The UFC Vegas 12 preliminary card on this Halloween night saw plenty of finishes! This portion of the event just closed out with a sensational performance from formerly ranked lightweight Alexander Hernandez. He knocked out Chris Gruetzemacher in the first round with a violent punching combination, after already putting Gritz on skates with a striking clinic. Hernandez is back in the win column and in a big way as he advances his record to 12-3.
Before that, Adrian Yanez made good on his UFC debut by knocking out Victor Rodriguez (Not the Bloody Elbow contributor) with an epic head kick in the first round. It was the boxing of Yanez that hurt Rodriguez and had him looking for breathing room, but it was a head kick that sealed the deal and ended the fight. Yanez might be one to keep an eye on, especially with that lethal striking-heavy style.
Another finish on the undercard came when Jason Witt caught Cole Williams in an arm triangle in the second round. Witt owned the grappling exchanges, splitting his foe open with an elbow in the first-round, before securing the choke in the second. After a rough short-notice debut, Williams has earned himself a UFC win.
Earlier on the prelims, Dustin Jacoby made a successful return to the UFC by stopping Justin Ledet in the first-round. It was the leg kicks of Jacoby that hurt and dropped Ledet initially, and then it was a set of punches on the feet that ended the match. Jacoby went 0-2 before departing from the UFC in 2012. After a bunch of GLORY kickboxing bouts and MMA fights in various leagues, Jacoby has made his way back to the UFC and got himself a win and a finish to boot.
Opening up the event, bantamweight prospect Miles Johns scored a wicked uppercut knockout of Kevin Natividad in the third round. Johns was doing quite well before the sensational one-punch finish. He was sticking with his jab and staying defensively sound with active footwork and effective head movement. It was on a clinch break that Johns saw the opportunity to land the fight-ending blow and pick up his first UFC finish.
**See complete results below
Alexander Hernandez def. Chris Gruetzemacher by TKO at 1:46 of round 1: Lightweight
A set of leg kicks from Gritz opened up the bout, to which Hernandez responded with a series of kicks of his own. Hernandez began to counter away, sticking his opponent as Gritz pressed forward. A leaping left hook briefly dropped Gritz, and then an aggressive flurry finished cleaning Gritz’s clock. Yikes!
Adrian Yanez def. Victor Rodriguez by KO at 2:46 of round 1: Bantamweight
Rodriguez shot in right away, pressing Yanez up against the fence. Back in open space, Yanez was cracking with slick counter punches that had Rodriguez on the ropes. One of the punches briefly dropped Rodriguez. The pressure kept building, and as Rodriguez was looking to run away, Yanez nuked him with a sweet head kick. No followup was necessary.
Sean Strickland def. Jack Marshman by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Strickland walked his opponent down to get things going, landing combinations with his hands. Marshman seemed to be a bit out of sorts, and didn’t like being backed up. Strickland was landing flush punches through the porous defense of Marshman. This was a big round for Strickland, with Marshman really only landing a handful of quality blows.
Strickland got back to work with is hands in the second act. He moved forward behind his combos, busting up the face of his adversary. Marshman would try to push Strickland backwards, but he struggled to do it for very long. Strickland would quickly regain control with better boxing. Marshman started swinging with more volume towards the end of the round, but had trouble connecting as Strickland was moving his head just out of the way. The final round saw more of the same, except for Strickland talking a lot more trash. Marshman was still throwing and trying, but he was still missing and getting countered.
**It should be noted that Marshmann missed weight by 1.5 lbs
Jason Witt def. Cole Williams by submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:09 of round 2: Welterweight
Witt quickly shot in to get things going, lifting up Williams and getting himself a takedown. He controlled his foe and racked up a bunch of control time, while also dropping heavy hammerfists and elbows. A nasty gash opened up on the forehead of Williams from one of those Witt elbows, causing blood to leak everywhere. Witt earned himself another lifting takedown early in the second-round. It was only a matter of time before he locked up an arm triangle and got the tap.
**It should be noted that Williams missed weight by 4.5 lbs
Dustin Jacoby def. Justin Ledet by TKO at 2:38 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Jacoby attacked the legs right away with a kicking attack. He was staying just out of punching range for Ledet, which allowed him to effectively step in and counter with his own punches. Just when Ledet started to gain some steam, Jacoby stung him with a leg kick. Jacoby scored another set of leg kicks, dropping Ledet to the floor. Jacoby pounced with hammerfists, and then allowed his foe to stand back up. A flurry came crashing in, overwhelming Ledet. Ultimately, it was an uppercut that sent Ledet down for the last time.
Miles Johns def. Kevin Natividad by KO at 2:51 of round 3: Bantamweight
A bit of feeling out went on to get things going here. Johns then shot in and pressed his opponent giants the fence for a while, but the fight went back to open space before anything could happen. Johns worked his lead hand with jabs and hooks, and even scored a short-lived single leg. Natividad struggled to get his own offense going, mostly because Johns was doing a great job of being elusive.
Johns got right back to leading the dance in the second act. He would dart in with his jab, land, and then jump out of harms way before Natividad could return fire. The fight stalled out against the fence, with Natividad stuck with his back on the chain-link. After a referee seperation, Natividad showed more urgency, pressing forward behind his hooks. Johns responded by sticking his jab in Natividad’s face and using his footwork to keep the distance. During a clinch break, Johns landed a cool spinning backfist as Natividad turned to escape.
Natividad pressured again to open the final round. He backed up Johns to the fence and looked to wing punches, but Johns once again did a sound job of using his footwork and head movement to escape the bad position. Johns started to wrestle, holding his foe against the cage for a bit, and then on the break... KABOOM! Johns uncorked a well-timed uppercut that sent Natividad crashing to the canvas. He was done!