by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
MONTREAL – Before the UFC 113 main card kicked off on pay-per-view, the preliminary fighters lit up a roaring crowd at the Bell Centre.
Canadian Joe Doerksen and American bad boy Tom Lawlor gave the fans a thriller before the main card started. Lawlor looked good in the first round, matching everything Doerksen threw at him and more, outworking the Canadian with his boxing.
But Doerksen wasn’t going to waste in return trip to the UFC, and especially not in front of his countrymen. He mixed in an assortment of kicks that took Lawlor out of his rhythm in round two, and ultimately ended his night. Lawlor caught one of the kicks, but on the way to the mat Doerksen switched position, took Lawlor’s back and finished him with a rear naked choke.
“Hat’s off to Tom, he’s a great fighter,” said Doerksen. “He could be standing here the same as me.”
Jonathan Goulet looked to be doing well against Marcus Davis. After escaping an early guillotine attempt, he was able to take Davis down several times and take away much of Davis’ stand-up game.
Davis didn’t give him the chance in round two though. He quickly dropped Goulet and followed him down with a ground and pound attack. Goulet managed to survive and get back to his feet, but that’s just where Davis wanted him. He cracked Goulet again, dropping him with a left hand to the chin, causing the referee to dive in and stop the fight.
Davis ended a two-fight losing skid with the TKO stoppage.
Two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion Johny Hendricks kept his unblemished MMA record intact Saturday night, but it wasn’t without a lot of effort.
He had trouble early taking T.J. Grant to the mat and had to survive numerous hard shots from the Canadian. His wrestling, however, showed up strong in round two and especially in round three, nearly driving Grant through the mat in the final stanza.
It was a grinder of a fight, the two going toe-to-toe at points, but Hendricks’ wrestling pedigree served him well, as did Grant losing a point for two low blows. Hendricks took the majority decision from the judges.
In a battle of heavyweights, “The Mexicutioner,” Joey Beltran, bested Canadian Tim Hague on all three judges’ scorecards. That’s not too surprising, but one judge scoring it 30-26 was a little surprising.
Beltran was swinging for the fences all the way, using a lot of foot movement to keep Hague off guard and punishing him with a strong jab. It looked like it was going to be Beltran all the way when Hague couldn’t secure any early takedowns, and it mostly was for rounds one and two. But Hague came on strong in round three, finally finding the takedown, but it was too little too late as Beltran took the nod.
“I thought I did enough to get the win,” said Beltran after the fight. “I definitely won the first two rounds. He got on top of me in the third, but I outboxed him.”
It took Mike “The Joker” Guymon 10 years and a trip to Montreal to get to his first UFC victory, but it was only that much more sweet for the former TapouT Crew member.
Over the course of their 15-minute battle, Guymon took Japanese fighter Yoshiyuki Yoshida down several times, brutalizing him with forearms and elbows. Yoshida searched and searched, locking on a couple choke attempts during the bout, but he was never able to mount much threatening offense to Guymon, who tearfully accepted the victory as the judges’ scorecards were read unanimously in his favor.
“There are no words that can describe this feeling,” said Guymon. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion.
“I went through a very tough time in my life and Joe Silva called and gave me words of encouragement and four months later here I am. I want to thank him for that.”
The night continued with an unfortunate ending for Canadian Jason MacDonald. Just after he landed a kick to John Salter’s head, he was taken down. But the unfortunate part was that MacDonald’s left leg tangled up underneath him as he fell, apparently breaking his leg just above the ankle.
Salter celebrated the win afterwards, but it was a down moment for MacDonald, who left the Octagon with a brace on his leg, his cornermen escorting him to the dressing room.
“Everyone’s dream is to fight in the UFC,” said Salter. “I hate getting the win this way. I hope he recovers quickly and we can do it again.”
UFC 113 Preliminary Bout Results:
-Joe Doerksen def. Tom Lawlor by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:10, R2
-Marcus Davis def. Jonathan Goulet by TKO (Strikes) at 1:23, R2
-Johny Hendricks def. T.J. Grant by Majority Decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28), R3
-Joey Beltran def. Tim Hague by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28), R3
-Mike Guymon def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-John Salter def. Jason MacDonald by TKO (Injury) at 2:42, R1