Heavy.com is live from Austin, Texas’ Frank Erwin Center for this evening’s “UFC Fight Night: Palhares vs. Marquart”. The main card, which features a middleweight tilt between contenders Nate Marquardt and Rousimar Palhares, will be broadcast live on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET.
Prior to the live main card, Heavy.com will be bringing you all the action from the evening’s preliminary card. The undercard includes a lightweight bout between longtime MMA veteran Yves Edwards and John Gunderson, a light heavyweight match up between Kyle Kingsbury and Jared Hamman, a middleweight bout between Rich Attonito and Rafael Natal, and three other bouts.
Coverage of the preliminary card will begin shortly after 5 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to Heavy.com for all the action from Texas.
Brian Foster vs. Forrest Petz
Well, this was a quick one, folks. After a short feeling-out process, Petz was the first to act, moving in on Foster, who was happy to greet him with a solid shot. Petz dropped, and Foster went in for further punishment. Referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the onslaught, and it seems Petz may be on his way out of the UFC. Foster def. Petz via technical knockout at 1:07 of Round 1.
Anthony Waldburger vs. David Mitchell
Just as quickly as this fight was underway, the two fighters were both working extremely hard for submission holds on the mat. Each man had a hold of a heel hook, attempting to make the other quit, but neither were able to force a tap. Mitchell then worked for a gogoplata, but was reversed and gave up the full mount. Waldburger stayed very active on top, which could have been the reason Mitchell reversed him, once again looking for a gogoplata. Waldburger escapes, lands a few elbows, and attempts an armbar as the round comes to a close. Very fast-paced first round.
Waldburger opens up the second with a head kick, and Mitchell grabbed hold of it, throwing him to the mat. The two moved back to the feet, then once again began looking for submissions back on the mat. The two fighters immediately began building the pace back up, staying as active as they were in the opening frame. Waldburger moved to top position and ended up in side control. He looked to lock on the armbar, but, once again, Mitchell escaped. Waldburger then looked for the leg lock, but Mitchell managed to stand back up. The round ended with a late takedown for Waldburger and this fight had quickly become one of the most entertaining grappling match ups anyone could ever have asked for.
The final round began the same as the first, except Waldburger was the one catching the kick and taking the fight down. He then moved to Mitchell’s back and locked in the rear naked choke. Mitchell somehow escaped, even with one armed trapped, but Waldburger decided to go back to ground and pound, and Mitchell was taking some shots. From the bottom, Mitchell looked for an armbar, but Waldburger avoided the submission attempt and moved to the full mount, then to the back. The fight ended to the cheers of the crowd. These two fighters truly left everything they had inside the cage for all 15 minutes. Waldburger def. Mitchell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Rich Attonito vs. Rafael Natal
This fight began as so many do, with the fighters circling around the cage, looking for an opening. Attonito landed the first strike with a solid punch, and Natal came back with a leg kick to counter. Attonito appeared to be looking for the one-punch knockout, while Natal seemed more than content to land leg kicks. Attonito finally found his big punch past the midway point of the round, sending Natal crumbling to the floor. Attonito went in for the kill, but Natal recovered and stood back up. Attonito smelled the blood, chasing Natal around the cage, but was taken down due to his aggression. Attonito moved back to his feet as the round came to a close, and Natal was definitely down a round.
Natal came out of the gates in the second with a takedown attempt, but Attonito easily stuffed it. It appeared as though Natal was going to have a difficult time securing a takedown, but successfully tripped Attonito and moved to top position. Attonito kept the ground game pretty tight, and Natal could not get much of anything done, which allowed Attonito the opportunity to move back to his feet. Attonito stuffed the next takedown, and Natal reverted to leg kicks. Attonito remained the aggressor, but failed to land anything significant as the round came to a close.
In the third and final round, Attonito was welcomed with a nice shot to the ribs, but he stuffed the following takedown. Natal was clearly beginning to fade and his next takedown attempt ended with him on his back, and Attonito on top. Natal seemed to have a sudden burst off his back and stayed very active. However, the two neutralized one another and were stood back up. Once back on the feet, Natal shot in again and took a big shot from Attonito. The fight ended with Natal on his back, and Attonito holding up his hands in victory. Attonito def. Natal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Tomasz Drwal vs. Dave Branch
Branch began the fight with a high note, securing a quick takedown. Drwal remained active from the bottom, but Branch was equally as active from the top. Neither fighter was able to do anything notable, and the fight was moved back to the feet. Branch then delivered a very nice knee, which was literally the only interesting part of the round, which ushered in boos from the Texas crowd.
The second round began with Branch as the aggressor once again and he quickly took Drwal’s back. Branch was shaken off, and Drwal came at him with the most intensity he had displayed up to that point in the fight. They clinched against the cage, but it took little time for referee Herb Dean to separate them. In the next exchange, Drwal was poked in the eye, and the fight was stopped for the moment. The fight restarted, and Branch immediately went back for the takedown, but didn’t hit. Forced to stand, Branch exchanged with Drwal as the round came to a close with the boos of the crowd very noticeable.
The final frame of the fight that completely slowed down the incredible pace of the card began with an actual exchange, but Branch was the first to look for a takedown, which he got. Drwal worked back up to his feet, desperately needing to take back the round. Branch pushed Drwal up against the cage, and, by the sound of the crowd, it seemed that Texas was growing extraordinarily impatient. Branch looked for the takedown, but Drwal avoided and pushed his opponent up against the cage. The round came to a close with essentially no action, and the two went to the judges’ scorecards. Fans were not too happy about that one, and rightfully so. Branch def. Drwal via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jared Hamman vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Kingsbury made the first real noise of the first round, scoring a takedown after a slick jab. Hamman quickly works his way back to the feet, but Kingsbury is quick to move Hamman against the cage after landing a nice kick. In the clinch, Kingsbury landed some nice knees and, after they separated, some very nice shots. Hamman pulls guard to avoid any further damage, and Kingsbury immediately stands up. Once back on the feet, Hamman throws a spinning back fist, which leads him back to the mat courtesy of a Kingsbury takedown. He works his way back up against the cage, but takes several big knees to the body. The round ends with a great exchange, but Hamman exited the frame down a round.
Hamman was greeted in the second round’s opening moments with several big shots from Kingsbury. Hamman backed up, trying to land some shots, but continued to be picked apart. Kingsbury followed up the onslaught by dodging a right hand from Hamman and taking him down to the mat. But Hamman quickly worked his way back to the feet, before being taken down again. Then it was right back to the feet after some nice shots from Hamman after gaining good position on the ground. Hamman ended the second with a flurry weak in technique, but strong in heart, and the light heavyweights had successfully gained back the Texas crowd after the fight prior to theirs just took the life out of them.
The final frame began with each fighter scoring a right hand, with Hamman adding in a body kick. Kingsbury seemed to be fading, while Hamman, battered and bloody, seemed to be thriving off the beating he took earlier in the fight. Kingsbury pressed Hamman against the cage and, moments later, earned a takedown. Hamman worked his way back up and landed a nice knee. However, Hamman ate another big punch and was once again taken down. Once back to the feet, Hamman was ready to leave everything he had inside the cage, throwing punch after punch, but it would not be enough. Kingsbury took the easy decision, but Hamman showed incredible heart. There is just no quit in that guy. Kingsbury def. Hamman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
John Gunderson vs. Yves Edwards
Gunderson was introduced to Edwards rather quickly, as he was sent down to the mat with a nice shot from Edwards, followed by a knee. He quickly stood back up, taking a shot, but sending out one of his own. Gunderson then attempted a takedown, which was stuffed, and the two worked towards the cage. Edwards reversed Gunderson and immediately took his back in the process. The pace slowed, and Gunderson looked for a kimura while on the ground. He let go of the kimura attempt and tried to slide out of the unfortunate position, but that allowed Edwards to move to mount. Edwards moved back to his opponent’s back, reigning down shots as the round came to a close.
The second round begins with Gunderson throwing a solid spinning back kick, but Edwards followed it up with a nice headkick that was blocked to some extent, but not completely. He then followed it up with a solid right hand and stuffed a takedown attempt by Gunderson. The two clinched against the cage and, once they separated, Edwards threw a big kick that caused him to slip. He recovered and was immediately forced to defend another spinning back kick. The fight moved to the floor with Edwards in half guard, but he opted to stand back up and work his striking. Gunderson immediately looked for the takedown once back on his feet, but, once again, it was stuffed by Edwards as the round came to a close.
Gunderson entered the final frame in dire need of a stoppage victory. He shot in for a takedown right off the bat, but it was stuffed by Edwards, whose cardio seemed to be on point. Edwards landed a nice shot and follows Gunderson to the ground. In half guard, Edwards looked to work his ground and pound, and it seemed Gunderson was in trouble. However, to Gunderson’s relief, the pace slowed immensely with 1:30 to go, and a stand up seemed inevitable. Edwards did not like that idea and began pounding away from the top position. It was not enough to stop a fight, but it was enough for Edwards to cruise through to the judges’ scorecards where a unanimous decision would be waiting for him. Edwards def. Gunderson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).