UFC 119 got off to a great start tonight with the live prelims on Spike TV, with both fights providing plenty of entertainment.
Matt Mitrione performed well on the feet throughout his three round war with Joey Beltran, using his long reach to his advantage, showing good movement and throwing some less than technically perfect but certainly powerful punches.
Beltran stuck with him in the first two rounds, but by the third it was bloody and obviously hurt, hanging on until the final bell but not doing enough to secure a win on the judges scorecards with Mitrione being awarded 29-28 on all three judges scorecards.
Mitrione is still very much a work in progress with just three fights and three wins in his MMA career, all in the UFC’s octagon. The signs so far suggest that he could be a useful, and unexpected presence in the heavyweight class.
Following on from that on Spike’s hour long show was a brief but exciting tussle on the ground between CB Dollaway and Joe Doerksen..
Dollaway locked in a guillotine choke from the bottom early in the opening round and showed good composure to wait patiently until the right moment and then after a scramble and series of rolls ended up finally forcing the tap.
It was an eye-catching performance from the TUF season 7 finalist and one that takes him to three fights unbeaten at middleweight.