All three cageside judges scored it for Cruickshank (11-2, 1-0) by matching 29-27 counts.
Cruickshank largely abandoned the flashy standup game for which he has become known, choosing instead to ground his foe with repeated inside trip takedowns. Referee Steve Mazzagatti docked Tickle (7-5, 0-1 UFC) a point for an illegal upkick in the first round. A 30-year-old Pontiac, Ill., native, Tickle bounced back in round two, as he answered a Cruickshank head kick with a ringing right cross. The blow put Cruickshank on the seat of his pants, but the King of the Cage veteran recovered in full guard after a few harrowing moments.
The bout slipped away from Tickle in the third round, as Cruickshank struck for another takedown, landed in mount and added to his lead.
Myles Jury File Photo
"The Fury" is now 10-0.
Jury (10-0, 1-0 UFC) kept Saunders at bay with his long arms and legs. Front kicks to the chest were a featured part of his offense. Later in the round, Jury upped his aggression level and started to find a home for his left jab and right cross. Saunders scored with a takedown off an attempted flying knee but fell right into the guillotine. The tapout followed a brief but futile struggle.
“When somebody says they trained their whole life for something, that is what I just did right here,” said Jury, who has finished all 10 of his opponents within one round. “I worked my whole life for this.”
A tepid first round featuring wild swings and misses from Sicilia and virtually no offense of note from Marcello gave way to the second. There, the Brazilian veteran obliged his heavy-handed opponent with a firefight and paid dearly. Sicilia had the 34-year-old reeling with a left hook and followed it with a pair of close-quarters knees that sent the Brazlian jiu-jitsu black belt to the mat. He then pounded away at Marcello with unabated right hands until his victim lay unconscious at the base of the cage.
“Once you smell blood in the water, you hit gears you didn’t even know you had,” Sicilia said. “[My power] is where I get a lot of my confidence. I look fatigued, but you fight to stay in the cage when you know you’re one punch away from winning.”
Joe Proctor File Photo
Proctor lit up Jeremy Larsen.
Proctor (8-1, 4-0 UFC), a protégé of longtime UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, floored the Arizonan with a beautiful knee from the Thai plum, followed him to the mat and finished it there with a series of rapid-fire hammerfists. A dazed Larsen stumbled backward upon rising to his feet.
“This is the biggest stage of my life,” said Proctor, who has rattled off four consecutive wins. “I knew this fight was going to be tough. This feels awesome.”
Albert (7-3, 1-2 UFC) struck for an early takedown and transitioned immediately to his opponent’s back. However, in his haste to secure a choke, he left Perez an avenue for escape. The 22-year-old settled in full guard, only to be met with a triangle choke from Albert. Perez (11-4, 1-0 UFC) fought to free himself with his fists and forced Albert to switch to an armbar. The Victory Athletics standout lost his grip, and Perez moved to an even more advantageous top position, snatched Albert’s left arm and went belly down with it. With Albert wincing in notable pain, Winslow intervened.
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