Melvin Guillard vs. Evan Dunham
When Dunham got Guillard’s back about 40 seconds into the first round it looked like a quick finish could be on the cards, especially when he then translated that into a takedown against the fence. But Guillard scrambled like mad and was able to regain his feet - well, one foot - and turn the tide of the fight.
While balancing on one foot with Dunham attempting a single leg, Guillard cracked him across the face with three ricocheting right hands that caused Dunham to let go of the leg and back off. Over the next couple of minutes Guillard stalked Dunham round the cage looking for the chance to let his hands go.
It came at the mid-point of the round. A rapid right hand dropped Dunham, who was forced to scramble for a takedown effort to try and save himself. Guillard kept piling it on though, relentless hammer fists and then a huge knee to the head which switched Dunham’s lights off. Two more followed and the fight was waved off.
Guillard is now 4-0 in his last four outings while Dunham finds himself 0-2 (although the preceding loss was a highly controversial decision loss to Sean Sherk).
Pat Barry vs. Joey Beltran
Beltran was always going to be in trouble if he couldn’t get Barry down and that proved to be the case, although Barry was surprisingly unable to finish the plodding brawler even after taking his mobility away with a series of savage leg kicks.
There were moments too when Beltran’s frantic forward flurries gave Barry more trouble than a kickboxer of his capacity should have suffered. Either that or perhaps he felt no threat at all and was content to shell up and put his head down until Beltran’s attack abated.
On the other hand, Beltran proved unable to do anything in takedown terms. This is despite his college wrestling background and Barry’s complete lack thereof. Barry has apparently been working hard on this aspect of his game following a stint at Brock Lesnar’s camp. We will need to see him against a better wrestler to determine how much real improvement has been made.
All told, the fight played out as predicted and was a much less cheerful affair than Barry/CroCop. There were foul shots from both sides (one apiece) and a notable look of anger on Barry’s usually affable face. He was looking to make a statement with this fight and he did. Heavyweights have to fear for their lead leg.
Mark Hominick vs. George Roop
Another fight that played out as predicted. Roop is not in the same class as Hominick and the gulf was apparent early on. Roop started with a frantic pace, circling and throwing a succession of punches and kicks that landed on nothing and seemed more designed to keep Hominick away than anything.
In contrast, Hominck paced after Roop slowly, maintaining the centre of the cage and picking his shots. After Roop threw numerous strikes with no result, Hominick sailed a right hand in with little effort, dropping his former sparring partner. He then let him back up rather than follow him to the floor.
This was repeated several times over the next minute and the final right hand put Roop down and out. The referee stepped in to stop the fight and Roop’s initial protest that he was fine was given the lie when he regained his feet and staggered uncontrollably. Hominick had to hold him up until a member of Roop’s corner team came in to take care of him.
Hominick now moves on to a welterweight title shot against Jose Aldo at some point this year.
Matt Mitrione vs. Tim Hague
This fight took three minutes and almost all of its 180 seconds duration was in Mitrione’s favour. The match essentially turned out to be more of an exercise for Mitrione than a competitive bout. Hague offered little in the way of offense and instead was content to plod around while Mitrione tee’d off on him.
Mitrione demonstrated a nice straight left a couple of times and also launched an effective inside low kick, using his rear leg from his southpaw stance to attack Hague’s front left leg as the Canadian was in orthodox stance.
When Mitrione dropped Hague at the three-minute mark he was straight in for the kill, no hesitation and a solid killer instinct. He will move on to a sterner test in his next fight, perhaps a fight with somebody like Cheick Kongo, who is a better striker overall but is losing steam.
Cole Miller vs. Matt Wiman
Close fight - for the first few minutes.
Miller had a significant reach advantage but Wiman negated that from the off, using leg koicks and then closing distance with an uppercut-hook combination that he landed again and again. Often when he would get close, Miller would lock him into a Thai clinch and land some excellent knees, having the better of that phase.
By the middle of the first round things were very even but Miller then attempted to hit a flying triangle from the clinch and ended up on his back. Wiman was relentless from top position and kept Miller down while he hit his ground and pound. Miller can thank his great guard work for his survival.
The second round opened with Wiman attempted a guillotine takedown, almost getting reversed and then managing to hit a single leg. He had Miller on the defensive for the whole round and Miller was fighting to survive, from his guard and half guard. Wiman was looking hard for the finish but Miller is very tight defensively and Wiman couldn’t secure anything to finish.
Into the third and Wiman was two rounds up and really putting it on Miller. An opening flurry put Miller on the back foot and looking for a takedown. He went for a sloppy single, got caught in a guillotine effort and again ended up on his back. Wiman kept up an incredible amount of pressure giving Miller no chance to think or regain his composure.
Wiman spent the last two minutes dropping big elbows from Miller’s half guard but Miller kept tying him up. However in the last thirty seconds he couldn’t even do that and Wiman landed some of the biggest shots of all three rounds.
Really impressive work from Matt Wiman and a proportionately disappointing performance for Cole Miller. Wiman is now 3-0 in his last three while Miller, who was gathering some momentum following his impressive win over Ross Pearson, goes back to the drawing board.