The UFC on FUEL TV 5 fight card started out with an outstanding finish from Robbie Peralta who TKO’d Jason Young in 23 seconds in the first round and the action would keep coming. Over the course of the night Nottingham, England’s Capital FM Arena got to see hometown favorites like Dan Hardy, Jimi Manuwa, John Hathaway, Che Mills and Brad Pickett bring home victories.
The main event pitted undefeated heavyweight Stipe Miocic against the “Skyscraper”, Stefan Struve. The win is Struve’s fourth in a row and he improves his UFC record to 9-3. For Miocic (9-1, MMA), the second round TKO handed him the first professional loss of his pro career. Both fighters were awarded a bonus for Fight of the Night.
Hometown hero Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy stunned Amir Sadollah grinding out a win using wrestling to impose his will. Instead of watching his left hook find a home, Hardy found ways to work in short strikes from the ground and pound position. Sadollah has now lost 2 of his last 3. Hardy appears to be on a legitimate comeback, stringing two victories together after losing 4 fights in a row.
Hardy credited Sadollah for his toughness in his post-fight interview on FUEL TV with Gareth Davies. In addition, he discussed utilizing takedowns and trips that gave him the edge in the fight.”I’ve got these skills now, I’ve been working on them for a year.” I’ve got a long ways to go though, I’ve got a lot to improve. A lot of the things that I’ve been working on that I’ve success with in training, I didn’t get them to work tonight. We’ve got some things to work on, but a little bit of progress tonight.”
Brad Pickett took out Yves Jabouin with “One Punch” – earning his first knockout in two fights in the UFC and his first knockout win in four years. Jabouin had been riding a 3-fight win streak prior to losing. As Jabouin went in with an overhand left, Pickett countered with an uppercut that laid Jabouin out. The finish earned Pickett Knockout of the Night honors.
Paul Sass and Matt Wiman went to work on each other. Sass boasted an undefeated record at 13-0 coming into the fight and had finished 12 of his opponents via submission. His triangle choke (which he was nicknamed “Sassangle” after) had been his signature move which he used to finish 8 of his opponents. In this lightweight contest, Wiman came out on a mission to make a name for himself in the division and ended up beating Sass at his own game. To date, Wiman has only been finished once in his career via knockout long ago at UFC 60. Wiman defeated Sass via armbar submission in the first round and earned himself Submission of the Night honors.
John Hathaway also fought fellow countryman John Maguire. Hathaway used his long reach to his advantage throughout the fight. Maguire was never able to get much going and Hathaway pulled off the unanimous decision win.
Duane Ludwig suffered a knee injury in the first round that stopped the fight. Che Mills emerged the winner via TKO when the fight was stopped due to Ludwig’s injury in the 1st round. Reportedly, Ludwig left the Octagon on a stretcher, unable to walk out on his own.
Jimi Manuwa took home a win in his native England in his UFC debut. It was a rough outing for Kyle Kingsbury who really needed to bring home a win to stay relevant in the UFC light heavyweight division. Kingsbury hung in taking repeated punishment from Manuwa. When the second round ended, doctors came out to look at Kingsbury’s left eye that was swollen shut. The fight resulted in a Doctor Stoppage and gave Kingsbury his third consecutive loss in a row.
TUF Live competitor Andy Ogle couldn’t edge out TUF 14 cast member Akira Corassani on the judges scorecard in what some were calling a robbery. The first round really could have gone either way, two was Corassani’s, three I saw for Ogle as he out worked Corassani for nearly three minutes with ground and pound. One judge had scored the bout 30-27 for Ogle, which did seem like a questionable call.
Brad Tavares spoiled Watson’s UFC debut outpointing him and earning a split decision victory. Tavares showed well rounded skills working a nice stiff jab, landing takedowns and attempting submissions. One judge had actually scored the bout in favor of Watson, but luckily the other two saw the match in favor Tavares.
Gunnar Nelson came on strong in his highly touted UFC debut defeating DaMarques Johnson with a Rear Naked Choke in the first round of action. A Renzo Gracie Black Belt from Iceland, Nelson remains undefeated and improves to ten wins and one draw in his professional MMA record.