UFC on Fuel 7 took place in London yesterday, and the main card did a good job of making up for a less-than-entertaining undercard. The only true finish on the main card was the headliner (which will get its own recap), but the bouts were certainly full of action and there's not much to complain about. Here's a brief look at the five main card fights that led up to the main event.
Cub Swanson defeated Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
This fight probably should have won the fight of the night bonus over Tom Watson vs. Stanislav Nedkov, but whatever. The bout was full of action and was back-and-forth over the first two rounds. Swanson took over in the third though, hitting a beautiful throw and landing some clean strikes. It was a huge win for Cub, who launched himself in to the 145 title talk with the decision victory.
Jimi Manuwa defeated Cyrille Diabate by TKO (injury) 5:00, round 1
Unfortunately this bout ended early. Manuwa won the first round with a couple of takedowns and heavy strikes, but Diabate hurt his leg sometime in the first frame. When he tried to go back to his corner after the end of the round, it was clear that he had done some damage. After consulting with the doctor and referee, the bout was stopped and Manuwa was awarded a TKO victory. He improved to 2-0 in the UFC and 13-0 overall.
Gunnar Nelson defeated Jorge Santiago by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Nelson's style is pretty unique, but it was enough to stave off Santiago's wild striking attacks. The first round was even, but Nelson used his patented grappling to own the second round. Santiago was very tired in the third, and Nelson beat him up a bit. Santiago had a late rally, but it wasn't enough. Gunnar moved to to 2-0 in the UFC and looks like a legit welterweight prospect.
James Te Huna defeated Ryan Jimmo by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Te Huna got dropped by a huge Jimmo headkick about one minute in and was in deep trouble, but managed to survive the round. He came back out and owned the next two rounds, getting takedowns and beating Jimmo up with ground and pound. It was thought that Jimmo might get a 10-8 or two for the first round, but it wasn't to be and Te Huna moved to 5-1 in the UFC with the win. Jimmo's loss broke his 17-fight win streak.
Matt Riddle defeated Che Mills by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Riddle dominated the fight with his wrestling, holding Mills down for most of the first two rounds. Mills had some chances in the last round, doing okay in the standup and reversing position on the ground with a minute to go, but he ran out of time. One judge totally butchered his scorecard by giving Mills two rounds, but Riddle still got the split-decision win. He improved to 8-3 (1 NC) and wants to fight Dan Hardy next.