A strong supporting cast fleshed out the UFC 154 fight card at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night.
Despite one fight – Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou – falling off the card due to last-minute illness, there were still eight supporting bouts leading up to the pay-per-view.
Patrick Cote def. Alessio Sakara by Disqualification at 1:26, R1
Alessio Sakara opened strong, coming out firing with his hands at Patrick Cote, but Cote quickly turned the tables with a furious flurry of punches of his own. He backed Sakara up, visibly hurting him, but Sakara then took control again.
He put Cote on the fence and dropped him to the mat, seemingly finishing him off with a series of hammerfists when the referee stepped in, but several of those hammerfists were to the back of Cote’s head and deemed illegal following the fight’s stoppage.
It surely wasn’t how he wanted to win the fight, but Cote did get the victory by disqualification due to strikes to the back of the head.
Cyrille Diabate def. Chad Griggs by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:24, R1
Chad Griggs was a desperate fighter after having lost his UFC debut and it showed against Cyrille Diabate. That didn’t exactly play in his favor, however.
Griggs chased after the more technical Diabate, but paid dearly, getting dropped early with a clean right hand. Diabate kept the pressure up on the mat, bloodying Griggs’ face before submitting him with a deep rear naked choke.
John Makdessi def. Sam Stout by Unanimous Decision, R3
Much as the fight before them, Sam Stout and John Makdessi were content to battle their entire fight on the feet, although it was primarily with their boxing.
After 15 minutes, neither fighter could produce a finish, nor amass much damage. Makdessi, however, being busier and more accurate, used his stinging jab to sway the judges in his favor, earning a unanimous decision victory over Stout.
Antonio Carvalho def. Rodrigo Damm by Split Decision, R3
As happens quite often in a battle between highly skilled grapplers, Antonio Carvalho and Rodrigo Damm kept almost the entirety of their fight on the feet and went the distance.
Perhaps more surprising was the fact that the majority of their striking seemed to be kicks. In the end, it was Carvalho’s more technical approach to Damm’s power attack that won him the judges’ nod and the victory.
Matt Riddle def. John Maguire by Unanimous Decision, R3
Matt Riddle couldn’t put John Maguire away on Saturday night, but he did use his ever-improving striking game to take home a dominant decision. Riddle’s striking game has become a formidable weapon in his most recent fights, also adding an additional element of excitement that fans seem to appreciate.
This would have been Riddle’s third consecutive victory had he not been suspended for a failed drug test following his last bout. He now has two victories and one no contest in his last three fights.
Ivan Menjivar def. by Submission (Armbar) at, R1
Russian fighter Azamat Gashimov got caught early in an Ivan Menjivar armbar. He tried to power out, but that would be his ultimate demise. Menjivar held on tight, turned belly down and locked it out for the finish.
Darren Elkins def. Steven Siler by Unanimous Decision, R3
Darren Elkins came close, but couldn’t put Steven Siler away, instead going the distance to take a unanimous decision from the judges. Siler had been undefeated in three trips to the Octagon prior to the fight. Elkins improved to 5-1 in the UFC, including his current four-fight winning streak.