LAS VEGAS, December 4 – Everyone knew it was coming, but Aaron Wilkinson still couldn’t stop
Cody McKenzie’s guillotine, succumbing to what is growing into one of
the most dangerous submissions in the game in the first round of their
lightweight bout at The Pearl at The Palms Saturday.
McKenzie, a member of Team GSP on The Ultimate Fighter 12, raced across
the Octagon to start the bout, and after a quick flurry, got the fight
to the mat. Wilkinson, a cool customer, fought his way back to his feet
as McKenzie tried to lock in his signature guillotine choke.
Team Koscheck’s Wilkinson (6-4) was ready for the maneuver, but that didn’t stop the Washington product from continuing to work for it, and with a little over three minutes left, he got, forcing the Liverpool native to tap out at the 2:03 mark. See post-fight interview
Toner vs. Loveland
Late replacement Ian Loveland made the most of his opportunity in featherweight action, parlaying two knockdowns into a unanimous decision victory over Tyler Toner. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27, 30-26, 29-28 for Loveland, who replaced Leonard Garcia in the bout.
Both fighters came out throwing and Loveland got there first with a flurry of shots that dropped Toner. Toner cleared his head quickly, but Loveland did his best to make sure that he remained in control as he pinned his foe to the fence and delivered more strikes until the bell intervened.
Back on his feet to start the second, Toner was able to get some kicks off on his countering foe, but when Loveland’s hands got into the picture, his speed and accuracy put him back in front. With 1:33 left, a spinning back fist from Loveland dropped Toner, and though the Colorado product looked for a submission from the bottom, Loveland’s strikes still ruled the day.
The pace dipped in the final round, as fatigue set in, and neither man was able to make a final emphatic statement before the end of the bout.
With the win, Loveland improves to 14-7; Toner falls to 11-3 with 1 NC.
Chivitichian vs. Watson
Veteran Illinois lightweight Kyle Watson issued Sako Chivitchian his first pro defeat via unanimous decision in a meeting of TUF 12 alumni. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Team GSP’s Watson, who improves to 16-7-1; Team Koscheck’s Chivitchian falls to 5-1.
The first round was a competitive one, with the two TUF12 competitors trading stiff strikes in between extended grappling sessions against the fence. A couple takedowns from Watson may have found favor with the judges, but Chivitchian’s more effective standup certainly evened the score.
Watson started to open things up in the second, scoring solidly from long range as Chivitchian pursued him around the Octagon. “The Psycho” still got his own shots in though, making it another difficult round for the judges.
Looking to pull away, Watson scored a brief and sloppy takedown early in the third, but Chivitchian jumped right back up. The Armenia native wasn’t able to capitalize on the scramble though, and as the seconds ticked away, his lack of urgency kept the ball in the busier Watson’s court.
Campuzano vs. Pace
The first bantamweight bout in UFC history saw Nick Pace finish strong and submit Will Campuzano in the third round. See post-fight interview
Pace (6-1) dominated the opening round behind takedowns and Octagon control, rendering Campuzano (8-3) helpless under the smothering attack.
Campuzano got back into the fight in the second, using some crisp standup combinations to put Pace on the defensive. Once the two locked up though, the New Yorker got his bearings back, and he sent Campuzano back to the canvas. And while Campuzano was able to turn the tables in the final 30 seconds, his late spurt wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
Swinging for the fences and refusing a touch of gloves to start the final frame, Campuzano got the crowd back into the fight as he went for broke in a quest to salvage the fight. Pace greeted the initial charge coolly with a kick to the head that drew blood from his foe’s nose, and moments later, he scored yet another takedown. This time Campuzano reversed position quickly, and he delivered hard ground strikes while Pace tried to stall for a re-start. Campuzano’s recklessness cost him though, as he sunk in a rarely seen choke that forced the Texan to submit at the 4:33 mark.
“We’ll call it the Pace,” said the Staten Islander with a smile when asked what his finishing move was.
Paixao vs. Garza
Fargo, North Dakota’s Pablo Garza gave UFC fans an explosive introduction to the featherweight division, scoring a single knee first round knockout of veteran Fredson Paixao in the first 145-pound fight in UFC history. See post-fight interview
Garza came out sticking and moving, finding his range and waiting for Paixao to shoot in. And when the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace did, Garza was waiting for him with a devastating left knee to the head that knocked Paixao out before he hit the mat. Referee Steve Mazzagatti jumped in immediately, calling a stop to the fight at the 51 second mark.
After a lengthy look from the on-site physicians, Paixao left the Octagon under his own power, and then was wheeled to the locker room on a stretcher and then taken to a local hospital for precautionary purposes.
With the win, Garza improves to 11-1; Paixao falls to 10-4 with 1 NC.
Attonito vs. Branch
Brooklyn’s David Branch won his second in a row in the opener, outpointing Rich Attonito in a clash of middleweight prospects. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Branch.
Attonito had some standup success early in the opening round, prompting Branch to take the fight to the mat. There, the New Yorker controlled the action while tossing in enough position changes and strikes to keep Attonito from mounting his own offense.
Living up to his nickname, “Raging Bull”, Attonito got in his opponent’s face to start the second, and while Branch immediately locked him up and bulled him into the fence, the American Top Team product stayed busy with knees and short punches on the inside. In the final two minutes, the bout went back to the mat, with Branch again controlling the Octagon real estate.
Branch opened up the third with a takedown, but Attonito scrambled up immediately, albeit with his opponent on his back. Branch got the fight to the mat moments later, and he kept it there until the final minute, when Attonito got back to his feet. Unfortunately, his freedom was short-lived, as Branch kept him pinned to the fence until the final bell.
With the win, Branch improves to 8-1; Attonito falls to 9-4.