I covered the entire prelims in the post right under this.
Diego’s first fight back at 170 is up first.
1. John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez
Sanchez tried for a takedown early and didn’t get it. Hathaway timed a knee to the head perfectly and nearly separated it from his neck. Hathaway spent three minutes trying to finish it. Sanchez took a lot of punishment. Could be a 10-8.
Diego got a takedown, but took too many clean shots. He also landed a few, but he lost another round. He’s leaving his head out there to be destroyed.
Hathaway kept it on the feet and stuffed every takedown attempt. He made Diego look amateurish on the feet.
Winner: John Hathaway by way of a unanimous decision
One judge gave Hathaway the first round 10-8.
2. Jason Brilz vs. Antonio Rogerio Noguiera
Brilz is waiting for Nog to engage and the he’s looking to shoot. He took Nog down and made Nog work. Nog wasn’t able to set up his left hand.
Brilz got another takedown. Nog sunk in a guillotine and so did Brilz. Brilz held it for at least 30 seconds. Nog can’t set up his punches because Brilz is waiting to shoot and grab a leg.
Both guys are tired. Brilz is shooting at will. Nog looks more fresh, but he can’t stop the desperation shoots. Nog crucifixed his arms with a minute left but Brilz got out of it. Great transitions and reversals and escapes in the round. Could be 29-28 Brilz.
Winner: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by way of split decision
The crowd heavily booed the decision after cheering for Nog the entire fight.
3. Mike Russow vs. Todd Duffee
Duffee exploded out of the gate and it looked like it was going to be another early knockout. Russow and his great chin held on. Duffee is trying to set up the upper cut.
Duffee is tired and he’s letting the guy hang around. The crowd doesn’t like the fight. Russow is hanging in there though clearly losing.
The Todd Duffee puzzle was solved. Russow hit him with a quick straight right and followed it up with another one while Duffie was on his way down. Wow.
Winner: Mike Russow by way of 3rd round TKO
4. Dan Miller vs. Michael Bisping
Both guys looked really good on the feet. Great counters from both guys. Super close and I’d probably go Bisping by a hair.
Miller tried one takedown and was stuffed. Bisping is starting to time his right hand and is throwing it well. Miller is getting the worst of the stand up. Very much Bisping’s round.
Miller got a nice takedown, but Bisping used the cage to get up quickly. More of Bisping’s right hand landing in that round. Miller tried to pour it on late, but Bisping’s hands were too fast tonight.
Winner: Michael Bisping by way of unanimous decision
5. Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson
Rashad’s first punch knocked Rampage nearly down and then shot in and held him up against the cage. Rampage was able to get better up against the cage. Rashad also hit a nice takedown. Rampage landed a wild punch late, but it’s all Rashad.
Rashad is shooting in and pushing Rampage up against the cage. They had to break it up twice. Crowd doesn’t like it. Rashad is in and out and Rampage is just too slow.
Rampage knocked Rashad down and followed up with big shots on the ground. Rashad used his wrestling to tie him up and catch his breath. Rashad took him down twice to save the fight and even followed up with shots of his own. Rampage’s round but not enough.
Winner: Rashad Evans by way of unanimous decision