+15.38 Alan Patrick def. Garett Whiteley by TKO, 3:48 round 1
+13.55 Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Pierce by Submission (Heel Hook), 0:31 round 1
As much as I thought Palhares had a better than expected chance of winning, I was surprised at how easily he got the job done. There’s little doubt that Pierce trained specifically to defend the heel hook… but getting heel hooked by Palhares is a different kind of experience. As usual Palhares held onto the submission way too long and was punished by the UFC for it. Why does Palhares do this, other than to hurt his opponent more than necessary? It’s obvious to everybody that the fight is being stopped but then he only torques the submission hold further. Hopefully Palhares having lighter pockets will motivate him to change.
+8.23 Yan Cabral def. David Mitchell by Decision (Unanimous)
+3.03 Thiago Silva def. Matt Hamill by Decision (Unanimous)
Adventures in Fight IQ – yes, it’s true that Hamill was 3/14 on takedown attempts in this fight. But watching the fight, it seemed like Hamill never was truly committed to taking Silva down and controlling him on the ground. That might just be a lack of good takedown offense on Hamill’s part but it really seemed like his preference was to stand and strike. He actually kept up with Silva until he gassed out badly. This is the kind of fight where both fighters come off very poorly. Who wants to watch fat Thiago Silva or gassed Matt Hamill again? Anybody?
+3.00 Fabio Maldonado def. Joey Beltran by Decision (Split)
One thing “significant strikes” and Fight Score don’t account for is how hard each strike is. It seemed that while Maldonado landed more significant strikes (87-57), Beltran’s strikes were harder and did more damage. I don’t think Maldonado being called the winner is a poor decision, but I also see why some thought Beltran did enough to win.
+2.93 Dong Hyun Kim def. Erick Silva by KO, 3:01 round 2
It’s obvious that FPR’s declaration of Kim as a 90% favorite to beat Silva was way, way off. The reality is that Kim was well on his way to losing when he suddenly knocked Silva out. I still think that Silva is a flawed and overrated fighter, but he’s very aggressive with terrific finishing ability. He was obviously better than Kim standing and did a good job defending most of Kim’s takedown attempts. Silva needs to figure out how to have more controlled aggression because he’s too talented to not become a welterweight title contender.
+0.89 Chris Cariaso def. Iliarde Santos by TKO, 4:31 round 2
+0.26 Jake Shields def. Demian Maia by Decision (Split)
FPR nailed this one as a narrow victory for Shields. It was actually the grappling of Shields that earned him the victory as Maia edged him 3-1 in takedowns but Shields was able to reverse position multiple times. As I expected Shields also landed more significant strikes in the fight, 35-24. It was a very close fight as the Fight Score of +0.26 indicates, but I think Shields was the deserving winner in the end.
-1.53 Igor Araujo def. Ildemar Alcantara by Decision (Unanimous)
-2.53 Raphael Assuncao def. T.J. Dillashaw by Decision (Split)
This is the one decision I thought the judges got wrong. Don’t get me wrong, Dillashaw didn’t live up to the expectations I had of him. I thought his striking would translate better to tougher competition. Even so, the significant strike total was 32-29 in Assuncao’s favor while Dillashaw landed two takedowns and attempted three submissions. In a fight that was even on the feet, I thought Dillashaw’s grappling was enough to deserve the decision victory.