Las Vegas– This is National MMA Examiner, Ryan McKinnell, and I’m cage-side at the Mandalay Bay here at UFC 126. We are just minutes away from the action kicking off.
The action is set to kick off with the prelims at around 7:15 pm EST, and the PPV portion is going to start at 10 pm EST. So if you can’t be at the arena here in Vegas and you can’t make the PPV broadcast, be sure to come back to my page for my live reports as I update on a round-by-round basis.
UFC 126 is being headlined by a Brazilian showdown, as UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, puts his belt on the line against UFC legend “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort. In a fight that has been postponed for various reasons over the last 16 months, the anticipation from the MMA universe for Belfort vs. Silva is at an all-time high, and we are just hours away.
Also on the card is a co-main event scrap between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and TUF 1 winner, Forrest Griffin, as he takes on former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin. And in a fight that many pundits are calling an early favorite for ‘fight of the night’ undefeated light heavyweight, Ryan Bader takes on the uber-popular Jon “Bones” Jones.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the fights! And remember, be sure to refresh your browser as I will be updating on a round by round basis.
Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson
RD1: RD1: Stiff jab by Pierce opens the round as the feeling out process begins. Pierce looking to establish his range with more jabs and he shoots for a takedown as he presses Kenny against the cage. Robertson sprawls and Pierce is looking for a guillotine attempt. Robertson uses good underhooks and shrugs Pierce off. Pierce regroups again and shoots, but with little success. Robertson is trying to use the cage and do a ‘cage walk’ but Pierce keeps setting him down on his butt and controlling him. Now both fighters clinch, standing, against the cage and exchange knees to the body, and an occasional elbow, no one is really taking advantage of either area. Referee Herb Dean separates the fighters with about one minute left in the round due to inactivity, and they separate for a brief second before being back to the clinch. A brief separation and Robertson lands a nice elbow that grazes the forehead of Pierce. The round comes to an end, 10-9 Pierce.
RD2: Robertson opens the round with some jabs but leaves himself open to a monster left hook by Mike Pierce! Robertson crumples to the floor and turtles up! Pierce comes in with the finishing shots and ends the fight, right at the start of the round 2.
At :29 of Round 2, your winner via KO Mike Pierce.
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero
RD1: Body shot by Kingsbury opens the round and Romero looks a little dazed. Kingsbury rushes in sensing that Romero is hurt and begins a barrage of knees to the body, and unleashes a left/right hook combination that drops Romero. Kingsbury rushes in and finishes the fight!
At :21 of Round 1, your winner via TKO Kyle Kingsbury
Gabe Ruediger vs. Paul Taylor
RD1: Taylor with a right hook/left uppercut combo to start the fight. Gabe looks a little upset that Taylor hit him so early, so Ruediger fires back with a few shots of his own. Taylor rushes in and the fighters clinch against the cage. Taylor grabs an underhook and shrugs Ruediger off. A few snapping leg kicks from Taylor grab a reaction from the crowd as Ruediger winces in pain. The fighters clinch once again and are pinned against the cage, either fighter looking for some sort of advantage, but nothing is really happening. The fighters separate and Gabe lands a nice hook to Taylor’s jaw that sends a crack through the crowd. Body kick and left hook from Taylor end the round. 10-9 Taylor.
RD2: Round 2 starts with a flurry as both fighters meet in the center of the cage and exchange wild blows. Taylor gets the best of it with a snapping right hook that kicks Ruediger’s head back. A hard leg kick by Taylor stuns Ruediger briefly and leaves him open to a takedown attempt, but with no luck. A brutal right hook/right hook/high kick by Taylor floors Ruediger and this fight is over!! What a KO for Paul Taylor!
At 1:42 of round 2, your winner via head kick KO, Paul Taylor