(The head kick. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly)
You didn’t see it on Spike TV last night, but the undercard bouts for Ultimate Fight Night 15 were worth showing up for all by themselves. Yours truly was Octagon-side for the whole thing, and when I wasn’t hanging out in Clay Guida‘s dressing room (more on that later), I was busy being impressed by some UFC newcomers.
This one was quick, with only sporadic fits of action. Miller jumped to Kimmons’ back almost immediately. Kimmons tried to defend and dump him off, but Miller wasn’t having it. After about a minute of absolutely no movement, Miller locked in the choke and Kimmons fell backwards ala Frank Trigg against Matt Hughes, then tapped meekly while the ref took his time about stopping it.
New Jersey’s Mike Massenzio was particularly impressive in his first-round submission win over Drew McFedries. He put his wrestling skills to good use right away, shooting in on McFedries and getting side control in the ensuing scramble. After McFedries recovered his guard and attempted a triangle choke, which Massenzio shrugged off, it was countdown to kimura time. Massenzio got to north-south and extended McFedries’ arm, forcing him to tap.
Alessio Sakara def. Joe Vedepo via KO (kick) at 1:27 of round one
The most brutal finish of the night also came in the prelims, as Alessio Sakara put his shin directly on Joe Vedepo’s chin early in the first. Vedepo was looking for the takedown from the start, but Sakara’s defense looked much improved. When Vedepo couldn’t get him down he consented to stand and trade. That’s about when the high kick landed with a vicious crack that elicited ‘ooohs’ from the crowd. Vedepo stiffened up and keeled over backwards. Sakara moved in to finish, but it was — to put it mildly — unnecessary.
Joe Lauzon found himself in a tougher scrap than he probably expected against Kyle Bradley. Bradley’s stand-up looked sharp early on and he stung Lauzon with a good uppercut before Lauzon dove for a heel-hook and nearly got it. Bradley fought through and made it to the second, where Bradley put a couple punch combinations together and briefly had Lauzon looking surprised. J-Lau stayed on the attack, however, and put Bradley down with a double-leg. Bradley gave up his back in the scramble and Lauzon unleashed with elbows and punches, flattening him out and finishing him with a barrage of unanswered shots.
Jason Brilz def. Brad Morris via TKO (ref stoppage) at 2:54 of round two
Brilz outwrestled and outlasted Morris in a somewhat sloppy ground war. Morris ran out of gas and ideas in the second and laid beneath Brilz waiting for the stoppage. Mercifully, it came quickly. Brilz looks like he could do some damage if he sharpens up his jiu-jitsu.
Poor Ryan Jensen. He fired up the crowd by pounding on Gouveia for a round and a half, landing some good shots from Gouveia’s guard. In the second, however, he got a little too comfortable and left his arm in the danger zone. It was all the opportunity Gouveia needed. He locked up the armbar and Jensen couldn’t pull out of it. That’s what happens when you get cute against a guy like Gouveia.