It took a while, but Brazilian banger Thiago Silva secured his first victory since 2009, and he did it by submission to boot, finishing off previously unbeaten Stanislav Nedkov in the third round of their UFC on FUEL TV co-main event Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macao, P.R. China.
A wild flurry allowed Bulgaria’s Nedkov to close the distance at the start of the light heavyweight bout and get Silva locked up against the fence. Silva fought his way loose, and after slipping to the deck when he landed a knee, the two went toe-to-toe for a few seconds before tying up and then breaking free. Nedkov took a hard kick to the knee in subsequent action, but the Bulgarian again forced Silva to defend with his back against the fence. With 90 seconds left, Silva got free again, but only briefly, as Nedkov continued to maul him.
The second round took a while to get going after a lengthy break created by a Silva low kick, but once it resumed, it was business as usual, with Nedkov pushing Silva to the fence. With 3:43 left, referee Steve Perceval restarted the stalled action, but Nedkov was undeterred as he locked Silva up again. The two eventually broke, but the pace didn’t particularly pick up from there before the inevitable lock-up. In the final minute, Silva did get off a few effective kicks, but just when it looked like the Brazilian was going to start pulling ahead, Nedkov knocked him down with a hard overhand right, allowing him to finish the round with some effective ground strikes.
Nedkov was winging the right hand with abandon in the third, but Silva was looking for it as he peppered his exhausted foe. Silva then went for the takedown and got it, moving into the mount position. Next up, a quick move to an arm triangle, and Nedkov tapped out, ending the bout at the 1:45 mark.
With the win, Silva improves to 15-3 with 1 NC; Nedkov falls to 12-1.
KIM vs. THIAGO
Welterweight contender Dong Hyun Kim dominated Paulo Thiago from bell to bell in their three rounder, enabling the South Korea native to walk away with a unanimous decision win by scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 30-26.
Kim (16-2-1, 1 NC) went for the takedown immediately, and after a bit of work, he got it, transitioning a bit quicker to get Thiago’s back. The Brazilian had no answers in terms of escaping Kim’s grip, but his defense was solid enough for him to avoid getting submitted.
After surviving a rough first round, Thiago (14-5) tried to get things going in the second, only to get taken down again. This time though, Thiago was able to secure a kimura, but Kim was able to escape and move into the dominant ground position. With less than a minute remaining, Thiago finally got back to his feet, but Kim kept pressing, locking in a D’Arce choke just before the bell.
Continuing to dominate the grappling game, Kim didn’t give Thiago any opportunities to get on track in the third round, and when he added ground strikes into the mix, the gap between the two grew even wider, putting an exclamation mark on the one-sided victory.
See "Stun Gun's" post-fight interview
GOMI vs. DANZIG
Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi continued his career resurrection, putting together the first two fight winning streak of his UFC career by taking a hard-fought three round split decision over Mac Danzig.
Scores for Gomi were 29-28 twice and 28-29.
The action was fast-paced and competitive throughout the first round, with Gomi (34-8, 1 NC) looking relaxed as he fired off punches and kicks and even scored with a takedown midway through the frame. Danzig got his shots in throughout as well, but it was his final minute takedown of Gomi that made the biggest impression.
Almost daring Danzig (22-10-1) to hit him, Gomi walked in with his hands down at his waist as he peppered the Californian with both hands in the second. Danzig obliged with straight shots, and with 90 seconds left, he put Gomi on his back a second time. Gomi began to fight his way back up, but he got caught in a guillotine choke, with the bell intervening and giving him another round.
Gomi was back in business early in the third, dropping Danzig with a right hand. Gomi worked from the top position as Danzig searched for a submission from his back, and after stalemating, Danzig got back to his feet with 2:30 left, proceeding to engage in some crowd-pleasing standup exchanges to the final bell.
Watch Gomi's post-fight interview
TUCK vs. ZHANG
Debuting lightweight Jon Tuck spoiled the attempt of Beijing’s Tiequan Zhang to win in his home country, holding off a late charge to win a three round unanimous decision.
Scores were 29-28 twice, and 30-27 for Tuck, who ups his perfect record to 7-0; the 34-year-old Zhang falls to 18-4.
Tuck started out the busier of the two, but the patient Zhang got what he wanted 45 seconds in, as he closed the distance and scored with the takedown. Tuck responded with a tight armbar, but Zhang was able to escape. Moments later, Tuck pounced again through, taking Zhang’s back and then transitioning to the mount position before going to the back again. And while he wasn’t able to finish, Guam’s Tuck did cap off an impressive first round.
Zhang landed with a hard 1-2 to open up the second, showing that he wasn’t done fighting yet, and with Tuck now bleeding from a cut on his forehead, the complexion of the bout was changing, but only briefly. As Zhang got Tuck to the mat, Tuck found his way into the top position, the mount, and then to Zhang’s back, showing off his impressive ground game once again.
Wild strikes from Zhang opened up the final round, but Tuck patiently whipped out a southpaw jab in response, putting out any possible fires. Zhang did rock Tuck less than two minutes in, but the TUF 15 competitor shook the effects of the blow off quickly. Zhang continued to press, landing hard shots while continually trying to adjust his mouthpiece, possibly pointing to a jaw injury. Tuck was visibly fatigued, but he kept battling, and the crowd was appreciative of the effort given by both men as the final bell sounded.
Hear what Tuck had to say following his victorious UFC debut
MIZUGAKI vs. HOUGLAND
Takeya Mizugaki opened up the main card with an impressive show of ground and pound, dominating Jeff Hougland en route to a shutout three round unanimous decision win.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-25.
Both bantamweights came out throwing, with Mizugaki landing the harder shots, prompting Hougland to look for a takedown. It was Mizugaki who got the bout to the mat though, and after avoiding an armbar attempt, he sent some hard strikes flying at his opponent’s head, drawing roars from the crowd. Hougland kept his wits about him, trying a head and arm choke after a missed punch from Mizugaki, but after the Kanagwa product escaped, he finished the round with more ground punches.
The bout went back to the mat in the second, with Hougland staying busy from his back as he searched for a submission, but he also ate plenty of leather from Mizugaki in the process. With 1:15 left, referee Steve Perceval restarted the action, but after a quick exchange, the bantamweights were on the canvas again in their familiar roles: Mizugaki landing strikes from the top and Hougland trying to weather the storm from his back.
A right hand dropped Hougland early in round three, but as soon as he hit the deck, he bounced up and slammed Mizugaki. The Japanese veteran quickly moved into the top position though, and the pattern of the previous two rounds repeated itself for the most part, with only a brief standup from Perceval breaking things up momentarily.
With the win, Mizugaki improves to 16-7-2; Hougland falls to 10-6.
Silva Back in Win Column with Sub of Nedkov - UFC on FUEL TV 6 Main Card Results
Read on for UFC on FUEL TV 6 main card results...