The UFC 160 Prelims kicked off the huge Memorial Day card with some strong fights to kick off the event. In the best fight of the prelims, Mike Pyle and Rick Story both looked to gain some ground in the ultra-competitive UFC welterweight division. True to form, Story scored an early slam to earn top position. Pyle countered with an armbar attempt.
Story then floored Pyle with a left on the button and landed some very strong ground-and-pound. The second round saw Pyle land a solid knee and then locked in what seemed like a vicious kimura. Story survived to stay in top position. The last round saw Pyle pour on an onslaught of Muay Thai strikes, and transition into some good submission attempts on the ground. Pyle earned the split decision in an impressive win for “Quicksand.”
Dennis Bermudez fought Max Holloway in a solid war. Holloway came out with a spinning kick early, nailing Bermudez in the head. He continued to utilize some unorthodox striking, but Bermudez remained gritty. In the third, Bermudez finally got the fight to the ground and smothered Holloway. It was close, but Bermudez took home the split decision.
Colton Smith and Robert Whittaker squared off in a battle of former TUF finalists. Smith came out and appeared to win the first, but that’s where his success ended. Whittaker began to find his range in the second, wobbling Smith with a crisp left hand. The third round did not last long as Whittaker finished Smith off with strikes in 41 seconds.
Abel Trujillo and Khabib Nurmagomedov came into their bout with some bad blood strumming from a weigh-n scuffle yesterday. Trujillo looked for the knockout standing early, but the undefeated Nurmagomedov quickly utilized his high-level grappling to repeatedly throw Trujillo. He looked for some varied submissions to end the first, and continued to control the fight throughout the second and third. Nurmagomedov ultimately took home the dominant uNanimous decision victory.
On the Facebook card, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson faced Nah-Shon Burrell, looked to regain some of the hype he surrendered when he lost to Matt Brown. He came out like a man on a mission, mixing up his excellent striking with both punches and kicks. Burrell won the third round, but it was enough to deny Thompson the decision.
George Roop appeared to get rocked a few times in the first against Brian Bowles, but he took the advice of his corner in the second. Relying on his effective jab, he stung Bowles with a stiff one on the chin and followed him to the ground, finishing it via TKO.
Jeremy Stephens absolutely dominated Estevan Payan in the first Facebook fight, showing a good mix of striking coupled with seven takedowns. Stephens is back on the winning track, leaving the Octagon canvas a bloody mess in just the first bout.
Mike Pyle def. Rick Story via split decision
Robert Whittaker def. Colton Smith via R3 TKO (strikes)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision
Stephen Thompson def. Nah-Shon Burrell via uNanimous decision
George Roop def. Brian Bowles via R2 TKO (strikes)
Jeremy Stephens def. Estevan Payan via uNanimous decision