PITTSBURGH, June 26 – Shaking off his November loss to George Sotiropoulos, rising lightweight star Joe Lauzon impressively used his improving striking game to set up a first round submission win over England’s Curt Warburton in UFC Live prelim action at Consol Energy Center Sunday.
LAUZON VS. WARBURTON
Warburton was the busier of the two early on, but as if a switch was flipped, Lauzon started pouring it on, and a right-left sent the Brit sprawling to the canvas. Lauzon moved in for the finish and got it, securing a beautiful kimura that forced Warburton to tap out at the 1:58 mark. See post-fight interview
Lauzon ups his record to 19-6 with the win and took home an extra $50K for Submission of the Week; Warburton falls to 7-3.
GRIFFIN VS. GAMBURYAN
Tyson Griffin scored a much needed win against former WEC title challenger Manny Gamburyan, breaking a three fight losing skid with a close unanimous decision. See post-fight interview
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Griffin, who improves to 15-5 in his featherweight debut.
Gamburyan’s takedowns and control on the mat and against the fence allowed him to take the opening round. Griffin switched gears in the second round, and he fed Gamburyan (13-7) a steady diet of kicks that bruised the leg of “The Anvil.”
The action heated up in the final round, with Gamburyan desperately looking to take the fight to the mat while Griffin continued to drill him with leg kicks and hard shots as the two grappled against the fence.
STEVENSON VS. VAZQUEZ
It was difficult watching longtime lightweight contender and new featherweight Joe Stevenson drop his fourth fight in a row, but kudos go to the man who scored the three round unanimous decision win over the popular “Joe Daddy,” Javier Vazquez, who was in a similar position when he defeated Jens Pulver in the final WEC bout of “Lil’ Evil” in March of 2010. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Vazquez, who improves to 16-5; Stevenson falls to 36-14.
Vazquez controlled much of the first round on the mat, not exactly pleasing the crowd, but doing enough to stay busy and pile on points. In the second “Showtime” began landing more and more strikes while standing, prompting Stevenson to look for a takedown, which only resulted in a guillotine choke attempt from Vazquez. Finally, the bout strayed to the mat, and Vazquez briefly took Stevenson’s back until the two rose.
Stevenson made a gallant last stand in the third round, but his punches were off again and again, allowing Vazquez to counter him like he had throughout the bout and sail to a big victory in his UFC debut.
ATTONITO VS. ROBERTS
Ultimate Fighter season 11 alum Rich Attonito made a successful drop to the welterweight division, scoring a clear-cut three round unanimous decision win over late replacement Daniel “Ninja” Roberts. See post-fight interview
“I feel great,” said Attonito of the drop to 170 pounds. “This is the weight class I belong in.”
Scores were 29-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
Attonito fought a good first round, holding the edge in the standup game and doing solid work on the ground as well, as he kept Roberts from scoring his own takedowns.
Roberts, who stepped in on short notice when Matt Brown was elevated to a main card bout, went all-out for the takedown as round two began, and he got it, dragging Attonito to the mat and almost securing a rear naked choke. Attonito broke free though, scoring his own takedown seconds later, and he was able to keep Roberts on the mat for the remainder of the frame, ground and pounding his way to even more points.
More confident than ever, “The Raging Bull” stalked Roberts in round three, using low kicks to stagger his opponent, punches to distract him, and a kick to the head to drop him. A follow-up series of punches looked to spell the end, but Roberts survived and got back to his feet, gamely trying to get back in the fight. Attonito wasn’t having it though, and he staggered him a couple more times while standing before closing out the round and the fight with a takedown and ground strikes.
With the win, Attonito ups his record to 10-4; Roberts falls to 12-3.
OLIVEIRA VS. LENTZ
What was an exciting lightweight bout between Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz was marred by an unfortunate ending, as an illegal knee to the head of the downed Lentz allowed the Brazilian to score a second round submission victory. See Charles Oliveira post-fight interview
The first round was one of the best of the year thus far, with constant switches in momentum throughout the five minute period. But when a short right hand dropped Lentz, it looked like the end was near as Oliveira locked in a tight guillotine choke. Lentz escaped though and quickly went for his own guillotine, which Oliveira eventually escaped from. See Nik Lentz post-fight interview with MMA DieHards
Round two began just like the first, but when an illegal knee to the head by Oliveira while Lentz (23-4-2) was down wasn’t caught by referee Chip Snider, it was the beginning of the end for the Minnesotan, who took another knee, this one legal, before being finished with a rear naked choke at 1:48 of the round.
The crowd erupted in boos at the finish, but color commentator Joe Rogan announced that the commission will review the bout and the missed call.
“I’m sorry Nik Lentz, you’re a very tough fighter,” said Oliveira, now 15-1. “I didn’t have the intention to do this.” Lentz and Oliveira netted Fight of the Night bonuses of $50,000 each for their performances.
LAMAS VS. GRICE
In a clash of newcomers to the featherweight division, former WEC standout Ricardo Lamas played the role of “Bully” to the hilt, impressively finishing off Matt Grice in the opening round. See post-fight interview
Effectively nullifying the aggressive attack of Grice with accurate and varied strikes, Lamas never appeared to be bothered by anything his opponent had for him, and late in the round, he staggered Grice with a left kick to the head. A series of follow-up punches were next, and after Lamas dropped Grice with a shot to the head, referee Keith Peterson stepped in seconds later, ending the bout at 4:41 of the first.
With the win, Lamas improves to 10-2; Grice falls to 14-4.
JOHNSON VS. FAALOLOTO
In his first bout since his decision loss to Jonathan Brookins in the Ultimate Fighter season 12 finale last December, lightweight prospect Michael Johnson scored a punishing first round TKO win over Edward Faaloloto. See post-fight interview
“I had six months off, why not get in the gym every day and get stronger,” said Johnson, now 10-5.
On target with his strikes and takedowns from the opening bell, Johnson tagged Faaloloto repeatedly with hard shots, but the Hawaiian shook off everything, even opening a cut over his opponent’s left eye with an elbow. Eventually though, Faaloloto (5-2) was hurt with a left hand in the closing minute of the opening stanza, and Johnson pounced, dropping “Falo” and unleashing a series of strikes that prompted referee Marc Matheny to halt the bout at the 4:42 mark.
UFC Live Prelim Results: Lauzon Spectacular in Steel City
Click below for prelim results from Sunday's UFC Live card in Pittsburgh...
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