In his first appearance as a featherweight in nearly six years,
Griffin made a significant splash.
Griffin (15-5, 8-5 UFC) blitzed the world-ranked Manny
Gamburyan with repeated low kicks en route to a majority
decision over the former WEC title contender at UFC Live 4 “Kongo
vs. Barry” on Sunday at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Two
of the three cageside judges saw it 29-28 for Griffin. A third
scored it a 29-29 draw.
Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, Griffin
(Pictured, File Photo) overcame a slow start and gained a foothold
in the match with stinging kicks to the Armenian’s thigh. Still,
Gamburyan (12-5, 2-4 UFC) did not go away. He scored with multiple
takedowns in the third round despite the obvious damage to his
Griffin won a majority of the striking exchanges between the two
featherweights, as he fought well in close quarters and scored
effectively to the head and body. The narrow victory brought an end
to Griffin’s three-fight losing streak.
WEC import Javier
Vazquez handed former lightweight title contender Joe Stevenson
his fourth consecutive defeat and left “The Ultimate Fighter”
Season 2 winner’s career inside the
UFC in doubt, as he notched a unanimous decision in an
undercard bout at 145 pounds. All three cageside judges ruled in
Vazquez’s favor: 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Vazquez (16-5, 1-0 UFC), a former King of
the Cage champion, out-struck, outwrestled and out-grappled the
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative, warding off exhaustion
in the latter stages of the fight. Vazquez established his jab,
countered effectively, scored with a single-leg takedown in the
first round and threatened his opponent with a tight guillotine
choke in the second.
With desperation settling in, Stevenson (31-14, 8-8 UFC) was the
aggressor in round three, as he attacked early with sharp punches
and low kicks. However, Vazquez held firm despite visible fatigue
and racked up points with standing combinations and clean counter
Lauzon made quick work of Wolfslair Academy representative
Warburton, as he submitted the Englishman with a nasty
first-round kimura 1:58 into their preliminary lightweight
Lauzon zapped Warburton (7-3, 1-2 UFC) with a two-punch
combination, stacked him against the fence and wrenched the kimura.
The 27-year-old Massachusetts native cut off any hope of an escape
route by throwing up a triangle choke for good measure, torquing
Warburton’s arm in grotesque fashion until the submission came.
Lauzon (20-6, 7-3 UFC) still has never lost back-to-back fights as
Attonito File Photo
Attonito had Roberts hurt.
Superior standup, coupled with a heavy and punishing top game,
American Top Team’s Rich
Attonito to a unanimous decision over Daniel
Roberts in an undercard tilt at 170 pounds. All three cageside
judges scored it for Attonito: 29-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Attonito (10-4, 3-1 UFC) nearly finished it in the third round,
when he folded his foe with a perfectly placed head kick and
followed him to the canvas with punches. Roberts somehow survived
but had nothing left to offer. A knee and a pair of right hands
only strengthened Attonito’s cause, as “The Ultimate Fighter”
Season 11 alum closed the match inside the Roberts guard.
A 34-year-old Elizabeth, N.J., native, Attonito utilized superior
defensive grappling in rounds one and two, as he avoided numerous
submission attempts from Roberts (12-3, 3-3 UFC).
Whenever the fight spilled onto the ground, Attonito managed to
wind up in an advantageous position, grinding down his opponent
with punches to the head and body. He has won five of his last six
Highly regarded Brazilian prospect Charles
Oliveira submitted Nik Lentz with
a second-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary lightweight duel.
Lentz asked out of the fight 1:48 into round two, as he tasted
defeat for the first time since March 2007.
Oliveira (15-1, 3-1 UFC) established his dominance in a crackling
first five minutes. The once-beaten 21-year-old neutralized Lentz
with his potent guard, dropped him with a crisp right hand while
the two were upright and threatened to finish him with an anaconda
choke. Lentz ultimately broke free and locked in a guillotine choke
of his own. That, too, failed to end the fight. Oliveira finished
the first period in top position after he dropped the Minnesotan
with a knee.
In the second round, Oliveira turned the tide on what appeared to
be an illegal knee to his downed foe. Referee Chip Snider did not
acknowledge the foul, however, and the Brazilian teed off with
punches. Lentz (21-4-2, 5-1-1 UFC) surrendered his back and soon
succumbed to the choke. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission
will likely review the outcome of the fight due to the foul.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 finalist Michael
Johnson stopped Edward
Faaloloto on first-round punches in a preliminary lightweight
matchup. The end came 4:42 into round one.
Johnson (9-5, 1-1 UFC), who absorbed a number of stinging low
kicks, secured a pair of takedowns but did his most import work
from the clinch. He trapped Faaloloto (2-2, 0-2 UFC) in the Thai
plum late in the first period and attacked with knees to the body
and head. A follow-up right hand sent the Hawaiian crashing to the
canvas in the fetal position, as Johnson finished him near the
WEC import Ricardo
Lamas made the most of his promotional debut, as he stopped
Grice on first-round punches in an undercard bout at 145
pounds. Referee Keith Peterson stepped in on Grice’s behalf 4:41
into round one.
Lamas (10-2, 1-0 UFC) controlled much of the encounter, landing a
takedown and passing to side mount before the two resumed their
standup exchanges. Later, the 29-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown
belt wobbled Grice (13-4, 1-4 UFC) with a head kick, swarmed him on
the fence and polished him off as he tried to regain his bearings,
sending him to the canvas and forcing the stoppage. The defeat
snapped Grice’s four-fight winning streak.