Before the big boys hit the network TV airwaves for the UFC on Fox 2: "Evans vs. Davis" event at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, there was a complete undercard available for viewing on FUEL TV.
And it featured plenty of compelling action.
The preliminary card was "headlined" by a lightweight scrap pitting two fighters who have a ton of potential but have struggled in recent outings. Evan Dunham came in having snapped a two-fight skid in his last bout, a unanimous decision win over Shamar Bailey. Nik Lentz, meanwhile, was looking for his first victory in three fights.
Count this one for Dunham, who brutally battered Lentz to the point that a monster cut and huge swelling on "The Carny's" eye forced the doctors to step in and call a stop to the action.
Even though he lost, Lentz has to feel good about the fact that this was likely the most exciting fight he's been a part of since making his way to the UFC. In fact, barring an amazing bout on the main card, these two are likely in line to earn "Fight of the Night" honors.
And they deserve it.
They weren't the only ones in action, though, as the UFC offered a complete slate of fights featuring plenty of up-and-down action from all sides. Here's how it all went down.
The heavyweights were in action in the "Windy City," as Mike Russow, a Chicago police officer, took on Jon Olav Einemo. Russow was the subject of many a chant, the most prevalent of which was the audience shouting "CPD."
You know, because he works for the Chicago Police Department.
It's still not clear whether the fans were chanting that for support of Russow or simply to entertain themselves while they watched a plodding heavyweight fight between two guys who looked gassed by the time the second round was over.
The long and short of it is that Russow used his considerable girth to lay on top of Einemo and wear him out until the final horn sounded. He was awarded the unanimous decision victory, keeping his perfect record in the UFC alive at 4-0.
Cub Swanson was back again on another FOX card, which is where both of hi UFC fights have taken place. His first outing saw him drop a disappointing submission to Ricardo Lamas but this time he was prepared for the stand-up stylings of George Roop, who just loves to stand and bang.
Much to his detriminet.
The two traded shots until Swanson exploded with a right hand that folded up Roop like a cheap lawn chair. The follow up punches were probably unnecessary but you finish the job when the opportunity presents itself.
And the win one, lose one pattern continues.
Remember Charles Oliveira and the funky Brazilian jiu-jitsu he first brought to the table when he debuted with the UFC? Yeah, that was on full display tonight as he utilized a submission that had never caused a tap inside the Octagon before tonight.
About halfway through the opening frame, Oliveria dropped down to execute a heel hook on his opponent, Eric Wisely. He nearly had it locked in but before he could complete the submission, Wisely escaped and attempted to get back to his feet.
In the ensuing shuffle, "Do Bronx" wrapped his legs around Wisely's and forced the tap. Because it's so rarely seen, no one knew how to react to the fact that Oliveria had become the first fighter in UFC history to win a fight with a calf slicer submission.
A fascinating lightweight showdown took place on the undercard, as Michael Johnson came out with a vengeance trying to lay Shane Roller down to sleep. Flying knees and winging punches were distributed without prejudice, some of which found their mark with deadly accuracy.
In fact, Johnson, who had previously been so disappointing in his short Octagon career, showed an improved game that featured solid wrestling, striking and takedown defense. It was like he was an entirely different fighter.
Until the third round, that is.
It was then that Roller took his back, flattened him out an started unloading with punches. Johnson's response to this was to attempt to put his head into position so Roller was hitting him with illegal strikes. It worked, too. The referee, Herb Dean, didn't stop the fight and disqualify anyone, though. He simply gave the proper warnings and backed Roller off enough so as to allow Johnson to escape from the precarious position he was in.
Once he did, he coasted to the scorecards and took a unanimous decision by scores of 29-28 across the board. He played the game well and he won the fight. That's the double whammy, folks.
He even tried to get cute in the post-match interview by telling Dana White he "never gets paid in gum" like he wants to. Sorry, Michael, but the Trident folks do it better. Swing and a miss.
As color commentator Joe Rogan so eloquently noted, it was the first time "The Mexicutioner" was stopped inside the Octagon. How Johnson did it was rather impressive.
He worked a jab early but got Beltran pressed against the fence before landing a big shot on the temple. He followed that up with a series of brutally nasty uppercuts, some of which actually served to keep Beltran on his feet when his natural reaction was to fall to the mat like a sack of potatoes.
The first fight of the night actually wasn't televised. Indeed, in this day and age of fights being shown on Facebook, FUEL TV, FX, FOX, the moon, all that, there was a UFC bout that didn't make the air in any capacity.
Not that it mattered.
The opener was a lightweight scrap pitting Chris Camozzi against Dustin Jacoby. It was clear from jump street that the former was far superior to the latter and it showed. By the time all was said and done, Camozzi had earned himself a third round guillotine choke submission victory.
Don't forget to check out our complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the main card action, which is just about to kick off on FOX right now. Click here for all the coverage you need of the UFC on FOX 2 event.