UFC 140 Prelims: Pokrajac and Philippou Impress

December 10, 2011
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Igor Pokrajac

Igor Pokrajac

The preliminary portion of the UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida fight card at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday night, opened with three bouts airing live on Facebook with the remaining four prelims airing on ION Television in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada.

Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac

Krzysztof Soszynski came out a ball of fire, throwing hands at Igor Pokrajac, but it was the Croatian that quickly took control of the stand-up game. Pokrajac rocked Soszynski with right hands, putting the Polish born Canadian fighter on on the mat. Pokrajac never let up, finishing Soszynski off with jack hammering right hands for the early first-round stoppage.

Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou

Constantinos Philippou is now 2-1 in his Octagon tenure, but it was his performance against Jared Hamman on Saturday night that put an exclamation point on why the UFC signed him in the first place.

“It was about time. This is it. This is why I belong here,” Philippou said about his dramatic knockout finish.

Philippou rocked Hamman with consecutive hammering punches, locked on a rear naked choke, but couldn’t finish. He then turned to a guillotine choke, but still, he couldn’t finish. Running completely off of heart, Hamman kept going. Philippou rocked him again with two more shots. Hamman went down, but still wouldn’t give in. He got back up, but once again Philippou put his hands on Hamman, this time putting him down and out for good.

Dennis Hallman vs. John Makdessi

Dennis Hallman, normally a welterweight, had trouble making weight for this 155-pound fight, and it seemed to leave him a little testy, and he took it out on John Makdessi. Hallman quickly wrestled Makdessi to the mat and brutalized him with a ground and pound attack. Makdessi eventually gave up his back, something you don’t want to do with a fighter like Hallman, who quickly sank a rear naked choke for the first-round finish.

Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson

Not surprisingly, Jabouin vs. Watson started as a solid stand-up battle, but it didn’t take long for Yves Jabouin to try and ground the lankier striker, Walel Watson. He wasn’t so successful in grounding Watson, so Jabouin instead moved in and out in the stand-up, chopping away at Watson’s lead leg.

Closing the distance with a spinning backfist, Jabouin finally took Watson to the mat late in round two, but was nearly submitted courtesy of a Watson guillotine.

He scored again with the backfist and takedown in round three, but again Watson turned the tide rather quickly, taking a half mount position before locking on a D’arce choke. Jabouin escaped once again and finished strong, eking out the victory by split decision.

Nik Lentz vs. Mark Bocek

Mark Bocek moved over to the TriStar gym that Georges St-Pierre trains at to re-invent himself after losing at UFC 129. He showed much of the work he put in at TriStar, coming out much more aggressive and displaying a strong stand-up game in his fight with Nik Lentz. He got caught in a guillotine choke early, but remained calm and fought his way out of it.

As the fight wore on, Lentz showed he was comfortable off his back, aggressively seeking the guillotine finish, but spending the majority of a fight on your back rarely pays off. And it surely didn’t for Lentz as Bocek dominated the majority of the fight with his ground and pound attack, handing Lentz his first loss in eight UFC fights.

“Winning here against a fighter like Nik Lentz, who has never lost in the UFC, is incredible,” Bocek commented after the fight, winning in his hometown.

Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht

Rich Attonito took control in the opening round, grounding and pounding Jake Hecht for the majority of the round. As much as the debuting Hecht tried, he couldn’t find a submission from off of his back.

Attonito shot in trying to put Hecht back in the same position in round two. Hecht, however, dropped an elbow to Attonito’s head during the takedown to take control and put his opponent’s back to the mat. Hecht unloaded a ground and pound assault to finish the fight early in the second.

“I lost a fight the same exact way before… so learn from your losses, right?” said Hecht after the victory.

John Cholish vs. Mitch Clarke

Newcomer John Cholish, out of Renzo Gracie’s gym in New York, was calm and composed in his finish of fellow UFC newbie Mitch Clarke in the UFC 140 opener. Cholish controlled the fight both on the feet and on the mat en route to a TKO stoppage late in the second round.

UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida Preliminary Bout Results:

Preliminary Bouts (on ION Television):
-Igor Pokrajac def. Krzysztof Soszynski by KO at :35, R1
-Constantinos Philippou def. Jared Hamman by KO at 3:11, R1
-Dennis Hallman def. John Makdessi by Submission (rear naked choke) at 2:58, R1
-Yves Jabouin def. Walel Watson by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Preliminary Bouts (on Facebook):
-Mark Bocek def. Nik Lentz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Jake Hecht def. Rich Attonito by TKO at 1:10, R2
-John Cholish def. Mitch Clarke by TKO at 4:36, R2


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