The action was intense during today's (May 15, 2012) UFC on Fuel TV 3: "Poirier vs Korean Zombie" "Prelims" under card, which stream live on the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's Facebook page from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.
Indeed, it was littered with exciting fights, with the final bout featuring The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 11 middleweight prospect Brad Tavares against Korean Top Team's Dongi Yang. Both Tavares and Yang came out swinging, although they weren't exactly using closed fists as there were at least three eye pokes in the first round. Tavares threw more volume, while Yang threatened with big power.
Tavares was still bothered by the eye poke heading into the second round and it may have effected him as he repeatedly wiped his left eye to clear it up. Yang took advantage, landing some nice kicks against the more defensive Hawaiian.
With his corner telling him to be more aggressive, Tavares exploded out of his corner with some big combinations and takedowns, repeatedly dumping "Ox" on the canvas although he couldn't do much with the position. Yang slowed down in the final round and that inactivity may have cost him as Tavares would be awarded a unanimous decision earning 29-28 on all three judges' scorecards.
There was plenty of other action earlier in the night, which we've got recapped after the jump:
In the third lightweight bout of the undercard, 155-pounders Cody McKenzie and Marcus LeVesseur put on an interesting display. The powerful wrestler LeVesseur rag-dolled McKenzie to the ground in the opening seconds, but failed to capitalize.
Both men looked awkward on the feet, and after another big takedown from LeVesseur, he decided to quit playing offense and left his neck completely exposed with both hands on the canvas from within McKenzie's guard. After receiving the open invitation, McKenzie slowly snaked his arm underneath the Minnesotan's chin and forced him to tap just three minutes into the opening round to score his second UFC victory by way of his signature guillotine choke.
Canadian T.J. Grant ground away on Brazilian Carlo Prater in a battle of two of the biggest UFC lightweights. Prater has previously made his UFC debut as a welterweight but decided to drop down to a more competitive 155 pounds.
Throughout the fight, Grant kept constant pressure on "Neo" and repeatedly put the Brazilian in rough positions, outlanding him in the striking, controlling him in the clinch and even handling the BJJ black belt on the canvas on multiple occasions.
Grant landed a thunderous elbow in the clinch in the second round, but his best offense was in the end of the third round where he threatened with multiple submissions after taking Prater's back, also advancing to mount and nearly ending the fight with an armbar at the closing horn.
Lightweight Rafael dos Anjos put on a dominant display against British-Iranian wrestler Kamal Shalorus, crushing him with a head kick and then putting him away with a rear naked choke inside the first minute of round one. With the loss, Shalorus now falls to 0-3 in the UFC and this was not a very good way to go out.
In bantamweight action, Brazilian Johnny Eduardo put a striking clinic on Jeff Curran for two rounds. Despite Curran seemingly having a grappling edge, he primarily chose to stand and trade with Eduardo, and his front leg paid for it. "Big Frog" held his own in the punching department, but Eduardo ate his lead leg for dinner with repeated powerful leg kicks.
After a dominant first two rounds for Eduardo, Curran bounced back in the third, perhaps aided by a left punch in which his thumb caught the Brazilian square in his eye. With his opponent hurting, Curran went on the offensive and really began aggressively attacking with big punches and landing with consistency.
Unfortunately for Curran, he couldn't get the finish and Eduardo was able to secure a 29-28 decision across the boards.
In the opening bout of the evening, UFC debuter Francisco Rivera dominated fellow bantamweight Alex Soto to earn a unanimous decision. "Cisco" put a hurting on Soto throughout the fight, landing big power shots in all three rounds which hurt, wobbled and dropped Soto throughout the fight. To his credit, Sota stayed alive, but he he was constantly forced to move backwards and the best offence he could seemingly put forth was occasional taunts.
In the end, Rivera easily was awarded a 30-27 decision on all three judges' scorecards.
Here are the complete undercard results:
Brad Tavares def. Dongi Yang via unanimous decision
Cody McKenzie def. Marcus LeVesseur via submission (guillotine) at 3:05 of round one
T.J. Grant def. Carlo Prater via unanimous decision
Rafael dos Anjos def. Kamal Shalorus via submission (rear naked choke) at 0:40 of round one
Johnny Eduardo def. Jeff Curran via unanimous decision
Francisco Rivera def. Alex Sota via unanimous decision
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of the UFC on Fuel TV 3 fight card.
Be sure to hit up MMAmania.com for up to the minute results and blow-by-blow coverage of the rest of the night's UFC on Fuel TV 3 main card action by clicking here.