Mike Swick weighs-in for UFC Fight Night 12. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Sometimes when two evenly-matched fighters have skills that cancel out the other’s strengths, a fight can be become more of a time-consuming chess match then an exciting war.
That’s exactly what happened last night between Mike Swick and Josh Burkman. Although the favored Swick came away the winner of a razor-close decision, the crowd still wasn’t very appreciative for his performance.
The comfy crowd inside The Pearl Theatre in the Palms Resort and Casino expected an exciting fight but ended up seeing the same thing over and over and over again. Burkman tried desperately throughout the fight to take Swick down to the mat but Swick wasn’t having any of it. With Swick content to stand and trade and Burkman unable to execute his game-plan, the two resorted to a slow, careful exchange on the feet, each respecting the other’s power behind their punches.
Burkman was the aggressor throughout the majority of the fight, capitalizing on Swick’s raised hands to land a number of body punches. While Swick scored with many a leg kick, Burkman drew rises out of the crowd with spinning back fists, standing reverse elbows, and a jumping roundhouse at different points during the bout.
With each fighter seemingly winning one of the first two rounds, it was expected that the winner of the third and final round would take the fight on the judge’s scorecards, provided that it didn’t go the distance. Oddly enough, Burkman was content to stand back and let Swick come to him during the final stanza, almost like he assumed that he won both rounds.
Swick took advantage and connected with combinations and body kicks all while using his size to press Burkman up against the cage. The fighters being pressed up against the cage was a common theme during the fight. Referee Steve Mazzagatti separated the two and restarted the bout at least a half dozen times during the match.
When everything was said and done Swick escaped with a majority decision over Burkman, who shook his head in disbelief after the decision was being announced, amidst a chorus of boos from the crowd.
“I’m sorry for my performance not being as exciting,” Swick said during a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “I really don’t know what else to say. I was trying to defend the takedowns. I didn’t want to get taken down.”
Patrick Cote continued his roll through the UFC’s middleweight division with an impressive stoppage win over fellow heavy-handed striker Drew McFedries.
The two stated before the fight that they both wanted to stay on the feet and bang and that’s exactly what happened in this one. Cote and McFedries went back and forth with hard exchanges to start the bout. A seemingly cool and collected McFedries baited Cote to turn it up a notch while taunting in the form of punching his own chin.
Asking Cote to turn up the heat turned out to be a bad decision for McFedries as Cote connected with a left-right combination that stunned the Miletich Fighting Systems product. Cote then rushed forward with a flurry of uppercuts that caused McFedries to fall and cover up on the ground, forcing referee Herb Dean to wave off the bout.
Despite McFedries acting like the stoppage was premature, it was obvious that Cote wasn’t going to let up with his assault as McFedries had nowhere to go.
Thiago Tavares used his superior grappling skills to outpoint Michihiro Omigawa in the other long, drawn-out fight on the televised portion of the card.
Tavares nearly finished the fight in the first round as he had Omigawa’s back for nearly two full minutes. However the Japanese native defended Tavares’ choke attempts well and survived the opening five minutes.
The second round saw Omigawa try to take control as he was able to put Tavares on his back a couple of times during the round but Tavares used slick hip movement to reverse the position and wind up on top of his opponent where he controlled him for the remainder of the round. The third round saw much of the same type of action on the ground.
When everything was said and done, Tavares came away with his second unanimous decision win in the UFC.
Former Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz continued his string of impressive performances with a submission win over upstart Alvin Robinson in the first televised fight of the night on Spike TV.
After scoring on the feet in the opening seconds, Diaz picked Robinson up and slammed him to the mat, only to find himself stuck in a guillotine choke. Instead of working his way out of the hold, Diaz opted to slam his opponent down once again, only making the choke tighter.
Diaz eventually worked his way out and found himself on his back. A scramble ensused and Diaz nearly locked Robinson in an omoplata but Robinson was able to work his way out of it. After another scramble on the ground, Diaz was on his back yet again but was able to lock in a slick triangle that forced Robinson to tap out.
After the fight Diaz voiced his pleasure in winning another fight in the first round.
“Got that finish in the first round again,” said Diaz. “It made me feel good, real good. I think it lets you guys know where I stand.”
Matt Wiman def. Justin Buccholz - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Corey Hill def. Joe Veres - TKO (Strikes)
Jeremy Stephens def. Cole Miller - TKO (Strikes)
Gray Maynard def. Dennis Siver - Unanimous Decision
Kurt Pellegrino def. Alberto Crane - TKO (Strikes)