by MMAWeekly.com Staff
BIRMINGHAM, England – Save for one, every preliminary bouts at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England went into the third round or went the distance, but it wasn’t for lack of exciting action.

Dan Hardy and Akihiro Gono took it to the wire in their split decision effort. It was Hardy who was able to maintain the pace for the better part of the fight, but Gono was able to get some licks in as well in this three-round throwdown. Most definitely the crowd favorite, it was Hardy that walked away with two judges in his pocket, but the performance of both fighters surely ignited the crowd at the National Indoor Arena.

Coloradan Shane Carwin has wasted no time disappointing British fans that were pulling for countryman Neil Wain. In just one minute, 31 seconds, he bloodied Wain into a referee’s stoppage, sending Old Skool back to school. Carwin now stands at 2-0 in the Octagon and 10-0 as a professional mixed martial artist.

Swedish fighter David Bielkheden used an onslaught of takedowns and ground and pound to secure a unanimous decision victory over Jess Liaudin – a French import making his home in England.

In a lightweight battle, Terry Etim used his technique and stamina to outlast a frustrated Sam Stout in their preliminary bout at UFC 89. Etim suffered a flash knockdown in the opening stanza, but it wasn’t enough to faze him or the judges, as he ended a two-fight skid – sending Stout onto his own slippery two-fight slope – with a unanimous decision victory.

Jim Miller finally made his UFC debut and he did not disappoint. The former Ring of Combat champion had to go deep into the third round with French fighter David Baron, but he controlled the majority of the fight before finishing with a rear naked choke.

Miller is an interesting addition to the UFC ranks. He now holds a 12-1 professional record with his only loss being to Frankie Edgar, a UFC veteran that Miller may now have the chance to rematch in hopes to avenge his lone blemish.

In the evening’s opening bout, Per Eklund made up for a disappointing Octagon debut in January at UFC 80 by submitting Samy Schiavo. He had to survive being dropped in the first round, but Eklund persevered and locked on rear necked choke to put an end to the contest less than two minutes into the final round.

Preliminary Bouts Results:
-Dan Hardy def. Akihiro Gono by Split Decision, R3
-Shane Carwin def. Neil Wain by TKO (Strikes) at 1:31 R1
-David Bielkheden def. Jess Liaudin by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Terry Etim def. Sam Stout by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Jim Miller def. David Baron by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:19, R3
-Per Eklund def. Sammy Schiavo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:47, R3