Round 1: Cruickshank immediately shoots on Tickle, who catches him in a tight guillotine choke and drops to his back. Cruiskshank remains calm and eventually works his way out of the choke, remaining in Tickle’s full guard. Cruickshank eventually stands and Tickle gets up to his feet. Cruickshank blasts him with a flurry of punches before putting Tickle back on the mat. Tickle upkicks Cruickshank to the face while both men were down, so referee Steve Mazzagatti stops the fight and deducts a point from Tickle. Upon restart, Tickle drives right into Cruickshank, landing a couple punches and shooting for a takedown, but Cruickshank counters and trips Tickle to the mat, again landing in his guard. Cruickshank starts dropping down some hard, short elbows with about a minute left in the round and keeps him there to the bell. MMAWeekly.com scores round one 10-8 for Cruickshank (includes referee’s 1 point deduction).
Round 2: Cruickshank misses with a spinning back kick, then eats a punch combo from Tickle. Cruickshank kind of drops down, but Tickle locks up his neck, but he can’t get enough of a hold to apply a choke or get him to tap. Cruickshank slips out and starts working from half guard, where he is once again dropping elbows down on Tickle’s head. They action slows a bit and Mazzagatti stands them up. Tickle starts taunting Cruickshank, eats a kick from him, but then drops Cruickshank with a big right hand. Tickle drops down into Cruickshank’s guard and goes to work with his own ground and pound and, following a scramble, Tickle moves out to a half mount position and continues working on Cruickshank until the end of the round. MMAWeekly.com scores round two 10-9 for Tickle.
Round 3: Tickle comes out firiing with a mix of punches and kicks, leaping into Cruickshank as he throws the punches. He charges Cruickshank and bulls him to the mat, landing in side control and driving home a knee to his ribs. They scramble and Tickle briefly takes Cruickshank’s back, but Cruickshank slides him off and starts grounding and pounding from Tickle’s full guard. He starts in dropping the elbows again and mixes in a series of shoulder punches. Cruickshank stands and Tickle uses his butterfly guard to get him off balance and stand, but Cruickshank puts him right back on the mat, moves to full mount and starts dropping the elbows again. Cruicklshank goes for an arm-in guillotine, sinks it, and drops back. Tickle eventually works his way out and takes Cruickshank’s back, but Cruickshank reverses before the horn. MMAWeekly.com scores round three 10-9 and the fight 29-27 for Cruickshank.
Daron Cruickshank def. Chris Tickle by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27), R3