The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday night not only gave fans fights on facebook.com, they gave them a whopping five fights if you “like” the UFC page. The initial announcement was for two bouts on facebook, but the UFC quickly shifted gears and added three UFC Fight Night 24 bonus fights to the online stream.
The final of the three bonus bouts was a war of attrition between Brit John Hathaway and American Kris McCray, but don’t let the word attrition fool you. This was a tough, competitive fight from bell to bell.
Hathaway started out with a quick foot lock attempt that looked like it would finish the fight, but McCray fought his way out of it and stamped his takedowns all over Hathaway during round one. But as often as McCray was on top, Hathaway was fighting just as strong from his back.
Round two was similar, both men having their moments, neither gaining a distinct advantage, splitting takedowns, and taking turns with their ground and pound attack.
The third round is what secured the fight for Hathaway, however. He took McCray down numerous times in the final stanza, as McCray grew weary. Hathaway was also quicker to the punch on their feet.
The scorecards reflected how closely the efforts of McCray and Hathaway matched. One judge gave a 29-28 nod to McCray, while the other two scored it the same in Hathaway’s favor, handing the Brit a split decision victory.
One of the most highly touted young fighters in the UFC, Michael McDonald showed why by utilizing his full arsenal to get a victory over late replacement Edwin Figueroa.
McDonald was on fire early, blistering Figueroa with his striking attack throughout the first round. He continued to impress in round two, shifting gears to a submission attack. McDonald locked on several deep submissions, but couldn’t secure the finish on a very game Figueroa, who got his shot in the Octagon on a mere 10 days notice and wasn’t going to let it go to waste.
Both fighters tiring, Figueroa finally got some offense going in round three, but McDonald dug deep, finding a way to win by stifling Figueroa’s striking with takedown after takedown to earn a unanimous decision victory.
“He’s definitely the toughest guy I’ve fought,” said McDonald after the fight, clearly ready to continue his ascension up the UFC bantamweight ladder.
There was a whole lotta man in the first bout on facebook. Six-foot-eight Christian Morecraft and six-foot-seven Sean McCorkle, both 265 pounds, are pushing the limits of the heavyweight division.
It was Morecraft, however, that used his size to his advantage on Saturday night. Though McCorkle started the fight out by landing on top following a takedown, Morecraft quickly turned the tables and punished McCorkle with some brutal ground and pound to finish round one, and again to open round two.
Morecraft landed an accidental low knee just past the midway point of round two. McCorkle took full advantage of his five minutes to recover, but it didn’t do him any good. Shortly after the fight restarted, Morecraft applied a standing guillotine choke that put McCorkle to sleep.
Both men were coming off of losses to Stefan Struve. A loss here doesn’t bode well for McCorkle, but Morecraft was impressive, earning further life in the Octagon.