(Unfortunately, Bruce Lee’s ghost suffered a knee injury in training and will be unable to float above the fighters tonight. Hey, that’s why they say “card subject to change.” / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)
It’s Saturday night in Macau, the special administrative region that never sleeps. While us drowsy North Americans are pouring cereal and rubbing crust out of our eyes, the UFC’s first-ever show in China is already in full swing at the CotaiArena. In the main event, a couple of middleweight battle-axes named Rich Franklin and Cung Le will be slugging it out, refusing to go gently into middle age. Supporting them on the main card is an array of international matchups, including Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov, Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago, and Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig.
Handling liveblog duties for us this morning is Jim Genia, who will be stacking round-by-round results from the UFC on FUEL 6 main card broadcast after the jump, beginning at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest, and let your voice be heard in the comments section. Thanks for being here, guys. We can all take naps later.
UFC on Fuel 6 Preliminary Results:
-Riki Fukuda def. Tom DeBlass via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
-John Lineker def. Yasuhiro Urushitani via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
-Alex Caceres def. Motonobu Tezuka via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Good morning! Are you ready for some UFC action at a time of the day when you’d normally be watching cartoons and drinking either a cup of coffee or a Redbull or both? I know am!
First up: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Hougland
Back in the day when the WEC was a real thing and we all watched it, Mizugaki was the man – or at least one of them. He’s had a rough time of it since, but his opponent today is regional-level dude Hougland, so we’ll see how it goes.
Round 1: They waste no time mixing it up on the feet, trading strikes early and often – Miz with his strong kicks and Hougland with his fists. The American shoots for a takedown about a minute in, gets stuffed and put on his back, and tries to swing into a armbar from the bottom that bears no fruit. I don’t know how to say “Been there, done that” in Japanese, but that’s what is probably running through Mizugaki’s head. For the next couple minutes Miz is beating on Hougland’s face like it offends him, while Hougland tries for triangles and a head-arm choke. The horn sounds and Hougland is no prettier.
Round 2: Miz continues banging his opponent up on the feet, so Hougland lumbers into a clinch and again gets taken down. Just like in the first, the Japanese veteran is dropping bombs from within the American’s guard as Hougland keeps going for armbars and triangles that seem straight off a Gracie instructional DVD. Referee Steve Perceval stands them up, which gives Miz the chance to blast Hougland in the grill, and again they’re back on the ground in their usual position.
Round 3: The third round begins and Hougland looks like he’s just run a marathon. Miz tags him with a hook that sends him face-first to the canvas, but when Mizugaki goes in for the kill Hougland scoops him up and slams him. The WEC vet scrambles on top, they get back to their feet, and Mizugaki easily hugs Hougland to the canvas to regain top position. Some inactivity sees the ref stand them up, but Hougland’s got nothing left in the tank and can’t stop Miz from putting him on his back and mushing him. The ground and pound onslaught opens up a cut on the American’s face, turning the waning seconds of the bout into a horror show, and when time runs out there’s no mystery as to who deserves the decision. When it comes to scrubs, nobody beats the Miz.
Takeya Mizugaki def. Jeff Hougland via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
Next: Tiequan Zhang vs. John Tuck
When last we saw Tuck, the Guam native was trying to fight his way into the TUF House against Al Iaquinta and his toe damn near fell off. Zhang is a mid-grade UFC vet who’s still trying to break out of the shadow of his reggae star brother, Zunga Zhang.
Round 1: Forty-five seconds of circling turns into Zhang nailing an explosive takedown, but the tide turns instantly when Tuck swing for an insanely tight armbar attempt. Zhang rolls and rolls like his life depends on it, escapes and finds himself in an inverted triangle (which only works in Bellator), and escapes that to end up on Tuck’s back. The Chinese fighter gets outmanuevered and suddenly Tuck is in mount, then affixed to his back, hunting for a choke. Zhang survives and makes it back to the feet, and the bell rings.
Round 2: The round begins and the two men play Rock ‘Em-Sock ‘Em Robots until Zhang gets the takedown forty-five seconds in. Tuck counters with another armbar attempt, and when Zhang dodges it, the Guam native reverses and gets on top. Tuck turns his dominant mount position into an even more dominant back-mount, and Zhang spends the rest of the round behind the Eightball, struggling to avoid a rear naked choke. Somewhere on the mainland, troops are surrounding Zhang’s village.
Round 3: Tuck inexplicably wants to stand with Zhang, and as the ancient Chinese saying goes, “Standing and trading with a desperate man is a fools errand.” Zhang spends the next few minutes chasing him down and feeding him knuckles like they come free with the meal. Tuck lands with his jab a few times, and manages a knee strike here and there, but Zhang dings him up. Time runs out with Tuck trying to roll into a Hail Mary kneebar.
John Tuck def. Tiequan Zhang via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Next: Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig
Gomi vs. Danzig pits a former PRIDE superstar who sucked hard when he came to the Octagon against a TUF winner who sucked hard when he came to the Octagon post-TUF. Are you not intrigued?
Round 1: No surprises here as Danzig starts off circling and trying to avoid Gomi’s fistic power. The TUF winner grows more confident, and about two minutes in he grabs a Thai clinch and delivers some knees. Gomi responds with a takedown, and in about thirty seconds Danzig has worked back to his feet. Gomi begins mixing in some hard leg-kicks to add flavor to his offense, and with about twenty seconds left in the round Danzig hits a takedown and drops some leather.
Round 2: They continue picking and choosing their strikes in the third, with Danzig clinching and delivering knees and Gomi knocking his head back whenever the American’s defenses lapse. With a minute and a half left, Danzig gets the takedown, and when Gomi scrambles to get up his exposed neck is like a juicy Vegan meal that Danzig pounces on. For the rest of the round Gomi is stuck defending an arm-in guillotine.
Round 3: Gomi opens up the third round with a sweet right hand that puts Danzig on his butt. The PRIDE legend settles in on top, and alternates between feeding him punches and pulling Danzig back down whenever he tries to escape. But the TUF winner still has some tricks up his sleeve, and he threatens with a heelhook and a straight kneebar. Gomi defends, and Danzig works back to his feet. Gomi flubs a takedown and eats a few punches for his folly. They take turns blasting each other, and when Danzig lands a clean one, Gomi beckons him to give him more. When time runs out they’re swinging – they’re tired, but they’re swinging.
Takanori Gomi def. Mac Danzig via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Next: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Paulo Thiago
It’s South Korea vs. Brazil in this match-up, with Kim bringing judo, solid positional grappling and a ribcage that could give out at any minute, and Thiago bringings submissions, KO power, and the threat that the BOPA police force will kick down your door and shoot you at any time.
Round 1: Kim goes for a single-leg takedown almost immediately, and though Thiago manages to avoid it for about thirty seconds, he eventually succumbs to gravity. Acting as if the Brazilian’s jiu-jitsu background means nothing, Kim wastes no time getting on top then taking back-control. For the rest of the round, Thiago is pretty much his bitch, struggling to avoid the rear naked choke with Kim on him like a backpack. The round ends with “the Stun Gun” almost getting the submission.
Round 2: Thiago comes out in the second round trying “shoo!” his foe away with high-kicks, but then Kim gets his hands on him and judo’s him silly. Thiago goes down, yet manages to mitigate his plight with a kimura attempt that forces Kim to think. Soon Kim’s arm is free, and for the next couple minutes the South Korean has the Brazilian pressed into a ball against the fence. Thiago escapes with a minute left, and in the final seconds of the frame Kim is again going for a tight submission – this one a D’Arce choke.
Round 3: Kim waits about a minute and a half before latching onto Thiago, and once again Thiago has got nothing on the South Korean’s judo skills. Firmly glued to his opponent’s back, Kim spends the rest of the round making Thiago miserable, both with positional control and ground and pound – and, with only a few seconds left in the fight, a bunch of Captain Kirk double-punches from mount. Decision time again, and this one is a no-brainer.
Dong Hyun Kim def. Paulo Thiago via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Next: Thiago Silva vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Time for the light-heavyweights, and it’s Silva vs. Nedkov. Seriously, how the hell does Silva still have a job? The dude loses like it’s his specialty, and his most impressive recent win (against Brandon Vera) was rendered a “no contest” when he pissed hot for juice. Nedkov, send this guy packing, will you?
Round 1: The undefeated Bulgarian wrestles Silva to the fence and seems to want to push him through it like a hunk of cheddar through a cheese grater. They flurry wildly about a minute and a half in, and when Silva gets some space, he nearly buckles Nedkov’s leg with a kick – a reminder to Nedkov to keep up the cheese grater tactic. Silva manages a Thai clinch and feeds his opponent a knee, and Nedkov answers back with another flurry of fists. Once more they’re against the fence, and it becomes all too clear that Nedkov’s spirit animal is the fearless (and possibly mindless) ox.
Round 2: The Brazilian opens the round by kicking the Bulgarian in the junk. After a brief recovery period, they resume trying to impose their respective game plans, with Nedkov’s hugging efforts eliciting a ton of boos from the crowd. If anyone seems to be taking the lead on the scorecards, it’s probably Silva, who manages to nail Nedkov from the outside, but with about twenty seconds left in the round Nedkov clips Silva with an overhand right that sends the Brazilian to the ground. Silva survives to the bell.
Round 3: Silva comes out on fire, lighting Nedkov up like the Bulgarian is made of kindling, and about a minute in he shoots for the takedown, works to mount, slips on the arm-triangle choke, and gets the tap. Good win for Silva, who was dangling on the precipice only minutes before.
Thiago Silva def. Stanislav Nedkov via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 1:45, Round 3
Next: Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Former UFC champ Franklin and former Strikeforce champ Le will never see the vista from the top of the mountain again, but they’re still popular, and usually very capable of throwing down, so here we are with a main event featuring two guys with more name than upside. Regardless, it should be fun.
Round 1: In an exercise in the striking tenets of range and angles, Franklin and Le start off their bout flitting in and out, firing off kicks and punches, and stepping away and just out of range. And then… then comes Franklin’s kick and Le’s picture-perfect counter, which is a right hand that hits Franklin squarely on the button and puts him instantly to sleep. The former UFC champ collapses in a heap and is out, and Le is awarded the knockout victory at 2:17 of the first round while the crowd goes wild.
Cung Le def. Rich Franklin via KO (Punch) at 2:17, Round 1
Afterwards, Le thanks Franklin, the UFC, White and the Fertittas for the opportunity. He also labels his finish as a “lucky punch” – “Thank you, Lord,” he says.
And that’s all she wrote.