Brandon Vera will live to fight another day in the UFC, but had to endure a broken arm to get there, while Ramsey Nijem impressed in his lightweight debut at UFC 137.
Eliot Marshall vs. Brandon Vera
Two fighters in need of a win met at UFC 137, and what resulted was a close decision and one fighter left with a broken arm.
Brandon Vera, who at one time was touted as the future of both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, staved off a pink slip after his last opponent tested positive for performance enhancers thus giving him new life in the UFC. Meanwhile, Eliot Marshall looked to bounce back from a tough short notice loss to Luiz Cane at UFC 128 in March.
Vera came out strong early using an effective clinch to push and move Marshall around and against the cage. Marshall didn’t hesitate to fire back however and tagged Vera with a good combination, stunning his opponent and sending him backwards. Vera recovered and put on a stronger performance in the 2nd round with quicker punches and kicks.
The third round was all Marshall after he put Vera down with a huge punch, and followed up looking for the finish. Vera survived, but soon found himself with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt on his back looking for the rear naked choke. Marshall couldn’t quite sink it in, but then rolled for a beautiful armbar.
As tight as the hold was, Vera didn’t give in and eventually slipped out to end the round on top, looking to land elbows as the final horn sounded. Following the end of the fight, Vera was declared the winner by unanimous decision, but he was heard saying that Marshall broke his arm with the armbar that almost finished the fight in the third round.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Danny Downes
That’s the best way to describe what former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ runner-up Ramsey Nijem did to Danny Downes after a complete shutout performance at UFC 137.
Dropping down to 155lbs, Nijem didn’t lose a single step and actually went back to his wrestling roots, taking Downes down at will and time and time again just controlling him on the ground. To his credit, Downes was as tough as they come, slipping out of submissions and getting out of bad positions, but mounted no offense of his own.
Nijem looks like a bright prospect at lightweight for the future, while Downes will likely find himself on the outside of the UFC looking in after his second straight defeat.
Chris Camozzi vs. Francis Carmont
Francis Carmont, the newest product out of the Tristar gym in Montreal, proved he’s learned a lot under trainer Firas Zahabi and came away with a dominant win over former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ competitor Chris Camozzi at UFC 137.
Carmont cracked Camozzi several times during the fight and almost got the finish in the 2nd round after landing a nasty right hand followed by a quick left. The Frenchman also landed a nasty slam that put Camozzi down hard on his back in the second session.
Camozzi simply had no answer to Carmont’s stand-up, and could not get the fight to the ground. The Colorado fighter did try to pull out a kimura with seconds remaining in the fight, but it was too little, too late. Carmont gets his first UFC victory with a dominant and lopsided decision.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks
In a battle of UFC newcomers, Clifford Starks got the best of Dustin Jacoby by using his superior wrestling in a fight he took on just a few days’ notices.
Starks, a former Arizona State wrestler, mixed in his takedowns to put Jacoby on the mat and once they hit the canvas, the Marc Fiore trained fighter had no answers from his back. In the corner, Fiore was screaming at Jacoby to let his hands go, but unfortunately he was just too tentative and got taken down in each in and every round.
Clifford Starks starts off his UFC career in the right way with a unanimous decision win and will likely hope for a full training camp for his second trip to the Octagon.