In tonight's opening bout for UFC 146, former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown (26-8) took on Daniel Pineda (17-7), who entered the bout having gone 2-0 in his first two bouts inside the Octagon.
Brown returned for the first time since picking up his first UFC victory last August to defeat Pineda over three rounds by unanimous decision. The judges scored it 29-28 across the board.
What We'll Remember About this Fight
Despite being hurt early, Brown was able to get his opponent down and control him in a close first round.
Round 2 was wildly competitive as both fighters exchanged power punches and transitions on the ground. Brown established his attack even further in the clinch where he was able to hurt his opponent with knees to the body.
The third was all Brown for the majority. He was able to drop Pineda with a knee to the body and control him on top before giving up his back with a minute and a half to go in the round.
What We Learned About Mike Brown
After going 0-3 in his first three UFC bouts, Brown really is starting to get his momentum back with two victories back-to-back over Pineda and Nam Phan.
He still hasn't come back to the form that everyone remembers him being in when he defeated Urijah Faber twice in the WEC, but at 36, it shouldn't be expected.
What We Learned About Daniel Pineda
Pineda performed well against his toughest opponent to date in a very good featherweight bout.
His first two wins in the UFC were by submission in the first round so it was going to tell fans a lot in his ability to go three full rounds with one of the division's former champions. He was never overwhelmed and did well at surviving on the ground while having his moments.
What's Next for Brown
A fight with Dennis Siver, who is coming off a close win with Diego Nunes, could be a great fight between two fighters with equal experience in the sport.
What's Next for Pineda
Pineda can take on Pablo Garza for his next fight. Both are coming off of losses.
Tonight's UFC 146 pay-per-view will feature a five-fight main card packed with heavyweights, including current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who will face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Santos, a Brazilian power-puncher, has knocked out some of the top heavyweights in the world, including Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. He won the title last November and has gone unbeaten throughout his UFC career.
Mir, who is stepping up as a late replacement for Alistair Overeem, is coming off three wins, including a brutal and impressive finish of Santos' mentor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He submitted the Brazilian submission wizard with a Kimura lock in the first round of their bout at UFC 140. Other wins include those over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Roy Nelson.
Other main card bouts include Shane del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic and Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve.