Click below for UFN24 Prelim card results from Seattle, Washington...
SEATTLE, March 26 - 20-year old bantamweight phenom Michael McDonald got a battle out of late replacement Edwin Figueroa Saturday at Key Arena en route to a unanimous decision victory that saw the stock of both 135-pounders rise in the UFC Fight Night prelim bout.
McDonald vs. Figueroa
He’s definitely the toughest guy I fought,” said McDonald, who improves to 12-1; the previously unbeaten Figueroa, who took the fight on a week’s notice, falls to 7-1. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 across the board.
Figueroa’s wild swings were countered by McDonald’s crisp straight punches, leading to some exciting exchanges that got the crowd immediately into the bout. But as the round progressed, it was clear that getting the fight on short notice was starting to take its toll on Figueroa’s cardio, and McDonald gladly took advantage with his pinpoint accurate strikes. With 1:20 left, McDonald took the bout to the mat, but with no significant openings for a finish, the two rose and ended the round swinging, with McDonald staggering his foe at the bell.
After throwing a home run kick to start round two, Figueroa got taken to the mat by McDonald, and after a quick scramble, “Mayday” took his back. Moments later, McDonald sunk in a rear naked choke, only to see Figueroa escape. Gamely, Figueroa fought for daylight, and even though he had to escape a triangle choke, he got it. But his freedom was short lived, as McDonald went for an armbar, then a triangle, that a mix of both. Again Figueroa’s defense was top-notch as he broke loose, and late in the round he got his own offense in gear with some ground strikes before reversing position before the end of the round.
After a respectful hug to begin the final round, the two bantamweights continued their heavyweight title fight-esque battle, both throwing shots with the hopes that the end would come as a result. A minute and a half in, Figueroa scored with some of his best shots of the fight, but McDonald took them and then got his foe to the mat. A brief stay there produced nothing of note, so the two stood and McDonald then tried again with a takedown. An armbar attempt came up empty for McDonald, and after Figueroa landed a couple strikes, he walked away, forcing a standup. He wasn’t upright for long, as McDonald ate some strikes and then nailed yet another takedown, sealing the victory.
Caceres vs. Semerzier
WEC veteran Mackens Semerzier spoiled the UFC debut of former Ultimate Fighter 12 competitor Alex Caceres, submitting the precocious Miami native in the first round of their featherweight bout. See post-fight interview
Caceres and Semerzier got right down to business, with “Bruce Leroy” landing some flashy strikes and “Mack Da Menace” answering back with a kick to the head before taking his foe to the canvas. Caceres was able to work his way back up, but Semerzier was undeterred as he put him on the mat again. This pattern repeated itself again, this time with Semerzier taking Caceres’ back and sinking his hooks in. With under two minutes left, Semerzier struck, ending matters with a rear naked choke that produced a tap out at 3:18 of the opening round.
Semerzier ups his record to 8-3 with his UFC debut win; Caceres falls to 5-3.
Madsen vs. Russow
Heavyweight Mike Russow made it 3-0 in his UFC career as he stopped previously unbeaten Jon Madsen due to injury after two rounds. See post-fight interview
Neither fighter could get much of an offense going in the opening round, but both came out with a sense of urgency in the second frame after hearing it from the crowd. Finally, with 3:20 left in the second, Russow was able to get Madsen to the mat. Madsen was already sporting a mouse under his left eye, but Russow wasn’t able to do anything with his dominant position, forcing a restart by referee Anthony Hamlett. Madsen attacked as the action began again, but he was quickly smothered and pushed to the fence by Russow, prompting another restart. Russow was undaunted, and he stuck to his plan by bulling Madsen into the fence again and by the end of the round he had him down on the mat a second time. That would be all for Madsen though, as his nearly closed eye prompted the Octagonside physician to recommend that the fight be stopped, and it was, just before the start of the third round.
With the win, Russow improves to 14-1 with 1 NC; Madsen falls to 8-0.
Hathaway vs. McCray
England’s John Hathaway dug deep to pound out a hard-fought split decision win over Kris McCray in a welterweight bout. See post-fight interview
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Hathaway, who improves to 15-1; McCray falls to 6-3 in his 170-pound debut.
Hathaway’s takedown defense was solid as McCray locked up with him and tried to get him to the canvas, and when the Brighton native did give up the takedown, it was in order to lock up a submission on his foe’s leg. McCray fought loose though, and he was able to land some hard strikes at close range and even slam Hathaway back to the mat when he rose to his feet. The two proceeded to battle it out on the canvas, trading ground strikes for much of the remainder of the round, with McCray holding the edge.
The Brit landed the cleaner strikes as round two began, prompting a takedown from McCray, who almost got caught in a triangle choke. McCray escaped and was able to land some strikes before Hathaway scrambled to his feet, and he retained control against the fence. But when the two broke, McCray looked fatigued, and now it was Hathaway taking matters into his own hands at close and long range, even scoring a late takedown.
Much of round three was fought on the mat, with Hathaway in control much of the time. Once McCray turned things around and got the fight standing, it was Hathaway who put him on his back twice in the closing stages of the bout.
McCorkle vs. Morecraft
Christian Morecraft earned his first UFC win in heavyweight action, staying in control from the opening bell before finishing Sean McCorkle via submission in round two. See post-fight interview
After locking up in the early going, McCorkle scored the first takedown of the fight a minute in, Morecraft fought well from the bottom as he looked for a submission and then reversed position, now working his ground and pound from the top, where he remained until the bell.
Morecraft did some solid work in the opening stages of round two, pinning McCorkle against the fence and landing hard strikes until he was able to secure the takedown. After some more ground work, the two rose and McCorkle earned a much needed respite after an inadvertent low knee from Morecraft. His left eye nearly closed, McCorkle took a brief break before resuming, but he was unable to turn the tide. Instead, he shot for a takedown and got caught in a guillotine choke that put him out at the 4:10 mark.
“I keep squeezing like a boa constrictor, and that’s it,” said Morecraft, now 7-1; McCorkle falls to 10-2.
Hendricks vs. Waldburger
Welterweight prospect Johny Hendricks bounced back from the lone loss of his career against Rick Story last December, stopping Texas’ TJ Waldburger just 95 seconds into the first round. See post-fight interview
After some close range grappling in the early going, the two broke and began trading strikes. Hendricks landed two straight left hands, dropping Waldburger hard to the mat. Referee Mario Yamasaki immediately jumped in to halt the bout at the 1:35 mark
Hendricks improves to 10-1 with the win; Waldburger falls to 13-6.
Miranda vs. Simpson
Former Arizona State standout Aaron Simpson ran a wrestling clinic on local favorite Mario Miranda, dominating from start to finish en route to a three round unanimous decision win that broke a two-fight losing skid. See post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 twice, and 30-26.
Simpson dominated the opening stanza behind his wrestling, controlling the location of the fight throughout, much to the dismay of the partisan crowd. The second round was a carbon copy of the first, with Kirkland, Washington’s Miranda having no answers for Simpson’s grappling attack. It was like Groundhog Day for round three, as Simpson kept to what was working, disregarding the boos with a methodical yet efficient attack as he sailed to victory.
Simpson ups his record to 8-2; Miranda falls to 12-3.
Lowe vs. Lentz
Lightweight Nik Lentz kept his unbeaten UFC record intact the hard way in the opener, scoring a come from behind third round submission win over Waylon Lowe to improve to 5-0-1 in the Octagon. See post-fight interview
Lowe’s takedowns and more accurate strikes earned him the first frame, and he pulled off the same trick in the second, as his heavier hands and ability to put the Minnesotan on his back kept him ahead of the busy Lentz.
In round three, Lowe kept tagging Lentz, and Lentz kept returning fire, but this time, “The Carny” threw a wrench in the works, locking Lowe in a guillotine choke as he shot in for a takedown. Moments later, the Philadelphian was forced to tap, ending matters at 2:24 of the final round.
With the win, Lentz ups his record to 23-3-2; Lowe falls to 10-4. At the time of the finish, Lowe led 20-18 on two scorecards and was even 19-19 on the third.