Alex Caceres, John Lineker and Riki Fukuda won all their preliminary fights at UFC Macao in Macao, Peoples Republic of China on Saturday.
Each fighter took their opponents the distance, scoring decision wins in every contest. Caceres edged Motonobu Tezuka for a split decision, while Linker topped Yasuhiro Urushati, and Fukuda beat Tom DeBlass for unanimous nods.
Alex Caceres (136 lbs.) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135.5 lbs.)
Both fighters kept the distance early in the first round, gaging each other with kicks and punches. Tezuka scored the takedown, and executed a quick guard pass to work from side control. A lack of action had referee Mark Goddard bring them back to the feet. The fight went back to the ground where Caceres worked from the top and worked in strikes through the end of the round.
Caceres did well to keep the range with his kicks in the second round, but Tezuka caught a side kick and brought the fight to the ground. Back on the feet, Caceres did well to keep the distance again, despite Tezuka attempting clinches and takedowns. Caceres landed a double punch and looked charismatic and confident as the round ended.
Caceres found his range in the third round, landing several punches to the head, setting up kicks. Tezuka attempted a single-leg takedown, but Caceres stuffed it, prevent the fight from going to the ground. Towards the final minute, Tezuka taunted his opponent, but did little more to score points through the end of the final frame.
The official scores for the fight were 28-29, 30-27 and 30-27.
Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5 lbs.) vs. John Lineker (126 lbs.)
Urushitani kept his distance in the first round, jumping into range every so often to land knees, kicks and punches. Lineker looked to land power shots while he held the center of the octagon. As Urushitani came in for another knee, Lineker landed a left hook that dropped his opponent. This was the most significant shot in the first round.
A spinning back kick set the tone in the second round. Lineker stayed very aggressive, backing his opponent up and landing several more power shots, both to the body and head. After a break for an eye poke, both fighters traded strikes fairly evenly to finish out the round.
Leg kicks early in the third set up a right hand for Lineker that dropped Urushitani. He regained his composure and returned to the feet, but Lineker continued to land more significant strikes. Urushitani looked overwhelmed with just over two minutes to go, turning his back and absorbing punches through the end of the round.
Official scores for the bout were 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
Riki Fukuda (186 lbs.) vs. Tom DeBlass (185 lbs.)
Riki Fukuda defeated Tom DeBlass by unanimous decision in the evening's opening fight.
DeBlass kept Fukuda back with legkicks early on, but Fukuda got the takedown and worked the ground and pound. On the feet, DeBlass did well with strikes, but Fukuda got a second takedown in the finished the first round with more strikes on the ground.
There was lots of activity on the feet in the second round. Fukuda picked up his aggression with his strikes, clinching DeBlass and landing more significant shots.
Fukuda continued to ramp up his activity in the third, scoring a takedown early in the final frame. After being stood up by the referee, DeBlass sensed urgency and tried to be more active with his strikes. Fukuda however kept the pace and traded well with his opponent.
Official scores for the fight were 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Erik Fontanez is an MMA writer and reporter for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow Erik on Twitter at @Erik_Fontanez
- Sports & Recreation
- Riki Fukuda
- John Lineker
- Alex Caceres
- Tom DeBlass