The UFC arrived in Austin, Texas for the third time on Saturday. The main event featured two hard-hitting welterweights in Donald Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros. The co-main event saw Houston’s Derrick Lewis take on Poland’s Marcin Tybura. Plus, Texas’ James Vick took on Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo. The whole entire card delivered, with eight total finishes, six of those coming in the first round. As always, here are the five performances that really stood out this past Saturday, plus a couple honourable mentions. These are the UFC Fight Night 126 Standout Performances.
Standout Performances from UFC Fight Night 126
#1: Curtis Millender def. Thiago Alves via KO (Knee) at 4:17 of Round 2
“Curtious” Curtis Millender’s debut could not have gone any better. He stepped into the octagon and across from him stood UFC veteran and former title challenger, Thiago Alves.
Millender controlled the entire first round, dropping Alves at one point, but didn’t attempt to finish the fight. As a result, Alves survived the first round and they would see round two. Round two looked very similar to the first one. Millender was landing the harder shots, but Alves began to throw more leg kicks. Late in the first round, Millender connected with a hard knee that dropped Alves and forced the ref to stop the fight.
In his post-fight interview, Millender claimed he has put the whole welterweight division on notice and is ready for anybody.
#2: Derrick Lewis def. Marcin Tybura via TKO (Punches) at 2:48 of Round 3
Houston’s Derrick Lewis hadn’t fought since his TKO loss to Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110 in June. Lewis was scheduled to fight Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216 in October but pulled out due to back issues. He finally returned when the UFC returned to his home state of Texas.
For his return, he was scheduled against Polish striker, Marcin Tybura, who was coming off a decision loss to Werdum. The chaos began quickly during the fight. Lewis was landing hard shots and then landed a takedown. Once they stood up again, Tybura immediately took Lewis down after Lewis stumbled up to his feet. They stood up once again and Lewis connected with a hard shot that dropped Tybura and he followed that up with hard ground and pound. He couldn’t get the finish, and the round ended.
The second round was more of the ground game. Tybura landed some takedowns and controlled most of the fight on the ground. It looked like Tybura had won himself that round with his takedowns and control time.
Nobody expected to see the third-round with these two, but it happened. Both men were pretty gassed out and the third round was close. At one point, Tybura had Lewis in the clinch, and with a burst of energy, Lewis threw him off. That was the beginning of the end for Tybura. Lewis began to land hard shots on Tybura until one connected and dropped him. He followed up with ground and pound until the ref stopped the fight. The Black Beast was back.
#3: Donald Cerrone def. Yancy Medeiros via TKO (Punches) at 4:58 of Round 1
Going into the fight, Donald Cerrone had lost three straight for the first time in his career. Yancy Medeiros, on the other hand, was on a three-fight win streak, finishing all three. The two met on Saturday in what people thought would be a brawl.
The fight only lasted one round, but was still very exciting. Cowboy landed hard shots on Medeiros and dropped him a couple times. Towards the very end of the round, Cerrone connected with another hard shot that wobbled Medeiros. He knocked Medeiros down and delivered some ground and pound. With two seconds until the horn would sound to end the round, the ref was forced to step in and stop the fight. Cowboy had returned.
#4: Geoff Neal def. Brian Camozzi via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:48 of Round 1
Brian Camozzi was coming into the fight having lost three sraight. On the other side was Geoff Neal, who was making his UFC debut.
The first round was all Neal. He connected with the harder shots and controlled everything. A little over halfway through the first round Neal took the back of Camozzi. He next sunk in a choke that was sort of half bulldog choke and half rear naked choke. No matter what it was, his hold was too tight for Camozzi as he was forced to tap.
#5: Alex Morono def. Joshua Burkman via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:53 of Round 1
Joshua Burkman came into the fight desperately needing a win. He was on a five fight losing streak and losing seven of his last eight. Alex Morono came into the fight having lost just one straight.
In the first round, it was close. But, at one point in the first, Morono connected with a punch that dropped Burkman. He immediately jumped on Burkman and sunk in a very tight guillotine that forced Burkman to tap. This was the second straight first round finish of the night.
#1: Diego Ferreira def. Jared Gordon via TKO (Punches) at 1:58 of Round 1
#2: Roberto Sanchez def. Joby Sanchez via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:50 of Round 1
Next week, Josh Emmett returns to take on Jeremy Stephens in the main event of UFC on Fox 28. Plus, an important strawweight fight goes down as Jessica Andrade takes on Tecia Torres. Join me next week as we look back on that card and determine the five standout performances.
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