The UFC 138 Facebook prelims resulted with a few exciting fights and at least one potential bonus for ‘Knockout of the Night’.
John Maguire vs. Justin Edwards
John Maguire and Justin Edwards put on a show to cap off the Facebook prelims at UFC 138. The British fighter Maguire did enough however to pull off the decision win after 15 minutes of back and forth action.
In the opening moments of the fight, Ohioan Justin Edwards threw a nice spinning back kick that swiped Maguire’s midsection, but sent him backwards just enough for Edwards to throw and land a right hand bomb. Maguire fell straight back to the mat and Edwards tried to finish, but the Brit recovered and was able to regain his composure.
As the fight wore on it was Maguire’s superior grappling that took over, taking Edwards to the ground multiple times and just missing on a few submission attempts. Some of the ground exchanges between Edwards and Maguire were the real highlights as they scramble for positions and battled at every moment in the fight.
Maguire absolutely did more than enough to gain the victory and while he got 30-27 scores across the board, the fight was much more exciting that the final judges’ decision would notate.
“I can wrestle and I’m good on the ground, and I proved that some Brits can wrestle and submit,” Maguire said in response to the old adage that British fighters struggle with grappling and wrestling in MMA. “It feels brilliant.”
While it won’t win any ‘Fight of the Night’ awards, Phil De Fries came away with a victory over fellow countryman Rob Broughton to win in his first fight in the UFC.
De Fries took Broughton to the ground on several occasions where he looked to improve his position, but didn’t manage to do much damage. Broughton had a strong second round almost snatching a kimura, but couldn’t put De Fries away.
A slow pace came to a grind in the final round with De Fries spending the biggest part of the five minutes on top of Broughton, but again not much offense happening. The takedowns and control were enough however to give De Fries the win, keeping his perfect record in tact.
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Jason Young
It was a much needed win for Michihiro Omigawa with the Japanese fighter pulling off a decision win over British fighter Jason Young.
Omigawa came out on the wrong side of a very controversial decision in his last fight to Darren Elkins, but was determined to erase the memory of that and get his first official victory in the UFC. Using his superior judo and ground technique, Omigawa put Young on his back for the majority of the fight, controlling his opponent on the mat.
Young simply didn’t have an answer to Omigawa’s takedowns, and found himself on his back time and time again. Omigawa finally gets his first win in the UFC after five fights, although most believe his victory at UFC 138 should be his second in the Octagon.
“It’s really good to be able to get my first win here,” Omigawa stated.
Che Mills vs. Chris Cope
It was a devastating debut for British fighter Che Mills, who blasted ‘Ultimate Fighter’ veteran Chris Cop with two knee strikes to win in his home country on Saturday.
Mills waited for Cope to miss with a strike and he lowered the boom with a knee straight to his opponent’s face. Referee Mark Goddard gave Cope the chance to get his composure back, but as soon as he returned to his feet Mills greeted him with another knee.
This time Cope crashed face forward into the mat and the referee saw enough and swooped in for the stoppage. Mills, who was actually eliminated during the preliminary fights for the 9th season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’, finally got his chance to step into the Octagon and he made the most of his appearance.
“That’s what I do,” said Mills about his knockout victory. “That’s what I do.”
Chris Cariaso vs. Vaughan Lee
After surviving a tough first round, Chris Cariaso took over in rounds 2 and 3 to get a split decision win over hometown fighter Vaughan Lee at UFC 138.
It was obvious from the opening bell that Vaughan Lee wanted a ground fight, but after pulling Cariaso to the mat a few times in the first round, he found himself on his back for much of the last 10 minutes of the fight.
Cariaso mounted Lee several times and eventually took his opponent’s back, looking for the rear naked choke finish. Lee was able to stave off the submission, but still spent the majority of the fight with Cariaso on his back, looking to put him away.
Somehow one judge gave Vaughan Lee a 29-28 score, but the fight was clearly Cariaso’s and the other two judges gave him 29-28 scores and the split decision win.