UFC On FX 6 kicked off Friday night on Fuel TV. The TUF: Smashes finale prelims featured 3 fights from the show's competitors and 3 more from UFC veterans. Overall the event delivered in exciting action even if it fell short of what would normally be considered "UFC-level" talent.
Chad Mendes vs. Yaotzin Meza - From the time this fight was announced last week, everyone knew it was a squash match. Chad Mendes is one of the Featherweight division's top fighters and Meza is an unknown, unranked injury replacement. So, the fight played out as expected. Meza did manage to last longer than Mendes' last opponent Cody McKenzie, but he was still TKO'd in the first round of the fight.
Joey Beltran vs. Igor Pokrajac - Beltran struggled in his Light Heavyweight debut against James Te Huna, who outsized, out muscled, and out struck him over 15 minutes, but he recovered from that defeat Friday night. While he did get stuck by Pokrajac a few times, Beltran controlled most of the fight by pushing the bigger wan against the cage and landing some great dirty boxing combos. He battered Pokrajac in the clinch to earn a much deserved unanimous decision. He went on to call out currently suspended Thiago Silva in his post fight interview.
Mike Pierce vs. Seth Baczynski - Pierce's win may have been ugly, but it got the job done. He used his wrestling takedowns and top control to frustrate Bacszynski in each of the 3 rounds of the fight. There's an argument to be made that Seth did more damage, but Pierce knew what the judges score and he capitalized on it.
Ben Alloway vs. Manuel Rodriguez - Rodriguez came out early looking to out grapple Alloway. He had some success through the first half of the bout, but Alloway made it back to his feet. Alloway landed a low blow that had Rodriguez crumble to his knees. Referee Steve Perceval moved in to stop the fight not having seen the illegal strike. Granted, it was not great officiating by Perceval who had to find an AC officer to determine if he could restart the fight. However, the rules say that Rodriguez is required to defend himself at all times, so Perceval could have been excused in stopping the fight there. It wouldn't matter a few seconds later when Allow landed a great front kick to Rodriguez's head that sent him to the mat. He picked up the TKO with only 3 seconds left in the fight.
Mike Wilkinson vs. Brendan Loughnane - For the most part, Loughnane tried to play a Machida-type style with his striking. He wanted to move backward and circle while making Wilkinson miss to land solid counters. Unfortunately for Loughnane, he's no Machida. As he was moving backward he was eating as many strikes as he was landing. After the final bell rang, all three judges scored the fight in favor of Mike Wilkinson.
Nick Penner vs. Cody Donovan - Penner and Donovan managed to put on a Fight of the Night performance in their single round fight and they both earned it. Penner took an early lead after dropping Donovan twice in the first half of the fight. Both times Donovan was able to survive on the ground and return to his feet. Then, in the closing minute of the first round, Donovan landed a huge overhand left that dropped Penner. He followed with ground and pound to secure the win.