by Ricardo Mendoza (Photos by Scott Petersen)



The Ultimate Fighting
Championship returned to the Palms in Las Vegas holding UFC Fight Night 12,
which aired live on Spike TV.

In the main event,
Mike Swick made his welterweight debut against Josh Burkman. The fight didn’t
exactly set the world on fire. The same pattern would play out the entire
fight. Burkman would charge in for a takedown, but Swick would defend and both
fighters would stalemate on the fence. Once separated, Swick would land
sporadic punches, while Burkman continued to try and get the takedown without

In the final round,
Swick landed more strikes than in the previous two rounds, while Burkman again
tried to get it on the ground. Burkman pushed the pace of the fight, but it was
Swick, who did more of the damage, who won a majority decision with scores of
29-28, 29-28 and 29-29.

Following the fight,
Swick apologized to the crowd, saying, “Sorry for my performance not being as
exciting (as it could have been). He’s a real strong guy. It took everything I
had to stop his takedowns. I should have flurried more on him.”

In what was expected
to be a slugfest, Patrick Cote showed the power in his hands by stopping Drew
McFedries. McFedries used low kicks with effect throughout the fight, keeping
Cote at a distance. Cote finally got inside, landing a short combination, but
McFedries taunted him, indicating that he wasn’t hurt. Cote then showed him his
power, landing a right hand followed by a left hook that dropped McFedries,
finishing him off with a barrage of uppercuts at 1:44 of the first round.

“He was playing cocky
a little bit because he thought I didn’t have enough power,” said Cote after
the fight. “I saw he was rocked. I’m the predator man, I see something and I go
for it.”

Thiago Tavares outworked Michihiro Omigawa en route to a
decision victory. Tavares controlled the fight with takedowns and ground
control, always keeping Omigawa on his heels. Omigawa was able to negate much
of Tavares’ offense, but he never got a chance to get any offense of his own.
At the end of the day, Tavares won a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27,
29-28 and 30-27.

Ultimate Fighter 5
winner Nathan Diaz scored his second straight submission victory in the UFC,
tapping out ground specialist Alvin Robinson. Diaz scored an early takedown,
but was soon caught in a guillotine choke. He picked Robinson up and slammed
him, eventually escaping. Robinson quickly reversed him, but was caught in an
omo plata, which he was able to escape. Soon thereafter Diaz locked on a tight triangle
choke that forced Robinson to tap, 3:39 into the opening stanza.

Diaz sent a message to
the rest of the lightweight division, saying, “I think it let’s you guys know
where I stand. I’m trying to get some contenders man, some top guys. I’m coming
man, watch out.”

Kurt Pellegrino
survived an early scare to come back and finish former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
world champion Alberto Crane. Crane landed a high kick in the opening moments
that dropped Pellegrino then locked on a tight guillotine choke that Pellegrino
was able to eventually escape. Crane then locked on a triangle choke before
transitioning to an omo plata, but Pellegrino was able to get back to his feet.
From then on, Pellegrino controlled the round with crisp punching combinations
that staggered Crane at times.

Crane wanted the fight
on the ground in the second round, securing a takedown and then getting
Pellegrino’s back. But Pellegrino reversed positions and that was the start of
the end for Crane, who took some hard shots. Pellegrino finally landed a big
right hand that took the fight out of Crane, forcing the referee to halt the
bout at 1:55 of the second round.

When asked how long it
took him to recover from the high kick to the head – which left a hole in
his chin from where his teeth poked through – in the opening seconds of
the bout, Pellegrino replied, “I thought it was a punch … I don’t know, I think
I’m still knocked out.”

Xtreme Couture
lightweight Gray Maynard used his wrestling to win a decision over German
export Dennis Siver. Maynard came out swinging to start the fight, dropping
Siver with a barrage of punches. He controlled the rest of the round with
brutal ground and pound, not letting up and keeping Siver on the defensive the
entire round.

Siver had a much
better round in the second, landing a pair of flush punches before taking the
fight to the ground. Maynard worked off his back with submissions, while Siver
worked with strikes form the top. Maynard reversed Siver late in the round and
landed several elbows that cut Siver.

With the fight even
going into the final round, Maynard used his wrestling to control Siver from
the top, taking the round and securing the fight, winning a unanimous decision
with scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.

Midwest fighter Jeremy
Stephens escaped certain defeat in the opening round of his lightweight bout
with Cole Miller to finish him in the second. Miller wasted no time in getting
the fight on the ground, working for submissions before locking on a tight D’Arce
choke. Stephens looked to be done, but somehow managed to escape and make it
into the second round.

Stephens quickly went
for a takedown to start the second, slamming Miller down to the ground. Miller
was able to lock on an inverted triangle choke that looked tight, but Stephens
again was able to escape. Stephens then took over, dropping a barrage of
punches that punished Miller. He continued the barrage for several minutes and
was finally able to overwhelm Miller, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 4:
44 of the second round.

Corey Hill looked
impressive in his UFC debut, making it look easy against wrestler Joe Veres. He
looked good on his feet, landing crisp jabs and not letting Veres get into his
groove. Veres consistently sought the takedown, but Hill defended each attempt
with ease. He rocked Veres in the first with a knee, but was unable to finish

Hill wasted no time in
the second, landing a hard jab and following it up with a stinging right hand
that put Veres down. He followed up with punches, forcing the referee to halt
the fight 37 seconds into the second round.

In the opening fight
of the night, Matt Wiman extended his UFC winning streak to three, submitting
Alaskan native Justin Buchholz. Buchholz came out swinging, but soon found
himself on his back and then mounted. Wiman wasted no time and got Buchholz’s
back, finally sinking the choke after a struggle at 2:56 of the opening round.

-Mike Swick def. Josh
Burkman by Majority Decision, R3
-Patrick Cote def. Drew McFedries by TKO (Strikes) at 1:44, R1
-Thiago Tavares def. Michihiro Omigawa by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Nate Diaz def. Alvin Robinson by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:39, R1
-Kurt Pellegrino def. Alberto Crane by TKO at 1:55, R2
-Gray Maynard def. Dennis Siver by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Jeremy Stephens def. Cole Miller by TKO at 4:44, R2
-Corey Hill def. Joe Veres by TKO at 0:37, R2
-Matt Wiman def. Justin Buchholz by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:56, R1