I'm not saying this was the best undercard in UFC history. I'm just saying I can't think of a better one right now.
UFC on Fox 5 went down Saturday night from the Key Arena in Seattle. The undercard featured seven fights, all contested at 155 pounds or under. Do you know what that means? What it means is, it means excitement. Four stoppages (three of them T/KOs) are a testament to that.
In case you're one of those misfits who has a life outside of watching fights on an early Saturday evening, here's a recap and a ranking of the preliminary card action.
Result: Raphael Assuncao defeats Mike Easton by unanimous decision
Easily the dullest fight of the undercard, and perhaps the most disappointing, given that it pitted two young up-and-comers like these two. The best thing you can say is that both men showed good takedown defense. Seriously.
Result: Ramsey Nijem defeats Joe Proctor by unanimous decision
This was a good back-and-forth fight. Proctor landed some great shots, but Nijem may have edged him in the ground battle.
Not a bad fight at all, but definitely lacking a signature moment or any major excitement.
Result: Dennis Siver defeats Nam Phan by unanimous decision
Dennis Siver does it again. The German stayed well out of the damage zone as he battered Phan with his feet and then sharp combinations from the perimeter. He also landed a takedown and worked some ground-and-pound in the final round-and-a-half.
According to statistics provided during the fight broadcast, Siver landed 227 strikes. I didn't hear a final number on Phan, who hung tough but couldn't really get his close-in boxing style off at any time.
Result: Abel Trujillo defeated Marcus LeVesseur by TKO, Round 2
Abel Trujillo knocked The Sauna from the news cycle when he knocked the various sections of Marcus LeVesseur into next week.
LeVesseur, who replaced Tim Means on about 24 hours' notice after Means fell and knocked himself out while leaving the sauna, was overwhelmed from the start. Blackzilian Trujillo was a cold killer in his UFC debut, punishing LeVesseur's face and body and closing the deal with shield-your-eyes knee bombs to the rib cage.
Result: Scott Jorgensen defeats John Albert by submission, Round 1
Ever seen one of those last-second basketball shots where the player lets it go, then the red light comes on when the ball is in mid-flight, then it goes in? That's a rough equivalent of Jorgensen's timing on his rear-naked choke, to which Albert tapped just a blink before the horn. It was a thrilling capper to the night's frenetic opener.
Division: Catchweight (originally a lightweight bout contested at 158.8 pounds after Martinez missed weight)
Result: Daron Cruickshank defeats Henry Martinez by KO, Round 2
You can tell a lot about an undercard when a head-kick knockout only merits a No. 2.
Cruickshank was all over Martinez from the get-go, pummeling him against the fence and pounding his face and body with punches and long-range missiles from his feet.
The overmatched and overweight Martinez showed a thick beard and never stopped coming forward. Until, that is, the "Detroit Superstar" landed a monstrous head kick that ended the fight immediately.
Result: Yves Edwards defeats Jeremy Stephens by knockout, Round 1
You have to love the old lion of thug-jitsu.
Yves Edwards bullied the bully when he landed a perfect counter right on Jeremy Stephens' jaw to hand the hard-hitting Stephens his first-ever T/KO defeat.