“The Menace” gives up his back again. Johnson finally gets back to a deep half-guard and the punches stop, but a few seconds later it’s Jury dropping heavy elbows from left to right. Jury works from a kimura from the top and Johnson is warned by ref Dean not to grab Jury’s trunks. Jury gives it up and takes full mount again with about 15 seconds left. He bombs with punches and tries for a last-second rear-naked choke which doesn’t come.
Jury gets Johnson’s attention with a right high kick to the cheek but can’t get underneath for the takedown. Johnson snuffs out the first attempt, but when Jury changes levels a second time, he’s puts Johnson on his back away from the fence. Tight closed guard from Johnson as Jury tries to posture up and throw elbows. Jury stands and drops one big strike but that’s all he can muster before being wrapped up again. Unable to get any space for his ground-and-pound, Jury grinds his forearm on Johnson’s face, stacks him up and crashes back down with more shots. Jury stays heavy on top through the final minute and keeps Johnson on his back.
Johnson comes toward Jury swinging punches but gets tied up and shoved into the fence, then tripped down to the ground less than a minute into the round. Jury works to clear his legs and pass to full mount, has to settle for side control, leaning from Johnson’s right to left. Jury loses the position going for a kimura and now drops short elbows from half-guard. Midway through the round and Johnson turns over, allowing Jury to sink one hook in. Jury drops left hands until Johnson bails out, away from the cage but still on his back with Jury all over him. Down the stretch and it’s all Jury, elbows and right hands bashing Johnson almost all the way, save for a last-second scramble and guillotine pull.
Official result: Myles Jury def. Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00
Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner
Varner hops around the outside while Guillard stands looking to throw his right straight and leg kicks. The low strikes from Guillard are landing well through the first minute as the lightweights find the range. Outside thigh kick from Guillard is followed by a left straight that pulls up short. Varner is trying to time Guillard’s outside low kick but Guillard is quick to move out of the way and dodge the right hand. Varner getting his punches through a little more now. Varner sparks Guillard with a shot to the body and a big left hook up top with just seconds remaining in the round. Guillard hits the deck but pops back up just as quickly and dodges the follow-up shots. Varner tries to pull a guillotine but the clock runs out as he’s cinching it up.
Varner hits an early takedown and looks to have Guillard in trouble, but the “Young Assassin” flips his way out and threatens with a guillotine to force Varner back to the feet. Guillard keeps the leg kicks coming and now starts to snap off his jab in Varner’s face. Varner misses with a right uppercut, connects with the next combo though, and then plows Guillard to the base of the fence about midway through the bout. Guillard is back on his feet with 90 seconds remaining and back to jabbing. Varner steps in with an overhand right but Guillard takes it this time and resumes jabbing. The lightweights throw simultaneous low kicks and Guillard takes one on the cup. He takes a moment to compose himself and they’re back to finish out the last half-minute, getting off a good step-in knee to the body at the horn.
Varner has Guillard back down on the ground inside the first minute, hunched against the base of the fence. Varner goes for a choke, but loses it as he leans back and allows Guillard to set up in top position. Varner overtakes him and works to take Guillard’s back, sinking in one hook before Guillard clambers back to his feet with 2:00 left on the clock. Ten seconds later, it’s another easy double-leg for Varner, who gets busy right away throwing short punches through guard. Guillard swings his hips and tries an armbar, can’t finish but gets top position anyway. Varner hits the switch and he’s back on top with a minute left in the fight, grinding in Guillard’s open guard. Guillard kicks him away with 30 seconds left and stands. Guillard catches Varner coming in with a knee to the body; Varner goes underneath and drops Guillard on his head just before the final horn. The lightweights embrace and tumble on the ground after the wild finish.
Official result: Jamie Varner def. Melvin Guillard via Split Decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27) R3 5:00. TERRIBLE DECISION!!!
Byron Bloodworth vs. Erik Perez
Perez comes straight in with a right hand and then proceeds to rough Bloodworth up with rugged knees and elbows in the clinch. Perez goes to the body as Bloodworth looks to throw an arm over top of Perez’s head. A knee to the body wilts Bloodworth and Perez follows him to the floor. Closed, tight guard for Bloodworth but Perez is nonetheless able to sit up and drop some solid ground-and-pound. Bloodworth’s guard opens up more and more as Perez keeps the punches and elbows coming. Perez has him trapped against the fence, sits up and shucks the legs to blast away with unfettered right hands. Now bloodied, Bloodworth covers up under fire and ref Kim Winslow steps in to wave it off.
Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland
Pickett gets in with a left hand over the top but Wineland answers with a strong right hook and another behind it. Wineland is upright, trying to pick off Pickett. A corking right hand from Wineland buckles Pickett’s legs, and another hard punch follows. Pickett manages to stay upright, but with 2:00 to go in the round, another right hook buckles him. Again, Pickett pops back up. The Englishman is coming forward, throwing punches, but still taking right... (Continues on next page)