A series of trip takedowns, ground-and-pound and a point deduction
to his opponent for an illegal upkick carried Daron
Cruickshank to a unanimous decision over Chris
“The Ultimate Fighter 15” Finale on Friday at the Palms Casino
Resort in Las Vegas.
All three cageside judges scored it for Cruickshank (11-2, 1-0) by
matching 29-27 counts.
Cruickshank largely abandoned the flashy standup game for which he
has become known, choosing instead to ground his foe with repeated
inside trip takedowns. Referee Steve Mazzagatti docked Tickle (7-5,
0-1 UFC) a point for an illegal upkick in the first round. A
30-year-old Pontiac, Ill., native, Tickle bounced back in round
two, as he answered a Cruickshank head kick with a ringing right
cross. The blow put Cruickshank on the seat of his pants, but the
King of the Cage veteran recovered in full guard after a few
The bout slipped away from Tickle in the third round, as
Cruickshank struck for another takedown, landed in mount and added
to his lead.
Jury Guillotine Puts Away Saunders
kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted
Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Chris
Saunders with a first-round guillotine choke in an undercard
bout at 155 pounds. Saunders (9-3, 0-1 UFC) asked out of the hold
4:03 into round one.
Jury File Photo
"The Fury" is now 10-0.
Jury (10-0, 1-0 UFC) kept Saunders at bay with his long arms and
legs. Front kicks to the chest were a featured part of his offense.
Later in the round, Jury upped his aggression level and started to
find a home for his left jab and right cross. Saunders scored with
a takedown off an attempted flying knee but fell right into the
guillotine. The tapout followed a brief but futile struggle.
“When somebody says they trained their whole life for something,
that is what I just did right here,” said Jury, who has finished
all 10 of his opponents within one round. “I worked my whole life
Sicilia Blasts Pride Veteran Marcello
Sicilia capitalized on the opportunity in his promotional
debut, as he smashed through Pride Fighting Championships veteran
Marcello en route to a second-round technical knockout in their
preliminary lightweight duel. Sicilia (11-1, 1-0 UFC) closed the
deal 2:53 into round two.
A tepid first round featuring wild swings and misses from Sicilia
and virtually no offense of note from Marcello gave way to the
second. There, the Brazilian veteran obliged his heavy-handed
opponent with a firefight and paid dearly. Sicilia had the
34-year-old reeling with a left hook and followed it with a pair of
close-quarters knees that sent the Brazlian jiu-jitsu black belt to
the mat. He then pounded away at Marcello with unabated right hands
until his victim lay unconscious at the base of the cage.
“Once you smell blood in the water, you hit gears you didn’t even
know you had,” Sicilia said. “[My power] is where I get a lot of my
confidence. I look fatigued, but you fight to stay in the cage when
you know you’re one punch away from winning.”
Proctor Knee, Hammerfists Stop Larsen
Team Aggression’s Joe Proctor
Larsen on first-round strikes in a preliminary lightweight
duel. Larsen (8-3, 0-1 UFC), a 28-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native
met his end 1:59 into round one, his two-fight winning streak a
thing of the past.
Proctor File Photo
Proctor lit up Jeremy Larsen.
Proctor (8-1, 4-0 UFC), a protégé of longtime UFC lightweight
Lauzon, floored the Arizonan with a beautiful knee from the
Thai plum, followed him to the mat and finished it there with a
series of rapid-fire hammerfists. A dazed Larsen stumbled backward
upon rising to his feet.
“This is the biggest stage of my life,” said Proctor, who has
rattled off four consecutive wins. “I knew this fight was going to
be tough. This feels awesome.”
Perez Armbar Submits Albert
Mixed Martial Arts export Erik Perez
finished John Albert
with a first-round armbar in their undercard matchup at 135 pounds.
Referee Kim Winslow stepped in on Albert’s behalf 4:18 into round
one, though he did not appear to submit to the hold, verbally or
Albert (7-3, 1-2 UFC) struck for an early takedown and transitioned
immediately to his opponent’s back. However, in his haste to secure
a choke, he left Perez an avenue for escape. The 22-year-old
settled in full guard, only to be met with a triangle choke from
Albert. Perez (11-4, 1-0 UFC) fought to free himself with his fists
and forced Albert to switch to an armbar. The Victory Athletics
standout lost his grip, and Perez moved to an even more
advantageous top position, snatched Albert’s left arm and went
belly down with it. With Albert wincing in notable pain, Winslow
A late replacement for Byron
Bloodworth, Perez has rattled off six consecutive wins.