The renowned UFC Octagon thrilled MMA fans in Orlando, Florida’s Amway Center with an evening of inordinate action with a throng of combats. The event was televised on the Fox Television network.
The main televised portion of the promotion opened with middleweight contender Hawaiian native Brad Tavarez (12-2-0) locking horns with Yoel "Soldier of God" Romero (7-1-0) in a three round engagement. Romero, a Cuban Olympic Silver Medalist, is on a three fight winning streak while Tavarez has won his last five. Things were slow for the first 90 seconds until the Cuban exploded with kicks, punches and then completed a takedown. Tavarez defended the assault well and got to his feet, but Romero, showing his impressive wresting skills, tossed Tavarez back onto the mat. The "Soldier of God" continued to smother Tavarez, and would not allow the Hawaiian to be erect for long. Romero continued with groundwork early in the second and then opened a gash to Tavarez’s head via a right elbow. The Hawaiian was able to keep the fight standing but was not having as much success as expected. The feat picked up in the final minute as both warriors battled against the cage fence. The third saw both men tired and, after some sloppy work early, Tavarez was able to find a home for his leg strikes and a few punches. The Cuban was able to momentarily take his adversary to the ground but Tavarez quickly came to his feet. The "Solider of God" ended the fight the way he started it: taking Tavarez to the floor. The judges’ score cards tallied a unanimous decision for Romero by identical marks of 30-27.
Lightweights Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (22-6-0), a Muay Thai Kickboxing specialist, and Edson “Junior” Barboza (13-1-0), a Brazilian striker, kept things going in a three round contest. Barboza swung for the fences in the opening seconds and managed to hurt Cerrone. "Cowboy" composed himself and took the Brazilian to the mat in order to buy himself some precious time. The fight then settled to what it was expected to be: a match between two skilled and devastating strikers. Barboza landed bombs with his fists while Cerrone found success with his legs. "Cowboy" laid Barboza down to the mat with a hard left jab and followed up by jumping on his back; he submitted the Brazilian with a rear naked choke. It was a dramatic end and a great win for Donald Cerrone.
The co-main event showcased a three round bout between bantamweights Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (13-5-0) and the “Girl-Rilla” Liz Carmouche (8-4-0). Tate is the former Women’s Strikeforce Champion. Both battlers came out boxing but "Cupcake" seemed the calmer of the two. Carmouche bullied Tate to the cage wall and took her to the ground. "Cupcake" held her back against the octagon fence and was able to get back to her feet. Tate also landed elbow strikes where available.