It was a mixed bag of action on the Fight Pass portion of the UFC on FOX 16 preliminary card. Things started off nicely with a quick knockout victory, but then the next two fights featured a combination of some uninspiring, sloppy MMA and even sloppier scoring. Here are the results of the four Fight Pass prelims:
Steele's short-notice debut ended almost as quickly as it began. Cummings dropped him with a straight left hand and then teed off on Steele with a series of punches against the cage. Steele was actively running away and turning his back at Cummings, who then found him and punched him several more times before the referee finally stepped in to stop the fight. A one-sided beating to kick off the preliminary card.
Phillips wouldn't lose another split decision as she'd done in her previous two fights. She posed big problems for Duke early on with her speed and boxing and cracked her repeatedly as a result. Duke landed a nice high kick that forced Phillips to go for a takedown, but Duke instead got her down and went for an armbar before Phillips escaped. From there, Phillips beat her up with ground-and-pound and had her in full mount. Phillips continued her domination in the grappling exchanges in the 2nd, but Duke made a big push in the 3rd by tagging Phillips repeatedly standing. She went for several submission attempts and had an armbar try at the very end that she couldn't complete because she ran out of time against an exhausted Phillips.
In a back-and-forth battle, Holbrook got a controversial split decision win over TUF 13's Nijem. It seemed that Nijem would've earned the nod through his wrestling, submission defense, and striking, but that was not to be the case. Nijem hurt Holbrook standing early in round 2 but then the rest of the round was contested on the ground, where Holbrook threatened with multiple submission attempts, including a d'arce choke. In round 3, Nijem again scored with several shots, only for him to bizarrely choose to wrestle and grapple with the submission specialist. While Holbrook again had his submission attempts, Nijem largely was superior with his control in the 3rd. That's certainly one decision that will be debated.
What was billed as a striker's match-up turned out to be decided with a slick submission from Krause. After some good early striking exchanges, Krause threw Daron down and then immediately took his back in the ensuing scramble. From there, he got his arm underneath the neck and forced a quick tap from Cruickshank. A swift rear-naked choke ends Krause's two-fight losing skid and puts Cruickshank on his own.