UFC on Fuel TV 8 Prelims: Surging Brad Tavares Outduels Former Deep Champion Riki Fukuda

By Brian Knapp Mar 2, 2013
Hyun Gyu Lim scored the only finish on the UFC on Fuel TV 8 prelims. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images



Brad Tavares wants some attention.

Armed with a stiff jab and a punishing right hand, Tavares cruised to a unanimous decision over former Deep middleweight champion Riki Fukuda at UFC on Fuel TV 8 on Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. All three cageside judges scored it for Tavares (10-1, 5-1 UFC), as “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 semifinalist recorded his third consecutive victory.

Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

Fukuda (19-7, 2-3 UFC) pursued the Hawaiian throughout the 15-minute match, only to be met and turned away repeatedly by a stinging jab. Tavares mixed in right hands to the head and body, leaving visible damage on his 32-year-old counterpart’s face. Fukuda never established a foothold in the bout, as he had no answer for his opponent’s well-honed counterattack.

Mizugaki Earns Split Verdict Over Caraway


Takeya Mizugaki leaned on stout combinations and his trusted left hook in earning a split verdict against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 semifinalist Bryan Caraway in a competitive undercard matchup at 135 pounds. All three judges cast 29-28 scorecards, two of them for Mizugaki (17-7-2, 4-2 UFC).

Caraway (17-6, 2-1 UFC) had his moments, particularly in the second round. There, he dropped Mizugaki with a right hand, nearly finished him with a mounted guillotine choke and later threatened with a rear-naked choke. Mizugaki dodged those bullets and paired his strong first round with an even better third. Over the final five minutes, the 29-year-old Japanese standout wore down Caraway with a series of left hooks and solid work in the clinch.

Mizugaki has recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since December 2008.

Tokudome Shuts Down Marcello


Timely takedowns, effective ground-and-pound and a third-round knockdown carried Pancrase veteran Kazuki Tokudome to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Cristiano Marcello in an undercard clash at 155 pounds. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 30-27 for Tokudome (12-3-1, 1-0 UFC), who posted his seventh win in eight appearances.

Tokudome assumed top position in all three rounds, short-circuiting the Brazilian’s vaunted guard with purposeful punches and stellar submission defense. He floored Marcello (13-5, 1-2 UFC) with a crisp right hand in round three and pounced for the finish. Though Marcello survived, the volley sealed his fate on the scorecards.

‘Bruce Leeroy’ Edges Newcomer Kang


“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 quarterfinalist Alex Caceres rode a strong third round to a controversial split verdict over Road Fighting Championship titleholder Kyung Ho Kang in a preliminary bantamweight duel. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Caceres (9-5, 4-3 UFC).

Kang (11-7, 0-1 UFC) appeared to control the first 10 minutes with repeated takedowns, some mild ground-and-pound and stellar submission defense. However, Caceres turned the tide in round three, where he drove the South Korean newcomer to the ground with punches, threatened him with various chokes and mounted him in the final minute.

The 24-year-old Caceres has won his last three fights, two of them by split decision.

Lim Knee KOs Guimaraes


Korean Top Team’s Hyun Gyu Lim knocked out the previously unbeaten Marcelo Guimaraes with a second-round knee in an undercard scrap at 170 pounds. The knee felled Guimaraes (8-1-1, 1-1 UFC) 4:00 into round two, halting the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s seven-fight winning streak.

Emboldened by a three-inch height and six-inch reach advantage, Lim (11-3-1, 1-0 UFC) pecked away at his foe with jabs and leg kicks through much of the first round. The 28-year-old South Korean scrambled to his feet after a double-leg takedown from Guimaraes in the second and timed the Brazilian’s next attempt with beautiful precision, connecting with the bout-ending knee.

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