While you get pumped for this Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 74, check out what the UFC fighters of yesterday have been up to on the regional circuit, including knockout artist Drew McFedries, Joe Lauzon’s younger brother Dan, and a cadre of TUF vets led by Julian “Let Me Bang Bro” Lane.
We start things off with heavyweight Josh Copeland (10-2, 0-2 UFC), who last Friday made his return to the regionals following a March TKO loss to Jared Rosholt that pushed “Cuddly Bear” out of the UFC. Copeland faced Jason Ackerman (6-1-0) in the main event of Denver, Colorad’s Prize FC 10, successfully unseating the reigning champion with a first-round TKO. Copeland remains undefeated outside the Octagon.
Also on Friday, TUF 16 alum and CES lightweight champion Julian Lane (9-4-1) looked to defend his title in a rematch with Luis Felix (14-8-0). Lane emerged victorious from their first encounter thanks to a third-round guillotine, which also earned him the title in the first place. Felix has apparently made good use of the twelve months since that defeat, however, besting Lane last weekend by unanimous decision. Lane’s post-TUF record now stands at 6-4.
In the night’s co-main event, Bellator’s Matt Bessette (15-7, 5-2 Bellator) was shocked in Round 1 of his fight with Lenny Wheeler (9-3-1NC, 1NC WSOF), with Wheeler knocking him out 39 seconds after the opening bell on the strength of a straight right followed by a series of uppercuts. Bessette, who took a split-decision victory from former Top 10 featherweight Diego Nunes last year, falls to 2-1 for 2015.
Also on the card was TUF 18’s Peggy Morgan (4-3, 0-1 UFC), who scored an upset victory and halted the four-fight winning streak of Jessy Miele (4-2-0) following a unanimous decision-worthy effort. Morgan is 2-2 since her lone UFC appearance–a decision loss to Jessaymn Duke that remains Duke’s only official UFC victory.
Friday’s CES also occasioned the return of Dan Lauzon, who hasn’t taken to the ring since his 2013 bout in WSOF with Justin Gaethje. Lauzon (17-6, 0-3 UFC, 1-1 WSOF), who was the youngest competitor in the UFC at the time of his Octagon debut in 2006, and who owns a submission victory over fringe contender Bobby Green, was a significant favorite heading into entered his bout with Chip Moraza-Pollard (10-8, 0-1 WSOF, 0-1 Bellator). However, mid-way through Round 2, Lauzon would find himself on the wrong end of a kick to the head, and follow-up punches from Pollard would stick him with his second TKO loss in a row. It’s the only time outside the UFC that Lauzon has lost two straight fights.
Highlights from CES 30 can be seen here. Footage from Lauzon’s brutal defeat starts at 0:20.
And on Saturday, at Supreme FC: Genesis in Tampa, Florida, ATT rep Sabah Homasi (8-5, 1-2 Bellator, 0-1 Strikeforce) looked to rebound from his disappointing showing on the recently-concluded TUF 21. Standing in his way was Reggie Pena (13-6, 1-0 WSOF) whose salvo late in Round 2 forced the referee to step in and save Homasi from further punishment. Pena improves to 3-0 since 2014 and halts Homasi’s winning streak at four.
Meanwhile, at Kunlun Fights 29 in Sochi, Russia, Brandon Cash (9-3, 1-0 Bellator, 0-2 Strikeforce) returned from a two-year hiatus to hand Dimitriy Mikutsa (5-1-0) the first loss of his professional career, finishing him with ground-and-pound in the closing minute of Round 3. Cash served as the first opponent for the late Shane Del Rosario’s undefeated Strikeforce run, eventually leading Del Rosario to the UFC. Cash is, himself, undefeated in his last four.
Watch Cash vs. Mikutsa here.
And in the main event of Illinois’s XFO 56, Drew McFedries (12-7, 4-5 UFC) put himself on his first win streak in four years, stopping Tony Parker (11-12-0) via verbal submission due to strikes. McFedries, who burst onto the scene as a short-notice opponent for Alessio Sakara, is 4-1 since his UFC career came to a close in 2009.
Down in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wagner Prado improved to 4-0 in his post-UFC campaign and defended his Max Fights light-heavyweight title in the process. This latest win came in the first round against the over-matched Aldo Silva (3-6-0), who became the fourth man in a row to fall to Prado’s strikes.
And in the co-main event of Arizona’s Rage in the Cage 179, former Bellator tournament finalist Ed West (19-10, 4-4 Bellator, 0-1 WSOF, 0-3 IFL) made predictably short work of Jose Carbajal (6-10-0), submitting him in the first with a rear-naked choke. The win pulls West out of a three-fight skid.
Finally, in the main event of Alberta, Canada’s Super Fight League 42, jiu-jitsu stylist and TUF 14 contestant Roland Delorme (9-5-1NC, 3-3-1NC UFC) stumbled in his return to the regional circuit, enduring a great deal of punishment in the first before losing by TKO in Round 2 of his bout with Jesse Arnett (8-4-0). This marks the first, official TKO loss of Delorme’s career. Arnett has won five in a row; Delorme has dropped four straight.
Arnett vs. Delorme can be seen here. Action starts at 6:00.
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