Wrap-up report of the UFC on FOX: Evans vs Davis Prelim Fights.
CHICAGO, January 28 - Evan Dunham, who hadn’t finished a fight in over two years, promised to finish Nik Lentz in UFC on FOX preliminary card action Saturday night. And after a less-than-idyllic start, Dunham turned up the heat in the second, unloading on Lentz with a wicked 12-punch sequence and bullying the Minnesotan with takedowns and threatening with a tight guillotine.
Lentz, his face covered in blood, gamely survived the onslaught but doctors halted the fight at the end of the round due to a deep cut near Lentz’s badly swollen left eye.
“The first round I felt a little flat and came out slow,” said Dunham, who improved to 13-2. “I just remembered what my coach Ray Sefo always told me, ‘One round doesn’t determine the next.’ So I came out just knowing I needed to be really aggressive, which I was. I was hoping for the third round, because I was hungry for that third round.”
The bout had been nip-and-tuck early, with both fighters trading combinations and Lentz (23-5-2) edging Dunham 2-1 in the takedown department. Hear what Dunham had to say after the fight.
JOHN-OLAV EINEMO VS. MIKE RUSSOW
Scratch one off Mike Russow’s Bucket List, and this one ranked pretty high up there. With Hall-of-Famer Matt Hughes barking instructions cageside, the Chicago police officer treated hometown fans to a unanimous decision win over world-class grappler Jon Olav Einemo.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Russow (15-1, 1 NC).
Russow wrestled for and graduated from Eastern Illinois University – the same alma mater as welterweight legend Hughes – and his repeated takedowns and top control proved to be the difference. Einemo, known for his submission prowess, actually had his best moments with right hands and knees to the body and face. But every time the 6’6” Norwegian rallied, Russow blunted the attacks with takedowns and the grinding of his 255-pound frame. Einemo also managed a deft butterfly sweep in the first round, achieving mount, but the horn saved Russow from damage.
A back-and-forth featherweight bout took a dramatic turn when Cub Swanson uncorked a highlight reel right hand, knocking out an aggressive adversary who had given him a run for his money up until then. Roop (12-10-1) had experienced success early, particularly utilizing his length advantage to score a myriad of kicks. Both men traded combinations in the first round, with Swanson’s blows having a little more heat on them and drawing blood under the Arizonan’s nose. The most memorable moment in the round came when Swanson stuffed a takedown attempt and immediately executed a textbook judo throw of his own.
In the second, a hemotoma the size of a baseball began forming on Roop’s power leg (possibly the result of Swanson checking the kick). Roop continued to kick with the leg and was competitive until Swanson baited him with a jab, then stepped in with that fateful and textbook right hand that sent Roop’s mouthpiece flying and body falling.
“That’s a combination we work all the time at Greg Jackson’s back home with my boxing coach,” said Swanson (16-5), who earned his first-ever UFC win. Watch Swanson's post-fight interview.
CHARLES OLIVEIRA VS. ERIC WISELY
Charles Oliveira’s reinvention at 145 pounds could not have gone much better. The native Brazilian caught a low kick early, putting Eric Wisely on his back. The 22-year-old was having much success landing hard punches on top but, out of nowhere, risked his dominant position by diving for a heel hook Rousimar Palhares-style. Wisely rolled out of the heel hook but Oliveira transitioned to a leg lock from the back, awkwardly torquing Wisely’s leg back to earn the tap out at 1:43 of the opening frame.
Michael Johnson, lightweight finalist on TUF 12, relied on superior speed and boxing en route to a unanimous decision win over Shane Roller. The classic striker versus grappler match saw Johnson imposing his style by rebuffing all of Roller’s takedowns in the opening two rounds, and scoring with crisp combinations. Roller thoroughly disrupted Johnson’s groove to open the third, scoring a takedown and immediately transitioning to the back and flattening Johnson. Things were looking really bad for Johnson as Roller (10-6) teed off with punches on his trapped opponent. It was the kind of position where, as a fan, you watch and wonder how many punches the ref will jump in and stop it because a fighter is not “intelligently defending” himself. As it turns out, referee Herb Dean did stop the action – but only to warn Roller about punching to the back of the head.
Dean allowed the fighters to restart in a similar position, but Johnson – perhaps benefitting from the restart -- now found space to eventually wiggle free. Though he dominated most of the round, Roller’s opportunity for the come from behind win came and went. Judges scored it 29-28 across the board for Johnson (11-6). Watch "The Menace's" post-fight interview
LAVAR JOHNSON VS. JOEY BELTRAN
Durability had defined Joey Beltran’s six-fight UFC tenure. Never had the “Mexicutioner” been finished inside of the Octagon. Until tonight, when knockout specialist Lavar Johnson simply overwhelmed his fellow Californian from the opening horn. In the first 30 seconds, Johnson dropped Beltran with a right hand. As the round played out, Johnson landed at will. Jabs. Leg kicks. Body shots. Knees to the body. Combinations. As the one-sided bashing continued, Beltran leaned against the cage and ate a dozen hard punches – at least four of them clean uppercuts to the chin with much of Johnson’s 240 pounds behind them. It was too much for any man to take, sending Beltran to the canvas out cold at 4:24.
“Those were four nice good uppercuts. Usually I knock people out with just one,” said Johnson, a former Strikeforce standout who improved to 16-5 after winning his UFC debut. Hear Johnson's breakdown of the fight
Beltran fell to 13-7.
DUSTIN JACOBY VS. CHRIS CAMOZZI
When two southpaws collide, the right hook can be the most difficult weapon to see coming. In this middleweight bout, the right hook was an absolute game-changer. Dustin Jacoby, hungry in pursuit of his first UFC win, came out guns blazing and landed combinations and low kicks at a high clip. The 23-year-old Marc Fiore protégé seemed to have the opening round in the bag, as they say, until a booming right hook in the waning seconds exploded out of nowhere and briefly put him on the deck. Jacoby survived the round but never seemed the same thereafter, and the veteran Chris Camozzi took full advantage of his opponent’s newfound reticence.
In what was entirely a standup affair, Camozzi kept the momentum in the second round with combinations that bloodied Jacoby’s nose and, by all indications, assaulted the young fighter’s confidence as well. Entering the third round, you could have judged the fight at 1-1 or 2-0 for Camozzi. But the judges were rendered irrelevant after a Camozzi leg kick took Jacoby’s legs out from under him. As Jacoby (6-2) scrambled back to his feet, Camozzi greeted him with a front headlock and immediately sank in a “10-finger guillotine” and earned the tap at 1:08 of the round.
Camozzi (16-5, 3-2 UFC) said afterward that he dislocated a finger in the second round, but re-aligned and kept grinding.Watch Camozzi's post-fight interview