UFC Fight Night 78 || Main Card Play-By-Play

Written by @NickRiznerMMA

Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum


Round 1:

And we’re off. Main event time. Quick start for Magny who begins by trying to find that range with some long jabs and push kicks. Gastelum starts by working the leg kicks, and is negating the range well, by angling towards the cage. As Gastelum pressures, Magny answers by shelling up, a potentially dangerous strategy against a very precise striker.

Magny lands a big takedown, but Kelvin scrambles to the feet. He attempts a judo throw but loses the scramble. Magny maintains top control and is transitioning beautiful from back control to full mount. He keeps teasing that rear-naked choke, but Kelvin is doing enough to fight it off. Still, pure dominance from Magny on the ground. Should be enough to win him the round.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Magny

Round 2:

Magny is using the range well in the opening seconds of round two. He’s using that jab to maintain the distance as best he can, but Gastelum is relentless with this pressure. A hard body kick lands flush for Kelvin, who then eats three punches to the face from Magny. This has been a good one through one and a half rounds.

As I mentioned before, Magny’s shell defense against the cage is dangerous. Kevlin lands a huge combination against the fence. It’s hard to tell how many got through, if any. Now it’s Magny with the takedown, Kelvin with the near reversal, and we’re back to the feet. Magny is smothering him again, scoring another takedown and retaking the back with 20 seconds to go. In my book, that’s another one for Magny, who is fighting a very smart fight so far.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Magny (20-18 overall)

Round 3:

Good striking from Magny who really seems to have his range down at this point. Hit Kelvin with flurries, return to the clinch, repeat. I believe Kelvin’s best chance to be early. Known to fade at times, his cardio vs. the extremely well-conditioned Magny could be a huge factor in the championship rounds.

Kelvin’s punches seem to have a lot less behind them than before, and Magny looks as sharp as ever. Gastelum stuffs a takedown attempt and takes Magny’s back against the cage. But only for a moment, as Magny regains control. Gastelum rolls through a takedown attempt to secure top position late, but this should be Magny’s round as well.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Magny (30-27 overall)

Round 4:

Wow! More of the same for the first minute and a half and then out of nowhere, Kelvin lands with a clean hook and drops Magny! Magny is surviving so far, but Kelvin is using this as an opportunity to establish position on the ground. He settles for half guard for now, landing with some ground-and-pound elbows.

Magny returns to the feet, but Kelvin drops him again! Magny once again survives, but finds himself under Kelvin again. Now Kelvin’s got his back against the cage. How rocked is Magny? It’s hard to say. He throws a flying knee and sells out for a takedown attempt. It would serve him well to clinch for the rest of the round. Magny survives, but with two knockdowns, I’m tempted to give this a 10-8 in favor of Gastelum.

MMA Mad scores the fourth round 10-8 Gastelum (38-37 Magny)

Round 5:

Magny shoots into the clinch early, but Gastelum defends. Gastelum is looking for the knockout and Magny’s just trying to survive. Gastelum lands a huge takedown and winds up in side control. Magny defends well and transitions to full guard. Magny manages to get back to the feet, and with two and a half left, it’s still anybody’s fight.

Kelvin landing efficiently against the cage. He’s really playing with fire with this shell defense. To the center of the cage with one minute to go. Magny takes Gastelum’s back and drags Kelvin to the ground. He’s got his back and both hooks, but Kelvin reverses and winds up on top. Big finish from Kelvin who finishes strong and wins the round. By my scorecards, I have this as a draw.

MMA Mad scores the fifth round 10-9 Gastelum (47-47 overall)

Official Results – Neil Magny def. Kelvin Gastelum via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

Ricardo Lamas vs. Diego Sanchez


Round 1:

Diego Sanchez defends the first Lamas barage, and begins to string together some combos of his own. Nobody has landed yet. Sanchez teasing the level change seems to have created some openings for power shots. Still, Lamas has managed to survive without much damage.

And here we go! Lamas lands a spinning wheel kick and Sanchez fires back with some big combinations. Things are really getting turned up now. Another wheel kick attempt from Lamas, but Sanchez dodges this one. Lamas is maintaining distance with some really rangy kicks, and he follows this up with a takedown, allowing him to take Sanchez’s back against the cage.

Lamas gets him to the ground, but just for a moment as Sanchez scrambles to the feet works the clinch in the closing seconds. A big elbow from Sanchez closes the round, but Lamas should take it.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Lamas.

Round 2:

Lamas is keeping distance, but Sanchez refuses to allow him to dictate the pace. He presses forward with a clean combination, before Lamas goes for a double leg that ends up in a clinch against the fence.

Wow! A huge leg kick lands low for Sanchez who seems to be wobbly. Reminiscent of the Scott Jorgensen injury early. Lamas follows this up with a flurry of punches and more leg kicks, really targeting that injured ankle/calf.

Sanchez is an animal, waving Lamas on. Lamas avoids the emotional brawl and starts throwing from range again. Now the clinch. Now the ground game. These guys are going blow-for-blow in every area. As they return to the feet, Lamas lands another powerful leg kick to that injured lower leg. Another big round for Lamas.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Lamas (20-18 overall)

Round 3:

Diego is anticipating the targeted kicks and Lamas seems to be getting away from it. Don’t expect him to avoid it all together however. And just like that, Sanchez eats another hard leg kick, which drops him to the mat. Sanchez backs himself against the fence and starts waving Lamas on again. Lamas stays patient and intellegent, really avoiding the emotional brawl.

A spinning attack from Lamas misses and leads to a slip. Diego attempts to capitalize, but Lamas gets back to his feet and avoids the flurry. Sanchez is bloody, injured, and showing a lot of heart. What else is new?

Sanchez is landing very heavy in the third, but that ankle is such a liability. Both guys are exchanging lightning fast wheel kicks but neither lands. When the ten second mark sounds, Sanchez goes for a last flurry, but Lamas smartly clinches to avoid damage. Very smart fight from Lamas who takes home a really exciting victory. Fight of the Night so far.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Lamas (30-27 overall)

Official Results – Ricardo Lamas def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


Jussier Formiga vs. Henry Cejudo


Round 1:

This is an important one at 125 pounds; an unofficial title eliminator. Cejudo begins by working the stand-up. His boxing seems to improve with every fight. Formiga is staying patient so far. As Cejudo darts in, Formiga is angling away and landing with counters. Effectively, I might add.

With two minutes to go, we get to see some of the clinch game, a strongsuit for Cejudo. A big power shot from Cejudo lands clean. It’s Cejudo who’s dictating the pace, and I believe that’s enough to win him the first round, but not by a landslide. A late-round takedown should solidify that notion.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Cejudo

Round 2:

Cejudo looks like a different fighter in the opening minutes of the second. Looser, faster, more determined. He’s landing with volume now, and looks to be very light on his feet. Formiga is waiting and countering again, but not as effectively. And Cejudo seems to have improved his accuracy.

Formiga is landing occasionally, but never following it up with combinations. Cejudo showing some great work in the clinch exchanges, landing knees, as well as elbows on the break. Good combo from Formiga with ten seconds to go, but Cejudo should take this round as well.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Cejudo (20-18 overall)

Round 3:

Right to the clinch to start the first. Wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of the wrestling in this round. Cejudo showing some more solid striking from the clinch and Formiga would be wise to avoid that area. With three minutes left, Cejudo drops for a takedown, gets the slam, but can’t secure top position.

Back to the clinch. Those knees and elbows are there all day for Cejudo. Formiga attempts a judo through, but it’s easily thwarted by Cejudo who pushes him away. Formiga keeps looking for trips from the clinch, but to no effect. This was a pretty dominant round from Cejudo, who should take this fight on the judge’s scorecards.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Cejudo (30-27 overall)

Official Results – Henry Cejudo def. Jussier Formiga via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Erick Montano vs. Enrique Marin


Round 1:

All stand up through the first two minutes. Montano is the one landing early in this one, but neither guy looks to be outmatched. Finally, we get to see some of the clinch game, an area that should benefit Montano, but looks to be a stale mate so far.

With a minute and a half left, Montano lands a big take down, but is immediately reversed by Marin, who is now sitting in Montano’s guard. And we’re back to the feet with a minute to go. Marin lands a pair of hard uppercuts and is immediately countered by a hard hook from Montano. Very close round, but I give a slight edge to Marin. VERY close though.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Marin.

Round 2:

It doesn’t take long for this one to go to the ground. Marin clinches early and scores a big takedown against the fence. But Montano may be able to get his feet under and stand up. Instead, he reverses position and ends up on top.

Marin has a hold of the leg from the bottom and uses it get back to the top (despite a fence grab and an illegal kick to the face from Montano). Back to the feet again, and both guys look exhausted. Montano keeps going to that spinning wheel kick but Marin is ducking them with relative ease. Montano’s oblique kicks are leaving some openings for big shots to the head, which may be an interesting approach in the third. But this round clearly goes to Marin.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Marin (20-18 Marin

Round 3:

Some solid striking from Montano to kick off the third. He’s landing clean and often. Marin initiates the clinch again, but it’s Montano who establishes dominant position against the cage. And they separate. Montano is visibly exhausted, but he’s still throwing with volume.

With two minutes left, Marin returns to the clinch game, but doesn’t do much with it, eventually separating once again. A takedown in the closing minutes should do it for Montano. Neither guy ran away with this one. It really comes down to that close first round. I gave it to Marin, so I have him taking this fight.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Montano (29-28 Marin)

Official Results – Erick Montano def. Enrique Marin via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


Enrique Barzola vs. Horacio Gutierrez


Round 1:

Guitierrez lands a hard leg kick around the four minute mark, the biggest strike of the fight so far. It’s Guitierrez getting off early, but Barzola lands the move of the round with a big slam that gives him back control. Guitierrez defends well and sells out with a guillotine attempt. Not a good one though.

Barzola is on top again with a minute and a half left. He’s posturing up and landing some pretty solid ground-and-pound to the head and body. Guitierrez manages to escape for a moment, but Barzola is all over him, immediately tripping him back to the ground. More powerful ground-and-pound to finish the round, and Barzola should take the first.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Barzola.

Round 2:

Guitierrez is a dangerous striker, but Barzola seems to have his timing down perfectly. As soon as Guitierrez attempts a leg kick, Barzola shoots for a power double that lands successfully. Bad start for Guitierrez, who spent most of the first round on his back, as well.

Barzola is doing an excellent job at posturing up, stacking Guitierrez, and landing powerful shots on the ground. The elbows have opened up a cut on Guitierrez, adding a colorful visual to the dominance of Barzola. Barzola takes a break to reinsert his mouth piece, then continues going to work. He eats a couple up kicks, but nothing too bad. Another big round for Barzola, who is dominating this fight.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Barzola (20-18 overall)

Round 3:

A frustrated Guitierrez looks to be throwing with everything he’s got in the third. Barzola goes for a takedown and it gets stuffed. Another attempt and again stuffed. Guitierrez is throwing absolute haymakers, but nothing connecting yet. And Barzola counters with a takedown – this time successful – as he finds himself in top position once again.

Barzola is doing a good job staying active, preventing any resets from the ref. With two minutes left, he’s well in control of this fight. Those slicing elbows are landing at will. With a minute left, Barzola is having his way with Guitierrez. Great performance from the underdog in this one, as he controlled every minute of this one.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Barzola (30-27 overall)

Official Results – Enrique Barzola def. Horacio Gutierrez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)


Efrain Escudero vs. Leandro Silva


Round 1:

Silva is looking to land power shots, but Escudero is neutralizing it by pressing forward. Still, Silva has broken through with a couple now, landing clean to the head and body. He’s clearly got an advantage in the stand up so far.

Escudero attempts a takedown, but it’s stuffed. And another. Also stuffed. The round ends with some more clean combos from Silva, who looks sharp through one. But neither guy is running away with it.

MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Silva

Round 2:

The round starts with about a minute of striking before Escudero scores the takedown in the center of the cage. He doesn’t do much with it and Silva uses his butterfly guard to push Escudero away and get back to the feet.

Back to the ground again at the midway point, as Escudero regains top position and begins to work some more ground-and-pound. Silva looks to be going for wrist control in order to set up a triangle or armbar, but Escudero defends and pushes Silva to the fence. Back to the feet to end the round; a good one for Escudero.

MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Escudero (19-19 overall)

Round 3:

Surprised to see Escudero willing to stand and trade with Silva through the opening minute and a half. Finally, he begins going for takedown, but Silva has stuffed them both and continues to pepper Escudero with clean shots.

Another stuffed takedown attempt, leads to a Silva taking the back – brilliantly I might add. He’s got both hooks in with two minutes to go. Now just one. Escudero could scoot out here. A triangle around one of Escudero’s legs block any chance of that. Silva finishes the round with back control and should take the round. Strong finish for the Brazilian.

MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Silva (29-28 Silva)

Official Results – Leandro Silva def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


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