she wants to do. And she does, she gets a single-leg on Lima, this time right in the middle of the Octagon. She's trying to posture up, and Lima peppering her with baby strikes. More knees from Esparza into Lima's thigh. Esparza continues to control Lima on the ground, posturing up but still caught in the web of limbs. Esparza stands, and once again eats an upkick. Esparza shoots in for a take down the moment Lima stands up, and right back down she goes — this time fishing for a guillotine. Not there. Lima back up. Esparza looks at the clock. Esparza lands a right hand, and that sets up another takedown. Side control this time, and Lima huffing air. Lima still trying Esparza up with her arms, but Esparza in control. Now Lima sweeps and ends up in side control herself! What a switch. Lima might need to finish, as it seems Esparza is winning the round, Esparza pivots and now Lima in her half-guard. Lima trying desperately to improve her position, but this should be Esparza's fight. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Esparza, 10-9 (29-28 overall for Esparza)
UFC 197 official results: Carlo Esparza def. Juliana Lima by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
Round 1: Herb Dean the ref. Nice kick from Roberts. Steele lands a huge right hand, and that sends Roberts back to the canvas. Steele comes in, and is landing elbows. Side control. He's immediately all over the Blackzilians' fighter. Now Roberts recovers back to full guard. Steele cutting off Roberts' breathing with his hand. Roberts now scrambles, and they are back up. Steele posts Roberts on the fence, and he's working from there. Roberts with a nice knee to the body from the clinch, and they break. Back to center, Roberts sizing Steele up. Kick to the body by Roberts lands. Great punch from Roberts to Steele's body, and that hurt. Now Roberts lowers himself and plows forward, pushing Steele into the fence. Knee to the body from Roberts, and another knee into his midsection. Steele lifts Roberts off his feet, and slams him down, but Roberts was holding on tight. Steele remains on top, doing work. Roberts back up and Steele lands a couple of big shots from the subsequent clinch. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Steele, 10-9.
Round 2: Steele right back to work, shoots for take down after exchange. He's got Robert's lead leg, and trying him down. Can't. They clinch, and Roberts gets turned back onto the fence. Steele lands a shot, and off-balance Roberts spills on the canvas, but he's back up. They trade, and Steele lands a knee in the clinch. Pretty good fight, a lot of big sequences. Roberts heavy leg kick lands. There's a big combo from Roberts, and the right off the left lands flush. Steele lowers and now shoves Roberts to the fence. Roberts keeps on, and Steele just relentlessly forcing the action. Swing and a miss from Roberts, and on the miss Steele grabs his head and lands a knee in the clinch. Elbow from Roberts. Steele just pressuring here. Big sequence from Roberts on fence, clean combo caught Steele. They break. Another exchange, and Roberts ends up on his knees, as Steele jumps on him. He powers back up, and they are on the fence, with Steele resting while holding his back. Elbow from Roberts. MMA Fighting leans towards Roberts in R2, 10-9 (19-19 overall)
Round 3: Roberts with a left hand that stopped Steele in his tracks. But he recovers, and Roberts gets lifted off his feet and brought down. Steele dogged, staying on him, elbows from Roberts fending him off. They are back to their feet. They clinch, moving glacially backwards as Steele ends up pushing him away. Both guys wearing the toil now, and Steele sells out with a takedown attempt from one side of the cage to the other, and gets Roberts down. Roberts scoots to his butt, and now against the fence, landing elbows. Steele stays on him. Steele keeps on, and Roberts is pinned against the fence on his knees. Referee warns Steele to stay busy, as Roberts lands elbows to his temple. Dean has seen enough — he breaks them. Steele trying to strafe Roberts form range. Front kick, and then a backend right. Roberts lands a big shot on Steele! But he just goes right through it and takes Roberts down. Hell of a fight. Steele holding Roberts in place, and then slams Roberts with his knees as he stands. Steele trying for one more takedown before the bell. Hard fight to score. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Steele, 10-9 (29-28 for Steele overall).
UFC 197 official results: Danny Roberts def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Kelades
Round 1: Third man is Mark Smith. Pettis to center, and he deploys a couple of left jabs. Now Kelades ties him him momentarily, tries to land his own right. Pettis flickering early. Oblique kick from Pettis. Kelades can't seem to get inside to land, as Pettis keeping him off-balance with the kicks and op-top jazz. Now Kelades moves in again, and his aggression is punished from the retreating Pettis. Nice body kick from Kelades, who is literally trying to track Pettis down. Kelades grabs Pettis' leg, and drives him headlong into the fence. Now he's got Pettis wrangled, let's see what he can do. Baby hammerfists from Pettis, who now thrusts off the cage and Kelades stays with him. The grind is Kelades' play, but Pettis able to break. Kelades again lowers and pushes Pettis to the cage, but can't get any offensive from there. Pettis breaks, and now Pettis lands a takedown near center. Butterfly guard. Kelades defends well, and uses both legs to push Pettis off. They are back up. Sergio lands a very nice right hand. Kelades pushing forward, but again, having trouble getting inside. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Pettis, 10-9.
Round 2: Kelades to the center, and Pettis the one coming in with the odd shot and moving off. Now Kelades catches Pettis' foot and spins him to canvas. Kelades now in Pettis' guard, and Pettis looking for triangle...not there. Kelades remains controlling, and advances to half-guard. Nice sweep there from Pettis, and now he's in Kelades' guard. That was a great sequence. Pettis in no rush to stand, though. He's trying to get off some ground and pound. Elbows from Pettis now, too. Kelades is adjusting, and as Pettis begins to stand, Kelades grabs his leg looking for the sweep. Pettis stands, and Kelades grabs his leg and keeps him reined in. Kelades doing a good job of frustrating Pettis, as they clinch. Griming it up, is Kelades. He lands a knee on the break. And then strafes Kelades as he rushes forward with a stiff right. Right hand from Kelades lands, and now he ducks in for a takedown. Getting a little clumsy. Pettis with a nice right hand, and misses on a high kick. Kelades keeps coming though. Making Pettis work. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Pettis, 10-9 (20-18)
Round 3: Kelades coming forward again, and Pettis trying to pick him apart on the advance. Now they tie up, and Pettis sneaks a knee up to Kelades' chin. They are on fence, and Pettis in the dominant position. Kelades breaks, and they come together in the middle. It's Pettis who snatches a single-leg and spins Pettis down. Pettis now in Kelades' half-guard, and looking to exact some punishment. Finding little room to operate from top, Pettis posturing and now trying to step over to mount. Kelades doing a good job fending that off using butterfly guard, and now he gets to his knees. Looked like Pettis' mouthpiece came out. They are back. Kelades again moving forward, just presenting himself as a blitz, and Pettis ties him up and they go to fence. It's Pettis toiling for a takedown. Pettis might be trying to prove he can hang with a wrestler, grinding here. It's still Kelades throwing body punches from the clinch, and they are landing. They break inside a minute. Kelades drives Pettis into fence, and Pettis seeing if there's a guillotine to be had. Not there. They break, and Kelades with a right hand as a parting gift. Sergio trying for takedown at end, and Kelades sprawls. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Pettis, 10-9 (30-27 overall)
UFC 197 official results: Sergio Pettis def. Chris Kelades via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)