Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - The second bout between welterweight up and comers Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns ended in the third round just like the first one, but this time there was no controversy at The Pearl at The Palms on Saturday, as ‘Rumble’ broke up a closely-contested bout with an emphatic one kick knockout of Burns.
By Thomas Gerbasi
LAS VEGAS, December 13 – The second bout between welterweight up and comers Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns ended in the third round just like the first one, but this time there was no controversy at The Pearl at The Palms on Saturday, as ‘Rumble’ broke up a closely-contested bout with an emphatic one kick knockout of Burns.
Burns’ third round win over Johnson in July was bathed in controversy after an inadvertent poke in the eye ended the bout as a TKO for Burns instead of a disqualification victory for Johnson.
This fight would hold no such debates.
The pace was fast from the start, with Burns (8-2) holding an early edge behind his leg kicks. Johnson (6-2) looked for a change of scenery with a takedown and got it, moving quickly to side control. Burns was able to lock his foe up from the bottom, but after some tense moments, Johnson broke free and reset in Burns’ guard. With a minute left, referee Mario Yamasaki re-started the action and the two commenced with more exchanges. Burns slipped and found himself on the canvas, and Johnson finished the round with leg strikes, and then, while standing, a hard left to the jaw.
The action didn’t let up in round two, with each fighter trading momentum shifts. Burns went for a kimura early in the stanza, but Johnson got loose, working his ground and pound from inside his opponent’s guard. Burns fired back with elbows from the bottom, but Johnson was the busier of the two and he was also controlling the location of the fight as he pushed Burns against the fence and finished the round strong.
With the fight possibly up for grabs, both fighters came out fast and looking as fresh as they did in the first round. But this time Johnson was a little quicker on the draw, and a left kick to the head drilled Burns and knocked him out on impact. The official time of the KO was 28 seconds of the third round.
Wilson Gouveia didn’t make weight for his bout against Jason MacDonald, but he did come to fight, stopping the Canadian standout in the first round of their catchweight contest.
MacDonald went for the takedown almost immediately and eventually got it, but Gouveia – who weighed in for the middleweight fight at 189 pounds - kicked free and got back to his feet. MacDonald then stalked Gouveia (12-5) behind a kicking attack, but the heavy-handed Brazilian countered with a right-left that put MacDonald (22-11) down on the canvas. Gouveia pounced immediately, and after a series of unanswered blows, referee Josh Rosenthal intervened and halted the bout at the 2:18 mark.
Controversial Team Mir member Junie Browning made a lot of noise during his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. In his first post-show UFC fight, the lightweight from Lexington, Kentucky showed that he could fight too as he submitted his teammate David Kaplan in the second round.
Browning’s first kick of the fight strayed low, forcing a brief stoppage of the action. Once the fight resumed, the two continued to trade strikes, with Browning the more accurate of the two. With 3:40 left, Browning slipped to the mat and Kaplan almost capitalized with a leg lick, but Browning got back to his feet and resumed his striking attack on the now bloodied Kaplan. To buy some time, Kaplan took the fight to the mat and again tried to submit Browning, but ‘The Lunatic’ broke loose and started his own ground attack. In the final minute, Browning got Kaplan’s back and tried to get the rear naked choke but was rebuffed and the two stood up and traded at close range until the bell.
Kaplan opened up the offense in the second, jarring Browning briefly with a right to the head. Browning responded with a takedown and made his way to side control, where he worked for Kaplan’s arm and got it, submitting his foe with an armbar at 1:32 of the round.
With the win, Browning improves to 3-1; Kaplan falls to 3-2.