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Alexander Gustafsson defeats Thiago Silva by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Brian Stann defeats Alessio Sakara by KO at 2.26mins of Rd1
Siyar Bahadurzada defeats Paulo Thiago by KO at 0.42mins of Rd1
Dennis Siver defeats Diego Nunes by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
John Maguire defeats DaMarques Johnson by submission (armbar) at 4.40mins of Rd2
Brad Pickett defeats Damacio Page by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4.05mins of Rd2
James Head defeats Papy Abedi by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4.33mins of Rd1
This fight offered up it’s first surprise when Abedi, primarily a striker, secured an early takedown. He attempted to get some ground and pound off, but wasn’t able to do a whole lot with the position and eventually Head got back upright. The second surprise of the fight was that it was Head who began to land the more hurtful blows on the feet, and a series of elbow strikes to the head clearly had Abedi dazed and as more punches followed he stumbled down on his hands and knees on the mat. That allowed Head to get on top of him, seize his back and Abedi offered up very little resistance before tapping to the rear-naked choke that followed.
Cyrille Diabate defeats Tom DeBlass by majority decision (29-28 x2, 28-28)
Diabate did very well here to rebound after a shaky start. DeBlass comfortably took Diabate down in the first round and was able to control him there for the remainder of the round. When he was able to do the same thing early in the second alarm bells must have been ringing in Diabate’s head, but he stayed composed and continued to look for a way back to his feet. Eventually an opportunity to do so arose, and not only did he take it, but he then immediately took DeBlass down, and the momentum of the fight swung in his favor from that point onwards as he landed some powerful yet methodical ground and pound. DeBlass managed at one point to briefly get out of the position, but Diabate reversed it and ended the round with more hurtful blows. DeBlass was a late replacement and it really showed in the final round as he was struggling cardio wise. Diabate was happy to take advantage and was able to show off his developing ground game again in the five minutes that followed as he got the better of the action and helped seal a majority decision in his favor.
Francis Carmont defeats Magnus Cedenblad by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1.42mins of Rd2
The first round of this fight was marked by a series of back-and-forth takedowns. Carmont secured the first one, but he got sloppy and as he looked to stand up Cedenblad seized on a moment’s hesitation and got a takedown of his own. Cheered on by the home support he tried to make the best of the position and took Carmont’s back and at one stage looked close to finishing as he hunted for a rear-naked choke, but Carmont managed to fight it off. Then Carmont was able to twist his body and emerge back on top and appeared to be destined to finish the round on top before Cedenblad swept him to gain top control once again just as the round ended. Onto the second and Carmont again secured a quick takedown and started to unleash some powerful ground and pound on the tiring Cedenblad. Now in mount the blows continued to thunder down and then as Cedenblad offered up his back and he looked for the choke, producing an almost instantaneous tap.
Reza Madadi defeats Yoislandy Izquierdo by submission (guillotine choke) at 1.28mins of Rd2
This proved to be a true striker vs grappler match-up. On the feet izquierdo looked the more dangerous man, but it was Madadi’s takedowns and submission work that would prove to be the biggest difference between them. After failing to take advantage of a good position in side control in the first round, Madadi again was looking for a choke in the second from the same positionafter a solid takedown. He couldn’t get it though and so switched for a guillotine instead. Izquierdo fought off the first attempt, but Madadi sunk in the second one tighter and flipped him over into full mount in the process to produce the fight-ending tap.
Simeon Thoresen defeats Besam Yousef by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2.36mins of Rd2
Good competitive fight here. In the first round Yousef was very aggressive even while being in primarily defensive positions – landing strikes while being taken down, and while on his back. Thoresen had the superior position though and was able to throw down som hard shots. Eventually the ref stood them back up and again Thorsen appeared to have a good thai clinch yet Yousef was still landing hurtful shots to the body. Nevertheless Thoresen did land some nice knees to the body and occasionally to the head as well so it was a closely fought fight at this stage. Yousef looked to be getting slightly the better of the stand-up early in the second round, with his hooks in particular causing problems, but then he’s caught with a punch and it’s hurt him, giving Thoresen the opportunity to take the fight to the floor. Immediately he’s looking for an anaconda choke, but then rolls into full mount. He looks for a submission again and eventually Yousef has to give up his back to escape, only to find Thoresen latching up a clinical rear-naked choke that forces the tap.
Jason Young defeats Eric Wisely by unanimous decision (30-28, 29-28 x2)
Wisely came out with a plethora of kicks in this fight, but rather than help him to victory they lead him to defeat. Throughout the 15 minute fight Young did a good job of timing those incoming kicks and turning it into an opportunity to take Wisely down. While he didn’t do much in the way of damage from on top, he was able to control the action for sustained periods. Wisely began to rally in the third round, coming out more aggressive and almost seizing Young’s back while also mixing up his strikes better on the feet. Young was again able to take him down a couple of times however and in the end the decision never looked in any doubt.