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UFC on Fox 18 results: Saffiedine wins in return from injury, edges Ellenberger

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Check out the results for the UFC on Fox 18 FS1 Prelims, featuring wins for Tarec Saffiedine and Rafael Natal.

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The six preliminary fights for UFC on Fox 18: Johnson vs. Bader featured exciting striking, a quick knockout finish and several close fights lost in the final round. Here's how the fights went down.

Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

In the first round, Ellenberger landed the most significant strike, a right hand that sent Saffiedine backwards. Ellenberger was unable to capitalize on the momentum as he pressured Saffiedine against the cage, letting him off the hook. In the second round,  Saffiedine turned up the striking, landing a lot of punches and kicks. Although he didn't land a big significant strike, he had Ellenberger on the end of all of his punches. In the third round, Saffiedine continued to get the better of the striking exchanges. Ellenberger began to throw really sloppy punches, at one point falling into the cage after a wild miss. Saffieidine scored a late takedown and almost got Ellenberger's back. Boos rained down during the final minutes with the crowd growing restless.

Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier by unanimous decison (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

In round one, both fighters kept the fight standing, with neither having the sizable advantage. Aubin-Mercier was finding success with body kicks while Ferriera had success with counter punches. In the second round, Ferreira began to get the better of the striking, hitting Aubin-Mercier when he rushed in. Aubin-Mercier changed the momentum of the round halfway through with a couple of big headkicks and punches from the pocket. In the third round, Aubin-Mercier made a big mistake, getting reversed on a takedown attempt. Ferriera quickly moved to mount and back control, constantly threatening with submissions until the end of the round.

Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey by TKO (punches), of Round 3

Nothing of much significance happened in the first round until the final second. Natal landed a solid right hand that dropped Casey. The second Casey hit the canvas, the horn for the round sounded. Casey was able to get up and go back to his corner, but the knockdown was a big one. Natal wobbled Casey again early in the second round, before getting the takedown and slamming Casey to the canvas. The rest of the round was Natal controlling Casey on the ground. In round three, Natal was able to get the fight to the ground again and pounded Casey out until the referee stepped in.

Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

As per usual, the first round of this Flyweight fight was quick and action packed, with both fighters exchanging punches and kicks furiously. Reis tried to slow down Ortiz towards the end of the round by clinching against the fence. With seconds left in the round, Reis completed a takedown after countering Ortiz's attempt. Reis started the second round getting the better of the exchanges. Reis continued to control the grappling, stuffing Ortiz's takedown attempts and taking him down. In round three, Reis solidified his grappling advantage, controlling Ortiz for the entire round on the ground.

Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan by KO (punches), 3:59 of Round 1

This fight featured the first knockout of the card. In round one, Yakovlev had his takedown timing on point, getting Sullivan down with clean takedown shots. Yakovlev did a great job of controlling the cage and the grappling exchanges in the first half of the round. Out of seemingly nowhere, Yakovlev threw a straight right hand that landed flush, knocking Sullivan out. Follow up punches were quickly interrupted by the referee. Alexander Yakovlev brought the thunder!

Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

This was a very fun fight with some flashy kicks mixed in with wild exchanges. In round one, Caceres controlled the middle of the cage, pressing Fullen up against the fence and landing punches. Caceres landed a sweet 360 round house kick and then followed it up with a big punch that hurt Fullen. In round two, Fullen landed a nice spinning back kick to the body and then followed it up with a big right hand. Caceres continued to the be the aggressor though, backing Fullen up against the cage. Caceres hit Fullen with two hard knees to the body that noticeably pained Fullen.  In round three, both fighters were throwing a lot of flashy kicks with relatively low success. Caceres turned up the volume towards the end of the round, wobbling Fullen against the cage during a wild exchange.