Main Card:

Rashad Evans Outwrestles Thiago Silva To Claim The Decision

Rashad Evans stated before the fight that he wanted to return to his wrestling roots, and it proved to be the difference between the two fighters on the night.  It won’t be a performance that strikes fear into the heart of his future opponents though.

He successfully worked his takedowns against Silva throughout the fight, but must feel disappointed at his inability to keep the fight grounded for an extended period of time, or land any significant strikes to his downed opponent.

It also must be a concern to have found himself rocked for the second fight in a row, particularly with a much anticipated bout with lethal striker Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson now set to take place in May.

Meanwhile Silva will surely be disappointed at his lack of cardio in the third round,which appeared to hinder his ability to finish Evans after having rocked him. As with Evans, this fight shows that Silva still has holes in his game that need to be improved upon.

Paul Daley Flattens Dustin Hazelett

In this fight Daley proved again that he is perhaps the most dangerous striker in the welterweight division.  As in his previous fight Daley capitalized on his opponents failure to take the fight to the floor, and added another KO to his highlight reel, flattening Hazelett with a counter left hook just 2.24mins into the opening round.

The victory justifies Daley’s own hype regarding his knockout power and moves him into contention with the divisions top fighters.

Hazelett on the other hand will no doubt be left disappointed that he didn’t at least test Daley’s takedown defense.

Sam Stout Puts On A ‘Fight Of The Night’ Performance Against Joe Lauzon

Sam Stout has claimed several ‘Fight Of The Night’ awards in his UFC career so far, but perhaps none will be as satisfying as this one.  He outclassed arguably his toughest opponent to date in Joe Lauzon on the feet with some precise counter-striking and solid combinations, and left him frustrated by continually stuffing his takedown attempts.

It was a disappointing night for Lauzon who started strongly with a kimura attempt in the opening round, but he appeared to run out of ideas as the fight progressed.  To his credit he gamely pressed forward until the final bell, but the end result never seemed in doubt.

The result evens up Stout’s UFC record to 4-4, and with two wins in a row under his belt he will now be looking to solidify his position in the upper half of the lightweight division in 2010.

Jim Miller Claims A Quick Victory Over Duane Ludwig

While it was no surprise to see Jim Miller claim a first round submission victory over late replacement Duane Ludwig, it was notable that Miller first managed to win the stand-up battle with the seasoned striker, knocking him down before finishing by armbar.

Now 5-1 in the UFC, 16-2 overall, Miller is a major presence at 155lbs and has more than earned a fight with a high ranking opponent like Sean Sherk (who he was set to fight at UFC 108 before injury forced Sherk to withdraw).

Meanwhile it will be difficult for Ludwig to derive anything positive from his performance, and his UFC future may now hang in the balance.

Junior Dos Santos Makes A Major Statement With Win Over Gilbert Yvel

Going toe-to-toe with Gilbert Yvel is not for the feint-hearted, but Junior Dos Santos did just that and emerged victorious with a first round TKO, proving that he is one of the most dangerous strikers in an increasingly stacked heavyweight division.

With Cain Velasquez Vs Big Nog, and Frank Mir Vs Shane Carwin already set, Dos Santos may have to wait to get a shot at either the title (or interm title depending on Brock Lesnar’s health),  but having defeated four tough opponents in a row the 25 year old now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the top contenders.

For Yvel the result will be a blow, but after having come in at short notice in his debut to fight one of the division’s fast rising stars, there is no shame in defeat.  He is an exciting fighter and there will be further opportunities to prove himself in the UFC in 2010.

Prelims Round-up

Martin Kampmann got back to winning ways against Jacob Volkmann, who appeared to have found his range against the Danish fighter early on, but could not compete with Kampmann’s superior counter-striking and power.  After being floored twice Volkmann eventually succumbed to a guillotine choke.

Despite being dropped early in the first Cole Miller didn’t stop his offensive strategy against Dan Lauzon and was duely rewarded later in the round when he performed an intricate submission by using an inverted triangle to lock in a Kimura.

Meanwhile Mark Munoz claimed his second win at middleweight, forcing Ryan Jensen to tap after a sustained ground and pound assault in the first round of their bout.

Jake Ellenberger earned his first win in the octagon over Mike Pyle thanks to a heavy right hook that left Pyle dazed, followed up by some additional strikes that ended the bout just seconds into the 2nd round.

In the evening’s opener Rafaello Oliveira got the better of John Gunderson on the ground to claim a unanimous decision victory.