Before the UFC on FOX 8: "Johnson vs. Moraga" main card kicked off on FOX tonight (Sat., July 27, 2013) from KeyArena in Seattle, Wash., an entire eight-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FX, respectively.
The headlining bout of the UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card saw Jorge Masvidal defeat The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 winner and hometown hero Michael Chiesa with a buzzer-beater submission in the second round of their lightweight encounter. The first round was all Chiesa as he surprised Masvidal on the feet with a knockdown and attacked with a relentless pace. The veteran ability of "Gambred" shined through as he survived the onslaught and in the second round came out on a mission. Masvidal completely overwhelmed Chiesa on the feet and when it hit the ground was determined to get the finish. After several near-submissions, Masivdal locked up a D'Arce choke with just a few second left in the round and despite only a few seconds of time remaining, continued to synch it in which, to the surprise of many, forced "Maverick" to tap out with just one second on the clock.
The fight was a perfect way to close out an exciting preliminary card and while the Seattle fans may not have got to see their guy win, they were treated to a spectacular back-and-forth battle.
Danny Castillo pushed his UFC record to 6-2 with a one-sided decision victory over the very durable Tim Means. "Last Call" went after Means from the opening bell, taking the fight after the ground repeatedly and efficiently exchanging strikes when necessary. Castillo controlled the action against "The Dirty Bird" for nearly every minute of the first two rounds and despite the fact Means was able to rally and take the third, in this instance it wasn't enough to get him the win. Castillo wasn't able to get the finish like his Team Alpha-Male training partner Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber and T.J. Dillashaw; he did show improvement to his game and kept the team undefeated since Duane Ludwig was brought in as the new head coach.
After a two-fight losing streak and string of four losses in his past five fights, Melvin Guillard returned to the win column in a big way with a vintage highlight reel knockout of Mac Danzig in the second round of their lightweight battle. The result was imminent from the outset when it was clear Danzig had no answer for Guillard's striking and no way of getting the fight to his world on the ground. "The Young Assassin" patiently waited for his time to pounce and when he did, it was absolutely devastating. Guillard caught Danzig with a perfect counter punch that knocked Danzig to the ground. A few violent hammerfists later and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 6 winner was unconscious while Guillard was celebrating his first knockout victory since July 2011.
While it was in somewhat debatable fashion, Daron Cruickshank just barely edged out one of the most experienced 155-pound fighters in UFC history when he picked up a split decision win over Yves Edwards. The two talented strikers went to war on the feet from start to finish, mixing up all sorts of attacks in hopes of scoring the knockout blow. There were some solid hits by both; however, neither was able to land that fight altering shot and the winner was determined by the three judge's sitting ringside. One judge saw all three rounds for Cruickshank, another saw all three for Edwards and the final judge saw it for "The Detroit Superstar" which gave Cruickshank the most notable win of his young career.
No one could have predicted the middleweight fight between the TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Smith would be (one of) the most exciting match up on the eight-fight preliminary card, but that's exactly what happened as the two men left it all inside the Octagon in a thrilling three-round affair. The fight started as an absolute slugfest with each man clearly hurting the other but never taking a step back. Neither was able to finish the other, and naturally as the bout went on the action slowed, but that didn't stop anyone from trying to finish the fight - be it in the stand up, clinch or on the ground. The fight really could have gone either way, and the judge's scorecard indicated exactly that as they were all over the map. Fortunately for Herman, though, two of the three cards went his way and he walked away with the split decision nod.
In one of two women's bantamweight contests on the UFC on FOX 8 fight card, Germaine de Randamie earned by far the biggest victory of her MMA career with a split decision over longtime veteran of the sport Julie Kedzie. It wasn't the most exciting battle on the prelims, but it wasn't the worst, either. Kedzie deserves credit for spending a majority of the fight on the feet against a very talented striker and holding her own. Unfortunately, her skills on that area were just a level below that of her Dutch opponent and when she was able to take the fight to the ground could never inflict any significant damage. Entering the event with just five MMA fights under her belt, "The Iron Lady" deserves a lot of recognition for scoring a win against someone with more than four times the experience.
Aaron Riley's return to the Octagon after a nearly two-year layoff due to a broken jaw did not go the way he would have liked, as the 31-year-old was outpointed by Justin Salas en route to a split decision loss. Riley is a 15-year, 40-plus fight veteran of the sport, but on this night he was one step behind the action. Salas had better timing and more gusto on every element of his offensive attack from striking to takedowns to grappling. Riley nearly had his moment of glory in the third round when he connected flush with a head kick. Unfortunately he couldn't finish the job, though, as Salas ate it and continued to go for broke. While the scorecards reflected the fight being much close than it was in reality, ultimately the right man was awarded the victory and Salas is now 2-1 in his UFC career.
Yaotzin Meza and John Albert put on an eight-minute grappling exhibition in the opening fight of the night on Facebook with Meza eventually securing a rear-naked choke in the second round for his first UFC victory. Despite the fact Albert entered the event on a three-fight losing streak and likely had his job on the line, he missed weight on Friday (July 26, 2013). While "The Prince" looked good throughout the first portion of the fight, it was clear his gas tank isn't where it should be and eventually Meza's pace and unwillingness to quit allowed him the opportunity to take Albert's back and lock in the submission. Albert has now lost four-straight UFC fights and there's a good chance he will now have to look for employment elsewhere.
Here are the complete results from UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card:
Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal -- Masvidal wins via submission (D'Arce choke) at 4:59 of round one
Danny Castillo vs. Tim Means -- Castillo wins via unanimous decision (29-28x3)
Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard -- Guillard wins via knockout (punches) at 2:47 of round two
Daron Cruickshank vs. Yves Edwards -- Cruickshank wins via split decision (30-27x2, 27-30)
Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie -- de Randamie wins via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith -- Herman wins via split decision (27-30, 30-27, 29-28)
Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas -- Salas wins via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
John Albert vs. Yaotzin Meza -- Meza wins via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:49 of round two
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of UFC on FOX 8 fight card.
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