UFC 203: Miocic v. Werdum
It’s always a spectacle when the UFC comes to town. September 10th in Cleveland was no exception. UFC 203 is one of the most memorable events for the company in recent history. It saw hometown hero Stipe Miocic’s first defense of his heavyweight championship, the debut of CM Punk, and a litany of other unexpected happenings.
I was fortunate enough to be seated cageside for the event. Click here to read my full review of UFC 203. However, I thought I would try something different this time and post my complete and unedited notes as taken just feet from the Octagon.
Photographer: Ted Zep
Noelle Foley and “Frank the Clown” walking around the halls. Crowd slowly filtering in.
Dollaway fight off, “elevator accident” at hotel.
Music in arena sets very specific mood.
Medeiros v. Spencer (Welter)
Spencer walks first (“Cleveland is the Reason”-Kid Cudi). Good song to set the theme of the night.
Mark Goddard, ref.
Kicks, feeling each other out. Medeiros with weird hand motion. Spencer bouncing kicks off opp. Medeiros kicks to the thigh. S with a rifle for a right. M grabs foot and shot to chest. Kicks staggeer S. M holds hands up cockily. Round ends w/ M firing kicks + S punches.
M stuns S, down w/ a kick, rear naked and it’s over.
T: 49s (2)
Rogan: M “I’m hungry. I’m ready to eat.” “Kill or be killed. I’m here.”
Spencer walked by w/ bitter look of disappointment.
Dober v. Gonzalez (Lt)
Gonzalez (B) walks to “Gansta’s Paradise. Dober (R) “Shoop.”
Both out swinging, Dober’s are a bit wild. Clenched against cage, blue corner. D kicked G low, given recovery time. Crowd roars @ replay. G scores headkick. D fires off fist for KO. Electric finish.
Rogan: Compliments D’s timing. D gives credit to Team Elevation. Leaves cage with smile + bounce of victory.
G glassy-eyed as he returns to locker room. The punishment was real.
Lentz v. McBride (Catch)
Reporter next to me (ATL) predicts this wil be brutal.
M on knee twice. L w/ back, M got ahold of right foot. The struggle is for M’s back. This one is a scramble.
(Judges rotate positions between fights)
M lands a couple shots on L’s back, back to feet. L, headlock. L has him from behind. M w/ a couple weak shots (r) tho L swarming him. L on his back pounding him, no defense. Ref stopped it. M, belly-down.
T: 417 (2)
Rogan: L said opponent awkward, called fight awkward. M weak some areas, strong others. Last min. opponent.
Big screen: Punk +300, Gall -400. Show two walking in back. Punk heavily boo’d.
Lots of musical mashups between fights to maintain atmosphere.
Seats are now mostly full.
Tavares v. Magalhaes (Mid)
M connects kick to torso. Circling. T w/ check kick. M kick to T leg. Locked up against the cage, standing + struggling.
Crowd “woo-ing” like Ric Flair.
Round ends w/ applause + light boos.
M connects w/ kick. Bit more active now. Crowd bored, chanting. T w/ a nice kick. More circling, at least not clinched against cage. Loud hum of chatter from crowd. Random shots from both.
Crowd livens @ open of 3. T missed with a wild roundhouse. More standing. M drops down in guillotine, wraps legs around waist. Back on ft. T w/ a big left, kick to thigh. T, another thigh kick. M hit a left.
T pair of kicks. Missed a ??? (Think it was a flying knee). T hit flying knee w/ seconds left. Judges.
Cerrone walking thru crowd.
W: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 Split/Tavares
No post-fight int.
Eye v. Correia (Bantam)
C, E…goosebumps, electricity, crowd going berserk (“Skate Cans” MGK0
Major heat for C.
E scores right. C a coiled spring. E eats a right. Nice head movement from E, follows w/ a punch, stalking. Both active. E trips C. C never stops moving. C grasps E’s upper chest, has E pinned against cage. E w/ kick to head.
E throwing combos. C taunting. E scrappy + motivated. More chanting. E throws punches w/ malice. E w/ torso kick. Two trading. C nose cut? E’s right eye darkened. “USA” chant. LOL. E bleeding from mouth.
Both dinged up. E ended 2 throwing hands, C taunted. Final round, crowd screaming. Both are balls of energy but being cautious. Picking their spots. C in w/ a left. E eats a left. Boxing kicks in. E has solid footwork. Crowd rallying behind E, she eats 2 lefts. Against cage, E back to wall. C dancing, certain she has won. Loud boos from crowd. C celebrating.
W: 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 Split/Correia
Rogan: I can’t hear interview b/c of crowd noise.
E walked away w/ dignity. Crowd is pissed! C dances and enrages audience even more.
Andrade v. Calderwood (Straw)
C (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”), A.
Start of main card.
A down to one kneed during announcements, ready to pounce.
A has C down, picks her up and powerbombs her. Raining down punches on C. Chatter from crowd. A pounding C’s ribs. A w/ a DDT, guillotine, legs cinched around waist. Over.
Rogan: Int. thru translator
Kid Cudi song playing.
Faber v. Rivera (Bantam)
Rivera, corner guy smacking the shit out of him to fire him up.
Faber, out to “California Love.” Crowd loves Faber. His entrace is dope.
F spins from a kick to the calf. Little tiny movements, fakes, and jitters. F is fascinating to watch.
Reporter at my table notes that ref looks like “tiny Brock Lesnar.”
Rivera took an accidental low shot, breather.F w/ a left. F down from kick to left leg, back up quickly. R almost got the left leg again.
Crowd restless. Want the two to cut loose. Rivera took an accidental thumb to the eye? Doctor in checking. Fight resumes. R pissed, throwing gas. F w/ left. R way more active. Swatting @ each other to close. Smattering (heavy) of boos.
W: 30-27 x3, Unanimous/Rivera
Rogan: Rogan calls it the biggest win of R’s career. R said he couldn’t see anything after he got poked, still can’t see. Said he “grew up” watching Faber. Ouch. LOL. Thanked CLE, crowd popped.
F leg hurt?
Punk v. Gall (Welter)
Gall walks to “Mickey.” Smart, memorable.
Punk, “Cult of Personality.” Yes.
Crowd is fire.
Shoot on Punk, Punk down against cage. Punk getting rocked with punches, trying to twist out. Gall on his back. Punk covering up, trying to block choke. Gall dropping bombs. It’s over.
Punk bloody, sad. Crowd roaring for Gall.
Both are center ring, cameras in their face.
W: Gall/sub/rear-naked choke
Rogan: Gall calls out Sage Northcutt. Punk-don’t give up your dreams, get back up. Not how he wanted it to turn out but he will be back. Moving, passionate encouraging speech. He lost but he did so with dignity.
Werdum v. Browne
Browne, “Best Around.”
Browne #6 contender, Werdum #1
W charges with a knee to open, he is after B. W with a rolling kick. B hand hurt, calls for a “time out” (?). Looked to be over but isn’t. W throwing leather. Clinched on the cage. W, roundhouse. B, solid right, caught leg + tripped but W back to feet. B down, getting pounded. Going for back.
B blocked a kick, W down. Two jabbing @ each other. Crowd booing as two juke. W, “Backfist to the Future.” Booing as round ends.
W, thigh kicks. He goes for leg, no dice. Heavy booing. B driving offense. He kicks W’s head.Crowd is salty. Neither doing much. Resounding boos. Worst of night.
W: 29-28, 29-27, 30-27 Unanimous/Werdum
W kicked one of B’s cornermen. W pushed back to door. Major heat. Feels like a brawl is going to break out.
Rogan: B dislocated finger early. W was well w/in rights to throw punch after dislocation.
W attempts to warn audience about drinking and driving but the crowd is drowning him out. They are angry.
UFC Heavyweight Championship
Miocic (c) v. Overeem
Miocic, “Till I Die” MGK
Miocic singing as he is checked + his face is greased at cageside.
It’s an eruption as Miocic enters the cage. It’s incredible.
Crowd chanting “STIPE!”
O has a weird look on his face, like he is goofing around.
Crowd goes quiet as M barely escapes a guillotine. It looked like this was over that quickly.
M eats a left, fires bombs. O on that bicycle, running. O w/ knees. O back on that bike as M stalks. M w/ rights + lefts overtop his opponent. O is out.
I can feel the roar of the crowd in my chest. The pop for Miocic is completely deafening.
Rogan: Miocic said he just wanted to “turn the motherboard off.”
Reporter: Ted Zep