Live on Pay-Per-View: Featherweights: Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs. Bart ‘Bartimus’ Palaszewski (34-13)
Hioki has the better record, but Bart has faced the tougher opponents. Bart beat Tyson Griffin in his UFC debut and has recently cut weight for this, his first featherweight fight. Hioki eeked out a split decision victory over George Roop is his UFC debut at the same UFC 137 event last October. Although he holds a BJJ black belt, Bart is an aggressive striker that will be looking for the KO. A BJJ brown belt, Hioki is more of a balanced fighter that looks for submissions. This should be an interesting matchup that will require sound strategy from Hioki, otherwise it may end with an early KO. There’s the bell…
Round 1: After feeling each other out, Hioki drops Bart with a swift jab. Bart stays on the ground and invites Hioki in — Hioki obliges. Hioki works his way into head and arm control, looking for a mounted guillotine and pounding on Bart’s head. Hioki has Bart’s arm trapped and Bart can only defend with one arm. Hioki continues to pound on Bart’s head from side control. Bart tries to spin out of it and gives up his back. Hioki quickly capitalizes, mounts him, and looks for an arm triangle. As they scramble, Hioki finds the arm bar. Bart somehow slips free and Hioki is back into Bart’s full guard. Hioki postures up and throws bombs down on Bart’s head. The crowd is going wild. Hioki has him trapped against the fence; standing over him, he continues to rain down powerful bows. 10-9, Hioki.
Round 2: The fighters measure each other up for the first minute of the round. Bart connects with a one two combination and steps out. Bart throws an outside leg kick and steps back out. Hioki circles and throws a right high kick that goes over Bart’s head. Hioki senses something and stalks Bart around the octagon with kicks and jabs. Bart returns the jabs just as quickly as Hioki throws them. Two minutes left and Bart is working on his aggression; throwing leg kicks and standing firm as Hioki throws feint jabs. Hioki lands a leg kick in the groin, but Bart’s immediately ready to go. Bart delivers an inside leg kick that lands on Hioki’s groin, but he’s ready to go immediately, as well. They exchange a few leg kicks, then Bart comes in with a combination that barely connects. Bart chases Hioki into the fence, but slips to find Hioki on his back. Bart gets back up immediately, and the horn blows. 10-9 Bart
Round 3: Bart immediately comes out with a couple hooks and a jab. Hioki clinches Bart into the cage and trips him onto the canvas. Hioki is in Bart’s side control working to improve his position. Hioki throws a series of rabbit punches, and gets into side control; he’s trying to mount him. Bart is defending himself by grabbing Hioki’s neck, Hioki slips out and takes side control. Hioki is posturing up to put pressure on Bart’s neck. In an effort to turn and escape, Bart gives up his back. Hioki immediately sinks his legs in and works on sinking in a rear naked choke. Hioki is balanced on Bart’s back and tightening a body triangle. Hioki is setting something up with a series of punches to Bart’s face, from behind. Unable to get the choke, Hioki works on a neck crank; Bart has no answer. The final horn blows. 10-9 Hioki.
Winner: Hioki (Unanimous Decision: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 )