UFC 139 Prelims: Bader, McDonald Deliver KOs

By Brian Knapp Nov 19, 2011
Ryan Bader (file photo) rebounded with a bang at UFC 139. | Photo: Sherdog.com

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader put in 77 seconds worth of work and walked out of the Octagon with his arm raised.

Bader knocked out Jason Brilz with a thudding right hand behind the ear at UFC 139 “Shogun vs. Hendo” on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The 36-year-old Brilz (18-5-1, 3-4 UFC) went face down after his encounter with Bader’s power 1:17 into round one.

“I got him right here -- on my first knuckle,” Bader said. “I stuck that long jab out, and he was going straight back, so I caught him with that straight right hand.”

Bader (13-2, 6-2 UFC), a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler and a three-time Pac-10 Conference champion at Arizona State University, entered the cage on a two-fight losing streak. He put the adversity behind him in a hurry.

“I’ve been working a lot,” Bader said. “Losing sucks.”

McDonald Levels Newcomer Soto

Blue-chip bantamweight prospect Michael McDonald zapped previously unbeaten UFC newcomer Alex Soto with a beautiful counter right hand and dismissed him with a brutal series of punches against the cage in a preliminary bantamweight bout. The 20-year-old McDonald (14-1, 3-0 UFC), the youngest fighter on the UFC roster, needed just 56 seconds to close it out.

Soto (6-1-1, 0-1 UFC) came out as the aggressor, but his approach worked against him. McDonald countered perfectly, as he landed a right hook on the chin that seemed to echo through the arena. To his credit, Soto -- a late replacement for the injured Johnny Eduardo -- battled back to his feet, but McDonald was patient and merciless in his pursuit of the finish. He followed Soto across the cage and knocked him unconscious with a wicked volley that was equal parts accurate and violent.

“That [right hand is] is one of my favorite moves,” said McDonald, who has pieced together a seven-fight winning streak. “I’m always looking for it, especially when someone is coming at me. I was trying to finish him, but he grabbed a hold of me pretty good. I was impressed. [I’m ready for] whatever the UFC puts in front of me. I’m in no rush.”

Weidman Choke Leaves Lawlor Unconscious

Unbeaten former Ring of Combat champion Chris Weidman submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 quarterfinalist Tom Lawlor with a first-round brabo choke in their undercard matchup at 185 pounds. The choke left Lawlor unconscious 2:07 into round one.

Weidman (7-0, 3-0 UFC), a heralded 27-year-old Serra-Longo Fight Team product, struck for a takedown, drew Lawlor (7-4, 3-3 UFC) away from the cage and masterfully set up the choke. He cinched the hold, rolled and turned out the lights. A three-time collegiate All-American wrestler whom many view as the top middleweight prospect in the sport, Weidman has finished five of his seven foes inside one round.

“I’m real happy. Tom Lawlor is the best guy I’ve gone against so far,” Weidman said. “Thanks to [coaches] John Danaher and Matt Serra. I have God-given ability with these long arms, and they make it work for me.”

Tibau Takes Split Verdict

American Top Team brute Gleison Tibau recorded his third consecutive victory at 155 pounds, as he took a split decision from Rafael dos Anjos in a competitive preliminary lightweight matchup. Two of the three judges scored the fight in Tibau’s favor by 29-28 and 30-27 counts. A third cast a dissenting 29-28 vote for dos Anjos (15-6, 4-4 UFC).

Sandwiched between tight first and third rounds was a dominant second for Tibau (25-7, 10-5 UFC). There, he nearly ruined dos Anjos with a stout right hand and followed up with a series of power punches that had his fellow Brazilian out on his feet. However, dos Anjos made it to the horn and showed remarkable recovery powers. He did his best work in round three, as he fired off low kicks and punching combinations. Still, it was not enough to sway the scorecards in his favor.

Miguel Torres File Photo

Torres is 2-1 in the UFC.
Former WEC Champion Torres Outpoints Pace

Miguel Torres utilized his superior range and standup skills, as he took a one-sided unanimous decision over Team Tiger Schulmann representative Nick Pace in a preliminary bantamweight bout. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Torres (40-4, 2-1 UFC).

Torres set the tone from the start, striking from distance with kicks. He mixed in a flurry here and there and later threatened Pace (6-3, 1-2 UFC) with a guillotine choke and kimura. The former WEC champion attacked with kicks to the head, body and legs in the second round and allowed his stiff jab to do the work in the third, as he outclassed and frustrated Pace on the feet.

The 30-year-old Torres, a Carlson Gracie protégé who now trains out of the Tristar Gym in Montreal, has posted three wins in four outings.

“A guy like Nick Pace is real dangerous; nothing to lose, so I had to be careful in my approach,” Torres said. “He’s real durable. I hit him with some good shots. I knew he was waiting for that right hand, so I had to be smart.”

Baczynski Guillotine Finishes Brown

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 quarterfinalist Seth Baczynski extended his winning streak to four fights, as he submitted Matt Brown with a second-round guillotine choke. Brown (12-11, 5-5 UFC) tapped to the choke 42 seconds into round two.

Brown was effective so long as he remained upright. The 30-year-old Xenia, Ohio, native weathered a first-round takedown and landed often with knees from the clinch and punches to the head and body. However, Brown left himself exposed for the choke inside the first minute of the second period, and Baczynski (15-6, 2-1 UFC) capitalized. Brown tried in vain to free himself but had no choice but to ask out of the fight.

Castillo Stops Bailey in First

Team Alpha Male representative Danny Castillo stopped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 quarterfinalist Shamar Bailey on first-round punches in a preliminary lightweight duel. The end came 4:52 into round one.

A wrestler by trade, Bailey (12-5, 1-2 UFC) was victimized by multiple Castillo takedowns, the first coming less than a minute into the match. On his back, the 29-year-old Strikeforce veteran was no threat to Castillo (12-4, 2-1 UFC), whose onslaught grew more intense and violent as the fight deepened. The WEC import lashed away at Bailey with punches, compromising his guard and ultimately forcing him to shy away from the attack. The bout was called soon after.

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