August 28, 2010

Gabe Ruediger, an outcast from Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” returned to the Octagon at UFC 118 as part of the preliminary bouts on Spike TV. His return may be short lived.

Ruediger’s “Ultimate Fighter” teammate, Joe Lauzon, gave him a rude welcome both in the Octagon and Boston. Lauzon immediately took Ruediger down and brutalized him with heavy punches to the head. He then scooped Ruediger up, slammed him on the mat, pounded him a little more, and then finished him with an armbar just two minutes into the opening round.

“Welcome to Boston!” Lauzon declared after the fight. “I wanted to take his arm and that’s exactly what I did.”

He may have taken Ruediger’s shot at the UFC with him.

It wasn’t the titillating type of fight that fans – and Spike TV execs – would have liked, but Nik Lentz dominated British fighter Andre Winner. Lentz tapped into his strong wrestling background to alternate between pressing Winner into the cage and scoring numerous takedowns to control position for all three rounds.

Lentz didn’t do any damage, but he was able to take away Winner’s striking game to earn a unanimous decision victory, improving his overall record to 19-3-2.

“I felt good about my performance. I got the win, but I felt like I could’ve done a lot of things better,” Lentz said later. “But when you’re in there with a person of his caliber it’s tough to get the finish. He’s definitely the toughest guy I’ve ever fought.”

The bout was Winner’s first loss since dropping “The Ultimate Fighter Season 9” final to fellow Brit Ross Pearson. He is now 2-2 in the Octagon and 11-4-1 overall.

Preliminary Bouts (On Spike TV):
-Joe Lauzon def. Gabe Ruediger by Submission (Arm Bar) at 2:01, R1
-Nik Lentz def. Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27), R3

Preliminary Bouts (Non-Televised):
-Dan Miller def. John Salter by Submission (Anaconda Choke) at 1:53, R2
-Greg Soto def. Nick Osipczak by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Mike Pierce def. Amilcar Alves by Submission (Arm Lock) at 3:11, R3