‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ Finale Prelims: Miller Submits Palaszewski

By Brian Knapp Apr 13, 2013
American Top Team’s Cole Miller became the first man to submit Bart Palaszewski in more than five years, as he coaxed a tapout from the seasoned Pole with a first-round rear-naked choke at “The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Palaszewski (36-17, 1-3 UFC) conceded defeat 4:23 into round one.

Miller (19-7, 7-5 UFC) followed a Superman punch with a double-leg takedown and went to work on the ground. The 28-year-old Augusta, Ga., native transitioned to the back, softened Palaszewski with punches and set the choke for the finish. The victory halted Miller’s two-fight losing streak.

Samman Knees Bury Casey

Josh Samman survived a harrowing encounter with the Kevin Casey ground game and put away the Rickson Gracie protégé with a series of knees from the Thai plum in the second round of their undercard bout at 185 pounds. Samman (10-2, 1-0 UFC) brought it to a decisive close 2:17 into round two.

Casey (5-3, 0-1 UFC) had his chance. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt threatened Samman with a triangle choke and an armbar in the first round, only to see the Floridian slam his way out of danger. From that point forward, Casey was a non-factor. Samman trapped him in the clinch late in the first round and resumed his assault in the second, battering him with knees until Casey could no longer stand.

Barnatt Stays Unbeaten, Downs Hart

A stiff jab and a stout chin carried lanky Englishman Luke Barnatt to a unanimous decision over Collin Hart in a preliminary middleweight tilt. All three cageside judges sided with the unbeaten Barnatt (6-0, 1-0 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

Hart (4-2-1, 0-1 UFC) did well in the standup, particularly in close quarters, where he landed with power and frequency. Barnatt absorbed the punishment and attacked with his own assortment of strikes: jabs, right crosses, Superman punches, spinning elbows and step-in knees. Delivered with precision and speed, the jab exacted a heavy toll on Hart, bloodying his nose and sapping him of much-needed energy.

By the time the third round arrived, fatigue had taken hold on the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance export. Hart kept moving forward and scored with a pair of takedowns, but he could not answer with enough authority to turn the tide in his favor.

Andrews Wins Fifth Straight

Cage Fighting Championships graduate Dylan Andrews stopped the previously unbeaten Jimmy Quinlan with first-round ground-and-pound in a preliminary featherweight encounter. Andrews (16-4, 1-0 UFC) sealed it with unanswered punches from a kneeling position 3:22 into round one.

Quinlan (3-1, 0-1 UFC) was dogged in his pursuit of clinches and takedowns, though his efforts went unrewarded. The Massachusetts-based featherweight grounded and then briefly mounted Andrews roughly two minutes into the bout, only to allow him to escape to his feet. Soon after, Andrews dropped the oncoming Quinlan with a clubbing counter right hand and then closed him out with punches on the ground, securing his fight straight victory.

Hester Elbow Waylays Marunde

Clint Hester stopped Strikeforce and International Fight League alum Bristol Marunde with an exquisite standing elbow in the third round of their undercard clash at 185 pounds. Hester (8-3, 1-0 UFC) brought it to a close during a center-of-the-cage exchange 3:53 into round three.

Marunde (12-8, 0-1 UFC) was outmatched against a former professional boxer on the feet. He mixed in occasional takedowns but failed to corral Hester on the ground and grew less and less effective with his advances. An Atlanta-based middleweight, Hester utilized a stout jab, thudding power punches and an improved sprawl throughout the match, flooring Marunde with a right hook in the first round and a pair of upkicks in the second. Marunde weathered those volleys, but he was not as fortunate with the elbow.

Hester, 26, has won his last three fights.

Venezuelan Blanco Outduels Sicilia

Sengoku veteran and former lightweight King of Pancrase Maximo Blanco captured a unanimous verdict over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Sam Sicilia in an undercard scrap at 145 pounds. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Blanco (9-4-1, 1-1 UFC).

Low kicks and jabs were the primary weapons of choice for Blanco, who survived a second-round knockdown and largely steered clear of his foe’s heavy artillery. Sicilia (11-3, 1-2 UFC) spent much of the 15-minute encounter winging wild punches, not enough of which found their mark. The win was Blanco’s first since December 2010.

Pineda Kimura Submits Lawrence

Former two-division Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Daniel Pineda needed a little more than 90 seconds to dispatch “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 quarterfinalist Justin Lawrence in a preliminary featherweight affair. Pineda (18-9, 3-2 UFC) finished it with a kimura 1:35 into round one.

Pineda hit two quick takedowns, passed guard into side control and set up the kimura. Soon after, Lawrence (4-2, 1-2 UFC) frantically tapped out. Pineda, a 27-year-old Dallas native, has delivered all 18 of his professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
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