Dennis Hallman won tonight, but he felt a little guilty about doing so.
Hallman ran roughshod over John Makdessi from the opening seconds. The submission specialist got his hands on Makdessi and worked solely for a takedown. Once he got it, Makdessi was finished. Hallman scored a rear-naked choke victory at 2:58 of the first round.
This was Hallman's first attempt to fight down at 155 pounds in a long time. He'd been fighting recently at 170 and 185. He even took a 195-pound fight in 2009. At 35 years old, making lightweight was tough. He missed badly on Friday coming in at 158.5. For that reason, even after dominating Makdessi, Hallman couldn't brag about his easy victory.
"I'm going to stay at 155. I wanted to make this point, this fight is kind of a wash. Put a little asterisk next to the win because I missed weight," Hallman told UFC analyst Joe Rogan.
The size difference was evident in the clinch and once it hit the ground, the smaller Makdessi was helpess defending the power and technique of Hallman. This was the 33rd submission victory for Hallman. To reach 33 victories period is impressive, but 33 by one method is incredible. Hallman, who debuted in the UFC way back in 2000, is now 51-14-2. He is 4-4 with the promotion, but has recently 3-of-4 UFC fights.
Jabouin survives two dangerous submission attempts to take decision
Yves Jabouin and Walel Watson exchanged dynamic striking games with nothing huge landed, so after 15 minutes of fighting it was difficult to call a winner. In a razor thing fight, one judge made the big difference scoring it 30-27 for Jabouin. The Canadian eked out a split decision victory, 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27 to post his first official UFC victory in the UFC 140 opener on ION television.
"They keep giving me those tall guys," Jabouin said of the 5-foot-11 Watson. "It's really hard to get inside. Basically it's a puzzle you have to figure out."
Spinning backfists, front and side kicks and solid conventional striking were flashed by both fighters throughout the fight. Watson did threaten with two dangerous submission situations, so it was surprising to see one judge call it 30-27.