Welcome to Meat Wednesday’s coverage of the UFC 227 main card, airing live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The card is headlined by two championship rematches: Demetrius Johnson will defend his Flyweight strap for a record 12th time against Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, while Bantamweight Champ TJ Dillashaw will defend his belt against Alpha Male rival and former champion Cody Garbrandt. Following the recent superfight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, it is very possible that should Johnson successfully defend his belt, he will move up in weight to challenge the winner of Dillashaw vs Garbrandt.
While the rest of the card may not boast many high profile fighters, rest assured that there will be no shortage of talent, as a plethora of promising bantamweights will attempt to make a name for themselves off of the card’s double-championship billing.
Stay tuned for the Meat Boys’ live coverage of UFC 227, complete with round by round scoring of the main card.
Matt Sayles (7-1) vs Sheymon Moraes (9-2)
– Round 1: Sayles making his UFC debut here, trains with Dominic Cruz at Alliance MMA. 2mins in Moraes is getting the better of the exchanges on the feet. Good composure from Moraes, Sayles is unable to get any effective offense going. 10-9 Moraes.
– Round 2: Moraes continues to land the cleaner strikes through the opening minute. Commentators seem to be heavily favoring Sayles. Another strong round for Moraes as Sayles was unable to get much going. 10-9 Moraes (20-18).
– Round 3: Sayles is repeatedly complaining about eye pokes from Moraes, and the referee gives a warning. Rogan can’t say enough good things about Sayles, his cardio, footwork, etc. Sayles is turning up the pressure but still landing nothing significant, and needs a finish here for the win in my opinion. Sayles takes the third, although not all to convincingly. 10-9 Sayles, 29-28 Moraes.
Official Result: Sheymon Moraes defeats Matt Sayles via unanimous decision (29-28 x3). Rogan says match should have been a draw.
Ricardo Ramos (11-1) vs Kyung Ho Kang (14-7)
– Round 1: Kang is nicknamed “Mr. Perfect”, love the wrestling reference. Both fighters are very tall and lanky for this weight class. Rogan and DC were just unsure of what 10% of 135lbs is… Ramos is pressuring well, backing Kang up, but Kang is game to fire back with counter shots in the pocket. Tight first round, we’ll give it to Ramos for his pressure and octagon control. 10-9 Ramos.
– Round 2: Ramos pushes Kang back to the cage, landing hard body shots before Kang scores a big takedown. With Ramos on his back, Kang would dive into the Brazilian’s guard, only to end up in a tight knee bar. Kang slips out of it, only to end up on his back with Ramos now on top. Very tough round to score, as Kang had top control for longer but Ramos appeared to do more damage and attack better. 10-9 Ramos, 20-18
– Round 3: Great technical exchanges through the first 90 seconds of the round, with each fighter landing. Stiff jabs and low kicks from both fighters. Kang is landing more now, building off of leg kicks. Ramos drags Kang down, who hops right back to his feet as we move into the final 30 seconds. Very clean, crisp round for Kang, but it might not be enough. 10-9 Kang, 29-28 Ramos. Very close fight.
Official Decision: Ricardo Ramos defeats Kyung Ho Kang via Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Ricky Simon (13-1) vs Montel Jackson (6-0)
– Round 1: Ricky Simon rocking a hideously great Mullet-Mohawk, as UFC legend Frank Trigg serves as the bout’s referee. Jackson has a distinct height advantage over Simon. Less than a minute in and Simon attempts his first shot, but is unable to get Jackson down. Anik announces Jackson’s hands are bigger than those of HW Francis Ngannou. With 90 seconds left, Simon locks up a double leg and gets Jackson down, but is unable to keep him there. Though Simon pushed forward much of the round, he was unable to land anything or secure a meaningful takedown. 10-9 Jackson.
– Round 2: Jackson is opening up his striking more, as it appears he is starting to get his timing down to counter. Simon drags Jackson to the floor only to be reversed, ending up with Jackson on his back. Back on the feet two minutes in. Midway through the round, Simon still having trouble getting his offense going. The constant pressure from Simon looks to be wearing on Jackson, as Simon takes his back in the final minute, looking for a RNC. Much better round for Simon. 10-9 Simon, 19-19.
– Round 3: Early takedown from Simon, who gets too eager trying to take Jackson’s back and is bucked off. Jackson pushes forward with some strong knees and elbows, before Simon picks up a big takedown and moves right into mount. Jackson rolls over, giving up his back and his neck in the process with 2:30 still to go. Jackson gets back to his feet, but Simon drags him right back down. The cardio and relentless pressure of Simon is proving to be the difference in this fight. He’s like a mini Jon Fitch. Great fight from both fighters. 10-9 Simon, 29-28 Simon.
Official Decision: Ricky Simon defeats Montel Jackson via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Brett Johns (15-1) vs Pedro Munhoz (15-3)
– Round 1: Good even matchup early. Each fighter is throwing tight combinations in close, but they are both covering up well, avoiding any serious damage. Just like every other fight so far, a very close competitive round. I’m calling it 10-10 because nobody did enough to win the round.
– Round 2: Munhoz is unloading, but still not much is landing. Munhoz lands a body kick out of nowhere that crumples Johns. Munhoz swarms but is unable to put his injured foe away. Munhoz begins attacking with submissions, but Johns survives. Johns is having trouble staying on his feet, but Munhoz is having just as much trouble putting him away. Johns throws caution to the wind and begins unloading and landing on Munhoz. Johns gets dropped again in the final 30 seconds and somehow survives to see another round. 10-9 Munhoz, 20-19 Munhoz.
– Round 3: Munhoz lands another body shot that clearly hurts Johns. Munhoz tries to snatch a hold of a guillotine choke, before ending up in the half guard of Johns. Although Johns seems to be done, Munhoz is doing little to finish the fight as we approach the final minute. Great heart by Johns, but Munhoz did enough to take this one. 10-9 Munhoz, 30-28 Munhoz.
Official Decision: Pedro Munhoz defeats Brett Johns via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27).
Thiago Santos (17-6) vs Kevin Holland (13-3)
– Round 1: Holland comes into the bout making his UFC debut, a product of Dana White’s Contender’s Series. Holland with a huge reach advantage, let’s see if he’s able to utilize it. These guys look huge compared to all the bantamweights we’ve seen in the past few bouts. Holland latches on to a tight armbar early, but Santos is able to escape and take top control. Santos throws some elbows from the top, as Holland responds with elbows from the bottom. Holland attempts some creative upkicks before Santos drops back down into his opponent’s guard. Santos is posturing up and landing some heavy strikes. Back on the feet with 30 seconds to go, and it looks like Holland’s left eye may be closing up. 10-9 Santos.
– Round 2: Santos lands on a headkick before driving Holland back down to the mat. Santos moves into mount, and we can hear Holland talking to his opponent. Holland pushes off the cage and gets back to his feet. Santos unloads with a few heavy shots before dragging Holland back to the mat. Santos presses Holland up against the cage, when suddenly Holland snatches a kimura and utilizes it to perform a switch, right into side control. Holland drops a few elbows before passing into mount, and then back to side control. Great finish for Holland, was it enough to win him the round though? 10-9 Holland, 20-20.
– Round 3: Santos looks tired, as he is loading up on his shots now. Santos presses forward, taking Holland down and advancing into half guard. Santos is looking for an arm triangle, but he doesn’t quite have it wrapped up. The crowd begins to restlessly boo. The fighters are back on their feet midway through the round, as Santos begins to tee off on Holland. Holland shoots in, but gets caught in a front choke. Holland has shown flashes of crafty, creative offense, but it has been the technique of Santos that has dominated this fight. Santos looks for another arm triangle, and Holland is able to backflip out of it. Entertaining effort from Holland, especially on two weeks notice, but clearly a victory here from Thiago Santos. 10-9 Santos, 29-28 Santos.
Official Decision: Thiago Santos defeats Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision (29-27 x2, 29-26)
Polyana Viana (10-1) vs JJ Aldrich (6-2)
– Round 1: Aldrich pushing forward early, but it is Viana throwing more volume. Aldrich clinches before being reversed and pressed against the cage. JJ attempts to separate but Viana keeps a hold of her with her overhooks. The women finally split up with under two minutes to go. Viana looks very calm with her hands low. JJ presses Viana up against the cage before securing a takedown in the final 30 seconds. Not all too much activity from either lady this round, but Viana seemed to be more effective. 10-9 Viana.
– Round 2: Once again, Polyana almost looks too comfortable, with her hands very low. Aldrich clinches up and pushes Viana to the cage, but is unable to get her down, as referee Herb Dean asks for more action. Midway through the round and Aldrich is starting to connect with counter left hands. Viana is pushing forward with strikes but showing absolutely no defense whatsoever. Viana suddenly changes levels and pulls Aldrich down with under a minute to go. Viana attempts an armbar, but Aldrich is able to escape and ride out the round on top. 10-9 Aldrich, 19-19.
– Round 3: Viana is pushing forward early but is eating counter shots, almost entirely due to her lack of defense. Aldrich is now timing her shots on Viana. Aldrich secures a takedown. Halfway through the round, Aldrich maintains guard but is doing little to advance position. Herb stands them up with 90 seconds to go. Viana looks spent, as none of her strikes are coming close, and Aldrich is controlling the range. 10-9 Aldrich, 29-28 Aldrich.
Official Decision: JJ Aldrich defeats Polyana Viana via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
Cub Swanson (25-9) vs Renato Moicano (12-1)
– Round 1: Cub comes into this bout as one of the most legitimate gatekeepers in the division, if not the sport overall. Swanson has the ability to defeat just about anyone, except for world champions. Being in LA, we have a very pro-Swanson crowd on our hands. Mostly a feeling out process through the first two minutes, with Cub landing low kicks and Moicano landing stiff jabs. The fighters begin opening up halfway through the round. With two minutes to go, Moicano drops Swanson with another jab. Moicano keeps the pressure on, taking mount his wounded foe with 90 seconds to go in the round. Swanson regains half guard with a minute left. Moicano transitions to the back and locks in a rear naked choke. Swanson holds on briefly, before ultimately tapping out to the choke.
Official Decision: Renato Moicano defeats Cub Swanson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) @ 4:15 of Round 1. Moicano calls for a title shot and calls out Brian Ortega, while also requesting some time to take a much needed vacation with his wife.
UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (27-2) (C) vs Henry Cejudo (12-2)
– Round 1: Johnson enters this bout as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, and is widely considered by many to be the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, and the most complete mixed martial artist in the UFC. A win here for DJ would very likely clear out the division, opening Johnson up for a potential showdown with the winner of Dillashaw vs Gardbrandt at 135lbs. Great movement and footwork early from Johnson, and it suddenly looks like Cejudo may have rolled and broken his ankle. Two minutes in and it looks like Cejudo has shaken off the ankle problems. Cejudo is constantly switching his stance, but not throwing much as he seems unable to get down DJ’s timing. Cejudo with a brief swarm in the final minute, but all DJ through the first round here. 10-9 Johnson.
– Round 2: Johnson goes for a takedown early, but Cejudo is able to shrug him off. Halfway through the round, the fighters seem to be at a stalemate, as it appears Cejudo is taking the center. 90 seconds to go and we’re still seeing a lot of feinting and feeling out from these guys, before Cejudo locks up a takedown with a minute to go. Cejudo is in half guard and doing everything he can to keep Johnson down. 10-9 Cejudo. 19-19.
– Round 3: DJ takes the center to start the 3rd round, pushing Cejudo back to the cage. The fighters clinch, with Cejudo locking up a front headlock, before the fighters clinch along the cage. At the halfway point the fighters are in the center of the cage exchanging, neither man able to get the better of his opponent. Under two minutes and Cejudo is controlling the center. Cejudo shoots in and drags DJ down, who suddenly springs and bounces out of the tough spot. Great defense by the Champ. With 30 seconds left, DJ shoots in with a knee, which Cejudo catches and turns into a takedown. Johnson switches and escapes almost immediately. Incredibly tight round. 10-9 champion’s advantage, 29-28 DJ.
– Round 4: Through the first two minutes, both fighters are landing. Cejudo is holding the center, but DJ is doing everything right. Midway through, Cejudo locks up an impressive takedown on Johnson. Under two minutes, Cejudo moves into half guard with Johnson up against the cage. Cejudo is doing his best to maintain control while still throwing strikes and keeping busy. Johnson doing everything he can to get free but Cejudo is keeping him wrapped up. 10-9 Cejudo. 38-38.
– Round 5: We have a 2-2 fight coming into the fifth and final round, and that is something that you never hear in a Demetrious Johnson fight, so soak it in folks. Cejudo holding the center, but DJ landing the better strikes through the first minute. Cejudo looks to be timing a takedown. Two minutes in and it’s DJ ahead so far in the striking. Three minutes in, and Cejudo shoots in for a takedown along the cage. This is it for Cejudo, he needs to secure this takedown. DJ reverses, and pushes Cejudo up against the cage. Cejudo scores an inside trip and puts Johnson on his back. Johnson quickly gets back to his feet, as both fighters square off on the feet with a minute to go. 30 seconds left, and the fighters tentatively square off. An incredibly close fifth round. Cejudo brought an incredible game plan. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to wrest the title away from the champ. 10-9 Johnson. 48-47 Mighty Mouse.
Official Decision: Henry Cejudo defeats Demetrious Johnson via Split Decision (48-47 x2, 47-48). Dana White looked incredibly eager to wrap the belt around Cejudo’s waist. Almost to the extent that he wanted to put it on anybody, just to take it away from Johnson.
UFC Bantamweight Championship
TJ Dillashaw (16-3) (C) vs Cody Garbrandt (11-1)
– Round 1: The fact that both of these guys have one shot knockout power, at 135lbs, is absolutely insane. It’s extremely rare to see fighters with a blend of speed and power to the extent that Cody and TJ possess. Cormier lends credence to the tense atmosphere of the bout, saying his heart is beating out of his chest. It’s very rare that two Bantamweights square off with the finishing ability of heavyweights; not to mention these guys do not like each other one bit. TJ utilizing good footwork through the first two minutes, as Cody looks to be focusing on countering. Inside two minutes now and Cody clips TJ, but the Champion responds with a flurry of right hands that put Garbrandt down. Cody survives, and the two rivals square off with 90 seconds to go. Dillashaw continues to pressure Cody “No Love”, and he has him rocked with a minute to go. TJ lands a huge knee, posting Cody up against the cage, and teeing off with strikes before referee Herb Dean steps in to call the bout off. Incredible performance from Dillashaw, who defends his Bantamweight Championship with a stunning knockout of Cody Garbrandt.
Official Decision: TJ Dillashaw defeats Cody Garbrandt via TKO (Strikes) @ 4:10 of Round 1.
The win here cements Dillashaw as the absolute best in the division. It’s unfortunate that Demetrious Johnson did not win his bout, as a Champion vs Champion bout between Johnson and Dillashaw would have been a great fight to see. New Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo will more than likely have to defend his title against Johnson in a rematch, which means Dillashaw will need to find a foe elsewhere. No one immediately jumps out in the BW division, so there is always the possibility of TJ jumping up to 145 to challenge the winner of Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega, whenever that fight takes place.
Overall a great night of fights from the UFC, with several extremely close bouts, and fighters like Renato Moicano, Pedro Munhoz and Ricky Simon improving their stock. The Flyweight Championship bout between Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo may have been the best fight we’ve seen in the Flyweight division, so a rematch between the two is a no brainer, regardless of Cejudo’s challenge to the winner of the Bantamweight title fight. For Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes stands alone as the top contender in the BW division. Look for TJ to defend his title one more time before taking on a champion from an opposing division, whether it be Flyweight or Featherweight.
Thank you for watching along with us and enjoying a rare, exciting event from the UFC. Make sure to check in Monday morning when we Pick Up the Scraps from this weekend’s top stories in the world of fight sports.