It was a night of crazy comebacks during Friday’s UFC on FX 5 preliminary card as several fights ended in shocking knockouts.
After Mike Pierce was rocked and nearly finished by Aaron Simpson in the first round of their welterweight contest, he came back to score a thrilling knockout in a fight that was originally scheduled to be the first on the night but moved to later in the undercard.
Pierce improved to 7-3 in the UFC, with two of his losses coming by way of controversial split decision, and he picked up his first stoppage win since February 2011.
In the first round, Pierce was dropped by Simpson and was on the receiving end of some strong knees, follow-up shots and a rear-naked choke attempt. In the next round, however, Pierce came out and landed a flush right hand to the chin of Simpson and put him away with a few extra right hands.
Like Pierce, The Ultimate Fighter 12 veteran Michael Johnson overcame a lopsided first round to pick up a huge knockout win in round two of his lightweight bout with Danny Castillo.
In the opening frame, Castillo floored Johnson with a straight right hand and followed up with a series of strong hammerfists. He then locked in an arm-triangle choke but failed to force a tap or to choke Johnson unconscious. In the second round Johnson landed a short left hand that dropped Castillo. Johnson then pounded away with right hands until the referee stepped in.
In a battle of World Extreme Cagefighting alumni, featherweight contender Diego Nunes improved to 18-3 as he picked up a unanimous decision win over Bart Palaszewski.
Nunes came out uncharacteristically aggressive and bombarded Palaszewski with a barrage of strikes that had his opponent backpedaling. Palaszewski, however, locked in a guillotine choke as the two went to the ground. Nunes remained calm and escaped, only to find himself defending a triangle choke.
When the two worked back to their feet, Nunes landed a big overhand right that dropped Palaszewski but the Poilish-American survived.
The second round saw Nunes control the action, but at the start of the third round, Palaszewski landed a short left hook that had Nunes on wobbly legs. Palaszewski couldn’t finish and when the Brazilian recovered he landed another big right hand that dropped Palaszewski and he stole the round on two of three judges’ scorecards.
Nunes has now gone the distance in 10 straight fights and hasn’t had a finish since 2008 when he submitted Marcelo Franca in his home country.
Flyweights Phil Harris and Darren Uyenoyama opened the show and the American Uyenoyama showed the Brit why his grappling is so revered.
Uyenoyama was taken down in the first round and controlled by Harris a bit even though he attempted a triangle choke he nearly had locked in. But in the second round Uyenoyama got in a dominant position on the ground, took Harris’ back, locked in his patented body triangle and secured a rear-naked choke that forced a tap.
Also on the preliminary card, Jacob Volkmann defeated Shane Roller with a first-round rear-naked choke in front of fans in his home state of Minnesota. In a battle of former Division 1 wrestling standouts, Volkmann was in much better form than Roller, who called it an off-night. Volkmann rebounded from a loss to Paul Sass in May to improve to 15-3, while Roller lost his fourth in his past five to fall to 11-7. His only win in that stretch was over Canadian John Alessio in July.
Another fighter getting crowd support was Marcus LeVesseur. Fighting in his home town, LeVesseur defeated Carlo Prater by controversial split decision in a less than thrilling performance. He earned his first UFC win after a loss in his debut in May and improved to 22-6; Prater lost his second straight.
A lightweight bout between Dennis Hallman and Thiago Tavares was scheduled to take place but was cancelled after Hallman failed to make weight and travelled home to deal with some personal issues.
Also, a lightweight bout between Jeremy Stephens and Yves Edwards was supposed to take place, but Stephens was arrested earlier in the day on an outstanding warrant. By the time the prelims were over, UFC officials were still trying to figure out if and when the fight could take place during the main card.
Here are the complete results from the UFC on FX 5 preliminary card:
– Michael Johnson def. Danny Castillo by knockout at 1:06 of round two.
– Mike Pierce def. Aaron Simpson by knockout at 0:29 seconds of round two.
– Marcus LeVesseur defeated Carlo Prater by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
– Jacob Volkmann def. Shane Roller by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of round one.
– Diego Nunes def. Bart Palaszewski by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
– Darren Uyenoyama def. Phil Harris by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:38 of round two.