leg kicks while Damm comes over the top with a good right hand. They go back and forth, exchanging leg kicks with Carvalho getting the better strikes to land, reddening the outside of Damm’s left leg. The crowd is getting restless with 90 seconds left in the opening round and still no big punches landed. Carvalho keeps thumping Damm’s lead leg, which is already bruised and swollen as the Brazilian heads back to his corner.
Carvalho continues to batter the leg of Damm with low kicks while Damm looks hesitant to pull the trigger, instead keeping Carvalho at bay with front kicks. Carvalho slips on a high kick and Damm pounces, trying to attach himself to Carvalho’s back. “Pato” rolls through and shakes Damm off, then gets back to his feet and resumes his kicking assault. Damm corks Carvalho with a good left hand but doesn’t follow up. Damm sticks a jab in the face of Carvalho, who is leaking blood from his nose. Damm looks to be coming on strong in the waning seconds of the round but Carvalho pushes back with a cracking combo just before the horn.
Damm is once again moving forward at the start of the final frame, now landing a couple solid leg kicks of his own. Carvalho loses his mouthguard and has it washed out before resuming. When they do, Damm starts stringing together some good punches, backing Carvalho toward the cage with straight shots. Carvalho connects with a straight right of his own, followed by another leg kick. Left hook lands for Damm and he manages to avoid Pato’s next low kick. Damm sticks Carvalho with a straight right and steps off to block a high kick. Carvalho keeps looking for the head kick but Damm is blocking or sidestepping each one. Both men look to finish strong with punches, kicks and knees, but neither lands anything significant and this one is headed to the scorecards.
Official result: The judges score it 29-28 Damm, 29-28 Carvalho and 29-28 for the winner by split decision, Antonio Carvalho.
Sam Stout vs. John Makdessi
Stout takes the center of the cage and immediately starts stalking Makdessi, walking “The Bull” down and sticking hard right hands in his face. Makdessi backs him off with a stiff jab, then clips Stout on the temple when he falls off-balance on a punch. Another good jab from Makdessi and Stout acknowledges it before retaliating with a leg kick. A right hand gets Makdessi moving around the outside again. Makdessi times an outside leg kick and socks Stout with a counter right hand. Stout comes in thinking takedown but gets turned away and stuck with another Makdessi jab. Stout’s punches are coming up short and now another takedown try is rebuffed. Stout is still moving forward but it’s the jab of Makdessi which has been the most effective weapon through the first round. Two more stiff left hands snap Stout’s head back before the horn.
It’s more of the same to begin round two, with Stout moving forward, headhunting with power punches while Makdessi continues to cork him with hard jabs. Stout gets some kicks in the mix now but Makdessi answers with one of his own to the body. Makdessi’s left hand is constantly in Stout’s face, sometimes without even waiting for Stout to throw. Good head movement from Makdessi as he weaves out of the way of Stout’s punches, then denies another single-leg takedown attempt to finish the round.
Makdessi continues to move backward, sticking jabs and even catching Stout with a flashy hook kick. Stout won’t stop coming forward or throwing bombs, even though almost every flurry results in Makdessi weaving out of the way and countering with a jab. Stout has manages to bloody Makdessi’s nose while Makdessi has done damage to Stout’s left eye. Makdessi keeps jabbing to the end, moving out of the way of Stout’s shots, and “The Bull” should take the decision win after 15 minutes.
Official result: The judges score it 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, John Makdessi.
Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs
Griggs takes a knee from the lanky Frenchman and charges forward. Diabate catches him coming inside with a left cross and Griggs tilts slowly to the ground. Diabate follows him to the floor and works from side control, but Griggs is able to squirm back up. Not for long, however, as Diabate slams Griggs, who is absolutely pouring blood from his nose less than 90 seconds into the bout. Griggs uses the cage to inch back up and takes a knee to the face. He grabs Diabate’s head but can’t get anything going with the choke and surrenders his back again. Diabate won’t let go this time and sinks in the rear-naked choke, forcing Griggs to tap out at 2:24 of the first round.
Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara
Sakara swipes with long left hands to open the bout, but Cote finds his mark with a good right hand about 45 seconds in and then unloads. Sakara is injured, on the retreat as he eats a knee and more punches from Cote -- but just as suddenly, Sakara reverses the momentum as they work on the fence. He turns Cote around, lets go of the Thai plum and uses a pair of close-quarters elbows to put Cote down. Sakara tries to finish, pounding with hammerfists; the first few land on Cote’s shoulder blades, but the next eight or nine land square on the back of the Canadian’s head. Cote hits the deck, still clinging to Sakara’s leg, and referee Dan Miragliotta finally intervenes. Patrick Cote is awarded the win by disqualification at 1:26 of the first round.
Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza
The featherweights exchange leg kicks and Garza has a few deflected up top. It’s the shorter Hominick pressing forward on the lanky “Scarecrow” Garza, who backs the Canadian off with long punches and an inside leg kick. Hominick comes right back in, pushing Garza toward the fence, but Garza charges out with a knee... (Continues on next page)