The preliminary portion of the UFC 154 fight card has just concluded from the Bell Centre in Montreal. And if you're just sitting down at your TV or computer, I have to tell you, you missed some pretty good action.
A nasty highlight-reel submission, an Octagon first and a new force at featherweight were among the highlights. Here are some quick recaps of the results and action. As a service to those watching later with the magic of digital video recording technology, the fights also appear in order from worst to best.
Result: Antonio Carvalho defeats Rodrigo Damm by split decision
Carvalho punished Damm's lead leg with kicks throughout the fight, possibly to take some starch out of any takedown attempts from the jiu-jitsu ace. There were a few exchanges on the feet and the ground, but nothing sustained. Minus the leg kicks, this one was pretty much a staring contest.
Light heavyweight bout
Result: Cyrille Diabate defeats Chad Griggs by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
It was over before it began. Griggs started the action by running directly into the fist of former kickboxing champion Diabate. The fight went groundward, where Diabate was, surprisingly, able to control the action. He sunk in the choke, and Griggs tapped. It was Diabate's first submission win in the UFC.
Griggs didn't look like an elite competitor Saturday night. Not impressive.
Result: Patrick Cote defeats Alessio Sakara by DQ
For the few minutes it lasted, this was a really exciting, back-and-forth fight. But it was marred when Sakara dropped Cote and landed, by my count, seven hammerfists directly to the back of Cote's head. The Montreal crowd heavily booed Sakara and the strange stoppage, thinking it was a TKO victory for Sakara. But they erupted in cheers when the disqualification win for Quebec native Cote was announced. Sakara later apologized for the lapse; I don't think it was malicious.
In any case, how about a rematch?
Result: Matthew Riddle def. John Maguire by unanimous decision.
Not the world's most exciting fight, but Riddle did just enough by taking a slim striking edge and controlling Maguire against the fence. It was clear Riddle, a former college wrestler, wanted no part of Maguire's high-level submission game and was able to keep the fight standing. A smart, if not especially memorable, victory for "Deep Waters."
Result: John Makdessi defeats Sam Stout by unanimous decision
This one perhaps didn't contain the scintillating exchanges people were hoping for, but it did contain a very efficient display of MMA boxing from Mr. Makdessi. Throughout the rounds, "The Bull" outlanded Stout, remained elusive and kept a stiff jab in Stout's face. Stout, meanwhile, was more or less the opposite, throwing wildly, moving erratically and failing to connect with consistency.
Result: Darren Elkins def. Steven Siler by unanimous decision
In the first fight of the evening, Elkins scored a takedown every time he tried, for a total of four. But the Indiana grinder did more than pray once he got his opponent horizontal. Siler was game and made it a fight, but Elkins was dominant, bloodying Siler's face with punches and constantly looking for submissions and dominant positions.
Elkins is now 4-0 as a featherweight.
Result: Ivan Menjivar def. Azamat Gashimov by submission, Round 1
Menjivar got a hold of the young Russian's arm and as Gashimov worked to throw him off, Menjivar landed on top of the arm and threw on an inverted armbar that bent Gashimov's elbow waaaay in the wrong direction. It will be hard to top that for Submission of the Night.
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