Heavy MMA is live on the scene at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada bringing you all the action from UFC 116 tonight.
The action begins with the event’s preliminary card at 7:30 p.m. ET, featuring two fights that will be live on Spike TV, including Chris Tuchscherer vs. Brendan Schaub and Ricardo Romero vs. Seth Petruzelli.
Stay tuned for live updates from the evening’s preliminary action beginning momentarily, and check out HeavyMMA.com later in the evening for main card results and follow us on Twitter @HeavyMMA.
Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola
Vemola entered his debut in the UFC having never gone further than 3:14 into a fight. Needless to say, the three round, fifteen minute fight was something he was a bit unprepared for.
Madsen, an alum from the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, decided against breaking his habit of utilizing his wrestling to grind out decisions and constantly took Vemola to the mats after weathering the explosive start of the Croatian. The fight could be compared a bit to a broken record, as Madsen continuously took the fight down, laid on top of Vemola, and then Mario Yamasaki would restart them in the center of the ring.
The fifteen minutes of wrestling proved far too much for Vemola, who had clear cardio problems early in the fight. Madsen once again wrestled his way to a unanimous decision. It was a long way off the most exciting fight, but Madsen grinds out his third straight victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Madsen def. Vemola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
The second fight of the evening proved to be just as uneventful as the first, as Roberts and Petz battled for all three rounds (and I use the word “battle” very loosely).
Early in the fight, Petz fell into the bad habit of being put on his back with Roberts scoring points in the eyes of the judges with his top game. However, Roberts failed on several occasions to finish the fight after taking Petz’s back a handful of times during the fight. Still, his more favorable positions led him to score points and avoid fighting a better striker in Petz.
Roberts ended the fight on a high note by moving into the mount in the waning moments of a fight that could really have been one round a piece heading into the third and he went on to earn a split decision. Petz was definitely the better striker in this match, which was enough for him to earn the nod from one judge. But, quite frankly, he just spent far too much time on his back. Roberts def. Petz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
A little more upbeat than the first two preliminary fights, Harris vs. Branch was still far from a Fight of the Night candidate. Instead, it turned into a Knockout of the Night candidate for Harris in the third round, but we’ll get to that later.
Branch seemed to be energized and excited early in the fight, willing to do a bit of dancing around the Octagon. However, Harris managed to score several takedowns throughout the fight, with Branch looking for a triangle choke from his back on several occasions.
The close fight entered the third round with no fight clearly ahead, but Harris put a stop to that with the first finish of the night. A slam midway through the round had Branch taking an early nap and earned Harris a bid for Knockout of the Night. Harris def. Branch via knockout (slam) at 2:35 of Round 3.
Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic
Grove vs. Reljic got bumped out of the Spike TV prelims, and Grove was very unhappy about this and no doubt looking to let it be known that he deserves to be seen. Unfortunately, he would not get a stellar knockout or submission to really get his point across.
In what was a very competitive, back-and-forth kind of fight, Grove and Reljic consistently traded shots and takedowns, making the fight a tough one to call when they went to the judges’ scorecards after three hard-fought rounds.
However, the Croatian failed to do enough in the eyes’ of the judges and Grove earned the split decision. It was certainly a close fight, but Reljic failed to keep up with the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner, who had just a bit crisper striking. Grove def. Reljic via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Seth Petruzelli vs. Ricardo Romero
In Petruzelli’s first return to the UFC since knocking out Kimbo Slice in EliteXC, “The Silverback” was matched against hungry light heavyweight newcomer Romero.
Petruzelli came out swinging right after the bell and had Romero hurt very early on in the fight. However, both fighters quickly slowed down after a quick start, but, somehow, found it inside them to put together a great fight. Petruzelli clearly hurt Romero on several occasions, but, at the end of the second round, Romero worked into a dominant position and looked for the submission.
A straight armbar from the crucifix position earned Romero the stoppage and screams from Petruzelli. Certainly did not look like a fun position to find oneself in. If it is any consolation to Petruzelli, the fight is definitely a contender for Fight of the Night and certainly entertained the fans watching on Spike TV and at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Romero def. Petruzelli via submission (armbar) at 2:05 of Round 2.
Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer
This one was not expected to last long and it didn’t. Schaub immediately came out the much more dominant striker and landed a solid right hand early in the fight that put Tuchscherer down. A bit of ground and pound and the fight was stopped. Another dominant performance by Schaub. Schaub def. Tuchscherer via technical knockout at 1:07 of Round 1.