UFC on Fuel TV 1: Preliminary Card Recap and Analysis

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UFC has compiled an action-packed card for their first effort on the Fuel TV network with a welterweight-tilt between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger in a suspected title-eliminator getting top billing.

But before they went down, we had the preliminary card broadcasted on Facebook and here’s how all the action went down.

Bernardo Magalhaes vs. Tim Means

As an Australian, one of the fighters I have had high-hopes for to become a player in the UFC flying the Australian flag high was Bernardo Magalheas – Despite coming in with an 11-1 record and a lot of hype behind him Tim Means didn’t come to be a stepping stone.

Means pushed his unbeaten streak to ten-straight fights with his win over the Australian-raised combatant and did so in dominate fashion.

Magalheas looked to get the fight to the floor early and often to control the “Dirty Bird” but Means showed off superior takedown defense, an active sprawl and kept the fight on the feet where he had the advantage.

The 6-foot-2 Means used his long reach to sit on the outside and pick him apart with shots, mixing up his boxing with a barrage of body shots & thunderous head punches to earn the victory and walk away with two 30-26 scorecards.

Anton Kuivanen vs. Justin Salas

The nights proceedings continued with two more debuting lightweights looking to make a splash in the most talent-packed division in the UFC – Kuivanen has been on the UFC’s radar for quite some time, entering the elite 155-pound division on a nine-bout win streak.

Salas wasn’t really viewed as a hot prospect before tonight, he had shown a well-rounded game and recently handed Joe Ellenberger his first defeat but tonight he got his name put on the “people to watch” list.

The Grudge Training Center product took all-three rounds on two of the judges’ score cards – It wasn’t the most thrilling performance but Salas came to get his hand raised using an effective clinch game, working for takedowns and chipping away at the body of the Finnish grappler.

Salas was in danger on a few occasions but was able to keep control of the fight for the proceedings to get the victory and move his record to 10-3.

Jonathan Brookins vs. Vagner Rocha

Two featherweight prospects were paired up to conclude the facebook preliminary bouts, Brookins rose to prominence winning The Ultimate Fighter but failed to move right into title-contention last year losing a one-sided decision to Erik Koch.

Rocha is making his featherweight debut tonight as he’s fresh off the heels of a victory over Brookins’ Team GSP partner Cody McKenzie – Both men needed to make a statement tonight to remain relevant in the 145-pound ranks and that’s exactly what Brookins did with his first-round TKO.

Both men opened up the action throwing caution to the wind and exchanging blow-for-blow before Rocha shot for a takedown that the submission grappler quickly stuffed and before you knew it Brookins was raining down shots to a grounded Rocha.

It took 92 seconds for Brookins to put the featherweight division on notice and push him up the all-important rankings ladder.

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