John Lineker hits hard, and Michael McDonald now has firsthand experience in such matters.
The man they call “Hands of Stone” knocked out McDonald with first-round punches, as he continued his assault on the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight division in the UFC Fight Night 91 headliner on Wednesday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. McDonald (17-4, 6-3 UFC) folded 2:43 into round one.
Lineker (28-7, 9-2 UFC) bided his time on the outside and waited for an opening. He blasted McDonald with a left hook to the body and rolling right upstairs that resulted in the first of multiple knockdowns. Lineker did not allow the Californian to clear his head. Another left hook dropped McDonald to his knees, and the Brazilian let his hands go until “Mayday” was face down on the canvas.
The 26-year-old Lineker has recorded five straight victories, three of them finishes.
Related » UFC Fight Night Round-by-Round Scoring
Ferguson Denies Vannata Upset Bid
In the lightweight co-main event, “The Ultimate Fighter 13” winner Tony Ferguson submitted the upset-minded Landon Vannata with a second-round brabo choke. A short-notice replacement for the injured Michael Chiesa, Vannata (8-1, 0-1 UFC) conceded defeat 2:22 into round two.
Ferguson (21-3, 11-1 UFC) had a far more difficult time than most anticipated. Vannata wobbled “El Cucuy” with a spinning backfist and right cross in the first round but set the 155-pound contender on skates with a beautifully timed head kick in the final minute. Ferguson was out on his feet but withstood the follow-up assault and forced the newcomer into a second round. There, he snapped back Vannata’s head on multiple occasions, first with a crackling jab and later with a Superman punch he landed while springing on the cage. Soon after, Ferguson caught the Jackson-Wink MMA rep ducking in the center of the cage, ensnared him in a standing guillotine and then transitioned to the brabo choke before dragging him to the ground. Vannata struggled to free himself but had no choice but to tap.
The 32-year-old Ferguson has won eight fights in a row.
Underdog Boetsch Bashes Samman
Tim Boetsch disposed of MMA Masters rep Josh Samman with second-round punches in a featured middleweight encounter. Sporting a grotesque hematoma beneath his left eye, Samman (12-4, 3-2 UFC) met his end 3:49 into round two.
Boetsch (19-10, 10-9 UFC) welcomed the overzealous Floridian into the clinch and made him pay at close quarters. The Team Irish standout caught a body kick and delivered a clean takedown inside the first minute of the second round. Ground-and-pound followed, and Boetsch eventually climbed to full mount. There was no escape for Samman, who surrendered his back in a desperate attempt to avoid further damage, eating punches and elbows until referee John McCarthy had seen enough.
The victory halted a career-worst three-fight losing streak for Boetsch.
Omielanczuk Outlasts Bloodied Oleinik
Superior conditioning, clubbing power punches and crushing ground-and-pound spurred Daniel Omielanczuk to a majority decision over Alexey Oleinik in a three-round heavyweight showcase. Two of the three cageside judges struck 29-28 scorecards in Omielanczuk’s favor; a third scored it a 28-28 draw.
Oleinik (50-10-1, 2-1 UFC) stayed in his comfort zone throughout the first round, as the combat sambo world champion delivered takedowns, achieved full mount and advanced to the back. However, Omielanczuk (19-5-1, 4-2 UFC) refused to wilt, pushed the fight deeper and waited for the 39-year-old’s gas tank to fail. He had Oleinik in real trouble in the second round, where he bashed him with punches and elbows, turning “The Boa Constrictor” into a bloody, unrecognizable mess. Oleinik secured a third-round takedown and briefly moved to the back, but he squandered the position and wound up pinned beneath Omielanczuk, eating punches, short hammerfists and elbows.
The defeat snapped an 11-fight winning streak for Oleinik, who had not lost since March 2012.
Last-Second Nakamura Choke Sinks Noke
Former Sengoku, Deep and Shooto Pacific Rim champion Keita Nakamura submitted Kyle Noke with a second-round rear-naked choke in a welterweight attraction. Nakamura (32-7-2, 2-4 UFC) drew the curtain 4:59 into round two, as he won for the sixth time in seven appearances.
Noke (22-9-1, 6-5 UFC) wobbled the Japanese veteran with a left jab inside the first 10 seconds and kept him at bay with straight punches and kicks to the body and legs through much of the first round. Nakamura broke down the Australian with merciless forward pressure in the second, staggered him with a right hand and then dropped him with a clean knee strike to the head. He immediately moved to mount, bloodied Noke with elbows and cinched the choke, the tap coming with just one second left on the clock.
Nakamura has secured 15 of his 32 pro victories via rear-naked choke.
Related » UFC Fight Night Prelims Recap
Smolka Smashes Game Nguyen
Louis Smolka wrecked Australia-based South Dakota native Ben Nguyen with savage second-round ground-and-pound in a featured flyweight encounter. Nguyen (14-6, 2-1 UFC) succumbed to punches and elbows 4:41 into round two, his eight-fight winning streak at an end.
A wild first round marked by moves and countermoves -- Nguyen twice achieved full mount -- ended with Smolka in complete control, as he scrambled into top position, threatened with a brabo choke and then climbed to mount, unleashing a hellacious barrage of ground strikes. Nguyen needed assistance to return to his corner between rounds. Smolka (11-1, 5-1 UFC) picked up where he left off in the round two. He attempted a series of submissions, a rear-naked choke included, before advancing to mount and battering Nguyen with punches and elbows for the stoppage.
Smolka, 24, has rattled off four straight wins.