By Thomas Gerbasi
MONTREAL, May 8 - Middleweight prospect Tom Lawlor had the better entrance, but Manitoba veteran Joe Doerksen had the better exit in UFC 113 prelim action at the Bell Centre Saturday night, as he roared back from a shaky first round to submit The Ultimate Fighter season eight alum in the second stanza.
After Lawlor entered the Octagon as Apollo Creed of Rocky fame, the fighters engaged in their own punchfest as soon as referee Yves Lavigne called them to the center of the Octagon. And though Lawlor was soon sporting a mouse under his right eye, it was the Florida product’s punches that were doing more damage, as he briefly dropped Doerksen with a left hand and bloodied him. Doerksen kept firing back though, and at the end of the round, the effects of the first five minutes showed on both fighters’ faces. See post-fight interview with Doerksen
Doerksen came out firing with kicks and punches in round two, jumping out to an early lead. And while a kick by Doerksen was caught by Lawlor and seemingly about to end in a takedown and dominant position for Lawlor, it was the crafty Doerksen who turned the tables and sunk in a rear naked choke, forcing a tap out at 2:10 of the round.
With the win, Doerksen, who was returning to the UFC for the first time since UFC 83 in 2008, ups his record to 45-12; Lawlor falls to 6-3, with 1 NC.
Davis vs. Goulet
Welterweight veteran Marcus Davis halted his two-fight losing streak in style, stopping Jonathan Goulet in the second round.
Victoriaville, Quebec’s Goulet drew first blood in exciting fashion with a head kick followed by a takedown. Davis got back to his feet and briefly rocked Goulet, who then bulled his foe into the fence. Davis responded with a tight guillotine choke, but after some dicey moments, Goulet escaped. The two continued to battle against the fence for the next several moments until Davis got back to his feet, but Goulet quickly took the bout back to the mat, where he scored with ground strikes as Davis looked for a submission or an opening to get up. But even with Davis would make it to his feet, Goulet would put him back on the canvas, where he continued to dominate until the bell.
After a brief feeling out process in round two, Davis struck with a right hand that dropped Goulet. Davis moved in for the finish, but Goulet apparently recovered and got back to his feet, but once Davis got back to business, a hard right-left put Goulet down again. A follow up shot ended the bout a split-second later, with referee Philippe Chartier halting matters at the 1:23 mark.
With the win, Davis improves to 22-7; Goulet falls to 22-11-1.
Grant vs. Hendricks
Unbeaten welterweight Johny Hendricks kept that perfect record intact with a hard-fought three round win over Nova Scotia’s TJ Grant in a fast-paced battle between two of the division’s top prospects.
Scores were 29-27 twice and 28-28.
Hendricks’ pace was frantic at the start, but he achieved his goal as he was able to get Grant to the canvas. He wasn’t able to keep him there though, and the two traded shots to the head, body, and legs, with neither man pulling ahead. Midway through the round, an inadvertent low kick by Grant brought a momentary halt to the action, but after the bout resumed, the fighters picked up where they left off, with both getting in their share of shots. In the final minute, Hendricks got Grant back to the canvas, but it was Grant who finished strong as he scored on his foe until the bell.
The action didn’t let up in round two, and after a trip to the canvas, Hendricks was able to get off some strikes as Grant looked for a submission and then got back to his feet. At the three minute mark, Grant appeared to have built some momentum standing, but after getting too aggressive, he was taken to the mat by Hendricks. The fight soon returned to the standing position, and both men traded hard shots, with Grant again finishing strong.
Another low kick halted the action in the early stages of the final round, forcing referee Marc-Andre Cote to deduct a point from Grant. Forced to push the pace even more, Grant marched forward but soon became the victim of a thunderous slam by Hendricks. After a stalemate, Grant got back to his feet, but Hendricks was able to lock him up and take him back down. After some ground strikes, Hendricks let Grant up and the Canadian favorite was able to get off some punches, only to be taken back down when he got too close to his foe, who finished the fight trading strikes with Grant on the mat.
With the win, Hendricks improved to 8-0; Grant fell to 15-4.
Hague vs. Beltran
California’s Joey Beltran made it two in a row in the Octagon following up his win over Rolles Gracie earlier this year with an entertaining three round unanimous decision win over Edmonton’s Tim Hague.
Scores were 30-27, 30-26, and 29-28 for Beltran who improves to 12-3; Hague falls to 10-4 in a bout that was a lot more competitive than 30-27 and 30-26 scores would indicate.
Hague’s superior size kept Beltran honest in the first round as he stood on the outside and boxed, but by the midway point “The Mexecutioner” was firing off quick and accurate combinations that bloodied Hague’s nose and put him on the defensive for much of the opening frame.
In round two, Hague began tagging Beltran with shots of his own, getting a rise out of the crowd. Beltran eagerly fired back, and even though fatigue was setting in for both men, they still marched forward and made a fight out of it. With under two minutes left, Beltran looked to be the fresher of the two, and his shorter punches continued to beat Hague’s wild swings to the mark.
Hague used his strikes to setup a takedown early in round two, but Beltran quickly scrambled to his feet and resumed striking, even tossing some leg kicks into the mix. Hague responded with a leg kick of his own and followed it up with a thudding slam. Again, Beltran got back to his feet and fired off a combination. Midway through the round, Hague scored with his best combination of the fight, but Beltran took it well, prompting Hague to take the fight back to the mat. With less than 90 seconds left, Hague got into the full mount position and opened fire. Beltran fired back from his back, reversed position, and blasted Hague with a couple hard punches of his own before the two stood and went to to toe until the bell.
Yoshida vs. Guymon
It was an emotional win for longtime MMA veteran Mike “Joker” Guymon, who scored his first UFC victory with a workmanlike three round unanimous decision win over Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Guymon, who said “It took me ten years to get here.”
Guymon attacked as the bout opened, hoping to catch Yoshida cold. “Zenko” responded by locking Guymon up against the fence briefly before the bout hit the mat. While there, Yoshida worked for a guillotine choke that Guymon found his way out of fairly easily. The two then stood, but the action stalled, prompting a restart with a little over 90 seconds left. Guymon pushed the pace standing, but Yoshida fired back until the bout hit the canvas again, this time with Guymon landing effective ground strikes to the bell.
The smothering ground and pound attack of Guymon continued into round two, and Yoshida was unable to break free for any significant length of time, but he hung tough under the assault of strikes and submission attempts.
After a strong standup attack by Guymon to begin round three, Yoshida was forced to look for a reprieve on the mat, but Guymon reversed position and got back in control, bloodying his foe and leaving no doubt as to the result as the final bell sounded.
With the win, Guymon improves to 13-2-1; Yoshida falls to 11-5.
MacDonald vs. Salter
The return of Jason MacDonald to the UFC came to an abrupt and unfortunate conclusion, as a leg injury rendered the Edmonton middleweight unable to continue in the first round.
After a slow start to the bout, MacDonald (25-14) appeared to be getting to gear as he fired off a kick to the head. Salter (5-1) responded with a takedown attempt, but on the way down, MacDonald injured his leg and immediately informed referee Dan Miragliotta, who halted the bout at the 2:42 mark, awarding Salter the TKO victory, his first in the UFC.
UFC President Dana White reported at the post-fight press conference that MacDonald broke his leg in two places in his awkward fall.