Before the UFC on Fox 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz" main card kicked off on network television tonight (Sat., Dec. 8, 2012) from the KeyArena in Seattle, Wash., an entire seven-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FX, respectively.
The final fight of the preliminary card was a fantastic lightweight showdown between veterans Yves Edwards and Jeremy Stephens. Stephens seemed to have the edge early on, pressing forward and swinging heavy leather, showcasing his tremendous power.
Instead, Edwards landed a brilliant counter right hand as Stephens waded forward, walking right into it and dropping the "Lil' Heathen." Stephens could not recover and Edwards wailed away until the referee was forced to intervene to stop Stephens via strikes for the first time in his lengthy career.
In bantamweight action, Mike Easton suffered his first official UFC defeat at the hands of Brazilian Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao utilized smart counters and distance to avoid Easton's constant forward pressure, making "The Hulk" think twice about moving so aggressive for the first time in his UFC career.
Mixing in takedown attempts to keep Easton guessing, Assuncao did a good job of throwing the Washington D.C. native off his game and while it wasn't the most exciting fight of the night, it was enough for Assuncao to take a unanimous decision.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 13 finalist Ramsey Nijem got all he could handle against TUF 15 lightweight Joe Proctor. Nijem looked great early, landing big flurries and knocking Proctor down with a perfect front kick to the chest. Proctor bounced back with sharp counters which hurt Nijem as he left some openings wading in too aggressively.
In wrestling scrambles, it was Nijem who came out on top, surviving several submission attempts to drop some ground and pound on the tough Boston native. In the end, it was enough for him to win a unanimous decision.
In another fantastic lightweight bout, Darren Cruickshank threw everything but the kitchen sink at Henry Martinez in one of the wildest first rounds you'll ever see. Cruickshank battered Martinez with heavy kicks, punches and huge flurries of strikes but despite being wobbled on several occasions, Martinez refused to go down.
In the second round, Cruickshank looked to have slowed down a bit, but just when you thought Martinez might be able to make a comeback, Cruickshank threw a head kick which put him out cold. It was a vastly different performance than Cruickshank's wrestling-based decision against Chris Tickle in his promotional debut.
In one of the most violent UFC debuts ever, lightweight Abel Trujillo crushed Marcus LeVesseur in a very one-sided bout. LeVesseur attacked with his wrestling but when he couldn't take and keep Trujillo down, the striking began to pile up. Trujillo pounded away with shots in the clinch, hurting the wrestler with heavy elbows and a huge knee at the end of the first round.
After stuffing more takedowns in the second round, the strikes began to take their toll and LeVesseur began to fade. With his opponent trapped in the turtle position along the fence, Trujillo began destroying him with vicious knees to the body, repeatedly throwing them to the side until the referee intervened.
Opening up the FX prelims was an absolute shellacking as Dennis Siver laid a beatdown on Nam Phan in the featherweight division. Siver was his typical self in the first round, throwing strikes from every angle with every limb, except he had taken his aggression up a notch. He repeatedly caught Phan with heavy kicks and punches, but the TUF season 12 veteran refused to go down.
In the second and third rounds, Siver battered Phan with ground and pound after taking him down. Despite being a black belt in jiu-jitsu, Phan could do nothing to escape Siver's attack and wound up on the receiving end of a very one-sided decision.
The only fight from the Facebook prelims was a bantamweight barnburner between former WEC title challenger Scott Jorgensen and TUF season 14 veteran John Albert. Jorgensen quickly took Albert down,but had to deal with a wide variety of sweeps, submissions and a very active guard for the full five minutes, nearly getting caught in a few triangle chokes along the way.
During a scramble late in the round, Jorgensen took Albert's back and sunk in a rear naked choke, flattening Albert out and forcing a tap with less than a second remaining in the round. It was a wild finish to a very entertaining battle.
Here are the complete results from the UFC on Fox 5 preliminary card:
155 lbs.: Yves Edwards def. Jeremy Stephens via knockout at 1:55 of round one
135 lbs.: Raphael Assuncao def. Mike Easton via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Ramsey Nijem def. Joe Proctor via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Darren Cruickshank def. Henry Martinez via knockout (head kick) at 2:05 of round two
155 lbs.: Abel Trujillo def. Marcus LeVesseur via TKO (knees to body) at 3:56 of round two
145 lbs.: Dennis Siver def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Scott Jorgensen def. John Albert via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:59 of round one
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of the UFC on Fox 5 fight 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 Fox 5 main card action by clicking here.