Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports
Michael Johnson and Mike Pierce put together bookend comeback fights. Both men took a beating in the first round only to come back and win it quick in the second round. Johnson beat Danny Castillo. Pierce beat Aaron Simpson. Marcus LeVesseur beat Carlo Prater in a snoozer that went to decision.
Castillo roared in and dropped Johnson with his first punch of the fight. He followed Johnson down and battered him from the top position. Then he mounted, got an arm triangle and moved off to Johnson's right to finish the choke but he couldn't get leverage and inexplicably returned to mount. Johnson regained half guard but ate punches and elbows in the process.
Johnson turned the tables in the second, dropping Castillo with his first punch, a short counter left. He followed Johnson down and finished him with rights.
Castillo is now 4-2 in the UFC and 9-5 for Zuffa and 14-5 overall. Johnson improves to 4-2 in the UFC, 12-6 overall.
The two wrestlers had taken heat for putting on slow, boring fights and were at one point banished to the Facebook segment of this card. Thanks to two of the planned Fuel TV bouts being cancelled in the last 48 hours, Simpson and Pierce got to fight on Fuel TV and put on a barnburner.
It started slow with lots of clinching and a nice wrestling scramble on the ground when Simpson remembered it was an MMA fight and started throwing knees, then punches. He dropped Pierce with a few uppercuts and followed him down. On the ground it was all Simpson as he mounted Pierce then nearly choked him out from back control. But Simpson wasn't able to finish.
That came back to haunt Simpson in the second round. He came in aggressive, missed with a winging overhand and lurched right into a straight right hand from Pierce. That shot sent the water flying out of Simpson's mouth and dropped him to the mat. Pierce followed him down and battered him until the ref called a stop.
The 38-year-old Simpson falls to 1-1 in the UFC Welterweight division, 7-4 in the UFC overall and 12-4 overall. Pierce improves to 15-5 as a pro and 7-3 in the UFC. This win could be ticket to tougher competition.
The two grapplers, Prater a master of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and LeVesseur a former NCAA division III national champion wrestler mostly managed to stalemate one another throughout all three rounds. Prater fought hard against the take downs and attempted some of his own but he still spent most of the ground time on his back. He leaped into a guillotine choke several times but was unable to tap LeVesseur who seemed content to tap away from inside Prater's guard.
LeVesseur picks up his first UFC win and is 22-6 overall. Prater falls to 1-2 in the UFC but his sole win was a DQ against Erick Silva in a fight he was utterly dominated in. He's 30-12-1 overall.