The televised FUEL TV debut portion of tonight's (Jan. 20, 2012) UFC on FX: "Guillard vs. Miller" preliminary card from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., is officially in the books and boy, did the "Prelims" get off to a fast and furious start!
Closing out the preliminary card was a middleweight match up between two veterans in Jorge Rivera and Eric Schafer. Rivera had prematurely announced that no matter the outcome, this fight would be the last mixed martial arts (MMA) bout of his career.
Early on, "El Conquistador" was in major trouble as "Red" took him down and looked to pass his guard, drop ground and pound and potentially work for submissions. The 39-year-old showed signs of life at the end of the round, reversing Schafer and busting up his nose badly.
Rivera turned up the heat in the second round, stuffing Schafer's takedown attempts and turning the tide, dropping big strikes. As Schafer wilted, the referee warned him to fight back and eventually stepped in as the crowd roared, chanting "Jorge" over and over as he celebrated in the Octagon.
It was a strong finish to what was a very action packed under card. We've go a recap of the action after the jump:
Lightweight Russian Habib Nurmagomedov made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut against World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran Kamal Shalorus and he looked strong, The undefeated fighter (16-0) blasted Shalorus with an uppercut right on the button which floored the Iranian and he never truly recovered from it.
Nurmagomedov surprised Shalorus with aggressive wrestling, taking down Shalorus repeatedly and in the third round, he finally attained mount and finished the fight with a rear naked choke when Shalorus gave up his back. The 23-year-old Russian won the fight with some constant albeit sloppy aggression.
Hopefully his work with AMA Fight Club will help him shore up his technique as he advances through the lower levels of the UFC lightweight division.
Both welterweights Charlie Brenneman and Daniel Roberts entered their fight coming off losses. Brenneman may have wanted to showcase some of his other skills early, but when the fight got going, his instincts took over and "The Spaniard" went to his bread and butter, his wrestling. The Pennsylvania native took Roberts down repeatedly throughout the fight, passing to side control and dropping pitter patter ground and pound.
Brenneman's biggest threat was the crucifix, which he attained at least twice, trapping Roberts' left arm and dropping some right hands on his head. Roberts threatened at the end of the second and third round with submissions, but it simply wasn't enough as "The Spaniard" easily took a unanimous decision.
Lightweight Brazilian Fabricio Camoes made his return to the UFC against injury replacement Tommy Hayden. Hayden's southpaw stance frustrated Camoes early and he was able to score some in the striking and stuff all of the veteran grappler's takedowns. Hayden gained confidence and even shot in for takedowns but eventually, Camoes' experience was too much for him, scoring a sweep, taking Hayden's back and locking in a rear naked choke.
After an odd sequence of "near taps," Hayden finally lightly tapped Camoes' arm and the fight was called with just one minute remaining in the first round. It was the first UFC victory for "Marongo," who had previously drawn and lost in his two prior UFC fights during his first stint with the promotion.
In featherweight action, Daniel Pineda came out strong against "Thrilling" Pat Schilling and never let up. Both men looked to strike early but Pineda was clearly getting the better and he only compounded Schilling's problems when he took the Minnesotan down, advancing to mount within seconds. After softening him up, Pineda locked in a rear naked choke. Schilling attempted to escape by standing up but eventually succumbed to the choke, falling to the canvas and tapping out.
Pineda looked strong, admitting in his postfight interview that his goal was just to "push and push" Schilling because he hadn't faced anyone like him before. Both men were making their Octagon debuts, but it was Pineda who stood out by a mile.
Bantamweight Nick Denis got things off to a tremendous start, blitzing his opponent Joseph Sandoval from the onset of the fight. After closing the distance, Denis held onto Sandoval's head with his left hand and began blasting the right side of his head with repeated short elbows from the opposite arm. After three straight blows, Sandoval dropped like a sack of potatoes, completely unconscious. It was a tremendous debut for the 27 year old Canadian.
Here are the complete UFC on FX 1: "Miller vs. Guillard" under card results:
Jorge Rivera defeats Eric Schafer via technical knockout at 1:31 of the second round
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Kamal Shalorus via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:08 of round three
Charlie Brenneman defeats Daniel Roberts via unanimous decision
Fabricio Camoes def. Tommy Hayden via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:03 of round one
Daniel Pineda def. Pat Schilling via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:37 of round one
Nick Denis def. Joseph Sandoval via knockout at 0:22 of round one
That's it for the preliminary card portion of the card. Be sure to hit up MMAmania.com's for up to the minute results and blow-by-blow coverage of the rest of the night's UFC on FX: "Guillard vs. Miller" action by clicking here.