UFC on Fox 11 got off to a good start on Saturday evening, as the card in Orlando, Florida featured some great preliminary action. From stars like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Thiago Alves to up-and-coming talent like Derrick Lewis and Mirsad Bektic, the prelims had everything.
Often, the prelims introduce fans to new talent, showing off the future stars of the company. That is exactly what happened in Orlando, as many of the athletes on the undercard were looking to make a name for themselves in the UFC.
So, whose performances from the prelims really stood out? Let's take a look right now.
The heavyweight division is in desperate need of some new faces and talent. Derrick Lewis proved on Saturday that he fits the bill, as "The Black Beast" looked ferocious in his Round 1 TKO of Jack May.
Outsized by five inches and in an uncomfortable situation, Lewis made sure he would not be denied a win in his UFC debut. The hulking heavyweight escaped a full mount from May, turned him on his back and launched off some nasty ground-and-pound strikes.
Serious, you fight Derrick Lewis, outkickbox him and get him tired, or play steady on top. Don't roll around and catch a facial coffin nail.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 19, 2014
May took too many power shots, and the ref had to step in to stop the fight. Lewis gave viewers a glimpse of how powerful, violent and ferocious he is, as well as a peek at how the heavyweight division might have a star in the near future.
Ray Borg lost his UFC debut to Dustin Ortiz. That being said, many folks scored the bout in his favor, and it was an early contender for Fight of the Night.
I had that fight scored for Borg, 29-28, but can't call it a robbery. Very close fight. Very entertaining.— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) April 19, 2014
I have it 30-27 Borg. I hate that score. First round was close. I just valued the positioning more than the meaningless strikes.— TJ De Santis (@TJDeSantis) April 19, 2014
Borg, who sports the odd but fun nickname of "Tazmexican Devil," showed off some awesome takedowns, great transitions and good submissions against Ortiz. He did so against a seasoned MMA and UFC veteran, and his last fight was just two weeks ago.
He has all of a sudden become a fighter to watch at 125 pounds. He has a bright future, is exciting to watch and gained a ton of fans on Saturday with his debut showing.
Filling in on late notice for former WEC champion Mike Brown, Alex White had an uphill battle. It was no problem, though, as he stayed undefeated in his drubbing of Estevan Payan.
White had a decent amount of hype coming into this fight, as he was not only undefeated as a pro but as an amateur as well. He showed the hype was warranted, putting Payan down hard with a solid straight punch to the chops and some nasty follow-up ground-and-pound.
That win will earn him some attention from the rest of the featherweight division. He showed he has power, technique and a good amount of potential.
I am sorry for doubting you, Jorge Masvidal. I really am. You proved me wrong against Pat Healy Saturday evening.
His prelim fight against Healy saw him throw accurate, punishing strikes to his opponent's head and body. Every blow looked like it could have put away Healy, who deserves props for taking those shots like a champion.
Masvidal also displayed his counter-wrestling. Healy wanted to grind away Masvidal, but the Florida native rejected him with prejudice.
Masvidal has quickly become a dark horse at the top end of 155 pounds. If he continues fighting like this, he could end up creeping into the Top 15 soon.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we know who is the next man in line for a lightweight title shot after Gilbert Melendez.
Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his record to 22-0 versus a very game Rafael dos Anjos. He used relentless aggression, crafty takedowns and nasty ground-and-pound to completely outclass the Brazilian.
He has one of the longest winning streaks in MMA. His UFC resume gives him precedent to claim a title shot in the near future.