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Credeur Submits Catone, Rivera Gets Emotional Win at UFC Fight Night

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - “Crazy” Tim Credeur made it three in a row since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter ended, handing middleweight prospect Nick Catone his first pro defeat via an impressive second round submission in UFC Fight Night preliminary action at the Sommet Center Wednesday evening.

By Thomas Gerbasi

NASHVILLE, April 1 – “Crazy” Tim Credeur made it three in a row since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter ended, handing middleweight prospect Nick Catone his first pro defeat via an impressive second round submission in UFC Fight Night preliminary action at the Sommet Center Wednesday evening.

“I’m working as much as I can,” said Credeur. “It’s been a lifelong dream to fight in the UFC and I’m gonna keep working.”

After some standup to open up the bout, Catone shot in for and got a takedown. Catone’s aggressiveness son the mat cost him though, as Credeur locked in a tight armbar. After some dicey moments, Catone broke loose and tried to pass Credeur’s guard, but the jiu-jitsu black belt from Louisiana almost caught Catone’s leg in a submission. Catone again escaped and the two stood briefly before the New Jersey native put Credeur on his back again. Now Credeur started working for a kimura, but Catone escaped trouble a third time, and then a fourth as Credeur tried for a triangle just before the bell.

Catone’s striking was solid to start the second as he landed with jabs, straight rights, and the occasional front kick before taking Credeur down and attempting to work his ground and pound attack. Catone’s defense was a lot tighter than in the first, and he was able to avoid Credeur’s submission game while getting in periodic ground strikes. Credeur was relentless though, and with 1:30 left, he suddenly locked in a guillotine choke. Catone tried to resist it, but it was to no avail, and he tapped out at the 3:45 mark.

With the win, Credeur improves to 13-4; Catone falls to 7-1.

It was an emotional victory for middleweight veteran Jorge Rivera, who, fighting for the first time since the tragic death of his 17-year old daughter Janessa last August, pounded out a split decision win over Nissen Osterneck.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Rivera, who improves to 16-7. Osterneck falls to 5-2.

“It’s been a very difficult year for me,” said Rivera.

Osterneck shot for a takedown immediately, but was rebuffed by Rivera, who got in some hard strikes in the process. Moments later Osterneck was more successful, but Rivera was able to nullify his opponent’s offense and get into the top position before standing and re-starting. Rivera then got his own takedown, but Osterneck fought well from the bottom and scored with close range elbows as the New Englander fought his way into his foe’s guard. With under two minutes left, the two stood and Rivera, still gripping Osterneck, fired off knees before tripping him back to the mat. Osterneck turned the tables as the round entered its final 60 seconds, yet was unable to land the finisher before the bell sounded.

Starting off the second with kicks, Osterneck looked winded, and Rivera didn’t help matters with a takedown in the early stages of the round. Osterneck was game though, quickly rising and going back on the attack against the fence. With two minutes gone, Rivera got another takedown briefly. Osterneck got himself out of trouble again and gave Rivera some close range strikes to think about. After a brief lull, Rivera got the crowd back into it at the 3:45 mark with a right to the jaw that dropped Osterneck to the mat. The Hawaiian quickly recovered, but was only able to escape Rivera’s grip with seconds left in the round.

Both fighters were fatigued entering the final round, and the pace was measured as the stanza progressed, prompting two re-starts from referee Dan Miragliotta. After the second re-start, Osterneck and Rivera traded briefly before locking up against the fence again. With 90 seconds left, Osterneck scored with a front kick and some knees, Rivera answering with some punches of his own. Neither fighter had enough in the tank for a sustained offensive though, and the bout ended with the two locked up against the Octagon.

In a bout fought at a catchweight after both fighters weighed in over the lightweight limit, Gleison Tibau (156.5) scored a three round unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens (158).

Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Tibau.

The two fought to a tactical stalemate for the first three minutes, with Tibau breaking the tie with a takedown and arm triangle attempt. Stephens defended well, but Tibau was able to get into the mount position just before the bell, sealing the opening frame.

Stephens came out swinging for the fences in the second round, but found only air waiting for him as Tibau stayed out of range effectively before nailing the takedown 90 seconds in. Tibau fought well on the mat, but Stephens was able to get back to his feet. Tibau sent him back moments later, and though he sunk in another arm triangle, the bell was able to intervene before he was able to finish.

Looking to make something happen, Stephens kept trying to finish with the same uppercut that took out Rafael Dos Anjos last year, but Tibau avoided the haymakers, as well as a flying knee that he turned into a takedown. Stephens tried to lock Tibau up on the mat to force a standup, but Tibau kept things moving, eventually scoring with a guillotine choke as Stephens stood. While standing, Stephens broke the lock and tried to land with a series of knees, but he was unable to pull off the come from behind win.

With the win, Tibau improves to 29-5; Stephens falls to 16-5.

Middleweight contender Ricardo Almeida improved to 10-3 with a shutout three round decision over Matt Horwich.

Scores were 30-27 across the board for the “Big Dog”.

Almeida drew first blood, taking Horwich to the mat in the first 30 seconds. The visibly bigger Horwich (24-11-1) got up quickly though and tried to work some sloppy standup as Almeida clipped him with more orthodox strikes. Midway throught the round, Almeida scored with another takedown that Horwich got up from immediately. It was Almeida’s striking that was paying dividends though, as he piled up the points while using his punches to set up more takedowns. After another trip to the mat, Almeida appeared to have struck paydirt with a guillotine choke, but Horwich escaped and caught his foe in a heel hook that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt escaped from just before the bell ended the round.

The fight immediately went to the mat to start round two, and Almeida controlled matters from the top position with effective ground strikes. The two briefly stood at the 3:30 mark of the round, and Almeida tagged his foe a couple of times before Horwich tried to end things with a guillotine choke, but Almeida easily fought his way free.

Horwich fought well in the early part of the final round, but his lack of speed was becoming a liability as Almeida continued to dominate the standup. Surprisingly, despite this, Almeida kept looking for the takedown, punctuating his last one with a yell as he put Horwich on the canvas just before the final bell.

Former WEC welterweight title challenger Brock Larson made his first UFC fight since December of 2006 a successful one as he dominated Octagon newcomer Jesse Sanders before submitting him at 2:01 of the opening round.

Not surprisingly, Larson (22-4) took control almost immediately, locking Sanders up before taking him down and then taking his back. Sanders (25-3) tried to defend from the ensuing onslaught, but it was to no avail, with Larson eventually sinking in a rear naked choke that produced the tap out.

“It’s good to be back,” said Larson. “I wanted to make a statement. You’ll see more of me, I promise.”

Middleweight Rob Kimmons impressively notched his second UFC win, submitting Joe Vedepo in the first round.

“Once I felt it slide in, I knew it was over,” said Kimmons of the ending guillotine choke.

The fight began with some crisp standup from both men, Vedepo (9-3) being the more active of the two, but Kimmons (22-4) having more heat on his fastball. The two soon traded takedowns, with Kimmons locking in a tight guillotine on the now bloodied Vedepo. Vedepo refused to tap out, and referee Herb Dean was forced to rescue him at 1:54 of the opening round.

In the middleweight opener, Aaron Simpson made short work of Tim McKenzie, stopping him the first round of a clash between former WEC standouts.

Both fighters engaged immediately, with Simpson’s sharp striking and a quick takedown giving him an early lead. With one minute gone, Simpson (5-0) built on his advantage, dropping McKenzie with a right to the jaw. McKenzie (12-6) appeared to regain his faculties as soon as he hit the mat, but Simpson wouldn’t let his former training partner off the hook, scoring with a series of ground strikes until referee Mario Yamasaki called a halt to the action at the 1:40 second mark.