(Daht royt dere iz wun fookin’ eksaited yong mahn. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
Irish up-and-comer Conor McGregor may be the poster-boy for tonight’s undercard, but the UFC Fight Night 26 prelims will also feature a sure-to-entertain bantamweight brawl between Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett, as well as separate fights featuring former WEC 145-pound champ Mike Brown and TUF‘s first featherweight trophy-winner Diego Brandao. It’ll be a fast ‘n’ furious appetizer to tonight’s main card, so DON’T BLINK. (SERIOUSLY, BLINKING IS FOR PUSSIES.)
Handling the play-by-play for the FOX Sports 1 prelim broadcast is Aaron Mandel, who will be stackin’ up live results after the jump beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please voice your opinions in the super easy-to-use Facebook commenting system at the end of the post.
Facebook prelim results
- Manny Gamburyan def. Cole Miller by unanimous decision
- Ovince St. Preux def. Cody Donovan via KO, 2:07 of round 1
- James Vick def. Ramsey Nijem via submission (guillotine choke), 0:58 of round 1
Alright it’s time for the prelims of an incredibly stacked card!
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda
Getting us started is TUF winner Brandao who is looking to move up in the featherweight division with his fourth victory in five fights against Pineda who probably needs to win to keep his job.
Round 1- Big leg kick from Brandao to start. Pineda shoots but Brandao shrugs him off. Brandao changing stances and wings a big right. Big kick to the body from Brandao. Brandao catches Pineda and rocks him with a punch. Brandao goes after Pineda with everything and hits him with some big kicks and punches but Pineda survives and seems to have his bearings back. Big body punch from Brandao who might have blown a lot of gas trying for the finish. Three punches hit Pineda clean and Brandao dives in as Pineda falls but they are back to the feet. Flying knee from Brandao and now Brandao goes for a takedown and scores a trip against the cage. Brandao in half guard, Pineda escapes up the cage and they are back to standing with a minute left. Good elbow from Pineda followed by a body punch. Round ends a clear 10-9 for Brandao, but how much gas did he burn?
Round 2- Haymakers from both fighters to start the round. Takedown from Brandao who lands in full guard. Pineda throws his legs up for a submission but Brandao shrugs off and works into half guard. Pineda recovers and throws on a nice looking triangle and transitions for an omoplata but Brandao pops out and they go back to standing. Pineda fakes being hurt from a body shot and throws a punch while offering a shit eating grin. Brandao with another takedown and working in Pineda’s full guard. Pineda hits a beautiful sweep and is mounted on Brandao, raining down strikes. Huge elbows and punches from Pineda and Brandao is getting tagged and can’t get out from under the mount. Pineda windmilling strikes from full mount into Brandao’s temples. Ref takes a close look but Brandao rolls and puts Pineda into half and full guard. Brandao spins for a heel hook but Pineda pops out into guard on top of Brandao again. Pineda lands some good ground and pound as the round ends. 10-9 Pineda and it all comes down to the third round.
Round 3- Touch of the gloves to start and Pineda looks to be the fresher fighter. Brandao shoots for a takedown and drives Pineda to the mat. Brandao working strikes from the top and then stands up for no apparent reason and they’re back on the feet. Brandao throws a right hook, slips a punch and lands another takedown. Pineda stands up against the cage and escapes. Good right from Brandao, Pineda shoots but misses on a takedown. Brandao with his third takedown of the round and working elbows. Rogan clowns on Brandao’s conditioning but he’s winning this round so far. Brandao takes Pineda’s back standing but Pineda fires elbows. Brandao drags him down but Pineda rolls and is back to the feet. Good right superman punch from Pineda. Brandao with another takedown and is on top in half guard working for an arm triangle. Quick stand up from Mario Yamasaki and there’s one minute left. They are comically tired as Pineda throws two wheel kicks, wtf?! Pineda lands a few punches and shoots for a takedown, Brandao sprawls against the cage and they clinch it up and throw a few punches and kicks as it ends. 10-9 Brandao, I think he takes it. Judges decision coming up…
Diego Brandao wins 29-28 on all cards for a unanimous decision victory.
Brandao gives an interview where he says his conditioning is fine in between gasps of air.
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
37 year-old Mike Brown enters the Octagon on a two fight win streak but having not fought in over a year after considering retirement. His opponent, Steven Siler is 11 years younger and has won four of his five UFC fights.
Round 1- Leg kicks from both fighters to start. Brown gets clipped with a short right hand and Siler jumps in and lands some vicious shots that puts Brown out quickly and violently.
Steven Siler wins by KO, 0:50 of round 1.
Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor
McGregor comes into this fight with a remarkable amount of hype for a guy with less than 90 seconds of UFC experience. Holloway is one of the youngest guys in the UFC but already has much more Octagon experience than McGregor and has proven himself to be a well rounded fighter.
They show the full walk-outs for both fighters, Boston goes nuts for the Irish McGregor.
Round 1- Lots of kicks from McGregor to start, high and low. Straight left from McGregor lands. Leg kick from Holloway and McGregor gives the “Diaz hands” to taunt Holloway. Leg kicks continue from Holloway. Jumping switch kick and heel kicks from McGregor to go along with wild punches but Holloway is taking it well. Remarkable amount of kicks from both fighters, but especially McGregor so far, who is taunting Holloway in between his strikes. Crescent kick and wheel kick to legs from McGregor. Spinning high kick almost hits for Holloway, who is landing a few punches here and there but getting outworked by McGregor in general so far. McGregor somersaults into a takedown attempt as the round ends. 10-9 McGregor, a pretty round but no major damage either way.
Round 2- Good straight left by McGregor and more kicks. Apparently his weakness is on the ground but Holloway is showing no interest in taking it there. McGregor looks very relaxed and is measuring distance well. Pretty even exchanges between the two in the middle of the round, slightly higher work rate and harder punches from McGregor. Holloway catches McGregor with a left as McGregor hops in for a kick. McGregor catches a Holloway kick and cracks him with a left and simultaneously takes him down. McGregor on top in Holloway’s full guard. Holloway holds tight to McGregor but he postures up and tries to rain down strikes. Holloway clamps down again from the bottom. McGregor postures up and lands a good strike diving in and moves to side control. 10-9 McGregor.
Round 3- Side kick from McGregor and Holloway lands a good clean right hand. McGregor shoots for a takedown and Holloway is down against the fence, holding McGregor in full guard. McGregor with a nice pass to side control and briefly into mount before going back to side control. McGregor goes for the mount again but Holloway escapes only to be dragged down again with McGregor on top in half guard, McGregor moves into mount. McGregor open hand claps both of Holloway’s ears. Holloway rolls and gives up his back, McGregor rains down some big shots as he maintains mount and back mount as Holloway squirms. Holloway escapes as McGregor got too high on his back. Head kick from Holloway as he tries to go for broke, only to be taken down again by McGregor. Rounds ends with McGregor on top and in control. 10-9 McGregor and he should take the fight comfortably on the judges scorecards and give an interview in his awesome Irish accent.
Conor McGregor wins 30-27 x2 and 30-26 for a unanimous decision victory
McGregor says his knee popped out midway in the second round which is why he took it to the ground. He’s mad about not standing and getting the finish but he wraps Rogan in an Ireland flag and is all smiles.
Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett
Our last prelim of the night is bantamweight action with Michael McDonald making his return after losing a title fight earlier this year and going against Brad Pickett who is looking to string together some high level wins and get a title shot of his own.
McDonald is only 22! Lots of experience (and already that one title shot) for such a young guy. Pickett is 34.
Round 1- Good body punch from Pickett early. Body kick from McDonald. Left hand catches Pickett and an insane 3am style bar brawl ensues with McDonald throwing everything at Pickett trying to finish him but Pickett fires back, gets dropped multiple times, wobbled but somehow survives. McDonald lays off and they reset, wow, incredible survival instincts by Pickett and McDonald may have exhausted himself and probably has no idea how the fight isn’t already over. A kick and a punch thud into Pickett’s head and he drops. McDonald gets on top and Pickett holds onto him and tries again to clear the cobwebs. McDonald backs off and stands Pickett up. McDonald is noticeably bigger and faster than Pickett. Pickett loading up on huge bombs but nothing landing clean. Fast flurry as the round ends with McDonald getting the better of it, great round of action. 10-9 McDonald.
Round 2- Even standup for the first minute of the round between the two fighters. Pickett shoots for a takedown and gets it, Pickett on top in full guard. Pickett trying to soften McDonald up with body shots but McDonald controlling well from the bottom. Good elbow from Pickett as he temporarily separates. McDonald lightly searching for submissions on the bottom as Pickett continues to strike the body. McDonald throws his legs up and tightens up a triangle/armbar position. McDonald works the arm and as Pickett defends, McDonald switches 100% to the triangle and gets the tap! Beautiful bottom game patience and killer instinct from McDonald.
Michael McDonald wins via triangle choke, 3:43 of round 2.
Pickett’s nose is all kinds of broken, probably from the assault in the first round. McDonald bounces back like a champion-caliber fighter should from his recent defeat and pumps the crowd up by name dropping the American Revolution over the British, maybe 200 years too late, but hey, he got some cheers…
That’s all for the prelims PotatoHeads, remember to open the main card live blog at http://www.cagepotato.com/ufc-fight-night-shogun-vs-sonnen-main-card-results-commentary/ and if you’re watching on TV, you don’t even have to change the channel!