UFC Fight Night 54 was the second card in a Saturday double-header. In the main event, Rory MacDonald took on Tarec Saffiedine.
The only “big” fight on the prelims was between Daron Cruickshank and Anthony Njokuani. The fight started with about a minute and a half of evenly-matched striking. Cruickshank managed to double-leg Njokuani but couldn’t keep him on the ground for long. Cuickshank was more aggressive in the striking for the next few minutes, throwing a more diverse array of attacks and just more strikes in general. He used these strikes to get Njokuani off balance and turn a high-crotch single leg into a wonderful slam. Cruickshank finished the first round on top in Njokuani’s guard.
In the second round, Cruickshank tried a takedown, which was blocked. He followed that up with this crazy jumping roundhouse that Njokuani simply sidestepped. It seemed as if Cruickshank’s takedowns made Njokuani afraid to open up. Then Cruickshank hit a gorgeous flying knee. Somehow Njokuani survived it. Cruickshank took him down off the flying knee but then landed an accidental illegal knee to Njokuani’s head. Dan Miragliotta briefly stopped the fight then stood him up. However, this made no difference as Cruickshank shot in for a successful double leg takedown afterward. Njokuani fought to his feet and landed a couple of decent shots. Cruickshank landed several of his own not long after. Cruickshank seemed to get the better of the exchanges throughout the rest of the second round.
A right hand from Njokuani buckled Cruickshank early in the third, but then Cruickshank landed an overhand right of his own to even the score. Cruickshank scored with a great spinning back kick to the body as well. Cruickshank took Njokuani down with a minute left in the fight. Njokuani nearly sunk in an armbar but it was too little, too late. Cruickshank won via unanimous decision.
Get the recap of the rest of the event after the jump.