This is the UFC on FUEL 3 undercard live blog for the UFC on FUEL 3 prelims from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.
There will be six fights on the undercard. Brad Tavares vs. Dongi Yang, Cody McKenzie vs. Marcus LeVesseur, TJ Grant vs. Carlo Prater, Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamal Shalorus, Jeff Curran vs. Johnny Eduardo and Alex Soto vs. Francisco Rivera will all be featured bouts.
Check out the UFC on FUEL 3 undercard live blog below.
Round 1: Soto tosses out a head kick early, then tries to stay active on the outside. Another head kick lands more cleanly moments later, but Rivera answers with a right that drops him. Soto finds his way to his feet, but Rivera has found a home for that right and he keeps firing. Soto looks wobbly, but still in it. Another hard right drops Soto to his knees, but he keeps coming and nabs a takedown. Soto has top position briefly, but can’t do much before Rivera makes it back to his feet. Soto keeps trying to circle away with Rivera following. Rivera turns what initially looks like a jumping knee into a jumping head kick that catches Soto. Soto seems like he’s just trying to survive the round now, avoiding the serious engagements whenever possible in the final minute. They end the round with Soto still circling away from that power. MMA Fighting scores it 10-8 for Rivera.
Round 2: Soto seems to have his legs under him again as they start the second. He works some kicks and bounces away from the counter. Clearly, he wants this fight on the outside, but every time he plants to fire off Rivera moves in with power shots. After a second inadvertent groin kick by Rivera, we pause for the briefest of moments, then it’s time in. Soto jabs on the run and Rivera answers with a heavy hook. Right hand by Rivera, followed by a knee. Soto mugs as if to show he’s not hurt, but Rivera quickly shows him there’s more where that came from. Now it’s Soto’s turn to land a groin shot. On the restart, Rivera’s back on the prowl. Rivera brings Soto’s head down with a punch, then nails him with a head kick. The horn sounds to end the round, and Rivera seems to be feeling the effect of that groin kick still. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rivera.
Round 3: After both Rivera and his cornermen expressed amazement and disappointment that Soto wasn’t knocked out yet, we start the final frame. Soto gets off to a nice start with a takedown, but can’t follow up. Soto misses with a punch and eats a right. Front kick from Rivera snaps Soto’s head back. Rivera lands another big right. There’s the jelly legs from Soto once again, but he just won’t give in. After a few seconds of wobbling he looks solid again, even if he can’t get much of an offense started. Soto has to know he’s way behind on the cards, but he seems content to keep circling away and lose this one by decision. It might be a moral victory to avoid getting finished after all that, but moral victories don’t pay as well as actual victories. Body kick by Rivera. Soto tries to push off the cage for a Superman punch, but nothing doing. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rivera.
Francisco Rivera def. Alex Soto via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1: Curran pumps the jab and feints a shot to see what Eduardo will do. Eduardo snaps out a couple quick leg kicks, while Curran responds with a kick to the body. Curran lunges forward with a big right, but seems to be coming up just short right now. Curran flicks out a backfist and eats some leather from Eduardo in exchange. The exchanges are relatively few as we close in on the final minute. Eduardo’s leg kick looks to be his best weapon, while Curran is putting much of his faith in the old one-two. Nether man is in a hurry to finish so far. Eduardo lands a nice right at the end of a combo, then another leg kick in the final ten seconds. His speed advantage is starting to become evident. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Eduardo.
Round 2: Eduardo’s momma didn’t raise no fool. As soon as the second round starts, he goes right back to work on Curran’s leg. The Brazilian is chopping away at that left thigh, and Curran is clearly feeling it. All Eduardo has to do is move his hips and Curran lifts his lead leg to check. Curran’s still game, though. He fires off a punch combo in close, and Eduardo responds in kind. Eduardo dances around, avoiding the jab, snapping out a kick when he feels like it. He’s in control, but still in no rush. Curran gets busy with punch combos in the final minute, but Eduardo proves too elusive to deal much damage too. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Eduardo.
Round 3: Another round, and another leg kick attack by Eduardo to start us off. Judging by his comments to his corner between rounds, Curran knows he needs to do something, but what? Eduardo isn’t opening up enough to give him many opportunities. Takedown attempt by Curran is stymied. Curran fires off a left and Eduardo claims eye poke, but referee Rick McCoy doesn’t seem to be buying it. He tells Eduardo “you’ve got to fight,” but it does give him at least a temporary reprieve. Curran senses the opening and comes on with more punches, popping Eduardo’s head back. Again Eduardo claims eye poke, and this time nobody is buying it. With a minute left, Curran keeps looking to land that left, while Eduardo goes back to the leg kick. Good combo by Curran and Eduardo is in full-on backpedal mode. Might be too little, too late for the “Big Frog.” There’s the horn to end it. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Curran.
Johnny Eduardo def. Jeff Curran via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamal Shalorus
Round 1: After the requisite bit of dancing and jabbing in the opening minute, dos Anjos jacks Shalorus with a huge head kick that sits Shalorus down. Dos Anjos swarms on him as Shalorus tries to scramble. After some warnings from the ref about the back of the head, dos Anjos moves to the back, sinks in the rear-naked choke, and Shalorus has to tap. Impressive, quick finish from the Brazilian.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Kamal Shalorus via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:40 of round one
TJ Grant vs. Carlos Prater
Round 1: After a brief feeling out period, they begin trading leg kicks, with Prater opting to go first and Grant countering well. Grant moves in for the clinch, but Prater eventually extricates himself. Grant again gets in close, gets double underhooks, but can’t quite haul Prater down. Prater turns Grant against the fence and looks for a takedown of his own, but Grant escapes and gets back to the center. Grant continues trying to strike his way into a clinch, it seems, but Prater is proving tough to catch. Grant eventually tracks him down and gets him to the mat, ending up on top after a bit of a scramble and a brief leglock attempt by Prater. Grant passes to side control without too much difficulty, but he’s already out of time. There’s the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Grant.
Round 2: Grant gets in close and clinches up early this time, pressing Prater against the fence and looking for an opening. He can’t find much, but he hammers Prater with a blistering elbow as they break. Prater wobbles backward, and Grant comes back in looking for another clinch. Prater still seems slightly out of sorts as they exchange in the center of the cage, but it isn’t long before Grant gets another takedown. This time he can’t secure top position, however, and Prater uses a front headlock as he gets back to his feet. Grant keeps after him and gets him back down, and this time he moves to side control with a little more time to work. Grant locks up a crucifix and punches away, but Prater stays calm and reverses from bottom to top just before the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Grant.
Round 3: Prater begins to attack more with his punches to start the final round. Perhaps he senses which way the judges might be leaning here. Grant hangs in there and fires back, but his punches seem a little more perfunctory, as if they’re only a preamble to the clinch. Grant ducks under a hook and finishes a double-leg, but Prater catches him in an arm-in guillotine on the way down. Grant isn’t panicking. He passes to side control and gets his head free. He nearly takes Prater’s back when he attempts to scramble up, but settles for regaining side control and then moving to mount with a little over a minute left in the fight. Prater rolls and gives up his back, but manages to escape before Grant can get anything going from there. Prater works back to his feet with Grant behind him, but is quickly slammed back down. Armbar attempt by Grant in the final seconds. It’s in deep, but Prater gets saved by the horn. Well, saved from the submission, anyway. Probably not from the defeat. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Grant.
T.J. Grant def. Carlo Prater via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1: McKenzie comes right out and gets himself taken down by LeVesser. Not the greatest start, but okay. After a bit of ground work, LeVesseur steps back and gets upkicked in te groin. So now both goes have reason to be a little bummed, and we’re not even a minute in. LeVesseur takes a couple minutes and then goes on the attack almost immediately after the restart. He hammers McKenzie with an uppercut in the clinch, and McKenzie seems a little lost. LeVesseur gets him down and thinks about a choke, but settles for the top position in McKenzie’s guard. As he is known to do, McKenzie sits up and latches on a guillotine choke. LeVesseur isn’t exactly responding with the sense of urgency you’d expect, and McKenzie is only getting more comfortable. LeVesseur is stuck now, and the choke is all the way in. Too late now. He’s got no choice but to tap.
Cody McKenzie def. Marcus LeVesseur via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:05 of round one
Round 1: They meet in the center of the cage and trade a few kicks from distance to start things off. Yang lands a couple nice lefts, and Tavares comes back with a right. Slow pace so far in the first round. Neither seems willing to throw more than one or two shots at a time. Yang gets poked in the eye after himself being warned for the same thing moments earlier. Referee Dan Miragliotta tells them both to watch their fingers. After the restart, Yang lands a kick and then pushes off and now it’s Tavares who’s complaining about an eye poke. Miragliotta seems increasingly frustrated with the both of them. Final minute now, and it’s Yang who’s pressing forward. He lands a heavy left and moves into the clinch, but gets turned and put against the fence by Tavares. They end the round in the clinch, battling for position. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Yang.
Round 2: Between rounds Tavares said he was suffering from some blurred vision, but that seemed to clear right up when the doctor threatened to stop the fight. Funny how that happens. Both men get busier at the start of the second, trading kicks to the thighs and body and Tavares tries to get the right hand working. Tavares flicks out a kick and Yang comes back with jumping front kick that lands. Yang backs Tavares up and looks for an opening. Tavares keeps wiping his eye, as if it’s still bothering him. Yang is keeping the pressure on. Yang clinches up against the fence and then trips Tavares down, but Tavares is right back up. Yang trips Tavares back to the mat with a judo toss, but Tavares just won’t stay down for long. They end the round trading kicks from a distance, with Tavares looking still bothered by the eye. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Yang.
Round 3: Once again they begin the round by firing away and picking up the pace. Tavares shoots for a takedown and puts Yang down against the fence. Yang tries to work back to his feet, but Tavares keeps bringing him back down. Unfortunately, he’s spending so much effort holding Yang there that he can’t launch much of an offensive attack. Miragliotta warns about the stalemate, then calls for a stand-up and a restart. Unintentional groin kick by Tavares, and we have ourselves another pause in the action. Like a savvy veteran, Tavares tosses off a head kick after the restart, perhaps hoping that Yang might still be worried about his junk. Yang defends well, but his offense seems to have fallen off a cliff in the final two minutes. More inconsequential kicks from Tavares, and a takedown after the horn by Yang. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Tavares.
Brad Tavares def. Dongi Yang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)