Read on for results of the prelim fights at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga.
While Seattle restaurants outdoors were still serving brunch, the action started early inside KeyArena with five lightweight bouts, two bantamweight bouts and a wild middleweight firefight between Ed "Short Fuse" Herman and Trevor "Hot Sauce" Smith. And though all three local favorites were shut out, the crowd still found plenty to cheer about before the main card started.
Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal
In the featured bout shown on FX, TUF Live winner Michael “Maverick” Chiesa showed off his loose but effective striking game in front of a screaming hometown crowd until being submitted by Miami’s Jorge Masvidal in the last second of the second.
Lightweight Chiesa wasted no time rushing for a takedown; 45 seconds later, he got it. Masvidal pressed back up and controlled things against the cage, but then things got crazy, and on the break he was dropped by a body-head combo from the submission specialist Chiesa. Chiesa swarmed with strikes, locked in a choke and tried to drop to the ground with it; in doing so, Masivdal got free, then paid Chiesa back with a body kick-flurry-body kick combination against the fence. Chiesa leapt throughout with soaring kicks and knees and earned one more knockdown; Masvidal stayed busy with his expert boxing and kept it competitive.
When Chiesa got his takedown in the second, it was Masvidal, the knockout artist, who rolled with an ugly guillotine. Masvidal simply stepped over Chiesa to escape the next takedown attempt, then punished him with body shots against the cage. Chiesa tripped himself trying a cartwheel kick, and Masvidal scrambled for a guillotine before ending up in Chiesa’s guard. Chiesa leaned over to try and sweep, opening up his face for brutal ground and pound from Masvidal, who punched through that and all of Chiesa’s submission and escape attempts. He wound up in top position with a head and arm choke, and rolled through with it until Chiesa tapped at 4:59, literally at the horn.
"He did a level change and it was beautiful," said Masvidal. "He faked a shot and threw the straight left and I didn’t see it. I was so mad when I realized I got clipped that I said, if he doesn’t put me to sleep here, then I’d get him." Masvidal’s second UFC appearance is also his second win in the Octagon – his only loss in Strikeforce was in his title fight against Gilbert Melendez—and his second career submission. The American Top Team fighter’s record rises to 25-7, while 9-1 Chiesa tastes his first defeat.
Castillo needed less than 30 seconds to get things to the mat, and even that was likely because he slipped throwing a kick early on. Castillo tried to throw big elbows from Means’ guard, but “The Dirty Bird” locked up a leg triangle and stayed busy throwing body shots of his own. “Last Call” consistently loosened Means’ leglocks by using sheer muscle to pull forward on his head and throw right hands when he had openings. Castillo let Means up against the cage, only throw him backward in a big way and take his back. Means stood again and lobbed a knee, then a jab that seemed to temporarily stun Castillo. Means spread his arms as if to ask “What now?” and Castillo answered the question by picking him up in the air and slamming him. The final minute of the round played out much the way the first half had.
Castillo appeared tired in the second, and as he moved in and out with flurries, he lacked the speed he’d showed earlier. An early takedown attempt was met with a knee from Means, but it wasn’t until Castillo landed an overhand right that southpaw Means started to use his four-inch reach advantage. After eating a few left jabs, Castillo tripped Means onto his back. He stayed postured above the lankier man, let him stand, then dragged him right back down as the round closed.
Round three was fairly slow-paced, with Castillo landing body shots and Means throwing endless flicking jabs. Means got in with two knees to the head from the clinch, but Castillo made noise with a left hook. Means’ next move was a knee to the body that momentarily crumpled Castillo, and he answered with a takedown that Means reversed into side control. Means threw a big punch from up top, Castillo answered with an upkick, and they both stood for the final seconds.
All three scores for Castillo’s scores were 29-28, as the Team Alpha Male member improves to 16-5, including six wins in the UFC adding to his five in the WEC. Means didn’t make weight for the bout but did make it to the Octagon, itself an accomplishment given that his last bout scheduled for Seattle was scrapped when he slipped and knocked himself out in the sauna cutting weight. His record is now 18-5-1.
Melvin Guillard vs. Mac Danzig
In a battle between two old-school TUF veterans, lightweight Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard got back to his old-school winning ways, dramatically knocking out Mac Danzig in the second for the night’s first KO finish.
Guillard moved forward with long punches that belied his reach advatnage, struggling to find his range but still making his point and reddening Danzig’s nose. A leg kick from Danzig got him pressed against the fence by Guillard, who controlled him there until he was ready to strike in the center again. A straight right from Guillard made Danzig woozy momentarily, but he recovered and found himself again forced against the fence. After being tagged by Guillard’s combinations, Danzig pushed for a takedown, but Guillard deftly defended and ducked under Danzig’s ensuing strike attempts. Gaining confidence, Guillard stood flat-footed, daring Danzig to come forward before unloading another one-two; A body kick at the end of the round likely sealed the scores for “The Young Assassin.”
Guillard was lighter on his feet in the second, throwing punches that were wider but less accurate. Danzig lunged for a takedown and clung to back control, but Guillard again muscled out and moved away with a look of annoyance. Unafraid of being taken down by Danzig, Guillard allowed Danzig to do the chasing, and landed two solid lefts and a hard right throughout the round. In his finishing sequence, Guillard dropped Danzig with a massive left hand. Danzig fell and tried to roll away, but powerful Guillard swarmed and the follow-up strikes left him out cold on his back at 2:47 of the round.
The win was Guillard’s second in his last six outings and his first knockout since UFC 132, boosting his record to 48-13-3 (1 NC) in his first fight as a member of Trevor Wittman’s Team Grudge. "This is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders," said Guillard. "He just ran into a stiff jab; me and my couaches have been working on it and it worked." Danzig slips to 22-11-1.
Yves Edwards vs. Daron Cruickshank
Thugjitsu met Detroit Tae Kwon Do in what promised a manic standup battle but instead delivered a cautious standoff between two dangerous lightweights. In the end, Austin’s Yves “Thugjitsu Master” Edwards was defeated by Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank in the day’s fourth split decision.
Round one was controlled: Cruickshank greeted the round with a giant head kick, which Edwards quickly returned. After that, the rest of the round mainly consisted of Edwards stalking Cruickshank around the outside lane of the mat. Edwards flurried against the fence at one point, but Cruickshank kicked his way out. They traded briefly and Edwards connected with one massive left counter, but for the most part it was tit-for tat as both men tested their ranges with a variety of kicks.
Cruickshank was more offensively active in the second, using combinations and body kicks to force Edwards back more often into the center of the Octagon. Though on paper Cruickshank possessed a one-inch height and reach disadvantage, in action his technique and youth made it seem the opposite. Edwards scored with two big kicks to the body in the final minutes, but the round was largely marked by Cruickshank’s unpredictable leg attacks.
Round three was a repeat of the second, with Edwards’ unrelenting footwork keeping him safe from most of Cruickshank’s kicks. Still, the shots that did get through were dramatic enough to earn the younger fighter the judges’ nods with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 27-30.
TUF Live product Cruickshank improves to 13-3 with the win; Edwards, whose Octagon debut came at 2001’s UFC 33, departs 42-20-1. "The crowd may not have seen it, but it was a very technical fight," said Cruickshank. "Every time he came in, I hit him three or four times. I was on the retreat because he put a lot of pressure on me, but when I was in front of him, I hit him.”
Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith
TUF 3 veteran Ed “Short Fuse” Herman warned that Strikeforce import Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith wasn’t “gonna make a name off of me,” but their jaw-dropping, neck-whipping barnburner likely raised both middleweights’ profiles, with Herman taking the split decision nod.
Both threw early – Smith a kick and Herman hands – and Smith used the frenetic energy to push things against the fence. Herman stayed busy with shouldershots and uppercuts, but Smith did more damage with knees to the body. Pushing off with a huge uppercut and a deadly left hand, Herman escaped and wobbled his opponent, but Smith fired back with his own laser-targeted hand of his own. Giant left hands from Smith connected half a dozen times in the round and even appeared to put Herman to sleep a few times, but Smith didn’t pursue; Herman stayed standing and countered with big uppercuts when he could. Smith recovered to get things to the cage again, where he landed more knees, but Herman again escaped and, on the feet for the rest of the round, did particularly well following his takedown attempts and knees with vicious uppercuts and lefts.
An early exchange in the second stumbled Smith enough that Herman went for a takedown, Smith stayed out of danger, then exploded back to his feet with a knee to the head of his mid-air opponent. After having one of his kicks caught by Herman and being punched for the pleasure, Smith shot for a big takedown, putting Herman on his butt against the fence. But Herman muscled up, whiffing the uppercut he threw on his feet. The slugfest slowed but the strikes stayed strong, with Herman earning “ooohs” for his Muay Thai knee. Against the fence, Herman followed a knee to Smith by changing levels and taking him down, but Smith rolled and landed with a guillotine locked, Herman perhaps only surviving because the round ended.
In the third, Herman landed a big right hand, then ate a big left before getting a takedown. Again stuck in a guillotine, he managed to escape and threaten back with an arm-triangle choke. With three minutes left the middleweights were back on their feet with the crowd roaring. Again they stayed at distance, trading huge bombs one-for-one, until it was Herman who defended a takedown by pushing to the fence. Though the accidental low blow with two minutes left drew no response from the perhaps inhuman Herman, it was audible enough that referee Herb Dean called a halt. The two teed off in a slow, sloppy, crowd-pleasing clash as the clock wore down.
Scores for the back-and-forth barnburner were 30-27, 29-28 and 27-30 for Fort Collins, Colo.’s Herman, who improves to 21-7 (1 NC) in his 13th UFC fight. Smith’s home-state Octagon debut drops him to 10-4.
Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie
Bantamweights opened the televised fights on FX, with powerhouse kickboxer Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie using control and reach to defeat women’s MMA pioneer Julie “Fireball” Kedzie via split decision.
De Randamie punched away Kedzie’s first takedown attempt, so Kedzie followed with strikes, one of which wobbled her opponent. De Randamie then charged Kedzie to the Octagon wall with a tight plum and pinned her there for a prolonged period as both women tried to do damage with knees. Kedzie managed to reverse a few times , but eventually, the crowd’s boos seemed to resonate with the ref, who restarted the action with about a minute left. Kedzie caught a kick and struck her opponent, but de Randamie’s 72.5-inch reach was enough for her to tag Kedzie from one leg and move things back to the fence, where she teed off with knees to Kedzie’s body.
It was a tentative start to the second, with the women circling and trading kicks. Kedzie swung repeatedly, but her eight-inch disadvantage showed as she struggled to make contact. De Randamie connected with a nasty right hand, but Kedzie eventually got the takedown she was expected. It was another struggle on the ground, as Kedzie worked to escape de Randamie’s half-guard. She made progress by dropping elbows, then scooting de Randamie to the center and sprinkling her torso with short punches.
De Randamie opened with a high kick at the bell, so Kedzie closed the distance and the two exchanged from close quarters as Kedzie tried to counter the Muay Thai plum with another takedown. But de Randamie escaped, and the two returned to the fence, where this time de Randamie scored more with knees until Kedzie stomped her way out with two minutes left. In the striking exchange, De Randamie landed a big right hand, while Kedzie grazed her 5’11” opponent with a wheel kick. A solid takedown with 30 seconds on the clock put Kedzie in full guard and threatened to steal the round for her, but de Randamie threw elbows from her back, looking to steal it right back.
Scores for de Randamie were 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29, who earns her fourth career win (to two losses) in MMA (she holds 46 wins including 30 knockouts in professional Muay Thai). “I wanted to leave with a little bit more; I feel that I started off a little bit stiff," said de Randamie. In her ninth year of pro MMA, “Fireball” now stands at 16-12. “Every fight you look back and you don’t think you preformed your best," said Kedzie. "I'm proud I stood with the fiercest female kickboxer in the world, but I'm disappointed in my debut."
See Germaine de Randamie's results.
Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas
Range and cardio earned Justin Salas a split decision win over veteran Aaron Riley in a three-round lightweight undercard scrap that proved both competitive and entertaining.
Riley pressured forward the entire first round, keeping Salas moving backward and cracking him several times with his left hand. Salas eventually scored with his right counter, and both men added in high kicks. Salas’ scored more often, drawing crowd cheers, particularly for one right-hand, left-body kick from Salas. Salas kept Riley from overcommitting by throwing in takedowns attempts; the first one he scored, the second was nearly defended via headlock and the third was shrugged off altogether.
Riley moved forward even more aggressively at the opening of the second, giving Salas room for a huge takedown followed by a high head kick on the standup. Knees to Riley’s body started to slow him down a bit, and Salas’ right hand repeatedly found a home on Riley’s bloodied face. Both scored cheers by catching leg kicks and using them to throw the other to the mat. Riley was unrelenting and both fighters’ shots came less frequently through the second, and, though both 5’8” fighters report nearly the same reach, it was Salas who looked longer and fresher.
In frame three Riley still controlled the chase, with Salas’ corner calling for a high kick. Riley impressively cartwheeled out of a caught kick, but ultimately Salas was able to pick and choose which strikes landed (minus the one that temporarily halted the action because it accidentally went in Riley’s eye). Riley showed a second wind late in the third, wobbling Salas with a leg kick then chasing him with more strikes and catching a kick; Salas rebounded with a knee to the head which Riley countered with a nearly fight-ending head kick. Salas recovered position behind Riley on the feet and tried for a last-minute suplex, but Riley hopped out of his grip, stood and rose his arms to the crowd, which cheered wildly for the ensuing seconds.
The 31-year-old Salas, a student of Trevor Wittman at Grudge, moves to 11-4 with the win and has now won seven of his last eight. Jackson’s MMA product Riley, a 32-year-old who debuted in the Octagon at UFC 37 in 2002, is 29-14-1. Judges’ scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 for Salas.
John Albert vs. Yaotzin Meza
After not making weight for his bantamweight bout, local favorite John Albert lost his entertaining scramble of a fight with Arizona’s Yaotzin Meza via second-round submission in the first bout inside Seattle’ KeyArena.
After trading leg kicks, Meza quickly got a single-leg takedown and, after Albert tried for some subs off his back, Meza stood back up just long enough to grab a guillotine and pull guard. Once Albert escaped, the Pullyap-based fighter was in side control and tried a step-over armbar to the cheers of the hometown crowd. As he efforted to break Meza’s defensive grip, Meza stacked him, took top position and threw elbows. Meza again angled for a guillotine and rolled into one as the crowd yelled for Albert to wait it out, but Albert escaped in the final seconds and was back on top when the horn sounded.
Hard leg kicks from Albert early in the second got Meza off-balance, and this time in the scramble it was Albert who took the front guillotine position and pulled guard, then transitioned to a triangle choke, Meza first tried to slam his way out, but had to settle for a light dropping which didn’t loosen his opponent’s legs. As Albert tried to squeeze and fight for wrist and head control, Meza waited out the muscle twitch, then deftly backed out of the choke, took Albert’s back, and leaned backward with both hooks in and a deep-looking rear-naked. Albert rolled to escape, but Meza’s hooks stayed put, and he threw ground and pound from back mount before locking in the final rear-naked, forcing the tap at 2:49.
“He always comes out strong in the first round then dies off," said Meza. "I knew I just had to get past the first -- I just kept trying to push the pace." The win is Meza’s first in the UFC, following his short-notice debut against Chad Mendes last winter. The teammate of lightweight champion Benson Henderson now stands at 19-8. Albert’s loss is his fourth in a row as he slips to 7-5.