One fighter got back on the right track while another earned his first UFC win as the preliminary card concluded at Ultimate Fight Night 25 in New Orleans on Saturday night.
Dunham outclasses Bailey
Shamar Bailey showed tremendous heart in a decision loss to Evan Dunham. Dunham showed strong striking early, as he used short punches to control Bailey early in the first round. Bailey responded, showing striking that has improved from his time on "The Ultimate Fighter." Bailey then ended the round with a takedown. Dunham threw a strike after the horn sounded to end the round, but it was inadvertent. Dunham was not penalized.
In the second, Dunham continued to favor a left-right combo that befuddled Bailey. Dunham peppered in kicks in between throwing punches and stuffing takedowns. Bailey continued to withstand Dunham's shots in the third, but he didn't create enough offense to win the round. As the fight neared its end, Dunham teed off, throwing a bevy of kicks and punches but still couldn't knock Bailey down. Bailey continued to move forward and push for a takedown. Dunham won the fight 30-27 on all three cards.
Rocha's jiu-jitsu catches McKenzie
Though Cody McKenzie is known for his guillotine, he fell to Vagner Rocha on a rear naked choke submission. McKenzie lampooned Rocha early in the round, motioning for Rocha to come in and fight. When Rocha attempted a takedown, McKenzie tried to use his signature guillotine to stop the fight, but it didn't work. Rocha used his position to try for a Kimura. He couldn't finish, but he held onto McKenzie to move into a rear naked choke. Again, McKenzie got out and worked his way back to his feet before the round ended.
In the second, McKenzie showed great defense to nearly every submission attempt Rocha threw at him, but didn't have the same good fortune as Rocha took full mount with less than two minutes in the round. McKenzie turned to get away from Rocha's strikes, but gave up his back. Rocha applied a textbook rear naked choke, and McKenzie was forced to tap at 3:49 in the second round.