It’s time to step into the Octagon once again as we take a look at the show headlined by the Korean Zombie and the Diamond. The show in question is the UFC’s latest foray onto Fuel TV, shown in the early hours of this past Wednesday morning on ESPN here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the middleweight division as Jason MacDonald faced Tom Lawlor.
The blink and you’ll miss it affair of the evening saw both fighters testing the waters a little before MacDonald went for a takedown. Lawlor managed to defend, and seconds later a left hand rocked MacDonald, with a right hand sending him crashing down soon afterwards. As Lawlor went in for the kill the referee stepped in to stop the action as Lawlor took the knockout win after just 50 seconds.
Then it was on to light heavyweight action as Igor Pokrajac took on Fabio Maldonado.
This proved to be a very entertaining three round affair. Pokrajac scored with the takedown early on, putting in a good shift on the ground, but when he took his man’s back he slipped off as Maldonado got to his feet.
Maldonado wasn’t interested in the ground game, so from there we saw an intriguing striking battle. Maldonado’s body shots looked lethal, and he had his opponent on the back foot on more than once occasion.
But Pokrajac was a match for his man’s striking abilities, and Maldonado showed that he had a jaw of stone after some of the shots he took.
But with neither man able to get the finish the judges came into the game as Pokrajac took the unanimous decision.
It was down to bantamweight for the next fight as Yves Jabouin took on Jeff Houghland.
Another entertaining three rounder featured some top notch striking from Jabouin, which caused Houghland no end of problems.
Jabouin looked like he was going to get the win towards the end of the first round. After taking Houghland down with a kick that sent him flying Jabouin went in for the ground and pound. Had he not stopped for a brief moment he could have taken the win there and then.
Jabouin continued his dominance throughout the second and into the third where once again it looked like he was going to get the ground and pound win with the only extended period of mat work in the fight. Houghland managed to survive though, despite taking a ton of punishment.
So once again the judges were called into action as Jabouin took the unanimous decision.
Then it was up to the lightweight division as Donald Cerrone faced Jeremy Stephens.
This was another one of those great striking battles. From the moment the fight began Cerrone put on a great display, getting off a number of shots and controlling the action throughout, using Stephens’ face for target practice at times.
Stephens’ one good moment came when Cerrone took the fight to the ground, connecting with a couple of hard elbows from his back that opened up a couple of cuts on the top of the Cowboy’s head.
But by the time the third round started Stephens’ face was a mess. An inadvertent low blow didn’t help him much, and with blood streaming down his faced he complained that he couldn’t see out of his left eye before deciding to carry on.
It would have saved him from the judges’ decision as they gave everything to Cerrone, and rightfully so.
Welterweight action followed as Amir Sadollah faced Jorge Lopez.
The fourth fight to go the distance was another of those intuiting affairs in which both fighters gave a good account of themselves.
Lopez was relentless with his takedown attempts against the cage, and although he had some success with this Sadollah was able to make it back to his feet on more than once occasion.
Sadollah, for his part, was able to counter these attempts with a couple of submissions, going for a standing guillotine at one point which Lopez himself was able to counter.
Once again the judges were asked for their opinions at the end as Sadollah took the split decision.
The main event feared featherweight action as Chan Sung Jung went up against Dustin Poirier.
This fight was worth the price of admission alone. For three rounds these two put on an excellent encounter, one of those fights that you couldn’t take your eyes off.
Jung put in an excellent performance. His striking was crisp and his ground game was excellent, and the moment where he moved from submission attempt to submission attempt, from arm bar to triangle, was a joy to behold.
It wasn’t all about the Korean Zombie though. Poirier had his moments as well, particularly in the third round. As Jung looked visibly tired the American upped his striking, targeting Jung with his stinging left.
The end came early in the fourth round. Jung connected with a knee that rocked Poirier, and when the fight went to the ground the Korean locked in a d’arce choke for the terrific submission win.
In conclusion – this was another tremendous outing from the UFC crew. From Tom Lawlor’s opening knockout through four exciting three rounders right up to the excellent main event this latest Fuel TV show made for outstanding viewing. In fact the entire should could have easily belonged on pay-per-view instead of free to air.
So with that being said this particular writer is going to give the UFC’s latest show the big thumbs up. And if the main event doesn’t get any fight of the year nominations I’ll go round to Dave Meltzer’s house and pull up his geraniums.