DENVER, August 11 - Winning your UFC debut – awesome. Etching your name in the history books – even better. It was that type of night for 22-year-old Erik Perez, the Mexico native who sent Ken Stone to the canvas face-first with a monster right hand and sealed the deal a few punches later in UFC 150 prelim action at Pepsi Center Saturday. The TKO took all of 17 seconds, the fastest knockout ever recorded at bantamweight in UFC or WEC history.
Perez, who was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now trains with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, improved to 12-4.The loss snapped a two-fight UFC win streak for Stone (11-4), who trains with American Top Team.
JARED HAMMAN VS. MICHAEL KUIPER
Whenever Jared Hamman is on the card, Fight of the Night talk is sure to surround his bout. Somewhat predictably, his seven-minute middleweight war with Michael Kuiper brought fans at the Pepsi Center to their feet and became the instant frontrunner for Fight of the Night, even if he wound up on the losing end of a second round TKO.
Hamman (13-5) lives and trains in Denver and gave fans plenty to cheer about early, repeatedly landing punching combinations and kicks on the Dutch kickboxing ace. But Kuiper (12-1) showed zero respect for Hamman’s power, stubbornly marching straight through the shots and hurting Hamman early with a leg kick that may have turned the tide in the fight, because Kuiper began to pick up steam midway in round one, increasingly finding Hamman’s chin and dropping him with a wicked left hook. Kuiper also scored a takedown, landed some very hard knees and a flying knee. Hamman was wobbled and rubbery-legged for quite some time, yet somehow managed to stay on his feet and keep firing punches on instinct.
Hamman started well in round two, again landing combinations. But Kuiper simply kept stalking with kicks and a hard right hand that buckled Hamman and forced him to retreat. The fistic assault only mounted from there as Kuiper dropped Hamman, and rocked him again when he got to his feet. You were left to wonder, “How much longer can Hamman go on?”
A Kuiper uppercut answered the question, sending Hamman slumping against the cage and grabbing his right leg. That was it: the referee called the fight at 2:16 of round two. Hamman departed the cage limping badly.
DENNIS BERMUDEZ VS. TOM HAYDEN
Dennis Bermudez doesn’t remember the Tom Hayden knee that put him on the deck in round one.
All the New Yorker remembers is, “This guy is on my back with a rear naked choke. How did he get here?”
It was yet another slow start for the TUF 14 featherweight finalist, who nevertheless survived the onslaught and stormed back with a standing guillotine choke that caused Hayden (8-2) to tapout at 4:43 of round one.
Bermudez said the gutsy showing embodied what friends have long told him: “Seems like all your fights, you go out, you get dropped and then you come back and you win.”
In fact, Bermudez weathered not one, but two, close calls. Hayden also trapped him in a deep armbar during the contest, but Bermudez attempted a violent slam that convinced Hayden to release the limb.
Watch post-fight interviews with Kuiper and Bermudez
DUSTIN PAGUE VS. CHICO CAMUS
It’s not often that you see the smaller fighter park himself atop an opponent and become an immovable object. But Chico Camus, one of the smaller bantamweights to grace the Octagon of late, rode his top control and ground to pound to victory over TUF 14 alum Dustin Pague in a bout that was arguably up for grabs until the final minute or so.
Pague simply could not find a way back to his feet once Camus (12-3) got on top, and ultimately the accumulation of top control and ground-and-pound persuaded the judges to give the Milwaukee product a unanimous decision by scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Both fighters had their chances to finish the fight. Pague (11-8) threatened with a triangle choke in round two that Camus fought off nicely while eating a smorgasbord of elbows, however. Pague took command early in round three with a swift takedown and back control. Trapped in a body lock, Camus somehow wiggled free and once again remained on top for the bulk of the round – even coming close to finishing the fight with a rear naked choke before the final horn.
NIK LENTZ VS. EIJI MITSUOKA
Mark it down: Nik Lentz will someday be UFC champion at 145 pounds.
That was the Minnesotan’s bold declaration immediately following his featherweight debut, which saw him run roughshod over 11-year veteran Eiji Matsuoka.
Indeed, Lentz did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, throughout the entire three minute, 45 second annihilation, imposing his will on Matsuoka (18-9-2) with precision boxing combination and hard knees out of the gate. He then added four takedowns (including two hard slams). The inevitable end came after Lentz took the Japanese fighter’s back with both hooks, flattened him, and fired away with punches until the referee had seen enough.
The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Lentz (24-5-2) at lightweight, convincing him to hire weight cut mastermind Mike Dolce and drop a weight division. He also began training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla.
“I’m extremely happy. I changed everything for this fight,” Lentz said. “I literally got rid of all of my coaches and got new ones. I went to Florida and stayed in the worst hotel for eight weeks. I literally threw my whole life away because I know that at featherweight I can be champion. I’m 146 pounds but I’m literally twice as strong.”
Hear from Lentz following his big win
Perez Makes History with 17 Second KO - UFC 150 Prelim Results
By Frank Curreri August 11, 2012