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UFC Fight Night Mendes vs. Lamas preliminary card result recap: Yakovlev out wrestles Maynard, Carmouche bests Murphy

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Bloody Elbow recaps the preliminary fights from UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas on Saturday afternoon in Fairfax, Virginia. Here, we look at the preliminary card bouts, including a fight between former title challenger Gray Maynard and Alexander Yakovlev.

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The UFC returned to the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia for a rare afternoon fight card, and while many bemoaned the lack of big names on the card, the fight pass prelims provided us with two former title challengers in Gray Maynard and Liz Carmouche, as well as two fights that should have been exciting on paper.

Ron Stallings vs. Justin Jones

In the opening fight of the night, Ron Stallings and Justin Jones squared off in the middleweight division.

Ron Stallings defeats Justin Jones by unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)

What was the high point of the fight?

This fight was devoid of many memorable moments. One of the very few exciting moments happened early on, when Ron Stallings hurt Justin Jones with a well placed liver kick.

Where do these two go from here?

It's game over for Justin Jones. Since the beginning of this fight he had no clear offensive plan and while he found himself in some strong positions, he really couldn't string together an effective attack. Jones is relatively inexperienced and would be best off to return to the regional circuit and get his technical skills on par with his obvious physical ability.

Ron Stallings needs to listen to his coaches more. On numerous occasions in that fight he made mistakes that will cost him big time against more, well-rounded opponents. I think his development would be served best by facing more up-and-comers like Jones because right now, I don't feel like he could hang with anyone in the division's top 15.

Watch now, later, or never?

Never. Apart from the first exchange where Stallings hurt Jones, this fight provides little in the way of entertainment. This 15-minute fight was totally forgettable and not worth watching in the slightest.

Shamil Abdurahimov vs. Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson defeats Shamil Abdurahimov by TKO (punches) R1 4:57

What was the high point of the fight?

The high point of this fight was by far Johnson's epic moustache. In terms of actual fight action, the fight's finish was pretty entertaining. Johnson mounted Abdurahimov and threw a barrage of strikes which forced the referee to stop fight.

Where do these two go from here?

Let's be honest here, Timothy Johnson and Shamil Abdurahimov are both severely limited in technical and, more importantly, physical tools, which are ever so important in the heavyweight division. I would like to see Abdurahimov in there with Jared Cannonier and for Timothy Johnson, a fight with Viktor Pešta makes sense.

Watch now, later, or never?

Watch this one later. It had some decent moments and the fact that the fight only lasts 5 minutes is also a major plus.

Gray Maynard vs. Alexander Yakovlev

Alexander Yakovlev defeats Gray Maynard by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)

What was the high point of the fight?

What really stood out for me was Yakovlev's wrestling. He managed to take down Gray Maynard, an All-American wrestler, on numerous occasions and looked really good doing it. One big mistake he made however was his failure to follow up properly after he dropped Maynard.

Where do these two go from here?

I was really impressed with Yakovlev. His wrestling and striking looked crisp and he really showed he has the potential to make his way up the rankings in the lightweight division.

Gray Maynard has had a legendary MMA career. His rivalry with Frankie Edgar was, in my opinion, one of the best in UFC history. Unfortunately for Maynard it seems those wars have taken a lot out of him and, even though I hate to call for it, I feel Maynard should consider retirement.

Watch now, later, or never?

Watch it now, as it is a very interesting fight and could prove a turning point for Yakovlev, who has disappointed in his UFC career up until this fight.

Liz Carmouche vs. Lauren Murphy

Liz Carmouche defeats Lauren Murphy by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)

What was the high point of the fight?

To be honest, this fight really didn't contain any real clear high points. While Liz Carmouche's footwork was good her inability to counter cleanly disappointed. Likewise, Murphy displayed great aggression but she simply lacked the accuracy in her strikes to make it worthwhile.

Where do these two go from here?

This was just one of those fights where neither the victor or the loser will see a great change in their spot in the rankings. Neither fighter put on a showcase performance and the fight will quickly be forgotten. Expect Murphy to face Jessica Andrade next and Liz Carmouche to face Julianna Peña.

Watch now, later, or never?

Never. This fight didn't really provide any entertainment and capped off the uneventful prelims fittingly.