Originally written on cheap-heat  |  Last updated 11/8/14

SYDNEY, March 3 – The main event of the second UFC on FX fight card, held at Allphones Arena, delivered exactly the kind of unpredictable action fans have come to expect after seeing Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves at work over the past several years.

Plus, UFC veterans Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez proved that a drop to 125 pounds didn’t hurt their performance, as they seemingly dispatched the former #1- and #2-ranked flyweights in the Octagon. After the fights, however, it was revealed that the scores for the Johnson vs. Ian McCall fight were miscalculated and the bout should have been a majority draw; Johnson and McCall are now expected to rematch to determine the contender for Benavidez in the UFC’s first flyweight title fight.

Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann
Coming in to their main event with a combined 29 UFC fights and a dozen-plus Octagon stoppages between them, no one doubted that the welterweight bout between strikers Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann would be a good one. Sure enough, the 14-plus minute war brought back-and-forth action before Kampmann scored a come-from-behind submission at 4:12.

It didn’t take long for the two to engage, with kicks and jabs from Kampmann finding their homes early on. “The Hitman’s” takedown attempt resulted in punches from Alves, but Kampmann eventually got things to the mat, if only for a moment. A front kick by Kampmann stung Alves, and Kampmann capitalized with knees against the cage. Alves survived by tying him up, but was easily taken down by Kampmann, who threatened with a guillotine, then let Alves up, only to deliver a knee as soon as it was legal.

Back in the middle, it was Alves who got the takedown, moving  from Kampmann’s guard into side mount and then mount with a minute left. Though Kampmann tied up Alves’ arms successfully, the Brazilian-born Alves stayed close on top, smothering Kampmann with far more than the 170 pounds he’d embodied at weigh-ins the day before. Alves postured up in the final seconds, which allowed the Dane to escape.

Round two stayed on the feet for the first half. As the two struggled for control both in the center and on the cage, the striking game was a calculated battle between Alves’ power and Kampmann’s range. But as the fight wore on, Alves began to land more kicks, find homes for more punches and consistently shake off Kampmann’s takedown attempts. The success rate of Alves’ left hand was telegraphed in the increasingly battered right side of Kampmann’s face, but Kampmann moved forward nonetheless, seeking a knee.

At the bell for round three, the momentum continued to swing in Alves’ direction as he pummeled Kampmann forward then went for his own takedown, which The Hitman rebuffed. A re-energized Kampmann then repaid the favor, charging with strikes and working unsuccessfully for a takedown on the cage. Alves, the left side of his face now swollen, poured it on in the final minute, following up a huge kick with heavy hands and a takedown from against the fence. But Kampmann expertly maneuvered into a guillotine position, and seconds after hitting the mat, Alves tapped.

The victory brings Kampmann’s record to 19-5; Alves slips to 24-8. Hear what “The Hitman” had to say in his post-fight interview


Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro **********
In the second flyweight semifinal of the night, Team Alpha Male pedigreed wrestler Joseph Benavidez showed fans that the smaller guys still pack big power, TKOing wild striker Yasuhiro ********** in the second and securing his spot in the UFC’s first flyweight title bout.

The two mainly traded kicks in the first round, and Benavidez quickly found his range with the legs, landing several heavy kicks to ************** body. Though ********** – a wrestler himself – showed good takedown defense, Benavidez twice got him to the mat, the second time after literally peeling him off the wall with a single-leg. There, Benavidez patiently worked from half-guard to side mount to mount. As ********** spun to the mat to escape, Benavidez worked for a rear-naked choke, but with his back against the fence and less than a minute left, was unable to get the tap.

********** opened round two with a kick, and Benavidez counted with a right hook that dropped him. Benavidez followed him to the mat for more strikes until the ref called the bout just 11 seconds into the round.

Benavidez’ record rises to 16-2, with his only two losses coming at the hands of UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. The loss drops ********** to 19-5-6. Hear what Benavidez had to say in his post-fight interview

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall
In the UFC’s first-ever flyweight bout, top-ranked 125-pounder Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall made his UFC debut against former bantamweight title contender Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. After fifteen heart-pounding minutes, it was UFC vet Demetrious Johnson who took the judges’ split decision with his unmatchable speed and improved striking. Update: After the event, the commission announced that they’d miscalculated the scores, and the bout should have been a draw and therefore sent into a fourth sudden-victory round.

Round one was as fast-paced as expected from the division. Though McCall came in with the Muay Thai credentials, it was Johnson who connected with more kicks and moved forward with strikes; wrestler Johnson was taken down twice by McCall, but both times worked quickly to return to the feet. Twice Johnson grabbed one of McCall’s legs and hit him with his free hand, once seemingly rocking the larger fighter. Throughout the fight, Johnson was the aggressor, unleashing combinations and then sprinting out of range before absorbing any damage on the feet.

In round two it was McCall who caught a Johnson kick and used his free hand to punch, but Johnson responded with punches that triggered a wild back and forth frenzy against the fence. More action followed in the center of the cage, with Mighty Mouse doing his best to stay on the outside of McCall, but an accidental low blow briefly halted the adrenaline-charged action. The men continued to travel around the Octagon,  Johnson’s low kicks appearing to do more damage as McCall scored with knees delivered against the cage. A lone boo from the crowd mid-round was answered with a middle finger from the showman McCall. Johnson landed a solid left hook on one break and a solid body kick; McCall fought for a takedown and briefly got it.

Round three started out mostly the same, but when Johnson threw a flying knee, McCall used it to score a takedown. On top, he used elbows and fists from half guard to punish the “Mouse.” Johnson somersaulted out of danger and stood to an ovation from the crowd, but seconds later, McCall got Johnson to the ground again with a suplex. High in back mount, McCall delivered double hammerfists and elbows, but the durable Johnson muscled his way back to his feet to a second ovation. McCall stood with his hands up, inviting his foe forward before going for another takedown that Johnson turned into a trip of his own. In the ensuing scramble, McCall again wound up on top and hopped into mount. As Johnson spun, McCall – now in back mount – opened up with ground and pound, pausing between blows to play to onlookers as the clock ticked down and the crowd exploded.

Judges’ scores were announced as 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 for Johnson, a decision booed by the Australian crowd; McCall exited the cage to the cheers of the arena. Re-examination of the judges’ scorecards showed the scores to be 29-28 Johnson, 29-29 and 28-28. Now 14-2-1, Johnson will rematch McCall (11-2-1) for rights to battle Benavidez for the UFC flyweight title.

Court McGee vs. Costa Philippou
The first bout of the main card pitted TUF 11 winner Court McGee against the equally tough Costa Philippou, who didn’t make it out of the elimination round of that season. But Philippou used his clean boxing to avenge that loss, handing McGee his first Octagon defeat in their three round middleweight battle.

Round one was slow and calculated, with McGee taking the center of the cage, Philippou circling on his toes, and the crowd growing increasingly dissatisfied. McGee moved forward first, but Philippou countered with his precise standup. Philippou tested the range with jabs, McGee with kicks, and though they traded, neither man seemed to dominate. Philippou put together two striking combinations in a row that moved McGee backward, but it was the TUF winner who appeared to wobble Philippou near the round’s end.

Both men were more willing to engage in the second, with several exchanges that ended in a tangle of arms. Philippou made contact with his jab and generally seemed the busier of the two; McGee looked for the uppercut in the standup trades and landed a few solid kicks. Philippou shook off four of McGee’s takedown attempts, but McGee was able to score some with Philippou against the fence. Though on the receiving end of Philippou’s punches – including one solid uppercut and a huge strike that caused McGee to bleed from his ear — it was McGee who moved forward throughout the round.

McGee retained Octagon control and put together more combinations of strikes and kicks in the third, impressing the judges, all of whom awarded him the round. He even managed to briefly get Philippou down once, but Philippou’s clean boxing still seemed to land more consistently and powerfully, even when countering.

Judges scored the bout 29-28 for Philippou, who  improves as a pro to 10-2 (1 NC); the loss was only McGee’s second, and he leaves Australia with a 13-2 record. Watch Philippou’s post-fight interview

credit: ufc.com

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