ANAHEIM, October 23 – It didn’t look good early on for The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee Saturday night at Honda Center, but “The Crusher” roared back from a slow start to impressively finish off veteran middleweight Ryan Jensen in UFC 121 prelim action.
McGee vs. Jensen
Jensen’s standup was sharp as the fight commenced, as he raised a mouse under McGee’s left eye and dropped him for a flash knockdown seconds later. After that, it was Jensen scoring the first takedown of the fight, but after eating some strikes, McGee got back to his feet. Jensen continued to control the action with his standup though, capping off an impressive first round showing. Post-fight interview
McGee got closer to his foe a little more than a minute into the second round as he tagged Jensen with a left hook, but the Nebraska native recovered quickly. McGee was encouraged by his success though, and his hard shots were starting to pay dividends, as they opened the door for a late takedown.
In the third, McGee kept coming, rocking Jensen with his strikes before practically bouncing him off the canvas with a takedown. From there, “The Crusher” lived up to his nickname with punishing strikes followed up by an arm triangle choke that forced the tap out at 1:21 of the final round.
With the win, McGee improves to 12-1; Jensen falls to 16-6. At the time of the stoppage, the bout was even at 19-19 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Cote vs. Lawlor
Middleweight prospect Tom Lawlor put in a workmanlike effort over his three rounder with Patrick Cote, winning a shutout unanimous decision over the former middleweight title challenger. Post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 across the board.
Lawlor and Cote engaged immediately, with Lawlor bulling his foe into the fence in search of a takedown, which he got a minute in. Cote tried his best to force a re-start, but Lawlor was effective with his smothering ground and pound attack, which eventually landed the two against the Octagon fence. While there, Lawlor continued to pound away, even scoring points with an arm triangle attempt.
Continuing to press the action, Lawlor got Cote back to the mat early in the second round and kept him there with strikes until referee John McCarthy re-started them in the final minute. That wasn’t a problem for Lawlor, who tagged Cote just before the bell.
After a quick exchange to start the third, Lawlor got the takedown and sunk in another arm triangle. This time it looked like he was close to getting the tap out, but Cote was able to find an escape. Lawlor didn’t ease up though, as he drilled Cote with punches while keeping him pinned to the mat. And even though Lawlor remained busy, McCarthy restarted the action with a little over two minutes left. Again, Lawlor wasn’t bothered by the change of venue, and he got Cote right back where he wanted him moments later, and he finished up the rout with another series of ground strikes that sealed his victory.
With the win, Lawlor improves to 7-3 with 1 NC; Cote falls to 14-7.
Guymon vs. Roberts
Daniel Roberts’ Octagon evolution continued in welterweight action, as he submitted veteran Mike Guymon just 73 seconds into the first round for his second straight UFC win. Post-fight interview
The pace was fast from the start, but after Guymon slipped to the canvas early on, Roberts chased his foe across the Octagon and didn’t let up, eventually catching “The Joker” with a guillotine choke that he transitioned into an anaconda choke that forced Guymon to tap out at the 1:13 mark.
With the win, Roberts improves to 11-1; Guymon falls to 15-4-1.
Stout vs. Taylor
There were no surprises in the battle between Sam Stout and Paul Taylor, as both lightweights delivered plenty of bad intentioned punches and kicks over the course of an exciting three rounder won by Canada’s Stout via split decision. Post-fight interview
Scores for Stout, now 17-6-1 were 30-27, 29-28, and 28-29. Taylor, who was making his debut at 155 pounds, falls to 10-6-1 with 1 NC.
As expected, Taylor and Stout wasted no time getting acquainted, with each scoring effectively with kicks to the body and legs. It was when Stout moved his attack upstairs with his punches that he took the edge, as he bloodied the England native’s nose and jarred him on a couple occasions. Taylor, as is his custom, kept firing back, and by the end of the round he was tagging Stout regularly.
Round two was more of the same, with the exchanges now swinging in Taylor’s direction, though the pace and activity level of both fighters remained high. In the third, both fighters let it all hang out once again, with the toe-to-toe action almost too close to call.
“I knew he wanted a war and that’s not what the game plan called for,” said Stout. “I’m not one to shy away from a war but I knew he was going to come straight at me and I didn’t want to get caught in those exchanges. In fact, the only time he caught me was when he sucked me into an exchange.”
Camozzi vs. Yang
The Ultimate Fighter season 11 alum Chris Camozzi spoiled the UFC debut and perfect record of South Korea’s Dongi Yang, pounding out a three round split decision win in an entertaining middleweight bout. Post-fight interview
Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 for Camozzi, who improves to 14-3; Yang falls to 9-1.
Both fighters had their moments in a competitive first round, with Yang’s heavy hands and an early round takedown paving the way while Camozzi got in more than his share of punches and close range knees.
Yang kicked off the second round with a takedown, but Camozzi scrambled quickly to his feet and got back to business. At this point, Yang was visibly winded, allowing his opponent to take control of the pace of the fight, even though the Seoul native was still working and getting in enough shots to send Camozzi back to his corner with cuts over both his eyes.
A minute into round three, a straight left from Camozzi almost put Yang down, and Camozzi moved in for the finish against his bloodied foe. Yang shook off the immediate effects of the blow, but was never able to get back on track, allowing Camozzi to finish strong and take the razor-thin win.
Madsen vs. Yvel
Heavyweight prospect Jon Madsen delivered the most impressive performance of his UFC career thus far, moving to 4-0 in the Octagon with a first round TKO of veteran Gilbert Yvel. Post-fight interview
“This win was huge,” said Madsen. “I needed to make a statement to Joe Silva and the UFC that I can finish fights.”
After a minute of inactivity that brought the boo birds out, Madsen took Yvel to the canvas with ease and began delivering a barrage of ground strikes that guaranteed that “The Hurricane” wouldn’t be getting back up, and at the 1:48 mark, referee “Big” John McCarthy halted the bout.
With the win, Madsen improves to 7-0; Yvel, now 0-3 in the UFC, falls to 36-16-1 with 1 NC.
UFC 121 Prelims: McGee, Roberts, Madsen Finish Foes
It didn’t look good early on for The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee Saturday night at Honda Center, but “The Crusher” roared back from a slow start to impressively finish off veteran middleweight Ryan Jensen in UFC 121 prelim action.