by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
Spike TV doubled the number of fights scheduled for their special presentation of UFC 103’s prelims, airing four fights before the pay per view broadcast.
Hard-swinging middleweights Thomasz Drwal and Drew McFedires lead the broadcast with a flurry of punches, but Drwal’s ground skills gave him the winning advantage.
The 31 year-old McFedries backed Drawl off in the pocket, swinging wide punches from the hip as the two first engaged. Drwal returned fire, but varied his advance by kicking McFedries’ legs.
The 27 year-old Drawl waited for McFedries to commit to another huge punch before taking the action down. The action sprang up, but the Polish-born fighter had found a weakness, and baited McFedries to go to bat.
McFedries obliged, and found himself at the edge of the cage fending off a rear naked choke before the bell saved him.
Only Drawl’s three-punch combo in the second round slowed him from bending the fight to his advantage. After dragging McFedries to the ground, he quickly gained mount and used a Gable grip to get the tapout just 63 seconds into the frame.
23 year-old lightweight Efrain Escudero looked light years ahead of the man who won the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Showcasing a highly refined counter punching game, it took him less than a round to dispatch TUF 5 alum Cole Miller.
Miller, 25, showed his taste for a stand-up affair early on, chasing the wrestling-bred Escudero around the cage with a stiff jab and series of flashy kicks. He hoped to set up a straight right or uppercut as he closed the distance, but Escudero turned him back with his own punches.
Escudero showed little patience for Miller’s kicks, dumping the American Top Team fighter on his head twice. The second drop seemed to stun Miller, which prompted Escudero to storm forward. One straight right glanced Miller’s head, but the second landed flush, stopping him in his tracks. Escudero stood over and sealed the deal with another right that put Miller out at 3:36 of the first.
In other action, Rick Story survived an early onslaught from Brian Foster to coax an arm triangle submission from Foster’s guard in the second round of their lightweight bout.
Newcomer Steve Lopez showed all the brashness of an Octagon veteran, but was overwhelmed by the ferocious striking of Jim Miller, who nearly put him out in the first with a flurry of punches. In the end, though, it was Lopez’s body that betrayed him; in the second round, he threw a left hand that caused his shoulder to pop gruesomely out of its socket, giving Miller the TKO win at 48 seconds of the second.