Mendes (top) knocked his opponent senseless at UFC on FX 6. | Josh
Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Mendes has no intention of becoming just another face in the
crowd at 145 pounds.
The former featherweight title contender knocked out MMA Lab
Meza with a wicked overhand right and follow-up punches at
UFC on FX 6 “Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson” on Friday at the Gold
Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gold Coast, Queensland,
Australia. Mendes (13-1, 4-1 UFC) brought it to a close 1:55 into
“Hat’s off to Yaotzin,” he said. “That was short-notice, and the
guy stepped up. I appreciate it. I thought I was off this card. I
was super pumped to come to Australia when I heard about it, so
when I found out my opponent was off the card, I was pretty
Meza (19-8, 0-1 UFC), a late replacement for Hacran Dias,
never had a chance to establish a foothold in the fight. Mendes
leaned on leg kicks and a nice mix of punches before his right hand
folded Meza where he stood. A three-punch volley left the Arizonan
stiff on the canvas.
“I only got about a week to study this guy, but we saw in some of
his past fights that when he threw his jab, he would drop a little
bit,” Mendes said. “I was looking to time him, and when he threw
that hook, I rolled [off] it and caught him. It was a good punch, I
Mendes has delivered consecutive first-round knockouts since his
failed bid against featherweight champion Jose Aldo in
“I’m going after that belt. I want that belt,” he said. “I’m taking
it a fight at a time, but I’m coming after it.”
Beltran Clinch Overwhelms Pokrajac
Beltran forced Igor
Pokrajac to fight him in a figurative telephone booth, as he
clinched, punched and kneed his way to a unanimous verdict over the
“Cro Cop” Filipovic protégé in an entertaining undercard
showdown at 205 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the
same: 30-27 for Beltran (15-8, 4-5 UFC).
Pokrajac (25-10, 4-5 UFC) was effective when he maintained
distance, but too often he succumbed to Beltran’s invitations to
clinch. Against the cage, “The Mexecutioner” was on another level,
attacking the Croatian’s body and head with relentless aggression.
The 33-year-old Pokrajac has suffered back-to-back defeats for just
the second time in his career.
“I knew from watching him fight [that he was resilient], so I tried
not to get too anxious and gas out,” Beltran said. “I would hit him
like 20 times and then grab him, because I knew he wasn’t going to
be knocked out. He’s like me but from Croatia.”
Pierce Grinds Down Baczynski
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and a suffocating clinch game carried
Pierce to a unanimous decision over Seth
Baczynski in a preliminary welterweight encounter. The three
cageside judges scored it 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Pierce (16-5,
8-3 UFC), a late substitute for injured Australian Kyle Noke.
Pierce struck for multiple takedowns in all three rounds and,
despite tiring down the stretch, kept his adversary off balance and
frustrated. He was at his best in round two, where he drove
Baczynski to the ground with a series of uppercuts from the clinch.
The exchange left “The Polish Pistola” bloodied and Pierce
comfortably in command.
“He presented a lot of challenges,” Pierce said. “He’s 6-feet-3 and
really rangy. I’m one of the shortest guys in the division, so I
did my best with what I was given. Persistence and movement: you’ve
got to get in and close that distance. Once you’re inside, it’s a
Alloway Front Kick, Punches KO Rodriguez
Fiore MMA representative Ben Alloway
knocked out Manuel
Rodriguez with an exquisite front kick to the face and
follow-up punches on the ground 4:57 into the first round of their
undercard match at 170 pounds. Alloway (13-3, 1-0 UFC) has won six
fights in a row.
Rodriguez (9-4, 0-1 UFC) was in command for much of the bout, as he
scored with a pair of takedowns, moved to side control,
transitioned to the Australian’s back and fished for a rear-naked
choke. His advances were denied. Alloway eventually returned to an
upright position and, after a brief break for a low blow, brought
it to a close in dramatic fashion.
Unbeaten Wilkinson Edges Loughnane
Wilkinson kept his perfect professional record intact with a
unanimous verdict over “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” teammate
Loughnane in a preliminary lightweight affair. All three
cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Wilkinson (8-0, 1-0
The 25-year-old Wilkinson struck for a takedown in the first round
and fired away with punches throughout the 15-minute battle. His
aggression and pressure helped to counteract some stellar work from
Loughnane (5-1, 0-1 UFC), who blasted his legs repeatedly with
kicks in all three rounds and floored Wilkinson with a stinging
right cross in the third.
Newcomer Donovan Finishes Penner
Grudge Training Center export Cody
Donovan made the most of his promotional debut, as he put away
Penner with first-round punches in an undercard bout at 205
pounds. Penner (11-3, 0-2 UFC) met his end 4:35 into round one.
Donovan (8-2, 1-0 UFC) weathered a pair of knockdowns, the first
one resulting from a clubbing right hand to the temple and the
second from a ringing left uppercut. The Denver-based light
heavyweight kept his cool, answered with a takedown and eventually
found his range in the standup. Donovan cracked his Canadian
counterpart with a short left hook and followed him to the mat,
where he finished it with a series of unanswered standing-to-ground
A short-notice replacement for the injured Eddie
Mendez, Donovan has won four fights in a row.