The first round had Ricci picking apart Sotiropoulos with his punches & kicks, including some nice head kicks that rocked the shit out of Sotiropoulos. Sotiropoulos shot for a takedown in the last half of the opening round, but Ricci did a good job staying on his feet. Round one clearly goes to Ricci for his striking.
     The second round had Sotiropoulos wasting all of his energy, trying to take Ricci down against the cage from inside the clinch, while Ricci just stood there, waiting for Sotiropoulos to stop. Whenever they broke apart, Ricci went back to his kicks & punches, beating up Sotiropoulos in most of the exchanges. Sotiropoulos's inability to takedown Ricci basically means that he's going to lose this fight at this point. He can't hang with Ricci on the feet, and he can't get the fight to the ground. Ricci is ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     Sotiropoulos was clinging for dear life in the clinch, hoping to win a poorly calculated decision or something? Ricci was having none of that though, as he took Sotiropoulos down, and beat him up on the ground against the cage. Sotiropoulos was spinning around on the ground, looking for leg locks, showing that this is clearly not where Ricci wants to be, but Ricci did a decent job maintaining top control, preventing Sotiropoulos from actually sinking anything in too deep. Sotiropoulos took down Ricci in the final 10 seconds, and I think it MIGHT even be enough to win the round for Sotiropoulos, but Ricci still clearly wins this fight, at least 29-28, if not 30-27. All 3 judges gave him all 3 rounds for the unanimous decision victory.
      Maybe I let my bias get in the way of the way I scored this fight? But I gave Sotiropoulos the first 2 rounds, and I gave Noons the third round. The judges saw it the exact opposite way though, and ended up giving the fight to Noons via unanimous decision. Sotiropoulos is one of my favorite submission fighters in the UFC, so I was disappointed that he kept the fight standing for pretty much the entire fight. It was a pretty solid boxing match, and Sotiropoulos had the clear advantage with kicks, but whatever. That makes 4 losses in a row for Sotiropoulos, so is he finished in the UFC now? I sure hope not. I still couldn't care less about K.J. Noons though.
TKO (Punches)
      Well, I've been saying Sotiropoulos was a Top 10 Fighter for a while now, but I think this fight might shut me up. Ross Pearson almost knocked him out in the first round, but the round ended with Sotiropoulos unleashing a grappling clinic, so I declared the first round a draw. Pearson won the second round, with superior striking, almost knocking him out again. The third round, Pearson DID basically knock him out, so yeah, Sotiropoulos looked pretty poor in this fight, other than his comeback at the end of the first round. Good fight overall though.
KO (Punch)
      DAYUM! I've been talking about how great both of these guys are for a long time now, but they both came into this fight off of a loss, so they both had something to prove, and Dos Anjos was the first to prove it, by punching Sotiropoulos in the face, and snapping his head back like a bobblehead. Rafael dos Anjos gets to retain his "This dude could be really legit!" status, and Sotiropoulos continues to fall down a few notches on the ladder.
      Similar to the Lytle fight, I'm a little disappointed seeing Sotiropoulos's win streak come to an end, he's been destroying people lately, I've been pushing for him to get a title shot, and here we have Siver BASICALLY beating him up for 3 rounds. The first round, Siver almost knocked him out twice, so he won that round clearly. The last two rounds were pretty even for the most part, and probably could have gone either way, but overall, I gave the fight to Dennis Siver, and all 3 judges agreed.
Submission (Kimura)
      Yeah! I've been calling George Sotiropoulos a top ranked Lightweight for a while, he's one of the best submission guys in the sport, his control & transitions are insane, and for the most part, he just dominates everybody with his ground game. Lauzon started off strong showing some decent striking, but by the end of the first round, Sotiropoulos was schooling him on the ground, so I gave the first round to Sotiropoulos. The second round, Lauzon came out looking exhausted, and it was only a matter of time before Sotiropoulos was able to take him to the ground, lock on a kimura, and forced the tap. George Sotiropoulos is legit!
      I've been saying both of these guys are Top 10 Fighters for a while in the 155 division, so this was a pretty cool fight to see. George Sotiropoulos BASICALLY beat the living shit out of Pellegrino all 3 rounds, with superior wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu & striking, etc... At the VERY LAST SECOND, Pellegrino almost knocked out Sotiropoulos with a HUGE knee, followed by some punches, but Sotiropoulos was saved by the bell. Great fight overall, and I was glad to see Sotiropoulos victorious.
      Going into this fight, I had George Sotiropoulos ranked as one of the top fighters in the world. He's probably my favorite Jiu-Jitsu fighter in all of MMA, the guy is a MASTER of BJJ. He completely dominated Joe Stevenson the entire fight, showing INSANE grappling skills, which is especially impressive since Joe Stevenson's main strength is his grappling. Overall, this was a great fight.
     Man, other than really not enjoying typing the name "Sotiropoulos", he has to be one of my current favorite fighters. I'm not sure why he's still fighting these bush league guys. The first round consisted of Sotiropoulos kicking the living shit out of Dent, both on the feet, as well as absolutely dominating him on the ground with his superior Jiu-Jitsu skills. The second round was basically more of the same, eventually ending with an excellent armbar, forcing Dent to tap at the end of the second round. Sotiropoulos is WAY too good to be fighting so deep underground on the undercard. Put this dude on TV!!!
Submission (Kimura)
      This was a pretty amazing display of high level Jiu-Jitsu skills by George Sotiropoulos. He countered everything Roop threw at him with takedowns, and AMAZING grappling skills, his wrestling / transitions were perfect, his Jiu-Jitsu was perfect. George Sotiropoulos is an amazing badass, and he absolutely schooled Roop for 2 rounds, until eventually locking on the Kimura in the second round for the quick submission victory.
TKO (Punches)
      This fight was pretty awesome... George Sotiropoulos went out there and put on a Jiu-Jitsu clinic, making Mitichyan look pretty foolish... Mitichyan started the fight by trying to throw some high kicks, but George kept catching them, and eventually got annoyed, so he caught Mitichyan's kick and pressed upwards, forcing Mitichyan to fall to the ground... At that point, George got on his back, and pretty much road him around for the entire first round, transitioning between about 50 different submissions, from armbars to chokes, back to armbars, etc... George easily won the first round, maybe even 10-8... The second round pretty much started the same way, but this time George decided to go with the ground & pound instead, and he just beat the shit out of Mitichyan's face until the referee was forced to stop the fight... Great show by Sotiropoulos, and I'm about ready to call him a Top 10 Welterweight, but I'd like to see him fight someone legit first... Mitichyan on the other hand, didn't look like anything special AT ALL in this fight...
Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
      This fight basically started out the same way as the Saunders vs. Barrera fight... Billy Miles came out swinging, and tried to take Sotiropoulos to the ground, but was entirely unsuccessful... The fight DID go to the ground, but Sotiropoulos immediately showed that he's the better submission grappler, locking on a rear-naked choke for the submission victory somewhat early in the first round... George Sotiropoulos is legit...
KO (Punches)
     These guys traded some sloppy strikes, while Speer basically rushed forward, chasing Sotiropoulos around the cage. They continued to trade some sloppy strikes, and then Speer poked Sotiropoulos with a hard thumb to the eye. When the fight started back up, they both pressed forward, continued to trade some sloppy looking punches, and then Speer dropped Sotiropoulos with a right hand, he pounced on him, unloaded with some big punches on the ground, he bounced Sotiropoulos's head off the canvas a few times, and the fight was stopped as Sotiropoulos was clearly unconscious. That was a fantastic finish by Speer, that was SOMEWHAT tained by the eye poke a few seconds before the finish.
Submission (Kimura)
      These guys clinched almost immediately, and Sotiropoulos pressed Hightower against the fence. That went nowhere, so they reset one minute into the opening round. Hightower threw a leg kick, Sotiropoulos whiffed with some punches, and then they clinched again. They traded a few more random strikes, and then Sotiropoulos caught a kick, and took down Hightower 2 minutes into the round. Sotiropoulos scrambled to pass Hightower's guard, he secured side control, Hightower threw some punches to his body from the bottom, while Sotiropoulos mostly just held him down, while scrambling to improve his positions. Sotiropoulos eventually passed to North-South position, he locked on a Kimura, cranked the shit out of it, Hightower screamed, and the fight was stopped. That was another solid performance by George Sotiropoulos.
TKO (Punches)
      This fight was basically a moderately paced boxing match for the first half of the opening round, with both guys landing some decent shots, and both guys showed decent movement, and then Sotiropoulos caught a kick, scrambled around for a takedown, Rollins defended well, so they reset with 2 minutes left in the round. Sotiropoulos opened up with some big punches, he knocked down Rollins, continued to unload with heavy punches on the ground, he bounced Rollins' head off the ground a few times, and the referee stopped the fight with a little over a minute left in the first round. That was a fun fight, and a fantastic debut for George Sotiropoulos.