Seth-Baczynski (R) vs. Matt Brown (L)
The UFC 152 preliminary card exhibited four decisions and four finishes, but it was full of excitement.
Vinny Magalhaes made his return to the UFC an impressive one when he met Igor Pokrajac.
The two-time gold medalist in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship was quick to get Pokrajac to the ground. From there, Magalhaes transitioned to side guard, then transferred to an armbar. Pokrajac appeared to be in trouble, but defended well and landed in the Brazilian’s guard. They grappled until Magalhaes let Pokrajac up, then the two combatants traded strikes until the end of the round.
Magalhaes clinched up with Pokrajac immediately in round two. He took the Croatian to the mat and strapped on a triangle-choke. Magalhaes switched to an armbar, allowed Pokrajac to attempt to roll out and executed the technique. Pokrajac tapped in agony, which gave Magalhaes a victory in his return to the Octagon.
T.J. Grant busted, battered and beat Evan Dunham in a three round war.
Grant got the better of Dunham in the striking department off the hop. Dunham came out of an exchange on the feet with a bloodied eyebrow and taunted Grant briefly, insinuating he wasn’t hurt. Grant continued to win the battle of blows, until Dunham achieved a double-leg takedown near the end of Round 1.
The second round had Grant smash a knee into Dunham’s forehead, causing a large gash to open. Dunham shook it off and smiled, and for that, the Canadian gave him another knee in the forehead, causing another cut. Though, the fight wasn’t stopped for the doctor to take a look, Dunham’s face was smeared with blood.
It was Dunham who was the aggressor in the third round, but Grant did not back down. They continued to fire punches back and forth, yet Grant was becoming fatigued and attempting takedowns. Dunham stuffed all of Grant’s takedown attempts, and he even accomplished one of his own as the match came to an end.
Grant walked away with a unanimous decision victory, remaining undefeated at lightweight.
Sean Pierson came close to not winning in his hometown of Toronto, however, he was able to best Lance Benoist.
Pierson blasted Benoist with a hefty amount punches early in the match. After dizzying Benoist, Pierson sent his opponent to the mat with a combination of strikes and followed up with an abundance of punches. Benoist tied Pierson up for a moment, but the Ontarian escaped with little effort. Pierson rattled Benoist one more time with a left hook before the round ended.
In the second and third frames each competitor let off series punches and kicks, yet Pierson was still coming out on top. But, late in the last round, Benoist connected on Pierson’s jaw, causing him to collapse to the canvas. Benoist pounced on Pierson, and switched from ground and pound to prowling for a submission. Pierson got back to his feet in the dying seconds, but he was awfully wobbly as time ran out.
The match went a full 15 minutes and it was Pierson the judges gave the nod to, crediting him with two rounds to one.
Marcus Brimage accomplished staying out of Jim Hettes’ grasp and grab the victory.
Brimage tagged Hettes three times in the first 45 seconds of the fight, not to mention dropping the Pennsylvania native with the initial left hook. Hettes continued to take damage from Brimage, and the two-time Keystone State Games Judo gold medalist’s takedowns were ineffective. Brimage successfully out-punched Hettes with significant strikes in the first round, but “The Kid” made it to the second round.
Round 2 was a little more competitive. Hettes showed better boxing and hit Brimage with a jumping knee that led to a takedown. Brimage managed to get back to his feet, but Hettes dragged him back to the canvas almost immediately. Hettes stayed on Brimage, working ground and pound and looking for a submission. The bout returned to standing as time ran out.
The final fame of the bout had both combatants fighting under the impression they each had a round in the win column. While it was Hettes pushing the pace, it was Brimage landing a considerably larger number of strikes.
The match went to the judges’ scorecards and Brimage was awarded the victory, 29-28 from all parties.
At the beginning of the evening, Facebook aired three UFC 152 preliminary bouts. All three matches lasted a total duration of six minutes and four seconds.
After coming up short in his Octagon debut, Mitch Gagnon returned with a bang.
Walel Watson, a long-limbed, technical striker, was finding his range against the shorter Gagnon from the opening horn. When the “Gazelle” felt confident he fired off a superman-punch at Gagnon, but came in with his chin up and the Canadian fighter made Watson pay the price. Gagnon caught Watson with a powerful overhand left punch when the “Gazelle’s” feet were still off the ground and dropped him to the mat.
Gagnon swarmed Watson with a flurry of shots, but decided to take his opponent’s back. It took a few seconds for Gagnon to sink his arm under Watson’s chin, but he eventually did and completed a rear-naked choke victory at 1:09 into the first round.
In a classic grappler vs. striker match, it was the kickboxer that came out on top.
Kyle Noke began the fight throwing punches with intent to harm and eventually hit Charlie Brenneman with a stepping jab. Brenneman stumbled back, but kept his wits about him. Brenneman came forward once again and was hit with a straight right from Noke that buckled the knees of the “Spaniard.”
Referee Dan Miragliotta was quick to jump in between the two combatants before Noke landed too many unnecessary punches. Following the bout, Brenneman contested the ref’s decision to stop the fight, saying he wasn’t out, however, the stoppage appeared to be justifiable.
Seth Baczynski and Simeon Thoresen didn’t manage to end their fight in the quick fashion of Gagnon and Noke, nonetheless, it was over before the end of the Round 1.
Neither mixed martial artist showed any desire to take the match to the ground. As they exchanged punches, Thoresen suffered a busted lip from the punches Baczynski continuously landed in the same place. Thoresen answered with leg kicks that sounded similar to a baseball bat slamming into a cow carcass. However, “The Polish Pistola” slipped a right hand thrown by Thoresen, and clipped the Norwegian with a left hook.
Thoresen crumpled to the canvas and was completely unconscious, deeming the fight over just past the four minute mark of the opening frame.