Yahoo! Sports columnist Kevin Iole is reporting from cageside at UFC 117. Follow him on Twitter.
Johny Hendricks, Phil Davis and Rick Story rounded out the UFC 117 undercard with wins in Oakland on Saturday night.
Johny Hendricks beat Charlie Brenneman in a wrestling match at the NCAA tournament, and he did it again at UFC 117. Hendricks won with a TKO at 0:40 in the second round.
After Brenneman won a tight round one, Hendricks landed a left-right combo that knocked Brenneman to the ground. He returned to his feet, but Hendricks followed up with more punches that sent Brenneman back to the ground, causing referee Josh Rosenthal to end the fight.
After the bout, Hendricks was pleased with the progress he's made with his stand-up skills.
"Coming into the fight I predicted a knockout. A lot of times I come out sluggish. I’ve tried to change things up in training camp to avoid that. I have to get ready because they’re going to start throwing a lot of good wrestlers at me," Hendricks, a two-time champ for Oklahoma State, said. "I’ve been practicing my head movement at Striking Unlimited. They have my head movement and hands looking great. I’m ready to take a step forward."
Phil Davis was the second Division I wrestling champ to win at UFC 117. He pounded out Rodney Wallace to a unanimous decision win, 30-27, 30-27, 30-26. Davis, a national champion at Penn State, used his wrestling skills to take Wallace down and deliver punishing elbows throughout the bout. Wallace offered little by way of offense, and was even caught in a Kimura twice.
Like Hendricks, Davis has focused on his striking since starting to train in MMA.
"I’ve been working on my striking since Abu Dhabi and I feel like it’s coming along nicely. My game plan coming into the fight was to establish the distance with my striking and then get inside and get the takedown. I have to give credit to Rodney Wallace for coming after me. If he looks strong on television, he is five times stronger in person."
Davis, who took the fight on short notice, is a standout prospect in the UFC's packed light heavyweight division. He has just seven bouts, including three wins in the UFC.
Story slams his way to win
Rick "Horror" Story won in a second round TKO to finish off the undercard. He fended off Dustin Hazelett's submission attempts with slams, and pummeled him with strikes until the bout was stopped at 1:15. After the bout, Story said that Hazelett's vaunted BJJ game did not worry him.
"I wanted to get him against the fence. He wasn't being active," Story said. "I'm pretty good at fighting off subs."
Story has now reeled off four straight wins in the UFC.