Main card from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., airs on Fox
The UFC returns to the Fox network on Saturday for UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller. HeavyMMA will have live round-by-round and fight-by-fight coverage of the main card right here starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. The card airs live nationally on the Fox network.
The main event at UFC on Fox 3 is a lightweight contenders bout between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller. The co-main event pits welterweight contenders and All-American wrestlers Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks against each other. Also on the main card, heavyweights Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson open the card, each coming off big knockout victories. And Alan Belcher tries to avoid the devastating submissions of Rousimar Palhares in a middleweight bout.
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Round 1: Barry lands a leg kick, and Johnson rushes forward, clinching with his opponent. Knee from Johnson. Barry lands a nice shot, but it appears as though Johnson may have snuck one in as well. Johnson attempts to close the distance again, and the fighters clinch. Barry digging knees into Johnson, but he gets turned around. Johnson throwing big knees before separating to start winging punches. He lands a few, and Barry looks for the takedown. He gets it and immediately moves to mount. He elects to take side control, likely working for a crucifix, as Johnson attempts to escape. Two minutes down. Barry is looking for an arm lock. It’s an Americana. Johnson cringes, but escapes. Barry remains on top. Two minutes remain in the round, and Johnson lands short elbows from the bottom. Barry is smothering him right now, but not landing many big shots. Johnson rolls and gets back to his feet. One minute to go. Johnson is pressing forward. They clinch and he lands a few big knees. Huge head kick rocks Barry. Johnson follows with another. Barry is getting pounded up against the cage. Big shots from Barry. Barry crumbles to the ground. Johnson struts across the cage. Vicious power from the Strikeforce veteran who clearly has earned a spot on the UFC heavyweight roster.
Official Decision: Johnson def. Barry via technical knockout at 4:38 of Round 1
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Round 1: Belcher misses with a long straight left. And another. Palhares looks to be focused on keeping the distance, while Belcher certainly does not want to give up his legs. Belcher again comes up short. Takedown attempt from Palhares. He has it and rolls for a leg lock immediately. Belcher counters by looking to lock down a Twister. Now a Banana Split. He is actually quite close, but Palhares pulls away. Belcher still threatening. Palhares rolls out and is looking for a leg. Palhares locks it down, and Belcher cringes. Belcher lands some shots, but Palhares is still attacking the leg. Palhares likely looking for an ankle lock now, but Belcher is hanging toch. Heel hook attempt. Belcher turns and escapes the submission attempt. He is on top and, for the moment, out of danger. Palhares still looking for submissions, but Belcher looks incredibly confident on top, not very concerned with anything Palhares is trying to do. Belcher postures up and is pounding away on Palhares. Palhares is not defending. Belcher with shot after shot. This fight has been called. Belcher with a huge victory after a crazy first round. Welcome to middleweight contention, Alan Belcher.
Official Decision: Belcher def. Palhares via technical knockout at 4:18 of Round 1
Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks
Round 1: Kick from Koscheck to start, followed a few moments later by a second. Hendricks misses on his kick. Henricks lands a left, but it appears he was poked in the eye on the exit. No break in action. Kocheck pounces, landing a nice right. Hendricks is a bit wobbly. He landed, but Koscheck came right back with another couple of shots. Hendricks comes up short on a combination. Koshceck lunges forward, but misses. He misses again, but is pressing the action. Hendricks comes forward now, landing a nice combination before looking for a takedown. He can’t get it, but is delivering knees in the clinch. Midpoint of the fight. They separate. Hendricks lands a nice left hand, but Koscheck counters a kick with a big right hand. Hendricks again looks for a takedown. He can’t get it, and Koscheck lands several big shots to the head and body, but eats a counter in return. One minute to go in the round. Hendricks just misses with a left. The fighters are pawing at each other. They trade kicks, and Hendricks misses with a big punch again. 30 seconds in the round. Hendricks’ combination misses, but he is throwing with very bad intentions. Koscheck grazes Hendricks with a spinning back fist, but Hendricks scores on the counter. Head kick misses for Hendricks. Close round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Koscheck.
Round 2: Hendricks thinks kick, but decides against it. He misses with a big combination. He rushes forward with big shots, nearly landing, but Koscheck avoids, They scramble, and Koscheck takes the back. Hendricks is turning out of danger, not allowing his opponent to get hooks in. He turns, but Koscheck delivers a solid elbow. Hendricks with a takedown attempt here. He doesn’t quite have it, but he’s close. Clinch battle going on now, as Hendricks presses Koscheck against the cage. Koscheck escapes, but the two immediately reengage in the clinch. Koscheck with some nice shots, but neither fighter sustained much damage. 60 seconds to go in the frame. Hendricks misses with a head kick, then just misses with an uppercut. Hendricks again looking for a left, but then dives in for a takedown. Koscheck stuffs his opponent’s efforts yet again, but he likely fell short in the round. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Hendricks.
Round 3: Koscheck takes center cage to begin the round, pressing forward. He comes up short on his first several strikes, while Hendricks doesn’t have much better luck with his strikes. He lands a left. Koscheck presses forward, looking to earn a takedown now. Hendricks defending nicely. He escapes and lands several big shots. Koscheck could be hurt here. Hendricks putting the pressure on, but he can’t break the former top contender, who remains very composed. Koscheck lands, but Hendricks covers him up in the clinch. Not much action, and the referee separates them .Koscheck shoots in again, but eats a big knee. Still, he earns the takedown with just under two minutes left in the final round. He needs to do something to win the judges over. He is looking for an arm triangle, attempting to get into side control from half guard. One minute to go, and Hendricks is doing a great job defending the submission. Body shots from Koscheck, but he is running out of time. The round comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Koscheck.
Official Decision: Hendricks def. Koscheck via split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Round 1: Miller lands a nice leg kick early, but misses with a combination. Miller with another nice kick. The fighters clinch, and Miller presses Diaz up against the cage. Fast-paced first minute of this evening’s main event. Miller with an elbow. Diaz working knees to the body. Neither fighter is backing down in this clinch, but Miller is in the better position, pressing Diaz against the cage. Miller slips to the ground, but jumps up. Diaz lands a solid kick to the body. They clinch again, and Miller lands a solid uppercut. Nice body shot from the New Jersey native, but Diaz lands a nice right hook. Leg kick from Diaz, but he comes up short on a straight left. They clinch again with two minutes remaining in the round, and Diaz is pressing Miller against the cage. Miller turns him, but Diaz lands a nice knee. Takedown attempt from Miller. He lets it go and lands a nice punch. Again, Miller looking for the takedown. Diaz lands a solid knee. He separates and lands a few punches. Miller misses with a big uppercut, but lands a nice kick to the body. They exchange, fall into a clinch, and immediately separate. Straight left from Diaz floors Miller, who shoots in for a takedown. Diaz is in position for a potential choke, but he tries to get the the back. Miller reverses and takes his back. Diaz escapes, but gets taken down, only to reverse Miller right after. Good action. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Miller.
Round 2: Miller with a leg kick, but Diaz is walking through them for now. They clinch again in the middle of the cage, but Diaz walks Miller up against the cage. He works shots to the body, but Miller lands a few knees. They separate for a moment, but clinch again almost immediately. Once again, Diaz is pressing Miller against the cage. Miller can’t seem to escape the grasp of Diaz, but finally manages to . Diaz ducks under a right and lands his own, but Miller lands a left. Almost a slip from Miller, as Diaz lands another nice left. Another clinch, and Diaz lands a knee. They separate. Diaz begins taunting Miller. Miller with a flying knee and a front kick. The latter scores, but Diaz continues raising his hands up, taunting the hometown fighter. Diaz pressing him against the cage. Two minutes left in the round. Knee from Diaz, and Miller drops down to avoid knees to the head. Diaz moves to punches, and Miller stands back up. He lunges forward, missing and running right into Diaz. Miller is looking tired. Elbow lands for Diaz in a brief clinch and grabs hold of a guillotine choke. Miller is struggling, but surviving. Diaz rolls on top. Miller is forced to tap. Incredible finish by Diaz. Huge win that likely pits him against the winner of the next lightweight title fight.
Official Decision: Diaz def. Miller via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:09 of Round 2