Before UFC 165: "Jones vs. Gustafsson" main card kicks off on pay-per-view (PPV) tonight, (Sept. 21, 2013) from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, an entire eight-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FOX Sports 1, respectively, featuring three Bantamweight and three Lightweight clashes, as well as Heavyweight and Welterweight matches.
In this installment of the "Prelims," the mixed martial arts (MMA) fandom were treated to a handful of back-and-forth fights, along with a handful of first-round finishes and brutal knockouts, which usually signals for a great night of action to continue.
In the "Prelims" featured fight, it was a slow-paced fight between unbeaten Myles Jury and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 finalist, Mike Ricci, with Jury's takedowns proving the difference, securing him the split decision win.
Ricci came out in a southpaw stance and looked like the more cautious striker, and Jury was circling and looking for an opening. Ricci started to use leg kicks to keep Jury wary, as they were both in search of range. Jury hit Ricci with a nice right hand and Ricci kept on using his left leg to kick Jury from distance. Jury tagged Ricci with a big right hand, and Ricci started to be a little more cautious. Jury went for the takedown and dragged Ricci all the way to the fence, picked him up and slammed him down. Ricci sat up against the fence as Jury tried to gain superior position. Ricci tried to open up a cut with elbows as both men eventually stood back up for the final seconds of the first round.
Jury commenced the second round with a nice jab and started to look for the big right hand. As Ricci tried to cut off Jury, he kept on throwing legkicks, which were all landing to the body yet he was lacking in his punches. Ricci tried to establish his jab and it landed a few times but Jury was staying away from the damaging strikes. Ricci ducked under a big right hand and almost found himself taken down although he was able to stay on his feet. Jury missed a spinning-back fist and Ricci was able to get him with a straight right down the middle. Jury tried to go for a takedown to closeout the round but he was unsuccessful.
Meeting in the center for the third, Jury worked hard for the takedown and got it, with Ricci against the fence once again. The Montreal native tried to wall-walk and he was unsuccessful, as Jury held onto his back and pinned him back down. Ricci eventually turned his opponent around however Jury was too powerful for him. Ricci spun around once more and tried for a guillotine, getting into a better position as Jury went back to grinding out his opponent, capping off an uneventful round.
Jury remains undefeated (13-0) in his career, while Ricci goes 1-2 in the Octagon.
Bellator veteran Wilson Reis' takedowns proved the difference, as he earned the victory against the always-tough Ivan Menjivar.
Menjivar's stance had his hands up high, and was countering anything Reis was throwing at him, switching his stances often to confuse the Brazilian. Menjivar threw a few kicks to the body and when Reis clinched with him, the Bellator vet was dishing uppercuts while Menjivar may have gotten the best of him with knees to the face. Reis backed up the TriStar product with some dangerous strikes yet nothing really troubled "The Pride of El Salvador." Reis tried to hit him as much as possible though Menjivar did a great job of staying away and moving backwards, even counter-striking on a few occasions. Reis closed out the round with a takedown however he could not do much in Menjivar's guard.
A tactical striking battle opened up the second round and both men were not taking any risks in a conservative battle. Menjivar went for a kick to the body and Reis caught in, bringing him to the ground as Menjivar was slotted right next to the fence. As Menjivar stormed up, he hit Reis with a solid right hand though it did not trouble the Brazilian, who went for another takedown. Reis was not able to work properly because of Menjivar's tight ground game.
Menjivar opened the third round with a headkick yet it did not trouble Reis whatsoever. Reis went for a single leg but Menjivar neutralized against the fence, and was looking to catch Reis in a guillotine, which did not work. Reis scored another takedown at the three-minute mark, with boos from the crowd. Reis briefly went for an arm-triangle though he could not secure it. Even though Menjivar was doing alright from the bottom, putting his opponent in his full guard, Reis was not able to capitalize and the fight ended with both men on the ground.
Reis wins his UFC debut and is on a five-fight win streak. Menjivar moves to 2-3 in his last five bouts.
In the night's lone welterweight bout, "Wonderboy" Stephen Thompson used precise angles and brutal shots to knockout the Team Tompkins-trained Chris Clements in the second round.
Clements started out with keeping his opponent at bay with legkicks, as Thompson tried to look for an opening. Clements hit a beautiful spinning-leg sweep that took the legs out of Thompson and tried to pounce on his opponent although Thompson pinned Clements against the fence and eventually took him down. After both fighters got to their feet, Clements slipped off a kick and Thompson followed his opponent to the ground. After Clements was able to get up, Thompson seemed to be getting the better punches using his jab a little better than his opponent and took him down once again to close out the round.
Thompson started out the second round in a sideways stance, looking for a headkick and Thompson dropped Clements, who was badly hurt with a razor-sharp combination with lefts and rights blazing. Thompson went to the ground, looking for some ground-and-pound however Clements was able to get up. As Thompson swarmed in again, he clocked the Canadian with another solid shot, then blasted him with a right and a left hook that sent Clements crashing to the mat and "Big" John McCarthy had seen enough.
Opening up the FS1 broadcast was a bantamweight scrap that saw a great fight between home crowd favorite Mitch Gagnon, who got the submission victory over Dustin Kimura.
Both fighters started out tight with their striking, as Kimura landed a solid right hand to start things off. Gagnon started to grapple early and stung Kimura with a knee in the clinch and a solid hook, which led to Kimura bleeding from his nose early on in the fight. Gagnon stared to bring it early with a big combination, clocking Kimura with left and rights and even went to the body with a left hook. Kimura returned the favor though, as he stung Gagnon with a body shot that made the Ontario resident grimace in pain yet Gagnon went straight for a successful a double-leg takedown.
As Gagnon went to the body over and over again as both fighters returned to their feet, he capitalized on Kimura crouching down and went for the guillotine, turning him on an angle. Yves Lavigne checked on Kimura, who was not responding to an arm grab and separated the fighters immediately -- as Gagnon gets the first-round finish and ends Kimura's 10-fight undefeated streak.
Gagnon now moves to 10-2 in his career, with everyone of those wins coming from a submission.
In the main event of the Facebook "Prelims," John Makdessi torched Rene Forte in the first round, finishing him via strikes in just two minutes into the first round.
Both Makdessi and Forte postured up and started to size each other up with their striking, as Forte kept on throwing a left headkick that was not landing perfectly. Makdessi hit a spinning-back kick to the body and started to work the jab efficiently. Makdessi then hit the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil veteran with a right punch onto the temple, with Forte hitting the ground face first and followed up with punches. The referee should have stepped in earlier, as Forte looked like he went unconscious and Makdessi just stormed him with more punches.
Makdessi moves to 5-2 in the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win streak. Forte now goes 1-2 in the promotion.
Jesse Ronson stepped in for Mark Bocek on short-notice and made his promotional debut in the province he was born in, however he could not do enough to beat the Brazilian Michel Prazeres, who earned his first UFC victory via split decision.
Prazeres went for the takedown early after attacking his opponent with kicks, and tried to bring Ronson down to the ground. Prazeres eventually ended up in side control, with Ronson's feet pressed against the cage. Ronson was able to get back to his feet until Prazeres scored a huge takedown slam and started to work in half guard, targeting a choke. Opting for transitions instead of striking, Prazeres was looking for a rear-naked choke and luckily for Ronson, he was saved by the horn.
Prazeres did much of the same to start off the second round, with Ronson against the fence, trying to overcome his opponent's grappling attacks. Finding himself back on the feet, Ronson did not let his hands go and found himself on the ground once again as Prazeres tried to take his opponent down once again as he was pitting him against the fence. Ronson did land a headkick as he got back on the feet and then defended well against the takedowns of "Trator."
Ronson started to move a little better in the third, with a kick to the body and then clocked Prazeres with an uppercut -- using superior footwork. Prazeres looked tired and Ronson tried to close the distance. Prazeres started to get into the groove too, and nailed Ronson with a slick combination before going for the takedown once again. Unable to hold onto Ronson, the London, Ontario native started to work on his opponent's thighs with kicks as Prazeres was working off his back on the ground. As both men traded on the feet, Prazeres landed another significant takedown and Ronson had literally powered up, grunting and slammed Prazeres as he got back to his feet -- going for the finish with wild strikes although he did not have enough time.
Prazeres moves to 17-1 in his MMA career while Ronson is now 13-2, losing his UFC debut.
A battle of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alumni's, Alex Caceres, better known as "Bruce Leeroy" was able to get the split decision victory over Winnipeg-born Roland Delorme.
The first round was action-packed, as Caceres just missed a spinning-back fist in the opening seconds while the Canadian, Delorme, could not adjust to Caceres' speed. While Caceres looked like he was finding his rhythm, Delorme tagged him with a left hook and dropped his opponent. As Delorme tried to finish him on the ground, Caceres' shifted and curled around Delorme, and went for a rear-naked choke. Delorme was able to survive that, he started to gain superior position over Caceres and was relentlessly looking for a rear-naked choke of his own. Caceres eventually rolled out of the bottom, went for a choke momentarily and then both competitors found themselves on their feet trading to close out the round.
Delorme started to swing for the fences with his right hand at the beginning of the round yet Caceres was picking his shots accurately with circling. Caceres' combinations were lightning-fast and he was doing a real good job of sticking and moving, not overstaying his visits on the inside. Another scramble saw both men grappling against the fence as they got up, with Cacares getting a big knee in on his foe. Caceres' jab looked great thus far in the fight.
Both athletes started to engage in a striking war, with Caceres being more active, bouncing around and avoiding Delorme's power shots. Cacares pinned Delorme against the fence. Cacares' jab kept on landing, and he successfully strayed from Delorme for the majority of the third round. Caceres was throwing some nice combinations, mixing it up and catching his opponent with right hands before Delorme took him down momentarily. As "Bruce Leeroy" stuffed a takedown, he took the Canadian's back although he was not able to capitalize. After a slip from Caceres, Delorme entered his opponent's guard but he was unsuccessful and Caceres kept busy from the bottom.
Caceres now improves to 4-3-(1) in the UFC while Delorme suffers his first loss in the promotion.
Commencing the action on Facebook in the first fight of the night, Daniel Omielanczuk looked questionable on the ground but he did enough to get a knockout victory over Nandor Guelmino.
The round commenced with Omielanczuk pressing the action, using highkicks and started to push his opponent backwards, as Guelmino was looking for that big right hand. Omielanczuk went to the body then landed a right that stung Guelmino momentarily but the Austrian recovered. Both heavyweights started to trade positions against the fence until Dan Mirgliotta separated them. Omielanczuk brought Guelmino against the fence once more and started to work a little better. Omielanczuk then scored a takedown in the last thirty seconds and there was more clinching against the fence to close out the first round.
In the second round, both men traded strikes and lowkicks until Omielanczuk tagged Guelmino with a big right hand and eventually took him down, looking for a guillotine. When that did not work, Omielanczuk tried to capitalize from top position, but Guelmino reversed and found himself on top -- and in a kimura as well. The Strikeforce vet survived though, and started to work on the ground by sprawling over his opponent and looking for superior positions.
Both men looked fatigued in the third round, with their hands hanging down and trading power shots that did not land for neither of them. Mirgliotta broke up another clinch against the fence and both Guelmino and Omielanczuk traded legkicks until they found themselves in another one. When Omielanczuk's mouthpiece fell out, he landed a heavy left hand and followed up with another that dropped Guelmino on the jaw and knocked him out.
Omielanczuk now improves to 12-straight victories and wins his promotional debut.
Here are the complete results from UFC 165 "Prelims" card:
Mike Ricci vs. Myles Jury -- Jury wins by split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
Ivan Menjivar vs. Wilson Reis -- Reis wins by unanimous decision (29-28x3)
Chris Clements vs. Stephen Thompson -- Thompson wins by knockout (strikes) at 1:27 of round two.
Mitch Gagnon vs. Dustin Kimura -- Gagnon wins by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:05 of round one.
John Makdessi vs. Renee Forte -- Makdessi wins by knockout (strikes) at 2:01 of round one.
Jesse Ronson vs. Michel Prazeres -- Prazeres wins by split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
Roland Delorme vs. Alex Caceres -- Caceres wins by split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
Nandor Guelmino vs. Daniel Omielanczuk -- Omielanczuk wins by knockout (strikes) at 3:18 of round one.
Be sure to hit up MMAmania.com for up-to-the-minute results and blow-by-blow coverage for the rest of the night's UFC 165 main card action right here.