Varner made up for lost time.
In his first UFC appearance since November 2007, the former
WEC lightweight champion sprang a stunning upset on the
previously unbeaten Edson
Barboza and stopped the highly touted Brazilian on first-round
punches at UFC
146 “Dos Santos vs. Mir” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden
Arena in Las Vegas.
Varner (17-7, 2-1 UFC) sealed the deal 3:23 into round one.
A late replacement for the injured Evan Dunham,
Varner ate some horrific leg kicks but punched his way into the
clinch and rattled Barboza (10-1, 4-1 UFC) with his heavy hands.
With the lightweight prospect in retreat, Varner bashed him with a
straight right hand, trailed his fallen opponent to the mat and
finished it with punches and hammerfists.
“I have to thank the UFC for bringing me back,” Varner said. “Once
you’ve hit rock bottom, you can really appreciate some of the
places that you have been. Barboza was tough, man. He’s scary good.
I didn’t care if I won or lost; I just wanted to put on a good
performance. I wanted to fight for the fans.”
Elkins Outlasts Brandao, Earns Decision
Darren Elkins won for the third time in as many appearances, as he
captured a unanimous decision from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14
winner Diego Brandao in a preliminary featherweight tilt. All three
cageside judges scored it for Elkins (14-2, 4-1 UFC) by matching
Brandao (14-8, 1-1 UFC) roared out of the gates, blasting the
Duneland Vale Tudo representative on the feet and on the ground.
Elkins weathered the storm, kept his composure and forced the
Brazilian into a second round. Once there, it became clear Brandao
was a spent force. Elkins struck for multiple takedowns over the
final 10 minutes, mounted his foe twice and smashed away with
punches from the top.
“He comes out hard. He comes out swinging. He fights with a lot of
emotion,” Elkins said. “I had to survive the first three minutes,
find a rhythm and go from there. It turned out that way. He had a
good first round, and then I started to take the momentum and build
Dollaway Downs ‘Mayhem’ on Cards
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 finalist C.B.
Dollaway struck for repeated takedowns and worked over a
listless Jason “Mayhem”
Miller with ground-and-pound en route to a unanimous decision
victory in a preliminary middleweight bout. All three cageside
judges scored it for Dollaway (12-4, 6-4 UFC): 29-28, 30-26 and
Miller (23-9, 0-3 UFC) staggered Dollaway with winging punches in
each of the first two rounds but inexplicably followed the Power
MMA Team member into the clinch. From there, Dollaway landed
takedowns, recovered from the blows and went to work with his
punches from top position.
“The game plan was to stand and trade with him and get the
takedowns when I could, but he hurt me in the second round pretty
good,” Dollaway said. “I did what I had to do coming off my hip
surgery. I had a torn labrum in my hip that had to be
reconstructed. [Miller] is not an easy fight to come back on.”
Hardy Halts Skid, Wipes Out Ludwig
One-time welterweight title contender Dan Hardy
threw the brakes on a four-fight losing streak, as he stopped
Grudge Training Center representative Duane Ludwig
on first-round strikes. Ludwig (21-13, 4-4 UFC) met his end 3:51
into round one.
Hardy got a much-needed win.
Hardy (24-10, 5-4 UFC) floored Ludwig with a lead left hook,
followed him to the mat and polished off the veteran striker with a
series of vicious elbow strikes. The win was the 30-year-old
Englishman’s first since November 2009.
“It’s really good to be back,” Hardy said. “There’s only one thing
about that fight that is kind of bittersweet for me. Duane has been
kind of a hero to me. I’ve always respected him and been a big fan
of his all the way through his career, from the very start. Seeing
him hit the canvas was good for me, but it was bad as well, because
I really do love him so much. He’s a great fighter, and he deserves
“It felt good,” he added. “You know when you’ve landed a good shot.
You can feel it when it connects.”
Sass Triangle-Armbar Finishes Volkmann
Undefeated British prospect Paul Sass
Volkmann with a first-round triangle-armbar in a preliminary
lightweight match. Volkmann (14-3, 5-3 UFC) tapped out 1:54 into
Sass (13-0, 3-0 UFC) pulled guard following a brief exchange on the
feet and lured the Minnesotan into his lethal guard. Volkmann
seemed content to engage the Englishman on the ground, and Sass
made him pay a steep price. He deftly secured his patented triangle
and attacked Volkmann’s vulnerable arm for the finish. Sass has now
submitted 12 of his 13 opponents, 11 of them inside one round.
Teixeira Overwhelms, Submits Kingsbury
Teixeira was spectacular in his promotional debut, as he
submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 alum Kyle
Kingsbury with a first-round arm-triangle choke. Kingsbury
(11-4, 4-3 UFC) succumbed to the hold 1:53 into round one.
Teixeira (18-2, 1-0 UFC), who has won his last 16 fights, wasted no
time in getting to work. He put heavy power punches on Kingsbury,
wobbled him with a searing uppercut and followed the
American Kickboxing Academy representative to the mat. Teixeira
ultimately moved to mount, battered Kingsbury from the top and
locked in the choke for the finish.
Veteran Brown Outpoints Pineda
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and heart-sapping clinch work carried
former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas
Brown to a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Daniel
Pineda in an undercard bout at 145 pounds. All three cageside
judges scored it for Brown (26-8, 2-3 UFC) by identical 29-28
Brown worked effectively from top position in all three rounds and
folded his adversary with a brutal knee strike to the body in the
third round. Perhaps sensing his seven-fight winning streak
slipping away, Pineda (17-8, 2-1 UFC) made a strong push late in
the final stanza. There, he moved to Brown’s back from full guard,
attacked with punches and fished for the rear-naked choke. His
efforts were unsuccessful, and Brown took the win on points.