Rousey needs seconds to defend belt

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Sunday, July 6, 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Ronda Rousey's most dangerous weapon is still the armbar -- we think.

Rousey (10-0) finished her second consecutive fight via knockout at UFC 175 on Saturday night, needing only 16 seconds to put away No. 1 contender Alexis Davis at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The finish was the second-fastest knockout in UFC title bout history, behind Andrei Arlovski's 15-second finish of Paul Buentello at UFC 55 in October 2005. The win also handed Rousey, 27, her fourth consecutive UFC bantamweight title defense.

"I box six days a week and grapple four days a week," Rousey said. "I have more to catch up on striking, so I do that the most."

The finishing sequence was a beautiful display of the progress Rousey has made on her feet. The former Olympic judoka, who finished her first eight professional fights via armbar, scored a right hand to Davis' chin and then a knee to the midsection.

As Davis (16-6) doubled over from the strikes, Rousey, 27, threw her to the floor in the center of the Octagon and started unloading right hands from a side control headlock. Davis went noticeably limp after one of them, which prompted referee Yves Lavigne to stop the fight.

Rousey admitted after the fight she was dealing with a sore right knee and a cyst that had developed on her right hand.

"It turns out from my last two camps at (UFC) 168 and 170 I kept ripping my knuckle open," she said. "I kept covering it up and hitting on it still, just making sure it didn't get infected. I guess I ended up building a cyst under my knuckle.

"I ripped it open in the first overhand right. I just got nine stitches. The knee surgery is just something more maintenance. I need to do it. It's not really major knee surgery at all. I literally walk out and in about two weeks I'm 100 percent."

It marked the first time Davis has been stopped since January 2009.

"We had been specifically working on the long overhand right and long left hook in this training camp," Rousey said. "Before my fight with Sara McMann, we had been training the inside knee to the body. It just seems that whatever I'm working on in training camp I have implemented effectively in the fight." 

The 16-second finish will only drop Rousey's average fight time, which was already a brief 2:44 headed into her fourth title defense. In her last fight at UFC 170 in February, Rousey stopped Sara McMann at the 1:06 mark after a knee to the body.

Following Saturday night's bout, Rousey, who has claimed she would accept any fight on 24 hours' notice, was asked if she was interested in fighting at UFC 176 in Los Angeles on Aug. 2.

The attendance was 10,088 with a live gate of $4.4 million.

A main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes was scrapped recently from the card, due to an Aldo injury. Rousey said she is scheduled to undergo minor knee surgery but would still consider it. UFC president Dana White appeared to shake his head no as she said it.

Hall overcomes injury to outpoint SantosFor at least one night, Uriah Hall seemed to have fixed his "too nice" problem.

Hall (9-4) did not knock out Thiago Santos in their middleweight bout, but it was not for lack of effort. The New York native attacked Santos relentlessly on the feet en route to a unanimous decision. Judges scored the fight 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Making the win all the more more impressive, Hall fought through a severely mangled toe on his right foot, which he sustained in the first round.

A former contestant on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, Hall has appeared (for lack of a better description) too nice during several of his UFC appearances.

He was anything but nice to Santos, however, hurting the Brazilian several times in the 15-minute fight. He shut down Santos' offense effectively with head movement and counter jabs. He discouraged Santos from throwing leg kicks by countering with straight rights. A high right head kick nearly floored Santos late in the second round.

Prior to the start of the third round, cageside doctors delayed the action to take a closer look at Hall's toe, which was sticking straight up into the air. After the fight, Hall said he could feel the bones shift when he threw kicks.

The win extended Hall's win streak to two. He stopped UFC veteran Chris Leben via TKO in his last appearance at UFC 168 in December. The win snapped a two-fight skid in which he lost decisions to Kelvin Gastelum and John Howard.

Santos (9-3) dropped to 1-2 in the UFC.

Doane earns split decisionFighting for the first time at 135 pounds, Marcus Brimage might have fallen victim to poor judging.

Brimage (6-3) suffered a split decision loss to Russell Doane in their bantamweight fight. Two judges scored the bout 30-27 and 29-28 for Doane, while the third scored it 29-28 for Brimage. scored the fight in favor of Brimage, 29-28.

"There's a lot of pressure on a card like this," Doane said. "Every time there's a split decision, you always worry the judges will make the wrong call. But Marcus was a tough guy. Happy for the win."

Brimage felt he did enough to earn the nod.

"I honestly thought I had done enough to win," Brimage said. "But the judges didn't think so, and that's all that matters."

Doane (14-3) nearly took the judges out of the equation in the first round, as he came close to submitting Brimage. He scored a well-timed double-leg early in the fight and eventually transitioned to his back.

Brimage survived the position, however, and even finished the round on his feet. He started to find his range in the next round, hurting Doane with inside and outside leg kicks.

The leg kicks continued to rack up in the final round and forced Doane to constantly switch his stance. Brimage scored a takedown early in the round, but allowed Doane to get back to his feet after nearly falling into a triangle attempt.

Doane extended his current win streak to three. He submitted Leandro Issa via triangle choke in his UFC debut in January. Brimage, who hadn't fought since April 2013 due to an Achiles injury, falls to 0-2 in his last two fights.

Faber works over Caceres for submission winIt was no walk in the park, but Urijah Faber proved to be better than Alex Caceres when he had to be.

Faber (31-7) earned the seventh win of his UFC career, submitting Caceres via rear-naked choke at 1:09 of the third round. "The California Kid" is now 7-3 in the UFC. All three losses have come in bantamweight title fights.

"I would've liked to make that a lot easier, but this is the real world and it's the fight game," Faber said. "People have to understand that things will happen out there and it won't always be an easy fight. [Caceres] is a guy who has a lot of range and he's creative in the scrambles, so I wanted to make it a dirty, ugly fight."

Faber also admitted he might have been injured during the bout.

"I think I may have broken my rib in the first round at some point," Faber said. "Not sure how that happened but it might've slowed me down a bit.

"I really want to stay busy and get back in there as soon as possible. I haven't really had the chance to fight on international cards and I think that could be fun. Maybe the Japan show coming up!"

Caceres (10-5) proved to be a worthy opponent, despite facing lopsided betting odds. Vegas books closed with Faber as a 10-to-1 favorite, implying he had a 90 percent chance to win.

It appeared those odds were accurate early, as Faber scored a takedown in the first 90 seconds of the bout and went to work from Caceres' closed guard. He held top position the majority of the round, but failed to land any significant damage.

Caceres responded in the middle frame, defending takedowns and landing cleaner strikes in exchanges. He bloodied Faber's nose with a right uppercut and scored a hard knee to the rib cage from the clinch. Faber answered by taking Caceres down three times, but unlike early in the fight, couldn't keep him on his back.

With the fight's outcome up in the air, Faber brought his best in the third round. He caught a leg kick attempt from Caceres and landed a series of right hands before dumping him on his back.

A nifty transition to Caceres' back set up the rear-naked finish for Faber. It marked the 18th time he's finished a fight via submission.

Faber continues to hover around UFC title contention. ranked him the No. 3 bantamweight in the world heading into the bout. His friend and teammate T.J. Dillashaw will look to defend the 135-pound title against Renan Barao in August.

Caceres suffers his first defeat since February 2012.

Struve-Mitrione called offThe heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione was canceled at the last minute after Struve fainted in his locker room.

Struve, 26, was attempting to fight for the first time since he was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve -- a rare heart disorder that disrupts blood flow.

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