comes inside again and goes for a high single on the fence. He takes a moment to adjust, lets Thompson try to hop out and sweeps the leg. Brown lands a couple shots and Thompson closes up his guard. Brown stacks him up and tries to pass as he dives back down, but only lands a solid right hand. Thompson maintains half-guard and works to control Brown’s wrist as he tries to create space and stand. Thompson scrambles to his feet but gets pinned to the cage by Brown, who has an underhook with his left arm and throws short, hard shots with his right. Thompson reverses the position but Brown has a waist lock and he drags the striker down. Brown stays glued to Thompson’s back as they stand, and even a somersault from Thompson can’t shake him. Thompson is turtling now with 70 seconds on the clock. Brown has one hook in, trapping Thompson’s leg, and he rolls underneath for a calf slicer. Thompson pulls his leg out, gets on top briefly, but Brown finishes the round in his half-guard with some thudding punches.
Brown weathers a few kicks from Thompson to get inside and work for another takedown. Thompson defends well on the fence this time and connects with knees up the middle before they break off. He plunks Brown with a left hand before Brown shoots a long shot and plants Thompson on his rear. Thompson quickly works back up and separates. He lands a leg kick, misses on a head kick and follows up with a flurry of punches which daze Brown. “The Immortal” is moving backward and Thompson comes after him. Thompson drills Brown with a kick to the midsection and Brown is looking in bad shape. Thompson is pouring on the punches, hooks and uppercuts, while Brown covers up and circles away. Brown charges forward now, throwing huge right hands which miss. He rushes in for a weak shot and gets shoved aside by Thompson. Brown is in trouble, missing by a mile with arm punches, but he gets in close to Thompson and drops him with an elbow. Thompson falls to his back and the equally wiped Brown follows him. A series of elbows and right hands cut Thompson wide open along the hairline. Brown unloads with more elbows at the 10-second mark and the Ohio native has turned this second frame around in a big way.
Brown looks momentarily refreshed as he rushes Thompson into the fence, but it soon becomes obvious that both men are spent from two rounds of hard going. Thompson slips on a kick but pops back up and Brown resumes stalking him around the perimeter. Thompson comes off the fence with a hard right hand and Brown covers up, his right eye looked banged up. Now it’s Brown moving forward with a combo, but Thompson reverses the momentum again with some hard shots of his own. Brown gets a takedown, can’t hold Thompson there. He trips him down again in the middle of the cage, splits the legs and stacks Thompson up to pass to half-guard on the right side. Brown has his man flattened out as he works to isolate the right arm. He drills elbows into Thompson’s body, even grabbing at a one-handed toe hold. Brown gets the crucifix with 55 seconds left; Thompson nearly extracts the arm, but instead gets caught in a mounted triangle. Brown is unloading with left hands and Thompson is just gushing blood from his forehead. Brown goes after the left arm with seconds left and the horn sounds.
Official result: The judges score the bout 30-27, 29-27 and 30-27, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Matt Brown.
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
The taller Browne takes the center of the cage, feinting on the counter-clockwise circling Griggs, who lands first with an inside leg kick. Griggs lunges forward with punches, misses. Browne leaps in with a knee and dazes Griggs, then follows up with a few more in the clinch. “Hapa” hurls Griggs to the ground and gets to work from half-guard on Griggs’ right side, his left side to the fence. Griggs struggles underneath the larger Browne, who steps into mount and lands some left hands before setting up an arm-triangle. Griggs doesn’t see it coming and Browne hops off to the left side to tighten the choke. Griggs throws a few desperate punches, flails his legs and taps out. Travis Browne gets the first finish of the night via arm-triangle choke at 2:29 of the opening round.
Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Bocek is first to come forward, swinging punches on Alessio which don’t connect, and Alessio returning the favor. Bocek grabs a single-leg, goes to a double as he’s sprawled on and punched a few times by “The Natural.” He keeps after it but the takedown doesn’t come, so he shoves Alessio into the cage and takes his back, where Bocek throws knees to the back of Alessio’s left thigh. Bocek gets his takedown and passes to side control, then dropping elbows from half-guard. Alessio is clasped onto Bocek’s left leg, trying to avoid the hard elbows from Bocek. Still in half-guard, Bocek continues to pound with elbows and occasional punches. Alessio keeps trying to escape but Bocek is with him every step of the way. When Alessio turtles, Bocek is instantly on his back with one hook in. Bocek punches the body of Alessio until he can roll through and secure the back. That’s where he finishes the round, still trying to soften up Alessio with punches.
Alessio charges to meet Bocek in the middle of the cage, but Bocek backs off and Alessio doesn’t throw. Bocek scores with a pair of low kicks and one to the body; Alessio lands his best strikes of the bout so far with some snappy punches. The left-right cross goes again for Alessio and Bocek shoots immediately after, double-legging Alessio into the fence. Bocek works from Alessio’s open guard while Alessio peppers his fellow Canadian with palm strikes to the sides of the head. Bocek has an arm-triangle framed up as he tries to extract his right leg from half-guard but Alessio has it defended. More elbows come from Bocek in... (Continues on next page)