Before the UFC 158: "St. Pierre vs. Diaz" main card kicked off on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Sat., March 16, 2013) from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an entire eight-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FX, respectively.
The final fight of the FX preliminary card saw Welterweights Patrick Cote and Bobby Voelker engage in an absolute war for 15 minutes with Cote emerging the winner by way of controversial unanimous decision, as he took two of the three rounds on the judge's scorecards. Both men threw caution to the wind from the opening bell as time after time they went forward with their heads down and threw punches with reckless abandon. While each fighter had their moments on the feet, ultimately it seemed Voelker's five successful takedowns attempts in between the striking exchanges scored him the points needed to earn the victory, but the judges didn't see it that way as they awarded Cote the win. Regardless of the fashion in which Cote won, "The Predator" looked much better as a welterweight than he did at Middleweight and it was his night.
Darren Elkins became just the second fighter in UFC history to earn five Featherweight victories inside the Octagon; however, his first-round technical knockout of Antonio Carvalho certainly did not come in the fashion he would of liked. Elkins did what many fans were asking for by striking with his opponent, and even though he rocked Carvalho with some shots and dropped the Canadian to a knee, the controversial stoppage by referee Yves Lavigne spoiled the fight in the eyes of most. Despite the controversy, Elkins walks away with his first stoppage victory in three years and remains undefeated at 145-pounds.
Jordan Mein was the shining star of the preliminary card, putting on a spectacular performance in his UFC debut to become the first man to ever finish Dan Miller with a first-round technical knockout victory. "Young Gun" survived a tight Miller armbar early in the fight, but showed tremendous composure by finding his way out of the dangerous position and getting the fight back to the feet. From there, the Canadian boded his time until he dropped Miller with a crisp right hook then shortly after finished the fight to move to 1-0 inside the Octagon. At just 23 years of age and with 35 fights of experience under his belt, Mein's victory at UFC 158 proved he has a bright future under the UFC banner.
The opening fight of the FX portion of the preliminary card saw John Makdessi outpoint Daron Cruickshank en route to a unanimous decision victory to move his UFC record in his home country of Canada to 4-1. "The Bull" and "The Detroit Superstar" got off to a slow start in the opening frame, but as the fight wore on the action picked up and fans were given the striking war they expected as the two Lightweights slugged it out until the final bell. Ultimately it was Makdessi's superior timing and ability to control the striking range with his jab that allowed him to earn the victory.
In the final preliminary fight on Facebook, Rick Story got back on track in a big way with a dominant performance against UFC newcomer Quinn Mulhern. Going into the event, Story publicly stated he believed his job in the UFC was on the line after losing three of his past four bouts. He fought himself out of the doghouse with a first-round technical knockout finish of the Strikeforce veteran with the help of a thunderous body shot roughly three minutes into the opening frame. After a streak of fights ending in a decision, "Horror" got his first stoppage victory since 2010, something that will certainly boost his confidence.
As expected, T.J. Dillashaw utterly dismantled Issei Tamura in their Bantamweight contest with a knee to the face followed by a series of ground-and-pound shots to earn a knockout victory at the 26-second mark of the second round. Dillashaw came into the fight as an injury replacement, but it didn't take an expert on the sport to realize The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 14 competitor is on another level of skill compared to his Japanese foe. The 27-year-old came into the sport as a wrestler; however, at UFC 158 it was his striking skills that shined as he displayed a variety of new techniques that led to his first KO victory inside the Octagon.
The first preliminary bout on Facebook saw George Roop make UFC history by becoming just the third man to ever win bouts in three different weight classes as he picked up a unanimous decision victory over Reuben Duran in a bantamweight affair. While the fight was far from inspiring due to the lack of dramatic moments, Roop got the job done and has now won fights in the UFC at 155, 145 and 135-pounds. Not only did the 31-year-old accomplish a feat only Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian can match, but he looked quite solid in doing so and perhaps now he can finally settle on a weight class.
Here are the complete results from the UFC 158 preliminary card:
Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelker -- Cote wins via unanimous decision (29-28x3)
Antonio Carvalho vs. Darren Elkins -- Elkins wins via TKO at 3:06 of round one
Jordan Mein vs. Dan Miller -- Mein wins via TKO at 4:42 of round one
Daron Cruickshank vs. John Makdessi -- Makdessi wins via unanimous decision
Quinn Mulhern vs. Rick Story -- Story wins via TKO at 3:05 of round one
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Issei Tamura -- Dillashaw wins via knockout at 0:26 of round two
Reuben Duran vs. George Roop -- Roop wins via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2)
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of the UFC 158 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 158 main card action by clicking here.