The UFC Vancouver Fight Night card is underway and the preliminary portion of the event just concluded with the company’s #15 ranked heavyweight Augusto Sakai absolutely obliterating the #14 Marcin Tybura. Sakai let his hands go with supreme confidence and sparked out his opposition in just 59-seconds. Sakai is now 3-0 in the UFC and marching towards the top of the division.
Two undefeated bantamweights went at each other on the undercard when Cole Smith and Miles Johns met in the Octagon. Lots of grappling went down in this one, some of it rather stale, but the bout was competitive nonetheless. At the end, it was UFC newcomer Johns who earned the split nod to remain undefeated and move to 8-0. Before that, another bantamweight made good on his UFC debut when Hunter Azure won a hard-fought decision over TUF 27 winner Brad Katona. Azure showed of stellar takedown defense as well as some heavy hands to remain undefeated. He has now moved to 8-0 in his professional MMA career.
In an exciting grapple-heavy affair, Chas Skelly and Jordan Griffin waged war for the entirety of 15-minutes. The bout had tons of scrambles and even saw a set of front flips. When the dust settled, it was Skelly who walked away with the unanimous decision to snap a two-fight losing skid. Louis Smolka got himself back into the win column by dispatching of Ryan McDonald in the first round. He wobbled his opponent with the left hand, and then finished him off with the right, showing solid power in both of those appendages. Smolka is now 2-1 since his return to the UFC.
**See complete results below
Augusto Sakai def. Marcin Tybura by KO at :59 of round 1: Heavyweight
Sakai came out ready to throw down! He snuffed Tybura right in the face with a right hand. Sakai instantly pounced. Some viscous dirty boxing was dealt out until Tybura was slumped on the canvas. Thank goodness for a referee being present! Yikes!
Miles Johns def. Cole Smith by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Bantamweight
Smith shot in right away and relentless worked for the takedown. He then took the back while Johns was standing. This position was held for quite some time, too. Johns got his opponent off of his back, but he couldn’t break completely free. Johns found top position early in the second frame. Smith scrambled up and took the back once again, but this time on the ground and not standing. Johns avoided the RNC attempts and spun around into the guard of his opposition. A couple of shots rained down before the bell sounded, but none of them seemed to do much damage. Smith brought all the pressure to start the final round and held Johns up against the fence for a lengthy amount of time. After finally getting free, Johns landed some heat with his hands. Smith began to fade and Johns began to score as time expired.
Hunter Azure def. Brad Katona by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Bantamweight
A right hand briefly knocked Katona off balance to start the fight, but he was quick to stand up and initiate a grappling exchange. Azure fought hard to remain on his feet and was successful. Katona was relentless with his takedown attempts, and was able to pin Azure’s back against the fence, but just couldn’t convert.
Azure cracked Katona with a big shot to kick off the second act. Katona threw back, but wasn’t connecting with the same sort of authority. Around the midpoint of the round, Katona blasted a takedown up against the cage. Azure was quick to spring up to his feet, but couldn't find separation and get his back off of the cage.
For the third round, Azure continued to throw big punches as Katona tried to close the distance. The better shots were clearly being landed by Azure, and when Katona did blast a takedown, it was extremely short-lived. Azure went for a takedown of his own down the stretch, but it was Katona who found top position. He took the back, but Azure scrambled on top.
Chas Skelly def. Jordan Griffin by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Featherweight
Griffin came out hot, throwing all sorts of strikes at his opponent. Skelly used that aggression to shoot in and take the back. Skelly worked hard for an RNC, forcing Griffin to fight hands. Skelly somehow rolled into the guard of Griffin while still holding the choke. The sub attempt fell through and Griffin got back up to his feet. They both started brawling, throwing labored punches until the bell sounded.
Skelly shot in to start the second round but Griffin sprawled to remain standing. Several punches scored for Griffin before he shot in on the wrestler and took side control. He seamlessly transitioned to full mount and dropped some savage bows onto the skull of Skelly. He then took the back and attacked his own RNC, but Skelly did a sweet front flip and escaped. Skelly then took the back of Griffin and kept it for the rest of the round.
Griffin came out behind his strikes again in round-three. Skelly was the one that shot in, but Griffin jumped a Guillotine. Skelly escaped and worked his way to the back yet again. Griffin attempted a front flip of his own, but wasn’t able to escape the way Skelly did in the second act. Griffin eventually rolled over into top position and jumped a last second choke, but Skelly made it to the bell.
Louis Smolka def. Ryan McDonald by TKO at 4:43 of round 1: Bantamweight
The bantamweights were content to stand and trade it out across the opening round. Each man was getting in their licks with neither man really taking over. whenever they did clinch up, it was a stalemate. Then, towards the end of the round, Smolka landed a heavy left hand that wobbled his foe. Smolka went in for the kill, blurring on his dazed opponent. A right bolo came flying in that dropped McDonald, causing the referee to step in and call off the bout.
Austin Hubbard def. Kyle Prepolec by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Lightweight
Prepolec came out ready to strike. He stung his foe with a stiff cross in the opening moments of the fight. Hubbard would throw back, but didn’t quite have the same sort of accuracy as his opposition. Towards the end of the round, Hubbard began to score by mixing up his striking attacks, but was dropped by a punch at the buzzer.
Hubbard switched gears and looked to grapple in the second act. Prepolec did a sound job of making his way back to his feet, but after getting poked in the eye and taking a brief break, Hubbard took him back down. Several unobstructed punches to the face scored and Prepolec did not return to his feet until the bell sounded.
Hubbard went right back to the takedown in the third round, but Prepolec was ready for it. He stayed on his feet, at least for a moment, but Hubbard hit a single leg and found top position. A bunch of ground strikes scored as Hubbard controlled his foe. Prepolec managed to scramble back to his feet and then attacked a front choke as time dwindled down.