(An elusive striker who throws punches like they cost him money vs. a former All-American wrestler. Yeah, baby. This is the matchup the Brits have been *begging* for. / Photo via Getty)
Today’s UFC Fight Night 30 card in Manchester is clearly one of those European events that we Americans aren’t really supposed to care about. But we’re here, and if you’re reading this, you’re here too. So let’s make the most of it.
In the main event, the impressively-shredded Lyoto Machida makes his 185-pound debut against Mark Munoz, while Ross Pearson will do his best not to win Fight of the Night in his meeting with Melvin Guillard. Plus: Undefeated Nigerian destroyer Jimi Manuwa slugs it out with Ryan Jimmo, and TUF Smashes winner Norman Parke will look for his third UFC win in a row against Jon Tuck.
Handling the play-by-play for us today will be George Shunick, who will be stacking results from the FOX Sports 2 main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest updates, and fire off your own observational witticisms in the comments section.
Welcome Potato Nation, to this Saturday presentation of the prestigious UFC liveblog. I know plenty of you are probably surfing between watching the fights and college football – not that any of you went to college, you degenerates – so this should keep you up-to-date on today’s happenings while you attempt to filter the sheer amount of sanctioned violence you will bear witness to. The main event today will be Lyoto Machida making his debut in the middleweight division against wrestler and power striker Mark Muñoz. I’m taking Machida, but don’t discount Muñoz’ knockout power or the judges’ ability to utterly fail to understand the most basic precepts of MMA. With that said, on to the fights!
Phil Harris vs. John Lineker
Like Lineker here; dude packs serious power and manages to be an exceptionally exciting fighter in an exciting division to begin with. Harris will be a test, but one he should pass.
Harris misses an overhand. Lineker lands a low kick that spins Harris around. Overhand from Harris grazes Lineker. Low kick from Lineker spins Harris around again. Another lands. Harris’ leg is already reddened. Harris lands a 1-2 combo. Another right from Harris. Linker drops him with a right, but it’s as much a slip as the power. Body shot from Lineker. Left hook rocks Harris! He’s wobbly but fires back. Right hand drops Harris. Harris stands but he’s wobbly and eating shots. Body shots followed by a left hook to the head. Harris is in big trouble. Left hook the liver drops Harris, Lineker swarms and it’s all over. Beautiful liver shot from Lineker ends the fight.
Replay shows the punch landed on Harris’ solar plexus. As Rogan notes, Lineker didn’t make weight for the fight; still, it’s an impressive win. Lineker is still relatively raw and isn’t remotely ready to hang with John Dodson or Demetrious Johnson, but it will be interesting to see him develop over the next year or two.
Alessio Sakara vs. Nicholas Musoke
Musoke is from Sweden. Sakara is from Italy. Ummmm… that’s the extent of my analysis here.
Musoke moving forward, but Sakara hurts him and tosses him to the ground. Sakara lands a left inside Musoke’s guard. Sakara gets caught! Musoke lands knees from the clinch! Both men are swinging in the middle of the octagon now! Musoke clinches against the fence and takes Sakara down. Sakara went for a triangle, but Musoke uses this to pass to half-guard. Now side control. Knee to the body from Musoke. Sakara regains half-guard. Sakara explodes from the bottom and starts throwing bombs from the top! Now in Musoke’s guard. WHOA! Musoke with an armbar out of nowhere wins it for the Swede!
If you blinked, you missed that armbar. Damn. Excellent debut for Musoke. Gustafsson, in the crowd, applauds his countryman’s accomplishments. In the polite, reserved Swedish manner, of course.
Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck
Norman Parke is a TUF Smashes winner. Jon Tuck is a former competitor on TUF Live. In other words, none of you know who either fighter is.
Jon Tuck’s nickname is “The Super Saiyan.” Well I know who I’m rooting for. Tuck opens with a headkick. He lands a low kick. Body kick from Tuck. Parke answers with one of his own. Right lands from Tuck. Parke lands a low kick. High kick from Tuck blocked. Nice left hand from Parke. Tuck unloads with three straight rights. They exchange crosses. Parke wiffs on a 1-2. Parke says he got poked but Tuck goes after him anyway; the ref doesn’t intervene. Rogan claims there was no eye poke according to replays. Both exchange crosses again; Tuck’s right against Parke’s left. Teep from Tuck. Low kick Tuck. Tuck barely misses a high kick. Parke lands a nice counter left. Right to the body from Tuck. Parke goes for a takedown at the end of the round and gets it just as time expires. Close round. 10-10.
Left to the body from Parke, who’s gaining the momentum. Now he works the jab.Tuck is slowing down but lands a nice body kick. Parke lands a counter left, the a shot to the body. Nice right from Tuck. Uppercut from Parke. Right hook, left cross from Parke. Parke is putting the pressure on now. He’s beginning to land more and more. Left to the body followed by a kick from Parke. Uppercut Parke. Three punch combo for Parke. Nice body shot from Tuck, but immediately countered with a cross. Another cross lands for Parke. Parke isn’t letting Tuck breathe. He’s continuing to land combinations at will. Tuck is tired, and it’s really showing right now. He tries for a flying knee, but it’s blocked. Uppercut-cross combo from Parke. Tuck misses a superman punch off the cage. Parke lands another left. Round ends, 10-9 Parke.
jab lands from Parke. Parke misses a capoeira kick. Body shot from Parke. Tuck needs to get the fight to the ground, but he’s not making any effort to do so. They exchange in the center of the ring, smiling at each other. Tuck’s mouthpiece is knocked out, and he’s hit with a barrage as he picks it up and pops it back in his mouth. now he’s getting tagged repeatedly by Parke. Tuck is simply exhausted. Tuck lands a body shot and a knee from the clinch. Parke with a big combo, though. Uppercut from Parke. Then an overhand. Park with a body kick. Tuck is on fumes as the last minute approaches. Left over the top from Parke. 3 punch combo lands from Parke. Two big overhands from Park. They’re exchanging until the end of the round, with Parke almost landing that capoeira kick. He should win this fight handily though.
29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 for Parke. Tuck should’ve eaten a senzu bean between rounds. That’s just poor planning on his part.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo
On one hand, Jimi Manuwa is a terrifying striker. On the other, he’s got a terrible ground game. He last beat Cyrille Diabate when the latter injured his calf. In other words, I’m not sold on the hype. Jimmo by submission or decision.
Jimmo comes forward. Manuwa lands a left. Jimmo with a low kick. He reutns with a kick that Manuwa catches. Jimmo uses this to initiate a clinch and bring the fight to the fence. Manuwa lands a knee. Jimmo focusing on positioning. The ref separates them, and Manuwa lands two knees and pushes Jimmo into the fence. Jimmo lands a knee to the face, but it lacks the impact of Manuwa’s. Manuwa landing knees to the thighs of Jimmo. Jimmo winces and turns them around against the cage. Manuwa switches now, but the ref separates them. Jimmo’s in obvious pain, and Manuwa accentuates his point with a low kick. Body kick from Jimmo. Low kick from Manuwa. Hook kick almost lands from Manuwa. Jimmo answers a low kick with a body kick. Manuwa seems like he’s beginning to slow.Jimmo has more energy, but he’s currently refusing to engage. Manuwa tries to chase him down. Jimmo lands a counter right on a hard kick from Manuwa. 10-9 Manuwa.
Manuwa rushes in and lands a right, only to get turned around and put against the cage. Jimmo can’t land anything from this position, though. Nice knee to the face, though. The ref breaks them. BIG body kick from Manuwa. Jimmo lands a low kick. High kicked from Manuwa blocked, but vicious low kick lands. Another lands. Manuwa rushes Jimmo into the fence, and begins to land short knees until he’s quickly reversed. Still, Jimmo can’t manage to do much with this position. Jimmo is hit with a low blow, and the fight is briefly stopped. Low kick from Manuwa. Jimmo almost lands a takedown, but they’re back against the fence, neither man doing anything. They’re separated again. Manuwa pushes Jimmo into the fence. They separate and Manuwa lands a big knee! Suddenly Jimmo goes down; it doesn’t appear to have been caused by the knee. The fight is over. The Curse of Manuwa strikes again.
Rogan asks Manuwa what sorcerer he trained with prior to this fight. Or he would if he was a responsible broadcaster! Alas, we will never know what dark magics played a role in his triumph. In the meantime, we get a shot of Michael Bisping firing up the crowd with something other than vitriol. Only in Britain.
Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard
This fight isn’t as one-sided as some of you might think. Yes, Guillard has the speed and power, but on the other hand… he’s Melvin Guillard. He can be dominating the fight, but the instant something goes wrong he loses. His misfortunes metastasize as a single slipping rock may set off an avalanche. Should he win? Yes. Will he? I’m not so sure.
They touch gloves. Guillard moving on the outside. Pearson with an inside leg kick. Guillard lands a left. Kick checked by Pearson. Inside kick from Pearson. Guillard misses an uppercut. Guillard lands a right to Pearson’s temple. And another. Guillard is loose now. Pearson still pushing forward. Knee from the clinch by Guillard. Flying knee from Pearson, who lands on the canvas! As he tries to reutrn to his feet, Guillard knees him in the temple. The fight is stopped; the first knee is barely legal. However, the second knee is technically illegal – Pearson’s hand was on the ground. All in all, an unsatisfying conclusion to this business.
The fight is declared a no-contest due to an accidental illegal knee. The audio keeps cutting out, presumably due to audience profanity, as Rogan tries to interview Pearson. Pearson has a nasty cut on his forehead; even if the fight wasn’t stopped for an illegal blow, it wouldn’t have lasted much longer. That cut would’ve been a fight-ender.
Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Muñoz
Preliminary Card Results
- Al Iaquinta def. Piotr Hallmann via unanimous decision (30-27×2, 29-28)
- Luke Barnatt def. Andrew Craig via submission, Round 2, 2:12
- Jessica Andrade def. Rosi Sexton via unanimous decision (30-26×2, 30-27)
- Cole Miller def. Andy Ogle via unanimous decision (29-28×3)
- Jimy Hettes def. Robert Whiteford via technical submission, Round 2, 2:17
- Brad Scott def. Michael Kuiper via submission, Round 1, 4:17