Read below for the TUF 14 Finale Prelim report...
LAS VEGAS, December 3 - Caution was thrown to the wind by bantamweights John “Prince” Albert and Dustin Pague in their TUF14 Finale prelim bout Saturday at The Pearl at The Palms, as both fighters immediately met in the middle to start the bout, with Albert promptly dropping Pague with a wide left hook early in the first 20 seconds. See post-fight interview
With Pague (10-6) still trying to find his bearings on the canvas, Albert pounced on top and proceeded to tie up one of Pague’s arms and rain down punches on the trapped fighter until referee Herb Dean halted the action just 69 seconds into the fight.
“Pague’s probably the best kickboxer on the show,” said Albert, who improved to 7-1. “I just really worked my hardest. I’m a ground fighter first and I work with the best ground fighter in the world, Dennis Hallman, so…”
MARCUS BRIMAGE VS. STEPHEN BASS
Southpaw Marcus Brimage knocked Stephen Bass from the ranks of the unbeaten, halting the Georgian’s 10-fight win streak on the strength of power left hands that found Bass’s face throughout most of their contest. But while Brimage opened the fight in ultra-aggressive mode, he seemed to become much more methodical and conservative as the fight wore on, perhaps sensing Bass is incredibly durable and has one heck of a chin. See post-fight interview
“Stephen Bass is a jiu-jitsu guy but he came out here and really tried to lay the smack down here,” said Brimage, a promising featherweight who improved to 4-1.
One interesting feature of Bass was his habit of leading with his chin, showing no fear of being hit by Brimage, the much faster and powerful puncher, who leading up to the bout had proclaimed that Bass “doesn’t like getting hit in the face.” Bass was competitive and occasionally tested Brimage’s chin with hard shots, as he did in the third round when he stunned Brimage with a combo.
In celebration of his unanimous decision triumph, Brimage – a graduate of Faulkner University in Alabama who wears the moniker “The Bama Beast” – paid homage to the University of Alabama football team (11-1), which is still in the hunt for a national championship and hungry for a rematch with top-ranked Louisiana State University. He offered up a poem to the crowd: “Roses are red, violets are blue. We whipped up on Auburn, now we want LSU. Roll tide, baby!!!”
ROLAND DELORME VS. JOSH FERGUSON
Roland Delorme entered this bout eager to ‘beat the red off Josh Ferguson’s neck.’ The 27-year-old Canadian didn’t put that kind of butt-whipping on Ferguson, but he was able to drop the stocky Kentuckian with a stiff left jab to start the third round, then swiftly submitted a stunned Ferguson with a rear naked choke just 22 seconds into the frame. See post-fight interview
Delorme, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, had threatened to end the bantamweight battle in the first round, trapping Ferguson in a triangle choke for a long time and reigning down elbows in the process. Yet Ferguson (7-4) – also a BJJ black belt – gamely defended and escaped the choke.
STEPHEN SILER VS. JOSH CLOPTON
How should you defend when trapped in a Muay Thai clinch? Josh Clopton will probably spend a lot of time seeking that answer after Stephen Siler relentlessly abused, bloodied and perplexed him from the Muay Thai clinch. The Muay Thai clinic was vaguely reminiscent of Anderson Silva’s Muay Thai bludgeoning of Rich Franklin at UFC 64, save for the fact that Siler’s strikes are considerably less potent and he was unable to finish Clopton. See post-fight interview
Instead, the lanky Utah product settled for a unanimous decision by scores of 29-28 across the board.
The victory for Siler (19-9) knocked Clopton from the ranks of the unbeaten (6-1-1). Clopton finished with a blood-smeared face despite occasionally cracking Siler with hard shots and scoring several takedowns.
DUSTIN NEACE VS. BRYAN CARAWAY
Former Motorcross standout Bryan Caraway notched his first official UFC win, cinching in a rear naked choke at 3:38 of the second round to put away friend and former TUF 14 teammate Dustin Neace. See post-fight interview
The 27-year-old Caraway – best known by some for being the boyfriend of Strikeforce women’s 135-pound champion Miesha Tate -- carried round one on strength of a crisp left hook to the temple area that briefly wobbled Neace, and controlled the Team Alpha Male fighter after scoring a takedown, passing guard and fishing for an armbar as the round expired. Neace (23-18-1) played the aggressor early in round two, with Caraway (16-6) curiously hesitant until he scored a takedown midway in the frame, later transitioning to the back and cinching in a rear naked choke beside the fence at 3:38 for the win.