Browne had no trouble dispatching Chad
Browne (13-0-1, 4-0-1 UFC) submitted the Strikeforce
import with a first-round arm-triangle choke at UFC
145 “Jones vs. Evans” on Saturday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Griggs (11-2, 0-1 UFC), who entered the cage on a career-best
six-fight winning streak, tapped out 2:29 into round one.
The Hawaiian rattled Griggs with a beautiful flying knee and,
moments later, scored with a takedown. From there, Browne mounted,
transitioned to the choke and finished it. Knocking on the door of
Top 10 status in the heavyweight division, it was his first
submission win in more than three years.
“My kids have gone through so much with me being away for eight
weeks. I have two little beautiful boys. It was so hard,” Browne
said. “I belong here. UFC heavyweights, watch out.”
Brown Grounds, Pounds ‘Wonderboy’
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum Matt Brown
grounded and neutralized the previously unbeaten Stephen
Thompson, as he captured a unanimous decision in a preliminary
welterweight match. All three cageside judges saw it for Brown
(14-11, 7-5 UFC): 30-27, 29-27 and 30-27.
Thompson (6-1, 1-1 UFC) had his moments, but they were too few and
far between. Brown struck for takedowns in all three rounds and
opened multiple lacerations on the South Carolinian’s face with
short elbows from the top. In the third round, he swept Thompson’s
legs, sliced through his guard and ultimately moved to the mounted
crucifix position. Brown then transitioned to a topside triangle
and battered his foe with punches. Thompson survived until the end,
but his face bore the marks of a clear defeat, his first as a
Kicks Carry Njokuani Past Makdessi
Backed by a series of gnarly leg and body kicks, WEC veteran
Njokuani cruised to a unanimous decision over John
Makdessi in an undercard battle at 155 pounds. Njokuani
(15-6-1, 2-2 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27
Makdessi (9-2, 2-2 UFC), a Tristar Gym representative, rarely moved
into range, cut off by the Nigerian’s 7.5-inch reach advantage.
Njokuani short-circuited his foe with thudding kicks to his lead
leg and midsection, mixing in occasional blows to the head. He also
landed the most significant punch of the fight, when he wobbled
Makdessi with a counter left hook in the first round.
Danzig Controls, Upends Escudero
Superior clinch work, clean boxing and airtight
takedown defense carried “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 winner
Danzig to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter”
Season 8 winner Efrain
Escudero in a preliminary lightweight tilt. All three cageside
judges scored it for Danzig (21-9, 5-5 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and
Danzig File Photo
Danzig won with an injured ankle.
Danzig controlled Escudero (18-5, 3-4 UFC) in close quarters and
ripped into the MMA Lab standout with crisp punches to the head and
body. However, he did not walk out of the cage unscathed. In fact,
he limped out, his right ankle visibly damaged by an Escudero heel
hook in the first round. Still, Escudero failed to finish the
submission and his chances diminished as the fight wore on, unable
to mount any offense of consequence.
Clements Takes Split Verdict
Clements made a successful promotional debut, as the Shawn
Tompkins protégé took a split decision from Keith
Wisniewski in an undercard bout at 170 pounds.
Clements (11-4, 1-0 UFC) turned a close fight into his fifth
straight win with a strong third round, as he ruthlessly belted his
foe’s body with punches. Referee Fernando Yamasaki did Wisniewski
no favors. The
Duneland Vale Tudo representative took down and mounted
Clements in the first round, only to be subject to a puzzling
Yamasaki restart while working effectively from half guard later in
Clearly the superior striker, Clements went to work with his hands
and feet. Wisniewski (28-14, 0-3 UFC) never went away, but he
lacked the firepower necessary to bring down the 36-year-old
Canadian. The judges saw it 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27.
ATT’s Brimage Outpoints Blanco
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 alum Marcus
Brimage outdueled Sengoku veteran Maximo
Blanco and captured a split decision in a preliminary
featherweight bout. Two of the three cageside judges scored it for
Brimage (5-1, 2-0 UFC) by 30-27 and 29-28 counts; a third cast a
dissenting 29-28 ruling for Blanco (8-4, 0-1 UFC)
Brimage was the aggressor in rounds one and three, as he attacked
with clean punching and excellent movement. Blanco spent far too
much time in retreat mode, eager but largely unable to counter the
American Top Team export. The Venezuelan did his best work in the
second round, where he kicked effectively to the legs, body and
However, Blanco’s momentum proved fleeting, as Brimage picked up
his pace in the final frame and took hold of his third consecutive
victory. The two featherweights traded post-fight black flips
afterward, much to the chagrin of the Georgia crowd.