UFC_Phoenix_event_poster

UFC hall-of-famer BJ Penn made his Octagon return from a two-and-a-half year retirement as he took on Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Fight Night 103 from Talk Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona

The four fight main card kicked off in the flyweight division as Sergio Pettis(14-2, #15FW)) took on John Moraga(16-5, #8FW)

A fairly tame contest that ended up going all three rounds, the fight consisted mainly of the stand up game with Pettis getting the better of the striking exchanges, and even managed to drop Moraga with a left hook/right straight combo at the end of the first round

After going the full fifteen minutes, all three judges gave the bout to Pettis via unanimous decision as the twenty three year old extended his winning streak to three

In between fights, announcers Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier announced that TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt will be coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, while also confirming the two coaches will fight for Garbrandt’s bantamweight championship at a date to-be-determined

The next fight was a welterweight bout between Ben Saunders (20-7-2) and Court MaGee(19-5), with the latter entering the contest as the betting favourite

Very much like the first bout, this fight didn’t offer much in the way of excitement with the fight comprised mainly of the stand up game, with the bout going the distance as neither fighter was able to find an opening to finish their opponent either standing or on the ground

In the end all Saunders got the unanimous decision as he now rides a two fight winning streak

A lightweight bout co-main evented UFC Fight Night 103, as Poland’s Marcin Held(22-5) faced Joe Lauzon(26-13), with American Lauzon the betting favourite heading into the contest

Lauzon showed his superior striking in the first round, and even managed to land a significant flurry of elbow strikes that rocked Held before Lauzon completed the takedown, as the American took the first round despite Held spending much of the first five minutes in control on the ground

Held was able to secure numerous takedowns in the second round, actively looking to avoid any more strikes from Lauzon however once on the ground the Polish fighter was unable to land any ground and pound strikes and didn’t attempt any submissions, though Held took the round despite not doing any damage

It was more of the same in the third and final round, with Held getting takedowns but not being able to land any meaningful blows whilst in top position on the ground as the fight came to a close with Held winning rounds two and three

However, the judges disagreed and gave the split decision to Lauzon, with even the American himself stating in his post-fight interview that Held won the fight

Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn(16-10-2) made his return from retirement in the main event, as the American took on Mexican Yair Rodriguez(10-1) in a featherweight bout, with Rodriquez the betting favourite to take the fight

Rodriguez was able to dominate the first round via his strikes, with the Mexican able to land multiple head and body kicks that rocked Penn, with Penn not being able to counter due to Rodriguez’s superior speed and footwork, though Penn managed to make it to the second round despite being clearly out-manoeuvred by his opponent

The second round is where it ended for Penn though, as almost immediately Rodriquez landed a front kick to the face/right hook combo that rocked and dropped Penn, and from there landed numerous ground and pound punches before referee John McCarthy stepped in and stopped the bout at 0:24 of the second round for the TKO victory

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh