Proving that in MMA the best cards aren’t always the one’s that are the most hyped or featuring the biggest stars, Ultimate Fight Night 19 was a highly entertaining card with competitive matches throughout.
Nate Diaz Vs Melvin Guillard
In the build-up to this match-up it was apparent that Diaz best route to victory was via submission and Guillard’s was by using his KO power. In the end both fighters got to display those attributes to an appreciative Texan crowd. Guillard struck first blood, knocking Diaz to the floor early in the first round. This didn’t deter the Stockton native however, as we was quickly back to his feet and into the thick of it again. His love of getting into a scrap perhaps clouded his judgement somewhat though as he looked to be coming out second best in the stand-up battle for much of the bout. By the end of the first round he was sporting a significant cut above his right eye and was one round down on the score-cards.
Meanwhile along with some effective striking Guillard was demonstrating good evasive head movement and wisely spent as little time on the ground as possible, showing some good scrambling in order to get back to his feet at times.
The second round started much as the first, but just as doubts started to creep in as to whether Diaz was utlizing the correct game-plan he finally managed to land a couple of decent straight punches to his opponents head. Feigning injury in less than convincing fashion Guillard fell back against the fence before rebounding forward with a crude overhand right that failed to land. Having kept a cool head so far in the fight this seemed like a rush of blood to the head from Guillard and the momentary lack of composure cost him dear as he made the wrong decision to abandon his game-plan and take Diaz to the ground. Mere seconds later Diaz had locked in a guillotine choke and held on for the inevitable tapout.
Result: Nate Diaz wins by submission
Gray Maynard Vs Roger Huerta
Despite many people’s prediction that Gray Maynard would look to use his superior wrestling to smother Huerta, Maynard had other ideas, stating that he was looking for the knockout. Reading between the lines this would suggest that perhaps he was looking to enhance his reputation and bolster his fighting CV which, although reading an impressive 8-0, had so far been dominated by decision victories. So, in a potentially risky strategy, Maynard did indeed stand toe-to-toe with Huerta for much of the first two rounds.
Clearly his boxing is still a work in progress but he equipped himself fairly well for the most part though flurries of punches from Huerta would occasionally put Maynard of his stride and into reverse gear. If he had used some lateral movement rather than retreating in a straight line he may have gotten himself out of trouble quicker. He did however show that he has some power in his hands by dropping Huerta momentarily with a jab, the most significant moment of the second round.
With Maynard looking to protect his undefeated record and continue on the path towards a title shot in the future the smart move in the third round would have been to revert back to his wrestling base as many had predicted he would before the fight, and indeed he did just that. As expected he is able to dominate Huerta from this position. Late in the round the fight looks to be over as Maynard locks in a painful looking Kimura attempt that practically has Huerta’s shoulder blade popping out of his back but somehow he manages to hang on. Anybody who thought that Huerta’s heart was no longer in the fight game after he announced he was leaving the organisation to become an actor, would have been quickly silenced by this ‘never say die’ heroics. Despite this, it was clearly a dominant round for Maynard who manages to pull out a decision victory.
Result: Gray Maynard wins by split decision.
Carlos Condit Vs Jake Ellenberger
Being a late replacement for Chris Lytle and making his debut in the UFC you could have forgiven Jake Ellenberger for being somewhat tentative in the opening round of this bout, but that was clearly the last thing on his mind as he sent Condit crashing to the mat only seconds into the match. This was to become a familiar feeling for the the former WEC welterweight champ Condit who was knocked down a further twice during the first round. The last of these knockdowns all but switches his lights out, sending him crumpling to the floor. It was an impressive display of heart from Condit that in his dazed state he somehow managed to grab onto Ellenberger’s legs and take him to the ground.
Considering his success in the stand-up it’s somewhat surprising to see Ellenberger take Condit to the ground early in the second round. Perhaps still recovering from the excersions of the first round Ellenberger isn’t quite as active from the top position and the crafty Condit eventually manages to use a Kimura to sweep Ellenberger, ending up in the mount. This is clearly a better round for Condit despite being able to really press home his advantage from a dominant position.
Again the third round quickly goes to the ground which seems to favour Condit and he eventually finds himself back in the mount position and as the round ends takes his back, reigning down blows to his head as the bell rings to end the match. Another entertaining fight goes to a decision.
Result: Carlos Condit wins by split decision.
Nathan Quarry Vs Tim Credeur:
The first fight on the main card and what a way to start the show. It quickly becomes apparent that Credeur has the measure of his opponent on the feet and Quarry looks somewhat bemused. Late in the first round Quarry is dropped and Credeur takes his back and tries to sink in the choke but he manages to escape .
Round two starts much the same as the first with Credeur on top and he looks to have Quarry in trouble, but out of nowhere Quarry lands a powerful right hand that knocks down his opponent and changes the perspective of the fight. In no hurry to get back to the stand-up Quarry sensibly works on his ground & pound for the remainder of the round.
In similar fashion to the second round, Credeur again begins to overwhelm Quarry in the stand-up battle with a flurry of punches and kicks before Quarry’s right hand again comes to the rescue buckling Credeur’s knees and sending him to the mat. He somehow manages to survive and a minute later when they get back to their feet it becomes apparent that just the fact that Credeur is standing is an impressive feat. Running on empty but refusing to quit he continues to fight on, taking some more punishment from Quarry who’s face is now heavily swollen and bruised and is clearly fatigued himself. Never the most technical battle to begin with, there is now little or no technique been shown but it’s undeniably entertaining and a testiment to the hearts and warrior spirit of both men that they somehow survive until the end of the round.
Nathan Quarry Wins by Unanimous Decision
Ryan Jensen Defeats Steve Steinbeiss by submission
Mike Pierce Defeats Brock Larson by decision
Jeremy Stephens Defeats Justin Buchholz by TKO
CB Dollaway Defeats Jay Silva by decision
Mike Pyle Defeats Chris Wilson by submission
Brian Stann Defeats Steve Cantwell by decision
Fight Of The Night:
No surprises here, the Quarry & Credeur war took the honors for fight of the night and deservedly earned a $30,000 bonus each. On any other night the Condit – Ellenberger match-up would have been a strong contender also and to be fair as far the main card goes there were no real let-downs.