LAS VEGAS – MMA Fighting is at The Pearl at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for WEC 52
, one of just two cards left in the promotion's history before merging into the UFC in 2011.
The main card, headlined by the bantamweight debut of former featherweight champion Urijah Faber against Takeya Mizugaki, airs live on Versus at 9 p.m. Eastern.
The preliminary bouts not scheduled for broadcast feature L.C. Davis vs. Raphael Assuncao, Edward Faaloloto vs. Anthony Njokuani, Dustin Poirier vs. Zach Micklewright, Michael McDonald vs. Clint Godfrey, Mackens Semerzier vs. Cub Swanson and Brandon Visher vs. Yves Jabouin.
MMA Fighting has round-by-round updates of the six preliminary card bouts below.
Brandon Visher vs. Yves Jabouin
Round 1: Both fighters bounce to start the feeling out process, and Jabouin throws a low kick and eats a jab. High right from VIsher is blocked. One-two from Jabouin has Visher backing up. High kick from Jabouin is blocked. He tries again but can't hit. Jabouin's corner, including new Tristar Gym teammate Miguel Torres, yells for him to circle. He does, then throws another kick. Visher misses with a right and Jabouin answers with a jab. Tight dirty boxing has the best exchanges of the round so far, and both fighters eat a few close-range punches before splitting apart. After another short flurry, Jabouin scores a takedown and has Visher's back against the fence. Jabouin tries to work short punches out of Visher's guard and his corner tells him to posture up and throw. Visher works his way back to the feet, but Jabouin grabs a single leg and gets the fight back to the ground, where he settles into half guard with 25 seconds left. That's where the round ends. MMA Fighting sees the round 10-9 for Jabouin.
Round 2: Big kick from Jabouin is partially checked. Then he eats a kick himself and follows with a teep. Then both fighters land kicks to the body. Jabouin snaps off another high kick, then slips as he throws another. Tight exchange has Visher just missing with a right. Jabouin again kicks and forces Visher's back to the cage briefly. Yet another Jabouin kick is checked by Visher. Jabouin kicks, has it partially caught, then fends off Visher and lands another takedown. Jabouin tries to work short elbows out of Visher's guard with just under two minutes left in the round. Visher looks for a triangle, but Jabouin comes back to his feet, lands a big punch, then drops in a guillotine that isn't quite tight enough. With Visher's back to the fence, Jabouin works some knees to the body. MMA Fighting scores the second 10-9 for Jabouin.
Round 3: More kicks from Jabouin to open up. Visher looks to be pushing the pace a little more early on, knowing he probably needs a finish to win. He throws a left, then a right that catch mostly arms. Jabouin answers with a left that reels Visher briefly, and follows with another kick. Good left to the body from Jabouin. Roundhouse right from Visher misses. Then Jabouin ducks under another and Visher clinches. They stall briefly, but Jabouin powers his way to another takedown. Visher tries to push off, but has to stay on his back in guard. Jabouin works a few body shots from top position and his corner yells for elbows to create distance. He lands one flush, and we have our first "Get him a body bag!" shout from the crowd of the night. Jabouin tries to pass and gets halfway there. With 30 seconds left, he works for a submission and he gets a guillotine with 10 seconds left. But it can't stick, and a short ground flurry finishes the fight. MMA Fighting has the round 10-9 for Jabouin and the fight 30-27 for Jabouin.
Result: Yves Jabouin def. Brandon Visher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27
)Mackens Semerzier vs. Cub Swanson
Round 1: Semerzier works early jabs, then checks Swanson's right kick. Right kick from Swanson is caught by Semerzier, who used it to take the fight to the ground briefly. Back on the feet, Swanson lands a couple close jabs, and Semerzier nips him with a low blow. Swanson shrugs off any extra timeAfter a clinch for 30 seconds against the fence, Swanson lands a nice throw. But Semerzier pops right back up. Both fighters miss punches. Then Swanson works two rights to the body. Semerzier answers with a flying knee. Then he throws a flying kick that Swanson barely gets out of the way of – and Semerzier goes straight into the fence. After some near misses from each, the fight hits the canvas with Semerzier on top working out of guard. He pops back up and nearly eats two upkicks. In the center of the cage, Swanson answers two Semerzier body shots with a right of his own. Swanson pushes the fight to the fence, but Semerzier lands a knee. WIth 10 seconds left, Semerzier lands two nice strikes and Swanson answers with two of his own. It's a highly entertaining first round and tough to score. But MMA Fighting gives the slight nod to Semerzier 10-9.
Round 2: The fight goes quickly to the clinch to open the round, and Semerzier has Swanson's back on the fence looking for knees. After 20 seconds, they break and go back to the middle. Semerzier dodges a right uppercut and looks to answer with jabs. Instead, he lands a right, then a left, then clips Swanson with another left. Swanson looks for a takedown and gets it briefly, though Semerzier is up immediately and taking the fight back to the clinch looking for more knees. Swanson forces his way out after 20 seconds. When he misses a right, Semerzier lands a nice knee to the chin. Swanson is briefly stunned, but regains his composure and lands a quick takedown. Back on the feet, Swanson hits a few shots and looks to have Semerzier a bit out of sorts. A swinging back fist lands and Semerzier stumbles briefly. Semerzier looks to be the more tired of the two, and after checking a kick Swanson lands a nice 1-2 that pushes Semerzier back. Semerzier lands a right, but Swanson bulls his forward and lands a takedown. The round will close out on the canvas. MMA Fighting gives the second to Swanson, 10-9.
Round 3: Both fighters appear tired to open, and they touch gloves to finish it off. A big high kick from Semerzier misses, and then both fighters kick at the same time and both hit the mat at the same time. Shortly after, it's back to the feet – where Swanson is able to land another takedown. After a short time on the ground, Semerzier gets back to standing and pushes forward. Swanson throws a right kick, Semerzier catches it and lands a takedown of his own. Swanson looks for a guillotine and has it – but Semerzier gets back to the feet and slips out. Back standing, Semerzier just misses a knee to the head. But Swanson lands another takedown. This time, Semerzier gets out by pushing off with his feet, sending Swanson back a couple feet. Semerzier throws knees, then looks for a takedown of his own. He manages to get Swanson's back briefly, looking for a rear naked choke. He works ground and pound with 80 seconds left, keeping top position. He tries to lock in a body triangle, but Swanson is able to get back to half guard briefly. Semerzier postures up, though, and lands some heavy punches. With 10 seconds left, the fight quickly gets back to the feet and both fighters throw wildly to end the round. Afterward, they chest bump and embrace to celebrate a very strong Fight of the Night candidate. MMA Fighting sees the third for Semerzier 10-9 and a close fight for Semerzier, 29-28. Result: Cub Swanson def. Mackens Semerzier via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Michael McDonald vs. Clint Godfrey
Round 1: McDonald is making his WEC debut. At just 19, he comes in a highly touted prodigy of sorts. Godfrey lands a kick to the leg to open. McDonald keeps his hands up. He checks a kick and answers with twin left jabs. Then he lands a right bomb and pounces, landing a few shots on the ground before backing up and letting Godfrey back to his feet. McDonald is known for his knockout power, so on the feet is likely where he wants things. Godfrey shoots for a takedown, but McDonald defends it nicely. Against the cage, Godfrey continues to work for the takedown and manages to land a big one, nearly dropping McDonald on his head. McDonald settles into guard, then looks for a triangle. Godfrey's corner tells him to work. but just as they're doing so, McDonald swings his right leg up and over Godfrey's head, locking in a armbar and forcing a very quick tap from Godfrey. Result: Michael McDonald def. Clint Godfrey via submission (armbar) 2:42 Round 1Dustin Poirier vs. Zach Micklewright
Round 1: Poirier opens very strong with lots of punches in bunches. Mickleright is plenty dazed, and Poirier keeps coming. And keeps coming. And keeps coming. Finally, referee Kim Winslow steps in and waves it off with Micklewright still on his feet – refusing to go down, but not able to do anything but cover up and eat shots. After the stoppage, Micklewright has to steady himself on Winslow and nearly falls down. It's a very worthy stoppage. Result: Dustin Poirier def. Zach Micklewright via TKO (strikes) 0:53 Round 1Edward Faaloloto vs. Anthony Njokuani
Round 1: The battle of hard-to-type last names is on. Faaloloto, from Hawaii, is making his WEC debut. Both fighters look to strike early. Forty-five seconds in, Faaloloto shoots for a takedown that Njokuani stuffs. Faaloloto lands a right and a knee as the two trade positions against the fence. Faaloloto then throws a knee and Njokuani yells out in pain – the surest sign of a low blow there is. The crowd groans in unison three times for each of the three replays. Njokuani does his best to walk it off, wincing all the way. Back to work, Njokuani throws kicks. Then Faaloloto shoots and gets a quick takedown against the fence. Njokuani tries to power out, and eventually reverses and gets on top, working from Faaloloto's guard. Njokuani works a few strikes and eventually postures up. When Faaloloto goes for a leg, Njokuani scrambles back to standing where he lands a left jab and a vicious right to the body. He continues to push the pace forward, looking for high-impact strikes. He lands another right and Faaloloto defensively pushes the fight back to the fence where the two clinch. That's where the round ends. MMA Fighting sees the first round for Njokuani 10-9.
Round 2: Njokuani works kicks early. Then hits a straight left jab. Faaloloto catches an Njokuani kick and nearly uses it to trip him to the ground. The two continue to trade on the feet, though, each throwing with a lot of power. Njokuani yells out with most of his big strikes. He gets a Thai clinch and looks for knees, landing several to the body. He bounces on his feet as if he's pulling the hammer back for the big one. Instead, he lands a beautiful throw and winds up on top of Faaloloto in side control. He looks for a way to pin Faaloloto's left arm down and does briefly. Faaloloto manages to find a way out and back to his feet with 90 seconds left in the round. He's bloodied around his left eye. Then Njokuani throws a knee and Faaloloto crumples quickly. Steve Mazzagatti halts the action for the apparent low blow. After 30 seconds, Faaloloto is ready to go again. Njokuani lands a few more kicks and jabs, then gets another Thai clinch and lands vicious knees to the body. Back in tight, Njokuani rears back and lands a tight right elbow right to Faaloloto's already-beat-up left eye. Faaloloto goes down, and Mazzagatti steps in to stop it with just six seconds left in the round. Result: Anthony Njokuani def. Edward Faaloloto via TKO (elbow strike) 4:54 Round 1L.C. Davis vs. Raphael Assuncao
Round 1: Assuncao throws an early kick, then another as both he and Davis look for their early openings. Davis shoots, but Assuncao catches an arm-in guillotine. Davis tries to work knees to the body and eventually is able to break the choke. He postures up and looks to work strikes from on top. Assuncao finally scrambles back to his feet. They clinch and Davis looks for knees, as does Assuncao against the fence. Davis lands a left, then an Assuncao catches Davis flush in the place where male fighters especially really don't like to be kicked. After 30 seconds of walk-it-off, they meet back in the middle. Assuncao pushes the action to the fence and has a single leg but can't get the takedown. Assuncao briefly drops Davis with a kick, then they clinch again and Assuncao scores a takedown. He finishes the round on top, and that may be enough to give him the round. MMA Fighting sees the first 10-9 for Assuncao.
Round 2: Assuncao looks for inside leg kicks to start. Davis pushes back with jab feigns. They clinch with Davis using his right leg to defend. After a minute of working for position on the cage, Assuncao manages to get the takedown – and Davis nearly grabs the fence to defend. Davis eventually wall-walks his way back to standing, but Assuncao still has a double in place and soon gets another takedown. Much less action this round, as both fighters appear a little more cautious in their attacks. A half-Superman punch from Davis glances Assuncao's chin. Assuncao lands a couple jabs, and Davis answers with a right. The round ends with misses from each. MMA Fighting gives the second to Assuncao 10-9.
Round 3: Davis just misses a left after 30 seconds of feeling out and Assuncao clinches with him. The break a minute into the round and look to throw hands again. Superman punch from Assuncao misses. Davis staying largely defensive. He looks to move in, and a push kick from Assuncao fends him off. A kick from Davis sends Assuncao to the canvas for just a second and he pops back up. Again they clinch agaisnt the cage and trade position. Assuncao eventually gets the light takedown with about 90 seconds left and works short ground and pound out of Davis's guard. With 30 seconds left, the fight goes back to standing. Davis goes for a takedown, which just leads to a few elbows from Assuncao. The fight ends on the feet without much of a fast finish. MMA Fighting sees the third for Assuncao 10-9 and fight for him 30-27. Result: Raphael Assuncao def. L.C. Davis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)