Last night, the UFC returned to Minneapolis, MN for the first time in over 4 years with UFC On FX 5: Browne vs. Silva. Without a doubt the biggest story of the night was Jeremy Stephens arrest and Dana White's struggle to get the Lightweight out of jail. Stephens was arrested in his hotel Friday morning on an out of state warrant from his home state of Iowa. The warrant came from an assault charge. Despite media speculation that his fight with Yves Edwards couldn't possibly happen, White maintained that Stephens would compete all the way up until the start of the main card. "Lil Heathen" remained in custody and the bout was cancelled.
That was the second bout to be withdrawn from the preliminary card this weekend. At the weigh-ins on Thursday, Dennis Hallman was forced from his contest with Thiago Tavares due to "personal issues". The situation was very odd, however. Hallman appeared prepared to fight when he took the scale and weighed in almost 3 pounds over the Lightweight limit. It wasn't until after his weight cutting problems that Hallman spoke about his personal issues forcing him from the fight. The UFC paid Dennis his win and show money, but still cut him for missing weight in consecutive bouts.
With the two Lightweight fights off the card, the Facebook portion of the prelims was cancelled and all the bouts were televised on Fuel TV.
Taking a page from Mike Pierce, Michael Johnson (12-5) defeated Danny Castillo (14-5) in a second round (1:06) come from behind KO. Castillo took almost the entire first round from Johnson after dropping him early. He wasn't able to finish with strikes, but spent the rest of the round threatening with an arm triangle and hitting Johnson from dominant positions. That was enough to light a fire under Johnson. A minute into the round, he rocked Castillo with a big punch and finished him up with a flurry.
Mike Pierce (15-5) came back from a first round scare to knock out Aaron Simpson early in the second (0:29). The opening round was all Simpson after he cracked Pierce with a big right hand. Pierce managed to survive the following flurry and submission attempt and make it to the second round. Then things took a turn. Less than half a minute into the round, Pierce landed a single punch that left Simpson crumbling to the mat.
Marcus LeVesseur (22-6) took a split decision from Carlo Prater (30-12-1) in a fight that was too boring to be controversial. The vast majority of this fight was spent against the cage with neither fighter putting up much offense. Prater did hold LeVesseur in a guillotine several times, but none of them appeared especially threatening. Many disagreed with the call, but in the end two of the judges gave the fight to Marcus.
For the first time in his 9-fight UFC career Jakob Volkmann (15-3) picked up a finish with a first round (2:38) neck crank submission of Shane Roller (11-7). "Christmas" made it no secret that he wanted the takedown early. He was able to take Roller's back after his second failed attack. Jacob wasn't able to to get underneath Shane's chin, but that didn't stop him from getting the tap.
In his 5th UFC appearance, Diego Nunes (18-3) spent 15 minutes beating up Bart Palaszewski (36-16) on his way to a unanimous decision. Nunes started the fight throwing heavy punches on the feet. He continued his assault on the ground where he opened up a cut on Bart and almost finished him in the closing seconds. Bart found his best success early in the 3rd round when he rocked Nunes early, but he wasn't able to capitalize. The fight ended after Nunes landed hard and dropped Bart.
Darren Uyenoyama (8-3) caught Phil Harris (21-10, 1 NC) in a rear naked choke in the second (3:38) to pick up his first UFC win. The two Flyweights exchanged strikes for the first half of the opening round before Harris was able to takedown Darren. Uyenoyama's guard turned into a dangerous place for Phil when he found himself defending a triangle choke. Then in the second round Darren scored a takedown of his own. He threatened with several submissions before opening up the RNC with strikes to finish the fight.