By Thomas Gerbasi
COLOGNE, June 13 – Mannheim’s Dennis Siver made the fans at the Lanxess Arena happy Saturday night in UFC 99 prelim action, impressively submitting Dale Hartt in the first round of their lightweight bout.
Hartt and Siver traded kicks early, with Siver landing the first big shot, an overhand right, 90 seconds in. Hartt responded with a takedown that Siver greeted with an armbar attempt. Hartt powered his way out and continued his attack, but it was Siver who eventually turned the tables, wrenching Hartt’s shoulder before sinking in the fight ending rear naked choke at 3:23 of the first round.
With the win, Siver improves to 14-6; Hartt falls to 6-2.
British up and comer Terry Etim continued to show new facets of his game, rising from a first round knockdown to roar back in the second and submit Justin Buchholz in a clash of lightweight prospects.
Buchholz attempted to close the gap on Etim immediately behind some hard kicks to the head and body. Etim took his time, but when he struck, he struck hard, immediately reddening Buchholz’ face. The American was game though, and he kept pushing the pace, eventually dropping Etim with a hard right hand. Buchholz immediately pounced, and though Etim tried for a quick submission, Buchholz wasn’t having it, and he kept firing away, with referee Leon Roberts watching the action closely. But Etim was just as resilient, and eventually he fought his way free and began working on his opponent’s leg. Buchholz soon got up and marked another momentum shift with some hard strikes just before the bell sounded.
Etim got back to his measured gameplan in round two, landing with some hard leg kicks that got Buchholz’ attention. And by the stanza’s second minute, Etim was starting to close in with knees and kicks to the head before the fight went to the mat at the midway point. It was there that Etim lowered the boom with a D’arce choke that produced the tap out at 2:38 of the round.
With the win, Etim improves to 13-2; Buchholz falls to 9-3.
Welterweight Paul Taylor spoiled the UFC debut of Germany’s Peter Sobotta, outpointing the home country favorite via three round unanimous decision.
The crowd got into the fight immediately, chanting Sobotta’s name. The local hero responded in kind with the first major shot of the fight, a kick to the head that made an audible thud, but that also didn’t stop Taylor’s forward motion. An inadvertent low kick from Taylor (10-4-1, 1 NC) drew a halt to the action, and seconds later, it was a low kick from Sobotta that forced a timeout. After this exchange, the two got back to work, and Taylor flurried, only to get tied up in response by Sobotta (8-2). With under two minutes left, Taylor took the bout to the mat and kept it there until the bell.
Taylor upped his punch output in round two, but when he got close, he was dumped to the mat by Sobotta. A stalemate ensued before the two stood again, Taylor emerging with a mouse under his right eye. Again, the Walsall native scored with strong strikes, and this time he was able to avoid Sobotta’s takedown attempts while piling up the points and taking the round.
There was more of the same in the final round, as Taylor’s accurate kicks kept Sobotta from mounting a serious attack, and a final flurry against the fence putting the exclamation point on the victory for the Brit.
Paul Kelly made his lightweight debut a successful one, rebounding from a slow start to outpoint Roli Delgado unanimously over three rounds.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Kelly, who ups his record to 10-1; Delgado falls to 8-4-1.
The early action was tentative, with Delgado picking at Kelly with strikes until the Liverpool product got overly aggressive and was locked up and taken down. Delgado got his hooks in and looked to finish Kelly from the back, but ‘Tellys’ fought his way into Delgado’s guard. The Arkansas product scored with hard elbows from the bottom, but after some rough moments, Kelly eventually stood up, with Delgado following suit and staying busy until the bell.
Delgado started the second off strong as well, but a right hand by Kelly knocked him off balance and allowed the Brit to get him to the mat, where he tried to score with a guillotine choke. Delgado broke free and got his opponent’s back again, but Kelly sowed a resilient spirit once again by reversing and standing up. Instead of forcing Delgado back up though, Kelly jumped right back into his foe’s guard, where he landed some hard strikes before the end of the stanza.
Kelly came out banging in the third, and followed up his initial flurry with a leg trip to the canvas. Kelly immediately rose, and though Delgado took him down, it was Kelly who was in control and landing with hard shots before he stood up again. The rest of the round followed a similar pattern, with Kelly stepping up his attack on the tiring Delgado until the bout’s conclusion.
21-year old Stefan Struve survived a nasty cut on his forehead in the first round and roared back in the second, submitting Denis Stojnic in an entertaining heavyweight bout.
Stojnic went right after his 6 foot 11 foe, and when the bout went to the mat early, he pounded away with his right hand as Struve looked for a submission from the bottom. Just past the midway point, Struve locked up Stojnic’s arm, but the Golden Glory fighter punched his way loose. The two kept trying to implement their polar opposite gameplans, and in the final minute, Stojnic started to pull away after cutting Struve on the forehead. The cut produced a stoppage from referee Dan Miragliotta so the doctor could look at the cut, but Struve was deemed fit to continue.
Not looking forward to letting the cut decide the outcome of the fight, Struve found refuge on the mat early in round two and put Stojnic through the wringer, trying submission after submission, interspersed with ground strikes until he finally sunk in a rear naked choke that produced the tap out at 2:37 of the round.
With the win, Struve gets his first UFC win and improves to 21-3; Stojnic falls to 12-3.
In the welterweight opener, John Hathaway remained unbeaten with a hard-fought three round unanimous decision win over UFC debutant Rick Story.
Scores were 29-28 twice, and 30-27 for Hathaway, who improves to 12-0; Story falls to 7-3.
The two 170-pound prospects got down to business immediately, locking up against the fence as the pro-Hathaway contingent sung his praises – literally. The bout soon went to the mat, with both fighters trading shifts in momentum. By the two minute mark, the bout went back to the feet, with Story working for, and getting, the slam. After a stalemate on the canvas, the two rose again, but only for a spell before going back to the mat, where Hathaway worked for a submission before the bell sounded.
The second began with the fighters working on their standup before Hathaway shot in for a takedown. Story responded with a guillotine choke attempt that the British fighter pulled out of. Hathaway briefly assumed control before another guillotine attempt by Story, but again, ‘The Hitman’ escaped and jumped into the lead again behind some solid, but unspectacular, ground work. The bout went back to the feet in the final minute, but as the round ended, it was Story getting the fight back to the mat and scoring with a hard punch to the head.
Hathaway got the bout to the mat early in the second, and Story quickly turned the tables and fired away with strikes as Hathaway looked for a submission. The pace dipped in the second half, with Story leading the way behind a takedown and ground strikes, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the victory.
Watch the unaired preliminary bouts on UFC Vault