BOSTON, August 28 – Hometown jitters? Not for Bridgewater’s Joe Lauzon, who thrilled his local fans at TD Garden with a one-sided submission victory over his Ultimate Fighter season five teammate Gabe Ruediger, who saw his Octagon return spoiled Saturday night by a first round armbar.
Lauzong vs. Ruediger
Lauzon took the fight to Ruediger at the bell, landing with two quick rights before scoring with a slam to the mat. While on the ground Lauzon got even busier, searching for submissions in between hard strikes to the head. With a little over three minutes left, Ruediger got back to his feet briefly, only to get slammed back to the mat. Moments later, Lauzon ended the bout, sinking in an armbar that produced a tap out at 2:01 of the round.
With the win, Lauzon – who was fighting in Massachusetts for the first time since 2006 -ups his record to 18-5; Ruediger falls to 17-6.
Winner vs. Lentz
Nik Lentz remained unbeaten in the Octagon, scoring an uneventful three round unanimous decision win over Andre Winner in a lightweight bout.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Lentz, who is 3-0-1 in the UFC.
The first five minutes were a war of attrition, with neither man able to impose their gameplans on each other for very long, with Lentz’ ability to control the location of the bout giving him a slight edge. Nothing changed in the second round, and while Winner started letting his hands go in the third, he was locked up shortly thereafter and taken to the mat, where he was pinned for the remainder of the fight, much to the dismay of the Boston fans.
With the win, Lentz improves to 21-3-2; Winner falls to 12-4-1.
Miller vs. Salter
In middleweight action, Dan Miller broke his three fight losing streak with a second round submission win over Alabama’s John Salter.
“It’s been a long time,” an ecstatic Miller told UFC color commentator Joe Rogan after the bout.
Salter and Miller battled it out competitively in the first round, with Miller holding the edge on the feet and Salter controlling matters on the ground.
The fight was playing out the same way in round two, but this time, when Salter shot in for his first takedown of the frame, the New Jersey native was ready – not just with his sprawl, but with an anaconda choke that ended Salter’s night via tap out at the 1:53 mark.
With the win, Miller – whose losing skid came at the hands of Michael Bisping, Demian Maia, and Chael Sonnen - improves to 12-4 with 1 NC; Salter falls to 5-2.
Osipczak vs. Soto
Lightweight prospect Greg Soto looked like a different fighter than the one that debuted in the UFC back in March, as he survived a nasty cut over his left eye to pound out a three round unanimous decision win over Nick Osipczak.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for the New Jersey product, who improves to 8-1; Osipczak falls to 5-3.
Soto came out strong in the opening frame, using solid groundwork to control the first half of the round. But once Osipczak got back to his feet and cut Soto over the left eye, he took over, potshotting his foe until the bell sounded.
After a long look from the Octagonside physician, Soto was allowed out for round two, and his sense of urgency was evident. Osipczak, clearly the better striker, hurt Soto with a knee at close range and began teeing off. Soto, undeterred, bounced back with a takedown and was close to securing a rear naked choke before the England native escaped. Soto did maintain control on the mat for much of the remaining part of the round until a late standup surge from Osipczak just before the bell.
With trainer and lightweight contender Kurt Pellegrino cheering him on, Soto opened the third with another takedown, quickly transitioning into side control. From there, he kept moving and kept making Osipczak’s life miserable with knees, punches, and a choke attempt, securing an impressive first Octagon win.
Pierce vs. Alves
Vancouver, Washington welterweight Mike Pierce made sure that the Octagon debut of Amilcar Alves ended with a loss in the opener, submitting the Brazil native in the third round.
Not surprisingly, Pierce used his wrestling to smother and control Alves throughout the first two rounds, both on the mat and against the fence, keeping his opponent from mounting any offense.
Alves finally got some kicks off early in the third as he tried to turn things around, but after a couple scores, Pierce got his takedown and resumed his methodical attack. This time though, he looked to finish, and at the 3:11 mark he did, forcing his foe to tap out to a cross body armbar.
With the win, Pierce ups his record to 11-3; Alves falls to 11-2.
UFC 118 Prelims: Lauzon Delivers Boston Beatdown
Joe Lauzon made the hometown fans happy in his UFC 118 prelim win over Gabe Ruediger Saturday night.