Ring, Poirier early winners at UFC 131

Maggie Hendricks

Dustin Poirier and Nick Ring were big winners in the preliminary fights at UFC 131 in Vancouver on Saturday.

Ring puts on clinic

After getting knocked out of the 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" with an injury, Nick Ring has impressed in the Octagon. He followed up his UFC 127 win over Riki Fukuda with a submission win over James Head at UFC 131.

Ring had to come back from early problems to win. Head caught Ring with a right that clearly shook up the Canadian fighter. Ring fell to the ground, but was able to grapple his way out of trouble. They returned to their feet, but Head did not let up. He threw a mix of punches, kicks and knees, but wasn't able to put Ring in danger. Ring finished the round in good shape, taking Head down with a minute left.

Ring started the second round with a takedown and then moved into side control, and tried for a triangle choke. He couldn't get the submission, but maintained control of Head. The two returned to their feet, but Ring took it right back to the mat. Ring didn't pass guard, but he did open a cut on Head's face that bled profusely. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight for a cut check by the doctor, but the fight was allowed to continue. Ring kept up control of the bout on the ground for the rest of the round.

In the third round, Ring stuck with the strategy that worked: a quick takedown. Ring coupled owning the top position with an unending barrage of short hammerfists and elbows. Ring finally stopped the bout by sinking in an airtight rear-naked choke.  Dean stopped the bout at 3:33 in the third.

Poirier wins action-packed decision

In a battle of two young featherweights, Dustin Poirier took an action-packed unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 over UFC newcomer, Jason Young.

Young's debut started with a flurry of leg kicks that were answered by a flurry of punches from Poirier. To stop the onslaught, Young tried for a standing kimura but lost the arm as they went to the ground then referred to their feet. Poirier took an upper hand on striking, throwing combinations, but Young was able to get a few licks in.

Young peppered Poirier's legs with kicks, and showed off some fancier kicks early in the second round. Poirier had no answer for Young's more technical attacks until late in the round, when Poirier opened up and threw more strikes. The two started throwing huge strikes as the round neared its end. Poirier finished strong with a takedown, seconds before the horn sounded.

Poirier spent much of the third round trying for a takedown. After he worked and worked for it, Poirier got Young to the ground, but he didn't do much on the ground. Young sprung back to his feet, but the two remained in a clinch. As Poirier worked for another takedown, Young threw a bevy of elbows into Poirier's body. Poirier finally was able to get a takedown as the fight neared its end.