front of him and slips his head out of a threatened guillotine. Okami turns Belcher toward the fence and Belcher tries the guillotine again, basically losing any chance at the choke as they hit the ground. Okami moves to full mount but doesn’t really open up, staying close to Belcher and punching at the American’s body. Belcher bucks and shifts his hips, trying to make something happen as the last minute of the fight approaches. Belcher turns over and Okami sinks in both hooks before looking for the rear-naked choke.
Official result: Yushin Okami def. Alan Belcher via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) R3 5:00
Tim Boetsch vs. Constantinos Philippou
Straight to the fence goes Boetsch, roughing up Philippou along the outside, switching levels for a double-leg try. Philippou is held there for the better part of the opening two minutes but fires some elbows off when Boetsch is bent low and gets away. Philippou is on the outside, looking for his range and eventually socking the incoming Boetsch with a crisp uppercut. Boetsch gets inside anyway and drags Philippou to the floor, where he’s able to control the latter half of the frame with grinding ground-and-pound. Ref Kim Winslow stands them up with about 30 seconds left in the frame and Philippou strings together a few good shots. Boetsch ends the round strong with a front kick to the jaw of Philippou.
An accidental clash of heads has Boetsch bleeding from his forehead early in the second round. Boetsch has nothing on a long shot and is repeatedly warned to let go of Philippou’s trunks as he goes for the takedown. Just as Philippou looks to be getting comfortable, he catches Boetsch with an accidental finger to the eye. Boetsch shoots from a mile out and once more Philippou denies it. The next time, Boetsch stays down and pulls guard. Boetsch is clinging to half-guard as Philippou kneels on his left side, unloading with heavy right hands and elbows, worsening Boetsch’s already bloodied face.
Boetsch is still going after the takedown but has nothing on the shots. More punches from Philippou have worsened the cut on the forehead of “The Barbarian,” whose face is now stained red. One more time Boetsch flounders on a takedown and Philippou takes the opportunity to follow him down and administer some brief ground-and-pound. He wants Boetsch back up, and the sequence repeats. Ref Winslow is watching closely this time as Boetsch turtles up and Philippou pours on the ground-and-pound. It only takes another half-dozen hard right hands for Winslow to decide that Boetsch has had enough. Philippou takes the TKO win at 2:11 of round three.
Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon
Lauzon takes the outside while the southpaw Miller presses out from the center. An inside leg kick trips up Lauzon, and Miller follows it with a knee to the body and a series of close-quarter punches. Miller rushes Lauzon toward the fence, again attacking the body with knees and going over the top with punches. Lauzon backs Miller off with a short right hand, but Miller storms right back, drilling “J-Lau” with a knee in the Thai plum. Miller tries a standing arm-triangle, can’t get it. When the fighters separate, Lauzon’s face is red with blood, but a quick check from the doctor confirms he’s fit to continue. Another knee from Miller, one to the head now, a series of punishing left hands and a knee to the body but Lauzon stays standing. Miller is relentless, just sizing up his bloodied opponent and assaulting him with punches. For his part, Lauzon is sticking with it, covering up but not cowering and he makes it back to his stool to see round two.
More of the same from Miller to start the second, just harassing Lauzon with left hands and knees before bullying him to the ground. Miller is in half-guard on Lauzon’s right side, trying to free his other leg and pass to full mount. He gets there with 3:00 remaining in the round but Lauzon quickly traps the leg again. Lauzon sweeps on top but ref Yves Lavigne is forced to pause the action to remove a lengthy piece of tape hanging from Lauzon’s right glove. Lavigne resumes the action in the same position and Miller pulls rubber guard, staying tight on Lauzon from underneath. Lauzon tries to step into mount, loses it and instead falls back for a heel hook try, which also goes by the wayside. He catches Miller coming forward and tries a brabo choke setup but runs out of time.
Lauzon improbably looks the fresher of the lightweights at the start of round three, but a chopping leg kick from Miller halts his momentum. Miller kicks at him for a moment, then allows him back up. Miller is staying in Lauzon’s face now, throwing leg kicks and short left hands inside with success. Lauzon backs him away with a knee to the body, walks him down and lands a strong left. Miller gives him a hook right back and a few inside leg kicks for good measure. The pace slows as the fight enters its final two minutes, jockeying for position in the Thai clinch. Miller roughs up his man with short standing elbows and left hands. A knee up the middle from Miller and then a right hand wallops Lauzon. With 30 seconds to go, Lauzon drops for a heel hook. He can’t get it, straining as he might, his forehead painting the mat with a thick red stain. He gives up and goes for a guillotine choke but the horn sounds and this one is headed to the scorecards. Easy pick for “Fight of the Night” here.
Official result: Jim Miller def. Joe Lauzon via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) R3 5:00
Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
Herb Dean is the third man in the cage for tonight’s main event. There’s no touch of gloves as the challenger comes straight at the champ, grabbing hold of dos Santos and wrestling him to the ground. The Brazilian reverses and hops back to his feet with little effort,... (Continues on next page)