About Rich Mitchell

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Yair Rodriguez Destroys BJ Penn (UFC Phoenix Fight Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out Yair Rodriguez‘s destruction of BJ Penn at UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn in Phoenix.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Fight Highlight Videos

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Ben Saunders Scores Controversial Win Over Court McGee (UFC Phoenix Fight Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out Ben Saunders’ controversial victory over Court McGee at UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn in Phoenix.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Fight Highlight Videos

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Joe Lauzon Takes the W, but Doesn’t Think He Earned It (UFC Phoenix Fight Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out Joe Lauzon’s victory over Marcin Held at UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn in Phoenix. It’s a victory that Lauzon “100-percent” says he didn’t deserve.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Fight Highlight Videos

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Sergio Pettis Takes the Win Over John Moraga (UFC Phoenix Fight Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out Sergio Pettis as he takes the win over John Moraga at UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn in Phoenix.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Fight Highlight Videos

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Yair Rodriguez Earns Bonus for Destruction of BJ Penn (UFC Phoenix Bonuses)

The Ultimate Fighting Champion announced the winners of the performance-based fighter bonuses stemming from UFC Fight Night 103 on Sunday at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. Yair Rodriguez, Oleksiy Oliynyk, Augusto Mendes, and Frankie Saenz took home the $50,000 incentives.

The bantamweight bout between Mendes and Saenz earned Fight of the Night honors. The two went to war for fifteen minutes with Mendes staggering Saenz several times throughout the fight. Saenz dropped Mendes with elbow in the second frame. Both fighters had moments close to putting the fight away. The judges scored the back-and-forth battle for Mendes by split decision.

RELATED > UFC Phoenix: Rodriguez vs. Penn Live Results and Fight Stats

Rodriguez banked a Performance of the Night Bonus for his second-round technical knockout finish of returning legend BJ Penn in the fight card’s main event. Penn, who hadn’t fought since 2014, came out of retirement to try and make another UFC run. Rodriguez stopped it dead in its tracks. The 24-year-old Mexican hit Penn with everything in his arsenal. He landed head kicks, spinning kicks, front kicks and punches. Penn was slow and made for an easy target for the striking specialist. Early in the second frame, Rodriguez landed a front kick followed by a right hand that sent Penn crashing to the canvas. He finished with a series of unanswered punches.

Heavyweight Oleksiy Oliynyk was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus for his first-round finish of Viktor Pešta on the preliminary fight card. Pesta took Oliynyk down and found himself locked in an Ezekiel choke. He mounted Oliynyk before realizing that the choke was in deep. He was forced to tap out. It was the tenth time the Ukrainian has finished a fight with an Ezekiel choke.

UFC Fight Night 103 featured 12 fights. Six ended in decisions, four by knockout, and two were finished with submissions.

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UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Gate and Attendance from Phoenix

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Phoenix, Az., on Sunday night for the first time in more than two years for the return of a retired UFC Hall of Famer.

BJ Penn‘s return bout was a big enough draw to attract 11,589 fans to the Talking Stick Resort Arena, producing a live gate of $913,372.75. Those figures paled in comparison to the promotion’s last trip to Phoenix, which was UFC on FOX 13: dos Santos vs. Miocic in December of 2014. UFC on FOX 23 drew a crowd of 15,350 for a live gate of $1.5 million.

RELATED > UFC Phoenix: Rodriguez vs. Penn Live Results and Fight Stats

The UFC Fight Night 103 main event featured Penn trying to make another go of it in the Octagon opposite Yair Rodriguez.

Penn’s return may prove short-lived if Sunday’s fight was any indicator. Rodriguez dismantled Penn with an assortment of kicks coming from every angle, which left the Hawaiian on wobbly legs by the end of the first frame. 

Just 24 seconds into round two and Rodriguez had dropped Penn with a front kick-right hand combination and finished him with a blur of hammerfists and punches. 

Things certainly look bleak for Penn’s future in the Octagon, but Rodriguez’s future couldn’t be any brighter.

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Yair Rodriguez Wrecks BJ Penn in Hall of Famer’s Return (UFC Phoenix Results)

Yair Rodriguez destroyed an MMA legend on Sunday night, impressively taking apart BJ Penn at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix.

Already a UFC Hall of Fame fighter, Penn returned to the Octagon after being retired for the past two-and-a-half years. Rodriguez is the wave of the future for the fight promotion, having won The Ultimate Fighter Latin America and riding a seven-fight winning streak coming into the fight.

Rodriguez set the tone from the opening bell, immediately meeting Penn in the center of the Octagon and landing a hard kick to the body. 

RELATED > UFC Phoenix: Rodriguez vs. Penn Live Results and Fight Stats

From that point on, Rodriguez became a blur of legs attacking from all angels. Late in the round, he lit Penn up with several consecutive head kicks before switching to an assortment of kicks to the body and legs that left the Hawaiian on wobbly legs.

His confidence having grown as the first round wore on, Rodriguez carried his momentum into the second frame, immediately dropping Penn with a front kick to the face, which was followed by a right hand. 

Yair Rodriguez - Creative CombatThe instant Penn his the canvas, Rodrgiuez pounced, dropping a blur of hammerfists and punches, relentlessly unloading on the legendary fighter until referee Big John McCarthy called a stop to the punishment at the 24-second mark.

“This is an amazing fight to me. I fought a legacy tonight,” Rodriguez said after the fight.

Adding an eighth consecutive victory to his streak, Sunday’s win was by far the most impressive of Rodriguez’s career. He surely etched his name among the Top 10 fighters in the UFC featherweight division.

Immediately after the fight, it was unclear what Penn’s next move might be, but he certainly doesn’t appear to be en route to the 145-pound title shot that he had set as a goal upon his return.

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Joe Lauzon Decision’s Marcin Held But Says Judges Got It Wrong (UFC Phoenix Results)

When ring announcer Bruce Buffer was reading the scorecards from the UFC Fight Night 103 co-main event on Sunday, most inside the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix were shocked, including the winner.

Joe Lauzon officially defeated Marcin Held in their lightweight bout, but Lauzon but spent his post-fight interview explaining why he didn’t win the fight.

Lauzon came close to finishing Held in the early going of the opening round. Held was working to secure a takedown along the cage and Lauzon unleashed a series of elbows that forced Held to abandon the takedown attempt and go into survival mode. After that, Held controlled the rest of the round.

RELATED > UFC Phoenix: Rodriguez vs. Penn Live Results and Fight Stats

In the second frame, Held took Lauzon down twice and continued to put the UFC veteran on his back throughout the fight. On the ground, he controlled the position except for an arm bar attempt in the second round that he defended. He nullified Lauzon’s submission game and out grappled him. Both fighters were stunned when the scorecards were read.

“I disagree (with the decision) 100-percent. I got screwed in my last fight and felt like the decision should have went my way. This time, that was not my fight. That was 100-percent Marcin’s fight. I disagree 100-percent,” said Lauzon following the split decision.

Light heavyweight champion and commentator Daniel Cormier also disagreed with the decision.

“I’m a little lose for words there,” said Cormier after the fight. “I thought Marcin held actualluy did more than enough to win the fight. Outside of those elbows, he controlled the entire fight.”

Despite the bizarre scoring, Lauzon picked up the win and Held is still searching for his first UFC victory. 

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Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw Named TUF 25 Coaches

The landmark 25th season of The Ultimate Fighter will feature two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world as coaches with newly minted bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt coaching opposite former teammate and arch nemesis TJ Dillashaw, the former titleholder and current No. 2-ranked contender seeking a return to the top.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw trained alongside one another at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., where Garbrandt still resides. Since Dillashaw moved his camp to Colorado to train with Duane Ludwig, the two have jawwed back-and-forth in the media. The latest hot button between the two has been Garbrandt’s insistence that he knocked Dillashaw out in training, while the former champ denies anything of the sort.

TRENDING > Amanda Nunes Wants to Follow Conor McGregor and Hold Two UFC Belts

Garbrandt and Dillashaw will lead a cast of welterweights who all have redemption on their mind. Every member of the TUF 25 cast, including one athlete on the current UFC roster and previous Ultimate Fighter winners, have competed on a previous season of the show, which remains the highest rated and most watched original program on FS1, and look to prove they belong in the upper echelon of one of UFC’s most stacked divisions. The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption will premiere with a two-hour episode on Wednesday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET.

TJ Dillashaw and Cody GarbrandtWith a perfect 11-0 record, Garbrandt is proof that the future is now for the next wave of UFC superstars. The Team Alpha Male product defeated arguably the most dominant champion in Zuffa history, Dominick Cruz, at UFC 207 last month in dominating fashion. At just 25 years old, “No Love” is quickly becoming a fan favorite and has already made each of his fights a must-see event. With nine wins by knockout, seven in the first round, Garbrandt has the one-punch knockout power that has made him one of the most feared athletes in mixed martial arts.

A member of season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter, Dillashaw (15-3) is no stranger to the power and platform the competition provides. He’s one of six athletes who have competed on the show and gone on to become a UFC champion (Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Matt Serra, and Carla Esparza are the others).

When he meets Garbrandt in the Octagon after the season concludes, Dillashaw will also be looking for redemption as he attempts to regain the world title he feels is rightfully his.

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Ben Saunders Ekes Out the Win Over Court McGee (UFC Phoenix Results)

Ben Saunders and Court McGee are two entertaining welterweights that have struggled to gain any championship traction int the Octagon. At UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix on Sunday night, Saunders edged out the victory, trying to start a run up the rankings.

The fight started quickly with both men looking to engage. They got into a clinch early, but neither gained much of an advantage there, although McGee seemed to land a few more punch combinations. 

McGee being busier would prove to be the theme of the fight, although it didn’t exactly play to his favor in the end. 

RELATED > UFC Phoenix: Rodriguez vs. Penn Live Results and Fight Stats

He got ahead of Saunders in the opening round – having to fend off several kicks – but put on the pressure and landed several multi-part punch combinations. Saunders was content to utilize more of a one-off strategy with his strikes, of which many missed or were caught.

Round two was a little bit closer than the first with Saunders landing more of his kicks, but McGee did a good job keeping the pressure on, closing the gap and landing multi-punch combinations. Saunders kept his distance, where he could get off his kicks.

The final frame saw McGee continue his pressured approach, moving Saunders around the cage, closing the gap and landing punch combinations. 

In the closing moments of the fight, McGee got Saunders to the canvas, where he implemented a steady diet of ground and pound, but couldn’t land enough heavy shots to put Saunders away. That would prove costly after time expired.

While it appeared that McGee had been the busier fighter throughout the fight, the three judges in attendance all saw the fight 29-28 in favor of Saunders.

“His heart is unstoppable. He wasn’t gonna quit and neither was I,” said Saunders after accepting the victory amidst a chorus of booing fans. “I’ll be back stronger. I’m sorry, hopefully you were entertained. I’ll be better next time, I promise.”

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