UFC 197: Rusty Jones still sharp enough to pile up the points on OSP
Jon Jones returned to the octagon using his usual assortment of attacks to tire Ovince St. Preux and earn a unanimous decision win at UFC 197.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Danny Roberts and Dominque Steele earned Fight-of-the-Night while Demetrious Johnson and Yair Rodriguez earned performance awards. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews checks in:
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
EFRAIN ESCUDERO VS KEVIN LEE
WINNER: KEVIN LEE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: KEVIN LEE VIA TKO
Andrews: Lee played it safe, sticking to jabs and takedowns late in the fight to secure the win. Escudero got his shots in and proved to be tough, but Lee weathered the storm. Good performances by both fights.
MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VS CLINT HESTER
WINNER: MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VIA SUBMISSION R1 4:35
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CLINT HESTER VIA TKO
Andrews: Another bad performance by Hester. He hasn’t learned how to get up from the ground. De Lima just battered him on the ground and then submitted him with the arm triangle – Hester barely landed any strikes at all. Great win for de Lima.
WALT HARRIS VS CODY EAST
WINNER: WALT HARRIS VIA TKO R1 4:18
ANDREWS PREDICTION: WALT HARRIS VIA TKO
Andrews: Harris caught East with a straight left hand, which knocked him down then needed 15 strikes or so to finally finish him. East is one tough dude, but great performance by Harris.
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
GLAICO FRANCA VS JAMES VICK
WINNER: JAMES VICK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMES VICK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Vick used an excellent performance (and a timely eye poke?) to land strikes pummel Franca for the most part of three rounds. Great takedown defence too. Franca was tough to take the offence of Vicks and but could not find the answers needed to win. Great win for Vick.
#2 CARLA ESPARZA VS #14 JULIANA LIMA
WINNER: CARLA ESPARZA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CARLA ESPARZA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Esparza’s wrestling overcame the Muay Thai of Lima. She used her wrestling top game to take the starch out of Lima, who faded and a late offensive reversal in the third was not enough. Still a little concerned about Esparza’s striking though, but good performance nonetheless by The Cookie Monster.
DANNY ROBERTS VS DOMINIQUE STEELE
WINNER: DANNY ROBERTS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DOMINIQUE STEELE VIA UNAIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: I thought Steele won, but the judges were obviously impressed with the shots thrown by Roberts. They were not impressed by the slams of Steele, and the wrestling control. Great performances by both fighters.
#14 SERGIO PETTIS VS CHRIS KELADES
WINNER: SERGIO PETTIS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: SERGIO PETTIS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Sergio Pettis overcame a competitive and pressuring Chris Kelades, showcasing his grappling and ground game in the process. Great performances by both fighters.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
YAIR RODRIGUEZ VS ANDRE FILI
WINNER: YAI RODRIGUEZ VIA KO R2 2:15
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANDRE FILI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Rodriguez was threatening all night with kicks and the finish was a beautiful one. Fili just could not enforce his game. Great win for Yair.
#7 ROBERT WHITTAKER VS #13 RAFAEL NATAL
WINNER: ROBERT WHITTAKER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROBERT WHITTAKER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Great fight. The leg kicks of Natal punished Whittaker’s left leg but Whittaker’s striking bloodied Natal’s right eye and a late headkick knockdown by Whittaker prevented Natal from stealing this one. Great job by both fighters.
#3 ANTHONY PETTIS VS #8 EDSON BARBOZA
WINNER: EDSON BARBOZA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANTHONY PETTIS VIA TKO
Andrews: Barboza landed the left hook and battered the left leg of Pettis. Showtime just could not figure out a way to penetrate the defences of Edson. Great win for the Brazilian.
DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VS #2 HENRY CEJUDO
WINNER: DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VIA TKO R1 2:49
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: Demetrious Johnson used his Muay Thai this time to put away a game Cejudo who took him down earlier. Another textbook technical performance.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 24, 2016
#1 JON JONES VS #6 OVINCE ST. PREUX
WINNER: JON JONES VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (50-44, 50-45, 50-45)
Andrews: Jones looked rusty as DC noted, but he more than got the job done against OSP. He used his usual assortment of oblique kicks and spinning elbows to take the starch out of OSP. Now we get to see the Jones vs Cormier showdown.