The UFC heads back to Versus this Sunday, and Heavy MMA will be on the scene in San Diego, California bringing you live results and updates from "UFC on Versus 2", which features a light heavyweight clash between fast-rising Jon Jones and the experienced Vladimir Matyushenko.
However, before the main card airs live and free on Versus, the promotion has put together a rather intriguing preliminary card to precede the live broadcast.
In one of the undercard's more notable bouts, welterweights DaMarques Johnson and Matthew Riddle face off in a battle of rising prospects, while Jacob Volkmann and Paul Kelly duel in a bout destined to entertain. The preliminary card also feature James "The Sandman" Irvin's return to the light heavyweight division, as he is set to face Igor Pokrajac in an effort to revitalize his career.
Join Heavy.com this Sunday for live results from the preliminary card of "UFC on Versus 2".
Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss
In the contest to open "UFC on Versus 2", Rob Kimmons and Steve Steinbeiss battled it out to determine the first winner (and loser) of the evening's card. Steinbeiss was successful in the early going, landing a plethora of knees while in the clinch, and things were looking up for him after a solid opening round.
However, in the second, Steinbeiss' takedown defense, while solid for the first two minutes, failed him, as Kimmons scored a takedown with a nice slam. Fortunately for Steinbeiss, Kimmons couldn't earn the knockout slam, which has become rather popular as of late.
After splitting the first two rounds and not exactly gracing the fans with some dynamic action, the two fighters headed into the third round. Unfortunately for Steinbeiss, his takedown defense once again went missing, and Kimmons dominated the final frame, remaining on top of his opponent for the majority of the round. Kimmons earned the unanimous decision, making him the first of 10 winners of "UFC on Versus 2", which makes Steinbeiss the first...well, you know. Kimmons def. Steinbeiss via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira
The first contest required all 15 minutes. In his Octagon debut, Oliveira didn't need quite as much time.
Elkins opened the contest up with a slam (I told you they were popular lately), but immediately left himself vulnerable to a submission attempt. Oliveira saw the opportunity and took it, latching on a triangle submission, maneuvering to an armbar, and forcing the tap out. Phenomenal debut for the lightweight, who has made himself an early candidate for Submission of the Night honors. Oliveira def. Elkins via submission (armbar) at 0:41 of Round 1.
Mike Massenzio vs. Brian Stann
With two fights down, Brian Stann joined Mike Massenzio in the cage for a middleweight bout. The bout was Stann's debut at the 185-pound mark, but was also the return of MMA referee John McCarthy to a UFC event.
In the early going of the contest, Stann was put on his back on a pair of occasions, fending off Massenzio's attack, including a guillotine choke attempt. Stann moved the fight into a more favorable position, winding up on top and landing some nice punches in his opponent's guard. However, Massenzio avoided any significant damage, finished the round strong, and looked to be ahead on the scorecards.
In the second round, Massenzio once again looked to a guillotine choke early to try and finish the fight, and once again Stann avoided a very dangerous situation. However, Stann managed to survive and wound up in Massenzio's guard. This round, Stann was the one with the strong finish, and, much like the first bout, it seemed the third round would decide the winner.
In the final frame of the middleweight tilt, Stann came out on fire. The U.S. Army veteran stuffed a takedown from Massenzio early, landed a solid shot, and it all fell apart for Massenzio after that. Stann dominated his opponent with submission attempts and brutal striking. After a close head kick missed, Stann slipped and ended up on his back, but immediately slapped on the triangle choke, earning him the stoppage. Stann earns the victory in his 185-pound debut with a dominant third round performance. Stann def. Massenzio via submission (triangle choke) at 3:10 of Round 3.
James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac
James Irvin's return to light heavyweight didn't exactly go as he planned. The exciting striker avoided an early takedown attempt, but could not avoid the second. While on the bottom, Irvin stayed busy, opening up a cut on Pokrajic, and moved to top position.
However, the fight quickly went back to the feet, and Pokrajic surprisingly took control. Irvin somehow managed to take upwards of nine solid shots from his opponent without dropping to the floor. But Pokrajic helped him get to the canvas with a takedown, followed by what appeared to be a rear naked choke submission. Strangely, the choke was not locked in, but rather on the across Irvin's jaw, leaving Heavy.com's Ryan Loco to question whether or not Irvin's jaw was broken during the onslaught he took on the feet. It certainly seems that could have been the case, as Irvin is once again disappointed by a first round stoppage defeat. Pokrajac def. Irvin via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:29 of Round 1.
DaMarques Johnson vs. Matthew Riddle
Just as soon as this welterweight contest began, Johnson needed a quick timeout after receiving a shot to the groin. The fight resumed, and Johnson landed some nice leg kicks before being taken to the floor by his opponent. Once on his back, Johnson could do little to avoid the onslaught of Riddle, attempting several triangle chokes in vain. He survived the round, but was brutalized for the opening five minutes.
The second frame opened with Johnson landing a nice shot, but was quickly taken down. Just like in the first, Riddle effectively utilized his vicious ground and pound, while Johnson attempted to better his situation. Johnson finally made his way back to his feet and caught Riddle with a knee. However, Johnson just could not stopped the takedown, and Riddle moved to full mount where he pounded Johnson out for the stoppage victory. Impressive performance by Riddle, who takes home a win bonus and 20% of his opponent's purse due to Johnson's failure to make weight. Impressive performance for Riddle, and an unfortunate end to a rough weekend for Johnson. Riddle def. Johnson via technical knockout at 4:29 of Round 2.
Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann
Volkmann came out in the final preliminary card bout looking for a takedown. But when he couldn't secure one, he settled for a fair amount of leg kicks instead. The kicks set up the takedown, and Kelly found himself underneath a superior grappler early. After a struggle from Kelly, Volkmann moved to the full mount, then to his opponent's back. Kelly continued in his attempts to escape, but Volkmann's grappling continued to allow him to dictate the positioning. In the waning moments of the round, Volkmann looked for an armbar, but the seconds ran down before the finish.
Kelly entered the second round clearly down on the judges' scorecards and immediately ended up on his back again. After remaining on top for the majority of the round, Volkmann nearly secured an armbar, but Kelly managed to escape into his opponent's guard. However, Volkmann wasted little time working his way back to top position, but Kelly reversed the positions once again. The second was a better round for Kelly when compared to the first, but Volkmann still took it pretty decisively.
Volkmann began the third round in hopes of controlling Kelly on the ground as he had done the entire fight, securing an early takedown. Surprisingly, Kelly quickly reversed his opponent, but referee John McCarthy stood them up just a short while later. Volkmann decided he did not want to stand with Kelly and, once again, took him to the ground, where he would remain in top position for the remainder of the fight. Volkmann earned the unanimous decision victory in a fight that will surely bring British fighters' lack of wrestling to the forefront once again. Volkmann def. Kelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).