For the first stop on the road, the UFC returned to Long Island, New York for another incredible card. This card was FULL of finishes, including some HUGE KOs by Dustin Jacoby, Punahele Soriano and Li Jingliang. There weren’t just KOs; there were also some nasty, high-profile submissions on the card locked in by Ricky Simón, Matt Schnell and Amanda Lemos. We also saw some VERY impressive performances by Bill Algeo, Lauren Murphy and an impressive debut from Emily Ducote. Sadly, of course, all that action was overshadowed by an anti-climactic, disappointing injury in the main event with Brian Ortega dislocating his shoulder against Yair Rodriguez. All of the bouts from UFC Long Island are covered below along with BLÜ’s favourite performances of the night: the BLÜ BONUSES.
Emily Ducote def. Jessica Penne by Unanimous Decision
Interestingly, the ladies took it slow to start. After getting chipped by a bunch of leg kicks, Penne was the one to make the first big move, moving forward with a couple of heavy clinches. She didn’t get a takedown from them, but she looked good in them. With the leg kicks starting to land for Ducote, she started to push forward with some heavier combos herself. Thanks to the extra offence, it was pretty clear that Ducote had taken the opening round.
At the start of the 2nd Round it was clear that Ducote had a huge speed advantage, really starting to pick Penne apart. Halfway through the round and Penne finally got into another couple of clinches to land some strikes to bust up the nose of Ducote. Sadly, this clearly wasn’t enough to sway the judges in her direction on the cards.
Headed into the third, it seemed like it was just a matter of time before Ducote won her first UFC fight. Right at the start of the final round and Ducote landed a kick that Penne stumbling backwards. After that, Ducote just started throwing kick after kick, mangling that lead leg. Penne was still landing some decent shots and actually managed to avoid a lot of the leg kicks, but it was just a matter of Ducote burning out the clock at that point. The judges agreed, scoring it 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 for Ducote.
Dustin Stoltzfus def. Dwight Grant by Unanimous Decision
Grant landed early, surprising Stoltzfus a little bit. After that exchange, the action slowed down a bit, but heated up again with Grant landing another couple of big shots. Stoltzfus’ strategy was clearly to grapple and get Grant to the ground. After getting hit by another decent combo, Stoltzfus finally had a bit of success with his grappling. That was short-lived though as Grant got out of it and started to land some more of his striking. Stoltzfus had a fantastic flurry at the end of the round, but it seemed as though Grant was up after the first.
Opening the 2nd Round, Stoltzus landed a great combo of his own, kind of stumbling Grant. After a few minutes of lacklustre standup from both men, Stoltzfus finally pushed Grant into another clinch situation. From there, Stoltzfus finally took Grant down and took his back fairly quickly. With only 30 seconds left in the round, it wasn’t enough time to grab a finish, but he did a LOT of damage to Grant and clearly won the 2nd Round on the cards.
After some great corner advice, Grant opened the final round with some crisp combos that shut down Stoltzfus’ offence for most of the round. After getting picked apart a bit, Stoltzfus managed to run in and grab Grant. From there he lifted Grant over his head, moved to the middle of the Octagon and SLAMMED Grant into the canvas. Grant had absolutely no response to that as Stoltzfus shredded him apart with ground and pound, working for towards a submission. He didn’t get the finish, but it seemed likely that Stoltzfus had done enough to win the decision. The judges agreed, scoring it 29-28 for Dustin Stoltzfus.
Dustin Jacoby def. Da Un Jung by KO in the 1st Round
As expected, it was a tight striking matchup early between these two. Neither man was landing anything all that significant, but Jung was the one landing cleaner shots. Then, out of absolutely nowhere, the world-class kickboxer Dustin Jacoby landed a HUGE right hook that folded Jung straight into the canvas. No follow-ups needed for that one as Jacoby grabbed the walk-off KO win in the 1st Round.
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #1
Bill Algeo vs. Herbert Burns
Burns got his game going first, pushing Algeo into the fence, trying to take him down. Using his own impressive grappling, Algeo reversed him along the fence. Sadly, that may have been a mistake as Burns dragged him down and sunk in multiple DEEP submissions. Amazingly, after over a minute of defending some NASTY submission attempts, Algeo found himself on top of a now tired Burns. From there he let loose some thunderous ground and pound. Algeo decided to stand up and Burns was EXHAUSTED. He was barely standing up.
After the round was done, Burns barely stood up and made it to the stool. The corners which included his brother, did everything to motivate Burns to continue fighting, but he looked like he was probably done and a finish was incoming. Amazingly, Burns grabbed a beautiful takedown right off the bat, but Algeo, being much more fresh, reversed him fairly quickly. Algeo wisely decided to let him back up and Burns just couldn’t do it, forcing the ref to stop the fight. Clearly in a lot of pain, seemingly from his knee, Burns still couldn’t even stand back up after the fight was over.
Bill Algeo def. Herbert Burns by TKO in the 2nd Round
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #2
Ricky Simón vs. Jack Shore
Simón got his offence going early, landing HEAVY kicks and combos early, moving into a clinch along the fence. This cycle continued throughout the round with Simón landing some heavy shots on the feet, then controlling Shore along the fence. It wasn’t necessarily all that exciting, but it was effective in winning the round on the cards. Simón not only kept the pressure going into the 2nd Round, he actually pushed the pace even more, hitting Shore with some HEAVY shots and really throwing himself into the takedowns.
Finally, after a round and a half of trying, Simón picked Shore up and SLAMMED him into the ground. Out of nowhere, Simón landed a BOMB, stumbling Shore and dropping him to the ground. From there he jumped right onto Shore and locked in a nasty submission. Still not recovered, Shore was forced to tap, succumbing to his first career loss.
Ricky Simón def. Jack Shore by Submission in the 2nd Round
Simon on a 5-fight win-streak now that includes some impressive contenders, capped off by beating the undefeated prospect Shore. He clearly deserves someone in the top 15 and he’s called out none other than the ‘Suga Show’, Sean O’Malley. That would be incredible and VERY interesting considering O’Malley hasn’t faced someone like him yet. I don’t think that’ll be happen yet; more likely, we’ll see someone on their way down. A rematch against Font or maybe a matchup against Frankie Edgar would make the most sense.
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #3
Soriano made the first move, landing a couple of strikes and shooting in for a takedown along the fence. Dalcha was the one who landed big first though, slamming a HEAVY leg kick into Soriano that dropped him to the canvas. It went back and forth with the striking, then Lungiambula dragged Puna to the ground. After a round of HEAVY offence, it was pretty clear that Dalcha was up after the first. The question that the broadcasters had was if Dalcha could maintain that pace without slowing down. Right at the start of the 2nd Round, Puna wasted no time, landed a BOMB to drop Dalcha to win a HUGE 2nd Round TKO victory.
Punahele Soriano def. Dalcha Lungiambula by TKO in the 2nd Round
Main Card Action
Lauren Murphy vs. Miesha Tate
Murphy pushed the pace early, pressuring forward against Tate, landing a couple of big shots and working hard in the clinch. After waiting out that flurry, Tate landed a couple jabs of her own which were straight to the chin of Murphy. Amazingly, it was Murphy that pushed the wrestling against the heavier Tate, almost landing a takedown. Now in her domain, Tate started to push the clinchwork along the fence, working for a takedown of her own. With such back-and-forth exchanges, there was no way to tell which way the judges scored the opening round, but I’d have probably given it to Murphy.
Tate was the one pushing the striking at the opening of the 2nd Round, but Murphy managed to briefly drag the fight to the ground. As the round went on, the damage was really starting to show on Tate’s face. After getting picked apart for the majority of the round, Tate finally started to get something going, clinching with Murphy along the fence and landing a HUGE elbow. Once again, it was tough to tell who had taken the round, but, with all that damage, it seemed likely that Murphy was up 2-0.
Tate opened up the final round pushing her wrestling even harder. She almost grabbed the takedown, but was reversed by the sheer strength of Murphy. She was doing a great job of keeping up with the pace of Murphy, but it really just seemed like it was too late for her to come back. That being said, she had a fantastic final round and may have clinched that round on my card. The judges agreed, scoring the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Lauren Murphy def. Miesha Tate by Unanimous Decision
Shane Burgos vs. Charles Jourdain
As expected, Burgos walked forward right away pressuring Jourdain early. He landed a couple of decent shots, but the real trouble came for Charles when they started to grapple. Burgos took his back and started to work a NASTY submission, cranking on the neck of Jourdain. Amazingly, Jourdain managed to get out of it and started to finally get some offence going. He clinched up with Burgos and hit him with some pretty heavy shots. Jourdain did VERY to defend against Burgos, but it seemed like Burgos grabbed the 1st Round on the cards.
Using his speed to his advantage, Jourdain was doing well to land shots at a distance, but Burgos jumped in and took Charles’ back once again. Burgos kept trying to lock in a submission, but Jourdain was doing a fantastic job of shutting that down. Even though Jourdain managed to defend all those submissions, it was pretty obvious that Burgos dominated that round.
Jourdain came out as a completely new fighter in the final round, pushing the pace with his striking. As the round went on he was landing combo after combo, backing Burgos into the fence. Unbelievably, Jourdain was really starting to stumble Burgos, picking him apart on the feet with his impressive striking. Burgos tried to counter and work for clinches, but Jourdain was absolutely relentless. Just as it looked like maybe Charles was going to grab a spectacular comeback finish, Burgos recovered and tried to go for a takedown. It was clear that Round 2 was Burgos and Round 3 was Jourdain, but the opening round was what made the difference. The judges ended up scoring it 29-28, 29-28 and 28-28 for the New Yorker, Shane Burgos in a rare, majority decision.
Shane Burgos def. Charles Jourdain by Majority Decision
Matt Schnell vs. Sumudaerji
Sumudaerji had a clear length advantage and used that to pick Schnell apart early. Eventually, Schnell managed to overcome that length and grab a takedown. It was looking good for Matt, but Sumudaerji managed to reverse him and get some heavy ground and pound going. From there, Schnell somehow managed to threaten a submission, putting his opponent’s arm in a spot it wouldn’t normally be going. Using that, Schnell finished the round on top and may have taken the opening round on the cards.
Opening the 2nd Round, Schnell started to maybe get a bit too reckless and got hit BAD by a couple of HUGE shots. He landed a nice kick that kinda stumbled Schnell, but Sumudaerji started to really his length to absolutely DECIMATE Schnell, knocking him down multiple times and stumbling him BAD. Somehow, then it was Schnell who slowed down the momentum, stumbling Sumudaerji BAD. He then got Sumudaerji to the ground and let loose some relentless ground and pound. Just as it looked like Schnell was going to grab a TKO finish, Sumudaerji flipped the script and landed on top. Then, to the shock of EVERYONE, from the bottom, Schnell locked in a DEEP submission and put Sumudaerji to sleep to grab one of the most insane comeback wins of the year.
Matt Schnell def. Sumudaerji by Submission in the 2nd Round
Li Jingliang vs. Muslim Salikhov
Salikhov brought the heat early, throwing a spinning kick to the head of Li. Li responded with some cautious striking from a distance, but was then launched into the canvas by Muslim. He got up fairly quick and landed a couple of strikes on the feet, but it seemed like a clear round in favour of Salikhov on the cards. He kept that momentum going into the 2nd Round, quickly dropping Li to the canvas with a crisp shot.
From there, it seemed as though Muslim was slowing down a bit, letting Li start to gain some momentum. He landed some crisp strikes from a distance and dragged Salikhov to the ground. After some back-and -forth striking, it was actually Li that landed a HUGE shot that dropped Salikhov to his knees. From there, he kept that pressure going. Li dropped Salikhov again and kept it going until the ref stopped the fight.
Li Jingliang def. Muslim Salikhov by TKO in the 2nd Round
Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos
Both ladies took it slow early, keeping the fight at a distance. It looked dead-even in terms of the output, but there was a clear difference in terms of pressure and power, heavily favouring Lemos. After all that striking, Waterson may have stolen the momentum, taking Lemos down to the canvas. Once again, it was Lemos that grabbed the early momentum with her striking, but Waterson responded with another takedown attempt. Sadly, that ended up being her demise. Lemos used that position to jump on Waterson, lock in a guillotine and make her tap.
Amanda Lemos def. Michelle Waterson by Submission in the 2nd Round
Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez
As expected, Ortega was the one pressuring early, walking Yair down and hitting him with some HUGE combos. Yair hit him with a couple of shots, but Ortega just kept walking him down. From there, Ortega pinned him along the fence, starting to work for a takedown. After a couple minutes of HEAVY clinchwork, Ortega finally grabbed a fantastic takedown. Then in a shocking turn of events, Ortega pulled his arm out of an armbar and dislocated his shoulder. With Ortega unable to continue, even after getting controlled the whole round, Yair won the fight by TKO in the 1st Round.
Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega by Injury in the 1st Round
I think it’s pretty clear Yair hasn’t earned a title shot after that; he was losing the fight and didn’t do anything that showed he’d have a chance against the champ. Instead, he’ll probably get one of the other top contenders like Emmett or Allen. As for Ortega, I think his next step should be a rematch here, but he’ll be out for a while probably with a shoulder surgery.
BLÜ’s Record for the Night
Main Card: 3-3
KO of the Night: Li Jingliang
Sub. of the Night: Matt Schnell
Brawl of the Night: Matt Schnell vs. Sumudaerji
Most Valuable Fighter:
People continuously underestimate this guy and he just keeps proving them wrong. He went out there and submitted an undefeated grappler. Keep doubting this man at your own peril.