While the main card of UFC 114 had its set of surprises, the preliminary fights were not without its moments. The first preliminary fight that I will review is between Melvin Guillard and Waylon Lowe. I had Guillard for this fight as soon as I saw it announced. He’s an incredibly powerful, extraordinarily fast athlete who is known to overpower his opponents. Lowe quickly tries to bring Guillard down to the ground and pins him up against the fence. Guillard defends the takedown though, and hammers Lowe’s head with hammer fists. Lowe lets go and the two slug it out for a few minutes. Clearly losing in the stand up battle, Lowe tries to shoot in once again, but gets kneed in the stomach incredibly hard. He falls to the floor and Guillard wins by TKO.
Exactly as expected. Lowe was unable to do anything most of the fight. He could not take Guillard down, could not stand with him and was taken out within the first round. Spectacular finish from an incredible fighter.
Next is Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon. Lauzon actually met with controversy prior to this fight because he had a falling out with his brother, Joe. Apparently Joe and his trainers felt that Dan was slacking off a bit and wasn’t taking his training too seriously, or something to that extent. People thus wondered if this sort of rift would affect his performance tonight.
Well, whether or not he truly was affected, you could be sure that Escudero would come to this fight well prepared. Not one of the best fighters of the UFC, Escudero was still an Ultimate Fighter winner, and is legit all the way. Thus, he was the strong favorite to win this match. The fight, despite being entirely on the feet, was not the most exciting MMA match you ever saw. Escudero was the aggressor throughout most of it, but both fighters still seemed a bit tentative throughout.
The interesting thing was that Escudero got a point deducted from him late in the third round because of two consecutive groin strikes, which very rarely occurs in the UFC. When the fight resumed, though, both fighters were throwing wild punches and kicks, brawling as if it was literally the last minute of their lives. The wild throwdown and the point deducted from his opponent during the third round did not make up for a mostly lackluster performance from Lauzon, as Escudero wins the fight via unanimous decision.
The last preliminary fight that I will review is Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyun Kim. I really like Amir Sadollah and wanted him to win this match. He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 7 and had some pretty fantastic matchups against Brad Blackburn and Phil Baroni. His muay thai has been rapidly improving and he was becoming an incredibly powerful striker. Unfortunately, as we all found out that night, he had a very, very weak ground game. Three rounds of domination. Kim dominated Sadollah the entire fifteen minutes to win via unanimous decision.
Kim would take Sadollah down anytime he wished almost effortlessly and control him for five minutes. Sadollah, though, still fought his way through and at least survived the entire fight. Hopefully he comes back and irons out this incredibly bad chink in his armor.
The UFC 114 preliminary fights weren’t the greatest in UFC history, but they were all right. The highlight was obviously Guillard’s amazing TKO of Lowe, and the oddity being Escudero’s multiple kicks to Lauzon’s groin.
Well, that’s it for my series of reviews on UFC 114. Check here for my review of the main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs.”Sugar” Rashad Evans, and here for my review of the rest of the main card. Now bring on UFC 115!
And check out the official UFC webpage to see more fantastic UFC 114 photos!