Photo of Ronny Markes by Josh Hedges for UFC.com via Getty Images.
The UFC on Fuel TV 1: "Sanchez vs. Ellenberger" event taking place tonight (Wed., Feb. 15, 2012) in Omaha, Nebraska, featured a middleweight mash up pitting two solid grapplers in Aaron Simpson vs. Ronny Markes.
Simpson may be 37-years-old, but he managed to string together three wins in a row headed into this evening's festivities. Markes, meanwhile, just 23 and with his entire career ahead of him, was riding a five-fight win streak, including a dominant performance in his Octagon debut last August.
Count another one for Markes and his first at 185-pounds.
The fans at the Omaha Civic Auditorium didn't appreciate the split decision going his way, likely because he used a steady does of clinching and late takedown tactics to earn it but a win is a win is a win. Considering the lack of depth at middleweight, could Markes be a contender sooner rather than later?
Not much different than most of the other fights on tonight's broadcast, Markes and Simpson came out doing the damn thing. Predictably enough, it led to a clinch between the two wrestlers that was only broken thanks a referee looking for action.
He got it, too, in the form of Simpson landing a huge uppercut that sent Markes ass over tin cups. The ensuing swarm wasn't enough to finish the fight but there was little doubt who the winner of the first round was.
The same couldn't necessarily be said of the second stanza, as the two battled back and forth in the clinch with Simpson landing more shots while Markes managed to earn a takedown, though he did very little with it.
The final frame is where either man could truly assert himself.
It's somewhat surprising, then, that neither did so. Markes used a clinch game that had fans in Omaha blowing their voices out booing while Simpson was reckless in his attempt at finishing the fight with strikes. In fact, he damn near knocked himself out by inadvertently running into Markes knee.
Markes said screw it and went all "late takedown FTW." Simpson got back up but ultimately, it was enough to earn him the close decision.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's ongoing coverage of the UFC on FUEL TV 1 main card action, which is rolling right along, by clicking here.