No one can ever question Miesha Tate’s heart.
Tate (16-5, 3-2 UFC) extended her latest winning streak to three fights, as she picked up a majority decision over 2004 Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann in a pivotal women’s bantamweight showdown at UFC 183 “Silva vs. Diaz” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Two judges cast scorecards for Tate, 29-28 and 29-27; a third scored it a 28-28 draw.
McMann (8-2, 2-2 UFC) nearly finished it inside one round, as she cracked the former Strikeforce champion with a vicious right hand, dove into top position and delivered some serious ground-and-pound. Tate seized the momentum in the second, where she answered an attempted takedown with a tight guillotine choke that had the South Carolinian in survival mode. “Cupcake” put the finishing touches on the comeback with a dominant third frame, as she countered another takedown inside the first minute and remained in top position for the rest of the fight.
Related » UFC 183 Play-by-Play
Brunson Routs Herman in 36 Seconds
Jackson-Wink MMA export Derek Brunson blasted through Ed Herman with first-round punches in an undercard duel at 185 pounds. A finalist on Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Herman (22-11, 9-7 UFC) met his end 36 seconds into round one.
Brunson (13-3, 4-1 UFC) drove “Short Fuse” to the canvas behind three left hands, the second of which did the most damage. The 31-year-old Wilmington, N.C., native pounced on the stricken Herman, let loose with a 10-punch burst and left referee Mark Smith no choice but to intervene.
An emerging presence in the middleweight division, Brunson has rattled off four wins in five appearances.
Overweight Lineker Outduels ‘Uncle Creepy’
John Lineker won for the 19th time in 21 outings, as he captured a unanimous verdict from Team Oyama’s Ian McCall in a preliminary flyweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Lineker (25-7, 6-2 UFC), who missed weight by four pounds for the match and appears to be ticketed for 135 pounds.
McCall (13-5-1, 2-3-1 UFC) steered clear of the heavy-handed Brazilian in the first round, as he ran circles around him with superior footwork, grounded him with a takedown and piled up points with short punches and elbows from the top. However, Lineker turned the tide with guillotine choke in round two, as McCall slowed visibly after freeing himself from the maneuver. Lineker wobbled the compromised “Uncle Creepy” with a clubbing right in the third round, tore into him with his patented body blows and lured him into dangerous punching exchanges.
The defeat halted McCall’s two-fight winning streak.
‘Sapo’ Natal Manhandles Watson
Efficient standup and repeated takedowns carried Rafael Natal to a unanimous decision over onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts titleholder Tom Watson in an undercard battle at 185 pounds. Natal (19-6-1, 7-4-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 marks from the judges.
Watson (17-8, 2-4 UFC) was never much of a factor. Natal controlled the rugged Brit with stiff jabs, crisp right hands and a consistent stream of kicks to the body and legs. The Brazilian executed multiple takedowns in all three rounds, often answering Watson’s kicks and punches by taking him to the ground. While the opportunity to finish did not present itself, Natal left no doubt that he was the superior fighter.
The 32-year-old Watson has lost four of his past six bouts.
Santos Dismisses Reeling Enz
Tata Fight Team representative Thiago Santos stopped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 graduate Andy Enz with first-round strikes in brief undercard clash at 185 pounds. Enz (7-3, 0-3 UFC) succumbed to unanswered blows 1:56 into round one.
Once he established his range, Santos (10-3, 2-2 UFC) went to work. A stinging body kick backed up Enz and left him vulnerable against the cage. Santos then unleashed with winging rights and lefts, drove the Alaskan to the ground and finished it there with jackhammer punches and clubbing hammerfists.The 23-year-old Enz has lost three in a row.
Alcantara’s Split Verdict Sinks Moreira
Former Jungle Fight champion Ildemar Alcantara leaned on an active kicking game, effective takedown defense and a six-inch reach advantage, as he claimed a split decision over Team Nogueira’s Richardson Moreira in a preliminary middleweight scrap. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Alcantara (21-7, 4-2 UFC).
Moreira (7-3, 0-2 UFC) struggled with output throughout the plodding 15-minute encounter. Alcantara kept himself at a safe distance and pecked away with punches and kicks. He landed the most significant strike of the fight in the second round, where he cracked and wobbled Moreira with a shin-to-skull head kick.