UFC on Fox 15 Prelims: Beneil Dariush Controls Jim Miller to Unanimous Decision

By Brian Knapp Apr 18, 2015
This might be the performance that launches Beneil Dariush to new heights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division.

Dariush leaned on his world-class ground game in claiming a unanimous decision from Jim Miller at UFC on Fox 15 “Rockhold vs. Machida” on Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Dariush (11-1, 5-1 UFC), who capitalized on his opportunity as a replacement for the injured Paul Felder.

After a closely contested first round, Dariush took off. The Kings MMA standout landed multiple takedowns, proved superior in the scrambles and slowly wore down Miller (24-6, 13-5 UFC). Dariush achieved full mount on his fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt three times over the final 10 minutes. He also transitioned to Miller’s back with ease, utilized a suffocating top game and maintained a merciless pursuit of submissions.

The 25-year-old Dariush has won his last four fights.

Related » UFC on Fox 15 Play-by-Play

St. Preux Cuts Down Cummins

Ovince St. Preux wiped out Reign MMA-Kings MMA rep Patrick Cummins with an exquisite left uppercut and follow-up ground strikes in the first round of their preliminary light heavyweight duel. St. Preux (18-6, 6-1 UFC) polished off his seventh victory in eight outings 4:54 into round one.

Cummins (7-2, 3-2 UFC), a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Penn State University, executed multiple takedowns but could not corral the Strikeforce veteran on the mat. St. Preux got his attention with straight lefts, kicks to the midsection and knees to the body. Desperation grew for Cummins. In the waning seconds of round one, St. Preux folded the lunging Californian with a clean left uppercut on the chin, followed him to the canvas and blasted away with hammerfists. Cummins could not withstand the onslaught.

Villante Hands Anderson First Loss

Former Ring of Combat champion Gian Villante put away previously unbeaten “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 winner Corey Anderson with an overhand right and follow-up punches in the third round of their undercard tilt at 205 pounds. Villante (13-5, 3-2 UFC) sealed his sixth win in eight appearances 4:18 into round three.

Anderson (5-1, 2-1 UFC) had no answer for the outside leg kicks the Strikeforce veteran brought to bear. The sustained punishment left him visibly compromised, though, to his credit, the Rockford, Ill., native kept himself in the fight. Anderson capitalized on decreased output from his counterpart in the second and third rounds, as he punched well in combination and began to change the complexion of the bout.

However, in the final minute of round three, Villante let fly with an overhand right to the temple that had the undefeated Ricardo Almeida protégé out on his feet. Two more rights followed on the defenseless but still-standing Anderson before referee Liam Kerrigan saw fit to intervene.

Unbeaten Sterling Taps Mizugaki

Onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Aljamain Sterling submitted Takeya Mizugaki with a third-round arm-triangle choke in a preliminary bantamweight affair. A fill-in for the injured Manny Gamburyan, Mizugaki (20-9-2, 7-4 UFC) met his end 2:11 into round three.

Sterling (11-0, 3-0 UFC), a rising threat in the 135-pound division, was never in jeopardy. The 25-year-old Serra-Longo Fight Team rep stymied Mizugaki in the clinch and executed repeated takedowns. Sterling made his move in the second round, where he grounded the World Extreme Cagefighting alum, shifted to his back, attacked with heel strikes to the liver and threatened with a rear-naked choke.

Mizugaki was a spent force at the start of round three. Sterling delivered another takedown, again moved to his back and caught the choke in a scramble, finishing the Japanese export from the bottom.

Means Choke Submits Sullivan

Former two-division King of the Cage champion Tim Means submitted George Sullivan with a third-round arm-triangle choke in an undercard battle at 170 pounds. Sullivan (16-4, 2-1 UFC) conceded defeat 3:41 into round three, his eight-fight winning streak snapped in decisive fashion.

A replacement for the injured Kenny Robertson, Means set his trap in the standup. He overwhelmed Sullivan with variety, blending together punches, kicks, knees and his trademark standing elbows in close quarters. By the time the third round arrived, a visibly fatigued Sullivan had little left to offer. Means secured a trip takedown, worked his elbows and maintained his advantage on top. Sullivan then wandered into a seated position, allowing “The Dirty Bird” to cinch the fight-ending choke.

Means (24-6-1, 6-3 UFC) has rattled off four straight wins.

Brandao Ruptures Hettes’ Ear, Forces Stoppage

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner Diego Brandao stopped Jim Hettes on a technical knockout in between the first and second rounds of their preliminary featherweight clash. The cageside physician recommended the fight be halted after examining significant damage Hettes suffered to his left ear.

Brandao (19-10, 5-3 UFC) struck for multiple takedowns, dodged a few submission attempts and won the scrambles. He ultimately settled in top position against Hettes (11-3, 3-3 UFC) and uncorked a series of short elbows to the head, one of which ruptured the judo-Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt’s cauliflower ear and resulted in a deep horizontal gash that led to an anticlimactic conclusion.

The victory halted a two-fight losing streak for Brandao.

Dempsey Upends Serra-Longo’s Gordon

Late takedowns, a handful of clubbing blows and sheer persistence carried Chris Dempsey to a split decision over Serra Longo Fight Team’s Eddie Gordon in an undercard scrap at 185 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Dempsey (11-2, 1-1 UFC).

Gordon (7-3, 1-2 UFC) was at his best in the first round, where he shut down the Pennsylvanian’s takedown game, kept him at bay with straight punches and buckled him with a right hand. From there, he seemed to spin his wheels. Dempsey slowly turned the tide in his favor in round two and then turned up the heat in round three, as he staggered “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 winner with a left hook, executed a pair of final-minute takedowns and closed out the match in side control, unleashing elbows and punches from the top.

The 27-year-old Dempsey has won nine of his past 10 bouts.


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