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UFC on Versus 3 Undercard Live Blog: Joe Stevenson vs. Danny Castillo, More

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – This is the live blog for the untelevised preliminary card of UFC Live on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann, which takes place tonight at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, Ky.

The main card of the event, the UFC's debut in Kentucky, will be broadcast live on the Versus cable network. This is the UFC's third Versus event and it will be the first in the promotion's history to be broadcast in 3D.

The live blog of the seven preliminary card fights is below.

Igor Pokrajac vs. Todd Brown
Round 1: Early leg kick from Brown. Pokrajac comes forward with a short combo, then lands a nice left. A right-left has Brown backing up, and they clinch momentarily. Again, Pokrajac comes forward and lands some nice tight shots. After some circling, Brown clinches and pushes Pokrajac to the cage, where he looks for knees. The crowd grows antsy from the perceived lack of activity, though both fighters are throwing knees. Finally, Pokrajac pushes off and lands a couple hooks before Brown again pushes him to the wall. Pokrajac lands a right uppercut in the clinch, and Brown answers with a right. They break again with a minute left, and Pokrajac lands a nice high kick that Brown partially blocks. Soon after, Pokrajac drops Brown with a big shot and moves in to work on him. Back on his feet, Brown catches a huge right knee to the chin and hits the mat. Pokrajac jumps on him and is landing big shots to his face as he covers up. The ref is watching closesly as the 10-second clap comes in. Brown survives the round, but it's clear he's not going to make it any longer. He can't answer the bell as the doctors look at him and it's waved off.
Result: Igor Pokrajac def. Todd Brown, TKO, 5:00 Round 1

Rousimar Palhares vs. Dave Branch
Round 1: After 40 seconds of fakes, we get a couple near-jabs, and then a kick that misses from Palhares. About a minute in, Palhares shoots, Branch stuffs it and manages to get a takedown of his own. Palhares briefly looks to tie up Branch's arm, and then thinks about a triangle from the bottom, but he has to settle back into guard. Branch tries to pass and gets to half guard and looks for ground and pound, but Palhares gets back to full guard. Palhares again looks for the triangle. Branch seems to be close to danger constantly, but is just surviving the submission attempts. Then he rolls right into Palhares' attempt at a heel hook. He rolls it over and gestures to the crowd that he's OK. With three seconds left, he lands a few big shots after rolling out of it, including one after the horn. MMA Fighting gives the round to Palhares, 10-9, for the submission attempts.

Round 2:
Another tentative round start with both fighters circling and faking jabs. Palhares shoots a minute in, but Branch mostly stuffs it as Palhares pushes him to the fence. They scramble, and Palhares again goes for a leg. This time, he gets a tight grip on Branch's ankle and straightens his leg out for a tight kneebar. Branch has no choice but to tap.
Result: Rousimar Palhares def. Dave Branch, submission (kneebar), 1:44 Round 2

Rob Kimmons vs. Dong Yi Yang
Round 1: Nice left from Yang, then a clinch and a knee. They separate and Kimmons throws a high kick that misses. They trade jabs, and Yang throws a straight right that buckles Kimmons. He pounces, but Kimmons recovers and defends for now. From his feet, Yang throws a big left bomb that lands. He follows it down and quickly passes to full mount, where he takes his time working the ground and pound. Kimmons is covering up as Yang lands big shots. He eventually rolls over and Yang ties him up with an arm triangle. Somehow, Kimmons survives it, gets to his feet and answers with two big reverse elbows as Yang tries to take his back to take him back down. Yang does get back to the ground, and again gets full mount. Kimmons gives his back as Yang works more shots to the head from both sides. He's taking a lot of punishment, but apparently not yet enough for the ref to stop it. With 15 seconds left, Yang locks in an armbar and it's tight. With five more seconds, he might have been able to end it. But Kimmons survives the round. It's a clear 10-9 round for Yang on the MMA Fighting card.

Round 2: Some scrambles along the fence about 30 seconds in, and Kimmons gets the best of it and takes Yang down with a nice throw. He gets a side headlock and lands a few shots that have the crowd thinking he might finish it. But soon enough, Yang has it rolled over and is in side control working elbows to the midsection. Kimmons gives his back and Yang looks for a body triangle so he can work more ground and pound. Kimmons has no choice but to alternate between giving his back and being on his back, and either spot he's eating shots from Yang. Kimmons continues to cover up, and Yang isn't quite doing enough consecutively to get it stopped. But he's clearly dominating. The crowd is restless, wanting a finish. For 30 seconds, Yang rains down short shots to Kimmons' head. And after maybe 20 seconds of wondering just when the ref was going to shut the thing down, he finally does.
Result: Dong Yi Yang def. Rob Kimmons, TKO, 4:47 Round 2

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Reuben Duran
Round 1: Nice exchange from both fighters in the middle early. Then Duran lands a left high kick that has Mizugaki backing out for a new look. Mizugaki looks a little tentative, but he lands a nice shot that makes Duran stumble. He doesn't follow it with anything, though, and we go back to the middle – where the two are soon trading nice shots in tight. When Mizugaki comes forward and lands a right, Duran counters with a heavy left. Duran misses a high left kick, but comes back with a couple nice jabs. Good leg kick from Mizugaki that Duran shakes off. Duran is sitting back and waiting for Mizugaki to throw kicks so he can counter, and he finally catches one and lands a couple punches after doing so. Then Mizugaki throws another right kick with 15 seconds left, and Duran catches it and hits another good right. Mizugaki shoots for a takedown as the round ends and gets it, but it's not enough to give him the round. MMA Fighting scores the first 10-9 for Duran on his aggression and a higher volume of strikes.

Round 2: More big bombs and kicks form each guy to open the second. It feels like both would be interested in a Knockout of the Night bonus at this point. They're not Leonard Garcia-style haymakers, but they're big and precise. Two minutes in, both have just missed with a few big shots and both have eaten their fair share of jabs from the other. Halfway through, Mizugaki lands a nice three-punch combination, backs Duran up, ties him up and gets a takedown. Duran makes his way to the fence and looks to his cornermen, who tell him to wall walk. Mizugaki keeps him down, though, and tries to land some shots to the body. Finally Duran gets back to his feet and the two clinch up and reverse positions on the fence. Mizugaki just misses a pair of high knees, but he gets another takedown. Duran struggles back to his feet to end the round. The second round goes to Mizugaki, 10-9 on the MMA Fighting unofficial card.

Round 3: The two touch gloves for the final round. Both have to be thinking that it could get messy if it goes to the judges at this point. Mizugaki works an inside leg kick. Then an outside leg kick that Duran counters with maybe his biggest punch of the night. He's gotten very effective at checking Mizugaki's kicks and countering. About two minutes in, the pace quickens a bit for some nice exchanges. But Mizugaki, like in the second round, again is able to bully his way to a takedown. Duran is up against the fence in guard, and this time he's having a harder time getting back to his feet. His corner tells him to open his guard so he can get up. He works his way way to his knees, and Mizugaki nearly gets his back. But Duran scrambles out of it and gets back to his feet, where he throws knees to Mizugaki's left thigh with his back against the fence. Soon after, Mizugaki pushes it back to the ground for another takedown. Duran gets back up and the fight ends with a few flurries. It's the best fight of the night so far. MMA Fighting sees the third round for Mizugaki, 10-9, and the fight for him 29-28.
Result: Takeya Mizugaki def. Reuben Duran, split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)

Thiago Tavares vs. Shane Roller
Round 1: Both fighters circling nicely and looking for opportunities. Tavares lands a couple nice shots, and Roller counters with a few kicks. Tavares appears to be stalking just a little more, and it looks like he really wants to land a few big kicks. Roller comes forward nicely, though, with a few combos that chase Tavares to the fence, and he lands his own kick to the body. After they split up, Tavares lands two nice kicks that have Roller in trouble. But he recovers and it gets back to the middle. Momentum has swung back to Tavares, though, who lands a popping low leg kick. After playing defense, Roller again pushes forward late in the round with some offense and lands another kick to the body, and then looks to shoot for a takedown, which is stuffed. It's not going to be enough to steal the round. MMA Fighting scores it for Tavares, 10-9.

Round 2: A dance-around first minute, looking for openings. A minute in, Tavares gets a short-distance takedown. But Roller is back up quickly. And all of a sudden, out of absolutely nowhere, Roller lands a gigantic right hand that floors Tavares. ROller pounces and lands two unnecessary rights on the ground before Mario Yamasaki can get in to stop it. Roller set up the big right with a pair of left jabs. It's early, but that's a candidate for a Knockout of the Night bonus for sure.
Result: Shane Roller def. Thiago Tavares, knockout, 1:28 Round 2

Joe Stevenson vs. Danny Castillo
Round 1: Both fighters spend some time looking for openings. Castillo shoots after 50 seconds, but Stevenson stuffs it, ties him up in a front headlock and looks for knees. After some time in the clinch, Stevenson picks Castillo up high and looks for a power slam. Castillo tries to fight out of it, but can't and he takes a ride. Back on the feet, Stevenson gets a standing guillotine. But Castillo gets a slam of his own and survives it, winding up on top. Stevenson gets the fight back to standing with 2 minutes left. Castillo soon shoots, and on the takedown attempt Stevenson gets another guillotine. He can't sink it in, and on the standup Castillo throws a huge uppercut that just misses. Stevenson eats a few big punches from Castillo, and as the round winds down it's very close. Castillo lands a shot after the horn, but Stevenson tells him it's OK. It's a very close round, but MMA Fighting will give it 10-9 to Stevenson on the submission attempts. It could go either way, though.

Round 2:
A right and a left for Castillo have Stevenson backing up for a second. But then he pushes right back. With two straight losses, a loss tonight might get him a pink slip in a crowded lightweight division. Big left from Castillo connects, and Stevenson tries to answer but misses. Stevenson throws a takedown attempt toward the fence. It's weak, but it gives him good position with both Castillo's legs wrapped up; he transitions to another slam takedown and winds up in half-guard. He works minimal ground and pound, and Castillo is able to get back to full guard. Stevenson tries to posture up for strikes from the top, but eats some elbows from Castillo – and they might be 12-6s. They're close, anyway. Castillo soon gets back up, and after a short scramble Castillo has Stevenson against the fence. Stevenson has a knee down, and Castillo lands a knee. It's illegal. The ref takes time and Stevenson gets a minute. It appears Castillo just gets a warning, though, and not a point deduction. The round closes out without much action. It's close again, again MMA Fighting will lean toward Stevenson, 10-9, thanks to the takedowns.

Round 3: Very close fight so far with both rounds hard to judge. Castillo lands a couple nice rights and a left jab. A minute in, Stevenson shoots for a takedown and Castillo stuffs it. It's a similar position to one Stevenson was in last round, and he was able to get a slam out of it. With Stevenson partially grounded, Castillo throws some dangerous knees to the body that if Stevenson leans into, he'll lose a point. Stevenson twice has guillotine attempts, and on the second he gets it to the ground and looks to finish. But the left side of Castillo's neck is clearly open and he manages to slide out of it, where he looks to work from the top with Stevenson against the fence. Stevenson appears tired up against the fence as Castillo ties him up. Castillo lands a takedown, and Stevenson can't get the guillotine out of it this time. Back on the feet, Castillo again keeps Stevenson tied up and throws knees before picking him up for another slam. The fight ends on the ground with Castillo landing some nice shots. MMA Fighting scores the third round for Castillo, 10-9, and the fight for Stevenson, 29-28. But this one is probably going to have scores all over the map.
Result: Danny Castillo def. Joe Stevenson, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Steve Cantwell
vs. Cyrille Diabate

Round 1: Big height advantage for Diabate here. Diabate throws a nice pair of kicks, and Cantwell checks them. Diabate comes forward with a few jabs, and follows with another kick to the body. Then another. Then another, but Cantwell catches it and takes him down. Not much action as Catnwell tries to work out of half-guard. He gets a few shots to the body. With 2:15 left, he stands up and we move back to the feet. Both land lefts at the same time. Diabate throws a couple more kicks, then a straight left, then a flying kick that just misses. A knee to the head from Diabate just misses the mark. Cantwell throws a high kick of his own. Diabate goes with another body kick and follows with a couple shots to the head. Cantwell tries to shoot, but Diabate catches it and lands some nice, crisp shots – including a tight left uppercut that puts Cantwell on his can. Diabate gets in for some shots on the ground but can't put him away. On the feet with seconds left, Diabate lands a few to close the round – including one after the horn. Diabate gets a 10-9 round on the MMA Fighting card.

Round 2: More of the same to open the second – trading jabs and body kicks, looking for a chance at a fight-finisher. Cantwell tries for a takedown. It's sloppy, and Diabate winds up on top landing some shots to the body. Diabate lets Cantwell up, and ducks away from a Superman punch. Left jab lands for Diabate, and he gives Cantwell a steady diet of the short shots to the mouth. Cantwell prefers to stay in tight, despite the threat of Diabate's knees and reach advantage leading to lots of jabs landing. Diabate backs out and starts fresh with an inside leg kick, then a couple more jabs. Cantwell again shoots, and again there is nothing there but Diabate stuffing it landing some ground and pound from his back. On the feet again, Diabate lands about 10 straight rights and lefts that knock Cantwell's head back each time. He stays standing, though, and Diabate appears to be perhaps even be tiring. Cantwell again tries for a takedown and eventually turtles up to end the round. Diabate was dominant, and we'll give him a 10-8.

Round 3: Cantwell likely has been told if he doesn't finish the fight, he'll lose on the scorecards. He throws a high kick that Diabate blocks. Cantwell's face is pretty beat up, and his ribcage is a nice pink from all the kicks. They trade inside leg kicks. There's not much on Cantwell's at this point, and Diabate peppers him with more jabs. A nice mouse has formed under Cantwell's left eye, and Diabate looks for more knees. Diabate drops his hands and appears to be just playing it safe at this point to ride out the fight. He lands a few more jabs. Then a few more. Cantwell again tries to shoot, and Diabate sprawls. With two minutes left, the crowd starts to boo. Diabate answers with more easy jabs and left-rights to Cantwell's head. With this one appearing to go the distance, veteran fans in the house know they're not going to get the "Baba O'Riley" highlights package, perhaps the source of some of the boos. Diabate throws some more knees and tight uppercuts, but nothing close to finishing the fight. He'll end it on the feet. It's not a very competitive fight, and the crowd responds in kind. MMA Fighting gives the third to Diabate 10-9 and the fight to him 30-26.
Result: Cyrille Diabate def. Steve Cantwell, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-26)

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