This fight card is for UFC fans that are either casual or hardcore. It has great fights from top to bottom. The preliminary action was top notch.
Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby
Camozzi and Jacoby came out slugging with Camozzi landing the better of the punches in the first. Both men landed some good shots in the second round, but in the third Camozzi cinched up a front choke which forced Jacoby to eventually tap at 1:08 of the 3rd round.
This win improves Camozzi’s record to 16-5. Below are quotes from both Camozzi and Jacoby.
“He’s a tough guy and I knew that coming into this fight. I felt like my timing with strikes was on and that was what I needed to keep good distance from him. I dropped him once with a hook and I knew that I could use my striking to dictate the rest of the bout. A little into the third round, I heard my coach tell me to ‘go for the kick’. I did and that allowed me to setup the ten-finger guillotine to put him out. A win like that feels great.”
“This one sucks. You really hate to lose like this. I felt like I was doing alright and getting good back-and-forth with him. I felt like I had him, but I flat out got caught on this one.”
Joey Beltran vs. Lavar Johnson
Many people including myself picked Beltran to win this fight, but Johnson came out and proved everyone wrong. He landed a big shot to start the fight off and immediately Beltran clinched and held on. The pace began to slow for Beltran, while Johnson continued to push forward. Beltran looked to regain some steam with about 1 minute left, but unfortunately Johnson landed a few big uppercuts which eventually dropped Beltran on his face.
This was Johnson’s debut in the UFC. Below are quotes from Lavar Johnson and Joey Beltran.
“Beltran is the real deal. He’s as tough and powerful as everyone said he was. I landed some hard shots and he stayed in there. I stayed calm and composed and picked my shots and I knew one would eventually land where I needed it to. I knew I had him when I got him with that uppercut and I just kept putting it on him until he dropped.
This win shows that the Strikeforce heavyweights belong here. We’re all on the same level and now we’re getting a chance to prove it. And the fans are the ones benefitting from it the most because they’re getting to see action like this.”
“When you fight the way I fight, this is bound to happen. I’ve gained a lot of fans, but I run this risk of having this happen. I only know one way to fight and I’ll always fight this way.
I had a great camp for this fight. No excuses for this. I felt great and only weighed around 230 after eating. So, a drop to 205 is a realistic possibility for me. I’ll get together with my team and we’ll figure out where to go from here.”
Michael Johnson vs. Shane Roller
The first two rounds were dominated by Michael Johnson. He was landing his jab, had some fancy footwork and stuffed Roller’s takedowns at will. The third round begins and Roller finally grabs a hold of a single leg and drags Johnson to the mat. He eventually takes Johnson’s back with both hooks in. He tried to soften him up with punches and tried to finish with a neck crank. Johnson defended well and ended up in Roller’s guard.
The fight ended with all the judges scoring the contest 29-28 for Michael Johnson. Below are quotes from both Michael Johnson and Shane Roller..
“That fight felt great. I controlled almost the entire fight except for the brief period in the third round. I felt like my wrestling defense and my entire game was just so much better all around. I was a little nervous in the third round, but I didn’t panic and I kept in constant communication with (referee) Herb Dean that I was ok and that some of the shots were to the back of my head. I eventually got myself turned around and got back in a dominant position inside the Octagon. This was a good win for me, but I’ve got some work to do in the gym to get myself to where I ultimately want to be. I’ve got my eyes set on top ten status and hopefully title talk sooner rather than later.”
“What can I say? This was a very tough fight. I’m just mad it didn’t go my way. I was prepared and I just didn’t perform.”
Charles Oliveira vs. Eric Wisely
Charles Oliveira made his 145lbs debut, while Eric Wisely made his UFC debut. Both men started out with a few leg kicks. Wisely threw a leg kick, which Oliveira grabbed and took him to the mat. He landed some heavy blows and went for a heel hook. Wisely rolled out a couple different times, when Oliveira pulled him in and took his back. It was an awkward position with Wisely’s foot cranked in between his legs, which forced him to tap from a crazy calf crank.
This fight marks the beginning of a beautiful featherweight career for Charles Oliveira.
“It felt amazing to walk out and hear the energy of the crowd here in Chicago. I was extremely confident and proud going into this fight and I knew that God would be with me. My training for this fight has been perfect and I could not wait to show the UFC fans what I am capable of. I have practiced my submissions endlessly and it was easy to look for that opportunity to finish the fight. I am ready for the next challenge inside the Octagon.”
“I’ve got to work on a few things to improve my overall game. With these Brazilian jiu-jitsu guys, I’ve got to be a little quicker all around. That might have been enough to have kept me from getting caught and we might be looking at an entirely different outcome.”
George Roop vs. Cub Swanson
One of the biggest obstacles that Cub Swanson was facing in this fight was the long reach of 6’1″ George Roop. Swanson utilized his speed and power to get on the inside of Roop’s reach, landing several crisp combinations and a spectacular hip toss that sent Roop crashing to the mat in the first round. In the second round, Swanson continued pushing the pace and caught Roop with a hard right hook that dropped Roop and lead to a ground and pound a TKO stoppage. This was Swanson’s first UFC victory.
“I knew I had to be patient and feel him out. He’s a lanky guy who can catch you if you’re not ready. That shot just connected and rocked him and put him on his back. I wanted to make sure that I had finished it because it all happened so fast. I’m going to take about two weeks off and see how I feel. I might be looking to get back in here pretty quickly after a win like this.”
“We had some pretty good action when the match started and I was using my range to gain the advantage. I’m really not sure what happened because it really just happened to fast. He hit me with something that I didn’t see coming at all. He followed up on it and did what he had to do.”
Mike Russow vs. Jon Olav Einemo
Jon Olav Enemo tried to fight the law, but lost. For all three rounds UFC fighter and Chicago Police officer, Mike Russow, showed great confidence in his wrestling and his submission defence as he put Einemo on to the mat and controlled the top position and rained down a constant flow of punches. Russow’s efforts clearly showed that he deserved the unanimous decision he was rewarded with.
“I am really surprised by the total amount of time we spent on the mat. I was really looking to keep it on the feet and to box him as much as possible. He almost got me with those knees in the later rounds. Those about put me out, but I collected myself and finished the round. I can’t believe I’m 4-0 in the UFC right now. It’s unbelievable. To have this fight in my hometown of Chicago and to have the fans cheering for me like they did…I couldn’t ask for anything better. ”
“He’s a tough guy. He’s got great wrestling, but I was focusing on using the sweep to counter it. I felt my legs getting weaker and I knew that the sweeps would be much harder to do later in the fight. I really thought those knees were going to take him out too. I hit him hard, but he’s got a really good chin. I always look to go for the finish, but it doesn’t always happen the way you want it to happen.”
“I apoligize it was a bit of a boring fight, but Jon, this guy’s a is a world class Jiu Jitsu player, a really tough opponent, so I knew it was going to be tough.”
Evan Dunham vs. Nik Lentz
UFC match maker, Joe Silva, had made an great even pairing of Evan Dunham Vs. Nik Lentz. The first round was high paced with both fighters scoring significants strikes, take downs and submission attempts with neither fighter gaining a clear advantage. The second round continued in the same fashion until the last 2 minutes where Dunham gain top position by forcing Lentz to his back with a guillotine submission attempt. From the top Dunham landed several significant elbows directly to Lentz’s face to close out the round. The fight was stopped between rounds as Lentz’s left eye had swelled shut by the elbows causing a doctor stoppage.
“I started slow and not very sharp, but by the end of the first I felt much better. I knew I had his number and I was going to take this fight. I completely dominated the second round and I was ready to finish him in the third. When I heard the decision that the doctors stopped it, I was a little bummed out. As a fighter, you want to prove to yourself that you can finish the fight. I’ll take the W, but I would have preferred to finish it on my terms.”
“I felt like I won the first round, but he surprised me in the second with his energy and movement. He got the takedown and landed that elbow. It wasn’t hard and it didn’t hurt, but it did cut me. I told the doctors that I could see fine and continue, but they have to look out for us. I was hoping to have the third round to show who the better man is, but they decided to stop it based on what they saw.”