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UFC 189 preliminary card result recap: Brown chokes out Means, Garcia dominates Swick

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Bloody Elbow recaps the fights from UFC 189 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, we look at the preliminary card bouts, including a fight between former TUF contestant Mike Swick and Alex Garcia

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Last night, UFC 189 took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and was headlined by a pair of title fights that pitted defending champion, Robbie Lawler against Rory MacDonald and Chad Mendes against the outspoken Irishman, Conor McGregor. While the main card would ultimately end up stealing the show, the undercard did provide some decent battles.

Cody Pfister vs. Yosdenis Cedeno

Official result: Cody Pfister defeated Yosdenis Cedeno by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

What was the high point of the fight?

This fight once more showed the power of a strong wrestling base. Cedeno had the clear advantage on the feet but Pfister was able to take down Cedeno at will in the 2nd and 3rd round, which won him the fight. The high point of this fight was Pfister's ability to take Cedeno's back at will.

Where do these two go from here?

Even in victory, Pfister showed some clear holes in his game. During the striking exchanges, Cedeno had an unbelievable advantage and Pfister looked overwhelmed throughout, but luckily for him his wrestling was just enough. Realistically, Pfister should take some time out and put some work into his striking game before stepping into the cage again.

Cedeno is an amazing athlete with some great power but he needs to polish his tools. Could he have beaten Pfister? Absolutely, in fact I believe he has a far more promising future than Cedeno, but he needs to put in the work before reaping the rewards.

Watch now, later, or never?

Spoiler alert: very few of the prelim fights were worth watching and this one was particularly boring. Give this one a miss.

Neil Seery vs. Louis Smolka

Official result: Louis Smolka defeated Neil Seery by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

What was the high point of the fight?

This fight illustrated just how exciting grappling can be. Throughout this fight both Smolka and Seery traded an array of submission attempts amidst sublime scrambles but the real key to this fight was Smolka's ability to gain top position. On the feet Seery looked better than Smolka, landing cleanly on a number of occasions, but the high point was Smolka's ability to take the fight to the ground at will.

Where do these two go from here?

Smolka proved last night that he is indeed a solid prospect. I feel his lone UFC loss to the ever-durable Chris Cariaso, has done him a world of good. In all honesty I feel a fight between Smolka and Henry Cejudo could determine a potential future foe for long-time champion, Demetrious Johnson.

Neil Seery is as exciting as they come. Both on the feet and on the mat Seery constantly pursues the finish and I can see him being a mainstay in the UFC until his retirement. Next up for the team Ryano standout has got to be a fight on the UFC's return to Seery's native Dublin in October.

Watch now, later, or never?

Watch later after you've watched the UFC 189 main card several times but do give it a look. This fight brought back memories of Nick Diaz vs. Karo Parisyan, fun and filled with scrambles.

Cody Garbrandt vs. Henry Briones

Official result: Cody Garbrandt defeated Henry Briones by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

What was the high point of the fight?

Coming into this fight Garbrandt was a massive betting favorite and while he won all 3 rounds he did have to endure some scary moments. Throughout this fight, both Garbrandt and Briones failed to pull the trigger often enough but in the few solid exchanges that we had, it was clear that Garbrandt was the more technical of the pair. The high point of this fight was the last 15 seconds when Briones and Garbrandt engaged in a wild exchange.

Where do these two go from here?

Even though Garbrandt won convincingly against Briones, he really didn't put in the performance many had hoped for. Prior to this fight many, myself included, had expected Garbrandt to dispatch Briones with ease but that simply wasn't the case. Garbrandt made this fight into a chore and his ascent up the division will surely be slowed now as he needs time to hone his clearly visible skills.

Henry Briones is wild, tough and hits like a truck, but aside from that there isn't too much to his game. In the future expect him to fight almost exclusively on cards in Latin America.

Watch now, later, or never?

Never. This fight was painful to watch.

Cathal Pendred vs. John Howard

Official result: John Howard defeated Cathal Pendred by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

What was the high point of the fight?

John Howard was on a major losing streak going into this one but he managed to prove a lot of people wrong with a strong performance. Throughout this fight, Howard systematically outstruck a stagnant Pendred enroute to a dominant decision victory. While one judge scored the fight to Pendred it was obvious to all onlookers that Howard deserved the victory.The high point of this fight was Howard's varied striking assault.

Where do these two go from here?

John Howard looked good in this fight and did exactly what he needed to get the win. In his first fight under kru Mark Dellagrotte, Howard looked far more confident in his abilities. Howard's best years may well be behind him but, last night proved that on any given night he can give any fighter in the UFC problems on the feet.

Cathal Pendred is insanely talented, the guy is like a sponge. In his relatively short MMA career he has picked up an abundance of skills from his coach, grappling savant John Kavanagh, but there is a clear hole in his striking game. Pendred needs to take some time away from SBG and visit a camp where his striking skills can be brought up to scratch.

Watch now, later, or never?

This is another fight from the preliminary card that really is not worth watching.

Alex Garcia vs. Mike Swick

Official result: Alex Garcia defeated Mike Swick by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

What was the high point of the fight?

Both fighters entered this one off the back of extended absences. Alex Garcia had spent a number of months recovering from a nasty knee injury and Mike Swick had spent the better part of two years cultivating the next generation of talent at his AKA Thailand gym. Alex Garcia appeared to be the least rusty of the pair in this fight, throughout he was able to use his massive size advantage to drag Swick to the floor which was a great high point.

Where do these two go from here?

Alex Garcia has all the tools to be a contender. Coming from a camp like Tristar means that Garcia is getting trained in all the technical nuances that it takes to be the best in the world and when you add his unbelievable athletic gifts he has all the making of a star. The only question that remains around Garcia is if he has what it takes to put his physical and technical talents together.

Mike Swick's legacy is already etched upon the minds of fight fans around the world. Swick could retire tomorrow and be remembered very fondly but I feel the old dog has a few more fights left in him. Since Swick is based in Thailand now, I would love to see him on an Asian card in the future.

Watch now, later, or never?

This wasn't awful but it really wasn't watchable. Give it a miss.

Matt Brown vs. Tim Means

Official result: Matt Brown defeated Tim Means by submission (guillotine choke), 4:44 of round 1

What was the high point of the fight?

When this fight was announced we all expected violence and this fight delivered an abundance of it. Means and Brown went toe-to-toe, exchanging vicious elbows and kicks until Brown was able to lock in a tight guillotine from a sloppy takedown attempt. Brown's slick choke was the high point of this fight.

Where do these two go from here?

It is an absolute travesty if we do not get to see Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit next. Condit vs. Brown has the potential to be a fight of the year candidate and would likely determine a number 1 contender. Expect that fight to go down later this year.

Tim Means is an exciting fighter with a lot of potentially fun fights ahead of him. Next time out I would like to see a fight with Mike Swick. Expect Means to take some time off after this fight however, as he took a ton of punishment in the short fight.

Watch now, later, or never?

Watch now. This fight was the saving grace for this undercard.