Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned stateside on Saturday night (Jan. 31, 2015) for a monumental pay-per-view (PPV) showdown with UFC 183: "Silva vs. Diaz" live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Prior to the PPV main card, an intriguing set of "Prelims" kicked off the show, highlighted by an exciting flyweight scrap, two quick finishes, and two snooze fests on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and UFC Fight Pass.
The undercard featured a number of anticipated bouts, including a captivating showdown between top flyweight contenders in Ian McCall and John Lineker. After a 15-minute war, Lineker took home the unanimous decision victory over "Uncle Creepy."
In the "Prelims" main event, Miesha Tate fought valiantly to recover from a first round barrage from Sara McMann that nearly saw the former Strikeforce champion get knocked out in the first minute of the fight. "Cupcake" ultimately got herself back into the fight in the second round, before dominating McMann in the third en route to a majority decision victory.
Check out the prelims recap below:
Sara McMann vs. Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate picked up an impressive come-from-behind victory in Vegas tonight.
McMann nearly finished Tate in the first minute of the fight with a brutal right hand that had "Cupcake" staggering backward. As McMann looked to finish the fight on the mat, Tate was able to gain full guard and get her faculties back momentarily. McMann was showing off her Olympic caliber wrestling and grappling as she ended up passing into side control. McMann was looking for an arm-triangle late, but opted to throw heavy elbows from on top when she realized she would not finish the choke. The round ended with the former Strikeforce champion attempting an inverted triangle-choke, but she could not get the finish before the bell.
McMann really opened up on the feet in the second round, landing some nasty shots on the inside. Tate was already looking desperate, and McMann was swinging to finish the fight in violent fashion. Tate looked confused on the feet, and when they got into the clinch, McMann was physically dominating "Cupcake." As they broke off the fence, Tate finally landed a nice combination, hurting McMann. The Olympian went back to her bread and butter as she took Tate down right away, but the former Strikeforce champion locked up a deep guillotine and nearly finished the fight. The round ended with Tate still looking for the submission finish, but McMann was not going to tap.
They exchanged early on in the third round, and McMann landed a nice throw. Incredibly, "Cupcake" reversed the Olympian in the scramble, and began working ground and pound. McMann tried to get to her feet, but Tate's top pressure was incredibly impressive for the remainder of the round. The former Strikeforce champ was landing powerful elbows on top, and was absolutely dominating the final frame of this fight.
Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman
If you thought Thiago Santos got the job done quickly on UFC Fight Pass, you ain't seen nothing yet!
On the very first exchange of the fight, Derek Brunson rocked Ed Herman with two left hands in a row. As the TUF veteran stumbled backwards, Brunson pounced and finished off the notoriously durable Herman in just 36 seconds via (technical) knockout.
John Lineker vs. Ian McCall
Top flyweights put on a 15-minute show on FOX Sports 1.
McCall was showing off his footwork early, as Lineker was looking to throw huge haymakers. Two minutes in, "Uncle Creepy" hit a beautiful double leg takedown. From then on, the round was all McCall landing elbows and punches from on top while threatening with submissions from half guard. With a minute to go in the round, Lineker dropped down for a heel hook, but McCall out grappled the Brazilian and continued landing shots from on top.
The second round was a wild one with a quick start as Lineker nearly choked out "Uncle Creepy" with a deep guillotine. As McCall's face turned beet red, the American somehow fought through, but landed on his back with Lineker on top throwing bombs. McCall ultimately got back to his feet, but he was eating heavy body shots from "Hands of Stone" that would have likely taken out lesser opponents. The second round was a much better round for the Brazilian, as he continued to make McCall pay for attempting takedowns.
The third round mostly contested on the feet, with McCall firing off body kicks in hopes of slowing down the Brazilian. Unfortunately for the American, Lineker was cutting off the cage and looking to take off "Uncle Creepy's" head with every shot. Towards the end of the round, McCall was hurt really bad from a left hand, and Lineker tried desperately to finish him. McCall displayed his toughness once more in surviving, but ultimately dropped the decision after winning the first round.
Rafael Natal vs. Tom Watson
Rafael Natal put in a workmanlike performance against Tom Watson to earn the unanimous decision victory in "Sin City."
The fight was a stand up battle early on, with a lot of leg kicks from both men, but Natal was landing the harder shots. "Sapo" staggered the Englishman with a nice combination, but Watson egged him on for some more, showing his toughness as usual. The Brazilian got a late takedown, and although "Kong" tried to fight to his feet, he was unable to get back up before the round ended.
Watson got hit hard by a straight right early on in the second round, but ate the shot like a sandwich. After "Sapo" caught a kick from Watson, he took the Englishman down momentarily. The round was essentially characterized by Natal being unable to hold Watson down following takedowns. "Kong" landed some shots on the feet, but nothing of worth that would help him win the round. With 10 seconds left in the frame, Natal hit a very nice double leg and took Watson down for good.
Round three was another good start from Natal, and the Brazilian really poured it on in the final five minutes. After battering Watson on the feet for the first four minutes of the round, "Sapo" landed a ferocious combination that nearly knocked the Englishman out. Watson's chin held tough though, but he found himself on his back for the remaining minute of the fight as Natal took him down three times with ease.
Diego Brandao vs. Jimy Hettes Scratched due to Hettes falling ill backstage
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Richardson Moreira
If you missed this fight live, you probably won't be itching to catch the replay.
The fight started off slow before Richardson Moreira exploded and landed some big haymakers that had Alcantara in trouble. After it was evident the TUF Brazil product would not be finishing Alcantara from the initial flurry, some clinch work ensued. Moreira tried for a trip takedown, but Alcantara reversed him and landed in mount. Moreira then returned the favor and dropped for a leg lock towards the end of the round.
The second round was all Alcantara as he controlled the center of the cage for the majority of the five minutes. Instead of returning to the mat as they did in the first frame, Alcantara picked Moreira apart on the feet, utilizing beautiful distance and landing some power shots on his Brazilian counterpart. The highlight of the round came via a devastating head kick from Alcantara, but Moreira impressively shook it off and continued to fight.
With Moreira unable to get the fight to the mat, he opted to close distance by bull rushing in to kick off the third round. Unfortunately for Moreira, Alcantara was able to move out of the way and land jabs at will. They clinched on the fence midway through the round, and when Moreira attempted a takedown, Alcantara purposely held the cage, but the referee only gave the Brazilian a warning. Alcantara was essentially coasting this round, and wound up earning the split decision nod.
Andy Enz vs. Thiago Santos
Well it did not take Thiago Santos long to get the job done in Las Vegas this evening.
The Brazilian was looking to take out Andy Enz early on in the fight, but it seemed Santos may have blew his gas tank after the initial onslaught. Instead, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil veteran caught his breath, landed a devastating body kick, and swarmed on his Alaskan counterpart en route to the (technical) knockout victory in the first round.
Check out the full UFC 183 "Prelims" quick results below:
Miesha Tate def. Sarah McMann via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-28)
Derek Brunson def. Ed Herman via TKO at 0:36 of round 1
John Lineker def. Ian McCall via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 3)
Rafael Natal defeats Tom Watson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Ildemar Alcantara def. Richardson Moreira via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Thiago Santos def. Andy Enz via TKO at 1:56 of round 1