UFC Fight Night 116 ‘Rockhold vs. Branch’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

By: Sherdog.com Staff
Sep 16, 2017

Sherdog.com's live coverage of UFC Fight Night 116 “Rockhold vs. Branch” kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. ET from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Penn.

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Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo

Round 1

Burns hit Saggo with a few kicks to the body in the opening minute, then blocks the Canadian's attempt to go upstairs with his left leg. Burns works from the center, swinging and missing with a big overhand right; Saggo checks the leg kick behind it. Burns counters a low kick from Saggo with a right hand-left hook, and the second punch connects with force. Both lightweights connect with right hooks simultaneously, but neither man budges. Burns, still working from the middle, pops Saggo with a jab and another low kick. "Durinho" tries for the first takedown of the fight, pushes Saggo to the fence, then releases and hits him with a knee on the break. Saggo catches a body kick but eats a right hand from the Brazilian before he releases. Burns gets tripped up backpedaling and winds up on his back with Saggo standing over him. Saggo keeps him on the floor, kicking at Burns' legs until he jumps up with 45 seconds on the clock. Burns gets in deep on a double-leg and pulls Saggo to the floor at the fence, but he's unable to do anything with the position in the final 30 seconds.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Burns
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Burns
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Burns

Round 2

Saggo tries to press forward with kicks and punches but can't find much clean offense on the backpedaling Burns, who reverses momentum and shoots but can't get hold of the Canadian. Saggo hits Burns with a solid body kick, then catches a body kick and trips Burns to the ground in the center of the cage. Saggo stays standing, delivers a leg kick and dodges an upkick before referee Keith Peterson orders Burns back to his feet. Burns splits the gloves of Saggo with a right hand, misses with a high kick and swipes across Saggo's face with a left hook. Burns is finding a home for his right hand with increased frequency through the middle of the round. With two minutes left, Burns shoots and slams Saggo to the floor with authority. Saggo kicks him away to create space, then has to block Burns from taking his back as they stand. Burns sticks another right hand, eats a stiff left-handed counter from Saggo, comes back with another right. Saggo lands a body kick just before the 10-second clapper. With moments left in the round, Burns slips a jab and fires off a bomb of an overhand right that catches Saggo on the jaw. Saggo falls to the ground unconscious as referee Peterson rushes in for the stoppage.

The Official Result

Gilbert Burns def. Jason Saggo via KO (Punch) R2 4:55

Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Round 1

Jotko comes out firing in the southpaw stance but can't touch Hall with his first attack. The Polish prospect keeps up the pressure, backing up Hall against the fence, and now Jotko finds success with an uppercut. Jotko steps in to clinch but gets underhooked, shoved away and leg-kicked by Hall, who steps out to the center of the cage. Another uppercut lands for Jotko, this one even harder than the first, and now Hall has to cover up as Jotko assaults him with follow-up punches on the wall. Hall hits the deck, climbs back to his feet, only to be taken down by Jotko, who sits up in Hall's half guard to deliver ground-and-pound. Hall tries to sit up, gets bullied back to the ground and now mounted by Jotko, who is gunning for the finish with 2:05 on the clock. Hall gives up his back, stands up with Jotko riding him, but Jotko is locked on with a body triangle. Jotko applies a rear-naked choke that forces Hall to drop backward to the canvas, but Hall defends well and rolls over, leaving Jotko back in full mount. Hall bucks Jotko off and somehow escapes to his feet with 40 seconds left in the round. Jotko is still looking to finish, but he's forced to take a step back when Hall zaps him with a clean left hand.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-8 Jotko
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-8 Jotko
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-8 Jotko

Round 2

Another lead uppercut from Jotko gets Hall on his back foot early in the second frame, but the striker is swinging back now, attacking Jotko with spinning kicks which only narrowly miss their mark. Jotko lands a body kick and a slapping right hand, but now it's Hall taking the center of the cage and pressing forward on the Polish fighter. Jotko steps back to the center and gets absolutely starched with a Hall right hand. Jotko hits the deck in a daze, and a few follow-up punches from Hall are all that referee Rob Hinds needs to see before stopping the fight.

The Official Result

Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko via TKO (Punches) R2 2:25

Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz

Round 1

Hamilton takes the center of the cage while Spitz cuts angles around the outside. The 6-foot-7 Spitz tries to keep the shorter Hamilton at bay with a front kick to the body. Hamilton throws a right hand over the top, but Spitz picks him off, landing first with a right hand to the temple. Hamilton drops to his knees, Spitz tacks on a few more punches, and referee Dan Miragliotta jumps in for the stoppage.

The Official Result

Daniel Spitz def. Anthony Hamilton via TKO (Punches) R1 0:24

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Tony Martin

Round 1

The lightweights line up in the center of the cage, Martin in the orthodox stance and Aubin-Mercier in southpaw. Both men land low kicks in a slow-paced opening minute; Aubin-Mercier connects with a kick to the body. Aubin-Mercier lunges in with a straight right that touches the chin of Martin, who comes back with a right high kick that lands under the arm of the Canadian. Martin takes the center of the cage midway through the round and moves Aubin-Mercier around the perimeter with a few hard punches, though nothing that lands entirely cleanly. Aubin-Mercier steps inside to clinch, shoves Martin against the fence with an underhook, but now Martin spins him around. Martin puts a few punches on Aubin-Mercier's body, blocks a sacrifice throw from the "Quebec Kid," but the next takedown attempt from Aubin-Mercier is successful. Aubin-Mercier works from side control with just under one minute left in the round, but Martin rolls free and escapes to his feet with 30 seconds remaining.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier

Round 2

Aubin-Mercier lands first with an inside leg kick, then steps inside to touch Martin with a left hand down the middle. "OAM" gets in deep on a single-leg but winds up pressing Martin against the fence. Aubin-Mercier switches to a high double, takes down Martin and passes to side control, only to be quickly pushed back to Martin's butterfly guard. Aubin-Mercier passes guard again, this time with a heavy left hand that seems to get Martin's attention. Martin threatens with a D'arce choke from the bottom, then scrambles to his feet when Aubin-Mercier works to free his neck. Aubin-Mercier tries to take Martin's back while standing, can't get it and instead hits another takedown. Martin doesn't seem to have much to offer from the guard, and Aubin-Mercier seems content to stay on top with heavy pressure and the occasional left hand.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Aubin-Mercier

Round 3

Martin opens the final frame with a good combination, then follows with a straight right hand that nearly knocks Aubin-Mercier off balance. Aubin-Mercier shoots for a takedown, gets caught in a guillotine, and Martin turns it into an anaconda choke as they hit the ground. The choke looks tight but Aubin-Mercier slips free, leaving Martin on top in half guard. Martin shoves Aubin-Mercier over to the base of the fence as they hit the final three minutes of the bout. Aubin-Mercier gives up his back, and Martin immediately secures back-mount with a body triangle. Aubin-Mercier locks down Martin's hands with both arms, preventing the American from working for a rear-naked choke. Aubin-Mercier is just hanging on, riding out the final 90 seconds with Martin on his back. Martin is landing some left hands from the back, but nothing fight-ending, and this one will go to the judges.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Martin (29-28 Aubin-Mercier)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Martin (29-28 Aubin-Mercier)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Martin (29-28 Aubin-Mercier)

The Official Result

Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Tony Martin via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) R3 5:00

Azunna Anyanwu vs. Justin Ledet

Round 1

Anyanwu presses out from the center, closing the distance on Ledet near the fence, but neither man is able to land with anything cleanly in the opening minute. Anyanwu touches the body of Ledet with a punch, while Ledet continues to test the range with jabs. It's slow going in the first half of round one, and the Pittsburgh crowd begins to boo the heavyweights. Anyanwu comes over the top with a right hand that gets a smile from Ledet, who steps out to the center and sticks a jab. Ledet lands a right cross, a jab, now takes a left to the body. Ledet hops around the outside while Anyanwu plods forward, firing off a right hand that lands but doesn't seem to faze Ledet.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Ledet
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Ledet
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ledet

Round 2

Anyanwu backs up Ledet to the fence and tries to end the fight with a big right hand. Ledet gets a glove up to block and circles out to the middle of the cage, where the heavyweights resume their slow circling from the first frame. Anyanwu clips with the right hand again, appears to get through with an uppercut, but again Ledet circles out of danger. Ledet starts to find a home for his left hook, forcing Anyanwu to lean back in an attempt to dodge the punches. The crowd begins to boo again as the fighters continue to throw single punches, neither man able to string together much of anything in the way of offense. A stiff jab from Ledet forces Anyanwu backward as they hit the final minute of the round. There's not much else happening in the last 60 seconds.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Ledet
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Ledet
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ledet

Round 3

Anyanwu hits Ledet with a big overhand right, chases him around the outside and lands another. Ledet seems unbothered by the strikes and comes back to meet "Zu" in the center of the cage. Back to the slow pace again, the big men inching around the cage, both tense and upright, both offering only sparse single punches. Anyanwu lands an uppercut but again does not follow up. Ledet forces him backward with a jab, another jab, now a punch to the body. Anyanwu lands another overhand right that knocks Ledet backward a few steps, but again it's just a single punch. Anyanwu's eyes look almost swollen shut from Ledet's jabs as they enter the final two minutes, yet it's Anyanwu trying to come forward on the taller man. Seventy seconds left now in what has been a dull and fruitless affair from both parties. Ledet bounces on his toes in front of Anyanwu, who chases him around the outside, continually walking into jabs while looking for a homerun shot which never materializes.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Anyanwu (29-28 Ledet)
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Ledet (30-27 Ledet)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Anyanwu (29-28 Ledet)

The Official Result

Justin Ledet def. Azunna Anyanwu via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) R3 5:00

Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman

Round 1

Usman switches between orthodox and southpaw stances early, knocking Moraes backward with a long right hand and then tacking on a leg kick. Usman appears to hurt Moraes with a left hook to the body, then knocks him to the mat with a right hand upstairs. Moraes is allowed to stand, takes another chop to his lead leg and tries to swing back as Usman marches forward on him with more punches. Moraes' offense doesn't seem to have much behind it, and Usman walks right inside to deliver more powerful punches. Moraes swings a few more flailing punches, gets backed up to the fence, where Usman unloads with a right hand to the jaw. Moraes tumbles to the ground, and referee Dan Miragliotta jumps between the welterweights before Usman can do further damage.

The Official Result

Kamaru Usman def. Sergio Moraes via KO (Punch) R1 2:48

Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez

Round 1

Gonzalez opens strong with a pair of head kicks and a left hand, forcing Gillespie to shoot for an early takedown. Gonzalez stuffs the takedown, but Gillespie decks him with a standing elbow that puts the UFC newcomer on the canvas. Gillespie comes down to Gonzalez's guard and lands a heavy right hand, but Gonzalez pushes him away with his legs and escapes to his feet. Gillespie is throwing nonstop combinations, tagging Gonzalez with a left hook, now a right straight, followed by another takedown at the fence. Gillespie passes to full mount, nearly takes the back as Gonzalez flips over, but Gonzalez somehow bucks and escapes to his feet again. Two minutes left in what has been a chaotic opening round, and now Gillespie finally slows the pace with another double-leg takedown. Gonzalez is able to stand again, but not before eating another elbow from Gillespie. Now it's Gonzalez bringing Gillespie to his knees with an uppercut, but the lightweight prospect stands again. Gillespie latches on to a single, switches to a double as they hit the fence and completes another takedown. Gillespie is back in full mount with 30 seconds on the clock, now hops off to side control to land elbows as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Gillespie
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Gillespie
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Gillespie

Round 2

Gonzalez sprints across the cage to meet Gillespie with another left high kick, but Gillespie blocks it with a glove. Both fighters connect with hard punches before Gillespie changes levels and hits another double-leg, this time a few feet away from the fence. Full mount again for Gillespie, who looks to be hunting for an arm-triangle choke from the dominant position. Gonzalez defends well but can't escape the mount as Gillespie hooks his legs. Gillespie continues to hunt for the head-and-arm submission, and it looks to be tightening. Gonzalez tries to resist, nearly tapping but holding out for a few more seconds. Ultimately, the bloodied Gonzalez is forced to submit before he goes to sleep. Gregor Gillespie remains unbeaten with a submission win over Jason Gonzalez in the wildest fight of the evening so far.

The Official Result

Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) R2 2:11

Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith

Round 1

Smith goes high with a right kick and slides backward to avoid the counters of the shorter Lombard, who presses forward after the opening exchange. Another right high kick comes from Smith, this time partially deflected. Lombard stalks from the center in the southpaw stance, moving the righty Smith backward around the outside. Lombard lands an uppercut that forces Smith to his knees, grabbing for a takedown. Lombard stands over "Lionheart," trying to land punches, but Smith covers up and moves his head to avoid damage until he's able to stand. Lombard scores with a left body kick as they hit the two-minute mark in round one. Both men are swinging for the fence, but it's the smaller Lombard bossing Smith around the cage through the first half of the frame. Lombard hits Smith with a pair of hard leg kicks and slides his head off center to avoid Smith's right hand. Lombard knocks Smith backward with a hellacious right hand that bounces off Smith's temple, but the American stays standing with his back to the fence. Smith comes off the fence with 70 seconds left, absorbs another pair of nasty low kicks and tries to go up top with a right high kick, but this one is sussed out by Lombard.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Lombard
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Lombard
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Lombard

Round 2

Lombard continues to chop away at Smith's lead leg, both inside and out, keeping the taller man out of the pocket. Smith tries a flying knee, misses and has to escape the pocket as Lombard fires back with power punches. Lombard fires off a three-piece combo that forces Smith to cover up against the fence. Smith tries to press forward and gets a left hand on the jaw. Lombard lands a couple more leg kicks and slides back, making Smith whiff on a sweeping left hand. Lombard gets a rear waistlock at the fence and keeps Smith on the wall, kneeing at the back of the American's thighs. Smith twists around and hits the off-balance Lombard with a few grazing punches as they fight in the final 60 seconds of the round. With 20 seconds left, a step-in right from Smith appears to sting Lombard, but "Lightning" hits a quick takedown to finish the round on top.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Smith
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Lombard
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Lombard

Round 3

Smith is jawing at Lombard as the final round begins, but the trash talk isn't translating into offense at the moment. It's the southpaw Lombard sitting back, using measured strikes to pick at Smith, but now "Lionheart" dings Lombard with a short right hand. Lombard slides his head off center to dodge a pair of punches, then evades a slow-motion head kick from Smith, who appears to be fading here in the middle part of the third. Lombard continues to work his leg kicks and jabs. Smith gets Lombard moving his head with a left hand, then plunges a right straight down the center. Lombard takes it flush and drops to the floor, and after a few more punches, referee Dan Miragliotta steps in to save Lombard from further punishment.

The Official Result

Anthony Smith def. Hector Lombard via KO (Punch) R3 2:33

Alex Reyes vs. Mike Perry

Round 1

Perry comes straight at Reyes with overhand rights, while the short-notice replacement Reyes sits back, looking to counter and throwing low kicks. Perry connects with a clean right hand inside the opening minute, then hits Reyes with short elbows in the clinch as Reyes looks to slow the pace on the fence. Reyes lands a knee to the body in the clinch, but Perry lands one twice as hard, knocking out Reyes instantly. Referee Keith Peterson jumps between the welterweights before Perry can land any follow-up strikes.

The Official Result

Mike Perry def. Alex Reyes via KO (Knee) R1 1:19

Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch

Round 1

Referee Dan Miragliotta is the third man in the cage for tonight's middleweight main event. Branch touches the southpaw Rockhold with an early right hand, but the ex-champ fires back at Branch with a kick to the body. Branch initiates a clinch on the fence, pinning Rockhold to the cage with underhooks. Rockhold breaks out and gets chased around the cage again by Branch, who lights up the AKA fighter with three or four heavy hooks in combination. Ninety seconds in, Rockhold finds himself pinned to the wall again, but this time he's able to spin Branch around. The fighters split midway through the round, and Branch walks after Rockhold to deliver another hard right hand. More clinching on the fence leads to nothing, and the 185ers come back to the center with 90 seconds on the clock. Branch appears to get a finger in his right eye in an exchange but there's no action from referee Miragliotta. Now it's Rockhold looking for a takedown in the final half minute, dragging Branch to the ground to close out the round.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Branch
Brian Knapp scores the round 10-9 Branch
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Branch

Round 2

Branch resumes his forward pressure from the beginning of the fight, keeping his hands in Rockhold's face as they move around the cage. Rockhold lands low kicks as he circles off his back foot, but now Branch takes away that weapon with a clinch on the wall. Rockhold tries to utilize the Thai clinch but can't find the rangy Branch's chin with a knee. Two minutes in, Rockhold attempts a takedown but winds up holding Branch on the fence with a bodylock. Rockhold gets double underhooks and clasps his hands, then rips Branch to the floor and steps over to full mount with two minutes left in round two. Rockhold establishes one hook as Branch rolls over, now begins unloading with right hands. Branch is in a bad spot, trapped on his side with Rockhold keeping him in place via body triangle. Rockhold turns up the volume on his right hands, now punching underneath Branch's right armpit to land cleaner shots. Referee Miragliotta tells Branch to fight back, and seconds later, Branch taps out to strikes.

The Official Result

Luke Rockhold def. David Branch via TKO (Submission to Punches) R2 4:05

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