Ahead of their heated preliminary round-ending bout, Matt Van Buren lists intimidation tactics Chris Fields has utilized, including cracks about his teeth, clothing, and need for more practice. “It’s going to be a one-sided pounding and I’m swinging the hammer,” Van Buren said.
B.J. Penn exudes confidence in Fields, but says the game plan rests in overcoming Van Buren’s height. Fields believes he has the edge regardless. “First I’ll see where he’s on my feet, if he’s not up to scratch I’ll keep it there. And if he feels he’s equal to me or even if he’s just below but still dangerous, I’ll change it up and go somewhere else.”
After the fighters visit TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa at a Las Vegas Harley Davidson dealership, Van Buren open us about his best friend’s fatal heroin overdose. He grew up in a middle-class neighborhood alongside kids who became drug addicts but took up mixed martial arts as an escape from their influence.
The Alliance MMA fighter says he trains with notable names like Brandon Vera, Joey Beltran, and Dominick Cruz. He wants to knock Fields out with one punch but knows it’s not likely. “I’m gonna take him down and either submit him or get the dominant position and TKO him,” Van Buren said.
Tension between the fighters has come to a boil, and the housemates know it. “They just plain don’t like each other, man, and it’s time to settle it,” Team Edgar’s Dhiego Lima said. Van Buren (United States) and Fields (Ireland) don their respective country’s flag at the weight-in and have to be pulled away after an unwavering stare down.
Matt Van Buren vs. Chris Fields – light heavyweight bout
Round 1- Van Buren misses with a straight right leg to Fields’s abdomen and gets pushed against the fence. They get into a clinch as exchange knees. Van Buren breaks away and lands some uppercuts. He lands a straight left to Fields’ chin and unsuccessfully shoots for a takedown. They clinch again, trading knees to the body. They’re stagnant as the ref pulls them apart. Fields tries to take advantage with two roundhouse kicks. As they hold each other while circling the Octagon, Van Buren finally takes Fields down. Van Buren gets dominants position and lands an elbow as the round ends.
Round 2- Van Buren lands a stiff kick to Fields’s hamstring before grabbing the Irishman by the legs for a second takedown. Fields recovers quickly and pushes forward into a clinch. Fields lands a takedown of his own, flailing with a combination of punches along the way. Van Buren is up quickly, pressing Fields into the fence and back to the mat. Fields is up and lands a big right. Exhausted, Fields drops Van Buren while in guillotine position but can’t finish. Van Buren is fighting to get on Fields back, but Fields manages to get on his feet. He’s not up for long as Van Buren lifts Fields and slams him down yet again.
Van Buren defeats Fields via majority decision
“Normally I’ll break down the fight and tell you what went down and what happened; nothing f—ing happened. Nothing interesting or exciting happened,” Dana White said. “I feel like this is the season of guys who just don’t give a s—t.”
Penn and Frankie Edgar agree with White. The UFC presidents scolds the advancing fighters, questioning their drive. He gathers the teams together to announce semifinal matchups:
Light heavyweight bouts- Corey Anderson vs. Pat Walsh, Matt Van Buren vs. Daniel Spohn
Middleweight bouts- Eddie Gordon vs. Cathal Pendred, Dhiego Lima vs. Roger Zabata
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