The Official Scorecard - UFC Fight Night 24

Originally appeared on http://www.thegarv.com

Is Phil Davis the man who will prove to be the top challenger Jon Jones’ newly won UFC Light Heavyweight Champion? That was the question that fans and pundits were trying to force an answer to in the main event of UFC Fight Night 24 from Seattle. Stepping in for an injured Tito Ortiz, Phil Davis took on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of perhaps the strongest free card the UFC has ever offered on Spike.

The crowd is chanting USA and the judge has made his decision, so let’s go to the scorecard!

Light Heavyweight Fight
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4) vs. Phil Davis (8-0)
Nogueira, whose Achillies’ Heel has always been strong wrestlers, did an excellent job in the first round of keeping the fight standing up. With two minutes to go in the second round, the momentum swung decisively towards Davis’ favor. He finally took Nogueira to the ground with a single-leg takedown and landed some hard strikes to the head and body.  While it wasn’t the dominating coming out party for Phil Davis that many were hoping for, it was a hard-fought win for Davis. He’s not ready for Jones yet, but he’s ready for the contenders.
Phil Davis wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 7

Welterweight Fight
Anthony Johnson (8-3) vs. Dan Hardy (23-8)
This was not the fight people were expecting, but one that on second thought shouldn’t have been surprising. The hope was that the two strikers were going to bang it out in the center of the cage, and while I’m positive Hardy would’ve preferred that, Johnson had other plans. Instead of engaging with Hardy where he was strongest, Johnson fought smart and took Hardy down and kept him there. It was a game plan that made sense. Johnson, who hadn’t fought since November 2009 in which he lost to Josh Koscheck, needed a win after a long layoff and he got a relatively easy one here.
Anthony Johnson wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 6

Welterweight Fight
Amir Sadollah (4-2) vs. DaMarques Johnson (12-8)
The opening round of the welterweight clash was an even back and forth scramble with equal parts ground and stand up action. It the second round, Amir had worn out Johnson and really poured on the assault. Sadollah mounted Johnson, tied Johnson’s arm up, and rained a thunderstorm of elbows for the win.
Amir Sadollah wins via TKO – Round 2, 3:27
Fight Score: 7

Featherweight Fight
Chan Sung Jung (10-3) vs. Leonard Garcia (15-6-1)
The rematch from the 2010 Fight of the Year was put together when Nam Phan dropped out and Jung jumped in, looking to extract some revenge on Garcia. The first fight is one that’s impossible to live up to, but these two did an excellent job in producing a memorable sequel. The first round was a shockingly technical striking battle with Jung winning the exchanges. While their fight is stuff of legend from bell-to-bell, it’ll be the finish of the rematch that keep people talking as Jung submitted Garcia with a second left in round two with the first ever Twister in MMA. As Joe Rogan commented, “Somehere, Eddie Bravo is very happy.”
Can Sung Jung wins via Submission (Twister) – Round 2, 4:59
Fight Score: 8.5

Heavyweight Fight
John Madsen (7-0) vs. Mike Russow (13-1)
It wasn’t the prettiest or most exciting of heavyweight bouts, but Russow outworked and busted up Russow for two rounds. After ten minutes, Madsen’s left eye was completely swollen shut which was enough for the ringside doctor to put an end to the fight, a stoppage that Madsen didn’t protest.
Mike Russow wins via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
Fight Score: 4.5

Featherweight Fight
Alex Caceras (4-2) vs. Mackens Semerzier (5-3)
Caceras made a name for himself on TUF by channeling the aura of Bruce LeRoy from “The Last Dragon”, but it was Semerzier who had “the glow” in their fight. They traded head kicks right away, and then Semerzier closed the distance. From there, it was a series of Mackens’ takedowns against the fence. The final takedown landed him in mount. A series of punches made Caceras give up his back and Mackens took home the choke. Semerzier didn’t make Caceras kiss his Converse, but he probably could have.
Mackens Semerzier wins via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1, 3:18
Fight Score: 6.5

Welterweight Fight
John Hathaway (14-1) vs. Kris McCray (5-2)
This was close, well-matched fight where one man’s cardio was the deciding factor. McCray appeared to run out of steam after the first and once that happened, the fight belonged to Hathaway. Despite running out of gas, McCray did his best to keep himself in the fight and press the action forward.
John Hathaway wins via Split Decision
Fight Score: 6

Bantamweight Fight
Edwin Figueroa (7-0) vs. Michael McDonald (11-1)
Here’s a new entry in the Joe Rogan Commentary drinking game: while watching this fight, take a shot every time Rogan said that McDonald had the win locked up. By the end of the second round, your buddies better take your car keys from you. We learned two things from this fight: Michael McDonald has a bright future in the UFC and Figueroa is a tough and as game as they come (and most likely also has a bright future in the UFC too). A great high-paced fight from start to finish.
Michael McDonald wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 9 

Heavyweight Fight
Christian Morecraft (6-1) vs. Sean McCorkle (10-1)
Two trash-talking big guys took to the cage in this one. The story of this fight was Morecraft’s ability to keep McCorkle on his back and grind away on him. The fighters found their way back to their feet in the second where Morecraft locked in a standing guillotine and McCorkle went out on his shield.
Christian Morecraft wins via Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke) – Round 2, 4:10
Fight Score: 5.5

Welterweight Fight
Johny Hendricks (9-1) vs. TJ Waldburger (13-5)
Unfortunately, a fight that was maybe stopped too early after Hendricks cracked Waldburger with two clean shots to the head. Waldburger dropped awkwardly, but had seemed to recover by the time referee Mario Yamasaki halted the action.
Johny Hendricks wins via TKO – Round 1, 1:35
Fight Score: 4.5

Middleweight Fight
Aaron Simpson (7-2) vs. Mario Miranda (10-2)
Aaron Simpson is the better wrestler. This was a tough grinding fight, but not one that was all that entertaining to watch.
Aaron Simpson wins via Unanimous Decision
Fight Score: 4

Lightweight Fight
Waylon Lowe (10-3) vs. Nik Lentz (20-3-2)
Good action early. Lowe scored his second takedown of the first round and slowed it down, feeling content to ride the round out on top of Lentz. It was more of the same in the second round; Lentz proved to be the more diverse striker, but Lowe controlled much of the round by lying on top of Lentz. The third round turned into a brawl as both men, likely each thinking they needed a stoppage to win, swung the leather at each other. Lentz jumped into a standing guillotine out of nowhere and took home his fourth-straight UFC win.
Nik Lentz wins via Submission (Guillotine Choke) – Round 3, 2:24
Fight Score: 5

Total for UFC Fight Night 24: 73.5 out of 120
Average Fight Score: 6.13

UFC Fight Night 24 was a title fight away from being a decent pay-per-view card. The main card fights all delivered with the exception of the Hardy vs. Johnson. This event won’t be remembered as the night that Phil Davis staked his claim on the light heavyweight division. Instead it will be Chan Sung Jung’s Twister and the bantamweights who stole the show on the undercard that fans remember from UFC Fight Night 24.

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