The Body Lock brings you live results and round-by-round commentary for all of the bouts at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The event is headlined by a significant lightweight clash between Edson Barboza and Kevin Lee. Lee weighed in at 157 lbs and missed the lightweight limit; this fight will now be contested at a catchweight of 157 lbs.
In the co-main event, Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson will attempt to recover from defeat when they battle in a featherweight fight between two top contenders.
Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee starts the fight in southpaw stance and immediately starts pumping his jab. Barboza begins circling and starts chipping away at the legs of Lee to keep him from moving forward. Lee finds the right moment to charge in and push Barboza to the cage before he takes him down to the mat with a double-leg takedown. From there, it’s complete domination. Lee mashes Barboza’s face with punches and elbows and even gift wraps him at one stage leaving Barboza defenseless while he rains down heavy shots. Ugly round for Barboza and it’s going to be difficult for him to come back from here.
Now, it’s Barboza shooting for a takedown? Well, we didn’t expect that. He’s clearly out of it. Lee lands a big body kick and Barboza is clearly feeling the pain. Lee shoots in for another takedown and it’s just more dominance from Lee as he cruises to another 10-8. Kevin Lee has been exceptional at working from the mount position and he has had plenty of time to work Barboza over now that he has him pinned to the mat.
Just as it seems that Barboza has next to no chance, he comes out and lands a spinning back kick on Lee and sends him wobbling all around the Octagon. No one saw that coming, but Lee manages to shoot in for a takedown and stall the fight. That gives Lee enough time to recover and then he began to hunt Barboza around the cage, again. Barboza’s back in this fight, though, somehow. He’s landing punches to the body and kicks of his own. Lee definitely looks to be the fresher of the two.
Lee and Barboza are starting to pick up the pace here. They trade wild punches momentarily and then Barboza connects with a powerful left kick to the body. Barboza lands some more heavy punches and then Lee decides to shoot in for another takedown. He’s had tremendous success on the mat during this fight and it makes sense to take Barboza there and grind out the victory.
Barboza goes back to the spinning kick but it is deflected. He’s trying to make the most of his time standing up with Lee in this fifth and final round. The takedown is inevitable. Lee’s takedown attempt comes 90 seconds into the round but Barboza stuffs it and they engage against the cage. Barboza’s eye is bloodied badly and the referee calls for an injury timeout. The medical staff enter the cage and declare Barboza unable to continue. That’s it, Kevin Lee picks up a big win here over Edson Barboza.
Official Result: Kevin Lee def. Edson Barboza via TKO (doctor stoppage, 2:18, Round 5)
Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson
Cub Swanson is circling and trying to keep Edgar away by pumping his jab. It’s working for the most part. Edgar finally closes the distance after connecting with a nice right hand that sent Swanson back to the cage. It was the only damaging shot of the first round, and probably enough to swing the scorecards in Edgar’s favor. Swanson has been falling short with his striking so far.
It’s also the leg kicks for Edgar. As Swanson attempts a strike, Edgar slams a leg kick back in return. Swanson has managed to defend the takedowns so far, but he is losing this fight because he is less active than Edgar. Edgar has been using his usual forward rush to keep the pressure on Swanson by throwing a 1-2 as he steps in. Swanson had his best moment of the fight at the end of round two. He stopped an Edgar single-leg takedown attempt before hammering home a right hand. Still, another round for Edgar.
Cub Swanson didn’t do enough here to influence the contest. Edgar dashed forward and threw out his usual 1-2 again. This time, Swanson stood and returned with a series of body punches and had success. The leg kicks continued to work for Edgar. Late in the round, the two engaged in a back-and-forth exchange of strikes and Swanson landed some clean punches, but it was too little, too late.
Official Result: Frankie Edgar def. Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Justin Willis vs. Chase Sherman
Justin Willis looks like he has rockets for hands and they are ready to launch. He opens up and lands some stiff punches on the side of Sherman’s head. Sherman comes back with a leg kick and a straight right hand down the middle. Willis continued to stalk Sherman around the cage. While Sherman is light on his feet, Willis is just walking toward him and is always in a position to throw bombs. Willis lands some massive punches and knocks Sherman down; he looks to be close to finishing the fight but Sherman somehow survives the onslaught on the ground. He gets back to his feet and the two hang out in the clinch.
Willis is STILL landing heavy shots in round two. They’re not just heavy punches, they’re heavy punches from a big heavyweight. Sherman is still in it and has shown no signs of slowing down, surprisingly. Willis has been executing well-timed and precise counter punches whenever Sherman opens up first. It’s working well for him and it’s likely someone will go down in round three.
Willis slips and lands a heavy left hand to open the round. Sherman is still moving around well, but it is Willis walking him down. Sherman survives the round and makes it through after controlling Willis in the clinch for the majority of the third. Willis definitely fatigued in the third round after exhausting himself going after the finish in the earlier two rounds. Impressive display by Willis, but it’s worth noting Sherman’s remarkable ability to stay in the fight as well.
Official Result: Justin Willis def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
David Branch vs. Thiago Santos
Both fighters traded for minutes, but not much was landing. Well, except for Santos’ leg kicks. He was tearing up the calves of Branch with devastating leg kicks over and over. Branch looked as if he had nothing to offer back in return but then stepped in with a brilliant short hook that crushed Santos and sent him down to the mat. It’s all over.
Official Result: David Branch def. Thiago Santos via Knockout (punches). Round 1, 2:30
Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns
Aljamain Sterling begins controlling the action with long-range strikes. He reaches in with a series of punches, but Brett Johns answers back with some heavy hands. Sterling lands a leg kick and transitions to the clinch. From here, Sterling attempts a takedown, but Johns ends up on top after a reversal. Then, through a scramble, Sterling manages to dig an underhook and work to top position. The two end up spending time in the clinch, and it is Sterling who is controlling the action.
Brett Johns starts the round with a knee to the body and then shoots in for a takedown. Sterling reverses the position and ends up over Johns who is in a turtle position. The two separate from the clinch and Sterling opens up with some ferocious punches. He lands cleanly on Johns’ chin repeatedly, but the undefeated Johns remains standing. It was a brilliant change of pace from Sterling that saw him gain an edge in what was a competitive round. Sterling picks Johns up and slams him to the mat to end the round.
Aljamain Sterling dominated the third round and cruised to a victory here in Atlantic City. He managed the distance with his leg kicks and evasive movement. When necessary, he shot in for takedowns and put Johns on his back. A brilliant performance from Aljamain Sterling while standing and on the mat.
Official Result: Aljamain Sterling def. Brett Johns via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jim Miller vs. Dan Hooker
Hooker starts the contest with plenty of volume. He’s reaching out with his jab and attempting leg kicks, all while trying to keep Miller busy thinking about defense. Miller caught a Hooker kick and took him down to the canvas. He landed in full guard, but the two got back to their feet soon enough. Hooker’s distance management was on point, and he was slipping and moving perfectly. The fight came to an end when Hooker connected with a devastating knee that dropped Miller to the mat.
Official Result: Dan Hooker def. Jim Miller via KO (knee) at 3:00 of Round 1
Ryan LaFlare vs. Alex Garcia
Ryan LaFlare’s objective in this first round is to fatigue Alex Garcia by forcing him to work hard at grappling. LaFlare did have some success on the feet in this one, though, and managed to pound away at the legs of Garcia with leg kicks. Garcia shot in for a takedown but LaFlare sprawled heavy.
The grappling has been back-and-forth in this one. LaFlare got things going early in the round, but Garcia reversed and ended up on top. Toward the middle of the round, LaFlare was working from half guard and attempting to secure head-and-arm control. Garcia’s lockdown is causing trouble for LaFlare, but he used the top position to win the round due to striking and control.
After Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ricky Simon proved to be an exciting affair, this one hasn’t been nearly as entertaining. LaFlare mostly controlled the action here and managed to hold Garcia down for a minute or so, but there was no ‘impact.’ Marc Goddard stood the fighters up, and they briefly engaged in stand-up before going to the mat again. Nothing landed for either fighter in this round.
Official Result: Ryan LaFlare def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ricky Simon
Dvalishvili and Simon went from 0 to 100 real quick.
It was Dvalishvili running the show from the start, and he landed a hard strike early. Not long after, he picked up an ankle and attempt to take the back of Simon. Simon managed to evade the danger, though, and eventually returned to his feet only to get slammed down to the mat again, and again. Dvalishvili connected with a heavy head kick and landed another flush right hand. Simon was stunned and attempting to create some separation, but Dvalishvili kept chasing him around the Octagon. Crazy scenes. A fantastic round.
Dvalishvili kept up the pressure during the second round here in Atlantic City. He has undoubtedly bent Simon, but not broken him. There were beautiful moments of grappling prowess in this round from both fighters, with some sitouts, rolls, and counters in the grappling exchanges. Excellent work. Simon has had a better round here, and this one is much closer than the first.
Round three was utterly crazy. Dvalishvili began by working Simon against the cage. Simon turned things around and landed a takedown that saw him slide into side control. Dvalishvili played with a kimura from the bottom position but had no success. Simon used his top position to hunt an arm-triangle submission but was unable to get the position secured as Dvalishvili popped his hips up and unbalanced his opponent.
The final moments of this round were intense. Simon locked up a guillotine from full mount, but it appeared as if Dvalishvili was not unconscious at any time. He didn’t submit. He also didn’t go ‘out’ while the contest was live. Yet, at the end of the fight, the officials declared this a TKO win for Ricky Simon because Dvalishvili was deemed to be unconscious after the contest had ended.
Official Result: Ricky Simon def. Merab Dvalishvili via TKO (referee stoppage). Round 3, 5:00.
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Luan Chagas
The round started with Siyar Bahadurzada being his usual aggressive self. He took Chagas to the mat and began to work him from inside full guard. However, Chagas displayed brilliant explosiveness and speed when he reversed the position and ended up taking the back of Bahadurzada. From here, he continued to strike at Bahadurzada in an attempt to open up the neck for a submission. It was a great back-take and a clear path to victory that Chagas will be looking to exploit in the next rounds.
The two are exchanging on the feet and trading heavy blows. The round continues on the feet until Siyar Bahadurzada crushes Luan Chagas with a well-timed kick to the liver. Chagas folds up, and it’s all over.
It wasn’t all easy for Siyar Bahadurzada here, but he got the job done with a front-kick to the body that ultimately folded up Luan Chagas. The first round was difficult and Bahadurzada had to survive with Chagas on his back, but he made it through and won in a big way here in Atlantic City.
Official Result: Siyar Bahadurzada def. Luan Chagas via KO (kick, punch). Round 2, 2:40.
Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
Cummins began the round by pushing Anderson back to the cage and attempting a takedown. The takedown never ensued, though. Instead, it was Anderson who landed the only takedowns of the first round after dominating Cummins on the feet. He swarmed Cummins and worked the head and body with relentless pressure before scoring what is likely to be the first 10-8 round of the evening.
Corey Anderson has manhandled Patrick Cummins through two rounds. It’s a crazy outcome for those who were expecting Cummins’ wrestling to be too much for Anderson. However, that’s just the sport sometimes. Cummins has taken the best shots from Anderson and is bloodied up. The second round has primarily been all about the control from Anderson, however, who has dictated how the fight takes place so far.
Round three was almost identical to round two. Corey Anderson controlled the round with excellent takedowns and then managed to keep Cummins pinned to the mat.
Corey Anderson completely dominated Patrick Cummins for the entirety of this contest. Cummins couldn’t stop the takedowns and was unable to defend the onslaught of strikes in round one. Anderson came through in a big way here tonight in Atlantic City.
Official Result: Corey Anderson def. Patrick Cummins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Tony Martin vs. Keita Nakamura
Tony Martin looks fantastic here in the first round. Everytime that Nakamura opens up with strikes, Martin slips backward before coming back with powerful shots down the pipe. Martin looks loose and relaxed and is the faster of the two fighters. His power was felt by Nakamura, who was wobbled on three different occasions by straight right hands. Nakamura shot in for a takedown to finish the round, but Martin immediately controlled the situation by wrapping up a guillotine choke and holding.
Oh yeah, and the woo’s are back.
Martin’s confidence is through the roof. He was relaxed again in the second round and was probably too patient. Martin won the round on the back of the impact of his striking, but it was a closer round than the first. Martin has been baiting Nakamura to strike first by leaving his left hand low, but Nakamura has been hesitant. As such, the action slowed as Martin wanted the counter striking opportunities that were no longer there. Nakamura did step up his own counter striking game in the second round and managed to land a few strikes of his own. Again, he ends the round with a takedown that Martin reads and reacts with another guillotine choke attempt.
The action slowed again in the third round, but it was still Tony Martin’s fight. He controlled the action while standing without even having to attempt his own strikes; he managed the range and was always there to threaten with counter punches. Nakamura tried to get the fight to the mat a couple of times, but Martin answered back with a kimura on two occasions. He was never able to near a finish but would try and use the submission to advance his position, instead.
Tony Martin’s striking looked excellent, and he managed the fight from start to finish with his well-timed counter punches. His long-range boxing was vital, and he landed flush jabs and right hands down the middle. Nakamura had no answers for Martin’s speed and wasn’t able to make any progress on the mat.
Official Result: Tony Martin def. Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.