AUSTIN, Texas – There was a moment of controversy in tonight’s main event. After Rousimar Palhares went for one of his signature heel-hooks after a take down, Nate Marquardt was easily able to pull out of the submission attempt. Palhares immediately looked at the referee complaining about possible grease on the leg, when he was blasted by a big right hand.
Marquardt (30-9-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC) pounced on the opportunity to put the fight away, landing a number of unanswered strikes forcing referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight.
Palhares continued to voice his concern over possible greasing, even approaching Marquardt after the fight to talk about it, but after several checks by officials, including the referee and the commission, the controversy ended just as quickly as it started. Marquardt explained the situation to Joe Rogan in his post fight interview.
“That’s right, they checked it before I fought,” said Marquardt. “The thing is, I came out really warm, because I wanted a good sweat… I wanted to be slippery.”
The victory inches Marquardt ever closer to another title shot in the UFC’s middleweight division, where the possibility of facing the winner of the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is a very real possibility. Silva and Sonnen just happen to be 2 of only 3 fighters to have handed Marquardt losses in the UFC’s Octagon.
Oliveira stuns Escudero with a standing RNC finish
Charles Oliveira came into this fight undefeated at 13-0, but had not faced the level of competition that he would be facing in TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero. If his performance tonight against “elevated competition” is any indication of what the future holds for the 20-year-old phenom, then the sky is the limit.
Oliveira is know for his ground game and submission prowess, but it was his stand up game that gave Escudero fits throughout the fight. Oliveira employed a wide variety of kicks and knees, mixing in the occasional flying knee for good measure, along with a stinging jab, and long, winging right hands that continuously found their target.
In the third after a restart following a knee to the groin of Oliveira, the youngster from Brazil, used the cage for a big take down and then in a scramble for position, jumped onto the back of Escudero as he tried to stand, locking up a tight rear naked choke in the process.
Escudero was fully standing with Oliveira clamped on his neck and was forced to tap to the rear naked choke. It was a very impressive victory for Oliveira who is now 14-0 overall, and 2-0 in the UFC.
Jim Miller defeats Gleison Tibau by unanimous decision
Jim Miller and Gleison Tibau both expected a competitive fight, and that is exactly what they delivered. Neither fighter could mount or sustain much offense in the fight, as momentum continuously swung back and forth between the two. Tibau actually earned more take downs overall in the fight but did little with them once the fight was on the ground.
Miller landed the more substantial strikes in the fight, especially in a strong second round where he landed a big left hand that staggered Tibau, and although Tibau would recover, it was Miller that took control of the fight from that point.
The fight would go the full 3 rounds, and once the cards came back, it was Jim Miller (18-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) that took another step closer to a title shot in the UFC’s lightweight division with his fifth consecutive victory inside the Octagon.
Miller drops, then submits Pearson
Cole Miller’s expertise on the ground was an obvious advantage for him coming into his bout with TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson. Many thought that Pearson had a clear advantage on the feet coming in, and after a very close first round, it appeared that Pearson was starting to get his timing down against the long reach of Miller.
Miller tried to get the fight to the ground on several occasions with take down attempts, and even once by pulling guard, but it would be a left hook that finally did the trick. Miller connected with a flush left hook that dropped Pearson, then followed up with more punches until Pearson rolled and gave up his back. Miller immediately took the back and locked up a quick fight ending rear naked choke, earning him yet another impressive finish and victory inside the Octagon. The victory moves Miller to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the UFC.