Whats up fight fans!!! Yousef Nassar reporting here live from the DU Arena in Abu Dhabi where it’s time for UFC Fight Night 39! The UFC is back in the Middle East after last putting on a show in 2010 which saw Anderson Silva face Demian Maia.
This show has got a number of interesting bouts! The main event sees BJJ and MMA legend Minotauro Nogueira take on Roy “Big Country” Nelson in a bout that almost guarantees fireworks and is unlikely to go the distance! Tatsuya Kawajiri also makes his 2nd appearance in the UFC octagon and will face crowd favourite and Jackson/Winkeljohn fighter Clay Guida in a thrilling featherweight bout. The UFC has also managed to put in two arab fighters on this card – Ramsey Nijem (Palestine) and Alan Omer (Iraq), the latter of which is making his debut in the Octagon. Ramsey faces a tough opponent in Beneil Dariush who brings with him a straight 7-0 record.
I must point out there are a number of Arab MMA stars in attendance tonight including Khalid Walid, Victor Monfort, Mounir Lazzez (who will be doing the analysis on Abu Dhabi TV), Mohammad Yahya and Rafat Shawee. Im sure there are more floating around.
ArabsMMA will be attending the post-fight press conference as well so send us your questions you always wanted to ask Nogueira, Nelson, Nijem and the rest of the fighters!
Stay tuned for news, coverage and a whole lot of fighting!
JOHNNY BEDFORD (19-10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) VS. RANI YAHYA (19-8 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Round 1 – Here we go ladies and gentlemen!!!! Rani Yahya vs Johnny Bedford is the first UFC fight in 4 years that gets the show underway!
Rani Yahya fights out of Team Constrictor in Brasilia (remember Lula Gueirrero from AL Batal? He is also part of Team Constrictor). His UFC record stands at 4-2 and he will look to add another W to his record. His last fight ended in a close split decision loss against Tom Niinimaki and snapped his three fight winning streak. Lets see if he can kick-start another one here tonight!
His opponent is Johnny Bedford who fights out of Colleyville, Texas! His nickname? Brutal. Why you ask? Well… when you finish 15 of your 19 wins (7 by KO, 8 by submission) you do get a bit of a reputation as someone who doesn’t kid around. He most recently faced Bryan Caraway (of Miesha Tate fame) and lost by submission in the third round.
Johnny comes out first.
Out comes Rani Yahya. He gets checked and gets into the cage.
Both fighters now in the Octagon standing across the cage from one another. Andy Friedlander introduces the fighters and gets UFC Fight Night 39 underway!
Niell Hall the referee for this bout.
Here we go!
Both fighters come out and appear to be testing their range. Bedford is controlling the cage more effectively. They exchange blows and in bizarre fashion Bedford headbutts Yahya and knocks Yahya silly! A couple of follow up punches and that’s the end!
No contest! Thats it, the judges make it official and Bedford is not a happy camper! Wow!
Dan Hardy in the cage interviewing both fighters. Bedford is not happy and calls out Yahya to come fight against him in June in Texas. Yahya accepts the challenge and there are a few nasty exchanges of words in the cage! Both fighters camps come in and separate them.
Who smells a rematch!
Who would have expected that!
Result:No Contest (accidental head butt)
JIM ALERS (18-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) VS. ALAN OMER (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Round 1 – Next up we have two UFC debutants – Alan Omar and Jim Alers. The Iraqi born Alan, who fights out of Stuttgart – Germany, will rightly feel that he is the crowd favourite in this one against the American Alers. Alan has an impressive record 18-3and won his most recent bout against Dennis Tomzek in February via KO. Can he make it happen again?
Standing in his way is Jim “The Beast” Alers. The 27 year old has not lost a fight since 2010 and is on a 8 fight win streak. Will the submission expert manage to make it 9 in a row?
Jim Alers make his way to the cage. He looks pumped up!
Aaand here comes Alan Omer! In his entourage is Tim Leidecker, his manager and fellow German.
Omer is a BJJ Purple Belt and will come up against a Brown Belt in Alers…. Submission anyone? Hmmmmmmm…. Stranger things have happened.
The unmistakable Marc Goddard the referee for this one.
He calls them to the center. And were off!
They touch gloves to start. That will probably be the last of the niceties tonight
Alers and Omer both attempt massive hooks but just missed. They exchange in short flurries. Omer attempts a spinning back kick back ALers catches it and uses it to push Omer up against the cage. They tussle for position. And Omer pushes Alers off
Were back in the middle of the cage.
Low kick by Alers connects. A big right does too. Omer throws a combination in return, and a low kick.
Another nice combination by Omer. Front kick by Alers just misses. Low kick by Omer followed by a short combination.
They clinch and Alers lands a knee to the mid section. Omer seems content to wait for his opportunities to throw combos. He just did that now and landed a pretty nasty looking right.
Attempted spinning backfist by Alers… Maybe he was watching Beyouk in the most recent Desert Force? They trade and Alers pushes Omer up against the cage. Omer manages to switch and has Alers up against the cage now. Alers doing a good job of stopping Omer from throwing knees. Alers patiently kneeing Omer right thigh as the Iraqi tussles for position. They break!
Omer lands a nice right hook. Alers will not want to take too many of those.
Round 1 comes to a close. I gotta give that one to Omer 10-9.
Round 2 – Based on that first round. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a nasty KO!
A big right from Omer rocks Alers but he manages to compose himself and uses a single leg to drag Omer to the ground. They jostle for position and Omer end up on top and delivers some neat ground and pound.
Omer stands and delivers strikes to ALers as he attempts to stand up. Uppercut by Omer lands. Spinning kick lands to the mid section and as Omer was chasing up Alers knocks him down with a punch!
Alers now in Omers guard. Omer attempting the armbar but cant quite torque his hips up enough. Omer has Alers left arm hooked in. Alers pushes Omer up against the cage and is looking to deliver blows from up top. He changes his mind and goes into Omers guard. Omer managing to do a good job keeping Alers locked in and unable to deliver much damage.
Omer switches and he manages to stand and hold Alers against the cage! Marc Goddard breaks them up
They restart in the center of the cage. Alers looks a bit tired there. Omer throws a nice right uppercut and connects. 10 seconds left. Its in the bag!
Closer round than the 1st, but I gotta give that one to Omer 10-9. He started strong and finished the round strong and limited the amount of damage Alers could deliver.
Round 3 –Round 3!!
Low kicks by Omer to start the round. Alers goes for the single leg. Omer defends against the cage but Alers manages to put him down.
Omer jostling for position. He is trying to make use of his legs. Alers delivers someground and pound. Omer needs to find a way to get up. Theyre both up, Alers had Omer against the cage and Omer switches, Alers now against the cage. Nice knees by Omer. Alers goes for the takedown again by the cage and gets it. Alers now in Omers guard and Omer manages to push away from the cage.
Alers delivers another strike from up top. 60 seconds left in this one!
Goddard stands them up!
30 seconds to go. Spinning back kick by Omer. Another body kick lands. He has Alers up against the cage and delivers strikes. He goes for the takedown and gets it. These are crucial points in the eyes of the judges!
That’s it! Round 3 is over. That one goes to Alers.
That 2nd round will be crucial. Let’s see what the referees think.
Split decision victory for Alers! 29-8, 29-28 for Alers and one 29-28 for Omer
Alers looks ecstatic. He credits Omer’s striking and says he wanted to take it to the ground as much as he can. His wish? To fight Connor Mcgregor! Theres your first call out of the night
Result: Jim Alers, via Split Decision
THALES LEITES (22-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) VS. TREVOR SMITH (11-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Round 1 –Fight number three is about to get underway. A middleweight bout that sees Thales Leites face Trevor Smith. Smith makes his third UFC appearance after taking both his previous fights to decisions (both split). It’s a bit odd that he should have two draws in a row, the guy also has 9 first round finishes!
Thales Leites is a name familiar to UFC fans. With a 7-3 record in the Octagon, he is currently riding a two fight win streak and will look to add to that one.
Here they come! Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith comes out first. This guy also happens to be a NCAA division one fighter – that’s no joke! Its wrestling vs Jiu Jitsu in this one!
Thales Leites wins the walkout song of the evening so far – Three Little Birds by Bob Marley!
Niell Hall the referee for this one.
And were off. They meet in the middle of the Octagon. They tentatively trade trying to gauge their distance. Leites throws a biiiiig right hook and follows it up with a shorter one that connects on the button and floors Smith! Ground and pound ensues and that’s it! TKO victory for Leites!
Result: Thales Leites, via TKO (Punches), Round 1
DANIEL OMIELANCZUK (16-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) VS. JARED ROSHOLT (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Round 1 –Fight number 4 has 512 pounds of muscle on show! Two heavyweights both making their second appearances inside the Octagon and both coming off wins will do battle – its Jared Rosholt vs Daniel Omielanczuk (I will not even try to pronounce that one)
Daniel comes out first to some bizarre Polish techno-pop song. Mind you I don’t think anyone would dare say anything to him about it. And here comes Jared.
Marc Goddard gets us underway.
Nice low kick by Daniel. Jared throws a kick to the body. Solid right lands by Jared. Jared goes for the takedown attempts but ends up in an arm triangle for his efforts. Jared tries to get out of the half guard to get out of this hold. Hes out! Now in Daniels half-guard. Jared delivers a couple of strong strikes from above. Daniel felt those for sure!
They jostle for position and Daniel gives up his back. They tussle and Jared ends up in Daniels half guard again. 10 seconds left in this one. Round 1 comes to a close.
10-9 to Jared
Round 2 – Here we go. Jared rushes in for a takedown and manages to get kneed in the process. A big right kick by Daniel lands. Jared takes Daniel down by the cage and is in side mount. Let’s see what he can do from here.
Jared now in Daniels half-guard. He delivers short strikes from above. Jared now in side control. Daniel manages to roll off the cage and he is in the turtle position by the cage trying to get up. A big knee by Jared lands to the rib cage of Daniel. He felt that one.
Jared rushes in with a punch that Daniel ducks and counters. Daniel clinches and pulls guard. Jared with short punches to the body and head. 10 seconds before the end of round 2. That’s it!
I gotta give that one to Jared again 10-9
Round 3 – Round 3 here we go.
Big knee by Daniel lands and Jared goes for the takedown and gets it. Jared in full mount, switches and takes Daniels back. Daniel manages to roll and ends up with Jared in his half guard by the cage —- déjà vu!
They jostle for position and Jared ends up in side control. Daniel needs to get Jared off him soon, he has less than 90 minutes to find a way to secure a finish.
Jared manages to secure and arm triangle in the north-south position and is squeezing! Daniel needs to hold on for 10 more seconds to take this one to the judges. That’s it! Round 3 and its another 10-9 to Jared.
Lets see what the judges think
Results are in! Jared takes it by unanimous decision!
That’s it for the preliminary card folks! Next up is the main carrrrrd!!!!!
Next up we have Ramsey Nijem vs Beneil Dariush!
Result: Jared Rosholt, via Unanimous Decision
BENEIL DARIUSH (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) VS. RAMSEY NIJEM (8-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Round 1 – Nijem, of Palestinian origin, faces a tough task in this match up. Dariush has a perfect 7-9 record with 4 submission and 2 KO victories, five of which he finished in the first round. He makes his second appearance in the Octagon in 2014.
Daniel Dariush comes out to a Jackson 5 tune. He is singing it and looking generally very happy!
Ramsey comes out bearing a Palestinian flag and to an Arabic song! The crowd is loving this! As is Ramsey clearly!
Who would have ever thought? An Arabic walk-in song in the UFC!!!
Round 1 and were off.
Both fighters rolling around the cage. Dariush looking quite composed and seems to be measuring his strikes. Body kick by Dariush is caught by Ramsey, he uses it to throw him to the ground and deliver some ground and pound. Ramsey making good use of his kicks so far. Ramsey circling the cage. Good low kick by Ramsey, Dariush pushes him to the cage. They break and rest in the center of the cage.
Ramsey ducks a punch and lands one of his own. Dariush attempts a flying knee and Ramsey uses it to deliver strikes to the head of the head of the Iranian. Ramsey looks to have it almost finished but Dariush is holding on! Some crazy ground and pound by Ramsey and Dariush doing a good job of holding on! Ramsey now in full mount! He takes Dariush back. They rest and Ramsey is on top of of Dariush
Dariush face is looking like a gazpacho soup at the moment! Ramsey is delivering some killer blows! The referee has seen enough and stops it! Ramsey by TKO!!!!!
In his post fight speech Ramsey says he want to bring the first UFC title to the Middle East!
Wow! Well that was a sick start to the main card!!! Think the next two can keep it up? Its very possible… especially when those two are John Howard and Ryan LaFlare!
Result:Ramsey Nijem, TKO (strikes), Round 1
JOHN HOWARD (22-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) VS. RYAN LAFLARE (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
Round 1 – Howard, nicknamed “Doomsday” after the DC comic villain, is known for his crazy comeback skills! He has six wins by submission and 9 by KO and is riding a two fight win streak. His opponent makes his fourth UFC appearance and has a perfect 3-0 record (10-0 MMA).
Ryan LaFlare the first into the cage followed by Howard.
Round 1 here we go. They touch gloves. Both fighters coming out looking to be busy. Good body kick by Ryan. They trade in flurries. Ryan goes for the takedown and gets it. He ends up in Howards half guard and tries to work his way into full mount but Howard does a good job of defending against it. Ryan switches to side control. Another attempt by La Flare to end up in full mount but Howard stuffs it. Ryan manages to grab a nasty looking arm triangle though but he releases it
Howard stands. Ryan has howard against the cage following an exchange. Ryan attempting another takedown but ends up with Howard against the cage. He manages to judo throw Howard onto the matt but Howard stands and has Ryan against the cage.
They trade blows in the center of the cage. A knee to the head lands by Ryan. Howard the aggressor now. A nice head kick attempt by Ryan almost lands … maybe hes been watching some of Mounir Lazzez’s videos?
Round 1 is over! That one goes to Ryan 10-9
Round 2 – And we’re off. Howard manages to throw three strikes that find their target and seem to have Ryan on queer street. But he manages to compose himself and hold Howard against the cage. A takedown by Howard is successful, he ends up in Ryan’s half guard. Ryan rolls and ends up in side control.
They scramble on the ground and both end up standing. Ryan’s BJJ is looking pretty slick (mind you he is cornered by Braulio Estima). Ryan has Howard against the cage and throws a knee that lands flush on the family jewels. That one hurt! There is a break in the fight. Watching that on TV has the entire audience in pain! The doctor is in. Howard looks like he is in a lot of pain!
They restart! That is amazing. It seemed to most of us that this fight would not continue. Howard seemed in a truck load of pain. They restart in the middle. Ryan with a takedown that he secures. They stand up and Howard looks like he is moving with a bit of difficulty. Howard with a Judo trip but Howard manages to reverse it and they both stand. They exchange blows against the cage and this round is up.
Round 3 – Round 3 gets underway. Low kick by Howard drops Ryan. Howard throws a punch but Ryan uses his momentum to go for the judo trip. Howard ends up on his back against the cage. They stand up again and Howard throws a series of strikes that hurt Ryan!
A nice scramble by both and Howard ends up on his back. Ryan now in Howards guard. They roll on the ground and Howard ends up with a leg! He is going for a leg lock but cant get it. 10 seconds left in this one. And that’s it Lets see what the judges have to say about this one. That last round was Howards.
Unanimous decision! Ryan La Flare takes that one!
Result: Ryan La Flare, via Unanimous Decision
CLAY GUIDA (30-14 MMA, 10-8 UFC) VS. TATSUYA KAWAJIRI (33-7-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Round 1 –The last two fights of the night are coming up. Before we get to the main event we have Clay “The Carpenter” Guida vs Tatsuya “The Crusher” Kawajiri! Kawajiri has been a pro for the last 14 years and has ammased a 33-7-2 record in that time. This is his second UFC fight and he will look to build on his six fight winning streak against the always entertaining and aggressive Clay Guida! Guida has won 8 of his last 13 fights but was stopped for the first time in his career in his last UFC appearance aganst Chad Mendes. Both fighters have a lot to prove in this one. Lets see how this unfolds!
Kawajiri comes out to some awesome heavy metal!
Guida comes out to Punk!
Marc Goddard the referee for this one. And we get underway! Kawajiri goes for a spinning back fist and it lands but Guida looks ok. Guida throws a huuuuuuuge left and it looked as if Kawajiri was out! He somehow managed to get back up and defend against ground and pounds! Wow! That’s fucking crazy chin! Guida now has Kawajiri against the cage in a body lock. Kawajiri rolls and ends up in an armbar attempt! But he is against the cage so his space is a bit limited to stretch out his hips. Guida has to keep Kawajiri up against the cage here. GUida breaks out and takes Kawajiri’s back! They end up standing and Guida has Kawajiri against the cage again.
Guida with a massive slam! Kawajiri gets up though as if nothing ever happened! They trade punches and Kawajiri gets his own slam now! Kawajiri on top but Guida is going for an armbar.
Round 1 is over. 10-9 Guida
Round 2 – Round 2 and both fighters come out with strikes. Guida Kawajiri against the cage. Kawajiri throwin short elbows but these aren’t doing much damage. They scramble and Kawajiri throws a nice left jab that lands flush. Both fighters in the center of the cage. Guida goes for a double leg takedown attempt against the cage. He picks up Kawajiri and slams him again!
Guida with Kawajiri against the cage again. They scramble and Kawajiri has Guida in an attempted triangle from above but Guida rolls and ends up taking Kawajiri’s back.
Round 2 is over. 10-9 Guida
Round 3 – Round 3 here we go. Guida attempts a huge head kick but Kawajiri manages to roll with it. Front kick attempt by Guida misses. Guida stuffs Kawajiri’s single leg attempt. They scramble against the cage. They restart in the middle of the cage. 90 seconds to find a winner here. Guida picks up Kawajiri who tries to lock in a choke and slams him again on the matt! Great scrambling form both fighters.
Round 3 is over. That’s gotta be another 10-9 Guida!
Clay Guida calls out Connor McGregor! “There ain’t no gold at the end of that rainbow”… Man Connor is going to be one busy guy!
Next up is the fight you’ve all been waiting for! The heavyweight main event between Minotauro Nogueira and Roy Nelson! The general consensus is that the longer this fight goes the more Nogueira has an advantage. But Nogueira will do well to avoid those huge hands of Roy! You don’t win knockout of the night four times for nothing.
Result: Clay Guida, via Unanimous Decision
ROY NELSON (19-9 MMA, 6-5 UFC) VS. ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA (34-8-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC)
Round 1 – Here comes Big Country! Walking out to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. He looks calm and collected as he takes off his gear and the ringside physician applies the vaseline and completes his final checks. And he is in the cage!
Here comes Nogueira! Draped in both the Emirati and Brazilian flag!
Ricardo Arona is in Nogueira’s corner.
Leon Rober’s the referee in this bout! Last instructions… Here we go.
Straight jab by Nogueira to start proceedings. Nelson with a big overhand that puts Nogueira down. Nogueira was willing to bait Roy down with him but Roy decided to allow the Brazilian back up. Roy is throwing those haymakers! Nogueira seems to be able to avoid them so far but should one land… yikes!
Nogueira rushes in and tries to push ROy against the cage and grab him but Roy cage walks and gets out of the way. Jab/Cross combo by Nelson. Big right hand by Roy! Huuuuuuge! Nogueira stands but doesnt seem to be present. Roy throws another punch down the middle, Nogueira looks like he is in a lot of trouble!
Biiig overhand! Nogueira is out!!!! Nogueira is out cold!!!
Result: Roy Nelson, via KO (Punch), Round 1