WASHINGTON, October 2, 2011 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s “UFC on Versus 6” event has come to a close. How did the mixed martial arts (MMA) league’s first District of Columbia fight card turn out?
The event was an exciting night of electric fights, and the thousands of fans in attendance left the Verizon Center happy yesterday evening. Yours truly has recaps and results from every bout below:
Joseph Sandoval (USA) vs. Walel Watson (USA)
Walel “The Gazelle” Watson came out at a full gallop and made short work of Sandoval. Watson’s lanky frame allowed him to keep Sandoval at bay with long, loping kicks, a strategy the younger fighter didn’t have a solution for. One big kick to the head and a flurry of jabs later, Sandoval saw stars and his six fight win streak disappear.
Result: Watson wins in 1:17 of round one by TKO following a roundhouse kick and repeated jabs.
Keith Wisniewski (USA) vs. Josh Neer (USA)
These two MMA veterans put on a bloodbath for the audience in what was easily the best undercard fight. The pair battered each other back and forth for the first round, with Neer riddling Wisniewski’s ribs and elbowing his forehead.
Grappling again in round two, he proceeded to rearrange his foe’s face with additional elbows and ended up wearing a mask of Wisniewski’s blood. Neer locked in a tight headlock at round’s end, but Wisniewski took his beating like a man only to have the fight stopped and called in his opponent’s favor. Given how ravaged his mug was, it was probably for the best he didn’t spill more plasma.
Result: Neer wins after round two by TKO following referee stoppage.
TJ Grant (Canada) vs. Shane Roller (USA)
Each man made the most of their mat experience as round one kicked off. Grant went for an early takedown Roller expertly halted with a front neck lock. From there, Grant rolled through only to get caught again. The round ended with Grant sneaking in some ground and pound only for the buzzer to blow.
Trading strikes in round two, Grant wobbled Roller with a triplet of face kicks and then slammed him with a big takedown. Sinking in a triangle choke, Roller remained strong to take the battle to round three. From there, it was rinse and repeat, Grant getting an armbar screwed on tight for the submission.
Result: Grant wins in 2:00 of round three by submission following an armbar.
Byron Bloodworth (USA) vs. Mike Easton (USA)
Easton was clearly ecstatic to be fighting in his birthplace and the roaring chants for him showed the fans felt the same way. It made all the difference after a tentative but tense first round in which both fighters felt each other out. Easton stopped a Bloodworth takedown with ease and also delivered a stomach-churning spin kick to his midsection.
The second round went straight to strike town, with the pair grappling and Easton emerging victorious after several knees to the face. From there, he went for the kill with ground punches and made one hell of a UFC debut.
Result: Easton wins in 4:52 of round two by TKO following ground punches.
Paul Sass (UK) vs. Michael Johnson (USA)
Sass kept this short and sweet with his superb submission skills. He opened the round with a leaping knee strike only to have Johnson return the favor with a large punch. After that, Sass got sick of the striking game and swept his opponent with a leg scissors, taking things to the ground. Johnson was in a real jam visiting that territory, and it wasn’t long before Sass wrapped around him like an anaconda and submitted him with a heel hook.
Result: Sass wins in 3:00 of round one by submission following a heel hook.
Rafaello Oliveira (Brazil) vs. Yves Edwards (The Bahamas)
Oliveira took charge in round one by blasting Edwards with a big head kick and a failed takedown attempt.
Oliveira cornered Edwards with relentless punches in round two, only for the Bahaman to escape with a knee to the face and then floor Oliveira with a high kick. The Brazilian went overboard protecting himself by exposing his back, and Edwards took advantage by pinning him down and delivering a resounding 23 unanswered face punches for the TKO.
Result: Edwards wins in 3:44 of round two by TKO following back mounted punches.
Mac Danzig (USA) vs. Matt Wiman (USA)
These two had unfinished business after a June 2010 match that saw a referee call the fight early in Wiman’s favor before Danzig had given up. They made up for lost time with an even first round of strikes, takedowns, and submission attempts.
Danzig did his best to finish round two with a surprising triangle choke, only for Wiman to worm his way out and rain punches on Danzig’s face. Round three was more of the same with Wiman surviving a choke attempt and Danzig weathering a storm of punches and elbows. Much like 2010, however, Wiman walked away with victory after a unanimous judges’ decision.
Result: Wiman wins after round three by unanimous decision. This fight won “Fight of the Night” honors.
Charlie Brenneman (USA) vs. Anthony Johnson (USA)
Johnson destroyed Brenneman in this brief battle. Brenneman quickly made a takedown attempt only for Johnson to pin him with his heavier weight. Brenneman next struggled to his feet, only to get damn near decapitated by a face kick. Not to bash Brenneman, but this was one of the most lopsided losses the entire night.
Result: Johnson wins in 2:49 of round one by TKO following a face kick. This fight won “Knockout of the Night” honors.
Stefan Struve (The Netherlands) vs. Patrick Barry (USA)
Round one plodded at first, probably in part to an entire foot in height difference between both brawlers. Barry got the first hit with a sky-high kick that Struve shrugged off and responded to with a knee strike. From there, he rushed a second knee at round’s end only to have Barry shove him out of the way and leap forward with a front kick that caught nothing but cage.
Struve sank Barry in round two with a front neck lock, only to transition to a triangle choke instead. Barry dug deep, rose, and dangled Struve upside down before slamming the Dutchman back to earth as hard as he could. It wasn’t hard enough, however, and Struve held on to the hold for the tap out victory.
Result: Struve wins in 3:22 of round two by submission following a triangle choke. This fight won “Submission of the Night” honors.
Dominick Cruz (USA – Bantamweight Champion) vs. Demetrious Johnson (USA)
These guys felt like going the distance for a full five rounds and that’s just what they did. Both fighters took off sprinting with a flurry of strikes in round one, then traded takedown attempts and ground grappling. Round two was more of the same, the pair taking the fight all over the octagon and utilizing every aspect of MMA along the way.
Round three proved a turning point, with Cruz blasting Johnson across the ring with a belly to back suplex then trapping him with a choke hold. Johnson barely rolled out, and then proceeded to hang through round four by beating Cruz in strikes but falling short in grappling.
Facing off one last time for round five, Cruz caught Johnson with another suplex and then proceeded to leg sweep his way out of two grapple attempts. Both men threw all the blows they could in the final moments, but the judges’ minds were already made. Cruz kept his bantamweight crown via unanimous decision.
Result: Cruz wins after round five by unanimous decision. This fight marks Cruz’s second successful defense of the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Mark Hensch is a freelance journalist and former intern for The Washington Times. An avid MMA fan, he believes his love for the sport stems from wrestling and doing karate in high school. It may also have something to do with his large martial arts movie collection. Readers can follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter.
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