Alrighty, the prelims for UFC 181 are underway, and several, notable vets are scheduled to throw down, including Urijah Faber.
Let’s get to the action…
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Raquel Pennington
Both women come out firing, but the action quickly winds up against the cage. The action spills to the mat for a bit, but after the fight gets back to the feet, Pennington is cut. Wow, Pennington throws on a bulldog choke as the end of the round nears. Evans-Smith looks like she’s out as the round ends. Crazy, crazy, finish.
Raquel Pennington def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via technical submission (bulldog choke) R1, 4:59
Corey Anderson vs. Justin Jones
Anderson flicks a few jabs, darts in for a single leg, but Jones defends. Anderson plants a hard kick to the body. Anderson flurries but Jones counters with a thumping left hook. Jones jumps in looking for a hook, but Anderson takes a double leg. Jones counters with a guillotine but gets dumped to the mat. As the two scramble to their feet Anderson throws a knee to the head. Jones, who took the fight on short notice, is breathing heavy.
Jones still has some snap behind his punches. Anderson shoots in and takes Jones down briefly. Jones throws a hard left to Anderson’s body, but the latter counters with a takedown. Round ends.
Round 2: Anderson changes levels, looking for a double leg, but Jones stays on his feet. The two are clinched up against the cage. After a brief striking exchange, Anderson fires in with a double leg, takes Jones down, but again, the latter gets back to his feet. Anderson chucks a series of knees and Jones looks like he doesn’t care for them…Jones fires back a few knees in return as they’re clinched up. Anderson breaks away. Jones wings a couple of hard kicks. Anderson closes the distance again and has Jones up against the cage. The TUF 19 winner takes Jones down shortly before the round ends. Gritty but entertaining scrap.
Round 3: Jones comes out chucking shots, but Anderson clinches up and starts throwing knees. Anderson works for a takedown and gets it. Anderson looked like he may be thinking choke, but Jones scrambles away and back to the cage. “Beastin 25/8″ is still on top. Jones eventually works his way out but needs to something fast. Anderson gets yet another takedown, and starts threatening with an Americana. Jones defends. Fight ends.
Corey Anderson def. Justin Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Eddie Gordon vs. Josh Samman
Samman fires a hard kick to begin the fight but the fight spills to the mat. After a scramble, the two jump to their feet, and Gordon appears to take a low blow. Samman attempts another takedown but Gordon reverses it and is on top. Gordon is throwing shots from within Samman’s guard. Samman throws a few kicks but misses. Gordon charges in and takes the middleweight down. Gordon is landing some punches from above but Samman’s doing a good job of defending. Round ends.
Round 2: Samman fires a jumping front kick to begin the round, but Anderson counters with a right and takes him down. Gordan is working from within Samman’s guard once again. Fans are getting restless and referee Herb Dean brings them back up. Wow. Samman turns out Gordon’s lights with a vicious, head kick. That is a wrap. Early POTN candidate.
Josh Samman def. Eddie Gordon via KO (head kick) R2, 3:08
Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera
Faber comes out with a few feints and jabs. Rivera chucks a hard right overhand that misses. Rivera throws a leg kick but slips, jumps back up. Faber changes levels, charges in, but doesn’t get the takedown. Rivera throws a few more kicks that miss. Rivera chucks a hard kick and Faber shoots in, but can’t get the takedown. Rivera fires another hard leg kick. The latter is starting to find his range. Faber can’t get another takedown. Impressive round for the underdog (who is a massive one on the betting lines) Rivera.
Round 2: Faber comes out aggressively and Rivera is looking to counter. Faber threatens with a single leg, charges in and sinks in a neck crank. Rivera taps. Replay shows that Rivera took an accidental / brutal eye poke shortly before the fight ending move.
Urijah Faber def. Francisco Rivera via submission (neck crank) R2, 1:34