It was a record-setting preliminary card for UFC 150, with history made in the speed and ferocity with which leather was thrown. In the bantamweight division, a Greg Jackson-trained fighter won big, while an Octagon newcomer dominated. And in the featherweight division, a TUF 14 star shined, while a former lightweight found that he should've been fighting other 145-pounders all along.
In the first fight of the evening, Japanese veteran Eiji Mitsuoka and Nik Lentz met in the cage for a featherweight contest that saw the American dominate Mitsuoka with wrestling from beginning to end. In his first fight at 145 pounds, Lentz was strong — way stronger than his opponent — and Mitsuoka had no answer for the takedowns and throws that put him on the mat. The end came when Lentz maneuvered onto Mitsuoka's back, flattened him out, and unloaded a barrage of fists that forced the referee to step in at 3:45 of Round One.
It was all about momentum in the bantamweight pairing between TUF 14 veteran Dustin Pague and Octagon rookie Chico Camus, and though Pague was dangerous early on with a first-round triangle choke that his foe had to work to avoid, Camus slowly but surely gathered steam with escapes and ground and pound. This went on for all three rounds, and by the time the clock was ticking down to zero, Camus was in mount and back-mount and Pague was completely on the defensive. Camus took the well-earned unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Bantamweight fireball Erik Perez walked right through Ken Stone, striding boldly into their first and only exchange and dropping Stone with a right hook that had the Massachusetts-born fighter eating canvas. Perez followed him down and kept punching, and when Stone went rigid referee Herb Dean jumped in. Stone was so dazed that when Perez relented and turned away, he tried to keep fighting, and Dean had to physically restrain him while Perez celebrated. At a mere 17 seconds, Perez was the owner of the fastest knockout (a TKO) in WEC and UFC bantamweight history.
Dutch judoka Michael Kuiper absolutely brutalized kickboxer Jared Hamman, even though his game plan seemed to involve a lot of strolling forward eating kicks and punches. Fleet-footed and mobile, Hamman began strong. But Kuiper buckled him with a leg-kick that seemed to incur lasting damage, and then came the punches that chipped away and chipped away until Hamman came to resemble an extra in "The Walking Dead". The end came via TKO at 2:16 in Round Two, when Kuiper cracked Hamman and Hamman fell in a heap.
Things looked dire for Dennis Bermudez when Tommy Hayden nailed him with a knee and sent him stunned to the canvas, but the TUF 14 runner-up is apparently made of iron. Recovering from the knee to the dome and then forced to wiggle out of a rear naked choke and slam his way out of an armbar attempt, Bermudez just couldn't be stopped, and he paid Hayden back with a crushing front kick to the chest and standing guillotine choke. Hayden tapped out at 4:43 of the first round.
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