Okay. With the prelims over, we move to the UFC FN 57 main card, which will feature Frankie Edgar versus fellow, featherweight contender Frankie Edgar in the headliner.
Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs. Matt Wiman
Wiman is set to return to action for the first time in nearly two years. Wiman wings a couple of hard shots to begin the fight and Vallie-Flagg clinches up. Wiman has his back up against the cage and takes an elbow. Vallie-Flagg throws some shots, breaks away, and then clinches up again. Wiman fires back a couple of elbows of his own. Vallie-Flagg flurries and then re-clinches. Both men are landing elbows and punches along the fence. Wiman spins out but Vallie-Flagg pushes him back to the fence. The latter goes for a takedown but Wiman takes his back, and then rolls into an armbar. Wow. Vallie-Flagg keeps his arms wrapped, however, and the round ends.
Round two: Both lightweights come out firing and Wiman goes for a single leg. Vallie-Flagg defends. Once again Wiman is up against the fence, but he scrambles out as Vallie-Flagg goes for a takedown. The elbow fest continues. Vallie-Flagg takes the fight to the cage. More dirty boxing / striking. Vallie-Flagg plants two hard, uppercuts, but Wiman fires back. This is a grinding, brutal fight. Wiman takes Vallie-Flagg’s back in another scramble, but the latter works his way out. Yikes. Both men continue to land strikes to the body and head from in close.
Round three: Vallie-Flagg chucks a kick and punches to begin the round, but once again, Wiman fires back. Now Wiman has VF up against the cage. Wiman drops for a leg but takes a barrage of elbows for his efforts. Fight moves to center of the Octagon briefly. Each man continues to score. Vallie-Flagg goes for a takedown, but yet again, Wiman takes the opportunity to take his opponent’s back. Wiman’s hunting for a rear-naked-choke. Fight comes to an end. What a gruelling scrap. Wee bit surprised to see two 30-27 scores…
Matt Wiman def. Isaac Vallie-Flagg via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz
This flyweight fight should be fantastic. Both guys come out firing shots. Ortiz is moving forward and Benavidez is firing back. High volume of strikes as expected. Benavidez appears to be landing more often and Ortiz’s face is starting to show some wear. Now Benavidez is moving forward move often, and feinting with level changes. Benavidez plants a couple of hard shots but Ortiz returns with a good left. Benavidez explodes in and lands a beautifully timed takedown. The Team Alpha Male passes Ortiz’s guard but round ends.
Round two: Ortiz charges out but Benavidez pushes him back with an impressive flurry. Ortiz resumes his pursuit. The Roufusport fighter takes a head kick and moves back. Benavidez charges in but Ortiz seems okay. The latter shoots in for a takedown but can’t keep Benavidez down. Benavidez finds a home with a hard overhand right but gets swept to the floor not long after. In the ensuing scramble, the fight moves back to standing. Benavidez is slowing down a bit. Ortiz defends a takedown attempt and tries one of his own. Round ends.
Round three: Benavidez defends another takedown attempt from Ortiz and takes his back, standing, along the fence. Ortiz spins out. Benavidez is still beating Ortiz to the punch and the latter shoots in again. Benavidez defends again. Moments later Benavidez clinches, throws Ortiz down but can’t keep him there. Lots of scrambling going on as Ortiz repeatedly attempts to take Benavidez down. Benavidez fires a spinning heel kick that misses. Great action. Ortiz will likely–should–lose the decision but showed he can hang with a top contender.
Joseph Benavidez def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Jared Rosholt
Oliynyk is winging hard right hands but Rosholt comes back with a brutal barrage of uppercuts. Oliynyk appears to be in trouble but is firing back. Rosholt ties him up and has Oliynyk up against the fence. Rosholt’s bleeding already. Once again, Rosholt punishes Oliynyk with uppercuts and elbows. The heavyweights break apart. BAM! Oliynyk floors Rosholt with huge left hook and finishes the deal with follow up shots. Rosholt’s out cold. That could very well have landed the Ukrainian some bonus dollars…What a crazy, thrilling scrap.
Oleksiy Oliynyk def. Jared Rosholt via knockout (punches) R1, 3:21
Brad Pickett vs. Chico Camus
Pickett lands a cracking right to begin the fight but Camus takes it. The latter fires back with a flying knee and a left hook. Pickett attempts a takedown but Camus beautifully defends. Great start. Pickett changes levels again and gets the takedown. The British flyweight has top position and is landing shots from above. Pickett passes into half guard momentarily. A bloodied Camus works his way out. Pickett is also cut. Camus finds a home for a hard left but Pickett doesn’t seem fazed. What else is new. Outstanding pace of violence. Camus shoots in but Pickett scrambles back to his feet. Another left by Camus. Round ends as Pickett lands a leg kick.
Round two: Looks like Pickett picked up a busted nose in round one. Camus continues to land beautifully timed shots. Pickett shoots in on a double but can’t get the takedown. High volume of punches. Pickett attempts his own flying knee that misses badly. Camus punishes Pickett’s nose with a stiff jab. And does so again. Pickett blasts in with a well timed takedown. Camus gets back to his feet and threatens with a guillotine. Pickett plants a couple hard shots but Camus seems okay. Camus pulls the arms in the air taunt and Pickett does too…Round ends.
Round three: After some footwork by both men, Pickett goes for a single leg but can’t get it. Camus is on his bike, throwing a shot or two and moving out. Pickett changes levels again, shoots in, but Camus defends. Both guys continue to stay busy. Typical, high octane, flyweight action. Pickett lands a right. Not long after he goes for a takedown, but again, Camus defends. Pickett lands a front kick. Both guys chuck hard shots before the round ends. Great and very close fight.
Chico Camus def. Brad Pickett via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Bobby Green vs. Edson Barboza
It only takes a couple of seconds before Green is head shaking off a Barboza kick attempt. Barboza throws a hard, hard body kick but gets swept to the mat. The feared striker pops right back up. Green is throwing a lot of front kicks. Barboza flurries but Green defends. Green literally shrugs a Barboza attack off his shoulders…Now Green is smiling. Barboza plants a hard left hook but Green motions no problem. Green keeps shaking his head but Barboza is landing more often. Green launches a flying knee, which misses, before the round ends.
Round two: Barboza partially lands a head kick early in the round. Green shrugs it off. Green takes a follow up punch and a spinning kick that stuns him. Green seems okay. Barboza is winging hard shots. Green attempts another flying knee. Follows up with a spinning back fist that misses. Wow. Green is still shaking off shots from Barboza and keeps calling him on. Green is buckled by a thumping leg kick. Green has landed a few leg kicks of his own. Round ends.
Round three: Green absorbs a hard shot from Barboza early on. Not long after, Green lands a left hook that cuts Barboza. Green is keeping busy with kicks but Barboza continues to stay light on his feet. Green is landing more often in the third but Barboza isn’t fazed. Green is pursuing the elusive Barboza but can’t get that one big shot in. Green takes a hard counter shot, and not long after, Barboza raises his arms knowing he’s likely won the bout. The final buzzer sounds.
Edson Barboza def. Bobby Green (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson
Alrighty. The main event is here folks. Each featherweight teases with jabs to begin the fight. Edgar threatens with a level change but Swanson defends. The latter launches a right hand that appears to land. Edgar momentarily clinches up. Swanson is tossing hard shots. Edgar eats a right. Edgar attempts another takedown but Swanson defends and smiles. Swanson steps up his pursuit of Edgar but gets taken down. Swanson works butterfly guard and gets back to his feet. The two exchange shots but Edgar manages to trip Swanson to the mat. Round ends.
Round two: Swanson tosses a big uppercut to begin the round but Edgar seems okay. Edgar feints a level change and wings a head kick that misses. Swanson throws some big shots but Edgar counters. Swanson is cut above his left eye. Edgar starts working a takedown and gets it. The former lightweight champ is working in half guard. Swanson is taking some shots from above and his cut is worse as a result. Edgar brings the pain with elbows. Swanson attempts to bump up and out but can’t. Big, big round for Edgar.
Round three: Swanson throws a few jabs to begin the round. Edgar charges in and gets to Swanson’s back. Edgar gets the takedown again and is working from within Swanson’s guard. Edgar tosses punches from above. Swanson tries to scramble out but Edgar shuts it down. Swanson can’t work his way out. Edgar continues to punish the Jackson’s MMA fighter with ground-and-pound madness. Wow. Another clear cut round for Edgar.
Round four: Swanson is chucking big punches to begin the round. He follows up with a nasty body kick. Edgar blasts in with a fantastic double leg. Swanson momentarily defends, but once again, he winds up on his back. Edgar continues to rule the day with G-N-P. Edgar moves into full mount and Swanson is eating more hard shots. Swanson finally works his way back to his feet but Edgar dominated the round once again.
Round five: Both featherweights look fresh to begin the round. Swanson plants a right but Edgar counters. The latter attempts a single leg but Swanson shrugs it off. Edgar repeats and this time gets it. Once again, the decorated fighter is working from within Swanson’s half guard. Swanson needs to do something and fast. Edgar threatens with a guillotine choke but can’t keep it. Now Edgar is in full mount and goes for a side choke. Wow. Swanson works his way out. Edgar may not be pitching a no hitter but it’s pretty close to a shut out. Edgar is throwing down shot after shot. Edgar goes for a rear-naked-choke, might have been more of a crank, and gets the tap out. Yeah. Neck crank. What a performance for Edgar.
Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson via submission (rear-naked-choke / neck crank) R5, 4:56