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UFC Pittsburgh Recap: Rockhold Pounds Out Branch

While many combat sports fans were watching the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin., the UFC countered with an event in Pittsburgh. The card had 8 stoppages in 10 fights.

 

Luke Rockhold vs David Branch

In the main event, former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold squared off against former two-weight WSOF champion David Branch.

Both guys came out with a furious pace. Rockhold attempted to set the pace by landed several kicks to Branch’s body, but it was Branch that got the better of the exchanges on the feet. Branch landed a huge flurry of punches about midway through the first round that hurt Rockhold and almost put him out.

Rockhold came out firing leg kicks to start the second round, but Branch was able to back the California fighter up behind his straight right hand. They both battled in the clinch until Rockhold was able to get the double under hooks and take Branch down. Rockhold quickly mounted the former WSOF champion. Branch gave up his back, and Rockhold pounded Branch with strikes to the side of the head from back mount. Branch tapped out due to strikes. Luke Rockhold beats David Branch by 2nd round submission.

 

Mike Perry vs Alex Reyes

Mike Perry welcomed newcomer Alex Reyes to the UFC. Reyes was a late replacement for Perry’s original opponent, Thiago Alves. Reyes took the fight on three days notice while moving up to the welterweight division from lightweight. Perry punished Reyes for the decision. Early in the first round, Perry got the Muay Thai clinch and landed a knee to the side of Reyes’ head, sending him down. Perry landed a few follow-up shots to end the contest. Mike Perry beats Alex Reyes by 1st round TKO

 

Hector Lombard vs Anthony Smith

Hector Lombard and Anthony Smith clashed in a battle of two veteran middleweights. It was a former Bellator champion, Lombard that was getting the better of the two for the first two rounds. Lombard got past Smith’s massive reach advantage and landed several looping punches.

Smith started taunting Lombard to start the third round in an attempt to rally from down two rounds to zero. Smith continued to talk until he found a straight right hand that sent Lombard crashing to the canvas.  He followed Lombard to the ground and finished him off with more punches.  Anthony Smith beats Hector Lombard by 3rd round TKO.

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 Gregor Gillespie vs Jason Gonzalez

Gregor Gillespie entered his fight against Jason Gonzalez as one of the most hyped prospects in all of MMA. Gonzalez must not have heard the news. He came out throwing to very heavy hight kicks to open the round, which turned into a slugfest. Both guys landed some heavy shots. Gonzalez landed a uppercut that hurt Gillespie, but the wrestler responded with some nice shots in the pocket and a series of takedowns.

Gonzalez came out throwing heavy shots to start the second round, but the NCAA D1 National Champion wrestler, Gillespie was able to secure the takedown and quickly moved to mount. He made Gonzalez carry his weight for a little bit until he was able to slide in a head/arm triangle, causing Gonzalez to tap out. Gregor Gillespie beats Jason Gonzalez by 2nd round submission

 

Kamaru Usman vs Sergio Moraes

Usman came into his welterweight showdown with the Moraes as a big favorite. He struggled very early in the first round, attempted to get by the Brazilian’s long range. However, the African born fighter was able to land a devastating right hand that face planted Moraes. Usman made a huge statement to the entire welterweight division. Kamaru Usman beats Sergio Moraes by 1st round KO

 

Justin Ledet vs Zu Anyanwu

Undefeated heavyweight Justin Ledet took on Zu Anyanwu to kick off the main card. Anyanwu took the fight on just a week’s notice. The fight wasn’t what the crowd wanted. Ledet jabbed and moved Anyanwu for the entire 15 minutes. Anyanwu tried to land his big overhand right but never landed flush. The MMA Takeover scored it 30-27 for Ledet. Justin Ledet beat Zu Anyanwu by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29). 

 

Prelim Results

  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier over Tony Martin by split decision
  • Daniel Spitz over Anthony Hamilton by 1st round TKO
  • Uriah Hall over Krzysztof Jotko by 2nd round KO
  • Gilbert Burns over Jason Saggo by 2nd round KO

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