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Tim McKenzie vs. Aaron Simpson
McKenzie opens with a flurry that is countered by a Simpson right hand. The ASU alumni gets a clinch and then takes McKenzie down on the floor. Simpson lands a nice right hand but McKenzie creates space and stands. From there it's all Simpson. McKenzie is dropped by some punches and it’s only a matter of time until McKenzie is saved by the referee Mario Yamasaki at the 1:40 mark of round one.
Rob Kimmons vs. Joe Vedepo
The two fighters engage and start to work with strikes. Vedepo is aggressive early and sets a frantic pace. The Iowan clinches with Kimmons and gets a takedown off the fence. Back to the feet, Vedepo goes for another takedown but is caught in a standing guillotine. Kimmons knows it's deep. He smiles and nods to his corner. Vedepo is choked unconscious as referee Herb Dean steps in at 1:54 of the first.
Jorge Rivera vs. Nissen Osterneck
The fighters touch gloves and Osterneck shoots. Rivera stuffs, but Osterneck is succesful on the second attempt. On the floor, Osterneck is in Rivera’s guard. Rivera uses the butterfly guard to execute a sweep. Back on the feet, Osterneck goes for another takedown and ends up on his own back in a scramble. Rivera looks to work for Osterneck's closed guard. Rivera scoots Osterneck to the cage and Nissen gets back to his feet. Rivera clinches and sweeps the legs of Osterneck. River is in half guard and Osterneck sweeps. Rivera gets full guard. Osterneck looks to pass. 10-9 Osterneck.
They clinch and Rivera gets a half-hearted suplex of Osterneck. Nissen gets back to his feet and the middleweights clinch. Osterneck puts Rivera’s back to the cage and starts kneeing his opponent’s legs. They separate and clinch again. Rivera gets a takedown and punches Osterneck on the ground twice before they are back to their feet off of a scramble. Clinched, Osterneck lands an elbow followed by a left high kick. Rivera grabs a clinch and pushes the WEC veteran in to the cage. A minute remains and Rivera lands a right hand that drops Osterneck. Rivera looks to work from the closed guard of Osterneck. The round ends and both fighters look gassed. 10-9 Rivera.
Osterneck starts the third frame sporting a mouse under his right eye. Rivera throws a left kick that missed and Osterneck clinches. Against the cage, Rivera circles away and puts Osterneck against the fencing. Referee Dan Miragliotta separates the fighters and Rivera lands a few solid strikes. Clinched against the cage, Osterneck circles and grabs the legs. Rivera stays on his feet and the two men are separated again. Osterneck lands a few glancing strikes and they clinch. 1:30 remains in the final stanza and Osterneck has a plum clinch. Rivera is the fresher fighter but not by much. The middleweights are very tired and end the fight in the clinch. 10-9 Rivera.
All three official judges see it all 29-28 for Jorge Rivera. Rivera breaks down in tears talking about the loss of his daughter. He is hardly audible, but the crowd is very supportive.
Tim Credeur vs. Nick Catone
Credeur opens the bout with the jab. Catone shoots and takes the TUF vet to the floor. Credeur has his hips high and is working for an armbar. Catone is wise and scrambles and just gets out. Back to the full guard of Tim Credeur. Catone passes to half and Credeur looks for a leg. Catone scrambles and doesn't get caught in the first or second attempt by Credeur for the leg. Catone finds the face of Credeur with his right hand. On the floor, Credeur is working for a kimura but Catone has no problems getting out. Credeur goes for an armbar, Catone averts. Credeur switches to a triangle and misses. The round ends. 10-9 Tim Credeur.
In between rounds, the replay it looks as if Catone tapped from the first armbar attempt. On the feet Credeur looks to work the jab. Catone answers with a right kick. The two continue to circle and exchange. Catone gets a takedown and passes to side. Catone then tries to mount and Credeur gets half guard, and then full guard. With 2:30 remaining, Catone passes to side briefly as Credeur gets half. Credeur goes for a leg and the stands up. Catone shoots and gets caught in a tight guillotine. The New Jersey native taps (again) at the 3:45 mark.
Brock Larson vs. Jesse Sanders
Sanders paws the jab at the southpaw Larson. The fighters clinch and the Minnesotan executes a takedown. Larson takes his back and looks for a rear-naked choke. Sanders defends, only to be flattened out and wailed on. Sanders is cut. Larson slips the forearm under the chin and the Iowan taps at 2:01 of the opening period.
Ricardo Almeida vs. Matt Horwich
Horwich takes the center of the cage and looks to strike. Almeida ducks under and secures a takedown. Against the fence, Horwich stands. Up and the two separate. The fighters clinch in the center and Horwich lands a half-hearted knee to the body. Almeida works a jab-cross combination and then back to the clinch. The Renzo Gracie student gets a takedown, but Horwich gets back to his feet. Almeida lands a few glancing blows but Horwich gets back to the clinch. Almeida scoops the legs of the Team Quest fighter and gets a takedown. It results in a scramble and Almeida sinks in a guillotine. Horwich survives and locks on a heel hook calmly. Almeida looks to his corner for advice. The round ends. 10-9 Almeida.
Horwich finds himself in half guard early. Almeida is looking to pass but can't get past half guard. Almeida stands and looks to strike down on the grounded Horwich. Almeida settles back down in to the Oregon native's half guard. Almeida stands and lands a few strikes to Horwich's head. Horwich scrambles to his feet. The two men clinch and then separate. Almeida shoots and Horwich attempts a guillotine. He let's it go and works from rubber guard. Horwich looks to get away and stand. Almeida closes out the round on his feet. 10-9 Almeida.
Horwich again finds himself on his back. There is a scramble and the two men clinch. Almeida pushes Horwich to the cage and the “Big Dog” takes down “Suave.” Almeida moves to half and then stands. Horwich attempts an upkick. The two men stand again and clinch. Two and a half minutes remain. Almeida shoots for a single, but Horwich defends. Again in the clinch, Horwich knees the Gracie fighter's thighs. Referee Dan Mirgliotta separates the fighters. With a minute remaining, Horwich clinches and then they separate. Almeida finds his range and lands a left and right combination. Almeida puts his stamp on the fight and ends it with a takedown. 10-9 Almeida.
All three official judges see it all the same: 30-27 for Ricardo Almeida.
Gleison Tibau vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tibau comes out southpaw. The ATT product shoots in on Stephens and the fighters clinch. The Iowan has his back to the cage and Tibau is still looking for the takedown. The two men separate. Stephens launches a left leg kick that glances the lead leg of Tibau. The Brazilian shoots again but misses and settles for a clinch against the fence. The crowd boos. Referee Mario Yamasaki separates the two fighters. Stephens lands a jab-uppercut combination. Tibau answers with a double leg takedown. From half guard, the Brazilian postures to strike. Stephens gets guard. The Iowan raises his hips for an armbar and Tibau passes. Tibau finishes the round with short punches from mount. 10-9 Tibau.
Stephens paws the jab to open the second stanza. A minute in and the men are still circling, which causes the Nashville fans to boo. Tibau shoots in and secures a double leg. Stephens closes his guard and the Brazilian passes to half. Tibau looks to get his right leg free and moves to side control. Tibau isolates the right arm of Stephens between his legs. Stephens moves quickly and gets back to his feet. Tibau clinches and secures another takedown. Tibau gets to half and is working an arm triangle. Stephens defends. Tibau moves to side with the arm triangle in. 10 seconds remain and the choke is very deep. Stephens survives. 10-9 Tibau.
Tibau looks fresh to start the last frame. Stephens is bouncing in the corner. The Iowan takes the center of the cage. Stephens feints a flying knee and misses a right hook. The two men clinch. Against the cage, Tibau is looking for a takedown. The crowd is restless. Stephens is trying to circle and separates. Stephens misses a vicious upper cut. He then goes for a flying knee but instead gets scooped and slammed by the American Top Team product. On the floor, Tibau works from half guard. 90 seconds remain and Tibau is cruising. Stephens gets to his knees and looks for a takedown. He uses the opportunity to stand and get a Thai plum. From the clinch, Stephens executes 2 jumping knees. Tibau grabs the legs and the bout ends with another Tibau takedown. 10-9 Tibau.
The official judges see the fight 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for Tibau.
Cole Miller vs. Junie Allen Browning
Miller starts the contest with a push kick to the chest. Both fighters are showing good footwork as they exchange short strikes. Browning drops levels for a single-leg takedown and transitions to the back when Miller countered with a standing kimura. The fighters are back on their feet and Miller lands a sharp right hand. Miller pulls guard with a guillotine and Browning taps quickly. Referee Herb Dean pulls Miller off at the 1:58 mark of the first. Immediately following the stoppage, Miller stood over his opponent and said, “Who’s overrated now?”
Tyson Griffin vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Grffin goes to work on the lead leg of dos Anjos twice early with low kicks. Griffin continues to work the leg as he starts to load up on his right hand. Dos Anjos jabs and connects with a low kick of his own. Dos Anjos unloads a flurry of punches and Griffin bobs and ducks under every blow. A straight right connects for Griffin. He follows up with a quick double-leg and gets the takedown. Griffin works from the top position in half guard. Dos Anjos goes for a heel hook, but Griffin is game. Griffin escapes and then is caught in a calf slicer and it looks painful. Griffin’s leg is bent back horribly but he manages to hang on. He escapes danger and then finishes the round on what looks to be a rubber leg. Ouch.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 dos Anjos
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 dos Anjos
Griffin is really looking wobbly on his left leg. One can only wonder if he suffered an injury during the painful-looking calf slicer in the first round, because Griffin is standing tight in the pocket throwing his hands but he doesn’t look comfortable. Griffin kicks the leg and head and is caught in a standing kimura. Dos Anjos rips Griffin’s arm above his head and the Couture-trained fighter escapes. Griffin gets busy with his hands and lands his best strikes of the fight. Welts begin to form on dos Anjos’ face just before Griffin sneaks in a pretty right hook and a left straight on the kisser.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 dos Anjos
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Griffin doubles up on his jab and reaps a reward in the form of a clean right hand solid on dos Anjos’ jaw. Lots of leather being thrown by both men. They stand flat footed and trade. Neither gains an advantage. Griffin connects on a straight right that snaps dos Anjos’ head backwards. Dos Anjos explodes into the air and scores with a jumping knee to the chin. Grffin digs in a hard kick to the southpaw’s lead leg and pieces a right hand to the mouth behind it. Dos Anjos has blood trickling from a small cut above his right eye. Griffin starts to slow down a bit but he keeps firing. Anjos shows good footwork in backing away to the outside of Griffin’s power hand. With dos Anjos’ back to the cage, Griffin shoots a single and gets caught in a kimura. Griffin escapes and finishes strong with punches from the top position in guard.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Griffin (29-28 Griffin)
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Griffin (29-28 Griffin)
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Griffin (29-28 Griffin)
All three official judges score the fight 30-27 for Tyson Griffin.
Ryan Bader vs. Carmelo Marrero
Bader gets a fast takedown and begins to work from the top in half guard. Bader passes to side control and looks for a kimura. Marrero gets back to guard, but he can only hold it for seconds, as Bader jumps past his legs easily. Bader, from side control, spins for an armbar and nearly gets it. Marrero escapes and ends up on top briefly. Bader escapes to his feet and swiftly takes his opponent down with a single. Marrero stands and despite holding the fence, is still taken down with a strong single. Bader presses his opponent into the fencing from half guard. Bader lands an elbow and a right hand before time expires.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bader
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Bader
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Bader
Marrero throws a left-hook lead and connects. Bader responds with a “Superman” punch that falls short. Marrero attempts a single and Bader has none of it. He stuffs it cleanly and controls the head before pushing Marrero to his back on the canvas. From half guard, Bader hits the head with his right hand and moves smoothly to his opponent’s back with an over-under. Bader rides his opponent while landing right hands. Marrero gets to butterfly guard before going to a closed guard. Bader counters with a right hand and easily advances to half guard. Bader gets the mount but he can’t stay in the dominant position. Marrero, after getting back to a defensible position, fights off an arm-triangle.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bader
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Bader
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Bader
The fatigued fighters exchange low kicks in the center of the Octagon. Bader sets up a shot with a right hand and is able to finish a slick single leg. Marrero elbows the head from his back in guard. Bader passes to half guard and locks on an arm triangle. Bader gets to side control just as Marrero frees his arm from Bader’s grasp. Bader mounts, but can’t keep the position. Referee Dan Miragliotta stands the fighters up after a minute of inactive guard play. Marrero defends a single with a whizzer as Miragliotta and those in attendance plead for action. Bader finally fishishes the takedown and fights off a late kneebar attempt from Marrero.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Bader (30-27 Bader)
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Bader (30-27 Bader)
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Bader(30-27 Bader)
All three official judges see the fight 30-27 for Ryan Bader.
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Condit blasts Kampmann with a straight right to the body. Kampmann trips his opponent to the canvas and goes to work on a guillotine from the top. Condit reverses position and passes to side-control to escape the hold. Kampmann sweeps Condit and begins to work from the guard. Kampmann drops down for a heel hold and Condit is game. Condit escapes and tees off with a right hand and two elbows that cut Kampmann’s face up. Kampmann gets to his feet and is greeted with a perfectly timed knee to the face. Condit and Kampmann exchange punches and Condit gets the better of it as he glides into a jumping knee. Kampmann works for a guillotine as the horn sounds.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Kampmann
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Condit
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Condit
Kampmann trips Condit to the canvas to start round two. Kampmann postures up and lands a couple of left hands to the head. Condit is showing an offensive guard as he looks to strike from his back with punches and elbows. Condit pushes Kampmann off with an upkick and gets to his feet. Condit lands a standing elbow and a jumping knee. He follows with a front kick that smacks Kampmann’s face and a single-leg takedown. Kampmann stands and is hit with another elbow. Kampmann locks on an arm-in guillotine and pulls guard. Condit frees his head and transitions to Kampmann’s back with both hooks. Condit attempts to mount but ends up being bucked off.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Condit
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Kampmann
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Condit
Kampmann gets poked in the eye with an inadvertent thumb. Referee Herb Dean calls the doctor in to check on Kampmann and the fight is restarted shortly after. Kampmann clinches with Condit and lands a knee to the body before tripping his opponent to the floor. From guard, Condit hammerfists the head with his left hand and absorbs an elbow from his foe. Kampmann postures and strikes downward to the chin with his right hand. And again. Kampmann is scoring well with punches from the guard. Condit nearly gets to his feet, but is dragged back down. Two minutes to go in the fight and Kampmann is controlling the final frame. From his back in guard, Condit looks for a kimura. Kampmann easily escapes and briefly moves to half guard. Condit gets to his feet and drops down for a kneebar and a heel hook. Kampmann escapes, but is caught in a tight guillotine with time running out. The horn sounds.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Kampmann (29-28 Kampmann)
Lotfi Sariahmed scores the round 10-9 Kampmann (29-28 Kampmann)
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Kampmann (29-28 Condit)
The official judges see the fight: 29-28 Condit and 29-28 (twice) for Kampmann. Martin Kampmann takes the split decision in a great fight.