PHIL CARDELLA VS. ED RATCLIFF
Round 1 – Ratcliff dances around Cardella, who throws a a cody kick. After Ratcliff scores to the body, Cardella ties him up and drives him into the cage. Cardella drops to guard, and Ratcliff ducks his head. Cardella opens guard, and Ratcliff stands, carrying, Cardella with him as he stands. Cardella has Ratcliff's arm tucked tight, and he throws a knee inside. Ratcliff answers with his own, then separates enough to land a right hand, but Cardella has him smithered against the cage. Cardella working for a slow pace, and referee Steve Mazzagatti restarts the action. Ratcliff takes advantage of it by landing a few low kicks, though Cardella answers. Ratcliff snaps Cardella's head with a jab, then each exchange low kicks. Ratcliff moving and striking, landing a side kick to the body. Cardella stalking, lumbering. Ratcliff backs away, and Cardella throws his hands up in disgust. Ratcliff tags him as time expires, and he may have stolen the round at the end. MMAjunkie.com sees it for Ratcliff, 10-9, as Cardella didn't earn anything with the clinch or pulling guard.
Round 2 – Ratcliff dancing, and he just misses with a high kick. Cardella charges behind a low kick, and he clinches, mving quickly to the back. Ratcliff is able to spin, but Cardella maintains an over-under clinch, throwing a few knees inside while pressing Ratcliff to the cage. Cardella looks for a toss, but Ratcliff defends, leaving Cardella on the floor. He quickly stands, and looks for a guillotine, though Ratcliff slides quickly out. Cardella slowing the fight down in the clinch, and the crowd boos. Mazzagatti breaks the two, and Ratcliff lands a flying knee. Cardella clinches again. With two minutes remaining, Cardella is nullifying the strikes, nut not offering much in the way of offense. Crowd again calls for a break, and Mazzagatti calls for it. Cardella takes the center of the cage, and Ratcliff circles to his left. Ratcliff throws a few quick hands that partially connect. Cardella returns to the low-kick-then-clinch strategy though he's the only one in the building feeling it. Another restart, and Ratcliff tries to connect as time expires. MMAjunkie.com sees it for Ratcliff, as Cardella is controlling pace, but little else.
Round 3 – Ratcliff's corner calling for hands. He throws, but Cardella jumps in, clinching and leaping onto the back for a rear-naked choke attempt. It appears breifly deep, and Cardella leaves his feet to finish the hold. Ratcliff survives, and Cardella is forced to release, earning a cheer from the anti-Cardella crowd. Cardella again smothers, and Mazzagatti calls for the restart. Ratcliff throws a flashy kick, then catches a Cardella kick, answering with a punch. Third round halfway through, and Ratcliff walks away as Cardella falls. It almost costs him as Cardella return to his feet, chases Ratcliff down and just misses with a punch. Ratcliff still circling, and Cardella just misses with a big shot. Cardella again closes the distance. Ratcliff sneaks a few elbows in while in the clinch, but Cardella pulls guard. Cardella has a closed guard and does not appear to be looking for a submission, instead stalling and keeping Ratcliff from posturing up. Cardella looks for a triangle, and Ratcliff stands and stumbles away. MMAjunkie.com sees the final frame for Cardella based on the submission attempt. Could be an interesting score coming. Ed Ratcliff def. Phil Cardella via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).