Opening up the televised broadcast on FX, Bryan Caraway submitted Mitch Gagnon at 1:39 of the 3rd round. After a high intensity first round, Mitch Gagnon gassed out, allowing Caraway to almost completely dominate the rest of the fight on the ground en route to the rear naked choke victory in his Bantamweight debut. With a career record of 17-5, Caraway is now 2-0 in the UFC, while Gagnon lost his promotional debut and is now 8-2 overall.
Early in the first round, it looked like Gagnon would out-muscle and out-size Bryan Caraway throughout the bout. He tossed him around a few times and pounded on his face from guard. Caraway found a way out, though, and ended the round in mount throwing ground strikes of his own. After another early scare in the second, Caraway turned it around and rode out the rest of the round in dominant position. Finally, Caraway sealed the deal in the last round, forcing Gagnon to tap out.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Aside from the finish? After spending the majority of the second round with Bryan on his back, an exhausted Gagnon scrambled free and smashed Caraway in the face with a knee in the closing seconds.
Where do these guys go from here?
TUF 14 veteran Bryan Caraway looked pretty good in his first fight at 135 lbs. Now, with two consecutive UFC wins under his belt, he'll be looking to move up the Bantamweight ladder. Alex Caceres of TUF 12 has been making waves at Bantamweight and would prove a solid test of Caraway's position in the division.
Although not his best performance, Mitch Gagnon definitely had his moments in this fight. He had Caraway on the ropes early in both the first in second rounds. Despite being finished in his first UFC bout, it was still a Fight of the Night performance and I doubt he'll be let go after that. He'll have to be on his game for his next fight, though, as another loss could spell the end of his UFC run.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now, it wasn't Fight of the Night without reason.
SBN coverage of UFC 149
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 149 in the full entry.