The UFC 143 preliminary fights on FX featured a nice mix of action with Dustin Poirier, Matt Brown and Matthew Riddle picking up decisive wins and Edwin Figueroa getting a split decision thanks to Alex Cacares getting 2 points deducted for low blows.
The FX telecast also included a broadcast of Stephen Thompson's dramatic first round TKO win over Dan Stittgen.
UFC 143 FX fights complete results:
- Welterweight: Matthew Riddle (6-3, 6-3 UFC) defeated Henry Martinez (8-2, 0-1 UFC) by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).
- Welterweight: Matt Brown (13-11, 6-6 UFC) defeated Chris Cope (5-3, 1-2 UFC) via KO at 1:19 of round 2.
- Bantamweight: Edwin Figueroa (9-1, 2-1 UFC) def. Alex Caceres (6-5, 1-3 UFC) by split decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27) with Cacares having 2 points deducted by referee Herb Dean for repeated low blows.
- Featherweight: Dustin Poirier (12-1, 4-0 UFC) submits (triangle choke/arm bar) Max Holloway (4-1, 0-1 UFC)at 3:23 of round 1.
Ultimate Fighter veteran Matthew Riddle had some trouble early on with late replacement Henry Martinez but got the fight under control in the second and third rounds. Martinez, a late replacement for an injured Jorge Lopez who usually fights at 155 pounds, surprised Riddle with his sleek striking attack. Riddle was able to retake control of the fight mid-way through the first round when he forced the fight into kicking range and out of Martinez' punching range.
"This fight was a war, but it's nice to be back on the winning end again. Henry hit hard and his hands were quick. I was impressed by him and that's why I picked it up in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Everytime I go in there I want to put on a show and fight as hard as I can," Riddle said after the fight.
"I had fun out there. It was a great fight and Matt is a tough guy. Even if you go in with the best plan in the world and study your opponent, they can change it up on you. We pushed each other hard but had a great time," Martinez said after the fight.
More on the rest of the FX card after the jump.
Matt Brown dominated Chris Cope in the first round with a mix of take downs and striking on the feet. In the second he poured it on and got the finish. Brown hurt Cope with a right hand then dropped him with a left, followed him down and forced the stoppage with a battery of ground and pound.
"I just did what I know I'm capable of doing." Brown said after the fight. "I'm happy with the win but there are always things I can improve. I don't want guys to find holes in my game. This is a step in the right direction for me. My striking has improved and I'm going to keep on working on things. When the fight started, within three to four exchanges, I immediately saw weaknesses in his game and I was able to capitalize on it. I was shooting and throwing jabs to his body and head and trying to switch it up. That's when I noticed he had a tendency to drop his hand, which was to my advantage."
"It was a tough fight but I'll be back," Cope said.
Alex Cacares did everything he needed to do to beat Edwin Figueroa except heed Referee Herb Dean's warning to avoid kicking below the belt. "Bruce Leroy" Cacares caught Figueroa early in the first and forced and extended stoppage while Figueroa recovered. Dean gave Cacares a "hard warning" and when Cacares hit low again in the second, Dean docked him not one but two full points.
Figueroa did land a head kick that virtually finished Cacares late in the first but he was unable to finish. Otherwise Cacares held his own on the feet and utterly dominated on the ground. Unfortunately for Cacares, he wasn't able to get the submission and lost on 2 of 3 judges cards.
"I felt like it was a hard earned paycheck," said Figueroa. "He was a good fighter. I had to dig deep for this one. He came out and landed a few shots early. It was a tough fight but I came out the winner."
"I don't know what happened. I thought I had that one. I guess they took points away from the low blow I delivered. I didn't take that much damage. I'm very disappointed," said Cacares.
In the final live fight airing on FX, Dustin Poirier finished Max Holloway with a vicious mounted triangle choke plus arm bar. Hollway, a late replacement for an injured Erik Koch, acquitted himself well on the feet early on but was way out of his depth on the ground against Poirier.
"I never underestimated Max," said Poirier after the win. "I was in his shoes before. He's a tough fighter and good kickboxer. He was quicker than I expected though and hit me with a few shots. I wanted to come out strong and mix it up with some kicks. I came here to get a win, and I got the finish. I'm one step closer to being a champion."
"Dustin is a tough guy. It was a fun fight and I can't wait to get back in there again," said Holloway.