OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nate Diaz waited for Melvin Guillard to fumble a golden opportunity and made him pay for his mistake.
Diaz, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 lightweight winner, submitted Guillard with a modified guillotine choke 2:13 into round two in the marquee matchup at UFC Fight Night 19 on Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center. The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Diaz, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Cesar Gracie who has shown a flare for the dramatic.
Guillard, as usual, had his moments. The talented 26-year-old dropped Diaz with a nice right hand in the first round, scrambled out of two takedowns and punctuated a strong opening stanza with a thudding body kick. By the end of the first five minutes, Diaz, a notorious slow starter, was bleeding heavily from a cut above his right eye.
The tide turned in round two, as Diaz found the range with his strikes and survived a crisp right uppercut-straight left hand combination from Guillard. The end came quickly, however, as Guillard bullied his way into a careless takedown that left his neck exposed. Diaz latched the choke and coaxed the tapout, as he handed Guillard his first loss in nearly two years.
Maynard Dismisses Huerta
Huerta had rebuffed all attempts to re-sign with the UFC, and it was widely speculated that he was matched with Maynard, a rising star in the 155-pound division, to send him on his way with a loss.
Huerta started slow, looking to counter Maynard, who was just too quick for him. Huerta turned the tables later in the round when he began to initiate the action. Huerta stalked Maynard, landing combinations that were more annoying than damaging.
Maynard trudged through the second round much like the first, looking for the big shot and neglecting his wrestling base. The former Michigan State Spartan attempted only one takedown in the first two rounds.
In the third round, Maynard shot early and grounded Huerta against the cage. He hooked up a kimura that bent Huerta’s arm behind his back, but he could not finish the submission. Undeterred, Maynard continued to use his grappling ability to win the positional battle.
The victory keeps Maynard atop the list of potential title contenders. Following the final stages of his contract, Huerta will now become a free agent but has said he will focus his efforts on modeling and acting.
Condit Survives Scare
Carlos Condit shook off a pair of knockdowns in the first round of his welterweight showdown with veteran Jake Ellenberger to take a split-decision for his first UFC win.
The former World Extreme Cagefighting champion could not solve Ellenberger’s right hand in the first period and wound up on his back twice, once to a hook and another to a cross. Ellenberger swarmed both times but could not cement the victory despite his best efforts. Condit, to his credit remained calm under Ellenberger’s heavy fire and may have staved off a 10-8 round with his brief rallies in the period.
“I was seeing stars for a second, and I just figured that, you know, I need to come back. I need to keep moving. Otherwise, they’re going to stop the fight,” Condit said.
Condit got back on track in round two, displaying the skills that took him to the top of the WEC. The former champion used his noted ground skills to reverse Ellenberger and set up a rear-naked choke attempt in the second round.
The final round was Condit’s best. He controlled the majority of the stanza on the ground, scored with strikes from the top and put together submission attempts that had Ellenberger on the defensive for most of the period.
In the end, the judge’s tallies were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 in Condit’s favor. With the victory, Condit moves forward in a deep UFC welterweight division, but after having problems with Ellenberger, a late replacement, he may need a few more fights before being prepared to face the division’s top contenders.
Quarry Battered But Not Beaten
Nate Quarry picked himself up off the canvas after a first-round knockdown to defeat Tim Credeur in a back-and-forth brawl, winning by unanimous decision. Scores were 29-28, 29-27 and 29-28.
Credeur nearly had Quarry out after dropping him with a grazing right hand in the opening frame, but the grizzled middleweight managed to survive the punch and the subsequent rear-naked choke attempt that followed.
Credeur came out firing again in the second. The Louisiana native stunned Quarry for a brief moment before the former middleweight title challenger found his mark with a pair of right hands that dropped Credeur. Quarry settled into Credeur’s guard and rode out the remainder of the round to even the scorecards.
Quarry looked to be in danger early in the third round when Credeur unloaded a salvo of punches that had him reeling against the cage. “The Ultimate Fighter” alumnus answered Credeur’s slew of punches with just one, a right hand that sent his opponent crumbling to the mat. Credeur showed impressive recovery skills in making it to the end of the period.
Brian Knapp contributed to this report.
Click here to read about the prelim fights.