Alex Caceres secures a rear-naked choke on Sergio Pettis. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Alex Caceres was not going to be a stepping stone.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum submitted prized Roufusport prospect Sergio Pettis with a third-round rear-naked choke at UFC on Fox 10 on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. Pettis (10-1, 1-1 UFC) tapped out 4:39 into round three, as he tasted defeat for the first time as a professional.
Caceres (10-5, 5-3 UFC) appeared to be outgunned and a step slow through the first five minutes, as “The Phenom” peppered him with an array of punches and kicks. However, everything changed in the second round, where Caceres floored the 20-year-old Milwaukee native with a searing straight left. Pettis seemed out of sorts from that point forward.
“I knew I hurt him, but I didn’t want to get antsy,” Caceres said. “He’s very dangerous on the ground. He’s a talented guy with a bright future.”
In the third round, Pettis failed on a takedown attempt and wound up in bottom position. He then fished for a heel hook, only to leave himself exposed. Caceres transitioned to his back, cinched the choke and landed the submission with a little more than 20 seconds remaining in the match.
“I knew it was in deep, and I felt like I could finish him,” Caceres said. “I didn’t want to leave it to the judges, because it looked like a pretty close fight to me.”
Wineland Evens UFC Record, Downs Jabouin
Former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Eddie Wineland put away Tristar Gym’s Yves Jabouin with savage second-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary bantamweight bout. Wineland (21-9-1, 3-3 UFC) sealed it 4:16 into round two.
Jabouin (19-9, 4-3 UFC) was effective with a variety of kicks and punches in the first round, but he could only steer clear of danger for so long. In the second, Wineland cracked him with a thudding right hand and followed him to the canvas, where he threatened with an arm-triangle choke before settling into mount. Elbows and punches came next, forcing Jabouin to his stomach. Wineland kept the strikes coming, forcing the stoppage.
Camus Handles MMA Lab’s Meza
Roufusport export Chico Camus won for the sixth time in seven fights, as he posted a unanimous decision over Yaotzin Meza in an undercard tilt at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Camus (14-4, 3-1 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
After a competitive first round, Camus seized control. The 28-year-old Milwaukee native grounded and dominated Meza (20-9, 1-2 UFC), transitioning between full mount and back mount with surprising ease. Though the desired stoppage was never achieved, Camus kept the MMA Lab representative on the defensive with takedowns, guard passes, rear-naked choke attempts and occasional ground-and-pound.
Viana Outduels ‘Junior’ Hernandez
High-velocity punching combinations carried “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 1 semifinalist Hugo Viana to a unanimous decision against Ramiro Hernandez in an undercard clash at 135 pounds. Viana (8-1, 3-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board.
The “Wolverine” was allowed to cruise for the better part of two rounds, as Hernandez (13-6, 0-2 UFC) seemed to eat three punches for every one he threw. At the urging of longtime mentor Pat Miletich, Hernandez put his desperation to use in the third round, where he stalked the Brazilian relentlessly, closed the distance and uncorked heavy punching combinations. However, the finish Hernandez needed never materialized, as the Muscatine, Iowa, native lost for the second time in as many Octagon outings.
Cruickshank Wheel Kick Dismisses Rio
Daron Cruickshank dispatched “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 castmate Mike Rio with an exquisite wheel kick and follow-up punches in a preliminary lightweight affair. Cruickshank (14-4, 4-2 UFC) drew the curtain 4:56 into round two, as he recorded his second win in three appearances.
Trapped on the feet, Rio (9-4, 1-3 UFC) was largely reduced to target-practice fodder for “The Detroit Superstar.” Cruickshank peppered him with punching and kicking combinations, nearly finishing it with a head kick to the face in the first round. Rio survived and pushed the bout into a second round. There, he answered a Cruickshank takedown with an attempted heel hook. However, Rio failed to capitalize, allowing his counterpart to return to the safety of his feet. Soon after, Cruickshank delivered the wheel kick and swarmed with punches for the stoppage.
Sullivan Outduels Roufusport’s Rhodes
Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder George Sullivan extended his career-best winning streak to seven fights with a unanimous decision over Roufusport prospect Mike Rhodes in an undercard battle at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Sullivan (15-3, 1-0 UFC).
Sullivan did his best work in the first round, where he fired away with heavy overhand rights, secured a takedown and eventually mounted his 24-year-old counterpart. Over the next two frames, the tide shifted back and forth between the two Octagon rookies. Rhodes (6-2, 0-1 UFC) landed in combination and zeroed in on his opponent’s lead leg with kicks. However, in the third round, Sullivan picked up the pace, backed up the Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion with right hands and locked down the decision.
‘Al Capone’ Head Kick Fells Harris
Nikita Krylov wiped out American Top Team’s Walt Harris with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches in a preliminary heavyweight scrap. Harris (5-3, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to the blows 25 seconds into round one.
Krylov (16-3, 1-1 UFC) wasted no time getting busy, as he moved forward with strikes to the head and leg. The lean Ukrainian rang Harris bell with a beautiful roundhouse kick, trailed him to the canvas and polished him off with standing-to-ground punches at the base of the cage. Krylov has now finished seven different opponents in less than a minute.