Heavy.com is live in Austin, Texas for tonight’s event, “UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares”, which features a main event between middleweight contenders Nate Marquardt and Rousimar Palhares.
Also on the card, lightweight prospects Efrain Escudero and Charles Oliveira face off, “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ross Pearson and American Top Team product Cole Miller compete, and, lastly, lightweight wrestling experts Gleison Tibau and Jim Miller step into the cage opposite one another.
The preliminary action is in the books and the main card is just moments away, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. Join Heavy.com for all the action from Austin, Texas for “UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares”.
Cole Miller vs. Ross Pearson
Round 1 – Pearson comes out of the gates with a leg kick, but Miller was the first to land a punch, a nice counter right. Pearson puts together a nice combination, while Miller attempts to utilize his reach. Pearson lands a nice left hand coming in, and Miller looks for the takedown. Up against the cage now with Miller grabbing at Pearson’s leg, dragging him to the ground. Pearson stands up, but eats several shots from Miller, who looks very sharp. Nice left hand by Pearson lands, followed by a leg kick. Pearson needs to close the distance to neutralize the reach of Miller. Leg kick by Pearson again. Head kick misses for Miller. The two stand in the center, both a bit timid. Pearson puts together a nice counter combination, but continues to struggle with Miller’s reach. Pearson rushes in at the end of the round, but does not land anything significant. The quick start by Miller was enough to earn him the round.
Round 2 – The two exchange to start the second frame, but Miller shoots for the takedown and is nearly reversed. Pearson does reverse it eventually and ends up on top, but steps away and out of danger. Solid right lands flush for Pearson, who appears to be figuring out the reach of Miller. Miller lands a nice right, and another. Flying knee by Miller, followed by several shots send Pearson to the floor. Clearly hurt, Pearson fails to fend off the rear naked choke, as Miller locks it in with ease, forcing the tap. Dominant performance by the American Top Team lightweight. Miller def. Pearson via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:49 of Round 2.
Jim Miller vs. Gleison Tibau
Round 1 – Miller comes out with a kick, and Tibau throws a big combination, but doesn’t land anything. Tibau looks enormous for a lightweight. He catches a leg kick, and Miller ends up on bottom looking to control his opopnent. Upkick by Miller allows him to stand back up. Miller lands a solid right hand that staggers Tibau, but the Brazilian recovers and looks for the takedown. He gets it, but Miller utilizes the threat of a guillotine to work his way back up. They once again clinch, but quickly separate. Tibau catches another leg kick and lands a nice shot. Miller shoots in for the takedown, but can’t get it, and Tibau pushes him up against the cage. They separate and both fighters begin to exchange as time ticks away on the round. Round ends with a nice left by Tibau. Close round between the lightweights, but Miller took the round in our book.
Round 2 – The two briefly exchange to start the round. Miller lands a huge left hand, and Tibau is on wobbly legs. Miller closes in for the finishes, looking to take the back and get the submission. Tibau defends and stands back up. Miller working for the takedown up against the cage. Tibau reverses an looks for the takedown. They separate and Tibau seems to have recovered for the most part. Takedown earned by Tibau, and Miller throws on a rubberguard. They are back on the feet, and Miller seems very comfortable. Miller closes in, looking for another left. Nothing really landing for either fighter at this point. Miller reaches for a single leg takedown, but can’t get it. Tibau, however, does get his takedown. Miller working for a triangle, but Tibau stands up, then goes back into Miller’s guard. Good surge in the last seconds for Tibau, but Miller takes round two.
Round 3 – The two exchange, but neither land anything significant. Nice combination for Tibau finally lands. Miller moving forward, throwing his first leg kick in some time. Miller lunges forward with punches, Tibau evades. The two clinch up against the cage, but quickly separate. The pace is increasing in a big way. Miller seems intent on bringing the fight to Tibau. Nice right hand lands for Miller. Tibau looks for the takedown, but Miller counters with a knee in the clinch. Halfway through the fight and this round is looking good for Miller, who looks for a takedown. Tibau looking for a kimura, but Miller shrugs it off. They separate, but quickly clinch again. Tibau is looking to get a takedown and finish the round on top. Referee separates the fighters. Miller shoots in for the takedown, but it is effortlessly stuffed by Tibau, who looks for a knee. Miller moving forward and throws off Tibau, who was looking to earn the takedown. Fight ends up against the cage. Three close rounds, but Miller seemed to do enough to edge out the third and give him some breathing room after a very close first. Miller def. Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Efrain Escudero vs. Charles Oliveira
Round 1 – Oliveira comes out throwing a lot of kicks, but Escudero wraps him up and pushes him against the cage. They separate and Escudero looks to land some shots, but Oliveira moves in for the takedown. They once again clinch cageside. Oliveira falls to his back, but quickly gets up. He looks extremely quick and lands a nice right. Neither fighter has landed anything big so far. Leg kick by Oliveira. The two continue to exchange, but nothing major lands for either. Oliveira looks for the takedown and he pulls guard. Escudero ends up in half guard, throwing a bit of ground and pound. Elbows from Escudero, as the round ends. “The Ultimate Fighter” winner, Escudero, takes the first round.
Round 2 – Both men exchange, but nothing lands early. Leg kick misses for Oliveira. Right hand misses for Oliveira. Escudero lands a nice uppercut and is turning up the pace. Oliveira grabs a leg, gets the trip, but immediately gets reversed. Escudero takes his back, but opts to stand up. Oliveira looks comfortable, but is not really getting anything done at this point. Leg kick for Oliveira. Another. Oliveira grabs hold of a muay-thai clinch and gets a few knees off before being pressed up against the cage. They separate. Another leg kick by Oliveira, who is moving in and out nicely. Front kick lands for Oliveira, followed by a body shot. Oliveira dancing around, and Escudero smiles, but that does not hide his confusion. Escudero looks up at the clock with under a minute to go. Another front kick by Oliveira followed by a flying knee. The round ends with another leg kick for the 20-year-old. Round two goes to Oliveira.
Round 3 – The third frame begins with a shot to the groin of Escudero, but he says he is good to go and we are underway. Leg kick by Escudero misses. Front kick lands for Oliveira. Escudero lands a nice left, but takes another kick to the body in return. Oliveira is really loosening up with his kicks. The fighters clinch, and Oliveira takes a knee to the groin and pleads for a stop in action. He falls to the ground, clearly in pain. Oliveira says he is good to go after a minute or two, and the fighters immediately quicken the pace. Oliveira catches a kick and slams Escudero to the ground. He moves from the guard to Escudero’s back and locked in the choke. Escudero was forced to tap. Fantastic finish for Oliveira. Oliveira def. Escudero via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:25 of Round 3.
Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares
Round 1 – Short feeling out process begins the fight. Kick lands for Marquardt. Both fighters moving fluidly. Nothing really landed flush thus far. Jab comes up short for Marquardt, followed by another. Palhares closes the gap with a combination, landing a few shots. Marquardt lunges forward with a combination, but lands none of it. Palhares gets the fight to the ground with Marquardt on top. Palhares reverses to north-south position, looking for a leg lock, but he loses it. Marquardt gets on top and, while Palhares tries to tell the referee that he believes Marquardt’s legs are “greased”, “The Great” begins pounding away from Palhares’ guard. Palhares tries to defend himself, but is saved by referee Herb Dean. Big victory for Nate Marquardt, who looks to climb back towards a title shot. Marquardt def. Palhares via technical knockout at 3:28 of Round 1.