RONNY MARKES VS. KARLOS VEMOLA: Vemola could have the best entrance music in the UFC. He uses Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, one of the more intense classical pieces of all time. It makes Vemola even more intimidating than he already is. Markes immediately tries for a takedown and then clinches Vemola against the cage. Vemola reverses, they separate and Vemola swings wildly. I forgot how wild Vemola is. It’s not pretty. Markes gets Vemola to a seated position against the cage, but Vemola gets back to his feet. Markes immediately takes him back down. Vamola scrambles back to his feet, but Markes pulls him back down. And we repeat the same thing again. Vemola is trying an arm-in guillotine but he’s nowhere close to getting it, but he does get back to his feet. This time Markes elects to just press Vemola against the cage. Vemola tries something that looks like a pro-wrestling arm drag and Markes gets out, but Vemola gets a guillotine as the round closes. Markes was in no trouble there. Markes takes this ugly, ugly round.
Vemola comes out with his wild punches, but immediately tries for a takedown. He doesn’t get it. He starts swinging again and Markes takes him back to the mat. I’ll say it: Vemola has the worst striking in the UFC. It’s not even close. Vemola looked to be trying an armbar from the bottom, but doesn’t get it. He ‘s back to his feet and tries a single, but isn’t going down. Markes presses Vemola against the cage. Vemola’s legs are gigantic, like Cro Cop PRIDE legs. Vemola is gassed. Markes gets a single and then uses a trip to put Vemola back on his back and into side control. The round ends with Markes on top. He takes this one. Vemola is really tired and his only hope of winning this fight is landing one of those awful chimpanzee punches in the third.
And of course, Vemola tries to land one of those punches and misses all of them. He pushes Markes against the cage, but Markes immediately turns it around and controls Vemola. Markes keeps him there for awhile and then drops Vemola to the mat. He stays in Vemola’s guard and beats him up a little bit with hammer fists. Markes steps a leg over and into half guard, forcing Vemola to trap Markes’ leg with a triangle. Markes gets the leg out and moves into side control. Vemola tries to push him off like Hulk Hogan used to do, but he’s tired. Dominant performance here from Markes, and Vemola looked awful in just about every aspect of the game. This wasn’t the best fight, but it got the job done. Ronny Markes d. Karlos Vemola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ED HERMAN VS. KYLE NOKE: This should be a good fight. They exchange kicks and punches. Noke tries to trip Herman, but Ed reverses. Noke is back to his feet almost immediately, though, and then takes Herman down. Herman attacks the arm from the bottom, trying for an armbar. He switches to a triangle with an armbar, and Noke could be in trouble. Noke tries to pop his head out and Herman switches to an armbar, but Noke escapes and is free from danger. Good attacking from Herman, who goes right back to the triangle/armbar attempt. Herman rolls into a solid armbar attempt, and it’s tight. Noke is defending well, but Herman is giving everything he has. Noke gets back into the guard and then passes into half guard, where he throws a few punches to Herman’s head. Noke tries to go into mount, but Herman switches into a leg lock attempt. He gets a nasty inside heel hook and Noke taps out. Noke’s leg is hurt. Outstanding performance from Ed Herman here, especially since he spent nearly the entire round on the bottom. Oh, the replay of that heel hook looks nasty. Noke’s knee may be seriously damaged. Ed Herman d. Kyle Noke via submission, round 1
JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. EDDIE WINELAND: And now for one of the most anticipated moments of the night: which nickname will Benavidez use? He goes with no nickname. Bruce Buffer, you suck. Feeling out process early. Nice body kick from Benavidez. Leg kick by Benavidez. And another one. Joe has a cut under his eye. Right hand from Benavidez. Wineland is bleeding from the top of his head. Big right hand from Benavidez staggers Wineland, and Benavidez hits him again. Wineland is now bleeding out of his nose. Wineland’s nose is like a faucet pouring blood now. It is literally leaking all over the mat. That nose has to be broken, and badly. Dominant round from Benavidez. Wineland has blood all over him.
Wineland lands an uppercut. Wineland hits Benavidez and it looks like Benavidez is poked in the eye. He turns away, but the ref doesn’t step in and Wineland attacks from behind. He doesn’t do any damage, though, and Benavidez gets away. Benavidez is feinting level changes to set up his punches. Left hand from Benavidez lands, and then a right hand lands. Benavidez steps under a strike and tries a takedown, but Wineland stuffs it. They clinch. Benavidez keeps trying head kicks but he doesn’t have enough reach to land them. Benavidez tries another takedown, but Wineland stuffs it again and they clinch. Benavidez with knees to the body in the clinch. Wineland reverses the takedown and Benavidez goes down, albeit briefly before getting back to his feet. Benavidez shoots and tries a takedown that he doesn’t get at first, but finally gets it down. I don’t know how to score the round. If you count the part where Benavidez tried to get a timeout for an eye poke, you go Wineland. But I’m not sure that should count.
Leg kick from Benavidez lands a glancing blow. Benavidez clips Wineland with a hook and staggers him, but Joe slips to the mat while trying to follow up. Benavidez sends Wineland stumbling back into the cage, then follows up with a flying knee, but Wineland escapes. If that knee had landed more solidly, Wineland would likely be out. Left kick from Benavidez catches Wineland and staggers him slightly again. Benavidez misses a spinning backlist. Benavidez is pressing forward now. He clips Wineland twice with the right hand. Benavidez fakes a takedown and Wineland sprawls on the mat, but Joe lets him back up. Leg kick from Benavidez. Head kick from Benavidez. Wineland lands a really nice straight right after dodging a head kick. Benavidez tries a takedown but Wineland spraws, then tries a guillotine, but Benavidez shakes it off. Right hand from Benavidez lands. The fight ends. Benavidez should take the decision, either 29-28 or straight 30-27 depending on how you look at that weird segment in the second round. Outstanding performance from Benavidez here, who showed that he can hang with one of the best strikers at 135 pounds. The creator of “Joe-Jitsu” may only have one fight left at bantamweight before he goes down to flyweight and becomes the instant favorite to win the belt. Buffer finally uses the nickname in announcing Benavidez as the winner – it’s “The Beefcake.” Joseph Benavidez d. Eddie Wineland via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
C.B. DOLLAWAY VS. JARED HAMMAN: This is our final Facebook fight before moving on to the main card. This is Hamman’s first fight at middleweight. Hamman pressing forward and uses a couple of leg kicks. Hamman lands a nice right hook to the temple. Dollaway lands one of his own and then takes Hamman down. Dolloway looks for a D’Arce but switches to the back and Hamman gets back to his feet. Dolloway gets another takedown to Hamman in a seated position. Dolloway into the mount and then takes the back, then switches back to the mount and gets an arm triangle. Dolloway circles counter clockwise to increase the pressure, but Hamman escapes and gets Dolloway into his guard. Hamman tried a triangle, but Dolloway throws him off and lands two huge shots on the ground. Hamman back to his feet with Dolloway pressing him against the cage. Dolloway takes the back but he’s too high and Hamman shakes him off, then goes into Dolloway’s guard. Big elbow from the top from Hamman. Hamman stands up and then goes into half guard, then immediately passes into side control and then mount. Dolloway rolls over and Hamman takes his back, but Dolloway rolls over and stands up. Hamman backflips to get away and Dolloway lands a huge right hand that drops Hamman. Hamman somehow survives an onslaught to end the round. Hamman’s jaw is made of iron. Dolloway takes the round at the end. Great round.
Hamman lands a nice jab and then a right straight. Hamman is bleeding from under his right eye. Hamman peppers Dolloway with shots, but Dolloway returns fire. Hamman presses forward with huge punches. Dolloway drops for the takedown, then goes to his back. Hamman passes into side control. Hamman stands up and uses ground and pound, but Dolloway is covering up. Hamman still lands shots. Hamman goes into side control and drops short elbows. He has Dolloway in a mounted crucifix and is landing more elbows. Hamman into the mount and raining down blows. Dolloway uses the cage and spins out, but Hamman goes right back on top and drills Dolloway. Dolloway uses the cage and spins out, trying a guillotine, but Hamman goes right back to the ground and pound. Herb Dean stops the fight. Amazing middleweight debut for Jared Hamman. Jared Hamman d. C.B. Dolloway via TKO, round 2.