Click below for the UFC 140 prelim card report....
TORONTO, December 10 - It took Igor Pokrajac just 35 seconds to momentarily silence a raucous crowd at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night, as he scored the biggest win of his pro career, stopping Winnipeg favorite Krzysztof Soszynski in UFC 140 preliminary card action. See post-fight interview
After the two friendly rivals shook hands to begin the bout, Pokrakaj and Soszynski immediately begin throwing bombs, and it was the Croatian who rocked Soszynski with a right hand and just kept moving forward. Soszynski tried to weather the storm, but there was no let up in Pokrajac’s relentless assault, leading referee Yves Lavigne to stop the fight.
With the win, Pokrajac improves to 24-8; Soszynski falls to 22-13-1.
PHILIPPOU vs. HAMMAN
Long Island, New York’s Costa Philippou made no bones about his desire for a knockout in his third UFC bout, and he got what he was looking for against Jared Hamman, finishing “The Messenger” in the first round of their middleweight bout. See post-fight interview
“It was about time,” said Philippou, now 9-2 with 1 NC overall and 2-1 in the Octagon. “This is it. This is who I am. I belong here.”
The former pro boxer proved it, surviving a strong start from Hamman (13-4) to score two knockdowns with crisp right crosses. Hamman made it back to his feet, but his legs were gone, and after another right hand put him on the deck, referee John McCarthy had seen enough, stopping the bout at the 3:11 mark of the opening round.
HALLMAN vs. MAKDESSI
Dennis Hallman showed the benefits of 84 professional fights in his return to the lightweight division, making short work of Canadian prospect John Makdessi via first round submission. See post-fight interview
Hallman (67-14-2, 1 NC) wasted no time engaging Makdessi (9-1) and trying to get him to the mat. Within a minute, he got his wish, and he quickly took the back of the Montreal product, firing away with strikes. Things looked dire for “The Bull,” but Makdessi was able to get to his back, only to take more shots from Hallman, who had him mounted. Hallman took his back a second time though, and this time he ended matters, forcing a tap via rear naked choke at the 2:58 mark.
JABOUIN vs. WATSON
Bantamweights Yves Jabouin and Walel Watson went tooth and nail for three rounds in an entertaining scrap, with Montreal’s “Tiger” Jabouin emerging victorious via split decision. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27, 29-28, and 28-29 for Jabouin, who has now won two in a row in upping his record to 17-7.Watson falls to 9-3.
The first round was a fun one to watch, with both men varying their fast-paced standup attacks from moment to moment. The lanky Watson used his height advantage well, but Jabouin got in his own shots as well and was the only one to score a takedown during the frame.
Jabouin’s harder shots continued to land in round two, but Watson stayed busy on the other end, making it another tough round to call. Jabouin appeared to seal the frame in the final minute though, as he scored with a hard takedown that was nonetheless countered by a late Watson guillotine attempt.
Greeted by an appreciative roar to start round three, Watson and Jabouin got right back to business, with each hard shot by the “Tiger” forcing “The Gazelle” to fire right back in an attempt to get even. Growing more confident, Jabouin shot in and got another takedown at the midway point, but Watson eventually worked his way into the top position, where he used his strikes to set up a choke. After a few moments in danger, Jabouin got free and rose to his feet, and the two ended the bout with another heated exchange.
BOCEK vs. LENTZ
Toronto lightweight Mark Bocek bounced back from his April loss to Ben Henderson with a workmanlike three round unanimous decision over Nik Lentz that was a lot closer than the three 30-27 scores would indicate. See post-fight interview
The first round was competitive, with Bocek holding the edge on the mat thanks to ground strikes from the top position. Lentz, who attempted a guillotine from the bottom that Bocek slammed his way out of, had some solid defense from the bottom in terms of keeping the Canadian from advancing his position.
The second played out much like the first, with Lentz’ grappling giving him the edge this time around. In the third, the two grapplers continued to battle it out on the mat for the first half of the round, with a brief standup interlude followed up by another trip to the canvas. This time, buoyed by the chanting crowd, Bocek did what he could to score more points with his strikes, finishing things with an axe kick to the stomach just before the bell.
With the win, Bocek improves to 10-4; Lentz, who lost for the first time in eight UFC bouts, falls to 23-4-2 with 1 NC.
HECHT vs. ATTONITO
Attonito (10-5) controlled much of the first frame on the mat, bouncing back from eating a series of leg kicks to ground and pound Hecht (11-2) for the rest of the opening five minutes. The bout took a stunning turn in the second though, as an Attonito takedown attempt against the fence gave Hecht the opening to land an elbow to the head that dropped “The Raging Bull” slowly to the mat. A series of shots followed with no response from Attonito, and referee Josh Rosenthal called a stop to the fight at the 1:10 mark.
CHOLISH vs. CLARKE
After being on the receiving end of some solid counters from Clarke to open the fight, Cholish got into a groove after a slick reversal on the ground, and he piled up points with solid work on the mat and the feet. In the second though, Cholish got even more comfortable, and when he was done potshotting the game Canadian with a series of hard shots, he took him down and then took his back in an ensuing scramble. Trapped on his stomach, Clarke took a series of unanswered shots, prompting referee John McCarthy to halt the bout at the 4:36 mark.
With the win, Cholish improves to 8-1; Clarke falls to 9-1.