By Denny “The Mad One” Hodge
The show wastes no time getting to action with Wesley Murch from the UK matching up against John Polakowski in a Lightweight fight. Murch quotes Churchill in his pre fight interview, while Polakowski comments on his ADHD, but nothing controversial like week 1 and Aquilar‘s comments.
Round 1- The fight begins with Murch looking for a takedown, and Polakowski sprawling. The fighters are quickly back on their feet and clinching against the fence. Polakowski goes for a trip but ends up on his back with Murch looking to drop some bombs from the top. Polakowski looking to create some space to get back to his feet, but Murch maintains top position. Murch goes for a leg, and works on a heel hook with Mir shouting instructions from outside the octagon. Polakowski ends up on top, and looks to pass the guard and ends up in side control. Polakowski backs off to get the fight back standing, and Murch nearly gets clipped with a big right, prompting him to look for a takedown. The fighters are back on their feet in the clinch again along the cage. Polakowski takes a step back, and as Murch ducks in for a takedown he gets caught with a knee. Back to the ground with Murch taking John’s back and working for an RNC. John turns into Murch and reverses ending up in Murch’s guard. Murch works for a triangle, but Polakowski postures nicely, and steps back as the ref steps in to give John his mouthpiece back. Murch lands a low kick that appears to have hurt his own shin, as they go to the ground with the round ending. Murch is writhing in pain holding his leg after the Bell sounds.
Round 2- Murch is clearly in pain and favoring his leg as the round begins. You can hear Mir say “Attack the leg, attack his leg”. Murch throws a nice stiff jab, and a flying knee, but is practically unable to stand after throwing the knee. He falls to the ground and covers up as Polakowski moves in for the finish. The ref calls the action before he can get there and inflict any more damage. Polakowski is super excited as he runs out of the octagon, embracing Nogueira, Dana, and Mir. Nogueira comments that he likes hugs so it’s cool, but Mir is a little taken off guard by the sweaty hug from the stranger.
Next up is the Light Heavyweights with Shane Primm vs. Sean O’Connell. Shane is shown before he makes his way to the Octagon, surrounded by food and makes the comment, “ I can’t believe y’all have fried chicken in here”. O’Connell talks about Forrest Griffin being his inspiration, and in seconds the fight is under way.
Round 1- Shane immediately closes the distance and gets a good tight Thai clinch and works some nice knees to the body of O’Connell. O’Connell works for a single, and Shane defends nicely against the cage. O’Connell finally gets the takedown, and Primm is very active from the bottom transitioning into an armbar that O’connell eventually works out of. O”Connell ends up with a front headlock, but Primm gets the takedown and ends up in side control. Back to the feet and Primm delivers some more big knees to Sean’s face and body. Sean goes for another single, but Primm gets an arm takes it to the ground, and goes for a Kimura. Shane is on top in side control and lands a solid knee to the body. He transitions to mount, Sean rolls, and Primm is on his back and working to flatten him out. He gets the RNC and Sean rolls onto his back, struggles for a few seconds then taps. You can hear Mir from outside the Octagon say, “Shane, Good Jiu Jitsu!”. Dominating performance by Shane Primm.
Round 1- Ido Pariente is next with the Israeli Lightweight facing Efrain Escudero. The fights starts with the fighters clinching in the center of the octagon, then with both fighters against the cage. Escudero gets the take down but Pariente kicks him off and works back to his feet, then goes for a single of his own. He whiffs with a huge knee and they are squared up in the center of the octagon again. Pariente throws a couple of punches and Escudero changes levels and gets the takedown. He is in Pariente’s half guard and working on a choke. They are back up on their feet and Pariente shoots for a takedown with Escudero stuffing it while still holding the grip on Pariente’s neck and still looking for a choke. Pariente goes 2 on 1 and works out of the choke, but Escudero gets his back and works for the RNC. Pariente appears to be in trouble, fights in vain, and taps out. Nogueira is impressed with Escudero’s ground game and his performance.
Ryan Lopez is up next for the Light Heavyweights, and describes his lifestyle as a fighter and a bounty hunter, mentioning his modeling experience also. Tom Lawlor is next to make his entrance. With both of them in the Octagon, Lopez looks absolutely chiseled and much bigger than Lawlor, but we all know that looks mean nothing in an MMA fight.
Round 1- Lopez goes for a kick, and Lawlor immediately shoots and takes him down. Lopez rolls and Lawlor is on his back, getting warned for shots to the back of the head. He works for the RNC, sinks it in, and it’s over very quickly.
Next up, “Battle of the beanpoles” as Dana says from outside the Octagon. This fight is highlights only with Lightweights Roli Delgado facing off vs. George Roop.
Round 1- Both guys look pretty awkward on their feet to start. The fight hits the ground with Delgado locking in a tight guillotine, with Mir coaching Roop on escaping. Mir is impressed with Roop’s following of directions from the corner and mentions that he is teachable. Roop works out and starts delivering some shots, then steps away to get the fight back on the feet where he has an advantage of Delgado who is more of a jiu jitsu fighter. Roop looks pretty dominating on his feet over Delgado and earns the decision victory.
The Light Heavyweights are next with Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ryan Bader.
Round 1- More highlights for this fight. As the highlights are shown, Nog states he is impressed with Kyle’s hands and sprawl. Bader is a two time All American wrestler out of Arizona St. and it’s not long before he starts imposing his will on Kingsbury. Highlights from round 2 as Kyle throws a big shot, with Bader securing a double and slamming Kyle to the mat. Bader transitions to the side, locks up an arm triangle and starts squeezing until Kingsbery submits.
Back to the little guys with Charles Diaz vs. Shane Nelson.
Round 1- Kicks to start. Shane starts throwing big shots, kicks, and changing levels looking for the takedown with constant pressure. To round 2, more of Nelson dictating the pace of the fight with knees and punches, and continuing to press the action with knees dropping Diaz. The bell sounds, and Nelson advances with an impressive performance.
Back to a full fight with LHW’s Eliot Marshall vs. Armenian Karn Grigoryan.
Round 1- Karn goes for a big right and follows with a nice kick. Marshall shoots for a takedown that is stuffed and works to Marhsall’s back and ends up in full guard. Marshall looks comfortable on his back and goes for a triangle but misses. Good hip movement from Marshall on his back but he eats a big punch, then works a nice sweep and is on top in full mount. He postures up and lands a nice shot, leading to Karn rolling over. Marshall goes for the figure four body lock but gets swept. Karn back on top and Marshall transitions for another triangle attempt with Karn working his way out. Marshall working some rubber guard for a moment and round 1 is done.
Round 2- Nice high kick from Marshall, and Karn follows with a few low kicks. Mir screams for a counter right when that kick is thrown from Karn. Marshall sticks Karn with a right, and now they engage and throw. Straight right from Eliot. The coaches are clearly divided now with Mir shouting instructions to Eliot while Nog screams for Karn to stay busy. Marshall goes for the takedown, and ends up in side control. Marshall throws some nice knees to Karn’s body and looking to drop some short elbows. Decision time on this one. It is declared a draw and we are going 3!!
Round 3- Marshall looks to be the fresher of the two with Grigoryan breathing out of his mouth. Marshall goes for the clinch and the trip and gets the takedown momentarily, with Grigoryan scrambling for top position. Marshall gets the arm and sweeps ending up in side control. Grigoryan turtles and Marshall gets the hooks in, then Karn turns into Marshall, but is mounted with Eliot throwing elbows. He gets swept again and Grigoryan is on top bleeding profusely all over Eliot. The ref stands the fighters up and Karn is a bloody mess. Nice snapping kick by Eliot to end the 3rd. Really great fight. Mir tells Eliot “raise your hand man, you just got in the house”. The decision is in and it’s controversy after Grigoryan is announced the winner! Dana and everyone else thought Marshall won the fight. Eliot pleads his case to the UFC president, and gets to hear the famous Dana speech… “never leave it in the hands of the judges”. Wow…
The fighters are brought back together and Dana announces that Antwan Britt has a broken hand and redemption is Eliot Marshall’s as he is told that he is in the house with Britt out 6-8 weeks. Next week’s preview shows that there are more fighters injured that may not be able to continue, so it looks like someone else may be getting a 2nd chance at the house. Laughs at the end of the show as Dana says, “This ain’t fucking survivor, vote em’ off? No, beat em’ off… that didn’t sound good did it?”