Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back on television TONIGHT (Sat., Sept. 16, 2017) with the UFC Fight Night 116 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, which features a middleweight main event between Luke Rockhold and David Branch, who are battling for a spot in the 185-pound title chase.
In the UFC Fight Night 116 co-main event, welterweight bruiser Mike Perry collides with short-notice replacement Alex Reyes after Thiago Alves was yanked. Elsewhere on the “Steel City” fight card, grizzled veteran Hector Lombard fights to stay relevant at the expense of Anthony Smith.
All that and so much more.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 116 fight card below, starting with the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" matches at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps, and post-fight analysis following "Rockhold vs. Branch."
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC Fight Night 116 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.) Steve Juon will be providing our live play by play tonight!
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 116 QUICK RESULTS:
Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch — Rockhold via submission (strikes) 4:05 R2.
Mike Perry vs. Alex Reyes — Perry KO 1:19 R1.
Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith — Smith TKO 2:33 R3.
Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez — Gillespie via sub (arm triangle choke) 2:11 R2.
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman — Usman KO 2:48 R1.
Justin Ledet vs. Zu Anyanwu — Ledet SD 29-29, 29-28 X2.
Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier — Aubin-Mercier SD 28-29, 29-28 X2.
Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz — Spitz KO 0:24 R1.
Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko — HALL KO 2:25 R2.
Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo — Burns KO 4:55 R2.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 116 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
185 lbs.: Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
Rockhold comes in 15-3 with his last loss having been the stunning first round knockout that made Michael Bisping the 185 lb. champion last year. He fights out of Santa Cruz, CA for American Kickboxing Academy. Branch comes in 21-3 with a win streak that dates all the way back to WSOF 1 in 2012, having vacated both the 185 lb. and 205 lb. title to return to UFC. He fights out of Brooklyn, NY for Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Branch has on the black trunks. Rockhold sports the blue trunks. 32 to 35, 6’3” to 6’1”, 185.5 to 186 and 77” to 78” reach from Rockhold to Branch. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Branch rushes to the center to open the fight. He throws the body kick and the right hand and pushes Rockhold into the cage. Rockhold breaks free at 47 seconds. Branch catches a leg kick and lands a right then pressures tagging Rockhold several times and getting a brief takedown against the fence. Miragliotta calls for more work as Rockhold tries to turn Brand around and possibly raise up with a knee or get a leg trip. Branch breaks free at 2:20. Branch connects with another right and looks for a trip against the cage. Another call for work at 3:05. Rockhold turns Branch around and throws a knee. Branch breaks off and throws a right. Leg kick for both men. Left hook by Branch. Branch’s corner is screaming at him to use the jab. Rockhold tries a jumping head kick. Branch comes forward with uppercuts. Rockhold tries to drop levels against the fence with 30 seconds left. Rockhold gets it with 20 seconds left but I’d still score this early round 10-9 for Branch.
Round 2: Body kick by Branch 20 seconds into R2. Jumping left hook. Body shot. Rockhold responds with leg kicks. Branch catches another one and pops Rockhold with a right. Rockhold keeps kicking the left leg but that’s not slowing Branch down. He pushes Rockhold into the cage. Rockhold turns Branch and hunts for a trip. Branch postures on one hand and Rockhold can’t get him all the way down. Miragliotta wants more work at the halfway point. Rockhold drops levels to no avail. Rockhold finally leg trips Branch at 2:54 and immediately steps over to full mount. Rockhold is pummeling Branch and he’s covering up. Branch gives up his back with just over a minute left. Miragliotta warns Branch to fight back. He gives up instead. THIS ONE IS OVER.
Final result: Luke Rockhold finishes David Branch via verbal submission (strikes) at 4:05 of R2.
170 lbs.: Mike Perry vs. Alex Reyes
“Platinum” Perry is 10-1 and coming off a knockout win over Jake Ellenberger in his last UFC appearance, fighting out of Orlando, Florida. Late replacement Reyes is 13-2 and makes his UFC debut tonight fighting out of Victorville, California. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2008. 5’10” to 5’11”, 170.5 to 167.5 and 71” to 73” reach from Perry to Reyes. Blue trunks for Reyes tonight. Black trunks for Perry. Our referee in charge is Keith Peterson.
Round 1: Perry is pressuring early. His mohawk reminds me of “Outlaw” Dan Hardy. Reyes is backing up and throwing counter shots. Perry lands a knee and a big right hand. Reyes is momentarily stunned but recovers to clinch up against the fence. Perry pulls the head down in a muay thai clinch to land a right knee to the chin and THIS ONE IS OVER.
Final result: Mike Perry wins by knockout at 1:19 of the first round.
185 lbs.: Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
Lombard is 34-7-1 (2 NC) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida on a three fight losing streak. Smith is 27-12, on a two fight winning streak, and fights out of Omaha, Nebraska. Lombard is 10 years older but Smith is 5 inches taller. Smith has on gray trunks and stands 6’4”, 186 pounds. Lombard has on black trunks and stands 5’9”, 186 pounds. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Lombard is throwing overhand rights early trying to make up for the size disparity. He’s also trying to slow Smith down with leg kicks. Lombard keeps tagging Smith and he’s on his knees covering up possibly looking for a takedown. None emerges. He gets back up and Lombard throws a hard body kick. Two leg kicks back to back smack into the left lead leg of Smith. Lombard is targeting it repeatedly. Front kick for Smith. Left and right by Lombard. Another right hand has Smith backing up quickly. More leg kicks for Lombard. Smith winces when a couple more land. Smith throws out a right head kick. Those kicks for Lombard are like watching a lumberjack chop down a tree. 10-9 Lombard.
Round 2: Lombard is continuing to mow down the left leg of Smith with kicks as R2 gets underway. Smith is able to throw a knee but can’t land it on the button. Smith is having trouble standing on his left leg. Lombard throws a combo against the fence and Smith covers up. Smith ducks under a big right hand. Right hook and another kick for Lombard. Left hook lands on Smith’s chin. Smith’s lack of offense as the bigger man is perplexing to watch. Lombard goes behind Smith with a body lock for a potential takedown, or just to take a little break, either way Smith doesn’t do much to stop it as Lombard throws knees at his legs from behind. Smith tries a spinning elbow and gets off a couple of right hands. Clashing leg kicks. Smith hurts Lombard with a right. He goes for a single leg, putting Smith on his butt to end the round. Still 10-9 Lombard.
Round 3: Smith is trash talking to open R3, following up on the comments he made after he hurt Lombard late in R2. Lombard has settled back into throwing the leg kicks. Smith tags Lombard with another right but doesn’t follow up. Left jab connects. Left hook for Smith. Swing and a miss for Lombard. Spin kick for Smith misses. Leg kick for Lombard. Smith hurts him with the left jab and right hook and it’s waved off two seconds later. Lombard is on his knees shaking his head after the stoppage — but he’s not getting up right away either.
Final result: Anthony Smith wins by technical knockout at 2:33 in the third round.
155 lbs.: Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
Gillespie is undefeated at 9-0 and fights out of Long Island, New York. Gonzalez is 11-3 and fights out of Rancho Cucamonga, California. 30 to 27, 5’9” to 6’2”, 155.5 to 156 and 71” to 74” from Gillespie to Gonzalez. Blue trunks for Gonzalez. Gray trunks for Gillespie. Our referee for this contest is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Gonzalez charges forward to start the fight landing two head kicks and a hard left hand. Gillespie responds with an elbow over the top and a left hand and now Gonzalez is on the ground with Gillespie in his guard thumping on him. He postures up and drops a hard shot right on Gonzalez’ chin. Gonzalez scrambles to his feet at 1:28 but now it’s a slugfest and Gonzalez appears to be getting the worst of it. His face is bloodied and battered but he still gives Gillespie a head kick and Gillespie takes him back down at 1:56. Gillespie takes full mount at 2:23 and Gonzalez pushes off the fence with his feet to scramble back up. He kicks him and lands a knee but Gillespie takes him down again at 2:58. Gonzalez blood is getting in Gillespie’s hair and Gillespie in turn is smearing it on his shoulder. They stand up at 3:35 and start swinging again. Gonzalez rocks him with an uppercut but can’t capitalize on it. Gillespie pushes him into the fence and digs hard for the leg trip, getting him down at 4:23. Gillespie moves to side control with short time and finishes R1 on top. 10-9 Gillespie in a slobberknocker of a round!
Round 2: Gonzalez uncorks a head kick five seconds in and Gillespie takes him down 8 seconds later after a wild trade on the feet. Gillespie quickly works his way to full mount. The additional advantage for Gillespie here is that the blood drains back into Gonzalez’ nose and throat with his back on the canvas instead of leaking out. Gillespie is cinching up a head and arm choke. Gonzalez taps out and THIS ONE IS OVER. What a fight!
Final result: Gregor Gillespie wins via sub (arm triangle choke) at 2:11 of the second round.
170 lbs.: Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Usman comes in 10-1 and fights out of Delray Beach, Florida for the Blackzilians having previously won The Ultimate Fighter 21. Moraes comes in 12-3-1 having not lost in seven fights dating back to UFC 147 in 2012, and he fights out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 30 to 35, 6'0" each, 170 to 171 and 76" to 72" reach from Usman to Moraes. Moraes has on the gray trunks. Green trunks for Usman. Our referee in charge is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Both men square off in the center. Moraes lands the first good shot. Usman stings Moraes with a hard leg kick and knocks him down with a right hook. Moraes quickly pops back up but Usman is still head hunting. Body kick. Forward pressure has Moraes rebounding off the fence. More leg kicks. Moraes lands a right and Usman lands a left and another leg kick. Overhand right by Moraes. Usman is dancing on his feet. Usman just misses the chin with a left. Usman drops him with another right and this time Miragliotta waves it off. Moraes is slow to sit up or get up so no question it was the right call. Afterward he looks directly into the camera and issues a warning to the whole division: “Get ready for me. I’M A PROBLEM.”
Final result: Kamaru Usman wins by knockout at 2:48 of the first round.
265 lbs.: Justin Ledet vs. Zu Anyanwu
Ledet fights out of Rosharon, Texas with a 8-0 (1 NC) record. Anyanwu officially debuts in UFC tonight (but he was on Dana White’s Fight Pass show) with a 14-4 record and a five fight win streak fighting out of Langhorne, PA . 6’4” to 6’1”, 244.5 to 263.5 and 80” to 77” reach from Ledet to Anyanwu. Anyanwu has black trunks. Ledet has on blue trunks. Our referee is Keith Peterson.
Round 1: There’s not much action in the first minute and the crowd is letting them hear it. Ledet circles against the fence and Anyanwu follows him step for step looking for range and throwing shots to the body. Ledet keeps trying to draw Anyanwu in and draws a big right hook as a result. Ledet pushes toward the center and trades a little more. Anyanwu circles around him and eats a left hook. He’s jabbing and connecting. Anyanwu lopes out another right. Ledet’s striking gets more and more crisp as the round wears on. Another left hook for Ledet. Anyanwu throws his “good night right” but Ledet eats it and stays upright. Body shot by Anyanwu. 10-9 Ledet.
Round 2: Anyanwu rushes to the center to open the second round. Ledet dances sideways against the fence. Anyanwu uncorks the right but Ledet blocks it and rotates to the center of the Octagon. Ledet snaps off the left jab and it’s making Anyanwu wince. “Zulu” goes for the big haymaker right again at 1:30. Left hook by Ledet. Anyanwu is leaning back as he’s not liking being in close range of Ledet’s shots. A crowd spoiled by lots of early finishes is booing again. They want more out of this fight. Regardless of what they want Ledet is slowly marking up Anyanwu’s face and making it harder for him to see and to breathe. 10-9 Ledet.
Round 3: We’re told that Anyanwu’s right eye was swelling up between rounds to the point the ringside doctor came to take a look. That has apparently ignited a sense of urgency because “Zulu” is rushing in trying to overwhelm him early. It doesn’t work but it does wake up the crowd a bit. He tries again at 2:01 and lands an uppercut. Anyanwu throws the right hook at 2:20 and you can hear it SMACK all the way from Pittsburgh. Ledet continues to find a home for the left jab again and again. Anyanwu uncorks the haymaker one more time with 44 seconds but he can’t make it flush enough to drop Ledet. Maybe Anyanwu gets the A for effort with his last second flurry and overall R3 performance but Ledet should still get the decision.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Anyanwu, 29-28 Ledet and 29-28 Ledet by split decision.
155 lbs.: Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Martin comes in on a three fight win streak having beaten “Hollywood” Johnny Case in June, sporting a record of 12-3 overall. Aubin-Mercier comes in 9-2 on a two fight win streak of his own, having beaten Drew Dober last December. Martin fights out of St. Cloud, MN and Aubin-Mercier out of Montreal, Quebec, CA. 27 to 28, 6’0” to 5’9”, 156 to 155 and 73.5” to 70.5” from Martin to OAM. Martin owns nearly statistical every advantage going in. Our referee is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Red trunks for OAM and black trunks for Martin. Aubin-Mercier presses forward cautiously trying to find an angle to throw his right hand. Leg kick connects. Front kick to the body. Left hand from Aubin-Mercier. So far Martin is feeling the range with his left hand and keeping his right cocked and loaded. Another leg kick for Aubin-Mercier. OAM checks a high kick coming his way and throws one of his own. Left hook for Aubin-Mercier. Right from Martin. Leg kick from OAM. Martin wings out a left and a right as Hinds warns them to watch the fingers. OAM shoots. Martin turns him around at 3:12. Martin is landing knees and right hooks at close range. OAM turns it around by leg tripping Martin and going right to side control. Martin escapes at 4:27. Aubin-Mercier throws a right as they separate. 10-9 OAM.
Round 2: OAM comes out throwing kicks and pressuring Martin backward. OAM lands a left and gets out of the way of the response then throws a nice left kick before going for a single leg. Martin fends it off for a little bit but gets a leg trip at 1:07. Martin tries to tie up his arms but OAM pulls free and looks to pass but gets pushed to full guard as Martin tries to use butterfly to block his movements. OAM backs up and throws a hard left hand to set up his pass to side control. Martin gets him back between the knees again but doesn’t really get away until he stands at 2:55. Aubin-Mercier immediately looks for another leg trip. Martin escapes briefly but OAM hits the takedown again at 3:18. Elbow by OAM. Upkick by Martin. OAM keeps throwing lefts to the body and head as he looks to improve position. Martin is held down to the horn. 10-9 OAM.
Round 3: Martin opens up with a combo early in R3. He lands a hard right that makes OAM go for the takedown at 34 seconds. Martin is trying to turn it into an anaconda choke, OAM breaks free, but Martin winds up on top as a result. Aubin-Mercier is wriggling around underneath but Martin has his weight on OAM pushing his head into the fence. Martin takes the back and gets the hooks in. The body triangle is clearly making OAM miserable. If he can hold on for two more minutes though he’ll probably earn the decision. OAM is warned not to link his toes in the fence. The crowd in Pittsburgh is annoyed by the stalemate on the ground. It’s a fight for hand and wrist control as Martin tries to throw left hands from behind. OAM is blocking the damage with his right arm. He sits up to throw more shots with his right hand then goes back to lefts on his back. The crowd is booing as he hunts for a submission at the end that’s not there. 10-9 Martin.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Martin, 29-28 OAM, 29-28 for OAM by split decision.
265 lbs.: Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
Hamilton comes in 15-7, having lost two in a row and three of his last four, fighting out of Albuquerque, NM. Daniel Spitz comes in 5-1 having suffered his first loss to Mark Godbeer in March, fighting out of Spokane, Washington. 256 to 244 and 76” to 82” reach from Hamilton to Spitz. Spitz has on the black trunks. Hamilton is wearing blue. Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.
Round 1: Both men touch gloves and Spitz catches Hamilton coming in with a right hand. THIS ONE IS ALL OVER IN 24 SECONDS.
Final result: Daniel Spitz wins by knockout at 24 seconds of the first round.
185 lbs.: Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Hall comes in 12-8 while Jotko enters the night 19-2, coming off a split decision loss to David Branch in his last fight. 6’1” to 6’0”, 185 to 186 and 77” to 79.5” reach from Jotko to Hall. Hall has on the black trunks and fights out of Queens, New York. Jotko has on gray trunks and is fighting out of Orneta, Poland. Our referee in charge is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Both men exchanges punches in the middle right at the opening bell. Jotko momentarily stuns Hall with an uppercut as he circles on the outside. A left hook connects too. Hall gets two warnings to watch his fingers on the strikes. Jotko keeps pushing Hall backward toward the fence. Hall gets off a leg kick as he circles off the fence. Jotko pressures and throws the left. He hurts Hall with a right hook and continues to pour it on until he faceplants. Hall gets back up but he’s eating multiple uppercuts standing. Jotko drags him to the ground at 2:15 and throws some elbows. Jotko pushes Hall back down as he tries to turn and blasts him with right hands. Full mount at 2:49. Hall gives up his back and Jotko continues to pour it on from behind. If Hall even survives this round it’s a clear cut 10-8 for Jotko. Hall stands with Jotko on his back throwing lefts at his head. Jotko gets the right arm around the neck for a rear naked choke, Hall escapes as he falls to the ground, he gets back to his feet but once agan is taking a pounding from Jotko against the fence. Hall throws a left over the top. Hall survives a one-sided beating for now.
Round 2: Hall may have one thing going for him now — the possibility that Jotko gassed himself with that furious assault in R1. Jotko is still pressuring though and lands the right hand. Hall responds with a leg kick and another. Spin kick from Hall. Spinning head kick is blocked. Jotko puts Hall against the fence but he quickly steps away. Right hand from Jotko. Body kick and another right. Hall comes forward and throws one big left. Now Hall is pressuring. He misses with an uppercut but CONNECTS WITH THE RIGHT HOOK, swarms on the ground, and IT IS ALL OVER.
Final result: Uriah Hall wins by knockout at 2:25 of the second round.
155 lbs.: Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
Red trunks for Saggo and yellow trunks for Burns. 31 years old each, 5’11” to 5’10”, 156 pounds each, 71” reach each from Saggo to Burns. Burns is 11-2 fighting out of Boca Raton, Florida by way of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Saggo is 12-3 fighting out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Our referee in charge is Keith Peterson.
Round 1: Burns dances back and forth in front of Saggo as he throws a leg kick. Left hook for Saggo. Left head kick attempted by Saggo is blocked. Burns keeps pressuring and whiffs on a right hook. Burns connects with a left hand. Burns is trying to time his strikes to coincide with Saggo’s low kicks. Saggo with a hard right hand. Right hand by Burns. He shoots, Saggo escapes, but Burns throws a knee on the break. Saggo misses with the right hang. Saggo catches a body kick. Left hook from Burns. Saggo takes Burns down off a body kick. Burns flails around trying to throw upkicks. Saggo stands over him with kicks until he scrambles back up. Burns goes for a double at 4:20 and pulls Saggo to the ground, trying to get onto his back in the closing seconds. Nice flurry by Burns to end R1 as Saggo gets to his feet. 10-9 Burns.
Round 2: Saggo with a front kick to the face that gives him some confidence as he comes forward looking to follow up. Saggo misses with a right high kick. Burns shoots and is stuffed. Body kick for Saggo. Saggo trips Burns to the ground when he responds in kind. Once again Burns flails around and this time Peterson stands him up at 1:40. Right hand by Burns. Body kick and left hook by Burns. Right hand for Burns - and another. Leg kick Saggo. Left jab for Saggo. Right hand left hook for Burns. Burns with a high energy takedown at 3:12. Saggo wall walks back up at 3:57. Knee from Burns. Left hook Saggo. Leg kick Burns. RIght hook left jab. Body kick Saggo. Overhand right DROPS Saggo and he doesn’t even attempt to follow up and walks away knowing Peterson won’t let it continue. He was correct. THIS ONE IS OVER with under 10 seconds left in R2.
Final result: Gilbert Burns wins via KNOCKOUT at 4:55 of the second round.