Before the UFC 161: "Evans vs. Henderson" main card kicked off on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight (Sat., June 15, 2013) from the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, an entire six-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FX, respectively.
The headlining bout of the FX portion of the preliminary card saw Jake Shields stop Tyron Woodley's hype train in its tracks in the form of a lackluster split decision victory. Essentially nothing significant occurred in the entire bout; however, Shields was able to score more points with his volume striking and forward pressure against the cage.
The former Strikeforce champion was able to neutralize Woodley's offense in a somewhat awkward fashion and "T-Wood" was never able to get off with one of the big haymakers he used to knock out Jay Hieron in his UFC debut earlier this year.
Shields walked away with the win, but it certainly wasn't pretty and his struggle to pick up a truly impressive win inside the Octagon continues.
Despite giving up 15 fights of UFC experience in his Octagon debut, James Krause looked sensational against longtime UFC veteran Sam Stout for a late third-round submission victory. Krause's joining the UFC roster has been a long time coming in the eyes of many and he certainly took advantage of it by outscoring "Hand of Stone" on the feet and the ground in a spectacular performance. Stout had a difficult time getting inside the range of his taller and longer opponent, which made it very difficult for the 29-year-old to score points. Even when Stout started to come on late in the fight and looked like he had a chance to steal a close decision, Krause kept his composure and stuck to his game plan. With less than 30 seconds left in the final stanza, Stout shot for a sloppy takedown and found himself in a tight guillotine choke that he couldn't escape from. No one has finished Stout by submission in nearly seven years and for Krause to accomplish such a feat in his first UFC fight is truly remarkable.
Sean Pierson said prior to UFC 161 that after five fights in the UFC he has just now begun to feel at home on the world's biggest MMA stage, and for a good portion of his winning performance against Kenny Robertson, those comments seemed right on the money. "The Punisher" displayed solid striking and defensive grappling in a majority decision win for his third straight victory inside the Octagon. It didn't come easy, though, as the Canadian nearly allowed Robertson to score a comeback victory after eating a massive standing elbow in the third round and ate an onslaught of punches afterwards. Ever resilient, Pierson refused to give up and made it to the final bell. One judge scored the fight as a draw, which seems somewhat reasonable considering the third round could have been a 10-8 for Robertson, but nevertheless, Pierson got the nod and at 37 years of age appears to be getting better with time.
Winnipeg's own Roland Delorme, fueled by the cheers of his hometown crowd, battled hard with Edwin Figueroa for 15-minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory and is now 3-0 with one "No Contest" under the UFC banner. Delorme was clearly the superior grappler as he mauled Figueroa on the mat for the majority of the three-round contest, but Figueroa -who also had his shining moments in the bout-- was game all the way through and refused to quit even after being in several bad positions. Although Delorme would have obviously like to score a finish in front of his friends and family inside the MTS Centre, he can't be disappointed with a clear-cut decision win.
In a battle of two fighters coming off back-to-back losses, one man rose to the occasion while the other fell flat as Mitch Clarke outpointed John Maguire for a unanimous decision victory in the second of two preliminary card bouts to stream on Facebook. Maguire's fresh start in dropping to the lightweight division was supposed to be a great move for him, but if anything he looked worse than his days at welterweight as he never did anything significant that gave the impression he should have had his hand raised. On the flip side, Clarke showed tremendous improvement to his striking game --particularly his leg kicks-- and overall put on his best performance since joining the UFC roster.
The UFC 161 preliminary card on Facebook was kicked off with some controversy when Yves Jabouin was awarded an extremely questionable split decision victory over Dustin Pague to improve his record to 4-1 since dropping to the bantamweight division. This writer scored the bout 30-27 for Pague, primarily due to his constant attempts to finish the fight with submissions. Jabouin deserves credit for escaping all the attacks thrown at him; however, there is no way escaping, holding position and landing just a handful of strikes was enough to earn him a victory on this night. The result is unfortunate because Pague entered the bout on a two-fight skid, put on his most brilliant performance to date against a very tough veteran in his home country, and was still robbed of the biggest victory of his career.
Here are the complete results from UFC 161 preliminary card:
Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley -- Shields def. Woodley via split decision (29-28x2, 27-30)
Sam Stout vs. James Krause -- Krause def. Stout via submission (guillotine) at 4:40 of round three
Sean Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson -- Pierson def. Robertson via majority decision (29-28x2, 28-28)
Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa -- Delorme def. Figueroa via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
John Maguire vs. Mitch Clarke -- Clarke def. Maguire via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague -- Jabouin def. Pague via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of UFC 161 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 161 main card action by clicking here.