UFC Fight Night 177 was yet another UFC show pretty badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The show lost its original main event of Glover Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos, and a number of other fights ended up scratched late on.
In the end, the show was an up-and-down affair with some really exciting fights and some more forgettable ones along the way.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC Fight Night 177: Waterson vs. Hill.
#1 Best: Waterson and Hill put on a show in the main event
The Strawweight fight between Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill might’ve been thrown into the main event slot by the UFC when Santos vs. Teixeira was scratched, but there will be few fans complaining about the promotion’s decision this morning.
The two women put on an absolutely tremendous show, going to war over five rounds with ‘The Karate Hottie’ just about edging things on the judges’ scorecards. This wasn’t an easy win for her by any means, though.
Hill came storming out of the gates in the first two rounds and really took the fight to Waterson, but couldn’t do enough to put ‘The Karate Hottie’ away. The third round was where the tide began to turn, when Waterson was able to secure a takedown and work ‘Overkill’ over on the ground.
By the fourth round, Hill appeared to be tired and was outstruck by Waterson, but still came back hard in the fifth round. The final stanza could’ve gone either way, but the judges went with ‘The Karate Hottie’, giving her the 6th win of her UFC career.
Thankfully though this was a fight with no true loser. Hill gave everything she had and while she didn’t win, she’s definitely proven that she belongs in the upper echelon of the UFC. Bravo to both women for a tremendous performance.
#1 Worst: Tognoni’s botch costs Rodriguez a UFC win
The Light-Heavyweight clash between UFC veteran Ed Herman and Mike Rodriguez unfortunately featured one of the biggest botches in recent memory from referee Chris Tognoni, and it cost Rodriguez what would’ve been a great win.
‘Slow Mike’ appeared to have the advantage in the first round, outworking Herman on the feet and hurting the veteran a couple of times in the clinch, too.
The second round appeared to be following the same pattern. And when Rodriguez landed a knee to the midsection that had Herman basically TKO’d, it looked like he’d picked up his second UFC win in less than a month.
However, Tognoni erroneously decided that the knee had connected with Herman’s groin – despite it not even being near – and decided to call time, allowing ‘Short Fuse’ to recover. The replay confirmed that there was no low blow, but of course, the UFC’s current rules don’t allow for the use of replays, and the fight continued.
Naturally, Herman somehow pulled out a miracle comeback in the third round, catching Rodriguez with a beautiful kimura for the tapout.
Was this a great comeback from Herman? Absolutely, but there’s also no way it should’ve happened. The right thing for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to do now would be to overturn the result and declare a No Contest.
You can’t really blame Tognoni because everyone makes mistakes. However, it’s time for the UFC – or the various Athletic Commissions the promotion works with – to change the rules around the use of replays to avoid incidents like this happening again.