Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
UFC on FX 7's preliminary card wasn't that great, but things picked up well on the main card. The main event between Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort will get its own recap, while this one will focus on the three other main card fights. One was a hotly-contested split decision, while the other two featured solid finishes. Let's take a look at all three of them.
Sarafian beat Dollaway up in the first round, dropping him once and nearly finishing the fight. He was in control for most of the second as well, but Dollaway came back with a big uppercut near the end of the round and nearly finished it himself. The third was back and forth, featuring multiple sweeps and some very entertaining work on the ground. In the end, Dollaway was awarded a narrow split decision win, much to the disgust of the Brazilian crowd. Sarafian indicated after the fight that he will probably be dropping to welterweight.
Rothwell was never really able to get much of anything going. Gonzaga had a few takedown attempts stuffed, but his right hand found a home more and more as the fight went on. Finally Rothwell left his neck exposed for a second, and that was all Gonzaga needed. He locked up a guillotine and forced Rothwell to tap out. It was Gonzaga's second win in a row since his return to the UFC, while Rothwell fell to 2-3 in the organization.
The fight got off to a slow start, but one wild uppercut by Nurmy was enough. The shot sent Tavares straight to the mat, where the Russian jumped on him and beat him down with elbows. Referee Dan Mirgliotta let the beating go on far too long, which earned the ire of UFC president Dana White. Nevertheless, Nurmagomedov is now 3-0 in the UFC and 19-0 overall, and looked very impressive.