half-guard and Alessio scrambles back up, meeting Bocek on the feet with a left hook. Bocek has a head kick blocked and Alessio gives him a front kick in the gut. Alessio strings together a solid combination with 30 seconds left but it only causes Bocek to wrap him up on the cage and prevent any more offense. Alessio manages to land a knee up the middle before the round expires.
Alessio comes out throwing hands while Bocek tries to keep him at bay with outside thigh kicks. Alessio denies a shot from Bocek and lands a hard left hook in the process, followed by some nice low kicks. The next kick from Alessio is caught by Bocek, though, and Alessio is soon turtling on the ground while Bocek works to secure his back. Bocek has a body triangle off his back and he keeps the punches coming with more than half the round left. With 2:15 remaining, Alessio twists free and springs to his feet. When they get back up, Bocek is leaking blood. Alessio is only able to throw a few shots before Bocek has him down and defending the back-mount again. Alessio slips out the backdoor and attacks in the clinch on the fence, but Bocek turns him around and digs for a high single-leg. Alessio tries a guillotine which causes Bocek to circle out with only seconds left. Alessio lands the last hard punches of the fight, but it’s likely too little, too late.
Official result: The judges have it 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Mark Bocek.
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Yagin throws his left jab consistently while mixing in the occasional hook. He attacks the lead leg of Hominick with low kicks. Yagin drops Hominick with a massive right uppercut-left hook and gives chase on the ground. Hominick is bleeding badly from his left eye as Yagin tries to pound him out. The Canadian recovers, though, and springs back to his feet. He resumes moving forward and sticking his jab in the shorter man’s face while Yagin swings haymakers and chops away with leg kicks.
Despite the first-round knockdown, Hominick emerges looking the fresher fighter. He keeps after Yagin, mixing jabs and hooks while Yagin lands some leg kicks and looks for the big overhand right. With 3:00 left on the clock, Yagin finds Hominick’s chin again. This time, he’s landing hard shots on the ground and Hominick looks in serious trouble. Again, Hominick recovers, though he’s now sporting damage underneath both eyes. Hominick works back to his feet and starts sticking both hands in Yagin’s face, bloodying the veteran’s nose with straight shots. Yagin is still sniping with quick, heavy hands but now Hominick is staying out of the way. Hominick digs a left hand into Yagin’s ribs. Yagin’s nose is a mess now but he comes forward with a wide left hook. Hominick isn’t looking too hot himself.
It’s more of the same at the start of the third: Hominick using hooks and jabs to the face and boy while Yagin just looks to crush his opponent with power shots. Yagin sticks a jab, misses wide with the follow-up right hook. Hominick lands a right hand, sticks a left straight and takes a hard outside leg kick. More leg kicks land for Yagin, who looks an absolute mess with the blood spewing out of his nose. Hominick is just walking Yagin down now, sniping with straight punches and stepping out of the way of Yagin’s blows. Yagin loses his mouthguard after one punch but replaces it as he backpedals. Hominick keeps the pressure on and lights him up on the fence. Yagin gets off the cage and goes for broke with spinning punches and kicks, big right hands and uppercuts, most of which miss. Hominick keeps picking his shots to the horn and does some pushups at the end of the bout to show he’s still fresh.
Official result: The first judge scores the bout 29-28 for Yagin, while the second has the same score for Hominick. The final judge see it 29-28 in favor of the winner by split decision, Eddie Yagin.
Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
Not much action through the first minute as Torres stalks just out of range of McDonald, who tries to find the range with a few kicks and right hands. McDonald starts throwing combinations, not landing at first, but then zapping Torres with a nice series which includes a right uppercut. A left hook and a right hand from McDonald, followed by a body kick. McDonald is getting his range now and Torres’ mouthpiece goes flying. After ref Herb Dean gives it back to Torres, McDonald launches into a vicious assault. A right uppercut does the damage and the subsequent punches from McDonald only plunge Torres into further unconsciousness. Michael McDonald scores a sizzling knockout win at 3:18 of the first round.
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
The heavyweights touch gloves tentatively circle one another in the orthodox stance. Rothwell lands a punch to the body and Schaub wants to clinch. Rothwell gets the Thai plum and lands a knee, but Schaub breaks away. Schaub charges Rothwell against the cage and connects with a couple shots, but Rothwell snipes back with a left hook which turns Schaub’s head around. Schaub falls to his back, Rothwell lands a brutal right hand, and the lights are on but nobody’s home. Schaub is grabbing for a Rothwell who isn’t there and referee Herb Dean steps in to save Schaub from any more damage. Ben Rothwell gets the knockout win just 70 seconds into the opening round.
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Mills flicks out a low kick from the outside and MacDonald misses one up high. More hard kicks outside from Mills as he looks to find a home for his hands. He slugs MacDonald with an uppercut against the cage and lays a forearm across the Canadian’s throat. MacDonald reverses but Mills pushes forward, rocking MacDonald with another uppercut and forcing “Ares” to go for a takedown. He gets it and Mills tries to strike from his back while... (Continues on next page)