Fans in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse saw comebacks, tapouts and ruthless stoppages in the opening bouts of UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2. Local favorite Darren Elkins got the biggest ovation, while newcomer Brandon Thatch made the biggest impression in his blistering promotional debut.
Dylan Andrews vs. Papy Abedi
TUF 17’s token Aussie Dylan Andrews earned his second UFC victory, overcoming an injured shoulder and TKOing Sweden’s Papy Abedi in the third round of the featured bout on the FOX Sports 2 prelim broadcast.
Abedi started out by stalking “The Villain” around the cage with pawing jabs as the veteran Andrews looked for openings. After a struggle in the clinch, Abedi get a big soaring takedown, but Andrews quicky scrambled to his feet and returned the favor via quick trip. Abedi had top position for a bit, but Andrews held tight and nullified any ground and pound while working for the sweep. The middleweights competed for control as they got each other to the mat throughout the round, with Abedi threatening for a guillotine at one point, but it was Andrews who ended the round on top.
Abedi was more dominant in the second. As Andrews began opening up with low kicks, straights and testing jabs, Abedi waited for the takedown and elbowed and punched from side control and half guard. He worked at length to lock in a guillotine from several different angles, but Andrews eventually maneuvered to his feet and ended the round on the bullied end of a tieup on the fence with the crowd signaling their impatience.
Andrews quickly himself to the crowd in the third. After a tie-up that earned more boos, Andrews twice hurt Abedi with an uppercut as he shot in. The second one sent the Swede face-first to the mat, and Andrews wasted no time in following up to ensure the bout was halted, which it was at 1:32.
The Kiwi-born Gold Coast fighter improves to 18-5 (1NC) with the win; Abedi drops to 9-3 in his professional career.
“I separated my shoulder in the first round and the adrenaline was not masking the pain,” said Andrews, who’d apologized to the crowd for his performance after the win. “It was my mission to knock him out.”
Check Out Andrews' Post-Fight Interview
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Colorado’s Brandon “Rukus” Thatch made a highlight reel out of his UFC debut, knocking down a durable Justin Edwards multiple times before eventually finishing things at 1:23 -- a leisurely pace considering that the welterweight’s previous six knockout wins all came in under a minute.
Edwards immediately tried to tie up against the dangerous kickboxer, but Thatch hit a knee to the body that buckled the TUF 13 finisher. Edwards wasn’t done yet, though, as he grabbed a leg, stood up, and worked to control the taller man against the fence. But Thatch was able to make space – repeatedly – and hit knees to the body and head that wobbled and rocked Edwards over and over. Thatch finally backed “Fast Eddy” against the fence, where he was able to unleash the finishing sequence. It was a right hand that dropped Edwards for the final time – the followup right hands and ensuing series of lefts through a turtling Edward’s guard inspired referee Rob Hinds to eventually wave it off.
The total strike count was 24 from Thatch (17 of them significant) to 2 from Ohio’s Edwards (9-3). Thatch’s record is now 10-1 including wins in his last nine, all first-round finishes. “I’m always prepared for a three-round fight but when I had the opportunity to finish, I threw everything at him," said Thatch. "I hit him with a really hard knee to the head and he just kept coming. He was incredibly tough."
Check Out Thatch's Post-Fight Interview
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
The night’s first fight to go the distance riveted the audience the entire time, as featherweights Darren Elkins and Hatsu Hioki alternated between fun standup and skilled groundwork. In the end, Indiana’s own Elkins won over the judges with scores of 29-28 across the board.
The two grapplers were surprisingly competitive on the feet for most of the first round, with the deceptively tall Hioki mixing up every manner of body and headshot. But Elkins held his own and made space with counters and powerful straights. Elkins caught a kick and pushed Hioki to the fence but Hioki staved off the takedown. Elkins charged with bodyshots and a nasty combination against the fence, but Hioki flurried back and a body kick buckled Elkins. Hioki chased and followed with more blows; as Elkins hit the mat, Hioki sprawled on top and did more ground and pounding, particularly to Elkins’ injured trunk, and tried for a guillotine. But as he spun to take Elkins’ back, Elkins got butterfly guard, survived and stood. He grabbed a single and tipped Hioki to the mat before the round ended.
A delightfully sloppy firefight opened the second, with Elkins seemingly winging everything he had as Hioki attempted to stay long. Elkins tried for uppercuts in the clinch but the more tired he got, the less accurate his strikes. He got an easy takedown mid-round, and briefly took Hioki’s back as the crowd roared, and settled in top position, Hioki seated against the cage, to repay the ground-and-pound from round one. Hioki stood and tried to get space, but Elkins stayed locked on from behind. Hioki then used that standing position to get things to the mat and take Elkins’ back, but Elkins escaped both that and the brief armbar attempt from the Japanese Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
The home-court fans again roared their approval as the third round began. Hioki answered Elkins’ next onslaughts with uppercuts and left counters, staying light enough on his feet to evade most damage. “The Damage” scored a takedown early, and Hioki immediately began maneuvering for a triangle. The close range gave Elkins an easier target for his ground-and-pound, though, and he punched and powered his way out of danger several times before trying to pass Hioki’s dynamic guard. He made it as far as half guard, and kept top position for the final minute, sealing the round and the fight.
Elkins (18-3) is now 6-1 since dropping to featherweight, with the only loss coming at the hands of number-one ranked Chad Mendes. “It was our strategy to wear him down and we kept to it," said the Portage, Ind. fighter. "It was great fighting in my home state with the crowd cheering your name but I didn’t really feel added pressure." Hioki’s record drops to 26-7-2 with the decision.
Check out Darren Elkins' Post-Fight Interview
James Head vs. Jason High
Jason High made it a short night for James Head and earned his first UFC victory in three outings. The two power grapplers met in a welterweight bout that opened the televised prelims on FOX Sports 2 and lasted a mere 101 seconds.
Illinois-born, Oklahoma-based Head had the crowd on his side, and cut off High’s footwork early and cornered him. But from there, “The Kansas City Bandit” High made it a short trip to the mat, where he started in half-guard on top and soon sunk in a guillotine. Head nimbly rolled over High’s head, but High followed him just as readily, with Head’s head still trapped. High eventually settled into mount and Head (now 9-4) had no choice but to tap.
High – an 18-4 fighter who went 3-0 in Strikeforce but dropped UFC bouts to Charlie Brenneman and Erick Silva before and after his tenure there -- celebrated the 1:41 victory by waving the flag of American Top Team, the Florida-based academy where he trains. “It’s been a long time coming,” said High. “You’ve got to win to keep your job and I did that tonight. I’m ready to celebrate now -- donuts, barbecue, and beer.”
Check out Jason High's Post-Fight Interview
Zak Cummings vs. Benny Alloway
TUF 17’s Zak Cummings made the most of his UFC and welterweight debuts, tapping out TUF Smashes’ striker Benny “Blanco” Alloway in the first round (13-6).
Until the finish, the round was workmanlike, with Cummings exploiting the Australian’s long striking style to isolate limbs and use them for takedown leverage. An extended tieup on the fence showed Cummings’ clear advantage up closel. As Alloway rolled away after another takedown late in the round, Cummings spun with him and sunk in a D’Arce, a move the lanky 170er called his “bread and butter.”
The win for Cummings (now 16-3) came at 4:19, who said “I expected a three-round war, but to finish it quickly was a welcome surprise. We saw some things in his transitions from half guard; I just turned into him when he tried to pass guard and was able to secure the choke.”
Check out Zak Cummings' Post-Fight Interview
Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo
Fans got two rounds of lightweight action before an unfortunate illegal knee rendered things a no-contest in the opening bout of FOX Sports 1’s first Wednesday outing. “Relentless” Roger Bowling and Blackzilian Abel “Killa” Trujillo threw heavy leather and showed their powerful ground games.
A right hook from Bowling was the first to land but Trujillo answered back with several of his own. Both men crouched on the outside and clashed in the center to box, landing thudding shots that threatened to finish things. The firefights were a matter of milliseconds and millimeters, with Trujillo’s two-inch reach advantage making the difference: Though both men scored (and, somehow, survived), Trujillo got the better of most exchanges and bloodying Bowling’s nose. With Bowling’s friends and family yelling audibly for a takedown, the Ohian obliged, picked up the collegiate wrester by two legs, pausing dramatically at the peak, then slamming him down. Back on the feet, a takedown attempt by Bowling put him on the bad end of side control, but he managed to scramble and lock in a guillotine so deep that referee Rob Hinds touched both men’s backs at one point to break it up. They ignored him, however, and Trujillo escaped with seconds left and landed one last knee to the body.
The second round was more action, with Bowling starting with a high kick and eating straight lefts for the honors. When Trujillo threw the next blow, Bowling ducked under and got another takedown against the fence, with Trujillo protesting with elbows and a knee to the body once he broke away. After stunning “Killa” with an uppercut, Bowling charged with a flying knee and backed Trujillo against the fence, where both men again teed off with shots that would drop most lesser (and many greater) men. Bowling earned another takedown and threatened with another deep choke. This time as Trujillo struggled to stand, he accidentally slammed Bowling square in the head with two illegal knees before swarming in with more strikes. Hinds halted the action at 4:57, and with Bowling clearly in no shape to continue, the decision was announced.
“I got hit with an illegal knee,” said Bowling 11-4 (1NC). “I was down and heard ‘10 seconds!’ I was expecting to hear the bell and I got blasted with two knees. It is what it is.”
Trujillo 10-5 (1NC) was less gracious, stating after that the knees were legal. “I saw he was breaking and I hit the second knee at the top of his chest,” he said. “The punch is what really hurt him. He acted his way to a no-contest.”
Welterweights Thatch, High Finish Fast: UFN Indy Prelim Results
Read on for results of the UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 prelims...