When UFC president Dana White said he’d like to bring the UFC back to the United Center when it was warm and bring a championship fight as well in January of 2014, Chicago fight fans salivated at the dream scenario. Saturday night it became a reality.
Miesha Tate Vs. Jessica Eye lived up to the hype as the night’s co-main event. Before the boxing showcase, Tate cornered boyfriend and UFC Bantamweight Bryan Caraway, who fought on the preliminary card. Caraway defeated Chicago’s own Eddie Wineland via a unanimous decision. Although Caraway failed many takedown attempts, he always had a contingency plan in throwing knees and uppercuts to score points while inside, instead of abandoning the attempts.
On the main card, Lightweight Joe Lauzon seemed to stop his own fight before referee Herb Dean did. Lauzon Told UFC TV analyst Joe Rogan he stopped punching Takanori Gomi because he noticed he was unconscious. He also said Gomi was a hero of his and didn’t want to continue to strike him in a vulnerable position.
Following the strange stoppage was a tactical brawl between Lightweights Edson Barboza and Paul Felder. The decision went to Barboza after many blows and spinning spectacles.
Before the co-main event ensued, Tate promised to finish Jessica Eye to grab some momentum for her next fight, a possible rematch with Ronda Rousey.
Tate ate a combo in the 1st round and landed her own after. Miesha went on to knock Eye down with a right hand late in the 1st and again in the 2nd. The former Strikeforce champion didn’t finish Eye as desired, but she should have some momentum from the dominant showing moving forward.
As for the main event, Bantamweight TJ Dillashaw controlled the pace in the 1st, landing loads of punches. Renan Barao had a nice barrage towards the end of round 1. Round 2 was more of the same. Dillashaw went on to land heavy hands and knees to end round 3 and TKO’d Barao to keep his belt in round 4.
Scott King is a contributing writer for RedEye Chicago. Follow @ScottKingMedia on Twitter.
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