Last night, the UFC presented its first officially-numbered “UFC on FUEL TV” event. Featuring an interesting blend of mid-level talent and rising stars, it was an event that reached beyond its network shortcomings.
Even though FUEL TV is the lowest on the totem pole of networks the UFC is now affiliated with, this event was still a lot of fun and mostly lived up to my prediction that it would be a “sleeper hit." Here are the full results, as well as my early commentary for “UFC on FUEL TV 1”.
Jake Ellenberger defeats Diego Sanchez by Unanimous Decision.
Stefan Struve defeats Dave Herman by TKO (Strikes) at 3:52 of Round 2.
Ronny Markes defeats Aaron Simpson by Split Decision.
Stipe Miocic defeats Phil De Fries by TKO (Strikes) at 0:43 of Round 1.
T.J. Dillashaw defeats Walel Watson by Unanimous Decision.
Ivan Menjivar defeats John Albert by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 3:45 of Round 1.
Jonathan Brookins defeats Vagner Rocha by KO (Punches) at 1:32 of Round 1.
Justin Salas defeats Anton Kuivanen by Unanimous Decision.
Tim Means defeats Bernardo Magalhaes by Unanimous Decision.
As I expected, the prelims delivered some fun action, a few hard-hitting wars and one big “OMG” moment. From this point forward, expect me to stop harping on how good these prelims are. Instead, I’m simply going to accept it as fact that these free fights are always worth watching and that more people should be checking them out.
With that said, I was very impressed by Jonathan Brookins. He seems to be advancing his skills at a very fast rate, and his KO victory over Vagner Rocha was one of the biggest highlight-reel moments of the night.
Speaking of highlight-reel moments, both Ivan Menjivar and Stipe Miocic looked great in their come-from-behind victories. But the best “against the odds” victory had to go to Ronny Markes, who came back from the absolute brink to take a close Split Decision against the always-tough Aaron Simpson.
One of my favorite moments of the night occurred when Stefan Struve dropped and stopped Dave Herman. Like I said in a previous post, amazing moments tend to happen around Stefan Struve. With this aura of unpredictability and excitement once again proving true, Stefan Struve is quickly becoming a “dark horse favorite” of mine.
And in the main event, Jake Ellenberger beat a very game, very tough Diego Sanchez. Diego put it all on the line in this fight—it’s very unfortunate that this main event wasn’t a five-round fight because it looked like Sanchez was making quite the comeback near the end of the third round.
But I won’t take anything from Ellenberger—for two rounds he had the perfect game plan to not only neutralize Diego Sanchez, but to also punish and hurt Diego Sanchez. While I still am a fan of Sanchez, Ellenberger proved that all the newfound hype around him is justified, and I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.
In the end, I think this show should be considered a big success. I was impressed by the quality of fights on this card, and I definitely liked all the exciting finishes I got to see. “UFC on FUEL” is off to a good start and I look forward to seeing if this series of live events will become the home of the UFC’s “sleeper hits."
Oliver Saenz, also known as PdW2kX, is a freelance journalist, opinion columnist, hardcore MMA fan, and lifelong video game nerd. For more news, views, previews, and reviews on all things Mixed Martial Arts as well as video games, be sure to visit FightGamesBlog.net.