In the wake of Saturday's UFC 167 event, all the post-fight discussion has understandably concerned the controversial split decision of Georges St-Pierre retaining his title against Johny Hendricks and the following weirdness. We'll get to that later, but there was a preliminary card full of action before the PPV portion even started. Let's take a look back at the televised and online broadcasts.
Cerrone completely outshined Dunham in the feature bout of the preliminary card. He blasted him through the first with hard punches and knees. When it went to the ground he threatened with submission attempts. IN the second round he won mostly on the feet before hitting a takedown and gaining side control Dunham managed to reverse but wound up on the wrong side of a triangle choke that forced the stoppage.
2013 was a rough year for Cerrone before last night. He'd gone 1-2 with the losses definitively closing him out of the very top of the division. While Dunham isn't isn't exactly at the top of the totem pole, Cerrone looked great and picked up a Submission of the Night bonus to end the year at .500.
As good as the fight was for Cerrone, it was just as bad for Dunham. He's fallen to 1-3 in his last four. He's no longer the prospective contender many thought he'd become a few years ago. Since only two of his losses are consecutive, he should get one more shot before he sees a pink slip.
Leites took control of Herman from the opening bell. The BJJ specialist showed his superiority on the ground throughout the 15 minute fight. Herman was savvy enough on the mat to avoid being finished, but was clearly outclassed. After the final bell, all three judges gave every round to Leites.
I'd have never guessed that we'd have a 2-0 Thales Leites in the UFC in 2013, but he's made the most of his opportunity since re-debuting earlier this year. He's still a limited fighter, but he's showing that he belongs in the Octagon. Herman's holding on with just one win in his last four fights. Being a recognizable TUF 3 vet, don't expect him to get cut just yet, but that's likely if he loses again.
Ebersole was out of his depth throughout his fight against Story. He ate hard punches to the head and body in every round. By the final frame, he was buckling from leg kicks. As the fight came to an end, Ebersole dropped to his knees after another kick to the leg. Story probably could have gotten a finish had he forced him to stand. Instead, he followed him to the ground and won a one-sided decision.
Story improved to 2-1 in 2013 and this was probably the best he's looked in a long time. He's still only 3-4 in his last seven and will need to continue this momentum. Since opening his UFC run at 4-0, Ebersole's dropped his last two in definitive losses. He's got to recover from this streak or he'll be cut with another loss.
Aside from the feature bout, dominant decisions were the theme on FS1 and the opener was no different. Perez led the fight from the opening round. He landed the stronger, harder shots while mixing in some solid wrestling. Figueroa got a couple shots in, but was completely nullified as he lost a unanimous decision.
Perez hsa done well since coming out of the TUF 15 house with a 4-1 record over five UFC fights. Figueroa has looked unspectacular in most of his UFC fights and has now dropped to 2-4 on a 3-fight loss streak. He'll be getting the chop after this one.
High started out strong with a dominant performance in the first round. He took Lapsley down early, threatened with tight guillotine attempts and hit a big suplex. Lapsley recovered in the second, winning the round in top position. High came back in the final round. Another takedown, more submission attempts. Lapsley was able to escape, but High ended the round on top to win the fight 29-28 on all three cards.
Since losing in his UFC debut, High's taken his last two bouts. He's definitely built up some momentum, but he's not ready for the upper end of the division just yet. A loss in his UFC debut hurts Lapsley, but he should get one more chance to pick up a W in the Octagon.
Over their three round fight, Pettis outstruck Campuzano to win a unanimous decision victory. He showed a weakness throughout in giving up repeated takedowns, but was consistently able to regain his feet and take back control in striking. Pettis took all three rounds on two judges' cards and two of them on the third.
As the younger brother of Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, there were high expectations in Sergio's debut. While he didn't get a highlight reel finish, he looked good in his victory and has some momentum to continue in the division. Campuzano was a late replacement so he should get some leniency despite losing in his UFC return, especially with putting on a strong performance.