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  • Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig full fight video highlights - MMA Fighting
    International Business TimesPaige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig full fight video highlightsMMA FightingUFC on FOX 15 took place April 18, 2015 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Ranked strawweights Paige VanZant (5-1) and Felice Herrig (10-6) locked horns in a pivotal divisional match-up on night's main card, which aired live on FOX.On Paige VanZant, […]
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MMA Kanvas
Max Holloway vs. Cub Swanson full fight video highlights
MMA Fighting
UFC on FOX 15 took place April 18, 2015 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Ranked featherweights Max Holloway (13-3) and Cub Swanson (21-7) collided in an electric divisional match-up on the night's main card, which aired live on FOX.
UFC on FOX 15 medical suspensions: Machida, Holloway, Swanson, Herrig out MMAjunkie.com
UFC on FOX 15 results: Max Holloway outclasses, outstrikes and then submits MMAmania.com
Breakthrough win: Holloway submits Swanson in a thrillerMMA Kanvas
MMAFrenzy.com -MMA Corner -Bloody Elbow
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UFC on Fox 15 is in the books. The results are as follows:

UFC on Fox 15 Main Card

  • Luke Rockhold def. Lyoto Machida, submission (Round 2, 2:31)
  • Ronaldo Souza def. Chris Camozzi, submission (Round 1, 2:33)
  • Max Holloway def. Cub Swanson, submission (Round 3, 3:58)
  • Paige VanZant def. Felice Herrig, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Prelims on Fox

  • Beneil Dariush def. Jim Miller, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Ovince Saint Preux def. Patrick Cummins, knockout (Round 1, 4:54)
  • Gian Villante def. Corey Anderson, TKO (Round 3, 4:18)
  • Aljamain Sterling def. Takeya Mizugaki, submission (Round 3, 2:11)

Fight Pass Prelims

  • Tim Means def. George Sullivan, submission (Round 3, 3:41)
  • Diego Brandao def. Jimy Hettes, TKO (Round 1, 5:00)
  • Chris Dempsey def. Eddie Gordon, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Next up? UFC 186 on April 25.

Absolutely nothing has gone right for this card. Injuries, lawsuits, drug-test failures and more have stripped this card of nearly all its intrigue. What’s left is a mess that carries a huge price tag. That said, a strong undercard gives fans a little something to look forward to, and it’s always nice to see Demetrious Johnson work.

So what are the hottest topics entering next week’s pay-per-view? Find out right here!

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MMAjunkie.com
Dana White backtracks on criticism of Brandao stoppage of Jimy Hettes
MMAjunkie.com
NEWARK, N.J. – UFC President Dana White admitted he was a little quick on the trigger when a doctor shut down Jimy Hettes in his fight against Diego Brandao on Saturday. In the second fight at UFC on FOX 15, Diego Brandao (19-10 MMA, 5-3 UFC) got a …
Diego Brandao on UFC fight with Jimy Hettes: 'He came here to get beat up'MMA Fighting
Jimy Hettes UFC Fight on Fox 15 stopped due to injuryWilkes Barre Times-Leader
WATCH: Bizarre ear injury leads to first round stoppage of Brandao v HettesSportsJOE.ie

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The expectation heading into UFC on Fox 15’s main event between Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida was that it would be a tight, ultra-competitive affair. Both men appeared, at least on paper, to be extremely evenly matched.

Not so much, as it turns out.

The Brazilian started the fight promisingly enough, connecting with several bravado-inducing shots to his foe’s almost comically chiseled chin. His success was short-lived, however.

Rockhold capitalized on a minor slip and proceeded to maul Machida on the floor for the next four minutes, landing vicious strikes in between frequent transitions and submission attempts.

By round’s end, the former UFC light heavyweight champion was in a daze, stumbling back to his stool with the aid of his corner. In truth, few would have objected to the appearance of a towel at this point. But Machida did as fighters most often do, continuing on in the face of vanishingly small odds.

Mercifully, we didn’t have to wait long for the inevitable stoppage. Rockhold wasted little time in taking Machida to the ground and sinking in a fight-ending rear naked choke.

In light of such an impressive performance, anything less than a title shot would be a disappointment for Rockhold. Then again, given the unpredictable nature of MMA, few would confidently plot the path of any fighter.

With that said, let’s go ahead and speculate on Rockhold’s immediate future anyway, dear readers.

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Kotaku
Dana White: Everybody in my dressing room tonight wanted to meet Paige
MMAjunkie.com
NEWARK, N.J. – Luke Rockhold laid waste to ex-champ Lyoto Machida in UFC on FOX 15's headliner, but the person who caught everyone's attention was women's strawweight Paige VanZant. VanZant (5-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), 21, picked up her second UFC …
Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig full fight video highlightsMMA Fighting
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Combat Press -Bloody Elbow
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There wasn’t room enough for two vivacious blondes in the UFC strawweight title picture. Something had to give in the UFC on Fox 15 main card tilt between overnight sensation Paige VanZant and Cassie Cage’s doppelganger, Felice Herrig.  

No one knew what to expect when the cage door closed behind two of the strawweight division’s most recognizable faces. Aside from an infectious smile and killer dance moves, not much was known about VanZant from purely a fighting standpoint.

We saw her dust off mediocre opposition and lose a decision to top strawweight contender Tecia Torres a couple of years ago, but overall, there wasn’t much to go on to give anyone a sense of how this fight would play out. Herrig, on the other hand, is a six-year MMA veteran who was fighting when VanZant was still in high school.

But none of that mattered on Saturday night. All preconceived notions surrounding VanZant’s expedited hype were eradicated in an instant as she dominated Herrig and proved she has much more to offer fight fans than eye candy.

The 21-year-old star went the distance, outlasting Herrig in a grueling 15-minute fight. It was a clean sweep on the scorecards in her favor.

Let’s take a look at what we learned from the fight.

 

What We’ll Remember About This Fight

We won’t beat around the bush and pretend like the UFC is suddenly shifting focus on the strawweight division, even though it might seem that way at first glance.

The UFC could have easily given the last main card spot at UFC on Fox 15 to Jim Miller, a perennial top lightweight contender. It could have also gone to the light heavyweight showdown between future contenders Ovince Saint Preux and Patrick Cummins.

Saturday night was all about introducing the marketing-friendly VanZant to the rest of the mainstream sports world. Although popular, Herrig would have likely found herself on the prelims if she weren’t standing across from VanZant.

As for the actual fight, we’ll remember VanZant’s resilience. There was a lot of pressure on her heading into this fight with all of the extra attention and Reebok sponsorship. She was aggressive from the start against a skilled veteran, proving her placement in the UFC spotlight was not by mistake.  

Two of the judges scored the fight 30-26. 

 

What We Learned About VanZant

There is obviously more than meets the eye to VanZant. With only six professional fights to her name, we have barely scratched the surface of her potential as a fighter.

Few get the opportunity to start their fighting careers at such a young age under some of the influential minds VanZant has worked with, including former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber.

She can still use seasoning in some areas, but that is to be expected in such a young fighter who is still relatively raw. The prospective talent in VanZant is real, and UFC President Dana White was spot on in realizing it.

She beat down Herrig, plain and simple. 

 

What We Learned About Herrig

Herrig is a good fighter, but like so many others in the strawweight division, she hasn’t been able to separate herself from the rest of the herd. It’s quite unfortunate considering how well she markets herself.

UFC strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha are by far the standout talents in the women’s strawweight division. After those two, it’s a black hole of talented fighters from The Ultimate Fighter 20.

Herrig has skills in all aspects of fighting, but she isn’t particularly great at anything. Just being good won’t be enough to keep her head above water.  

 

What’s Next for VanZant?

The UFC should probably pump the brakes on VanZant before sending her into the lion’s den with Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha, Carla Esparza, Tecia Torres and Jessica Penne may be too much for the up-and-comer as well.

VanZant could still use some more time and experience to naturally develop her skills. As a world champion, Jedrzejczyk has all of the tools to hold up her end in the cage, and she also boasts enough marketing power to bring new eyes to the strawweight division.

There shouldn’t be any urgency to rush VanZant. A bout with Aisling Daly or Angela Magana makes the most sense for her.

 

What’s Next for Herrig?

This isn’t a major step back for Herrig, who will remain in the infinite pool of strawweight contenders.

A rematch with TUF 20 adversary Randa Markos could create some fan-friendly drama, but all of that hardly seems necessary at this point. Drawing straws could be considered a viable method in determining Herrig’s next opponent.

Herrig needs to go back to the drawing board and do whatever is necessary to finally get over the hump.  

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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Tim Means discusses his UFC on FOX 15 win over George Sullivan, his plans after the fight, why he bashed the media in his post-fight speech, his coaches, and more.

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The race for the next shot at the UFC middleweight title is fierce these days, and the main event between Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold at UFC on Fox 15 came with high stakes attached.

With current title holder Chris Weidman set to defend his belt against Vitor Belfort in a highly anticipated and long-awaited tilt next month at UFC 187 in Las Vegas, there are several potential contenders jockeying to grab the next championship opportunity.

Both “The Dragon” and the former Strikeforce middleweight champion are front-runners in the pack of talented contenders, and their collision on Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey, definitely had title implications hovering overhead.

While the 36-year-old Brazilian karate master came into the bout just one fight removed from his five-round war with Weidman at UFC 175 last July, he had plenty of momentum at his back coming into his main event matchup with Rockhold.

Despite ultimately getting turned back by the champion in Las Vegas, Machida put on a gritty and impressive performance, then was able to get right back on track in his next outing by drubbing C.B. Dollaway via first-round knockout at Fight Night 58 back in December.

That said, Rockhold had plenty of momentum of his own coming into UFC on Fox 15.

Although he suffered a brutal knockout against Belfort in his official UFC debut back in 2013, the Santa Cruz, California, native pulled off impressive victories over tough competition in his next three outings to put himself within striking distance of a shot at the UFC middleweight strap. Therefore, a victory over Machida on Saturday night would land him his long-awaited shot at UFC gold, and Rockhold was determined to make that happen.

Both men came into the Prudential Center looking to solidify the next shot at the 185-pound strap, but it was Rockhold who brought the noise on Saturday.

After a brief feeling-out period the AKA representative took the action to the mat where he battered and pounded away on Machida for the majority of the opening round. The Brazilian attempted to turn things into a slugfest in the second round, but Rockhold once again put him on the mat, where he forced Machida to tap to a rear-naked choke.

In addition to the win over Machida being the biggest of Rockhold’s career, it should leave zero doubt that he deserves to have the chance to fight the winner of Weidman vs. Belfort later this year.

It was an action-packed night of fights in Newark; let’s take a look at the good, bad and strange from UFC on Fox 15.

 

The Good

There are few fighters under the UFC banner moving with more momentum at the current time than Luke Rockhold.

While the former Strikeforce middleweight champion wasn’t able to jump directly into a title shot upon touching down in the UFC back in 2013, the Santa Cruz native has used the time since to make up tremendous ground in the hunt for a title opportunity.

Rockhold had won three straight showings coming into his bout with Lyoto Machida on Saturday night and was well aware a victory over “The Dragon” would launch him to the front of the line in the race for a shot at the middleweight title.

There’s no doubt the former light heavyweight champion was set to be the toughest test of his career, but Rockhold steamrolled the perennial contender in dominant fashion.

Where Machida has made a career out of frustrating his opposition and luring them into his game, Rockhold remained steadfast to his game plan. He was able to get the fight to the canvas, where he used his size and strength to wear on Machida while he battered him with big shots until he put him away via rear-naked choke in the second round.

Rockhold’s performance at UFC on Fox 15 was undoubtedly the best showing of his career and will make it difficult to deny him the next shot at the middleweight strap. Whether it’s a bout with current belt holder Chris Weidman or a rematch with rival Vitor Belfort, Rockhold made it clear there should be 12 pounds of UFC gold on the line next time he steps into the Octagon.

*** When his original opponent fell out with injury one week before the fight, the UFC scrambled to find an opponent willing to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. The man who accepted the dubious challenge was Chris Camozzi—a fighter who had already faced and been submitted by the Brazilian grappling specialist in less than a full round of work back in 2013.

During the lead-up to fight night, Souza didn’t seem all too enthusiastic about the new matchup, and he wasted zero time re-stamping his dominance over Camozzi with an armbar midway through the opening frame.

It was a performance both flawless and efficient as “The Alligator” made it four straight victories under the UFC banner and upped his running total to a seven-fight winning streak. Nevertheless, the big question will be what comes next for the Brazilian powerhouse. The bout with his original opponent carried heavy title implications, but defeating Camozzi in their rematch doesn’t carry the same luster.

While that may not be entirely fair to Souza, it’s difficult to earn a championship opportunity coming off a win over a fighter who was only brought back to the UFC to face him. MMA writer Danny Acosta had this observation:

*** Max Holloway has been tearing his way up the featherweight ladder, and that march continued at UFC on Fox 15. The 23-year-old Hawaiian put on what was arguably the best performance of his career as he showcased his versatile arsenal en route to defeating Cub Swanson via guillotine choke from top position in the final round of their tilt on Saturday night.

“Blessed” was getting the best of the Jackson/Winkeljohn-trained fighter in the stand-up game before locking in the fight-ending submission late in the final round.

With the win, Holloway has now found victory in six straight showings, and putting away Swanson will move him into striking distance of a title shot. That’s a remarkable feat for someone his age competing at the highest level of the sport, but what is perhaps even more impressive is the rapid development he’s shown since coming to the UFC in 2012.

In that time, Holloway has been successful in all but three of his 12 bouts under the UFC banner and made steady progression to become an elite talent in the 145-pound fold. MMA writer Chuck Mindenhall had this to say:

*** There was a lot of hype behind Paige VanZant leading up to her bout with Felice Herrig at UFC on Fox 15. The 21-year-old strawweight garnered a lot of attention for landing a Reebok endorsement deal, but there were lingering criticisms that she had yet to face—and defeat—a legitimate opponent with a proven track record.

The “Lil’ Bulldog” was slated to be that test, and it is one VanZant answered with flying colors. She was on the attack from bell to bell as she battered Herrig with a relentless output of strikes from the top position. By the final round, Herrig had very little to offer, and “PVZ” cruised to a lopsided decision on the judges’ scorecards.

While her victory on Saturday night will only further the buzz surrounding her career, VanZant’s performance against Herrig could very well serve to put her in line for a huge opportunity.

The door is wide open for title shot against champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but that will depend on how quickly the UFC wants to move her along. “12 Gauge” has proved she has both style and substance with her two victories inside the Octagon, and there are plenty of interesting options for her should the UFC decide she’s not quite ready for a championship opportunity. MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani praised VanZant’s performance:

*** The lightweight division is commonly referred to as a shark tank, and Beneil Dariush is steadily making his way up the divisional hierarchy at 155 pounds. “Benny” had found victory in three consecutive showings coming into his bout with Jim Miller at UFC on Fox 15, with a chance to earn a victory over one of the long-standing staples of the lightweight fold. And that’s exactly what he accomplished on the strength of his grappling game.

The 25-year-old Kings MMA product stayed one step ahead when the action was on the canvas, and that led him the Iranian-born lightweight picking up his fourth consecutive victory inside the Octagon. Defeating a fighter with the resume Miller possess is a big feather in Dariush’s cap and will guarantee his next opponent comes from the elite tier of the 155-pound weight class. Observed Rob Tatum:

*** Since his lopsided loss to Ryan Bader last August in Bangor, Maine, Ovince Saint Preux has been determined to regain some traction in the light heavyweight division. His lightning-quick victory over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Fight Night 56 in Brazil was a great start to achieving that goal, and following that performance up with a first-round TKO against Patrick Cummins at UFC on Fox 15 will certainly go a long way toward keeping things rolling.

Where many figured Cummins’ wrestling would prove too much for “OSP” to handle, the Tennessee native planted a perfectly timed uppercut while “Durkin” was shooting in, sparking the beginning of the end. Cummins fell to the canvas hurt, and Saint Preux swarmed with hammerfists to secure the win and pick his seventh successful showing in his past eight Octagon appearances. Dave Doyle was among those surprised:

*** While he had a lengthy layoff between Octagon appearances, Aljamain Sterling made a statement in his triumphant return at UFC on Fox 15. “The Funk Master” faced savvy veteran Takeya Mizugaki in a bout that had the capability to catapult him into the upper tier of the bantamweight division as the scrappy Japanese fighter has faced a who’s who of fighters in the 135-pound fold.

Sterling was well aware of what was at stake in the fight, and he absolutely rose to the occasion as the Serra-Longo fighter finished Mizugaki with a rarely seen arm triangle choke from off his back. It was an impressive performance that not only keeps Sterling’s undefeated record intact, but will put him in line for big things in the near future. FightMetric’s Michael Carroll noted Sterling’s achievement:

*** Tim Means has been all business since going up to welterweight and continued his run toward the next level of competition on Saturday night. The “Dirty Bird” battered George Sullivan until he locked in an arm triangle choke to pick up his fourth consecutive victory in the 170-pound ranks. While “The Silencer” kept things competitive during the opening frame, the New Mexico native controlled the action the rest of the way as he opened up his versatile arsenal of punches, knees and elbows.

Means’ output proved too much for Sullivan to handle, and he cinched up the choke to end the fight midway through the final frame. With the win, Means has now been successful in all but one of his seven showings at welterweight and will draw a bigger-name opponent in his next outing.

 

The Bad

Jim Miller has been a staple of the upper tier of the lightweight division for the past six years. 

Over that stretch, the New Jersey native has traded leather with a mixture of the very best 155-pound fighters on the planet and has done so with a high success rate. The hard-charging blue-collar fighter has put together lengthy winning streaks that put him within distance of a title shot and suffered setbacks in high-profile tilts all the same.

Nevertheless, the one thing guaranteed is that Miller is going to give everything he has inside the Octagon, and his performance against Beneil Dariush on Saturday night was no different. 

While Miller was on the better side of the action in the opening round, he spent the final two frames defending himself from what the 25-year-old Kings MMA product was dishing out in the grappling department. And even though the 31-year-old Whippany, New Jersey, resident was able to keep himself out of danger throughout, Dariush’s ability to control the action allowed him to take the rounds on the judges’ scorecards and ultimately earn the unanimous-decision victory.

Where a second consecutive setback is no reason to sound the alarm, the increasingly competitive nature of Miller’s division creates a different type of position. With 19 Octagon appearances under his belt, there’s no doubting Miller’s skill level and talent inside the cage. Yet, with Dariush leading a rising tide that is giving the existing guard fits as of late, Miller will have some work to do. 

A fighter doesn’t remain at the top level of a deep division without talent and grit, but the pressure will be on Miller to turn things around in his next showing in order to keep his relevance at the top levels of the lightweight collective alive.

 

The Strange

Fights in MMA get stopped for a myriad of reasons, but the bout between Diego Brandao and Jim Hettes became the latest fight brought to an end due to an exploding ear. Midway through the opening round,  the scrappy Brazilian planted a powerful elbow on Hettes that busted open a spot on the Pennsylvania native’s left ear.

While blood started to stream from Hettes’ ear, the action carried on in frenzied fashion as both men battled for position on the canvas as a tangle of exciting grappling exchanges unfolded. As soon as Brandao would take a dominant position on the mat, Hettes found a way to reverse the hold and put himself back on top. When the bell sounded to close out the first round, the New Jersey crowd cheered as it was primed for more.

Yet, that wasn’t going to happen as the cage-side doctor deemed Hettes’ ear a dangerous injury and called a stop to the fight.

Seconds later the crowed erupted into a chorus of boos as Brandao ran across the cage and jumped on top of the Octagon to celebrate while a visibly upset Hettes let a combination of punches loose on the chain links. In the post-fight interview, Joe Rogan questioned the stoppage as the blood flowing from Hettes’ ear would not impede his vision or put his ear in jeopardy, but the call had already been made, and the decision was official.

With the win, Brandao stopped a two-fight skid and picked up his first victory since August 2013, while Hettes was dealt his second consecutive loss in an increasingly competitive featherweight division. Bleacher Report’s Hunter Homistek reported Hettes’ reaction:

On a final note, perhaps the most strange thing about UFC on Fox 15 was that there was very little strange at all. With the event taking place in Newark, New Jersey—a place where I’ve personally experienced some of the most curious happenings in my entire life—there figured to be a long list of abnormal things afoot. Nevertheless, that did not turn out to be the case on Saturday night; everything seemed to fall into the regular order of things.

While normalcy does rear its ugly head now and then, it always seems off when it does. While fight fans can normally count on a referee not doing his/her job in a crucial moment or a cage-side judges dropping the ball now and again, those things were not to be found at UFC on Fox 15.

Then again, the New Jersey Athletic Commission does have an outstanding reputation for running a tight ship, and it’s quite possible the event on Saturday night is a reflection of that job done correctly.

 

Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

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Diego Brandao discusses the doctor’s stoppage of Jimy Hettes in his UFC on FOX 15 fight, how it occurred, how he bounced back from Conor McGregor loss, and much more in a post-fight scrum.

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Cage Pages
Means, Brandao win MMA fights in New Jersey
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NEWARK, N.J. – After schooling George Sullivan, Moriarty MMA fighter Tim Means sought to educate the folks at Bleacher Report. Means dominated Sullivan in a UFC welterweight (170-pound) fight Saturday, punishing him with fists, elbows and knees …
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It’s crowded at the top of the UFC middleweight division. UFC on Fox 15, which went down Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, did a lot to thin the throng.

In the evening’s main event, Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold did battle. At No. 2 and No. 4 in the official UFC middleweight rankings, respectively, there aren’t many fighters above them in the pecking order.

Besides champion Chris Weidman, the only other fighter above Machida in those rankings is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. “The Alligator” happened to be on the card as well, but—plot twist!—his original opponent, Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero, is not. Souza faced Chris Camozzi instead and, to put it mildly, that’s a step down in competition.

The upshot is that the middleweight deck is ripe for reshuffling. Depending on their performances, Machida, Rockhold or Souza could put himself in the catbird seat to challenge for the belt after Weidman defends it against Vitor Belfort in May.

And that was only the top two fights on a fairly stacked card, almost all of which aired for free on Fox. I’m sure you didn’t forget about Felice Herrig vs. Paige VanZant, either.

As usual, the final stat lines only reveal so much. These are the real winners and losers from UFC on Fox 15.

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After UFC on FOX 15, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani and Chuck Mindenhall break down the UFC event from Newark on Saturday.

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UFC on FOX 15 live blog: Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway
MMA Fighting
MMA Fighting scores this round 10-9 Holloway Round 2: Swanson chasing to land strikes, but can't quite do it. Holloway gets in close and digs two to the body. Decent left hand over the top from Swanson finds the mark. Holloway connects with a left hand
UFC on FOX 15 results: Dominant Max Holloway submits Cub Swanson in MMAjunkie.com
UFC Road to the Octagon: Who Wants it MoreMMA Micks
UFC on FOX 15 results: Max Holloway outclasses, outstrikes and then submits MMAmania.com
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Saturday’s main event at UFC on Fox 15 was booked to determine the next top contender for the UFC middleweight championship.

It essentially pinned divisional studs Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold against one another in a highly volatile matchup of world-class disciplines.

From Machida’s unorthodox striking and countering abilities to Rockhold’s athleticism and pinpoint accuracy, this was truly a difficult fight to predict.

But it was Rockhold’s dominating grappling that proved too much for The Dragon.

Here is what we learned from Saturday’s main course:

 

What We’ll Remember About This Fight

Rockhold has officially arrived.

As a former Strikeforce champion who was temporarily derailed by Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut, the 30-year-old has finally shed off the defeat and regained his title potential.

To much surprise, Rockhold absolutely battered Machida from bell to bell.

His athleticism and grappling were truly suffocating, draining the former top contender and making him look like a welterweight.

The biggest thing to remember about this fight is Rockhold’s dominance and his ever-growing elite-level grappling.

 

What We Learned About Machida

At 36 years of age, Machida isn’t going to be able to outpoint the younger and more athletic fighters for much longer.

That was represented in full in his disappointing performance opposite Rockhold.

Despite landing a few good shots in the beginning of Round 1, the Brazilian was out-muscled for the majority of Saturday’s contest.

At the end of the day, Machida’s technique and infamous counter-striking weren’t enough against a powerful and lengthy grappler.

 

What We Learned About Rockhold

After showcasing rolling body locks, vicious ground-and-pound and his fight-ending rear-naked choke, Rockhold may have the best combination of grappling and athleticism in the game today.

Having scored points at every turn of this fight, the finishing specialist made mincemeat of Machida with tiresome clinch work and a tumultuous onslaught from top position.

Not to mention he held his own in close quarters on the feet.

As it stands right now, Rockhold may be the most well-rounded fighter without a promotional strap.

 

What’s Next for Machida

This defeat is different than his loss to champion Chris Weidman at UFC 175.

This defeat was a one-sided beatdown that will now raise questions about the veteran’s potential moving forward.

Now while it would be crazy to consider Machida over the hill, he will be forced back down the ladder to reclaim his divisional stake.

A matchup with Michael Bisping if he wins makes sense, along with a clash with Tim Kennedy.

 

What’s Next for Rockhold

What’s next? A title shot.

It’s as simple as that.

Having now finished each of his last four fights, Rockhold has displayed the elite-level grappling and penetrating striking to challenge Weidman the day after tomorrow.

It’s going to be an uphill battle to claim UFC gold, but anything less at this point would be a waste of talent and potential.

 

For more UFC news and coverage,

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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At the UFC on FOX 15 post-fight press conference, Dana White, Luke Rockhold and more discussed the UFC event from Newark.

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