CHICAGO, January 25 – Top prospect Sergio Pettis hit the first roadblock in his pro career in UFC on FOX prelim action at the United Center Saturday, getting submitted in the third and final round of an exciting bantamweight bout by Alex Caceres.
Caceres fought well in the opening round, but once the stalking Pettis realized that the former Ultimate Fighter competitor couldn’t hurt him, things started going downhill for “Bruce Leroy” who progressively ate more and more hard kicks and punches as the round wore on.
Thirty seconds into round two though, it was Caceres showing that he did have some pop in his punch, as he send Pettis hard to the canvas with a left to the head. Pettis swept his way out of trouble as the fight hit the mat and got back to his feet. Caceres had noticeably more confidence than he did at the end of the previous round, with spinning kicks getting the crowd roaring. Pettis was not deterred by the knockdown though, and in between hard punches to the head, he some of his own spinning attacks to unleash.
Pettis opened the third with a takedown, showing off the other aspects of his game, and Caceres was just as versatile as he eluded trouble and sprung back to his feet. A missed kick by Pettis turned into a scramble on the mat, with Caceres taking charge until Pettis fought loose. An ensuing trip to the canvas saw Pettis look for a leg lock, but after Caceres escaped, he went on to take Pettis’ back and sink in a rear naked choke, forcing a tap out at 4:39 of the final round.
With the win, Caceres improves to 10-5, 1 NC; Pettis falls to 10-1. At the time of the finish, the bout was even on two scorecards, 19-19, with Pettis leading on the third, 20-18.
WINELAND vs. JABOUIN
Bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland got back on the winning track after his September title fight loss against Renan Barao, with the Indiana native thrilling the crowd with a second round stoppage of Yves Jabouin.
Wineland (21-9-1) rushed out of his corner at the opening bell, but after that frantic start, the first round settled into a more sedate pace, with Jabouin (19-9) firing off sharp counters with his fists and feet that largely kept the Chesterton product at bay for much of the round.
Starting to find his range, Wineland’s right hand found the mark over and over in the second round, with a shot to the head with two minutes left knocking the Canadian down. From there, Wineland didn’t let up, throwing shots whichever way Jabouin turned. Finally, a swift barrage of punches brought in referee Rob Madrigal to stop matters at 4:16 of round two.
CAMUS vs. MEZA
In a bantamweight bout, Chico Camus won his second straight Octagon bout, outpointing Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
The opening five minutes were largely a battle for control on the mat, with Camus holding the top position and Meza looking for submissions from his back.
A quick left from Camus got the second round off to a more exciting start, as the punch put Meza on the deck, but this time it was Meza able to take the dominant top spot in the ensuing scramble. After a stalemate, referee Otto Torriero restarted the action, and Camus’s right hand jarred Meza briefly before another the fighters took another trip to the mat. This time, Camus was able to secure the mount position before taking Meza’s back and then moving back to the mount in the final minute. Meza was able to fight loose with 30 seconds left, but wasn’t able to pull off any significant offensive flurries.
Camus dominated in the third, with a takedown, and moves from the mount to the back and back to the mount keeping Meza from escaping. In the final 90 seconds, Meza reversed position and found daylight briefly, but Camus was never in any danger, allowing him to make it to the final bell unscathed.
With the win, Camus moves to 14-4; Meza falls to 20-9.
VIANA vs. HERNANDEZ
A late surge from Junior Hernandez wasn’t enough in his bantamweight bout with Hugo Viana, as the Brazilian built up enough of an early lead to take a three round unanimous decision win.
Scores were 29-28 across the board.
Viana (8-2) dropped Hernandez with the first right hand he threw, but the Iowan got up quickly. Viana kept the pressure on though, swinging for the fences with nearly every shot. And while he didn’t match his opening success throughout the rest of the round, the activity level of “Wolverine” looked to secure himself the nod on the scorecards.
Nothing changed in the second, as Hernandez stalked with no luck and Viana flurried in spots and moved when he wasn’t throwing, leaving his foe no opportunity to set up his offense.
Hernandez (14-6), bloodied from a cut around his right eye, was finally able to corner a tiring Viana in the third round, landing more and more flush shots as he chased the Brazilian, even mocking his foe as he circled around the Octagon. It was a strong finish for the Iowan, but the damage on the scorecards had already been done in the first two rounds, earning Viana the nod.
Former Ultimate Fighter 15 alums Daron Cruickshank and Mike Rio met in lightweight action, with Cruickshank scoring an emphatic second round TKO victory.
Cruickshank had the fight right where he wanted it in the first round, keeping it standing the whole way. And while he did enough good work striking-wise to take the frame, the Detroit native sealed it with a left kick to the head that dropped Rio (9-4) in the final 30 seconds.
Varying his attack in the second, Cruickshank (14-4) continued to dominate in the second round, with Rio’s only ray of light coming in the final minute, when he was able to put his foe in some danger with a heel hook attempt. But once Cruickshank got loose and the two stood, a right spinning wheel kick rocked Rio and forced him to the fence. Cruickshank pounced and after a series of unanswered punches, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at the 4:56 mark.
In a battle of welterweight debutants who came in on two weeks’ notice to fight in the United Center, New Jersey’s George Sullivan won a close three round unanimous decision over Milwaukee’s Mike Rhodes.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Sullivan, now 15-3 with 1 NC. Rhodes falls to 6-2.
Sullivan took the opening stanza simply by outworking his foe, primarily using leg kicks and a late takedown to cement his early lead. Rhodes had his moments, with a takedown of his own and a late arm lock attempt, but didn’t do enough to take the round.
Rhodes began to tag Sullivan more regularly in the second frame, particularly finding success with the right hand, but he was unable to capitalize on his good fortune in the final round, as Sullivan again was the busier fighter, mimicking his attack from the first stanza.
Ukrainian heavyweight prospect Nikita Krylov picked up his first UFC win, needing just 25 seconds to knock out Walt Harris in the opener.
Krylov set up his finish perfectly, peppering Harris with leg kicks before going upstairs with a head kick that hurt the Alabama native. Harris staggered backward and fell to the mat, with a follow-up series of strikes prompting the stoppage from referee Rob Madrigal.
With the win Krylov improves to 16-3; Harris falls to 6-3.
> Watch: Krylov vs. Harris on UFC Fight Pass