UFC Fight Night Atlantic City Report - Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee, Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/04/21/ufc-fight-night-atlantic-city-report-edson-barboza-vs-kevin-lee-frankie-edgar-vs-cub-swanson/

Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza by TKO at 2:18 of Round 5 - Lightweight

This was a dominant, one-sided win by Kevin Lee, who was vulnerable for 20 seconds of the entire fight.

Lee took Barboza down in the first two rounds and just beat him with strikes, continually moved to mount and hammered him with elbows and punches and did significant damage to the left eye of Barboza.

Barboza’s only moment of hope during the fight came in Round 3, when he landed a spinning wheel kick with Lee rocked and shooting for the takedown. He got Barboza down and did well the rest of the round, but it was still Barboza’s round for the kick landing.

Lee controlled him on top throughout the fourth round and into the fifth. Lee was targeting the left eye in the final round when the doctors waved off the fight due to the state of Barboza’s eye.

This was a major win for Lee, who missed weight for this fight and was coming off a loss to Tony Ferguson last October for the interim lightweight title. A loss would have set Lee back a lot in the deep lightweight division and this was a huge statement win for Lee.

For Barboza, this is the second straight fight where he was been dominated following the loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last December at UFC 219.

Lee improved to 17-3 with the win.

Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson by unanimous decision (30-27 all) - Featherweight

The audience provided the loudest reaction of the show for Frankie Edgar, who was a superstar inside the building. Edgar was not only attempting to come back from the first knockout loss of his career seven-weeks ago but also lost his father and his grandfather over the past two-weeks.

Edgar had a game plan consisting of his usual speed and working his game around leg kicks and a steady left jab throughout the fight. Edgar’s best punch of the fight was a right hand in the first that stunned Swanson and followed with a left hook as he cut Swanson under the right eye.

Their last fight in 2014 was a dominant performance from Edgar and smothered Swanson on top, in this fight Swanson blocked nine takedowns and Edgar never took him down.

Swanson had his best round in the third, but Edgar still won the round with his leg kicks and punches that connected.

Edgar stated after the fight that he isn’t done yet and wants the winner of Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.

Justin Willis def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision (29-28 all) - Heavyweight

They had an entertaining first round where Wills landed some enormous strikes. Willis stunned Sherman with a left hand and then dropped him with another left later in the round. Sherman recovered to his feet and landed some shots of his own. Due to New Jersey not adopting the new ABC rules, I only scored this a 10-9 for Willis.

The rest of the fight so both men tire down the stretch with Willis winning the second round and Sherman taking the third round. The fight took the energy out of the audience who witnessed an explosive first round, but they were tired for the duration.

Willis has now won seven straight fights.

David Branch def. Thiago Santos by KO at 2:00 of Round 1 - Middleweight

The two spent the opening portion of the fight exchanging kicks.

Branch shot in and connected with a clean overhand right that dropped Santos and he finished him with hammer fists.

Branch said that Santos kicked really hard and his left leg was bothering him.

It was officially announced on the broadcast that Max Holloway will defend the UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega at UFC 225 on July 7th in Las Vegas. They also promoted the heavyweight fight between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis on the same card.

Aljamain Sterling def. Brett Johns by unanimous decision (30-27 all) – Bantamweight

Sterling was coming off a devastating knockout loss to Marlon Moraes and rebounded in spectacular fashion.

Sterling won all three rounds and displayed a wide variety of his game. In the first round, he out struck Johns and set the pace of the bout with Johns having problems dealing with the leg kicks and pressure put forth. Sterling had a big striking burst in the second round and then settled down and reverted to leg kicks and his wrestling game in the third for the clean decision victory. I thought Sterling showcased a lot in this fight and delivered the first loss of Johns’ career, as he drops to 15-1.

Sterling challenged Dominick Cruz after the fight, which would be a big fight if he could land it.

They announced that Matt Serra will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame into the Pioneer Wing. Ray Longo will be the one inducting him, which could be a great pair of speeches. Serra was asked what the highlight of his career was, and to no surprise, he listed the upset win over Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69 in April 2017.

Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller by KO at 3:00 of Round 1 - Lightweight

After an early takedown, Hooker quickly got to his feet and landed a knee. He followed up by landing a bigger knee that knocked Miller out, Hooker followed with a right hand even though Miller was out.

This was Hooker’s fourth consecutive win since moving up from featherweight and conversely was Miller’s fourth straight loss.

After the fight, Paul Felder interviewed Hooker and asked who he wanted to fight next and Hooker challenged Felder in the most polite way possible.

Ryan LaFlare def. Alex Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27 all) - Welterweight

LaFlare did enough to win each round but it was hardly an entertaining fight.

In the third round, referee Marc Goddard had to stand them up twice due to inactivity on the ground.

LaFlare would get control of Garcia and be satisfied with the dominant position but do little with the position to advance the fight.

LaFlare rebounded from a stoppage loss to Alex Oliveira last July and improved to 14-2.

Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili by TKO at 5:00 of Round 3 – Bantamweight

This fight was crazy, and the ending was insane. To understand the confusion, re-read the headliner with the official ruling on this fight. Referee Liam Kerrigan called a TKO finish at the end of the third round.

I had the fight 20-18 for Dvalishvili going into the third round and it was a very entertaining fight the entire way. In the final minute, Dvalishvili shot for a takedown and Simon locked on a mounted guillotine. Dvalishvili signaled he was okay to the referee but his head was being torqued and it was amazing he didn’t tap out from this. The buzzer went off and everyone assumed Dvalishvili survived the round and it would either be a draw or 29-28 for Dvalishvili.

When they returned from break, there was confusion around the cage before the ruling was read by Bruce Buffer.

This is the second heartbreaking UFC loss for Dvalishvili after making his debut in December, scoring 11 takedowns on Frankie Saenz and losing by split decision.

Beyond the confusing call, this was a great fight and both put forth the early candidate for the best fight of the night.

Siyar Bahadurzada def. Luan Chagas by KO at 2:40 of Round 2 – Welterweight

In the first round, Bahadurzada was working inside the guard of Chagas, landing strikes, and then Chagas exploded out with a beautiful escape and took the back of Bahadurzada. He controlled him the rest of the round from that position and reclaimed the round.

In the second, Bahadurzada was landing consistently and ended the fight with a front kick to the body that crippled Chagas and absorbed a right uppercut on the way down as the finish concluded.

Bahadurzada has been hurt by inactivity with only two fights since March 2016, but this extended his win streak to three. He said after the fight he was the best fighter in the division and claimed he could drop a bull with that kick.

Corey Anderson def. Patrick Cummins by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27) – Light Heavyweight

Anderson dominated this fight and it was surprisingly in the wrestling department. Anderson managed ten takedowns throughout the fight against a high-level wrestler in Cummins.

The first round was a 10-8 round where he mixed his wrestling with several big strikes, including a pair of elbows and cut Cummins open under the right eye. The remaining two rounds were domination by wrestling and I scored the third round a 10-8 as well, so I had it 30-25 for Anderson.

The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Anderson, who was coming off losses to Jimi Manuwa and Ovince Saint Preux in 2017.

Tony Martin def. Keita Nakamura (30-27 all) – Welterweight

This was Martin’s move up to the welterweight division after posting a 4-4 record in the UFC’s lightweight ranks.

Martin was very patient with the southpaw Nakamura, drilling him strategically with his right hand and showing great resolve whenever Nakamura shot for a desperation takedown. Martin would attempt submissions any time Nakamura went for the takedown and Nakamura never threatened.

Martin easily won all three rounds. Martin improved to 13-4 with the victory.

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  • Death. Taxes. Cub Swanson Gatekeeping. It can be difficult being a fan of the man sometimes, especially when (IMO) he was getting the better of Frankie the few times he actually threw.
  • Amazing that Kevin Lee survived that kick in round 3. I can’t recall a time a fighter was on deer legs like that and survived.
  • Edson Barboza vs Justin Gaethje later this year?
  • David Branch really needed that win tonight. This positions him well for a fight with a top five opponent. The loser of Gastleum/Souza or Chris Weidman perhaps.


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