UFC Fight Night 15: Diaz Vs Neer Review!
Omaha, Nebraska - Many questions were answered this Wednesday night at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Nate Diaz is definitely someone to be reckoned with in the UFC's lightweight division and hometown hero, Houston "The Assassin" Alexander still needs some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes.
|Pro MMA Radio:
Pro MMA Radio is a weekly radio show devoted to bringing you the exciting world of mixed martial arts. Guests include top fighters, trainers and others from the UFC, WEC, Elite XC and other top MMA promotions.
[ Click Here To Start Listening! ]
Nate Diaz remained undefeated in the UFC as he squeaked out a split decision victory over Josh "The Dentist" Neer. With a peppering barrage of punches, Diaz was able to keep Neer guessing most of the fight. Using his strikes to offset Neer, Diaz was able to look for takedowns and Judo throws.
During the early stages, Neer was able to slam Diaz around, but his submission attempts were futile. Diaz showed how well versed he is in BJJ, as he stepped over Neer to defend the many Kimura attempts by Neer.
Neer, 25, came out in the second round with a solid takedown, but it only allowed Diaz, 23, to display his BJJ skills that he learned from Cesar Gracie. Diaz was able to reverse the submission attempts from Neer and stood back up. Diaz ate some non punishing up-kicks from Neer, before Neer got back to his feet. One more slam from Neer and an attempted guillotine choke that Diaz was able to slip out of ended the second stanza.
The third round was much of the same, Diaz was able to get the better of the takedowns. Neer fought off the ground and pound by attempting numerous kimuras, but with no success. Diaz was able to throw Neer to the ground once again and ended it with some fashionable ground and pound.
The fight was more of an Abu Dhabi grappling match than anything, entertaining none the less. The judges scorecards were 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in favor of Diaz, his first decision of his young and promising career.
"Josh Neer, he ain't no black belt in jiu-jitsu like the other guys I've been fighting," Diaz said. "This dude right here can fight. All these other jiu-jitsu guys, and wrestlers, you all need to learn how to box and get in here and fight. "This guy is down!"
The night's co-main event also saw two other contending lightweights as Clay "The Carpenter" Guida simply out hustled Mac Danzig to earn a unanimous decision 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.
Guida, the former carpenter, has been on the wrong end of decisions in the past. With a solid chin and terrorizing take downs he was able to earn his biggest victory with in the UFC. Danzig, 28, came out looking strong with crisp striking.
His punch, kick combos were finding their mark, but Guida found the openings to continually take him down. Danzig would get back up only for Guida to take the air out of him again with another slam. Guida would continue to work within Danzig's guard to earn more points.
The second and third rounds were much of the same, and you could see the frustration on Danzig's mug. Guida, 26, was relentless with his take downs and attempted to punish Danzig with some punches and elbows, but none were too damaging. Danzig was able to land some stiff punches and front kicks, but they only added fuel to Guida's fire as he continued his frantic pace.
"I felt he hit me pretty hard a couple times, and I knew I could take him down during the transitions," Guida said. "He's very slick off his back. I couldn't keep my head in the middle. He's got a lot of good Kimuras and stuff, so I just tried to put him on his back and hold him there. We duked it out on the feet, too. He's a stud."
Guida won by pushing the pace thanks to his outstanding cardio, and Danzig was noticeably gassed and Guida was still all over him as the fight ended. Guida is now 3-1 in his last four fights and continues to improve after each fight.
There's always one fight that comes down to a controversial decision, and Wednesday night was no different. Middleweights Alan "The Talent" Belcher and Ed Herman battled it out for three hard fought rounds and Belcher came out the victor via split-decision.
Belcher, who is a Muay Thai specialist and trained in Thailand for months, was able to utilize some nasty leg kicks in the first round. Herman would answer back using his boxing skills and twice taking Belcher down. Belcher seized round one likely due to his strikes doing the most damage.
Herman, 27, showing how strong of a chin he has continued to duke it out with Belcher. Herman found his mark with some stiff body shots, but Belcher, 24, was able to continue his combinations to the body and a powerful right sent Herman to the cage. Belcher landed a few more leg kicks and Herman was able to find an opening to take Belcher down yet again as the round ended.
The third round found Herman in more trouble as Belcher continued to land some nice shots. A left hook here a straight right there, Belcher picked Herman apart till Herman was able to take him down. With less than a minute to go, Herman used a double leg takedown and transitioned into full mount and landed some punches as the bell rang.
It looked like Herman would squeak out a victory due to his relentless takedowns and he was the aggressor much of the match, but the judges felt different.
"It was a very close fight," Belcher said. "I don't disagree with the judges at all. Could have went either way." The judges scored the bout 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for Alan Belcher, I felt otherwise, but what do I know?
One would think that these fights took place in Texas, as chants of 'Houston' littered the arena, but it was to show love for their hometown boy Houston "The Assassin" Alexander. Alexander, 36, has yet to get past the first round in any of his UFC fights and last night was no different as Eric "Red" Schafer submitted him with less than ten seconds to go in the first round.
Alexander came out guns blazing as he always does with leg kicks, stiff jabs and two big knees that found the jaw of Schafer. Schafer, 30, looked to be in trouble, but shook the cob webs and continued to look for takedowns.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Schafer, was able to take Alexander down and quickly gained side control and set up a deep guillotine choke. Miraculously Alexander escaped only to be full mounted.
The ground game has always been the weakness for Alexander and this fight was no different. While on his back Alexander continued to eat punch after punch. It looked like Alexander would survive the round, but Schafer slipped back to side control and sunk in the match ending arm-triangle choke.
"I actually heard their corner yell, 'A minute left.' I was grounding and pounding him, and he didn't seem to be hurt at all," Schafer said. "So I'm like, 'I better get moving and go for a submission while there's a little bit of time left.'"
"That's my signature move," Schafer said of the choke. "I squeezed it with all I had."
The win pushes Schafer's record to 2-2 and he finally got rid of his dumb nickname "Ravishing Red" and is now just "Red" which is much appreciated.
Alexander has now lost three fights in a row and is in danger of finding a new place to fight. Maybe a move to middleweight? He might be too big for that, but should be considered as an option.
It was a great night of fights of the up and coming talent the UFC has to offer.
Diaz and Neer earned Fight of the Night honors, Alessio Sakara earned the Knockout of the Night, and Wilson Gouveia secured the Submission of the Night bonus.
- Alessio Sakara def. Joe Vedepo via knockout (head kick) -- Round 1, 1:27
- Wilson Gouveia def. Ryan Jensen via submission (arm-bar) -- Round 2, 2:04
- Joe Lauzon def. Kyle Bradley via TKO (strikes) -- Round 2, 1:34
- Jason Brilz def. Brad Morris via TKO (strikes) -- Round 2, 2:54
- Mike Massenzio def. Drew McFedries via submission (kimura) -- Round 1, 1:28
- Dan Miller def. Rob Kimmons via submission (rear-naked choke) -- Round 1, 1:27