Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 8/28/13
NBK strikes again The very first midweek fight night on the newly founded Fox Sports network went down this Wednesday from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana and was the first of three events in just a week. The night kicked off with an anti-climactic lightweight battle between Abel Trujillo and Roger Bowling who traded leather early on, both showing granite chins to avoid being finished in round one. The second round, like the first, was predominantly fought on the feet and as the minutes rolled on the damage was being shown both on their faces and in their gas tanks. That was until Trujillo landed an horrific illegal knee to the face of Bowling late in the round resulting in a fight ending in a disappointing no-contest. The second and final Facebook fight was a more straightforward affair with Zak Cummings defeating Australian Benny Alloway via a slick d'arce choke in round one. In the prelims, Jason High bounced back wonderfully from his quick-fire defeat to Erick Silva with a flawless display of grappling which ended with his opponent, James Head, tapping to a guillotine choke midway through the first frame. At featherweight Darren Elkins and Hatsu Hioki produced a fifteen minute exhibition of martial arts showcasing both men's grappling and striking abilities in the type of brawl that has become almost customary in their careers to date. Elkins' superior cardio allowed him to take control and in the end all three judges scored him the fight two rounds to one. That was followed by the debut of the massively hyped Brandon Thatch against veteran Justin Edwards. That hype was well justified as Thatch unleashed a barrage of knees and punches to the face and body of Edwards dropping him to the ground multiple times inside the opening minute. After 83 seconds the referee ended Edwards' misery giving Thatch the TKO victory in a debut reminiscent to that of Irish star Conor McGregor's in Sweden just over four months ago. Rounding off the prelims was the middleweight bout between Papi Abedi and Australian Dylan Andrews. It was a largely tentative affair for large sections due in part to a hand injury sustained by Andrews early in round one. That all changed in round three, though, as Andrews came out looking for the finish and caught Abedi with a bludgeoning right uppercut that knocked him to the canvas. Two finishing strikes later and referee Herb Dean stepped in, giving the Australian his second straight knockout win in the UFC. Another middleweight fight kicked off the main card as TUF alums Bubba McDaniel and Brad Tavares put their respective recent winning records on the line. McDaniel came into the fight as a heavy underdog but that didn't end up materialising in practice during round one as the fight took place almost totally on the feet with both men having their moments. In the second, though, Tavares started to get going with his striking as his counters found a constant home on McDaniel's chin. At that point it looked like it was Tavares' fight but to McDaniel's credit he came into the final round with a new lease of life taking the Hawaiian down and controlling him for almost the whole round. Going to the judges cards it was in the balance but Tavares took the unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). The only Mexican born UFC fighter, Erik Perez, took on seasoned veteran Takeya Mizugaki in a fight which was “El Goyito's” first inside the UFC to make it out of round one. Neither man was shy about coming forward as Mizugaki drew blood from the nose of the Mexican in the early exchanges which set a tone going forward. Round two was largely dominated by Mizugaki who had the resilient Perez rocked more than once and led to his head trainer, Greg Jackson, telling Perez between rounds that “you have to win this round (the 3rd)”. That was easier said than done, though, as the Japanese fighter continued to dominate his younger opponent and had Perez deep in a rear naked choke until he somehow miraculously escaped. The fight ended in a split decision win for Mizugaki who moves to 3-0 in his last three fights. Four welterweights (three of which were TUF champions) took to the octagon next as, firstly, Court McGee battled Australian Robert Whittaker in what was an action packed fight. As we are so accustomed to seeing at this stage; McGee came out from the bell and put the pressure on, backing Whittaker up from the get go and although McGee dominated the pace of the fight Whittaker landed a number a counters; dropping the American towards the end of round one. McGee, though, returned the favour in round two as Whittaker was put on his back by a thunderous right hook and as the round ended the Australian had retained his senses, landing some stiff jabs on McGee's chin. The third round was fought at a blistering back and forth pace with both men bloodied up badly as the final bell sounded. Going to the judges decision the pressuring style of McGee was always going to be the stand out area of the fight and that's exactly how it materialised as McGee won the split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28). Kelvin Gastelum vs. Brian Melancon was a much shorter and less controversial affair as, TUF 17 champion, Gastelum continued his magnificent form as he submitted Melancon with a rear naked choke in the first round seconds after he dropped the Texan with a vicious combination. The co-main event saw number six ranked lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone take on rising star and number ten ranked Rafael Dos Anjos. It was the Brazilian who bossed the opening stanza of the fight, winning all the standing exchanges and knocking Cerrone down with a right hook early on before controlling the Colorado native on the ground. It was more of the same early in round two as Dos Anjos attacked the body of Cerrone before himself being briefly taken down by “Cowboy”. The Brazilian quickly returning to his feet, though, and once again backed Cerrone up as the round ended. Cerrone entered the last round knowing he needed to finish but it just didn't happen for him in an extremely uneventful round which saw Dos Anjos take the decision on the judges cards (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Headlining the nights action was the rematch over four years in the making as Martin Kampmann took on former interim welterweight title holder Carlos Condit. This started out just as it did in 2009 with Kampmann securing the takedown inside the first minute and controlling Condit on the ground for the remainder of the round. The second round was a different matter though as Condit showed the improvements in his game as he stuffed numerous takedown attempts from the Dane and opened up with his striking, landing seemingly at will to the head of Kampmann. The third round mirrored the second as Condit's striking pace lifted at an exponential rate to the blood on Kampmann's face. Unlike the first fight this was scheduled for five rounds instead of three and by the look of Kampmanns' face in between rounds he wished it wasn't. It took less than a minute of the fourth round for Condit to finish the job as he landed a series of unanswered combinations which eventually knocked Kampmann to the floor and forced referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight. Condit not only avenged his loss to Kampmann but also ended a two fight losing streak, putting himself back within touching distance of a title contendership. Overall it was a fantastic way to start a run of three events in just seven days. Next up is Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis at UFC 164 in Milwaukee which is set to be another blockbuster rematch. Image via @CarlosCondit
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