Former WEC lightweight title contender Donald Cerrone stayed hot.
Cerrone extended his current winning streak to six fights, as he submitted Dennis Siver with a first-round rear-naked choke at UFC 137 “Penn vs. Diaz” on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Siver (19-8, 8-5 UFC) asked out of the preliminary match 2:22 into round one.
The choke finished Siver, but a head kick to the face and a straight right hand proved his undoing. Cerrone (17-3, 1 NC, 4-0 UFC) walked through the Russian-born German kickboxer’s power and delivered a sizzling head kick that wobbled Siver badly a minute into the fight. On shaky legs, Siver moved into the clinch to recover. However, after the two lightweight separated, Cerrone smashed him with a straight right, swarmed to his back and cinched the choke. Siver had no choice but to surrender.
“I’m just here to keep fighting,” said Cerrone, a Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative who has pushed into contention at 155 pounds with his undefeated run in the UFC. “Hell, I’m trying to get another fight in December. If I could do that, that would be great.”
Palaszewski Wipes Out Griffin
WEC import Bart Palaszewski blasted through Tyson Griffin in his UFC debut, as he stopped the Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts standout on brutal first-round punches in a preliminary featherweight duel. Griffin, who failed to make weight for the match, met his end 2:45 into round one.
Palaszewski wobbled Griffin (15-6, 8-6 UFC) with a pair of short left hooks, gave chase and swarmed on him near the cage. A series of unanswered rights and lefts, capped by a wicked right hook, sent Griffin to the canvas and bent him over backwards. The finish was decisive for Palaszewski (36-14, 0-1 UFC), a Jeff Curran protégé who has posted five wins in six outings.
“I think I broke both my hands,” Palaszewski said. “It was so worth it.”
Vera Survives Third Round, Outpoints Marshall
Brandon Vera survived a harrowing third round to win a unanimous decision from “The Ultimate Fighter 8” semifinalist Eliot Marshall in a light heavyweight tilt on the undercard. All three cageside judges scored it for the man they call “The Truth” by matching 29-28 counts.
A tentative start saw Vera (12-5, 1 NC, 8-5, 1 NC UFC) -- who had not won since August 2009 -- score consistently with punches, low kicks and a second-round takedown. He carried a lead into the third round, and he needed it. Marshall (10-4, 3-3 UFC) staggered him with a right hand in the final frame and swarmed on the 34-year-old Alliance MMA representative. He had Vera in real trouble and later threatened him with an armbar, but his efforts to finish fell short of the mark and Vera escaped.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 finalist Ramsey Nijem put together a flawless performance, as he handed Roufusport product Daniel Downes a blistering one-sided beating and captured a lopsided unanimous decision in a preliminary lightweight duel. All three judges ruled in Nijem’s favor: 30-25, 30-26 and 30-26.
Downes (8-3, 0-2 UFC) was never a factor in the fight. Nijem attacked with power punches and a series of takedowns and ground-and-pound, threatening to finish the bout with rear-naked chokes when it spilled to the ground. In the face of a relentless assault, Downes was in retreat mode from moment one.
Nijem (5-2, 1-1 UFC) mounted his foe in the second round and kept up the onslaught in the third.
Carmont Dominates Camozzi in Debut
Tristar Gym export Francis Carmont rode his superior striking and a handful of takedowns to a one-sided unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum Chris Camozzi in a middleweight bout on the undercard. Carmont (17-7, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards: 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Carmont struck for takedowns in all three rounds, battered his foe with close-quarters knees and landed liberally throughout the 15-minute encounter. He did his best work in round two, highlighting his efforts with a front kick-right hand combination, a powerful gut-wrench slam and a knockdown. Camozzi (15-5, 2-2 UFC) had no answers. Carmont stayed on his feet in the third round, attacked with punches and delivered another takedown. The 29-year-old Frenchman has won six consecutive fights.
Starks Decisions Jacoby
Dustin Jacoby’s inability to remain upright cost him dearly, as Clifford Starks cruised to a unanimous decision in a preliminary matchup between middleweight newcomers. All three cageside judges scored it for the unbeaten Starks (8-0, 1-0 UFC) by identical 30-27 counts.
Starks, a 30-year-old Arizona Combat Sports representative who wrestled collegiately at Arizona State University, secured takedowns in all three rounds. By round three, he had worn down Jacoby (6-1, 0-1 UFC) sufficiently enough to open up left-hand counters.
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