By Thomas Gerbasi
DUBLIN, January 17 – With fans in the O2 Dublin Arena screaming themselves hoarse, it sounded like a main event before the UFC 93 preliminary bout between Dublin’s own Tom Egan and England’s John Hathaway, but in the end, the more experienced Hathaway had to disappoint Irish fans as he stopped the local hero in the first round of their welterweight preliminary bout.
With the win, the 21-year old Hathaway improved to 11-0; Egan, 20, falls to 4-1.
Both fighters met in the center of the Octagon, and it was Hathaway drawing first blood with a solid takedown. An ensuing scramble saw Hathaway get into side control, but Egan kept working, briefly getting to his feet twice before Hathaway returned him to the mat. The third time up, Egan was able to remain standing for a spell, but Brighton’s Hathaway wouldn’t let the Irishman breathe, and he scored effectively with ground strikes from all angles until referee Marc Goddard halted the bout, much to the dismay of the packed house, at 4:36 of the round.
Former middleweight contender Martin Kampmann did well in his welterweight debut, stopping Brazil’s Alexandre Barros in the second round.
The first significant action of the fight was a left kick by Barros (13-6) that landed squarely below the belt. Kampmann (14-2) hit the deck in pain, and referee Kevin Mulhall gave him enough time to recover and get his wind back. After a short break, the bout resumed, with Kampmann walking Barros down and looking for an opportunity to unleash his strikes. A brief exchange ensued until the fight hit the deck with Kampmann working for a guillotine choke. Midway through the round, Barros escaped and got back to his feet, but Kampmann kept him against the fence. With 90 seconds to go, Kampmann tripped Barros to the mat, but the Brazilian wound up in the top position. After a stalemate, Mulhall stood the two, and a hard right by Kampmann put Barros down just before the bell sounded.
It was Barros looking for the takedown as round two commenced, but after his second attempt failed, he wound up on his back as Kampmann began dropping ground strikes. Barros tried to work for a submission, but Kampmann’s defense was tight, and he quickly transitioned into the mount position. With 2:10 left, Barros gave up his back, and Kampmann opened fires. Moments later, Mulhall had seen enough, calling the bout off at the 3:09 mark of the frame.
Milwaukee’s Eric Schafer made it four wins in a row, following up his September victory over Houston Alexander with a first round TKO of Antonio “Samuray” Mendes in a light heavyweight contest.
Schafer (13-3-2) made no secret of his intentions as he bulled Mendes (14-4) to the mat in search of a takedown. Seconds later, the fight was on the mat, and “Red” went to work. After a series of short ground strikes, Schafer got the mount position and started to send down some heavier shots as he pinned Mendes against to cage. The Brazilian escaped, but Schafer worked his way into the dominant position again and rained down blows. With 1:30 left, Mendes tried to turn to escape, but Schafer was relentless, and referee Dan Miragliotta halted the bout at the 3:35 mark.
Poland’s Tomasz Drwal enjoyed a successful return to the Octagon after an absence of over a year due to injury, knocking out newcomer Ivan Serati in the first round.
Serati sought an immediate takedown, only to be rebuffed by Drwal. The Italian kept the aggression level fairly high as he tried to overpower his foe, but Drwal’s attacks were more technical and on point. Eventually the fight did go where Serati wanted it, but it wasn’t the result he was looking for, as Drwal’s ground and pound attack produced a knockout at the 2:02 mark.
With the win, Drwal improved to 15-2; Serati falls to 10-3.
Germany-based Russian Dennis Siver (13-6) kicked off the evening’s festivities in style, ending his entertaining lightweight bout with Nate Mohr (8-6) via a third round TKO.
Siver hurt and dropped Mohr in the opening minute, but the Illinois product recovered and too Siver to the mat, where he worked his ground and pound on his foe. Mohr briefly got into the mount position, only to see Siver escape and force a re-start from referee Kevin Mulhall. While standing, both traded hard strikes, with Mohr’s kicks being particularly effective.
The standup battle resumed in round two, with both men having their moments of success. It was Mohr’s crisper counters and hard kicks to the leg that may have edged it for the American though.
In the final round, Siver and Mohr continued to engage in a spirited fashion, but then Siver lowered the boom with a spinning right back to the solar plexus. Mohr staggered backwards and to the canvas in pain. Siver’s follow-up prompted a stoppage from Mulhall at 3:47 of the round.
Despite the competitive nature of the bout, two of the three judges had Mohr ahead 20-18 at the time of the stoppage, with the third judge seeing the bout even at 19-19.
Hathaway Too Much for Egan in Clash of Unbeatens
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC – With fans in the O2 Dublin Arena screaming themselves hoarse, it sounded like a main event before the UFC 93 preliminary bout between Dublin’s own Tom Egan and England’s John Hathaway, but in the end, the more experienced Hathaway had to disappoint Irish fans as he stopped the local hero in the first round of their welterweight preliminary bout.