Read on for the UFC Fight Night main card report...
MASHANTUCKET, September 5 – With a new camp and a new start, Alistair Overeem was confident going into his UFC Fight Night co-main event bout against Ben Rothwell Friday night at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, but “Big Ben” had other plans, stunning the former Strikeforce champion via first round knockout.
“You witnessed what happens when you believe in yourself,” said Rothwell, who has won two straight after a 2-3 start to his UFC career.
Overeem, now training with the Greg Jackson camp in Albuquerque, was busy from the start, standing in front of Rothwell and teeing off with kicks to the knees and punches upstairs. When Rothwell fired back with an uppercut 90 seconds in, Overeem wobbled and tied his opponent up. Encouraged by his success, Rothwell got more active, and he drilled Overeem with an overhand right that sent the Dutchman sprawling to the mat. A follow-up series of shots on the prone Overeem spelled the end seconds later, with referee Keith Peterson stopping the bout at 2:19 of the opening frame.
With the win, Rothwell improves to 34-9; Overeem, who is 1-3 in his last four, falls to 37-14 with 1 NC.
MITRIONE vs. LEWIS
Heavyweight Matt Mitrione said that he took it personally when called out by Texas prospect Derrick Lewis in July. Mitrione got the last word, knocking Lewis out in just 41 seconds.
“I was highly offended that he called me out by name,” Mitrione said.
Throwing off any attempts at takedowns by Lewis, Mitrione caught his foe with a short right to the jaw and followed with a push to the fence that sent his foe to the mat. Mitrione pounced, landing several unanswered blows until referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout, giving the Indiana product another signature knockout win.
Mitrione improves to 8-3; Lewis falls to 11-3 with 1 NC.
LAUZON vs. CHIESA
What was expected to be a three-round war between lightweight mirror images Joe Lauzon and Michael Chiesa was just that until a cut over Chiesa’s eye rendered him unable to continue in the second round of the main card opener, giving Lauzon the TKO victory.
Catching a kick in the opening minute, Bridgewater, Massachusetts’ Lauzon got Chiesa to the mat almost immediately. The TUF 15 winner scrambled back to his feet, but the two remained locked up for a spell until breaking. Midway through the round, it was Chiesa taking the fight to the ground, and though he had Lauzon’s back momentarily, the New Englander reversed and took the back of his opponent, holding the position until the final 30 seconds, when the fighters rose and slugged it out to the horn.
After a strong start to the second for Chiesa, Lauzon opened up with both barrels on the feet and the ground, bloodying Chiesa with a knee and drawing plenty of roars from the crowd. Unfortunately, there would be an anticlimactic finish to the bout, as the cut over Chiesa’s right eye was deemed too severe for him to continue, causing the fight to be called at the 2:14 mark.
With the win, Lauzon ups his record to 24-10; Chiesa falls to 11-2.