The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first UFC on Fuel TV event, featuring Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger in the main event, kicked off with a four-fight preliminary card, streaming live on Facebook.
The prelims ended up being one bout short, however, due to a last minute cancellation, while the three fights that did go on as planned in Omaha, Neb., delivered with some solid debuts and a knockout finish.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Vagner Rocha
The final fight of the UFC on Fuel TV 1 Facebook preliminary bouts was over almost as quickly as it started.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins ate some shots early from Vagner Rocha, but once he got his mojo on, the American made quick work of his Brazilian counterpart.
A little over a minute into the fight, Rocha shot for a takedown, but Brookins powered a reverse, putting Rocha on his back. Brookins immediately began bludgeoning Rocha with right hands, putting him out cold.
“That’s just the way it goes some times,” said Brookins after the fight. “It could have been either one of us.”
Not calling anyone out, Brookins toed the party line, saying he’ll fight whomever UFC matchmaker Joe Silva puts in front of him. All he knows is that he’s not going to stand pat, knockout win or not.
“It’s back to the drawing board for me, man; I’ve still got a ton to learn.”
The fight between Buddy Roberts and Sean Loeffler was cancelled, quite literally, at the last minute, when Loeffler suffered an ankle injury while warming up at the venue. The fight was to be the Octagon debut for both fighters.
Anton Kuivanen vs. Justin Salas
It was a close fight, but in the night’s second fight, Justin Salas, fighting out of the same Grudge Training Center as Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub, Nate Marquardt, and several other UFC veterans, scored the victory.
Making his UFC debut, Salas said, “It’s like a dream. This is where I want to be in the UFC.”
It wasn’t easy, however, as he and Anton Kuivanen went toe-to-toe the entire fight. But while Kuivanen tried to maintain the center of the Octagon, looking to outstrike his opponent, Salas used good movement to stay away from Kuivanen’s power, utilizing his own, while adding several takedowns to the mix.
In the end, Salas earned a unanimous nod from the judges.
“He’s a tough physical guy,” said Salas after the fight, “but once I get my flow baby, I’ll keep going all day long.”
Tim Means vs. Bernardo Magalhaes
Tim “Dirty Bird” Means, a product of the same camp that interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit started with at FIT NHB, made an impressive UFC debut in Omaha, defeating Brazilian fighter Bernardo Magalhaes.
Means took it to Magalhaes the entire fight, using a five-inch height differential to keep Magalhaes at arms length the entire fight. Fending off all of the Brazilian’s takedown attempts, Means peppered him with punch combinations and flurries of knees to easily earn a unanimous decision.