UFC 127 Liveblog: The Prelims

No fluff; just the meat and potatoes here.  Armondo kicking us off with the Facebook stream and the ION broadcast, and Casey taking over for the main card.  Without further ado…

FB PRELIMS

Featherweight Bout (145 lb.): Tiequan Zhang vs. Jason Reinhardt
ROUND 1: For those who wondered, it’s pronounced “TIE-kwen JONG”.  Reinhardt getting in to it quick, starting with a nice flurry.  Zhang with a crisp leg kick and a little combo of his own.  Reinhardt drops his head near the fence, Zhang engages and pulls down a guillotine attempt… and it’s GOOD!  Reinhardt taps right before he goes out.
WINNER: Tiequan Zhang via Submission (Guillotine) @ 0:48 R1
THOUGHTS: Don’t sleep on Zhang… 13-1, with his only loss to Danny Downes at the last WEC show.  Has a lot of popularity in China, and would almost certainly get a big spot if the UFC ever ventures out that way.

Light Heavyweight Bout (205 lb.): Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge
ROUND 1: Both men feeling each other out, trying to find their range.  Perosh shoots in a couple times, but gets pushed off each time.  Perosh gets a single against the cage and takes Blackledge down.  Blackledge tries to snag a guillotine but doesn’t have the angle and Perosh slips out.  Perosh ends up on top, Blackledge tries to get a triangle but again doesn’t have good position.  Perosh moves out of the triangle and into side control, then steps over to mount!  Blackledge gives up his back, Perosh gets the hooks in and secures a rear naked choke, and Blackledge has no choice but to tap.
WINNER: Anthony Perosh via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) @ 2:45 R1
THOUGHTS: Nice win for the hometown fighter.  Perosh’s debut to 205 goes very well, and will definitely earn him another go of it.

ION PRELIMS

Middleweight Bout (170 lb.): Nick Ring vs. Riki Fukuda
ROUND 1: For some reason, “Riki Fukuda” sounds like it should be the name of a Final Fantasy character. (Make it happen, Square Enix!) Ring looking for an armbar off his back, then a triangle, but Fukuda is resisting.  Ring not letting up on the position and keeps working it.  Fukuda slips out and both men get back up to their feet.  Fukuda with a straight right that finds its howm.  Ring fires off some leg kicks and landing well with them.  Fukuda not backing down even with the leg kicks coming in.  Fukuda lands a nice right, and Ring counters with a good close knee to the body.  Ring looks more poised.  They clinch and break free, but Ring remains the aggressor. The stand-up looks fairly even with Ring landing a few knees, but a late takedown by Fukuda should give him the round. Fukuda 10-9.
ROUND 2: Ring still looks good off his back, but he needs to spend less time there. Another Fukuda takedown is the difference so far. Fukuda up 20-18 on our totally-unofficial-but-absolutely-correct cards.
ROUND 3: More of the same.  Great takedowns by Fukuda, excellent ground control.  No real damage done, but this is clearly Fukuda’s fight.
WINNER: Nick Ring via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
THOUGHTS: Ummm… hrm… well… there’s that then.
Light Heavyweight Bout (205 lb.): James Te-Huna vs. Alexander Gustafsson

ROUND 1: Te-Huna gets a slick takedown off the bat, and quickly makes a big pass from full guard to side control.  Te-Huna working Gustafsson well on the ground, getting some good shots in from side control.  Gustafsson gets back to half guard, and now back to full gard, but Te-Huna is still firing shots.  Gustafsson thinking about a triangle but hasn’t went for it.  Both men back up to their feet, and Te-Huna forces Gustafsson against the cage.  Te-Huna drops down to work a double, but quickly abandons.  A single leg fails for him as well.  Te-Huna getting a bit of a break with Gustafsson pinned up against the cage, but the Swede explodes and dumps Te-Huna onto his back, landing in side control.  Te-Huna able to escape to his feet and get Gustafsson back up against the cage.  Te-Huna now on hands and knees, and Gustafsson flots around to Te-Huna’s back!  Flattens Te-Huna out and gets a rear naked choke attempt.  Te-Huna sneaks out of the first attempt, but ended up in another one right afterward.  The second one is much tighter, and with the hooks in place, Te-Huna has nowhere to go but to bed.  Nighty-night sir.

WINNER: Alexander Gustafsson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) @ 4:27 R1
THOUGHTS: James Te-Huna looked great at first, but gassed about midway through the first round, and Gustafsson was able to capitalize well.
Lightweight Bout (155 lb.): Ross Pearson vs. Spencer Fisher
ROUND 1: Armondo V. Trivia – Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stout was the fight that really got me into MMA to begin with.  Let’s see if this fight can produce the same kind of magic!  Both men engaging off the bat, and Fisher seems to be the quick aggressor, but Pearson is getting his shots in.  Both content with keeping the fight standing for the time being.  The crowd is firmly behind Pearson, the Brit.  Pearson with a nice knee to the body, but Fisher with a GREAT counter into a takedown.  Pearson going for an armbar, but Fisher picks him up and makes him drop it.  Both back up to their feet now, staying int he center of the ring and picking their shots.  Very even round so far, and the takedown might be the difference that sings it to Fisher’s favor.  Fisher missing a few shots, but Pearson landing more often.  Pearson drops down for a takedown but Fisher stuffs it, and gets a good knee in on the exit.  30 seconds left in the round now.  Pearson with a decent body kick, and Fisher answers with a few boots to the leg to take us to the bell.  Close round, but I give it to Fisher 10-9 due to the mid-round takedown.

ROUND 2: Starting off like the last one ended, with both finding their range and picking their shots.  Both men circling well, and both have great head movement. (giggity) Pearson now starting to work in some nice 1-2 combos.  Nice right hook by Pearson.  Fisher telegraphs the Superman punch, but cancels into a leg kick. (I’ve been playing too much Marvel vs. Capcom 3.) Pearson with a nice right, and misses a teep.  Excellent short right hook by Fisher, but he gets pushed up against the cage for his troubles.  Both men back to the center, where they’ve spent most of the last 9 minutes.  Fisher catches a body kick, but can’t do anything with it.  Fisher tries for the Spider Kick but misses its mark.  Pearson now approaching more.  Pearson with a nice 1-2 to the body.  Fisher gets a good knee from the clinch, and Pearson ends the round with a leg kick.  I say we’re all square at 19-19 after a solid round from Ross Pearson.

ROUND 3: Not quite Fisher/Stout, but still entertaining nonetheless.  Pearson starts with a sharp leg kick.  Pearson pushes against the cage, and secures a takedown, but Fisher springs back up.  Fisher with a good straight right.  Pearson picking up the pace with the leg kicks.  Joe Rogan still pissed off about the Nick Ring/Riki Fukuda result.  Pearson shoots, Fisher sprawls and maybe trying to work for a guillotine, but gives it up and lets Pearson back up.  Pearson mixing some knees into his combos.  Another leg kick from Pearson, followed up with another 1-2 combo and a leg kick to finish.  Pearson with a good right, and a left uppercut following.  Pearson’s striking has been MUCH better in the 2nd and 3rd round than Fisher’s.  Pearson sinking his teeth into Fisher with a good mix of fists and feet.  Pearson gets Fisher to the ground, but Fisher pushes off and Pearson lets him up.  Pearson gets Fisher to the fence and again drops him on his back.  20 seconds left, and it looks like this is Pearson’s fight to lose.  Pearson smothers Fisher to the final bell, and IMO secures a nice 29-28 victory.
WINNER: Ross Pearson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
THOUGHTS: Ross Pearson looked good against solid competition in Spencer Fisher, especially turning it on in the last 2 rounds.  He could use some work on his ground game, but was more than formidable on his feet. Always good to see a Ultimate Fighter winner putting in a good showing… it’s unfortunately not as common as it should be.


That’s all I got – now time to switch over to Casey’s main card liveblog here.  Peace out!

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