Melvin Guillard buried Mac Danzig with his overwhelming physical tools.
The tantalizing Guillard stopped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 winner with a short left hook and follow-up blows at UFC on Fox 8 “Johnson vs. Moraga” on Saturday at KeyArena in Seattle. Danzig (21-11-1, 5-7 UFC) succumbed to the punches 2:47 into round two, as he suffered the second knockout loss of his 33-fight career and was beaten for the third time in four outings.
Guillard’s hand speed proved too much for the 33-year-old Cleveland native to overcome. The Grudge Training Center export popped him repeatedly with right hands and stout left jabs, opening a cut on the bridge of Danzig’s nose. A little less than midway through the second round, Guillard (31-12-2, 12-8 UFC) floored Danzig with a left, swarmed him with punches and knocked him stiff with two devastating hammerfists.
Masvidal Choke Taps Chiesa
American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal coaxed a tapout from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 winner Michael Chiesa with a second-round brabo choke in an undercard showdown at 155 pounds. Masvidal (25-7, 2-0 UFC) brought it to a close 4:59 into round two, beating the buzzer by one second.
Chiesa (9-1, 2-1 UFC) had his chance and missed it. The 25-year-old Aurora, Colo., native staggered Masvidal with a sneaky but stout straight left in the first round and threatened him with a modified guillotine choke. Drawing upon his considerable experience, “Gamebred” remained calm, freed himself from Chiesa’s clutches and returned to his feet to regroup.
Masvidal settled into top position after an ill-advised kick attempt from his fading opponent in the second round. The Miami native passed to side control, softened Chiesa with heavy ground-and-pound and cinched the choke. Chiesa tried desperately to escape, but conceded defeat with one tick left on the clock in the second round.
Castillo Takedowns Deny Means
Takedowns and mild ground-and-pound carried Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo to a unanimous decision over former two-division King of the Cage champion Tim Means in an undercard tilt at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Castillo (16-5, 6-2 UFC), who has won five of his past six bouts.
The 33-year-old Castillo ducked inside and secured multiple takedowns in the first and second rounds. While he exacted little toll on Means (18-5-1, 2-2 UFC) on the ground, he did not allow “The Dirty Bird” to get his standup game in gear. Castillo held off a late surge from the New Mexico-based lightweight in round three, as Means -- a short-notice replacement for the injured Bobby Green -- cracked him with step-in knees, countered his one successful takedown attempt with a reversal and belted him with a standing-to-ground left hand.
Cruickshank Downs Edwards on Short Notice
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Daron Cruickshank posted his seventh win in eight outings, as he recorded a hard-fought split decision over American Top Team’s Yves Edwards in a preliminary lightweight affair. All three judges scored it 30-27, two of them siding with Cruickshank (13-3, 3-1 UFC), a short-notice replacement for the injured Spencer Fisher.
Edwards (42-20-1, 10-8 UFC) moved out to an impressive start, suffocating “The Detroit Superstar” with close-quarters punches and constant pressure. Cruickshank fared much better in rounds two and three, as he countered effectively with kicks and punches. Edwards’ pace slowed down the stretch, perhaps leaving Cruickshank the narrow opening he needed.
Relentless Herman Outduels Smith
A punishing clinch game, well-timed takedowns and a barrage of savage left hooks spurred “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 finalist Ed Herman to a split decision over Strikeforce import Trevor Smith in an entertaining middleweight clash.
Two of the three cageside judges scored it 30-27 and 29-28 for Herman (21-9, 8-6); a third struck an opposing 30-27 scorecard for Smith (10-4, 0-1 UFC).
Herman, who had not won since February 2012, was relentless and marched forward throughout the 15-minute encounter. The 32-year-old Vancouver, Wash., native lit into Smith with left hooks, uppercuts, occasional right hands and knees from the clinch. Herman answered his foe’s last-ditch efforts in a competitive third round, as he delivered a takedown and threatened Smith with an arm-triangle choke.
Clinch Knees Propel ‘The Iron Lady’
The American Kickboxing Academy-based muay Thai stylist Germaine de Randamie leaned on her experience in the clinch, as she captured a split decision from Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts veteran Julie Kedzie in an undercard women’s bout at 135 pounds.
Two of the three cageside judges scored it for de Randamie (4-2, 1-0 UFC) by 30-27 and 29-28 counts; a third cast a dissenting 29-28 scorecard in favor of Kedzie (16-12, 0-1 UFC).
De Randamie set the tone from the start, as she closed the distance on her 32-year-old foe and attacked with a relentless stream of knees to the body. Kedzie bounced back with a strong second round, where she delivered a single-leg takedown, settled in half guard, worked for an arm-triangle choke and racked up points with ground-and-pound. Her momentum did not last, however, as de Randamie resumed her assault in the clinch and answered a Kedzie takedown with punches and elbows from the bottom in round three.
Salas Bloodies, Outpoints Riley
Timely takedowns paired with punches and kicks in combination carried former Victory Fighting Championship titleholder Justin Salas to a split decision over Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Aaron Riley in a preliminary lightweight affair. All three cageside judges arrived at 29-28 verdicts, two of them siding with Salas (11-4, 2-1 UFC).
In his first appearance in nearly two years, Riley (30-14-1, 3-6 UFC) struggled to get off the starting block. Salas controlled much of the first 10 minutes with multi-strike combos, leaving his 32-year-old counterpart with a badly bloodied nose. Riley turned the corner in round three, as he put together punches and kicks of his own, but his efforts were not enough to avoid a third defeat in four outings.
Meza Choke Submits Albert
Former Rage in the Cage champion Yaotzin Meza submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 quarterfinalist John Albert with a second-round rear-naked choke in an undercard scrap at 145 pounds. Meza (20-8, 1-1 UFC) finished it 2:49 into round two.
Albert (7-5, 1-4 UFC) trapped the MMA Lab representative in a tight triangle choke in the second frame, only to see Meza escape to a dominant position. The 32-year-old Arizonan transitioned to Albert’s back, softened him with punches and cinched the choke for the tapout.
A Dennis Hallman protégé, Albert has lost four fights in a row, all by submission.