(Highlights from the Silva-Brenneman bout, courtesy of Fox Sports)
Six hours of free televised fights seems like a gift from Zod, unless of course the first three hours suck. A few plodding decisions, amateur officiating, a never-ending commercial loop, and the requisite botched score cards marred the prelim bouts on Fuel. It was enough to stifle what little hope some had for the rest of the evening.
But for those who flipped the channel to FX still harboring the post-prelim blues, undercard openers Scott Jorgensen and Eddie Wineland took little time to erase any ill will and set the stage for an exciting night of action. After settling into the bout, Wineland began finding a home for his hands, sitting “Young Guns” down with a sharp jab. He’d plant Jorgesen on his back briefly with a trip before landing several more blows to close out the first frame. Having had his fill of leather in round one, Jorgensen turned it on in the second frame, hustling for takedowns and opening up a hatchet wound over Wineland’s eye with a glancing knee. But the extra effort and billowing blood only brought out the fire in Wineland, who stuffed several shots while looking for the knockout. He’d find it at the end of a big right hand uncorked in the last minute of the second round. Jorgensen was stunned as he hit the floor, unable to defend himself from the final blows Wineland rained down as the ref stepped in to wave him off. Wineland’s win reversed a two fight skid against two top opponents; now Jorgensen has his own pair of losses to shake off. The extra cash from the “Fight of the Night” bonus should make that task a little easier.
Mike Pyle opened his bout with Josh Neer with a double leg takedown; he closed it with a crisp right to the jaw. Pyle took “The Dentist” down in the opening moments of the fight and spent the next few minutes peppering him with shots from above as the pair jockeyed for position on the ground. Neer worked his way back up to his feet, and although his attempt to take Pyle down was thwarted, the exchange left “Quicksand” on wobbly legs. Just like that the tides turned as Neer mounted an assault built on body shots that had Pyle in trouble against the cage. As Neer poured it on and created enough space to head hunt, Pyle countered with a short right hand that faceplanted “The Dentist” with seconds left on the clock. The killshot netted Pyle “Knock Out of the Night” honors (and the $ 40 g’s that come with it).
After three bouts on the sport’s biggest stage, Erick Silva has yet to see the second round, and nothing’s proven able to stop him since late 2007—nothing but the rulebook, that is. Charlie Brenneman refused to join fans in admiring “Indio’s” dynamic standup, choosing the much wiser approach of working to get the dangerous striker onto his back. Whether the ref had late dinner reservations or a prescient awareness of “The Spaniard’s” fate, he did his best to curtail Brenneman’s relentless wrestling, but Charlie would not be denied. Brenneman’s successful takedowns would only give the Brazilian confidence in his ability to get back to his feet, while an unsuccessful one would give Silva the win. After stuffing a shot from his mop-topped foe, Silva gained back control, sunk in his hooks, and flattened Brenneman out with a rear naked choke, proving that his killer instinct isn’t limited to his scary standup. The tap-out victory earned Silva another step up in competition and the evening’s $ 40k “Submission of the Night” bonus.
Had we been able to carry over one dismal portion of the prelim action to the main event, it would have been the inept judging. After all, it was a mistallied scorecard that gifted us with a second bout between Ian McCall and Demetrius Johnson, and the prospect of another scoring error and yet another bout between these two would be a scandal that I would almost welcome. You could watch Johnson and McCall throw down on every UFC card and be entertained, and it’s a shame this wasn’t a five-round affair, but in the end it was a decisive win for “Mighty Mouse”. Johnson used his speed and improved grappling to outwork McCall in the first and third rounds. More importantly, he seems to have mastered the weight-cut problems that he blamed for his sluggish finish in the pair’s first meeting. There’s no need to wonder where Johnson goes from here—with the win he’ll face Joe Benavidez in the tournament final to crown the UFC’s first Flyweight Champion.
FULL RESULTS: (via MMAWeekly.com)
Main Card Bouts (on FX):
-Demetrious Johnson def. Ian McCall by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
-Erick Silva def. Charlie Brenneman by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:33, R1
-Mike Pyle def. Josh Neer by KO at 4:53, R1
-Eddie Wineland def. Scott Jorgensen by KO at 4:10, R2
Preliminary Bouts (on Fuel TV):
-Mike Pierce def. Carlos Eduardo Rocha by split decision (30-27, 30-27, 27-30)
-Seth Baczynski def. Lance Benoist by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
-Matt Grice def. Leonard Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Dustin Pague def. Jared Papazian by submission (rear naked choke) at3:21 , R1
-Tim Means def. Justin Salas by TKO at 1:06, R1
-Buddy Roberts def. Caio Magalhaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Preliminary Bouts (on Facebook):
-Henry Martinez def. Bernardo Magalhaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
-Jake Hecht . Sean Pierson def. Jake Hecht by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)