Lauzon Submits Stephens in 2nd, Young Stars Steal the Show
Preview by Brady Crytzer
Photos courtesy of Josh Hodges/UFC
In the main event of Saturday night’s Ultimate Fight Night 17 from the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome, Joe Lauzon stopped Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens in the second round with a slick armbar.
Though Lauzon was originally slated to face former title challenger Hermes Franca, a last second injury brought an entirely different kind of challenge to the Massachusetts native. Round one began with Stephens headhunting with wild punches. Lauzon, who enjoyed a comfortable advantage in the submission department, dropped to his back and pulled guard. The very dangerous Stephens rose to his feet however and continued to brawl. Lauzon scored his takedown however and controlled his opponent from the top with hard elbows. After a botched armbar attempt, Lauzon was placed on his back and Stephens rocked him with quick haymakers.
Stephens began round two showing a strong commitment to throwing hard leg kicks. Lauzon landed a hard counter right hand that allowed for a quick takedown. From the side mount, Lauzon landed hard punches and transitioned for a more dominate position. After taking the back of Stephens, Lauzon was rolled over to his own back once again.
“Lil’ Heathen” continued to land hard punches from the top but was swept by the more experienced Lauzon. Now in the mount, Lauzon showed off world class submission skills by slipping on a tight armbar. With a look of tremendous pain on his face, Stephens tapped the mat at 4:43 of the second round.
Velasquez Demolishes Overmatched Stojnic
Touted as the future of the heavyweight division, Cain Velasquez annihilated newcomer Denis Stojnic over seven brutal minutes en route to finishing the fight via TKO in the second round.
Velasquez began by landing big punches early. Though Stojnic was still on his feet, he was badly hurt by his younger opponent. Velasquez closed the distance with a huge knee that rocked Stojnic again. Velasquez was tenacious in his stand up assault as he began to work the legs of his opponent with thunderous kicks. At the bell Velasquez landed a clean right hand yet again.
Velasquez began round two with bad intentions as he pounded Stojnic with punches and took his man to the floor. From the side mount Velasquez slammed hard punches and elbows into the face of the breaking Stojnic. After taking mountains of punishment Stojnic rolled to his stomach and absorbed punishment until referee Jorge Ortiz waved off the contest.
The official time of the one sided beating was 2:34.
Neer Surprises Danzig, Makes Statement with Submission Win
Welterweight Josh “The Dentist” Neer scored one of the upsets of the night by submitting The Ultimate Fighter 6 winner Mac Danzig with a tight triangle in the second round.
Round one saw Neer surprise Danzig early with a number of hard punches to the head and body. Though he was taking shots, Danzig landed a quick left hook that slowed his opponent. After regaining his composure, Danzig opened a cut above the left eye of Neer and sent him to the canvas with a right hand. Showing his fighting spirit, Neer waved his arms at the charging Danzig as the round came to an end.
Neer backed up his trash talk in the second round by scoring an immediate takedown. From the top, “The Dentist” blasted his opponent with hard punches and elbows. Showing he was still dangerous, Danzig swept Neer to his back and struggled to mount any offense. During a lull Neer surprised Danzig with a tight triangle choke from his back. The unsuspecting reality show standout was forced to tap at 3:36
Ever-Improving Johnson KO’s Fioravanti
Rising welterweight star Anthony Johnson stopped the very durable veteran Luigi Fioravanti in the first round with a powerful right hook.
The men squared off in the center of the cage and exchanged heavy blows. Using his reach, Johnson smacked the legs of his opponent with hard leg kicks. After a brief break due to a low blow by Fioravanti, Johnson dropped the scrapper to his knees with a quick right hook. Fioravanti rose to his feet quickly but was flattened by a crushing right. Following some punches for good measure, the fight was waved off at 4:39.
Middleweight sensation Dan Miller continued his UFC win streak by submitting NCAA wrestling standout Jake Rosholt early in the first round with a tight guillotine. After stopping a takedown, Miller locked in the choke and got the tap at just 1:03.
Lightweight Matt Veach scored a devastating first round knockout over Matt Grice. After landing a right hook, Veach pounded Grice with hard punches until the fight was stopped at 4:35.
In a battle of perennial lightweight contenders Gleison Tibau battered Rich Clementi with hard southpaw lefts en route to locking in a tight guillotine choke. Though he struggled to escape the hold, Clementi tapped out at 4:35.
Lightweight submission star Kurt Pellegrino submitted Rob Emerson in the second round with a crafty rear naked choke. The official time was 3:14
Originally slated to face TUF winner Amir Sadollah at 185 lbs., Nick Cantone used superior strength to lock in a tight kimura shoulder lock on Derek Downey in the second round. The official time was of the tap was 1:15.
Welterweight Matt Riddle scored a three round unanimous decision over Steve Bruno. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Riddle.