The UFC 144 Preliminary Card has concluded and in the main event on FX it was Takanori Gomi who proved to be the better man in his TKO (ref stoppage) win over Eiji Mitsuok.
Before we head on over to the pay-per-view portion of the card check out your UFC 144 Preliminary Card Results And Recap.
Issei Tamura vs. Tiequan Zhang :
In the opening round of the opening fight it was fireworks from the start. Issei Tamura and Tiequan Zhang threw heavy leather to open the nights UFC event in Japan. Zhang got stunned early in the first round with heavy punches but fired back and dropped Tamura to the mat with a strike of his own. Before the round was up thought, it was clear that Tamura had the edge and he used his strength and size advantage to take his opponent to the mat and grind him down.
In the second frame of action it took just 32 seconds for the Japanese based fighter Tamura to hit his Chinese opponent with a heavy right hand that dropped him to the floor unconscious. Issei Tamura def. Tiequan Zhang via KO Round 2, 0:32
Chris Cariaso vs. Takeya Mizugaki:
These two bantamweights opened up the FX preliminary card special. In the first round of action it was mostly posturing on the feet until Mizugaki was able to secure a takedown where he took top control for the remainder of the round. While Takeya easily walked away with the round on the cards, Cariaso showed an excellent defensive guard and took very little damage while on the mat.
In the second round the first three minutes where all on the feet as the two postured for dominance. The action was event until Mizugaki once again worked for a takedown and succeeded. This time he was able to land some bigger punches while in the guard of Cariaso. Eventually Cariaso showed more of that impressive guard work and worked a sweep to reverse positions but the two worked their way back up to the feet and the round ended.
In the third neither fighter wasted anytime. Cariaso threw a quick high kick that landed but Mizugaki walked through it and clinched his opponent against the cage. By the midway point of the final frame there was no clear winner of the round. Majority of this frame has been in the clinch against the cage. Cariaso ended up throwing another one of those high kicks, it missed and he slipped to the mat. Mizugaki capitalized on the mistake and took top position. Right before the bell Cariaso was able to work his way back up and after one last exchange on the feet the bell sounded.
Much to my surprise and I’m sure I am not alone the final verdict from the judges was: Chris Cariaso def. Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda:
It took less than 30 seconds for Fukuda to catch a Cantwell kick and take him down to the ground where he wants the fight. The Japanese fighter was able to land some pretty solid punches for about a minute while in top position but Cantwell was able to work his way back up and engage in the stand up. The rest of the round was determined on the feet. Fukuda tried two more takedowns but Cantwell was able to shrug him off. The two ended the round trading strikes.
Much like the first round Fukuda took the fight to the mat within 30 seconds but he fell right into a Cantwell Guillotine, it was tight but Fukuda fought through it and returned to his feet. The two traded more punches and this fight has become very entertaining and very evenly matched while in the striking realm thus far. Towards the end of the frame it was Fukuda who really turned up the pace and started landing big power, mostly uppercuts and they were finding their home, but Cantwell weathered the storm and kept standing and trading with his opponent. With 20 seconds left Cantwell went for a takedown of his own, landed it and briefly took the back of Fukuda before the round ended and the two went back to their corners.
No takedown from Fukuda to start the third round like he did in the previous two. Probably because he felt the momentum on the feet coming out of round two. Two minutes in and Fukuda did end up grabbing a double and taking it to the mat but Cantwell stayed very active from the guard throwing up multiple submission attempts to no avail. Two minutes in and Cantwell worked his way back up to the feet. At this point the fight is close but you would have to give the edge to Fukuda. The round ended on the feet with Fukuda landing big shots and backing Cantwell up just like in the second frame.
Judges scored this fight as follows: Riki Fukuda def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Vaughan Lee vs. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto:
This bout took almost a full minute into round one before the two started throwing leather but when they did engage the two really started to thrown. About midway through the round Yamamoto landed a solid right hook that dropped his opponent. Lee immediately got right back to his feet but Yamamoto swarmed all over him with punches in bunches, Lee covered up and managed to survive. Yamamoto backed off and the two entered more exchanges in the middle of the cage. Lee ended up staggering Yamamoto with strikes, but Yamamoto changed levels and took him down. It was the beginning of the end for “Kid”. Once on the ground Lee showed off an impressive guard, he first attempted a triangle but when Yamamoto failed to tap he switched to an armbar where he forced his Japanese opponent to tap.
Final verdict Vaughan Lee def. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via submission (armbar) Round 1, 4:29
Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka:
The two men selected to headline the FX preliminary card special wasted no time getting to action. Both Gomi and Mitsuoka were more than content to keep the fight standing throughout the course of the first round. Mitsuoka was landing more and also landed the harder shots all the way up until about the 45 minute mark when he dropped Gomi with a solid right hand. Mitsuoka followed him to the mat, took Gomi’s back and worked his way up to a triangle from back position. Gomi weathered it and refused to tap, eventually being saved by the bell.
In the second round Gomi came out like a man possessed. He landed several big shots and out of desperation Mitsuoka went for the takedown but was unsuccessful. Once broken up Gomi continued with his assault and just started landing huge power again. Mitsuoka again forced to dive for a takedown out of desperation but Gomi shrugged him off, took his back and pounded him out until the ref was forced to stop it.
Final result: Takanori Gomi def. Eiji Mitsuok via (TKO ref stoppage) Round 2, 2:21
PRELIMINARY CARD: (FX)
Takanori Gomi def. Eiji Mitsuok via (TKO ref stoppage) Round 2, 2:21
Vaughan Lee def. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via submission (armbar) Round 1, 4:29
Riki Fukuda def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27,30-27)
Chris Cariaso def. Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD: (Facebook)
Issei Tamura def. Tiequan Zhang via KO Round 2, 0:32