UFC On Fuel TV 9 faced more than it's fair share of hardship in the week leading up to the event. Only days before his scheduled fight, Alexander Gustafsson was deemed unfit to compete by the commission and his teammate Ilir Latifi had to step up to face Gegard Mousasi instead. But, before the main card, there were a lot of exciting fights on the Facebook prelims, including several UFC debuts.
Reza Madadi vs. Michael Johnson
If there was a Comeback of the Night award, it would have gone to Madadi in this Lightweight fight. The first round was mostly even, until Johnson landed a big headkick that rocked Reza in the closing seconds. Johnson wasn't able to finish and Madadi turned all the momentum around as soon as the second round began. He got mount early and battered Johnson throughout the round. He got another quick takedown in the third that lead to the D'arce choke finish.
This was a fantastic and much needed win for Madadi. By most accounts he was robbed of a decision in his loss to Marcelo back at UFC 153 and this was just what he needed to get back on track. It's been a tough run for Johnson as of late. He's gone from a solid 3-fight win streak to losing his last tow and not looking good in the effort.
Both Troeng and Cella were looking to come back from KO losses from TUF 17, but it was only Troeng who redeemed himself. From the opening bell, Tor outclassed Cella and it took him only just over 3 minutes to finish the fight with a rear naked choke.
Following this loss, Cella probably won't be getting another call from Joe Silva in the near future. As for Troeng, I'd expect to see him in an upcoming international event in Europe.
Amagov made his debut as a UFC Middleweight with a one-sided unanimous decision over Spang. From the first round, Amagov set up a kick heavy game that kept Spang from getting a rhythm. He switched it up in the second with a couple takedowns that slowed the action and led to a ref standup, but easily took the round. He continued in the third by keeping Spang from landing anything significant and got the nod from all three judges.
Both Spang and Amagov were making their first UFC appearance since transferring over from Strikeforce, but Amagov stole the show. The victory will get Adlan the chance to start establishing himself in the division, Spang will probably be let go.
In his UFC debut, the Irish Featherweight completely dismantled Brimage. Marcus came out looking to overwhelm McGregor on the feet but found himself on the wrong side of counters throughout the 67 second fight. Conor showed off his vastly more diverse striking arsenal while remaining composed. Finally he landed a slick combination that dropped Marcus and followed up with ground and pound to get the stoppage.
While Brimage isn't exactly the very top of the division, he has strung together 3 consecutive wins in the UFC. It's a fantastic win for McGregor in his debut and caught the eye of Dana White. Brimage will return next with a chance to get back into the win column. White said at the post-fight presser that McGregor will fight next in August in the inaugural Fox Sports 1 event.
Coming into the event undefeated, LaFlare dominated in his unanimous decision victory over Alloway. The former Ring of Combat Welterweight established his game early in the first with a takedown. From there he beat up Ben both on the feet and on the ground, taking all three rounds on all three judges' scorecards.
A dominant performance is what every fighter wants in their first trip to the Octagon. LaFlare certainly got that, though he was outshined by McGregor. Alloway is not sitting at 1-1 in the UFC. He'll need a win in his next fight to hold his spot on the roster.
Lawlor opened this Middleweight tilt relentlessly pursuing the takedown throughout the first round. Kuiper countered well by hitting a couple TD's of his own and punishing Lawlor for his failed attempts. Kuiper looked to continue his previous success with a takedown early in round 2. However, that gave Lawlor the chance to grab the fight ending guillotine. He finished the bout at 1:05 of the second round.
Lawlor has been a mainstay in the UFC since coming out of the TUF 8 house. No worries for him here. He'll continue to fight on the prelims and maybe even string together consecutive wins for only the second time in his UFC career. At 1-2 in the UFC, Kuiper's back is against the wall. If he manages to not got cut after this, he'll definitely need to win his next fight.
The Welterweights started off the night with Abedi pulling out a split decision win over Yousef. Papy took the lead in round 1 by securing multiple takedowns and punishing Besam with knees and punches in the clinch. Yousef came back in the second round when he started landing hard strikes late in the round. The final round was the closest, but two of the three judges scored it for Abedi, granting him his first ever UFC victory.
Coming into Saturday's event, it was pretty easy to see this as a "Loser Leaves Town" match. Nothing seems to have changed after the fight either. Now sporting two consecutive losses against lower-tier competition, there's not a lot of incentive for the UFC to keep Yousef around. Abedi held on to his roster spot with the win.