The clouds are out, the London Underground is packed and the teapot is screaming, and that can only mean one thing… OK, I guess it doesn't really mean anything but UFC 120 is well underway at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fights hit the air in the United States at 8PM/7c free on Spike but here's a little taste of the warm-up action from the preliminaries. Hit the jump for a round-by-round recap and stay tuned for the televised portion.
Fabio Maldonado vs. James McSweeny
McSweeney is rocking some pretty skimpy Throwdown nut huggers right now and it seems to be freeing him up a bit, as he opens the night's fights with a barrage of high and low kicks. McSweeney's got his man against the fence but Maldonado circles out and lands a right on the Brit. McSweeney returns fire, but hits air and locks back up in a clinch that nearly gets him a guillotine. Under a minute left and McSweeney scores a head kick that gets Maldonado in trouble and James tries to finish before the bell but can't make it happen.
Maldonado hits McSweeney with a body shot that doubles him over –it looks like it could have been below the belt but the ref says nothing. Maldonado smells the blood now and opens up his attack. He lands a combo and McSweeney goes reeling back. McSweeney is down and Maldonado jumps on. McSweeney doesn't have much left and he's not doing anything off his back. Maldonado is pretty much in control but he's not able to put together a finish. He locks in a kimura, that slips out and then tries to take McSweeney's back, but he can't get it. With only a few seconds left, the referee stands them up and Maldonado lands a vicious combo to close the round.
Both men are exhausted but Maldonado seems to have a little more spring in his step than McSweeney. Maldonado lands a shot and McSweeney is in trouble, he falls back into the fence and clams up. Maldonado lays into him with a, um, standing ground and pound and the ref calls it to give Maldonado a TKO win in his UFC debut.
Spencer Fisher vs. Kurt Warburton
If for no other reason than his sweet walk-out song, I hope Spencer Fisher always has a job with UFC. Johnny Cash's God's Gonna Cut You Down could be the best choice ever.
Fisher catches a body kick that's blocked but looked like it still did some damage. Warburton is using a lot of leg kicks. Fisher shoots in for a takedown but gets stuffed and Warburton works to lock in a guillotine. Fisher is able to fight it off for a while but eventually gives it up, and then breaks free.
Warburton gets Fisher pinned up against the fence and mostly just holds him there. Fisher is trying everything he knows to get free but nothing works, eventually the ref breaks the up and immediately Fisher flips it around and pushes Warburton against the fence. Warburton regains control of the clinch. Warburton trips and falls to his back, Fisher jumps on top but he's careless and Warburton catches his leg for a kneebar. Spencer slips out and stands, he tries a stomp but his leg is caught again and Warburton locks in heel hook. It's tight and Fisher is in trouble but the 10 second warning sounds a Fisher guts it out.
Lots more work in the clinch. Spencer has to know he's down on the score cards but he's not doing much to try and change the momentum. Spencer finally creates some distance and lands a few punches but Warburton clinches right up. Fisher gets kneed directly in the nut sack and the action takes a break. The action starts back up and Spencer gets Warburton on the mat and quickly takes his back, locking in a rear naked choke, but he doesn't have a clean lock and there's not much time left. Warburton gets out and rides out the last few seconds.
I have to guess that Warburton won the first two rounds easily to take the decision, but oddly, there is no announcement. Maybe Buffer is sleeping?
Paul Sass vs. Mark Holst
Holst comes out, sporting the sweet Graice Jiu Jitsu tattoo. That's dedication.
Holst gets Sass on his back right away, but leave his head hanging out there and Sass slips in a triangle. Holst regains control on top but Sass is very active from the guard and keeps Holst on the move. Another triangle attempt and then an armbar. That Gracie tattoo is really coming in handy now. Sass fires off some elbows to the head from his back. Sass locks in another triangle that looks as tight as they come. Somehow Holst is hanging on, but not for long and he's forced to tap.
Rob "The Bear" Broughton vs. Vinicius "Spartan" Queiroz
This next one sounds more like a matchup on Deadliest Warrior than it does a UFC fight.
The Spartan comes out swinging in his UFC debut and bullies the Bear down to the mat where he unleashes a bit a ground and pound. The Bear doesn't seem to be enjoying this very much, but he tries to send off a few punches from his back. The Spartan takes his back and nearly locks up a rear naked choke, but the Bear breaks free and gets back the feet. The Bear seems to have woken from his sleep and lands a nice uppercut. Spartan scores another takedown and looks for a leg lock but can't find it.
Right off the bat, Spartan takes the Back, standing up and goes for a ride, but the Bear breaks out and fires off a few angry answers. The Spartan gets another takedown but doesn't do much with it and as soon as the crowd starts to boo, the ref stands them up, where The Bear is much more comfortable and lands another few hard bombs. Spartan takes it to the mat again and just rides out the rest of the round.
The Bear wants to finish this right now. Spartan goes for a takedown and the Bear executes his first successful takedown defense, leading into a guillotine. He can't get it, but transitions into a kimura. The kimura slips and out and Spartan gives up his back where the rear naked choke is not far behind. The Bear locks it up and gets a surprising submission victory.