Brazilian flyweight prospect John “Hands of Stone” Lineker earned his first UFC victory at the Cotai Arena in Macao, P.R. China Saturday, pounding out a three round unanimous decision win over Yasuhiro Urushitani in UFC on FUEL TV prelim action.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 30-27 for the 22-year-old Lineker, who improves to 20-6; Urushitani falls to 19-6-6.
Urushitani’s movement and quick kicks seemed to throw Lineker off early, as the Brazilian was unable to find his foe when he set his feet to throw his haymakers. Nothing changed as the round progressed, as the in and out attack of the Tokyo resident effectively kept Lineker at bay until a left hook in the final minute dropped Urushitani and forced him into survival mode once he got up.
Stepping within striking range to begin the second, Urushitani paid for that decision almost immediately, as he took a spinning kick to the body. Urushitani jumped right back into the fray, which turned into the best case scenario for the heavy-handed Brazilian, who ripped off hooks to the body and head. An eye poke by Lineker in the final 90 seconds halted the bout momentarily, and Urushitani used the break to recharge and get back to sticking and moving, which he did so effectively for the rest of the round.
Told between rounds to go for the knockout, Lineker followed those instructions, sending Urushitani to the canvas with a right hand in the opening minute of the round. Urushitani rose quickly but was now bleeding from a cut over the left eye. A hard left hook rocked the 36-year-old moments later, and Lineker continued to stalk with a purpose. Urushitani cleared his head nicely, but as the final half of the round arrived, Lineker rocked him again and had him on the run. And though Urushitani got back to his offensive attack as the fight closed, his inability to hurt the Paranagua product kept him from securing his first UFC win.
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CACERES vs. TEZUKA
Bantamweight Alex Caceres showed off a mature and disciplined game in his bout with late replacement Motonobu Tezuka, winning a three round split decision via scores of 30-27 twice and 28-29
After a minute getting acclimated, Osaka’s Tezuka (19-5-4) got his offense into gear with a takedown and a quick guard pass. Tezuka fired off some short strikes, but after not improving his position, referee Marc Goddard stood the two fighters up. Undeterred, Tezuka shot for another takedown, but Caceres dodged further trouble and looked to work his ground game a bit, which he did so effectively, drilling his foe with a hard elbow just before the end of the round.
Miami’s Caceres (8-5) used his height and reach advantage well in the opening minute, only to get taken down shortly thereafter. Caceres was seemingly unbothered though, as he stayed busy from his back with strikes while looking for a submission attempt. Midway through the round, he got back to his feet, and between point-scoring strikes he was able to fight off further takedown attempts.
Trying to get flashy, Caceres slipped twice to the deck as the final round commenced, but he quickly regained his footing. From there, Caceres continued to dominate on the feet while avoiding takedowns from Tezuka, easily coasting to his second straight win.
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FUKUDA vs. DEBLASS
Japanese middleweight standout Riki Fukuda opened up the first UFC card in China with a victory, scoring a workmanlike three round unanimous decision win over Tom DeBlass.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
DeBlass (7-2), making his 185-pound debut, set a fast pace at the start, ripping off leg kicks until Fukuda put him on his back against the fence in the opening minute. Fukuda piled up some points with ground strikes, but the New Jersey native battled back to his feet and got back to his effective stick and move strategy. An inadvertent poke in the eye by Fukuda brought a brief halt to the action, and when the action resumed, DeBlass avoided the takedown and used his quick strikes to regain control until a late takedown by Fukuda tightened the gap once again.
Fukuda (19-6) pressed DeBlass into the fence early in round two, landing some close-range knees in the process. DeBlass broke loose fairly quickly and when the two fought at range, the fast-handed American was always a step ahead of his foe. Fukuda didn’t stray from his game plan though, willing to take a shot or two to get in close and work his inside game, and the Tokyo veteran turned it up late with his pressure and his striking.
Putting on his hard hat once again to start the final round, Fukuda worked DeBlass over against the fence before scoring with his third takedown of the bout. A ground and pound assault followed from Fukuda, with the tiring DeBlass forced to play defense as he was pinned and unable to escape. With a little more than a minute left, referee Marc Goddard restarted the action, but there would be no miracle finish from DeBlass, as Fukuda once again finished strong, ending the bout in style.
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Lineker, Caceres, and Fukuda Nab Decision Wins - UFC on FUEL TV 6 Prelim Results
Read on for UFC on FUEL TV 6 prelim results...