LAS VEGAS, July 2 – Lightweight contender Melvin Guillard made it five wins in a row in perhaps the sport’s most competitive division, blitzing and blasting out Shane Roller in the first round of UFC 132 preliminary card action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
GUILLARD VS. ROLLER
Guillard, light on his feet and firing off an array of strikes from all angles, showed little respect for Roller’s standup game, but the former college wrestling standout held his own until Guillard stopped being flashy and instead became dangerous. A short left hook dropped Roller the first time, but he made it back up to his feet. After a second knockdown though, “The Young Assassin” lowered the boom, with a ferocious series of ground strikes that forced referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the bout at 2:12 of the round.
“I’ve been saying all week that speed kills," said Guillard. "I came here in the best shape of my life and I was really comfortable in there tonight. I knew that I could break him. I knew that with my speed and my pace, I could make it a rough night for him.”
With the win, Guillard improves to 46-9-3 with 1 NC. Roller falls to 10-4.
Watch Guillard's post-fight interview.
DOS ANJOS VS. SOTIROPOULOS
Rafael dos Anjos made a spectacular return to the Octagon after nearly a year off, knocking out highly regarded lightweight contender George Sotiropoulos in less than a minute.
Sotiropoulos roared out of his corner, intent on cutting off any dos Anjos escape routes. The Brazilian wasn’t flustered by the aggressive stalking, and when he swung a swooping right hand at Sotiropoulos, it landed flush on the chin, sending the Australian hard to the canvas. Referee Yves Lavigne stepped in immediately, stopping the bout at the 59 second mark.
“I wanted to stay standing, but if it went to the ground, I was confident in my jiu-jitsu,” said dos Anjos. “I wanted to show the fans my striking tonight and I’m happy I got this knockout. I went through a rough patch after my last fight, but I came back and truly believe I’m better than ever. A few years down the road, I can see myself winning the world title. This is a big win for me.”
With the win, Dos Anjos, who was sidelined due to a jaw injury suffered in a loss to Clay Guida, improves to 15-5; Sotiropoulos falls to 14-4.
Watch Dos Anjos' post-fight interview.
BOWLES VS. MIZUGAKI
Former WEC bantamweight boss Brian Bowles made it two in a row in the Octagon, as he unanimously decisioned Takeya Mizugaki over three rounds.
Scores were 29-28 and 30-27 twice for Bowles, who ups his record to 10-1; Mizugaki falls to 14-6-2.
Mizugaki got off to a good start in a first round fought at a measured pace, nailing Bowles downstairs with kicks and upstairs with hard and fast punches. As the round progressed though, Bowles began landing more of his flush right hands, certainly getting the attention of his opponent and the crowd.
Having found his range, Bowles began to up his work rate in the second stanza, and a straight right hand forced Mizugaki to seek refuge on the mat. Bowles immediately took his foe’s back, working for a rear naked choke before the bell interrupted the action.
Bowles controlled much of the final round with a takedown and his ability to take Mizugaki’s back while the two stood against the fence, but a late flurry of activity by the Japanese slugger made things interesting in the closing seconds.
SIMPSON VS. TAVARES
Aaron Simpson’s close-range wrestling and Octagon control was too much for Brad Tavares in their middleweight bout, as the “A-Train” did what he needed to do to secure a unanimous three round decision win.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Simpson, now 9-2.
“I’m going to be honest,” said Simpson. “I didn’t think I was at my best tonight. Brad is very talented and he has very flexible hips. Some guys at 185 are easy to hold down and maneuver. He felt heavy and was strong and made it a tough fight. This win is something to build off of.”
Tavares (6-2) had some success in the first with his long-range striking, but unfortunately for him he didn’t have much of an opportunity to do it, as Simpson kept him locked up against the fence for the majority of the first five minutes.
There was little change to this pattern for the first three minutes of round two until a thudding slam by Tavares, which actually allowed Simpson to get the upper hand, as he shot up and nearly locked a choke in on the Hawaiian. After this burst of action, it was back to Simpson pinning Tavares to the fence while firing off sporadic punches and knees.
The final round started out in a promising manner, with some good exchanges on the feet and mat, but things soon reverted to form, with Simpson dominating at close range, not allowing Tavares room to breathe or score.
NJOKUANI VS. WINNER
Lightweight prospect Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani was at his ferocious best early on against Andre Winner, nearly finishing off his foe in the first round before being forced to settle for a shutout three round decision win.
Scores were 30-27 and 30-26 twice for Njokuani, who improves to 15-5; Winner falls to 12-6-1.
Winner had no qualms about staying in the pocket with the Muay Thai striker, but the Brit paid for his courage, as the deadly accuracy of Njokuani was present throughout the round, but especially during a late stretch when dozens of unanswered blows wouldn’t have had anyone complaining if referee Yves Lavigne halted the bout.
“I thought he was gonna be (knocked) out there in the first round,” said Njokuani. “He survived and proved that he’s a tough dude.”
Miraculously, Winner made it out of the round, and the second as well, but after 10 minutes, the banged up former Ultimate Fighter finalist was clearly in survival mode as Njokuani piled up the points.
Winner tried to make a fight out of it in the third, but his gutsy effort wasn’t nearly enough to make a miraculous comeback, as Njokuani did enough to wrap up another round and the fight.
Watch Njokuani's post-fight interview.
HOUGLAND VS. WALKER
Bantamweight newcomers Jeff Hougland and Donny Walker got the night started off right with a competitive three round scrap won by Hougland via close but unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Things didn’t look too promising for Walker in the first portion of the opening round, with Hougland dominating on the mat and nearly sinking in a guillotine choke. Once Walker escaped though, he turned the tables and finished strong with his own ground attack.
Hougland dominated round two, bloodying and bruising Walker’s face before another guillotine choke attempt. This one was even tighter, but the bell kept him from finishing.
Walker made every effort to turn things around in the final five minutes, but Hougland’s solid bottom game and superior wrestling ruled the day and secured the victory.
With the win, Hougland improves to 10-4; Walker falls to 14-7.
Watch Hougland's post-fight interview.
UFC 132 Prelim Results: Another Night, Another KO Win for "The Young Assassin"
Click below for the UFC 132 prelim card report....