Beyond the Octagon: Houston Alexander, TUF Castaways

A relatively slow week for name fights outside the big shows. On the other hand, though, counting the season premiere of TUF, the UFC aired a grand total of 41 bouts since Wednesday. And speaking of the new Ultimate Fighter...

Would-be contestant John Poppie improved to 4-1-0 with a second-round TKO of the well-traveled Will Dicke (12-7-0). Someone in Poppie's position wouldn't normally warrant a mention, except that he was was one of a few fighters from last week's episode to be openly maligned by Dana White during his losing effort, which really bummed me out. Tough break for Poppie, but the win this weekend should be of some consolation.

Meawhile, at New Jersey's Cage Fury FC 34, lightweight Andy Main (8-1-1, 1 NC) locked up a triangle choke early in the first round to submit Brian Kelleher (10-7-0). Main was a contestant on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter (Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck)--he was the overall seventh pick, and lost in the opening round to eventual UFC veteran Kyle Watson. Main is undefeated since his time on the show, splitting his time between Jersey and Pancrase, of all things.

Little else doing on the regional scene, but in case you spaced on the Bellator undercard, three former UFC fighters picked up stoppage victories:

Joe Vedepo (15-8-0, 0-2 UFC) halted a three fight losing streak with a TKO (leg injury) of Ben Crowder (10-12). Fun fact: Vedepo, a middleweight, handed former UFC heavyweight Oli Thompson his first loss, and by TKO, no less.

Ryan Jensen (20-8-0) took out Mark Stoddard (8-7-0) in the first with an arm-triangle choke. Jensen had two tours in the UFC, finally going 2-6-0. Though he had trouble getting results, Jensen turned in consistently aggressive performances, whether on the feet or on the mat (win or lose, he's never seen the final bell), and at least two of his UFC bouts came on short notice. Jensen is undefeated since his last UFC bout in 2011, winning five straight as of last Friday, which marked his first appearance in Bellator.

Finally, former Top 10 light-heavyweight Houston Alexander (16-10-0, 2 NC) rebounded from his September loss to Vladimir Matyushenko with a TKO of the overmatched Matt Uhde (3-5-0). Alexander shot up the rankings with his blitzkrieg of Keith Jardine in 2007, though a follow up knockout of Alessio Sakara would prove to be his last victory in the UFC, as he would drop his next four in the promotion. Alexander is 3-1 since 2013, though the collective record of defeated opposition is an underwhelming 68-73-1.

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