Credit: Chris Unger / Zuffa LLC
Credit to Alexander Volkov for not lowering your arms through the starburst of UFC on ESPN 11, but the meeting was clearly a dominant performance on the part of Curtis Blaydes. It was not a total domain, the “Razor” ended the match exhausted by his misuse of energy and quite beaten after a few moments of success of Volkov standing. But with his increasingly polished striking and his excellent fighting level, setting the record for takedowns in a fight in the division, Blaydes inexorably dragged Volkov to the mat through almost 25 minutes to take an undisputed unanimous decision..
Josh Emmett continues to climb between the featherweights with a unanimous decision over Shane Burgos after a very tough match. Burgos showed a good variety of offense in the standing battle, throwing with jabs, kicking the legs and mixing combinations to good effect, but to a large extent his defense consisted of his impressive jaw and this cost him dearly. Emmett faced his rival’s arsenal with his swift and thunderous hands, achieving hits that would have ended many others and connecting with more precision each round, until finally powerful hooks and flies took Burgos to the canvas repeatedly in the third round .
Raquel Pennington managed to maintain her place in the bantamweight rankings with a unanimous decision over Marion Reneau. Reneau found it difficult in the match, where all his options seemed to be matched or surpassed by his rival in the same phase. The match took place in medium to short distance exchanges where Pennington’s athletics allowed him to take advantage in power and volume, and from there any attempt at grappling used to result in a clinch where “Rocky” could force his grip to connect constant knees.
Belal Muhammad scored a unanimous decision on Lyman Good in a couple fight. It was Good who took the initiative to push, threatening dangerous punches at a good pace and almost without pause, but he failed to connect with authority until a fierce third-round right-hander nearly closed the fight. Muhammad survived the bad moment with category and ended up taking the match, however, from his best defense and movement, taking the pressure of his rival with counterattacks and his own offensive bursts at first and avoiding the tie in the last round with a timely takedown and control from the back.
Veteran Jim Miller proved he can still coach a prospect, submitting Roosevelt Roberts with an armbar in just two minutes and 25 seconds.. Roberts’ first offensive attempt, a front kick, saw him almost immediately dragged to the mat and from there his rival worked with the comfort that experience brings. Threatening a guillotine and advancing to the half guard, Miller forced his opponent to try to get up to escape and from there went on to decisively capture Roberts’ arm when he was seeking to establish the superior position.