UFC Fight Night 123 Results & In depth Analysis: Brian Ortega Submits Cub Swanson, Remains Undefeated.

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What a fight night it has been today with three TKO victories, three submission wins, two split decisions and point being deducted for biting the finger. The Performances of the Night bonuses were taken by Brian Ortega and Marlon Moraes. The Fight of the Night award was handed to Ortega vs. Swanson. And guess what? Former UFC fighter Frank Trigg made his UFC debut as an official Referee!

 

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

 

Trevin Giles defeated Antonio Braga Neto via KO: In the middleweight collision that seemed like it won’t go past the first round thanks to Braga’s ground game. It turned out to be a one-sided affair the moment the fight moved into the later rounds, as Giles displayed his boxing skills to put Braga in deep trouble. Clearly the octagon rust showed on Braga, who returned after a long three and a half years. Braga came in with a clear strategy – take Giles to the ground and so he did in the entire fight. But Giles was smart enough to turn around the fight and put up a striking clinic up until the third round when he landed a sweet Jab Cross followed by a right hand that dropped Braga to the canvas and referee Frank Trigg had to stop the fight at 2:27 secs of the third round.

 

 

 

What’s Next: Giles remains undefeated in the UFC with two straight wins and by KO. Having extended his win streak to 11-0, Giles can now look for better opponents from the middleweight division.

 

Davi Ramos defeated Chris Gruetzemacher via submission: Another third-round finish in the preliminary card as two lightweights Davi and Chris went head on to quickly finish the fight. Ramos was the aggressive one who threw everything he had to finish the resilient Chris in the first and second rounds. Sensing Ramos is slowly fading away, Chris came back with his own offense in the second. That’s when Ramos decided to switch the game plan to take downs and ground control. As the third round ended, Ramos took Chris to the ground and tapped him out with a rear-naked choke at :50 secs of the third round.

 

 

What’s Next: Davi Ramos bounced back from his previous UFC loss, but he is clearly out of the league in the lightweight division. A couple of good fights with dominant wins should see him gain valuable experience inside the octagon.

 

Alejandro Perez defeated Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision: Totally disappointing fight that was nothing but two guys standing in there thinking what to do next. For Iuri, age was clearly a denominating factor who could not turn the heat up in this fight against the younger Perez. Both the bantamweights were cautious of each other and it took some time before they could trade any blows putting the first-round onto a slow start. Second and third rounds were the same with Perez trying to take down Iuri. At one-point Perez knocked down Iuri and took him down as the round ended.

 

What’s Next: Alejandro Perez is on a four-fight win streak, with Iuri being the biggest win of his career. Iuri has lost two of his last fights and another loss could see him cut from the roster.

 

Frankie Saenz defeated Merab Dvalishvili via split decision: It was a razor close fight between the two bantamweights who literally went for each other. Merab hardly gave any space for Frankie and always pushed forward to take his opponent to the ground. Merab could not capitalize on the takedowns and found himself eating blows from Frankie and in the process his face turned into a mess. Merab surprised everyone with this relentless pace even after getting a cut on his head.

 

 

What’s Next: Saenz snapped his three-fight losing skid, and now with a win could see himself in the UFC. Merab’s UFC debut didn’t go quite the way he wanted, but his performance cannot be overseen. He could get a win early next year if he stays more focused and relentless.

 

Alex Perez defeated Carls John de Tomas via submission: It didn’t take much long for the former ‘Dana White’s Contender Series’ fighter to dismantle Carls as he put on a dominant performance. Perez kept his pressure in the stand up without giving much room for Carls and when the fight when to the ground, he made sure it looked easy on his part by slapping one submission attempt after another. But it was the anaconda choke that got Carls to tap out at 1:54 secs of the second round.

 

 

What’s Next: A successful UFC debut for Alex Perez and a solid display of skills will get him some decent match ups next year. For Carls losing two fights in a row has put him in a bad spot and needs a win in his next fight.

 

Andre Soukhamthath defeated Luke Sanders via TKO: Coming into this fight with two straight losses, made Andre looking for a win desperately. But it didn’t come so quickly as the first round started on a slow note and it only took full five minutes before Andre could take off. However, in the second round Luke jumped in with a left but Andre was quick enough to slip and counter it with a solid overhand right that rocked and dropped Sanders on the canvas. He was still in the fight as he tried to get back up showing signs of recovery, but the referee had seen enough and stepped in to call off the fight leaving Sanders surprised.

 

 

What’s Next: Andre might have saved himself from being cut with an impressive win. But he needs to step up his game if the journey in the UFC needs to be continued.

 

Alexis Davis defeated Liz Carmouche via split decision: Every time Alexis Davis steps in to the octagon, she has her face lit up with injuries but gets her hand raised. This fight was no different, as she got into a scrap with Liz early in the first with strikes, takedowns and submission attempts. As the fight progressed, Alexis grew comfortable and quickly took Liz to the ground securing most of the top position until they were stood back up. Liz sensed the urgency and came back stronger in the third landing a solid combination and a late take down which was not enough in the judge’s scorecard.

 

 

What’s Next: Alexis Davis won her second straight fight, but the way she takes shots is not advisable in this division where the hard hitters can land her in trouble.

 

MAIN CARD

 

Benito Lopez defeated Albert Morales via unanimous decision: Opening the main card, these two bantamweights slugged it out in the brawl of the night as they dropped each other in the first round. Their rivalry clearly showed off as Lopez and Morales didn’t shy away from displaying their emotions and combinations. Lopez turned out to be the more economical fighter as he made sure his kicks and punches landed every time he threw them. Morales kept his pace even in the late round but could never really put on his game plan. With the final bell going off, both the fighters embraced each other and moving ahead from their hatred.

 

 

What’s Next: With this win in his UFC debut, Benito Lopez maintains his perfect 9-0 record. With his fighting style he can bring in some good fighters for his next couple of fights.

 

Eryk Anders defeated Markus Perez via unanimous decision: A clear one-sided fight that had the new comer Markus in all sorts of troubles and unable to implement his side of game plan. Perez used his arsenal of kicks and punches, but Anders just took advantage of his quick movements to clinch up Perez. The only highlight of the fight was when Perez took Anders up and dripped him to secure a takedown. Perez tried to be more creative with his spinning elbows but, Anders was on a different level. As the third round approached, Perez looks depleted and Anders still with his pressure moved ahead to take him down and look for a finish.

 

 

What’s Next: Anders extends his win streak to 10-0 and soon after the fight called out former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. This could be an interesting challenge for Anders and a good comeback fight for the Dragon.

 

Scott Holtzman defeated Darrell Horcher via unanimous decision: Scott relied on his strikes to keep Darrel away and avoid those heavy shots, but Darrell always came back to haunt him. Scott then relied on the takedowns which reaped him top positions and a dominant performance in the judges’ score card. It was all Scott’s takedowns that irked Darrell as he just tried to survive in the later rounds. A not so impressive performance for Scott but a win over a threatening Darrell is a feather in his cap.

 

What’s Next: Holtzman has now won two straight fights, but needs to shed the tag of the journeyman with solid performances in his next fights.

 

Marlon Moraes defeated Aljamain Sterling via KO: Taking a quick turnaround fight proved wonders to Marlon Moraes as he effortlessly knocked out the upcoming prospect Aljamain Sterling with a nasty knee at 1:07 secs of the first round. An initial scramble that saw Moraes land a left and dropping him. Aljamain tried his best to grab his arm for a submission but Marlon was too quick. As Aljamain tried for a takedown by moving his body forward, Marlon landed a switching knee that dropped Aljamain out cold with stiff feet.

 

 

What’s Next: Moraes looks unstoppable in this division and could get Bryan Caraway or John Linekar as the next possible opponents.

 

Gabriel Benitez defeated Jason Knight via unanimous decision: What a crazy turn of events in this featherweight co-main event fight that could have been a barn burner. Unbelievably, Benitez got his finger bitten by Jason for no reason during their scramble. A point was deducted from Jason, who later in the fight eye poked Benitez. Having faced such adversity, Benitez got the better of Jason as he battered his face and took the lead in the scorecards. Jason grew frustrated and threw wild haymakers which Benitez stepped way from. It was a clear display of which fighter was more in control of their mind than their hands or legs.

 

 

What’s Next: Benitez is back in the win bracket with an improved fight approach despite the odds. If he continues this win streak, he could very well get higher ranked opponents for his future fights.

 

Brian Ortega defeated Cub Swanson via submission: The main event fight had an expected result when the underdog Ortega displayed his brilliant BJJ skills and tapped out the #4 Swanson who was having success in the first round with his striking skills. In the second, Ortega stood right in front of Swanson’s striking and responded back with his own left head kick. Ortega latched up for the opportunity and clinched Swanson to land a knee. Ortega got hold of Swanson’s neck and confidently jumped guard to pull out the guillotine Choke at 3:22 secs of second round.

 

 

What’s Next: Ortega is still undefeated in his career and inside the UFC. His record extends to 13-0 and with a win over the contender could get a crack at the title shot next year.

 

Sohail Syed

Sohail Syed

Writer, Fitness Trainer, Boxing & Kickboxing Coach, Marketing & Branding Professional with 10+ years of experience.

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