Coming to you live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, UFC 169 promised a lot of fast-paced action in the lighter weight classes, with only a single scheduled bout over the 185lb middleweight class, highlighted by championship fights in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. UFC 169 is the fourth consecutive card the UFC has put on with no women's matches, the last of which took place at UFC 168 at the end of December.
UFC 169 Main CardBantamweights: Renan The Baron" Barao (C) def. Urijah "The California Kid" Faber via TKO (R1, 3:42) to retain UFC Bantamweight Championship
Featherweights: Jose "Junior" Aldo (C) def. Ricardo "The Bully Lamas" via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to retain UFC Featherweight Championship
Heavyweights: Alistair "The Reem" Overeem def. Frank Mir via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Flyweights: Ali "Puncher" Bagautinov def. John "Hands of Stone" Lineker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweights: Abel "Killa" Trujillo def. Jamie Varner by KO (R2, 2:32)
UFC 169 PrelimsLightweights: Alan Patrick def. Jon "The Bull" Makdessi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Flyweights: #9 Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso def. Danny "The Gremlin" Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweights: Nick "The Jersey Devil" Catone" def. Tom "Kong" Watson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Lightweights: "Raging" Al Iaquinta def. Kevin "The Motown Phenom" Lee via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)
Renan The Baron" Barao (C) (33-1) vs. Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (30-6) for the UFC Bantamweight Title
Barao is keeping Faber at range with some kicks. Faber looks ready to explode into a shot as the crowd chants his name. Barao catches Faber as both fighters throw kicks, Faber pops up as the champ grins his way. Barao is using a lot of head movement while Faber relies on his foot work. Neither fighter landing too much early on. Barao clips Faber with a right and swarms, looking for the finish!. Faber counters and recovers but lands another huge right hand. Referee Herb Dean warns the champ to watch the back of the head and calls the fight. Faber protests the stoppage but it's in the books. He claims to have given a thumbs-up to Dean but wasn't moving otherwise.
Classy in defeat is Faber, who calls Dean one of the best and takes nothing away from Barao while maintaining he was still in it.
Jose "Junior" Aldo (C) (23-1) vs Ricardo "The Bully Lamas" (13-2)
I think Jose Aldo and I shop at the same place for our shorts. #UFC169 pic.twitter.com/jOrnMZ6FyjThis one's staring with an extended courting period, with both fighters feeling the other man out. Aldo is throwing combos while Lamas covers up. Aldo is alternating between stalking Lamas and backing up and is checking a ton of kicks from Lamas. Lamas lands a nice kick to the body and Aldo swarms him with a combination, backing him up against the cage. Joe Rogan is commenting on Aldo's conservative approach after winning the championship, saying he's fighting "not to lose" without using those words. Not much going on in round one, could go either way. Give it to Aldo for getting the better of the exchanges.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) February 2, 2014
Aldo is landing a ton of damaging kicks of his own in round 2. Lamas looks good, but not good enough to beat Jose Aldo. Lamas is not going to be able to take too many more of those. Rogan and Goldie invoke Aldo's kicking performance against Faber. Clear round for Aldo.
Aldo is showing great head movement and setting up his kicks with his punches at the beginning of round 3. Lamas continues to try going high with his kicks. He's still a very game fighter and is still in this fight but has likely lost the first three rounds. Aldo's conditioning has been suspect in the past (Frankie Edgar) and this fight is not over by any means.
Lamas goes for a single but Aldo is having none of it, switching it up and taking top position. With just under 1:30 left, Aldo is on Lamas's back and looking to sink in a choke. Lamas gets to hit feet and goes for a single, eating some hard elbows for his effort. Came close to a win for the champ but this one is going to the fifth.
Lamas comes out strong and shows he's still in it, swinging hard. He gets pressed up against the cage in the clinch and taken down for it. Aldo moves into a full mount just under two minutes into the round. Lamas gets to his feet and Aldo drags him back down but ends up on the bottom. Lamas is looking for some offense as Aldo controls his posture and defends. Lamas is still looking to punish with 90 seconds left, not showing the urgency that a man down four rounds on the cards should feel. With a minute left, he's landing elbows but Aldo is controlling his posture from the ground. Lamas had a solid fifth round but just ran out of time. Calling it 49-46 Aldo to retain.
Lamas is giving it his best, but he seems a bit outclassed at this point. #UFC169Frank Mir (16-8) vs Alistair "The Reem" Overeem (36-13)
— The MMA Corner (@TheMMACorner) February 2, 2014
Overeem nails Mir with a huge knee in the clinch, wobbling him and sending him to the mat! Despite Overeem trapping one of his arms behind his head, Mir defended himself and avoided a stoppage from referee Dan Miragliota. Mir eats some knees to the body on his way up and they're back on their feet. Mir pulls guard and goes for a leg lock, with Overeem landing in guard. Mir tries to control his posture but loses this round on everyone's score card, except maybe a French judge.
Miragliotta separates the fighters with over a minute gone and Overeem throws a hard combo but misses. Mir scores the take down and goes for broke with a guillotine but Overeem escapes and ends up on top. Mir is getting battered bloody in the second round but is always dangerous on his back, a fact for which Overeem clearly has plenty of respect. Mir looks to spin out and take an arm and Overeem wants none of it, standing up and looking to kick at Mir before the referee stands them up as the round comes to a close. Overeem takes another round; Mir's corner calling for more takedowns during the break.
Overeem is being very economical in his offense, having suffered from cardio problems in the past. Mir is on his back soon again in the third, waiting for Overeem to make a mistake and leave an arm hanging out there to break. Mir is getting pounded out by Overeem's elbows and the crowd gets restless as it stays on the ground. They get stood up with a minute left and you can see Overeem loading up a straight right, which lands clean and puts Mir back on his heels. This one's going to decision and a 30-27 wouldn't be a surprise.
Next time we see Frank Mir on TV it will be on an episode of Bad Ink #UFC169John "Hands of Stone" Lineker (23-6) vs Ali "Puncher" Bagautinov
— King of Clarkson (@northerneffect) February 2, 2014
After a cage-side manicure, Lineker puts Bagautinov's back against the cage before becoming the victim of a double-leg, with Bagautinov working from guard and eating elbows from the bottom. Bagautinov stands and Lineker foolishly looks for a leg-lock. Bagautinov reverses and goes for a heel hook. Back on the feet, Lineker is throwing kicks before getting one caught and being taken down again.
Round two begins with the fighters trading kicks, with Bagautinov failing on a takedown attempt. Lineker gets the best of the standup and stuffs all four takedwon attempts by Bagautinov.
Bagautinov goes 4-for-4 in takedowns and dominates the striking in the third round. Bagautinov ends the fight standing in a weak leg lock and decides to mock his opponent with a double bicep flex and a thumbs-down for Lineker. It wasn't a great show of sportsmanship, but it was pretty funny.
#UFC169 Bagautinov with the bicep flex and thumbs down. Sporting? Nay. Entertaining? #HellYeah!
— Kevin Tall (@KevinTall) February 2, 2014
Dear rest of the #UFC169 fighters, No pressure. @AbelTrujillo1 and @JamieVarner just set the pace for tonight. #BringIt :)Jamie Varner (21-8-1) vs Abel "Killa" Trujillo (11-5)
— Shanda (@UFC_Shanda) February 2, 2014
This one looked exciting from the get-go, with both man swinging and landing. Trujillo got the better of the exchanges for the first minute and a half, backing Varner up several times. Varner tripped Trujillo in the clinch ans did a great job of rolling his opponent and taking his back. He failed to sink his hooks in and made a quick transition to a North-South choke. Trujillo defended with strikes but was in deep trouble for a few minutes. After regaining his feet, Trujillo started throwing hard to try to win the round, with both men swinging away.
In round two, Varner nailed Trujillo with a counter punch and pounced on him. After a wild exchange, Trujillo looked almost out on his feet but stayed alive long enough to knock Varner with a HUGE counter-right as the two men brawled
Jon "The Bull" Makdessi (12-2) vs Alan Patrick (11-10)
This was a decision that made Joe Rogan nauseous, apparently. Makdessi looked like he would get the win in this uneventful bout, and a 30-27 score against him certainly wasn't turned in by anyone who actually saw this one go down.
I don't agree with that split decision for catone (30-27, 29-28, 28,29). That's scoring where a takedown counts for too much #ufc169Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso vs Danny "The Gremlin" Martinez Cariaso defends an early takedown attempt by Martinez and starts throwing kicks. Another takedown defended and answered by more kicks. Martinez scored on the next two attempts, likely taking the round, based on the scoring for previous fights. Martinez came out with a lot of steam on his punches but throwing well wide, looking to trade in the pocket. He earned some boos from those in attendance, who clearly had little appreciation for the grappling aspect. Cariaso brought his striking game online, landing some combos before Martinez lands a right and uses the momentum to shoot again, eventually wearing down the defense and went 1-for-4 in takedowns. It looked like one round a-piece heading into the third round. Cariaso kept busy with jabs, jabs, and more jabs. He then lands a solid straight left and follows up with a combination.
— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) February 2, 2014
I don't agree with that split decision for catone (30-27, 29-28, 28,29). That's scoring where a takedown counts for too much #ufc169 — Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) February 2, 2014Nick "The Jersey Devil" Catone" (9-4) vs Tom "Kong" Watson (16-6)
Tom Watson picked Nick Catone apart with leg kicks for three solid rounds. Catone took him down in the first, with Watson wall-walking but being dragged back down with less than a minute left. It's more leg kicks in the second, with Watson stuffing another Catone takedown but getting dragged down twice before the end of the round. Catone takes him down twice again in the third, which probably got him the win in an uneventful fight that that saw him out-struck by a significant margin on the score sheets (58-36 total strikes, 45-26 significant strikes).
"Raging" Al Iaquinta (7-2-1) vs Kevin "The Motown Phenom" Lee (6-0)
This one almost didn't make it out of the first round. Iaquinta almost put Lee away with a huge left that dropped him. He followed up with a dangerous heel hook and made a good case for a 10-9 round.
Iaquinta found himself in danger early in the second, with Lee scoring a takedown and taking his back. Lee snakes his left arm around Iaquinta's neck and threatened to finish by rear naked. Things looked bleak for Iaquinta but he managed to fend off the attack, with Lee eventually breaking the hold. Things slow down towards the end of the all-Lee second round.
Round three saw the two fighters trade in stand-up exchanges, with Iaquinta doing enough to win the round and the fight via decision.