In two UFC 133 preliminary bouts on Spike TV, leading up to Saturday night’s main card in Philadelphia, we saw a light heavyweight upstart establish himself, and a featherweight contender maintain his grip on a UFC title shot.
The final fight before the UFC 133 main card opened with Matt Hamill taking the center of the Octagon, landing some good power shots, but those were countered by Alexander Gustafsson’s movement and frequency.
Gustafsson, however, stepped it up in round two, shucking off Hamill’s takedown attempts and pressuring Hamill with strikes. With about two minutes left in the round, Gustafsson dropped Hamill with a left hand followed by two right uppercuts. He quickly followed the former “Ultimate Fighter” to the mat, taking full mount and bludgeoning Hamill to a TKO stoppage.
It was a tremendous victory for the 24-year-old Swede.
“I’m super happy man. I can’t believe it. I’m not super pleased because I didn’t know what to do in the beginning.”
The win puts his professional record at 12-1, including winning four out of five bouts in the Octagon. Gustafsson is quickly becoming a force to pay attention to in the UFC light heavyweight division.
It wasn’t the most fan friendly of fights, but No. 2 ranked featherweight Chad Mendes kept his title aspirations alive with a dominant performance over submission wizard Rani Yahya in Philadelphia.
Mendes controlled the fight from the opening bell, keeping it on the feet early, not allowing Yahya any chance of a submission attempt. Mendes didn’t swing for the fences with his stand-up, but he kept Yahya in check.
Later in the fight, as they got sweaty and slippery, lessening the chances of a successful submission, Mendes took Yahya down at will. Once on the mat, Mendes maintained tight positioning, methodically picking his moments for well-timed power shots.
Mendes followed his game plan to a T, never giving Yahya a chance to fight the fight in his world.
“I knew I could stay solid enough to just throw some elbows and do just enough,” Mendes said after walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
Alexander Gustafsson def. Matt Hamill by TKO (Strikes) at 3:24, R2
Chad Mendes def. Rani Yahya by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
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