UFC 164: Power Ranking the Preliminary Card Fights
UFC 164's prelims came with some mixed performances. There was some good and some bad.
The heavyweights were featured, as were the flyweights. The marquee matchup was a lightweight bout between longtime vets Jamie Varner and Gleison Tibau.
These fights were imperative because they might convince fans to buy the pay-per-view at the last minute. For the most part, they delivered.
Here are the power rankings for all the prelims.
7. Soa Palelei Def. Nikita Krylov Via TKO (Punches)
My stream died before the third round. That's OK, because the fight between Soa Palelei and Nikita Krylov wasn't winning any Fight of the Year awards anytime soon.
Palelei showed that he is good when he isn't gassed. He did get the finish, but that's only because Krylov was just fatigued as he was.
Sometimes, sloppy heavyweight fights are fun. That was not the case with this one. Still, I love Palelei, so I will give him a pass on this one. He just needs to work hard on his cardio.
6. Magnus Cedenblad Def. Jared Hamman Via Submission (Guillotine Choke)
The opening bout on Facebook barely gave us enough time to see Jared Hamman make his return. Within a minute of the fight, Magnus Cedenblad had choked Hamman unconscious with a beautiful guillotine from the mount.
It was a beautiful finish by the Swede and a devastating setback for Hamman. The best part was the post-fight interview, where Cedenblad asked to meet Dylan Andrews next to avenge the loss of his friend Papy Abedi from Wednesday night.
5. Gleison Tibau Def. Jamie Varner Via Split Decision
The featured prelim was a back-and-forth affair that saw Jamie Varner almost steal the fight from Gleison Tibau. As Tibau tired, Varner came on hard, looking to take the decision.
The split verdict was a solid fight, but it definitely won't be taking home Fight of the Night. Most of the bout took place on the ground, as both men are known for their good wrestling.
It was a big win for Tibau that will move him back up the ladder. He just needs to sort out his conditioning before he can be a top contender.
4. Tim Elliott Def. Louis Gaudinot Via Unanimous Decision
There are rarely boring fights in the flyweight division. This one made sure that stayed true.
Tim Elliott dominated Louis Gaudinot for three rounds using a wrestling-heavy attack and good ground-and-pound. He battered Gaudinot, possibly exploiting the green-haired fighter's ring rust after more than a year away from the cage.
It was a one-sided fight, but it still had some entertainment value to it.
3. Al Iaquinta Def. Ryan Couture Via Unanimous Decision
Well, that looked like the Al Iaquinta who should have won The Ultimate Fighter 15. After a long layoff from injuries, he came into this fight and took it to Ryan Couture for 15 dominant minutes.
It was a very technical bout in the sense that Iaquinta used great footwork and boxing to outclass Couture. While the son of "The Natural" had a couple of moments, he was defeated handily.
I enjoyed this fight very much. How long before Bellator signs Ryan Couture? Perhaps they are on the phone right now.
2. Hyun Gyu Lim Def. Pascal Krauss Via TKO (Knees and Punches)
Both Pascal Krauss and Hyun Gyu Lim stood in the middle of the Octagon and threw down for one round. Boy, it was worth it.
Both men landed some heavy strikes, but it was Lim and his aggressive approach that prevailed. After stunning Krauss with a punch to the temple, he stalked his opponent until he kneed him in the face along the cage. A couple of punches later and the ref pulled him off.
It was highly entertaining while it lasted.
1. Chico Camus Def. Kyung Ho Kang Via Unanimous Decision
The first stanza wasn't the most exciting action known to man, but the fight quickly picked up after that.
Both Kyung Ho Kang and Chico Camus put everything out there to make the opening bout on Fox Sports 1 a fun one. Between crazy scrambles and exciting on-the-feet striking, fans were thoroughly entertained.
The bout could have gone either way, but Camus earned it at the end of the third round by almost finishing Kang in the closing seconds.