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Using the NCAA basketball tournament as inspiration, I decided to run 64 fighter single-elimination tournaments in each of the weight classes (plus a open weight tournament I'll describe later). So far I've only completed the men's divisions, but I plan to run the women's as well.


To set up the brackets, I simply took the top 64 fighters in each weight class (based on reputation) and then seeded them in order. To simulate the fights I used the game's Quick Match feature. All fights are five 5-minute rounds in a cage using the unified rules.


The number one seeds are Fezzik (HW), Yamada (LHW), Dean (MW), Reguiero (WW), Morrison (LW) and Ho (FW). Will they sweep through to the finals or be upset in the first round?


All fights have been completed, but I'll reveal the results a bit at a time. Check back tomorrow when I'll post the brackets and give everyone some time to make predictions before starting to post the results.

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<p>Featherweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Li-Kong Ho</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Britt Dickering</strong></p><p>

Dickering gets the honor of being the sacrificial lamb for top seed Ho. Ho is an overwhelming -1040 favorite and bettors looking for a longshot upset went home disappointed as Ho latched onto a heel hook in the first round to easily advance. <strong>Winner: Li-Kong Ho -- Submission (Heel Hook) at 3:17 of Round 1 (Great)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. Najib Sri Aziz bin Zai</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Gregg Grable</strong></p><p>

The #32 vs. #33 matchup figures to be much more competitive than the first fight, and the bettors certainly agree with each man listed at -150. Grable will clearly want to avoid Najib's Muay Thai skills by looking to take this to the ground where his wrestling will give him the edge.</p><p> </p><p>

Najib opens the fight by using scything leg kicks and nice counter punching to keep Grable at a distance. Gregg finally gets a takedown late in the round, but it is too late to salvage the round and Najib clearly earns round one. In the second round, Najib continues to pick apart Grable with kicks and punches, and the wrestler is unable to get the fight to the mat. Najib wins the second round as well.</p><p> </p><p>

Early in the third round, Grable catches a kick and is able to take Najib to the ground. Once the fight is in his world, Grable looks like a new man. He methodically moves to side control and then mount and locks on a fight-ending armbar to score the come-from-behind victory. <strong>Winner: Greg Grable -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:31 of Round 3 (Excellent)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Takahiro Nakamura</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Liam O'Donnell</strong></p><p>

Nakamura is a -630 favorite in this fight. Although it's a close fight, in the end Nakamura is able to score enough takedowns and avoid O'Donnell's power en route to a unanimous decision victory. <strong>Winner: Takahiro Nakamura -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Average)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Kanji Togo</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Ruben Ericsson</strong></p><p>

Togo is a -690 favorite and proves the bettors right by locking on a rear naked choke in the first. <strong>Winner: Kanji Togo -- Submission (RNC) at 4:05 of Round 1 (Good)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Luiz Machado</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Foggy Lee</strong></p><p>

Machado is listed as a -690 favorite for this contest. Machado scored a quick takedown in round one, and although he wasn't able to finish he clearly won the opening stanza. In the second, Lee was able to stay on his feet and outstrike the jiu-jitsu artist to take the second frame. The third and fourth rounds were back and forth affairs that could have gone either way, which means the fight is up for grabs entering the fifth round. We pick up the action at the start of the final round.</p><p> </p><p>

>We are back underway!</p><p>

>From what we could hear of his corner, it sounds like Machado has been instructed to try and get Lee to the floor in this round.</p><p>

>Machado avoids a flurry of punches and hits a straight left.</p><p>

>Out of nowhere, Machado dives at Lee, trying to grab one of his legs!</p><p>

>Lee gets caught with a flying heel hook! He falls to the ground in agony and is forced to tap!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Luiz Machado-- Submission (Heel Hook) at 0:58 of Round 5 (Average)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. Greg Chiang</strong></p><p><strong>

40. So Yip</strong></p><p>

Chiang is the favorite at -380. The first four rounds are essentially the same, Chiang gets the takedown and despite not being able to finish dominates Yip on the mat. The big wrestler is up four rounds to none and Yip will need something spectacular to salvage a win.</p><p> </p><p>

Unfortunately for the Drunken Monkey Boxing disciple, he is unable to establish anything as time slip away in the final round. As we enter the last minute of the fight though, Yip dodges a jab and fires back with a vicious right hook that instantly turns out Chiang's lights! Yip scores an amazing last minute victory! <strong>Winner: So Yip -- KO (Punch) at 4:07 of Round 5 (Great)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Easton Frye</strong></p><p><strong>

56. David James Diggle</strong></p><p>

Frye is the favorite at -630. If he's to have any chance, Diggle needs to stay on his feet to utilize his Muay Thai and avoid Frye's ground and pound. Unfortunately, in the first four rounds he is unable to do so. Frye seems to take him down at will and nearly stops Diggle multiple times. However, despite being down 4-0, Diggle is able to hang on for the start of the fifth. We pick up the action there.</p><p> </p><p>

>Round five begins!</p><p>

>There's a stalemate as both fighters throw strikes, but neither scores.</p><p>

>Frye gets caught with a huge close range right hand and is knocked clean out!</p><p> </p><p>

Lightning strikes twice in Bracket A, as Diggle follows Yip's lead and snatches victory from the jaws of defeat with a fifth round knockout! <strong>Winner: David James Diggle -- KO (Punch) at 0:44 of Round 5 (Great)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Francesco Marazzina</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Dominic Ash</strong></p><p>

The Italian judoka is a -280 favorite in this contest. The key for Ash is to use his excellent sprawl to avoid the takedown and then outbox his foe. And for the first two rounds, that's just what happens. Marazzina attempts multiple takedowns, but Ash avoids them all and punishes his opponent for each attempt. In the third round "Smash" lands a series of powerful lefts and the referee is forced to save the battered Italian. <strong>Winner: Dominic Ash -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:43 of Round 3 (Decent)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

It was a good way to start out the tournaments. We had four lower seeds move on and three amazing comeback victories. Li-Kong Ho is clearly the man to beat in this bracket and his first round performance certainly didn't change that impression. Togo and Ash both looked dominant -- perhaps they can ride their momentum and upset Ho to emerge from the bracket.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Featherweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Lars Bohlin</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Wallace Everett</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Bohlin is the big favorite at -770. In this wrestler vs. boxer matchup the key will be whether or not Everett can avoid being taken down by Bohlin long enough to score with his hands. And the answer was a surprising "yes"! Apart from one takedown late in round 2, every one of the Swede's shots were stuffed, countered or avoided. And on the feet Bohlin was no match for the American, as Everett cruised to a surprisingly easy upset victory. <strong>Winner: Wallace Everett -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Cong Dun</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Zhao Pau</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Dun is favored at -370 in another striker vs. grappler match. Silat practioner Dun will certainly want to stay on his feet, while the wrestler Pau will try to turn the contest into a ground war. The first round went to Dun, as he was able to avoid three takedowns and win the striking battle. In round 2, Pau was able to trip Dun to the mat, and although he didn't do much damage Pau evened the contest at one round apiece. The fight remained upright in round three, and Dun's superior striking put him up 2-1. The fourth round was a mirror of the second; Pau got an early takedown and won the round with his control, even if he didn't do any real damage. </p><p> </p><p>

With the contest tied two rounds each, the final round will decide our victor. Things look good for Pau after he scores a takedown and quickly moves to mount. However, an armbar attempt is unsuccessful and allows Dun to obtain top position and then get back to his feet. Dun is too tired to mount much offense though, and the judges seem to think the takedown was enough to win the round for Pau, who earns the unanimous decision. <strong>Winner: Zhao Pau -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Rafael Tavares</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Ryota Sugimoto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The jiu-jitsu artist Tavares is a big favorite at -740. Tavares proved the confidence in him was justified as he dominated Sugimoto before finally submitted him via kimura late in the fourth round. <strong>Winner: Rafael Tavares -- Submission (Kimura) at 4:21 of Round 4 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Colm Dee</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Tan Su</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Dee is favored at -510 in this battle of stand up fighters. Although the Chinese fighter is game, the Irishman's technique is clearly superior and he cruises to an easy decision victory. <strong>Winner: Colm Dee -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Snorri Gunnarsson</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Brian Claremont</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The Icelander is a big -810 favorite in this grappler vs. striker battle. Claremont opens the first round with some effective striking, but Gunnarsson is eventually able to get the takedown and do enough damage from the top to win the round. Round two was a repeat of round one -- the American lands some good shots, but eventually gets taken down and likely loses the round.</p><p> </p><p>

In the third round, Gunnarsson gets an early takedown which gives him enough time to advance his position and eventually lock in a rear naked choke. Claremont tries to hold on, but is forced to submit just before the round ends. <strong>Winner: Snorri Gunnarsson -- Submission (RNC) at 4:58 of Round 3 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. James Busfield</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Pedro Alves</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Busfield is a slight (-230) favorite over the Portuguese fighter. Despite being the underdog, Alves puts on a jiu-jitsu clinic. In short order he takes down the American, passes to side control, takes the back and locks in the rear naked choke. <strong>Winner: Pedro Alves -- Submission (RNC) at 3:15 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Sammy Gaffigan</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Taki Inouye</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Gaffigan is favored over the Japanese Judoka at -720. However, Inouye takes the first round after securing an early takedown and controlling the American on the mat. In the second Gaffigan is able to avoid Inouye's grappling and just past the half-way point in the round he lands a brutal head kick that instantly ends Inouye's night. <strong>Winner: Sammy Gaffigan -- KO (Kick) at 3:25 of Round 2 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Jason Dalglish</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Chan Wan Wah</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The Scotsman is a -320 favorite. Can Wan Wah avoid the jiu-jitsu practioner's takedowns long enough to unleash one of his notorious kicks? No. Using textbook jiu-jitsu, Dalglish takes down the Malaysian, advances position and chokes him out. <strong>Winner: Jason Dalglish -- Submission (RNC) at 3:51 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The big news from this bracket is the decisive loss of the highest seed, Lars Bohlin. Can Everett build on his big upset win or will someone else take advantage and earn a final four berth?</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Featherweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. Philip Ziskie</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Noah Smithee</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Apparently not even his mother thinks Smithee can win as Ziskie is a -1170 favorite. Smithee's mom was right. Ziskie beat him up for a bit before getting an easy TKO in the second. Nothing to see here -- move on. <strong>Winner: Philip Ziskie -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:51 of Round 2 (Very Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Marco Bernacci</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Ivan Bokhour</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The crowd expects a much more competitive fight here, as Bernacci is a slim -230 favorite. Bernacci staggered Bokhour late in a back and forth first round, but the American did enough early to take the round. We pick it up at the start of the second stanza.</p><p> </p><p>

>There's the bell for the start of the round!</p><p>

>Bernacci slips past a left jab and fires back with a high kick, sending Bokhour crashing down to the ground, out cold!</p><p>

>The winner, by Knock Out; Marco Bernacci!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Marco Bernacci -- KO (Kick) at 0:29 of Round 2 (Fantastic)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Kenji Akita</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Arturo Diaz</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Akita is the favorite at -700, and the Japanese wrestler proves his worth by stopping Diaz with strikes late in the second round. <strong>Winner: Kenji Akita -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:33 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. Alvaro Negredo</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Yagi Jokichi</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of strikers, Negredo is a -380 favorite. Both fighters are known for their elusive, counter-striking styles, and if both wait for the other to launch first this could look more like an episode of <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> than a fight. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. Negredo waltzed while Jokichi did the fox trot. Occasionally one would toss a punch at the other, but it was usually dodged. In then end, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli preferred Jokichi's fox trot and gave him the upset victory. <strong>Winner: Yagi Jokichi -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Awful).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Azor Portela Nunes</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Kei Maki</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another striker vs. striker matchup and luckily for the audience these two were here to fight, not dance. Nunes is a -880 favorite. In the first round the two men stood in front of each other and banged. Both fighters got in their shots, but Maki was more effective and took the first round. Maki rocked Nunes early in the second, but the Venezuelan returned the favor later in the round, catching his foe in the Muay Thai plum and land a couple nasty elbows. Still, it appeared Maki had done enough early to win the round and take a 2-0 lead.</p><p> </p><p>

Nunes was able to lock on the Muay Thai plum again early in the third and proceeded to batter the Japanese fighter with knees and elbows. Nunes opened a huge cut over Maki's right eye, but the doctor let the fight continue. Nunes easily won the third round to pull closer. In the fourth Maki returns the favor, locking Nunes in the Muay Thai clinch and opening a cut under his eye with a knee. It's been a great matchup so far, and both men are bleeding, limping and exhausted. Nunes is likely behind 3 rounds to 1, and will probably need a stoppage to avoid the upset. Knowing this, Nunes comes out swinging hard and Maki doesn't back away. Unfortunately, Nunes gets a bit too eager and Maki hits a picture perfect uppercut that instantly ends Nunes night. <strong>Winner: Kei Maki -- KO (Punch) at 2:14 of Round 5 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. Shuler Eigenberg</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Po-Han Yue</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Eigenberg is favored at -390. Yue has different ideas though, and wins round one with solid leg kicks and quick counter-striking. Eigenberg catches Yue with a big right hand early in the second however, knocking Yue to the ground. The Israeli quickly follows up with a couple more shots before the ref can step in to save Yue. <strong>Winner: Shuler Eigenberg -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:50 of Round 2 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Norberto</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Milovan Ajetovic</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The bettors don't think Ajetovic will be able to handle the Brazilian's jiu-jitsu skills, and have Norberto as a -710 favorite. And they're right. Norberto has no trouble getting the Serb to the mat and completely dominates the grappling. Although Ajetovic puts up a valiant effort, Norberto wins every round before finally wearing down his opponent in the fifth and finishing with an arm triangle. <strong>Winner: Norberto -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:26 of Round 5 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Benedikt Streit</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Yee Tsuji</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Streit is a -380 favorite and cruises to a solid but uneventful unanimous decision victory. <strong>Winner: Benedikt Streit -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The big story in this bracket was how Kei Maki was able to beat the heavily favored Azor Portela Nunes at his own game. Still, Ziskie has to be considered the favorite to advance to the final four out of this bracket.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Featherweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Tomohiro Takeuchi</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Graeme Spark</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Takeuchi is a huge -1010 favorite, and although it wasn't a very good fight and certainly not a dominant one, Takeuchi did cruise to safe decision victory. <strong>Winner: Tomohiro Takeuchi -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Gu Ueda</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Harvey Ripa</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The fans expect a competitive fight, as Ueda is only a slight (-230) favorite over the American. Although both men get in their shots, neither ever seems in danger of being finished. Ueda is more effective though, and the judges give him a clear win. <strong>Winner: Gu Ueda -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Davi Carlos Ramos</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Stefan Champion</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this striker vs. grappler matchup, the bettors favor the Brazilian Muay Thai specialist at -560 over the American jiu-jitsu fighter. And so it goes. Champion repeatedly attempts to get the fight to the ground, but Ramos repeatedly stuffs the shots and punishes Champion for his efforts. Able to keep the fight standing, Ramos wins every round before finally stopping Champion in the last minute of the fight. <strong>Winner: Davi Carlos Ramos -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:09 or Round 5 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Fernando Peragon</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Reza Afshar</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In what should prove to be an exciting matchup, the free-swinging Peragon is a -440 favorite over the Muay Thai practitioner. This one lives up to the hype, as Peragon rushes forward immediately and Afshar seems happy to exchange. As they brawl, it seems clear that the first fighter to land a solid blow will get the win. And that fighter is Peragon. A winging overhand right catches Afshar and sends him tumbling to the mat in a daze. A couple of follow-up shots are all it takes for the ref to step in. <strong>Winner: Fernando Peragon -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:32 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Masahiro Maeno</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Seigo Tsuda</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Fans are impressed with Maeno and have established him as an overwhelming -1020 favorite. Maeno rewards their faith by easily tapping out Tsuda. <strong>Winner: Masahiro Maeno -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:04 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. Anthony Ray Shenkman</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Taizoh Chung Man</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this contest between two wrestlers, Shenkman is the favorite at -300. And indeed Shenkman prevailed in what turned out to be a rather boring wrestling match. <strong>Winner: Anthony Ray Shenkman -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. Manish Khan</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Sophan Sastrowardoya</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Khan is a -690 favorite over the Indonesian submission fighter. The boxer Khan will certainly want to keep the fight standing, and that's just what he does in the first round. He rocks Sastrowardoya with a right early in the fight. Later in the round he staggers Sastrowardoya again and follows up with a series of rights that drop his opponent to the ground. Khan dives in for the finish but Sastrowardoya is able to hang on until the bell. Khan is disappointed he wasn't able to finish, but he easily had a 10-8 round there.</p><p> </p><p>

Sastrowardoya realizes he cannot stand with the British fighter, and early in the second he scores a trip takedown. After passing to side control, Sastrowardoya locks in an armbar and it looks to be over, but the resiliant Khan is able to pop free at the last second. Sastrowardoya dominates on the mat however, and although Khan survives an Americana attempt he clearly loses the round. We'll pick up the action in the third round.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go, round three!</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya avoids a nice combination.</p><p>

>Khan uses a jab to sting Sastrowardoya.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya comes in, looking for a quick takedown.</p><p>

>Khan sprawls well, and Sastrowardoya is forced down to his knees, almost turtled up.</p><p>

>Khan pounds away on Sastrowardoya, landing several good shots to the side of the head in the process.</p><p>

>Khan unloads with big right hands to the side of the head, landing several that clearly hurt Sastrowardoya.</p><p>

>Khan fires away with right hands, and Sastrowardoya is stung by several big shots to the side of the head.</p><p>

>Khan unloads with big right hands to the side of the head, landing several that clearly hurt Sastrowardoya.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya takes a few punches on the way, but manages to get back to standing.</p><p>

>We go past the halfway point of this round.</p><p>

>A quick exchange of strikes produces nothing worth mentioning.</p><p>

>Slipping past a left jab, Sastrowardoya hits a clean left jab.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya dodges a jab, and fires back with a sudden huge right cross that knocks Khan on his ass!</p><p>

>Khan shakes off the blow almost immediately though, and waits for Sastrowardoya to make a move.</p><p>

>Khan wraps Sastrowardoya up in half guard after he dived in with an attempted huge right hand.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya starts trying to work to get out of half guard and into a better position.</p><p>

>Khan finds his opponent too skilled, and Sastrowardoya passes half guard into a full mount.</p><p>

>There's under a minute left in this round.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya attempts to set up an armbar on Khan from the mount.</p><p>

>Sastrowardoya gets the armbar fully applied and Khan has to tap out!</p><p>

>The winner, by submission; Sophan Sastrowardoya!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Sophan Sastrowardoya -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:42 of Round 3 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Yoshiro Makamori</strong></p><p><strong>

43. Frank Romita</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -390, Makamori is the favorite in this battle of grapplers. Makamori shows that he's clearly the better fighter, as he doesn't even need half a round to lock on a triangle for the submission victory. <strong>Winner: Yoshiro Makamori -- Submission (Triangle) at 2:23 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Only one real surprise in this bracket, and that's Sastrowardoya's upset of Manish Khan in a great fight. Although he won, top seed Takeuchi didn't look particularly impressive while second seed Maeno was positively dominant. I don't think there's a clear-cut favorite to emerge from this bracket.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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<p>Lightweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Sean Morrison</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Ian Linderman</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Since Morrison is great and Linderman, well... isn't, the bettors have Morrison as a huge -1060 favorite. It's not surprising then when Morrison takes Linderman to the mat and pounds on him repeatedly. An elbow opens a huge gash over Linderman's right eye and after taking a look the doctor decides to call the fight. Linderman's mom is thankful he won't have to suffer more abuse. <strong>Winner: Sean Morrison -- TKO (Cut) at 4:31 of Round 1 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. Maurice Braudel</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Jackson Gray</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The winner of this match gets the honor of having Morrison pound on him during the second round. Despite being the lower seed, the gambling public has established Gray as a -220 favorite. Gray clearly wants this to be a mat battle and although he's able to score a few takedowns, he isn't able to do much with them. Braudel does enough damage on the feet to take the first three rounds. Gray comes back to take the fourth round with a takedown and solid top control, but he'll still need a fifth round stoppage to reward the bettors' faith in him. And the fifth round does feature a stoppage. Unfortunately for Gray, it's Braudel who land the big shot for the victory. <strong>Winner: Maurice Braudel -- KO (Punch) at 3:35 of round 5 (Decent)</strong>.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Bruce Steven</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Helvecio Babenco</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Steven is a solid -610 favorite over the Argentinian. The first round however, goes to Babenco as he is able to keep the fight standing and chip away at the Canadian with a series of jabs and low kicks. Steven is able to get the fight to the mat late in the second, and although he is unable to finish Babenco he easily takes the frame to even the fight at one round a piece. In the third Steven gets the takedown early, which gives him plenty of time to establish his grappling dominance. He steadily advances position and eventually slaps on the rear naked choke for the win. <strong>Winner: Bruce Steven -- Submission (RNC) at 3:37 of Round 3 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Caca de Andrade</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Henry Baldwin</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this classic striker vs. grappler matchup, the Brazilian kick boxer is the favorite at -390. In order to score the upset, Baldwin will need to get this to the ground where his jiu-jitsu skills can reign supreme. Unfortunately for the American, he can't score the takedown. de Andrade punishes Baldwin with strikes, and late in the second he traps the American against the cage and pounds away until the referee is forced to step in with just three seconds left in the round. Baldwin protests, but he was clearly outclassed. <strong>Winner: Caca de Andrade -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:57 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Motoki Hojo</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Eizan Ijichi</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Hojo is the favorite in this battle of Japanese strikers at -750. This matchup is fought entirely standing and is surprisingly competitive. There is plenty of action and both men land their share of shots. Ijichi is certainly game and although he survives, in the end he is unable to do quite enough to get the judges' nod. <strong>Winner: Motoki Hojo -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. H.M. Menzel</strong></p><p><strong>

40. Benny Danare</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two French Canadian grapplers going at it here; Menzel is a slight -240 favorite. Despite his wrestling pedigree, Menzel decides to show off his striking in round one and avoid engaging the jiu-jitsu whiz on the mat. The strategy works well, as Menzel mixes jabs and leg kicks to frustrate Danare and win the round. In the second round, the fighters trade jabs for a while before Danare is finally able to secure a takedown with just over a minute left. Although Menzel fights of a guillotine attempt, the takedown by Danare is probably enough to even up the fight.</p><p> </p><p>

Round three features a lot of grappling against the cage, as Danare unsuccessfully tries to take Menzel down. Unable to secure the takedown, late in the round Danare tries a new tactic -- he wraps up a guillotine and pulls guard. The move surprises Menzel, who is unable to escape Danare's vice-like grip. Luckily for Menzel, the bell rings before he loses consciousness. Still, the submission attempt likely gave Danare the round and a 2-1 lead. In the fourth, Danare takes advantage of a tiring Menzel to score an early takedown. We now see why Menzel was so keen to avoid going to the ground. Danare quickly advances position and locks on a tight armbar that forces Menzel to tap. <strong>Winner: Benny Danare -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:54 of Round 4 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Fumiaki Hayashi</strong></p><p><strong>

56. Teeratep Nutnum</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Hayashi is a -570 favorite. These two strikers are known for a wild, wide-open style of fighting, so this should be an interesting contest. True to form, the two men go right at it throwing crazy, if not necessarily successful, strikes. The fight ends suddenly when Nutnum launches a spinning back fist that is countered by a precision right cross from Hayashi. The counter punch lands on the button, and Nutnum crumples to the mat unconscious. <strong>Winner: Fumiaki Hayashi -- KO (Punch) at 3:01 of Round 1 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Giovani Silva</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Laerte Portinari</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Silva is a -290 favorite in this battle of Brazilian strikers. In the first round the two men stand toe-to-toe exchanging punches and kicks. Portinari stuns Silva a couple times, but Silva landed more shots overall and although it was close he probably took the round. During a big exchange early in the second round, a right cross from Portinari knocks Silva to the mat. He follows up with some ground and pound, but is unable to put away his foe. However, the second round clearly went Portinari's way.</p><p> </p><p>

The third round was similar to the first. Portinari landed the more powerful blows, but due to a higher volume of strikes the round probably went to Silva. The fourth round is all Portinari as he batters Silva with his power. Late in the round Portinari stuns Silva and has his opponent in trouble, but the round ends before Portinari can finish the fight. After four rounds we're likely even on the scorecards. Portinari has landed with more power and Silva with more frequency. What will the final round hold?</p><p> </p><p>

Portinari opens the final frame with head kick, but Silva steps back and Portinari slips to the ground. Silva pounces and gains side control. After a couple of knees to the ribs, Silva moves to mount. Foolishly he risks his dominant position by attempting an armbar. Portinari is able to stack up Silva, free his arm and obtain side control. Both men are spent, and Portinari is unable to do anything with his dominant position. They eventually return to standing where they exchange blows until the horn sounds. Very close fight, but the judges are unanimous. <strong>Winner: Giovani Silva -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Only one lower seed advanced out of this bracket, and Benny Danare's win can hardly be considered a major upset. Top seed Sean Morrison is clearly the man to beat in this bracket, and his first round performance was certainly impressive.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Lightweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Jake Keane</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Lucas Mueller</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Keane is a -790 favorite over the German, and this one was never really competitive. Keane easily won the first round before finishing in the second via rear naked choke. Nothing to see here, so moving on... <strong>Winner: Jake Keane -- Submission (RNC) at 3:05 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Adenor Togni</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Luke Hilton</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite being the lower seed, Hilton is a -190 favorite over the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. It seems that Togni used his underdog status as motivation, as he came out and dominated the American at every turn. Togni clearly won the first three rounds, threatening "The Hillbilly Hammer" with multiple submissions each round. Halfway through the fourth round Togni's onslaught finally caught up to Hilton, who left an arm in for a second too long. Togni immediately took advantage to force the tapout. <strong>Winner: Adenor Togni -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:28 of Round 4 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Lukas Mellberg</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Sadakuno Katoh</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this grappler vs. striker contest, the betting public clearly favors the jiu-jitsu specialist as they list Mellberg as a -760 favorite. And the fight goes according to plan. The Swede has no trouble taking Katoh down, and although he can't get the finish in the first round he is able to choke out Katoh in the second. <strong>Winner: Lukas Mellberg -- Submission (RNC) at 4:30 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Shizuya Nakae</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Kenny Magilton</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Nakae is a -420 favorite and this one is over quicker than a Charlie Sheen rehab session. Less than 2 minutes in, Magilton eats a straight right and wakes up a couple minutes later to the acrid aroma of smelling salts. <strong>Winner: Shizuya Nakae -- KO (Punch) at 1:37 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Brandon Sugar</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Joel Adams</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Although Sugar is a -890 favorite, Adams insists he'll win the fight. Nobody believes him. Nor should they. This one ain't close, although Adams does last longer than Magilton did. Barely. <strong>Winner: Brandon Sugar -- Submission (Kimura) at 1:44 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. Paulo Roberto Bezerra</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Nicholas Bretton</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another stereotypical striker/grappler match. The Brazilian Muay Thai fighter is a slight -290 favorite over Bretton. In an ominous sign for Bezerra, during the first round Bretton beats Bezerra at his own game. The Canadian jiu-jitsu fighter wins the first frame without going to the ground once, simply outstriking the Brazilian. Bretton wins the second round as well, this time in a more expected fashion. Bretton takes Bezerra down and uses stifling top control to keep the fight on the mat. He doesn't do much damage, but Bretton wins the round to take a 2-0 lead.</p><p> </p><p>

The third round is much the same as the second, with Bretton applying the wet blanket treatment after an early takedown. Late in the round though, Bretton risks his dominant mount position to attempt an armbar. Bezerra is unable to pull free and tries to hold on as the clock winds down. The pressure is too much though, and with one tick left on the clock Bezerra is forced to cry "uncle". <strong>Winner: Nicholas Bretton -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:59 of Round 3 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Helio</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Selton de Oliveira</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Helio is a big -800 favorite in this contest. Both men are known for their vicious kicks, so this one has the chance to end suddenly. Unfortunately, neither man can land solidly which leads to a rather uneventful bout. While Helio is clearly the better fighter and easily earns the nod, nobody is particularly impressed with this dreary matchup. <strong>Winner: Helio -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45) (Very Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Taufik Wijaya</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Naizen Hamacho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two standup fighters lock horns in this one, with Wijaya a slight (-260) favorite. The first round is a good one, with both fighters throwing and both landing. Wijaya lands the more effective shots to win the round. Much of the second is fought along the cage and features plenty of dirty boxing. This seems like a good strategy for Hamacho, and he gets the better of the clinch to even the fight at one round each.</p><p> </p><p>

In the third round, Wijaya couples leg kicks with effective counter-striking to regain the momentum. After taking the third round, Wijaya is likely up 2-1 on the judges' scorecards. The fourth round mirrors the second, as it is spent mostly along the cage. Hamacho again seems to be getting the better of the clinchwork. Trying to keep Hamacho at range, Wijaya flicks out a jab at the Japanese fighter. Hamacho times a counter left cross perfectly however, and catches the Indonesian right on the jaw. Wajiya stays upright for a brief second before falling face first into the mat. Hamacho doesn't need to follow-up as it's clear this one is over. <strong>Winner: Naizen Hamacho -- KO (Punch) at 4:03 of Round 4 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Bretton and Hamacho provided us with a couple of upsets in this bracket, but there was nothing too dramatic. I think this is a fairly wide-open bracket -- it will be interesting to see who emerges into the final four.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Lightweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. Sukarno</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Lima Fraga</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Apparently nobody really thinks Fraga has a chance, as Sukarno is an overwhelming -1070 favorite. Rumors have been swirling that Fraga's wife sent a pleading note to Sukarno asking the vicious Indonesian not to hurt her husband too badly. Sukarno didn't listen. Here's the fight. Don't get up to go to the bathroom.</p><p> </p><p>

>There's the opening bell!</p><p>

>Fraga gets caught with several big right hands! He tries to cover up, but is getting blitzed!</p><p>

>Fraga gets knocked down and Sukarno keeps up the pressure with punch after punch!</p><p>

>Fraga is taking a lot of shots, the referee has no option but to leap in and stop the fight!</p><p>

>'Fury Awoken' Sukarno takes the win by TKO!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Sukarno -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:23 of Round 1 (Good)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Rodolphe Gygax</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Duane Weatherly</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This one should be much more competitive -- the fans have established Gygax as a slight -200 favorite. Neither man is much of a ground fighter, so this contest is likely to be decided on the feet. Both men have their moments in the fight, but Gygax definitely gets the better of the action in the first two rounds. In the third, the Swiss boxer continues to pick apart Weatherly and late in the round he connects with a solid right hand that knocks out the Canadian. <strong>Winner: Rodolphe Gygax -- KO (Punch) at 4:31 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Fiyero Lermontov</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Erico Gil</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -900, the Russian is a big favorite. Lermontov proves worthy, pounding on the Brazilian mercilessly before the referee finally steps in to save Gil with just under a minute left in the first round. <strong>Winner: Fiyero Lermontov -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:05 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. Seth O'Breen</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Bhumibol Ektawatkul</strong></p><p> </p><p>

O'Breen is a healthy favorite at -730, and the Irishman adds another first round finish to the books with a sweet armbar. <strong>Winner: Seth O'Breen -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:54 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Go Yamamoto</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Bunrakuken Abe</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Yamamoto is an incredible -1120 favorite over his fellow Japanese striker. It's clear from the onset that Abe is not in Yamamoto's class. Mixing a variety of punches, kicks, knees and elbows, Yamamoto is always a step ahead of Abe as he easily takes the first round. The second round doesn't go any better for Abe, as Yamamoto crumples him with a knee and then takes a dominant position on the mat. Yamamoto steadily advances his position, eventually taking Abe's back and locking in a fight-ending choke. <strong>Winner: Go Yamamoto -- Submission (RNC) at 2:25 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. Delma de Brito</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Eijiro Yanagita</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The bettors favor de Brito in this one, listing the Brazilian Muay Thai fighter as a -270 favorite. Yanagita will be keen to get this fight to the ground to take advantage of de Brito's weakness on the mat. Unfortunately for de Brito, Yanagita is able to hit a Greco-Roman slam early and quickly move to side control. Although de Brito is able to fight off an armbar and one arm triangle, a second arm triangle late in the round is too much for him and he taps out. <strong>Winner: Eijiro Yanagita -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:31 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Beau Gorshin</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Melvin Custard</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Gorshin is a -720 favorite over the only MMA fighter named after a pudding. This is a truly awful fight, with Gorshin using an effective but dreadfully boring "lay and pray" strategy to garner the win. <strong>Winner: Beau Gorshin -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Awful).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Georges Nouri</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Mikio Inouye</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this contest, Nouri is the favorite at -490. Inouye proves to be no trouble for the Greek, as Nouri simply takes him down, advances position and locks on an armbar. <strong>Winner: Georges Nouri -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:20 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Lots of quick finishes in this bracket, and Yanagita provided the only upset. Nobody looked better than the favored Sukarno, who had the quickest victory in the tournament so far.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Lightweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Luis Basora</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Juan Pablo Rique</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The younger Basora brother is a huge -1130 favorite over the Argentinian. Both men seemed rather reluctant to engage standing. Basora was able to hit a number of takedowns, but was quite cautious on the ground as he seemed wary of Rique's jiu-jitsu skills. This led to a safe, tedious fight that was unlikely to win either man any new fans but did allow Basora to walk away with the victory. <strong>Winner: Luis Basora -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Very Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Bud Brockett</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Gustavo Bautista</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of wrestlers, Brockett is listed as a -300 favorite. Whoever can score the takedown and secure top position is likely to have a significant advantage, and that turns out to be the American. Brockett is able to hit a single-leg, advance his position and start pounding on the Argentinian. Not being adept at fighting off his back, Bautista is unable to provide much defense, and the referee is forced to rescue him. <strong>Winner: Bud Brocket -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:57 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Milenko Rudonja</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Kazuya Chano</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Rudonja is a -570 favorite, and the Slovenian Karateka will need to keep the fight standing to defeat Chano. That's exactly what happens during the first two rounds. Chano shoots for takedowns and Rudonja makes him pay with leg kicks and counter punches to open a 2 to 0 round lead. The third round starts out the same, but as fatigue sets in Rudonja finds himself unable to resist Chono's repeated takedowns. The third round is close, but the takedown probably gives the edge to Chano.</p><p> </p><p>

The momentum has clearly changed in the fourth, as Chano scores another takedown and repeatedly threatens Rudonja with submissions. While he is able to fight them off, Rudonja clearly loses the fourth round which sets up the fifth as the deciding frame. Can Chano complete the come-from-behind upset victory, or will Rudonja regain the momentum and salvage the fight?</p><p> </p><p>

Both men are exhausted as the fifth and final round gets underway. Rudonja starts strong, avoiding a takedown and scoring with a kick to the ribs. The Japanese wrestler is not to be denied though, and his persistent takedown attempts again yield success. Once on the ground, Chano advances to side control and then takes Rudonja's back. After softening up Rudonja with a couple of short punches, Chano puts in the hooks and locks on a rear naked choke. Just as Rudonja appears ready to tap, he is saved by the bell and we go to the judges' scorecards. <strong>Winner: Kazuya Chano -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Atep of Indonesia</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Jamie Hewitt</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this striker vs. grappler battle, Atep is listed as the favorite at -700. Wanting nothing to do with Atep's Kung Fu, Hewitt immediately shoots for a takedown. With no setup to disguise the shot though, Atep sees it coming and lands a picture-perfect kick that sends the American tumbling. Atep quickly follows up, pounding on the dazed Hewitt until the referee intervenes. <strong>Winner: Atep of Indonesia -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:48 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Branco</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Cory Brewer</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Branco is a -640 favorite. These two are happy to keep the fight standing and this basically becomes a kick-boxing match. The first two rounds seems to be a feeling-out process, as both men test the defense of their opponent. The first round likely went to the Brazilian, while the second probably went the Canadian's way. Brewer seemed to tire in the third and Branco took advantage by opening up more with his hands to take the round. Branco continued to press the tiring Brewer, and rocked him a couple of time in the fourth.</p><p> </p><p>

As we enter the fifth and final round, Brewer will need to overcome his exhaustion and finish Branco if he wants to earn his win bonus and advance in the tournament. Unfortunately, fatigue has gotten the better of Brewer and he comes in with his hands low. Branco sees the opening and takes advantage with a beautiful kick to Brewer's head. Brewer is down and out and Branco is moving on. <strong>Winner: Branco -- KO (Kick) at 0:46 of Round 5 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. Toson Ono</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Aaron McBroom</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Ono is a slight -230 favorite in this grappler vs. striker fight. In round one McBroom employs "stick and move" tactics, clearly wanting to avoid Ono's takedown attempts. The strategy works perfectly. Although he doesn't do much damage, McBroom keeps the fight standing and scores with enough jabs and quick counters to win the round. As the fight continues, McBroom gains confidence in his ability to counter Ono's takedown attempts. He opens up more with his hands and is able to rock Ono a number of times. The Japanese jiu-jitsu artist is clearly frustrated as he can't take down the American and can't contend standing up. In the end, Ono is able to survive until the final bell but there's no doubt as to the outcome. <strong>Winner: Aaron McBroom -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. Truck Gleeson</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Francisco Jimenez</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two kick-boxers go at it in this one, with Gleeson the favorite at -630. This is a terrible matchup for Jimenez, who doesn't have the ground skills to take advantage of Gleeson's weakness there and isn't really in the same class standing up. Jimenez is not intimidated though, and rushes Gleeson from the opening bell. Gleeson is not bothered by Jimenez' aggression however, and uses solid footwork and angles to sting the Mexican repeatedly. Despite losing the first round, Jimenez uses the same tactic in round two with the same results. Late in the second, Jimenez' frustration shows and he gets overly aggressive. He leaves himself open and Gleeson drops him with a right hand. A few follow-up strikes is all it takes to convince the referee to step in. <strong>Winner: Truck Gleeson -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:49 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Edson Edmilson</strong></p><p><strong>

43. George Astaire</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Jiu-Jitsu vs. Judo. Brazil vs. Scotland. Edmilson is a -280 favorite. This is a pretty even fight, with Astaire scoring takedowns and working top control while Edmilson threatens submissions from the bottom. Edmilson took the first round, but Astaire came back to win the second. The third was also going Astaire's way until he relaxed his defenses in the final seconds. Edmilson took advantage of the lapse to lock on a lightning quick double attack. The submission was locked on so tight that Astaire couldn't last the final three seconds and was forced to tap and curse his carelessness. <strong>Winner: Edson Edmilson -- Submission (Triangle with Armbar) at 4:57 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

We had a couple of upsets in this bracket (Chano & McBroom) and top seeded Luis Basora looked about as unimpressive as you can in sweeping to a unanimous decision. Is Basora ripe for the upset?</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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<p>Welterweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Julio Regueiro</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Washichi Kobayashi</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Regueiro is an insane -1120 favorite. It seems Kobayashi's only hope is that the Spaniard hurts himself walking to the cage. Unfortunately for Kobayashi, Regueiro is able to successfully navigate his entrance. After that, well... it was Regueiro by whatever he wanted. He chose TKO. <strong>Winner: Julio Regueiro -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:12 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. Procopio Golias</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Lucas</strong></p><p> </p><p>

These two grapplers are quite evenly matched -- the bettors have Golias at -140 and Lucas at -130. The first round is rather uneventful. Both men fail on a takedown and the round is decided by their rather substandard striking. Lucas takes the first based mostly on his left jab. Lucas is already starting to gas in the second round, but is able to secure a takedown and lay and pray his way to a 2 rounds to none lead. Round three was a mirror of round two only with the roles reversed. Golias takes down the exhausted Lucas and lays on top of him to win the round.</p><p> </p><p>

Much to the chagrin of the crowd, Golias repeats the takedown and lay 'n pray strategy in round 4. It's not exciting, but it's enough to take the round and even the fight at two rounds each. Can Lucas get his second wind and recapture the momentum, or will Golias complete the come-from-behind victory? For some reason Golias decides to abandon his takedown and top control strategy that was so successful in rounds 3 and 4, and instead decides to stand and trade with Lucas. It's a mistake that costs him the fight, as Lucas lands the more effective blows to win the final round and the fight. <strong>Winner: Lucas -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Gabriel Gallego</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Bokkai Iida</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Gallego is the favorite at -490. The Argentinian will want to keep this one standing so he can utilize his nasty knees and elbows from the Muay Thai clinch. Iida, on the other hand, will need to get past Gallego's takedown defense to have any chance. We find out the answer quickly, as Iida immediately shoots and is easily stuffed. A second shot is equally ineffective. On Iida's third takedown attempt, Gallego counters with a right hand that drops the Japanese fighter. Gallego rains down punches on his dazed opponent and the ref is forced to intervene. <strong>Winner: Gabriel Gallego -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:06 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Josh Aldarisio</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Dominykas Jankovic</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two wrestlers battle here, and Aldarisio is established as the favorite at -430. Aldarisio proves to have the better standup and to be the better wrestler as he cruises to an easy decision victory. <strong>Winner: Josh Aldarisio -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Charles Stiles</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Steven Griffin</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Stiles is a -660 favorite over the Kung Fu fighter. This fight is all the Brazilian. Stiles pumps a jab into Griffin's face and then follows with a takedown. The Brit fights off an arm triangle, but Stiles quickly switches to a kneebar to elicit the submission. <strong>Winner: Charles Stiles -- Submission (Kneebar) at 2:39 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. Jim Carpenter</strong></p><p><strong>

40. Geoff Cahill</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -380, Carpenter is the bettors' choice in this contest. Cahill is simply overwhelmed here, as Carpenter knocks him down and pounds him out in quick fashion. <strong>Winner: Jim Carpenter -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:49 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Claudio Palacios</strong></p><p><strong>

56. Phil Ball</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Palacios is a -620 favorite in this grappler vs. striker battle. Yet another fight that ends in quick fashion, as Palacios gets the takedown, moves to mount and locks on an armbar. <strong>Winner: Claudio Palacios -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:30 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Fukusaburu Hirano</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Kenneth Toadspew</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Hirano is a -410 favorite over the Australian judoka. Hirano keeps the fight standing in the first round, and proves to be the more effective striker as he opens up a 1 round to none lead. In the second and third however, Toadspew is able to toss Hirano to the mat and exert his stifling top control to take a 2-1 lead. Toadspew scores another takedown to open the fourth, but the Japanese fighter is able to quickly scramble to his feet. From there Hirano uses counter-striking to fend off Toadspew's takedown attempts and steal the round.</p><p> </p><p>

We enter the fifth and deciding round. It seems clear that if Toadspew can get it to the mat that he'll grind out the victory, but that if Hirano can keep it standing he's sure to get the nod. It appears that fatigue has set in, and Toadspew's shots have a little less explosiveness. That turns out to be the difference in the fight, as Hirano scores on the feet to secure the fifth round and the decision. <strong>Winner: Fukusaburu Hirano -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Not much to see in this bracket so far. No real upsets and all of the big names looked dominant. Maybe the second round matches will give us a clue if someone is capable of upsetting Regueiro.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Welterweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Noach Van Der Capellen</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Carmelo Rossi</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The Dutch fighter is a big -890 favorite over the Italian and this one is over quickly. Head kick. Knockdown. Pound out. Move on. <strong>Winner: Noach Van Der Capellen -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:29 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Doug Hansen</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Mills Mullally</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of Scotland vs. Ireland, Hansen is a slight -180 favorite. The first round opens with Mullally landing a series of solid punches on the judoka. A trip by Hansen takes the Irishman down and the boxer is forced to fend off a series of submissions from Hansen. The takedown and sub attempts made it close, but his effective striking likely gives the first round to Mullally. The second round was similar to the first, with Mullally scoring on the feet early and Hansen getting a trip and winning the ground battle late. Round 2 was close, but I'll give a slight edge to Hansen.</p><p> </p><p>

Early in the third round Mullally catches Hansen with a big right hand, dropping the Scot. Mullally follows him to the ground in an attempt to finish, but Hansen survives the onslaught. Hansen sweeps Mullally to get on top and attempt an arm triangle, but Mullally fights it off and clearly wins the third stanza. Although fatigue is clearly setting in, both men give it a solid effort in round 4. Despite repeated efforts, Hansen is unable to score a takedown and Mullally's solid boxing is enough to win the round.</p><p> </p><p>

We enter the fifth and it looks like Hansen will need to finish if he wants his win bonus tonight. Unfortunately for the Scotsman, exhaustion has taken away his explosiveness and he is unable to get the fight to the ground. On the feet, Mullally is clearly the better man and is able to ride out the decision. <strong>Winner: Mills Mullally -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Templeton Crumb</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Marko Prochazka</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Crumb is listed as a -470 favorite over the Croatian. If Prochazka can get the boxer to the ground he should have an easy path to victory. If the South African can keep things standing though, it will be a long night for Prochazka. And so it goes. Crumb's footwork and elusiveness are too much for Prochazka and he is simply unable to takedown Crumb. On the feet, Crumb picks apart the sambo fighter and cruises to an easy victory. <strong>Winner: Templeton Crumb -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Ricardo Fernandes</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Bobby Brubaker</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Muay Thai vs. Taekwondo. Brazil vs. Canada. Fernandes is the favorite at -290. The first round has Fernandes looking to establish the clinch while Brubaker counters with punches and kicks. It's Brubaker who is able to determine the distance, as his strikes keep the Brazilian away and clearly earn him the first round. Things quickly unravel for Fernandes in the second, as the Canadian floors him with a series of big left hands to open the round. Brubaker quickly gets the mount and proceeds to pepper the Brazilian with punches. Somehow Fernandes is able to weather the storm, but it's easily a 10-8 round for Brubaker. We move to the third.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go, round three!</p><p>

>Fernandes slips past an attempted big left hand and counters with a stunning right head kick, Brubaker is knocked out cold instantly!</p><p> </p><p>

Wow! After getting annihilated for two rounds, Fernandes shows his tenacity and power. Great ending. <strong>Winner: Ricardo Fernandes -- KO (Kick) at 0:26 of Round 3 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Carlos da Guia</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Paul Duffell</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two standup fighters in this one, and da Guia is a big -940 favorite. Although this fight lasts much longer than anyone expected, the outcome is never really in doubt. da Guia is simply much better than Duffell, and methodically beats down the Welshman. Duffell lasts until the fourth round, when da Guia locks on the Muay Thai plum and separates Duffell from consciousness with a knee to the face. <strong>Winner: Carlos da Guia -- KO (Knee) at 2:24 of Round 4 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. Ikku Funaki</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Callum Henson</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Kung Fu fighters go at it here, with Funaki the favorite at -280. The two men open the fight by standing toe-to-toe and throwing bombs! A big right hand from Henson is the crowning blow and sends Funaki tumbling to the mat. Henson follows him down and attempts to finish, but the Japanese fighter recovers his wits and is able to survive the round.</p><p> </p><p>

The second round starts the same as the first, with the combatants taking the center of the stage and throwing heavy leather. This time it's Funaki who lands the telling right hand and Henson who falls to the ground. Funaki dives on top and attempts to finish the Canadian, and his ground and pound is more effective. Henson cannot defend himself intelligently, and the referee is forced to save him. Great fight. <strong>Winner: Ikku Funaki -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:11 of Round 2 (Fantastic).</strong> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Xie Ming</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Chojiro Goto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of Chinese vs. Japanese Muay Thai fighters, Ming is the -410 favorite. This fight is conducted entirely on the feet, and after splitting the first two rounds Goto uses a stiff left jab to control the fight and earn the first big upset in welterweight division. <strong>Winner: Chojiro Goto -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Will Kane</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Teco</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another stand up fight here, and Kane is the favorite at -410. Nothing too surprising here. Kane is clearly the better fighter and although he is unable stop Teco, the Brazilian is never able to mount enough offense to seriously worry the Brit. <strong>Winner: Will Kane -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This is a fun bracket so far. Mullally and Goto score upsets and we had a couple of great fights in Fernandes vs. Brubaker and Funaki vs. Henson.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Welterweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. Nathan Chambers</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Orlando de Carvalho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Apparently nobody thinks the Brazilian has a chance as Chambers is a -1110 favorite. They're right. Chambers pounds him out early to advance. <strong>Winner: Nathan Chambers -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:52 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Alberto Basora</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Yeijiro Yamamoto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The elder Basora brother is a slight -190 favorite in this battle. The Spaniard quickly takes down Yamamoto and spends the first round alternating ground and pound with submission attempts. He doesn't manage to finish his foe, but easily wins the round. More of the same in the second, as Basora scores an early trip. This time though, Basora manages to pin Yamamoto's arm and lock on a figure four. He wrenches back Yamamoto's arm in a tight kimura and the Japanese fighter is unable to roll and release the pressure. Yamamoto is forced to tap. <strong>Winner: Alberto Basora -- Submission (Kimura) at 3:38 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Alan Kendall</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Piotr Dabrowski</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Kendall is the favorite here at -580. Not much action in the first round, as both fighters look for the other to make the first move. They mostly dance and feint and land nothing more menacing than a couple of jabs. Very close round with the edge to Kendall. Round two featured more of the same and was deathly dull. Not much to separate the two, but again I guess the slight edge goes to Kendall. Kendall opens up a bit more in the third, but is unable to land anything significant. Dabrowski seems reluctant to engage, so I give the edge to Kendall. I have Kendall up 3 to 0, but truthfully these rounds could go either way.</p><p> </p><p>

Seeing that Dabrowski isn't threatening much, Kendall gets more aggressive in the fourth round. The elusive Pole is able to dodge the American's blows and land a few counters. Another close (and boring) round; this time I give the edge to Dabrowksi. In the fifth, Dabrowski shows a bit of offense as he grabs Kendall and slams him to the mat. Once on the ground he does little other than riding top control until the round ends. Although I give Dabrowki the edge in the fifth, I have Kendall winning a close decision. We go to the scorecards.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Piotr Dabrowski -- Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. David Webb</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Keita Oshima</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Webb is a -530 favorite and has no trouble in the fight. He takes down Oshima, passes the guard and locks on an armbar in short order. <strong>Winner: David Webb -- Submission (Armbar) at 3:00 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Manuel Silva</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Lloyd Mcallister</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Silva is a big favorite in this contest, listed at -940. Mcallister's night is over quickly as Silva locks in the Muay Thai plum and blasts him with a knee. <strong>Winner: Manuel Silva -- KO (Knee) at 3:31 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. David Allen</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Jens Halle</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Allen is a slim -190 favorite over the Norwegian striker. In the first a counter left by Halle drops the American, and Halle follows him to the mat to try and finish. Just when it looks like the ref will stop the fight, Allen is able to regain half-guard and protect himself. He then locks on a tight kimura and seems on the verge of getting the comeback win, but Halle is just able to break free. They return to standing and finish the first there. 10-9 Halle.</p><p> </p><p>

The second opens with Halle stuffing a shot and taking Allen's back. The American absorbs a few blows, but is able to return to standing where he immediately shoots again. This time Allen scores the takedown and works to secure an arm triangle. He gets it in tight, but the Norwegian fights it off and is just able to escape. Another 10-9 round for Halle.</p><p> </p><p>

Allen seems to have found his strategy as he opens the third with another takedown. After passing to side control, Allen attempts a number of different submissions, but the tough Halle is able to fight them all off. Allen tries a different tactic and instead of searching for subs simply begin pounding Halle in the face. This proves much more effective, and the referee is eventually forces to rescue Halle just before the horn. <strong>Winner: David Allen -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:54 of Round 3 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Rufus Stephens</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Kafu Bunya</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this wrestler vs. striker contest, Stephens is a -570 favorite over MMA's only T'ai Chi fighter. In the first, Bunya peppers Stephens with a variety of strikes and is able to stuff his only takedown attempt. 10-9 Bunya. Stephens is able to secure a takedown in the second, and after pounding on Bunya for a bit he manages to take the back. Stephens then secures a rear naked choke, but Bunya is able to escape by spinning into the American's guard. An exciting round that goes Stephens' way. We're tied at one round each.</p><p> </p><p>

Rounds three and four mirror the first, as Bunya is able to avoid Stephens' takedowns and get the better of the striking a battle. Although Stephens hasn't appeared in danger of being stopped, he does trail three rounds to one and likely needs a knockout in the fifth if he wants to avoid an upset. Bunya smartly tries to stick and move in the fifth, but Stephens is able to secure a single leg to get the fight to the ground. Stephens first moves to side control and then mount, where he begins hammering away on Bunya. The referee gives Bunya time to escape, but Stephens' control is too strong and eventually the ref has to stop the contest. <strong>Winner: Rufus Stephens -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:08 of Round 5 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Chew Chua</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Gordon Idle</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Chua is a -370 favorite for this fight. A stereotypical striker vs. grappler matchup. If Idle can get the fight to the ground, you've got to figure he'll take the fight. But if Chua's takedown defense is up to the task, he should be able to beat up Idle on the feet. Chua seems wary of Idle's takedowns, and instead of opening up with his strikes he seems content to counter Idle's moves. It turn out to be a smart strategy, as Idle is only able to secure one takedown the entire fight. The rest of the contest is standing and Chua is clearly the better striker. He cruises to an easy decision victory. <strong>Winner: Chew Chua -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Although Dabrowski provided the only upset in this bracket, there were a couple of exciting comeback victories by Allen and Stephens. Chambers looks like he'll be tough to beat.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Welterweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Ichisake Miyagi</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Chikafusa Abukara</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Japanese grapplers here, and Miyagi is a big -830 favorite. Not much to see here, as Miyagi takes Abukara down and beats him up in the first. He doesn't get the stoppage, so he repeats it in round 2. This time the ref has seen enough and puts an end to Abukara's misery. <strong>Winner: Ichisake Miyagi -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:43 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Dan Halvorsen</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Simon Vine</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two evenly-matched wrestlers in this one. Halvorsen is a slight -170 favorite. The first round is not particularly exciting, as Vine pins Halvorsen against the cage and roughs him up with elbows and short punches. While not thrilling, it is effective and Vine takes the initial frame. More grappling against the cage in the second, but neither fighter gained much of an advantage. During their time in the center of the cage, Halvorsen showed more effective striking and took the round to even the score.</p><p> </p><p>

Although Vine shows signs of fatigue in the third, he is able to avoid a couple takedown attempts early in the round. Halvorsen is persistent though, and with about a minute left he is able to drag the fight to the mat. Vine is noticably uncomfortable on his back, and Halvorsen wastes no time taking advantage. He moves quickly to mount and as time is running down on the clock he goes for broke with an armbar. It looks like Vine will be able to survive the round, but with one second left he screams out in pain and the referee steps in. <strong>Winner: Dan Halvorsen -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:59 of Round 3 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Darin Blood</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Jungo Futagawa</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Blood is the favorite at -500. Nothing fancy in this fight, as the two men stand in the center of the cage and throw down. Unfortunately for Futagawa, the Hawaiian's skills are at another level. Blood establishes his dominance in the first round and finishes things off in the second with a picture perfect right cross that lands square on the chin. <strong>Winner: Darin Blood -- KO (Punch) at 1:28 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Syed Tan</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Robert Darrell</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Tan is a -490 favorite in this battle of kick boxers. Darrell bobs and weaves throughout the first round, seeming a bit intimidated by Tan's power. Neither lands much in the round, but Tan was clearly the aggressor and takes the opening stanza. Darrell opens up a bit more in the second, but gets a bit careless. Tan seizes the opening and lands a series of big right hands that trap the Brit against the cage. Tan continues to wail away on Darrell who eventually sinks to the canvas as the ref steps in. <strong>Winner: Syed Tan -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:53 of Round 2 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Vikram Sithalayan</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Zachary Gilbert</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite the bettors making him a -710 favorite, a couple noted prognosticators think Sithalayan is a bit overrated and ripe for an upset. As usual, the experts are full of crap. When in doubt, follow the money. And the money says Sithalayan will win, which he does. In a truly awful fight, Sithalayan and Gilbert hug each other for 3 1/2 rounds. Sithalayan is the better fighter though, and wins every round before finally putting Gilbert and the crowd out of their misery with an arm triangle. <strong>Winner: Vikram Sithalayan -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:24 of Round 4 (Very Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. Evgeni Medtner</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Bakin Sakamoto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This looks to be a fairly even matchup, with Medtner a modest -250 favorite. The fight is not that close, though. Medtner repeatedly takes down Sakamoto, and the Russian slowly wears him down with submission attempts and ground and pound. Sakamoto is game, but is unable to mount any offense as Medtner pitches a shutout through four rounds. Although he's clearly on his way to a unanimous decision victory, Medtner doesn't allow it to go to the judges as he locks in an armbar late in the fifth. <strong>Winner: Evgeni Medtner -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:27 of Round 5 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. Jack Humphreys</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Thiago Ceni</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The only people who like Humphreys are the bettors, who have established him as a -690 favorite. Hell, even his mother thinks he's a prick. But he is a damned good fighter, and he shows it by smashing Ceni in under a minute. <strong>Winner: Jack Humphreys -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:44 of Round 1 (Good.)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Yevgeni Sipatov</strong></p><p><strong>

43. Joe Hinchcliffe</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -460 Sipatov is the favorite, and the Russian lives up to his unofficial nickname as "The Godfather of Lay and Pray". That's just what he does for five sleep inducing rounds. Each round he takes Hinchcliffe down and holds him there while the audience yawns. By the fifth round a few hearty souls in the crowd throw invectives and half-empty beers at the cage, but for the most part the audience is too lethargic to do anything as Sipatov rides out the decision. <strong>Winner: Yevgeni Sipatov -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Thoroughly uneventful bracket, as all the favorites won and their weren't any really exciting fights. Hopefully the second round will prove more interesting.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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<p>Middleweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Matthew Dean</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Ralph Kohl</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Dean is a -900 favorite, and this goes just as you would expect. Dean dominates for two round before putting Kohl away in the third. <strong>Winner: Matthew Dean -- Submission (Kimura) at 3:12 of Round 3 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. Osmosis Benn</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Sutton Ripley</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The bettors have established Benn as the favorite at -260. After missing on an early shot, Benn decides to trade with the Canadian. The two battle back and forth until late in the round when Benn lands a perfectly-timed counter punch to floor Ripley. With time running down Benn is unable to finish, but he clearly takes the opening frame. Ripley turns the table immediately to open the second, dropping Benn with a series of big shots. He moves from side control to mount and pounds away on the American. Benn is trapped under Ripley's mount for over half the round before finally sweeping his foe. Although he was able to survive the round, Benn was on the wrong end of a 10-8 score in the second. </p><p> </p><p>

Benn decides it's better to avoid exchanging strikes with Ripley and opens the third by immediately hitting a single leg. Benn passes to side control and after taking a moment to catch his breath unleashes some ferocious ground and pound. Ripley is unable to stop the onslaught and the referee intervenes to give Benn the victory in this great back-and-forth affair. <strong>Winner: Osmosis Benn -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:50 of Round 3 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Tora Mizwar</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Andrew Rush</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Mizwar is a -590 favorite. In the first round, Mizwar takes down the British kickboxer and softens him up with ground and pound before attempting a couple submissions. Rush is able to survive, but Mizwar easily wins the round. Round two is more of the same. Takedown. Ground and pound. Sub attempts. Survival. Mizwar wins the round. Are you seeing a pattern here? Me, too. In the third Mizwar again takes down Rush and beats on him. This time though, the battered Rush is unable to resist a late round arm triangle and is forced to tap out. <strong>Winner: Tora Mizwar -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:42 of Round 3 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Zaco</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Marinho Gomes</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of Brazilians, it's the wrestler Zaco that's a -490 favorite over the kick boxer Gomes. Zaco follows the grapplers' blueprint when facing a striker to perfection. Clinch. Trip. Pass. Submit. <strong>Winner: Zaco -- Submission (Armbar) at 1:33 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Stuart Strange</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Vivinho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another wrestler vs. kick boxer matchup, and again the wrestler is favored. This time it's Strange at -640. It seems Strange was watching the previous fight, because he followed Zaco's gameplan exactly. The only differences were that it took Strange a bit longer and he finished with an arm triangle instead of an arm bar. <strong>Winner: Stuart Strange -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:01 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. Leonardo da Costa</strong></p><p><strong>

40. Keith Plaice</strong></p><p> </p><p>

da Costa is a -350 favorite over the American Muay Thai specialist. It seems somebody ought to introduce takedown and submission defense to these strikers. da Costa continues the pattern of the previous two matches. Takedown. Pass. Submit. Same old thing. <strong>Winner: Leonardo da Costa -- Submission (Armbar) at 1:55 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Maarten De Vries</strong></p><p><strong>

56. Yoshinobu Tanaka</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This time it's the striker De Vries that's favored (-640) in the striker vs. grappler match. Can De Vries break the pattern or will Tanaka continue to show the dominance of groundfighting? It looks to be more of the same in the first two rounds, as Tanaka is able to take down the Dutchman and control him from the top. While he isn't able to stop De Vries, without a doubt Tanaka has opened a 2 round to 0 lead.</p><p> </p><p>

Tanaka begins to tire in the third though, and De Vries is a little more careful about avoiding the takedown. Able to stay on his feet, De Vries peppers Tanaka with low kicks and quick punches to take the third round. In the fourth round Tanaka is again unable to secure the takedown and De Vries shows he definitely has the better standup game as he evens the fight at two rounds each.</p><p> </p><p>

De Vries looks fresh as a daisy to open the deciding frame, while Tanaka is carrying his hands low and breathing through his mouth. Tanaka quickly shoots for a takedown, but is rebuffed by De Vries. It's apparent that Tanaka doesn't have the energy left for a decent shot, and De Vries takes advantage by punishing his opponent with kicks. The fifth round easily goes the Dutchman's way, as he completes the comeback victory. <strong>Winner: Maarten De Vries -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Mario de Souza</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Vagner</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In the theme of this bracket, we've got one more grappler vs. striker battle. The bettors give the edge to de Souza's jiu-jitsu, as he is a -410 favorite. So far the grapplers have won 6 out of 7 matches in this bracket, with only De Vries taking one for the strikers. Can Vagner follow De Vries' lead? In a word: no. de Souza has no trouble taking down the kick boxer and once he's on his back Vagner only knows one thing to do -- tap. <strong>Winner: Mario de Souza -- Submission (Armbar) at 2:31 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Not an upset to be had in this bracket. Benn vs. Ripley was an exciting contest. The big story here was the success the ground fighters had over the strikers. To be fair though, the grapplers were definitely of higher quality.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Middleweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Joaquim Fontes</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Zenko Hatakeyama</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Fontes is the favorite at -970 and as expected it's not competitive. High Level BJJ vs. Mid Level Kung Fu = Quick Submission. <strong>Winner: Joaquim Fontes -- Submission (Armbar) at 3:49 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Ashley Ballard</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Kyuwa Itou</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The younger Ballard brother is a -370 favorite in this battle of kick boxers. Itou has good kick boxing skills, but Ballard's are better. He continually gets the better of exchanges and eventually takes the fight out of Itou. The Japanese fighter finally succumbs to elbows from the mount midway through the third round. <strong>Winner: Ashley Ballard -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:46 of Round 3 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Haranobu Oshiro</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Ademir Coelho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another battle of strikers. Oshiro is a -590 favorite. The Brazilian is tough, but his skills are no match for Oshiro who batters him mercilessly with kicks and punches. Oshiro is well on his way to a unanimous decision victory as we open the fifth. Oshiro opens the round with a series of hard kicks to the legs and midsection of Coelho, who fires back repeatedly but is unable to land anything solid. Coelho winces every time Oshiro's shin crashes into his ribs, as the shots to the body take their toll. Oshiro winds up another kick and Coelho drops his elbows to protect his tender ribs. This time however, Oshiro is aiming higher and with his hands dropped Coelho takes the kick square in the jaw. He drops like a stone -- instantly unconscious. <strong>Winner: Haranobu Oshiro -- KO (Kick) at 1:10 of Round 5 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Fernando Amaro</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Tucker Plumm</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -490, Amaro is the favorite. These two guys are content to stand and bang, and that's just what they do. This is a very even affair, and after four rounds they are even on the scorecards. It will all come down to who can finish strong in the fifth. The final round is just as close as the rest of the fight. They exchange jabs. Both land a few rights and some leg kicks. Both men are exhausted but continue to press forward. We enter the final minute of the fight and it's still anyone's ballgame. We pick it up there.</p><p> </p><p>

>The end of the round is coming quick, there's under a minute left.</p><p>

>Using head movement to slip past a left jab, Amaro hits a flurry of quick punches.</p><p>

>Plumm dodges a jab, and fires back with a flurry of quick punches.</p><p>

>Amaro uses head movement to dodge a punch, then strikes back with a series of big punches, trapping Plumm against the cage!</p><p>

>Plumm collapses, hurt, and Amaro looks to finish by unleashing a barrage of strikes to his downed opponent!</p><p>

>The referee pulls Amaro away, stopping the match!</p><p>

>The winner, by TKO, is Fernando 'The Traveller' Amaro!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Fernando Amaro -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:54 of Round 5 (Decent).</strong> Talk about down to the wire!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Bambang Sriyanto</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Tadao Miyazaki</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Muay Thai vs. Karate here, and Sriyanto is the favorite at -480. Good back and forth fight here. Miyazaki puts quite a scare into Sriyanto and has him in trouble more than once. Sriyanto has plenty of moments as well, scoring a knockdown and opening a nice gash on Miyazaki's face. It goes to the judges, who give the nod to the Indonesian. <strong>Winner: Bambang Sriyanto -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. Thomas Smith</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Fjodor Kanchelskis</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Smith is a slight favorite at -210. The first round is pretty uneventful. Smith avoids a couple takedown attempts and scores with a few strikes. Kanchelskis finally hits a takedown late in the round, but is unable to do much with it. Smith gets the nod in a close round. In the seconds, Smith fights off one takedown but a dogged Kanchelskis persists and finally wrestles the American down. Smith fights off one arm triangle, but the Russian is not to be denied. He locks up a second attempt and this time Smith is forced to concede. <strong>Winner: Fjodor Kanchelskis -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:52 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Mac Fuller</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Casim Yenkini</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Boxer vs. Wrestler here, and Fuller is a -560 favorite. As we've seen before, purely standup fighters have trouble with wrestlers and that's the case here as well. Yenkini repeatedly takes down Fuller and beats him up from top position. Yenkini easily wins the first three rounds and Fuller is going to need something spectacular to pull this one out. And he gets it to open round 4, catching Yenkini with a series of punches that leave the Nigerian punch-drunk. Fuller wings a nasty high kick at Yenkini, who is just able to duck out of the way. Fuller may have shot his load with that flurry, as he is unable to finish the hurt Yenkini. In the fifth round Yenkini is unable to take down Fuller, but the American just doesn't have enough left to get the stoppage. He takes the final round, but was too far behind to salvage the fight. <strong>Winner: Casim Yankini -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Buddy Garner</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Hans-Peter Schneider</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Garner is a -690 favorite. Schneider likes to take his opponents down, which could prove problematic against the BJJ ace. It's a tough matchup for the German, who doesn't really have a clear cut strategy against Garner. Schneider falls back on what he knows and takes the American down; Garner is only too happy to go the ground. Garner quickly shows how he earned his jiu-jitsu black belt as adds Schneider's arm to his trophy shelf. <strong>Winner: Buddy Garner -- Submission (Armbar) at 3:05 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Decent bracket as we had a couple of upsets and a great ending in the Amaro vs. Plumm fight. #5 seed Sriyanto looked surprisingly vulnerable.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Middleweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. Braulio Moura</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Bixente Fontaine</strong></p><p> </p><p>

With Muay Thai vs. Kickboxing, we can expect a standup battle here. Moura is a -840 favorite. The Brazilian opens a bit cautiously, using the first few minutes to feel out his opponent without exposing himself to the Frenchman's attacks. As the crowd starts to get a bit restless, Moura begins pressing the action. Fontaine quickly finds out that Moura's striking is on an entirely different level. Moura is quicker, stronger, more accurate and more elusive. Late in the round Fontaine gets caught with a right and tumbles to the mat. Moura immediately follows up with some well-place ground and pound and the referee has to step in to save Fontaine just before the bell. <strong>Winner: Braulio Moura -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:57 of Round 1 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Carl Ratcliffe</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Kojuro Kudo</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another battle of strikers, this one more evenly matched. Ratcliffe is a slim -160 favorite. Although no major damage is inflicted, Kudo takes the first round by effectively using kicks to the legs and body to counter Ratcliffe's attacks. In the second round, Kudo continues to utilize low kicks, but Ratcliffe starts to find his range with the left jab. Another close round without too much damage done, but this one probably goes the American's way to even the contest at one round each.</p><p> </p><p>

Kudo opens the third by immediately resuming his low kick assault. Ratcliffe is starting to get wise to the Japanese fighter's tactics, and when Kudo telegraphs another leg kick Ratcliffe quickly counters with a kick of his own, catching Kudo right in the jaw. Kudo drops and Ratcliffe follows him down looking for the finish, but Kudo recovers quickly and survives. Ratcliffe backs away and the round ends with the two exchanging strikes. Ratcliffe is now up 2 to 1. Round 4 is a quick-paced battle with each fighter scoring regularly. Kudo's counter punches and kicks are probably enough to earn him the round, meaning we're all even after the fourth. We pick up the action in what turns out to be a classic fifth round.</p><p> </p><p>

>There's the bell and round number five begins!</p><p>

>A big right hand doesn't find its intended target, allowing Kudo to fire back with a solid left.</p><p>

<span style="color:#FF0000;">>Ratcliffe avoids a kick to the leg and hits several big right hands, putting Kudo down, dazed!</span></p><p>

>Ratcliffe quickly pounces, looking to rain down punches on the stunned Kudo!</p><p>

>Dazed as he is, Kudo still manages to do the smart thing and pull half guard.</p><p>

>Ratcliffe stands up out of half guard and backs off, wanting the fight to continue standing.</p><p>

<span style="color:#FF0000;">>Kudo avoids a quick jab and hits a barrage of big right hands, knocking Ratcliffe down!</span></p><p>

>Ratcliffe shakes off the blow almost immediately though, and waits for Kudo to make a move.</p><p>

>In comes Kudo looking to get some form of ground control.</p><p>

>Kudo dives in, but Ratcliffe pushes him away and starts to scramble.</p><p>

>Neither fighter can gain an advantage in the scramble, and they both end up on their feet.</p><p>

>Kojuro Kudo looks like he doesn't have a lot left to give.</p><p>

>A wayward right kick to the body allows Kudo to hit a series of quick jabs.</p><p>

>Carl Ratcliffe doesn't look like he has much left in the tank.</p><p>

>We pass the halfway mark of this round.</p><p>

>Kudo scores cleanly with three big right hands in quick succession.</p><p>

>Backing off, Ratcliffe stumbles and almost goes down...I think he is hurt!</p><p>

<span style="color:#FF0000;">>Ratcliffe is knocked off his feet by a barrage of big rights!</span></p><p>

>Kudo senses victory and starts to unload with punches!</p><p>

>Kudo can't put Ratcliffe away, and gets sucked into half guard.</p><p>

>Kojuro Kudo looks exhausted.</p><p>

>Kudo throws a few right hands to the body.</p><p>

>Kudo blocks an attempted move from half guard to full guard.</p><p>

>We move into the final sixty seconds of this round.</p><p>

>Kudo throws a few right hands, but is mainly trying to catch his breath.</p><p>

>Ratcliffe moves so that Kudo is now in full guard, not half guard.</p><p>

>Kudo keeps Ratcliffe guessing with a few quick strikes.</p><p>

>Time runs out and that's the end of the fight.</p><p> </p><p>

What an ending! Despite being knocked down to open the final round, Kudo storms back to floor Ratcliffe twice, stealing the round and the fight. <strong>Winner: Kojuro Kudo -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Patrick Thomas</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Ram Phookan</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Thomas comes in as a -610 favorite. These two are very similar fighter -- both are boxers who have developed a good sprawl to keep off the mat. The big difference between the two is power, as Thomas can put opponents to sleep with one punch whereas Phookan is lacking KO power. It takes a while, but the power difference pays off for the American. After wearing down Phookan over the first three rounds, Thomas finally catches the British fighter with a big left. Phookan staggers to the mat and a couple of follow-up blows are all it takes to earn the stoppage. <strong>Winner: Patrick Thomas -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:31 of Round 4 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. Thais Antonio Taffarel</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Gilberto Sabbatini</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Brazilian Muay Thai specialists here, and Taffarel is a -530 favorite. Although their training is similar, Taffarel is without doubt the more talented fighter and it shows in this bout. He dominates the first before putting away Sabbatini in the second. <strong>Winner: Thais Antonio Taffarel -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:12 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Petey Mack</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Alex Cole</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Mack is a -570 favorite, and he has little trouble in this contest. He beats up Cole in the first and pounds him out in the second. <strong>Winner: Petey Mack -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:30 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. Dokuohtei Kuroki</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Gempachi Higa</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Japanese grapplers here, with Kuroki established as a -380 favorite. Higa immediately shoots for a takedown and eats a counter right that knocks him down. Kuroki leaps on top and ignores his jiu-jitsu in favor of punching Higa in the face. That works quite well, and this one is over before the ring girl sits down. <strong>Winner: Dokuohtei Kuroki -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:38 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Heiji Endo</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Woody Fierstein</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Endo is a -590 favorite in the matchup of wrestlers. Fierstein is a good wrestler, but Endo is better. He proves it by winning the first two rounds with takedowns and solid top control. The third opens with another Endo takedown, and after passing Fierstein's guard he softens up the American with well-placed ground and pound. Endo spies an opening late in the round and latches on an arm triangle. Fierstein desperately tries to hold out until the end of the round, but is forced to submit with 3 seconds left in the third. <strong>Winner: Heiji Endo -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:57 of Round 3 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Jerezo</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Atshushi Nakajima</strong></p><p> </p><p>

BJJ vs. Judo and Jerezo is a -410 favorite. Nakajima is game, but Jerezo is clearly the superior grappler. The Brazilian controls every aspect of the fight and continually threatens Nakajima with submissions. The Japanese judoka fights off many sub attempts, but the constant assault eventually wears him down. Late in the fourth round Jerezo finally locks on one of his patented armbars and Nakajima is unable to pull free. <strong>Winner: Jerezo -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:27 of Round 4 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Only one upset in this bracket, but it was a doozy of a fight. The fifth round between Kudo and Ratcliffe was a classic. The fight was even at 2 rounds each and the final round featured three knockdowns. None of the other fights were close, as the favorites not only won all the fights but also won all the rounds.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Middleweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Dexter Darling</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Bradley Dixon</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Darling is a -950 favorite. Don't blink.</p><p> </p><p>

>Round one begins!</p><p>

>Darling explodes on Dixon, unloading with a barrage of big left hands!</p><p>

>Getting destroyed, Dixon falls to the ground...but the blows keep on landing!</p><p>

>With Dixon taking a lot of big punches, the referee has to stop the match!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Dexter Darling -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:32 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Rob Baines</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Jorge Hormazabal</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Close fight expected here as Baines is a -230 favorite in this battle of submission specialists. Hormazabal starts off strong, taking the first round. Baines slowly turn the tide however, and starts to take control of the fight. The Brit narrowly wins round two and more decisively takes the third. By the fourth round it is clear that Hormazabal is outclassed on the mat, and Baines eventually takes the back and chokes out the Chilean with his famous rear naked choke. <strong>Winner: Rob Baines -- Submission (RNC) at 3:00 of Round 4 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Jaromir Grygera</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Uwe Maier</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Europeans going at it here, with the Czech wrestler Grygera a -520 favorite over the German kick boxer. Not much to see here, as Grygera has no trouble taking it to the ground and dominating from there. Maier survives multiple submission attempts over the first two rounds, but finally succumbs in the third. <strong>Winner: Jaromir Grygera -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:33 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Davis Spyrou</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Wade LeCavalier</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This should be a straight-up kickboxing match, and Spyrou is favored at -430.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go!</p><p>

>LeCavalier slips out of the way of a flurry of punches.</p><p>

>Advancing, LeCavalier counters a right jab by using an enormous head kick, Spyrou is out like a light!</p><p>

>By Knock Out, the winner is Wade LeCavalier!</p><p>

>Post-Fight: 'Motivation issues' are blamed for Spyrou losing this fight.</p><p> </p><p>

Spyrou may blame his motivation for the loss, but I blame dropping his left hand while jabbing with his right. <strong>Winner: Wade LeCavalier -- KO (Kick) at 0:43 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Neil Napier</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Shuncho Sakurai</strong></p><p> </p><p>

It's Kung Fu vs. Karate and Napier is a big -820 favorite. Sakurai is no contest for the Hawaiian, and it's only his strong chin that keeps him upright. Napier batters Sakurai continually for the first four rounds, easily winning each. Napier seems a bit frustrated by his inability to finish the tough Japanese karateka and decides upon a new tactic in the fifth. Napier trips Sakurai to the mat and advances to side control. From there he locks on an arm triangle to finally finish the tough Sakurai. <strong>Winner: Neil Napier -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:57 of Round 5 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. Mal Phe Roby</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Greg Atteveld</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Muay Thai vs. BJJ, and Roby is a modest -330 favorite over the American. Despite numerous attempts Atteveld was only able to take down the Indonesian a couple of times, and in both cases Roby was able to get back to his feet quickly. While standing, Roby uses effective counter-striking to get the better of the action and cruise to an easy decision victory. <strong>Winner: Mal Phe Roby -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. JJ Reid</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Marco de Almeida</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Reid is a -630 favorite and he follows the tried-and-true gameplan of a jiu-jitsu fighter when facing a kick boxer. Reid takes down de Almeida, passes guard and throws repeated submission attempts until one finally succeeds. de Almeida is distraught afterwards when he realizes he tapped with just one second left in the round. <strong>Winner: JJ Reid -- Submission (RNC) at 4:59 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Ieyoshi Yama****a</strong></p><p><strong>

43. Henning Olsen</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Yama****a is a -450 favorite. Olsen opens the fight in great fashion, blasting Yama****a with a series of rights that threaten to end the fight early. Yama****a instinctively grabs a takedown to end the barrage. Yama****a methodically advances first to side control and then to mount. As time runs down in the round Yama****a spins for an armbar and gets it! He hyperextends the Dane's arm, but Olsen is able to withstand the pressure until the bell saves him. Great round.</p><p> </p><p>

The second round is almost the same, but even more exciting. Olsen opens with wild flying knee that smashed into Yama****a's chin and sends him crashing to the mat. Olsen follows up with punches, but Yama****a is able to survive and pull him into the guard. The ground is not Olsen's world, and he quickly gets swept. Just as in the first round, Yama****a then passes to side control and then to mount. Again Yama****a spins for an armbar and again he gets it. This time there is plenty of time left in the round, and Olsen is unable to escape. <strong>Winner: Ieyoshi Yama****a -- Submission (Armbar) at 3:07 of Round 2 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Couple of real quick fights in this bracket and one excellent one in Yama****a vs. Olsen. Darling certainly looked impressive, although Dixon is hardly the most challenging foe he will face.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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<p>Light Heavyweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Tadamasa Yamada</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Oscarino Baptista</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Yamada is a huge -1110 favorite. In other words, he should win this by whatever method he chooses. He chooses armbar. <strong>Winner: Tadamasa Yamada -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:15 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. George Laurent</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Faas Smit</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Laurent is the slimmest of favorites in this contest, listed at -150 vs. Smit's -120. The winner get the pleasure of facing Yamada in the next round. Smit uses his wrestling to dominate this one, alternating between "wall and stall" against the cage and "lay and pray" on the mat while mixing in occasional punches. Laurent is never able to get much going, and although he's never really in danger of getting stopped he's also never in danger of winning a round. <strong>Winner: Faas Smit -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Sho Kitabatake</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Euclydes Filho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Kitabatake is a solid -680 favorite in this battle of judo vs. BJJ. Filho is a decent groundfighter but Kitabatake is a world-class judoka, and the difference in their skills is obvious. Kitabatake easily controls the Brazilian over the first two rounds and is eventually able to lock on an americana early in the third for the victory. <strong>Winner: Sho Kitabatake -- Submission (Americana) at 1:05 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Mark Cohen</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Trevor Murray</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two Americans fighting here, and Cohen is a -380 favorite. Both men are groundfighters who like to attack from the top, so whoever is able to secure the takedowns is likely to win this one. In the first two rounds it's Cohen. In both frames he takes down Murray and softens him up with short punches and elbows. In the third, Murray turns the tables by taking down Cohen and working his own ground and pound attack.</p><p> </p><p>

Murray shoots early in the fourth, but Cohen sprawls and forces Murray to turtle. Cohen blasts away for a bit and then rolls Murray to take side control. From there Cohen opens up with his fists, raining down blows on Murray until the referee has seen enough. <strong>Winner: Mark Cohen -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:38 of Round 4 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Linfield Ballard</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Jethro Munter</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The elder Ballard is a -620 favorite in this battle of Texans, and it's over quickly. Very quickly.</p><p> </p><p>

>Round one begins!</p><p>

>An errant jab sets Ballard up to counter-strike with a barrage of hard right hands, Munter is dazed and can only cover up to try and protect himself!</p><p>

>Munter gets knocked down and Ballard keeps up the pressure with punch after punch!</p><p>

>The referee is forced to jump in and stop the match!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Linfield Ballard -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:27 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. Shane Gilchrist</strong></p><p><strong>

40. Yoritomo Ina</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two wrestlers here, and Gilchrist is a slight -230 favorite. This was an incredibly close fight, with each fighter scoring some takedowns but getting stuffed on others. There is no clear cut winner in any round and although the play by play man gave the edge to Ina at 48-47, he acknowledged that this one could go either way. The first judge scores it heavily in favor of Ina, 49-46. The second judge gives the edge to Gilchrist, 48-47. And the third judge scores it 48-47 for the winner, by split decision.... Shane Gilchrist. <strong>Winner: Shane Gilchrist -- Split Decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Elgar</strong></p><p><strong>

56. Petey Barnum</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Elgar is a -670 favorite in this battle of strikers. After feeling each other out early, we pick up the action midway through the first round.</p><p> </p><p>

>Using head movement to slip past a left jab, Elgar hits some heavy right hands...Barnum tries to cover up but is knocked down!</p><p>

>Elgar senses victory and starts to unload with punches!</p><p>

>Elgar pounds away, landing several good shots in the process.</p><p>

>The referee jumps in and stops the match!</p><p>

>That's a really poor decision by the referee, as Barnum didn't seem to be in too much danger there!</p><p> </p><p>

Even though this was stopped prematurely, let's face facts -- Elgar is a better fighter so this isn't much of an injustice. <strong>Winner: Elgar -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:42 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Hyun-Shik Lim</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Bryan Van Den Hauwe</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Lim is a -350 favorite. Van Den Hauwe clearly wants to turn this into a battle of attrition along the cage, but he is never able to get his mitts on Lim. The Wing Chun expert never allows the American to get settled as he immediately blasts Van Den Hauwe with lefts and rights. Van Den Hauwe crumples to the mat under the onslaught and Lim quickly finishes him off with some ground and pound. <strong>Winner: Hyun-Shik Lim -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:13 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Perhaps a bit of controversy in this bracket with the Barnum stoppage and the Gilchrist decision, but overall a pretty straightforward bracket so far with no major surprises.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Light Heavyweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Affonso Villar</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Mick Curran</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Villar is a huge -1010 favorite over the Welshman and he shows why. Villar mercilessly batters Curran over the first four rounds, landing punches, kicks, elbows and knees and generally making life miserable for the overmatched Curran. Curran will need a miracle in the fifth and we pick up the action there.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go, round five!</p><p>

>A flurry of punches miss Curran and allow him to counter-strike with a huge right cross and Villar is knocked down!</p><p>

>Curran knows that this is a golden opportunity, and quickly pounces on Villar, looking to finish him off by raining down punches!</p><p>

>Curran pounds away on Villar, landing several great shots that threaten to knock him out!</p><p>

>The referee pulls Curran away, stopping the match!</p><p> </p><p>

And there's your miracle! What an ending! What an upset! Curran was getting annihilated throughout the fight, but Villar paid the price for not putting him away earlier. Amazing. <strong>Winner: Mick Curran -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:39 of Round 5 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Derek South</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Mantas Andreyev</strong></p><p> </p><p>

South is a slight favorite at -170. Andreyev opens strongly, using effective counter-striking to set up a successful takedown. From there he controls South on the ground to take the first round. In the second, one of South's strikes slips through Andreyev's defenses, stunning the Russian. South immediately follows up, knocking Andreyev down and then polishing him off with strikes. <strong>Winner: Derek South -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:12 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Daniil Skala</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Ernie Bruns</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two kick boxers battle here, and Skala is a -560 favorite. The first round is fairly close, but Skala definitely gets the better of the action. They continue to exchange in the second when Skala launches a quick head kick that catches Bruns in the cheek. The American falls to the ground stunned and is unable to defend himself as Skala descends to finish him off. <strong>Winner: Daniil Skala -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:24 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Anthony LeToussier</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Jacob Matthaus</strong></p><p> </p><p>

LeToussier is a -480 favorite here. The key to this fight is if Matthaus can take down the Canadian before he can connect with one of his strikes. In the first round, the answer is "no". LeToussier knocks down the German with a series of lefts and then takes side control. Matthaus is able to survive the ensuing ground and pound and an armbar attempt, but the first round goes to LeToussier. The second round is almost identical to the first. Matthaus gets knocked down again but again survives the follow-up ground and pound and another armbar attempt. But the brash Canadian is definitely up 2 rounds to 0.</p><p> </p><p>

In the third round Matthaus is rocked again, but this time he stays on his feet. Later in the round Matthaus is finally able to slam LeToussier to the mat, and that is probably enough for him to win the third. The fourth round is really close. Matthaus can't get a takedown but does keep LeToussier pinned against the cage for a good portion of the round. I'd probably give the edge to LeToussier, but that round could really go either way.</p><p> </p><p>

Matthaus opens the final frame with a takedown and quickly moves to side control. He attempts an americana, but LeToussier defends. Matthaus mounts the Canadian and starts pounding away. LeToussier is in trouble and the referee is watching closely. LeToussier rolls to avoid the strikes, but now the German has his back and begins looking for the rear naked choke. Matthaus didn't put the hooks in though, and LeToussier is able to turn into him and survive to the end of the fight. Easy round for Matthaus and we go to the judges.</p><p> </p><p>

Judge #1 rules 48-47 for LeToussier. Judge #2 has the same score, but in Matthaus' favor. The last judge also rules it 48-47 and gives the nod to Anthony LeToussier. <strong>Winner: Anthony LeToussier -- Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Niko Soldo</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Magno Peres Arruda</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Soldo is a big -950 favorite in a battle of kick boxers. Round one is all Soldo, as he batters the Brazilian with dirty boxing along the cage and punishes him with knees from the clinch. Arruda ends the round with a cut above his eye and a 1-0 deficit on the scorecards. The second round is entirely different, as Arruda wins a wild exchange and knocks the Croatian to the mat. He can't finish Soldo, but Arruda has certainly evened up the fight at one round each. The third and fourth rounds are a series of standup exchanges. Although neither lands a decisive blow, Soldo controls the action in both rounds to take a 3-1 lead.</p><p> </p><p>

>Round five begins!</p><p>

>Arruda feints throwing a jab.</p><p>

>Arruda slips out of the way of a jab.</p><p>

>Niko Soldo looks totally gassed.</p><p>

>An errant jab sets Arruda up to counter-strike with a kick to the ribs.</p><p>

>Arruda counters a left jab by hitting a vicious head kick, knocking Soldo out cold!</p><p> </p><p>

Wow! Another huge upset via fifth round comeback knockout. First #4 seed Villar and now #5 seed Soldo. Unreal. <strong>Winner: Magno Peres Arruda -- KO (Kick) at 1:31 of Round 5 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. Dmytro Dargomyzhsky</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Christian Mountfield</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Dmytro "Buy a Vowel" Dargomyzhsky is a slight favorite at -220 and easily takes the first round by pushing Mountfield against the cage and employing efficient dirty boxing. The two fighters exchange strikes and takedown attempts throughout the second, until Mountfield is able to secure a takedown with about a minute left in the frame. The American quickly takes advantage of the opportunity by moving to mount and unleasing a flurry of strikes from the top. As the clock is winding down, the referee has seen enough and pulls Mountfield off. <strong>Winner: Christian Mountfield -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:57 of Round 2 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Nicolai Mickiewicz</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Glenn Pimm</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -650, Mickiewicz is the favorite in this fight between two wrestlers. This battle little resembles an MMA match, as the two men seem eager to show off their wrestling skills and barely engage on their feet. While Pimm is no slouch on the mat, Mickiewicz definitively proves who the better wrestler is as he cruises to an easy decision victory. <strong>Winner: Nicolai Mickiewicz -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Edilberto</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Ryosei Sakamoto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Muay Thai vs. Wrestling here, and Edilberto is a slim -230 favorite. The strategy in this fight is simple -- if Edilberto can keep it standing he'll win and if he can't it will go Sakamoto's way. We get the answer quickly as Sakamoto immediately shoots and has no trouble taking down the Brazilian and wearing him down with top control and ground and pound. This exact pattern repeats throughout the fight as Sakamoto easily wins every round. In the fourth, an exhausted Edilberto can no longer defend himself and after yet another takedown Sakamoto moves to mount and pounds him out. <strong>Winner: Ryosei Sakamoto -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:40 of Round 4 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Without any doubt this is by far the most exciting bracket so far. We had two huge upsets in the most amazing method possible -- 5th round, come-from-behind knockouts. In addition to the 4th and 5th seeds falling, #21 Edilberto and #28 Dargomyzhsky were also upset. And #20 LeToussier barely survived. This bracket is now wide open -- it's anybody's game now. I can't wait to see what happens in the second round.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Light Heavyweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. Zvonimir Asanovic</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Rubenilson Augusto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

It seems the whole world expects Asanovic to win with one of his patented high kicks, as he is an overwhelming -1160 favorite. Well, the whole world is wrong. Oh, Asanovic still wins -- it's just with a knee instead of a kick. <strong>Winner: Zvonimir Asanovic -- KO (Knee) at 2:09 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Ricky Heath</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Bill Cumming</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The bettors think this one is essentially a toss-up. Heath is listed at -150 and Cumming at -140. The first round is all Cumming, as he first pins Heath against the cage and then trips him to the mat. Heath survives the ensuing ground and pound and submission attempts, but is now trailing on the scorecards. Heath rocks Cumming early in the second, but the wrestler quickly recovers and scores a takedown. Cumming then follows-up with ground and pound and submission attempts to open a 2-0 lead.</p><p> </p><p>

As the third opens, Cumming is looking tired and Heath takes advantage by landing a right hook that drops his foe. Cumming survives the follow-up and later secures a takedown, but the knockdown gives the third round to Heath. Cumming scores an early takedown in the fourth and dominates from there. Heath survives a tight arm triangle, but he will need a miracle in the fifh as he is down 3 rounds to 1.</p><p> </p><p>

An exhausted Cumming is unable to score a takedown in the fifth. Heath is throwing haymakers in an attempt to get a one punch knockout. Cumming takes advantage of Heath's wildness to beat him at his own game. A beautifully timed counter drops Heath late in the round and he leaps on top to finish his fallen opponent. After a couple of shots, the ref leaps in to stop the fight with 46 seconds left. Heath is livid as that stoppage was definitely premature. Still, Heath wasn't winning a decision and was in no position to stop Cumming, so it's not like the ref's decision cost him the fight. <strong>Winner: Bill Cumming -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:14 of Round 5 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Pedro Sousa</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Ken Peters</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Sousa is a -480 favorite, but Peters quickly establishes himself as the dominant fighter. Every round is the same. Peters gets a takedown, advances position and then mixes ground and pound with submission attempts. By the fourth round, a worn-down Sousa can no longer withstand the pressure and succumbs to a rear naked choke. Decent upset here, and it was never really close. <strong>Winner: Ken Peters -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:42 of Round 4 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. Carlos dos Santos</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Mike Watson</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -230, dos Santos is the favorite. dos Santos immediately shoots, but Watson successfully sprawls and forces dos Santo to the mat in the turtle position. Watson then pounds away viciously on the prone Brazilian. The referee watches for a few moments, but with dos Santos unable to extricate himself the ref stops the fight and we have another upset. <strong>Winner: Mike Watson -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:49 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Roberto Aldez</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Pete Shilton</strong></p><p> </p><p>

After 3 straight upsets, can Aldez restore sanity? The betting public thinks so, listing him as a -740 favorite. What made this fight interesting was seeing how much punishment one man could absorb without quitting. If your name is Pete Shilton, the answer is "a helluva lot". Aldez simply destroyed Shilton for 5 rounds, but the tough Texan simply refused to crumble. Aldez ripped apart Shilton's legs with horrific low kicks, sliced open his brow with elbows and knocked him down with powerful punches. And still Shilton fought on. When the final bell finally rang, Aldez simply shook his head in amazement and asked the crowd to acknowledge the incredible heart of the game Shilton. Of course the decision was never in doubt, only the margin of victory. <strong>Winner: Roberto Aldez -- Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-44, 50-43) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. Alekos Karabatsos</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Lawrence Herringbone</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two wrestlers here, and Karabatsos is a slight -150 favorite. Herringbone easily takes the first round by scoring an early takedown and controlling from the top. He even takes Karabatsos' back, but is unable to finish before time runs out. More of the same in the second, as Herringbone easily secures takedowns and uses stifling control to win the round. It's not the most exciting strategy, but it's proving effective as we're on our way to another upset. The third starts the same way -- we pick it us early in the round.</p><p> </p><p>

>Herringbone looks to scoop his opponent up for a slam.</p><p>

>He gets Karabatsos up! Herringbone slams him down, ending up in half guard.</p><p>

>Herringbone starts trying to work to get out of half guard and into a better position.</p><p>

>Herringbone shows his skill, slipping from half guard straight into a mount with minimum fuss.</p><p>

>Herringbone unloads with big elbows from the mount, and Karabatsos is struggling to cope!</p><p>

>Lawrence Herringbone seems to be fighting against exhaustion.</p><p>

>Herringbone tries to lock Karabatsos in an armbar.</p><p>

>Karabatsos stacks up Herringbone and punches away until he stops the armbar attempt. Karabatsos gets side control off it.</p><p> </p><p>

Is this the opening Karabatos needs to avoid the upset? We pick up the action later in the round.</p><p> </p><p>

>Karabatsos has solid control over Herringbone, and starts pounding away with right hands.</p><p>

>There's lots of strikes landing, Herringbone needs to find a way out of this position quickly!</p><p>

>The referee gives Herringbone time to do something, but eventually has to come in and stop the fight!</p><p> </p><p>

Herringbone was dominating the fight, but he made one mistake in going for the armbar and Karabatsos capitalized. <strong>Winner: Alekos Karabatsos -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:33 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Spencer Rubenstein</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Jasper Osmond</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Rubenstein is a big -720 favorite here. This one is never really in doubt, as Osmond is never able to mount much offense. Rubenstein just blasts away with punches, kicks, knees and elbows and Osmond can't figure out a way to stop him. It takes a while, but repeated body shots get Osmond to drop his hands and Rubenstein capitalizes with a perfect round house kick to the temple. Good night. <strong>Winner: Spencer Rubenstein -- KO (Kick) at 2:17 of Round 5 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Marlon John</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Daniel Hornsby</strong></p><p> </p><p>

John is a -540 favorite. Both men like to work a top-control ground game, so whoever is able to score the takedowns should have an easy path to victory. That person is John. Round 1: takedown, pass guard, ground and pound. Round 2: takedown, pass guard, ground and pound. Round 3: takedown, pass guard, ground and pound. Round 4: takedown, pass guard, ground and pound. See a pattern here? There's one difference in round 5: takedown, pass guard, ground and pound, ref stoppage. <strong>Winner: Marlon John -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:38 of Round 5 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another excellent bracket here. We had three upsets and a nice comeback by Karabatsos. Plus Shilton showed a lot of heart in absorbing the beating of a lifetime from Aldez.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Light Heavyweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Jin Katou</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Michael Bannon</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Katou is an incredible -1200 favorite -- and for good reason. Moving on. <strong>Winner: Jin Katou -- Submission (Armbar) at 1:16 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Andranik Paletilolu</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Arthur Franco</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This striker vs. wrestler contest is dead even in the bettors' eyes, as both men are listed at -150. Franco wins the first with the combination of a takedown followed by lay and pray. Franco tries to repeat that strategy in the second, but Paletilolu is able to avoid the shots and punish the Brazilian -- almost knocking him down with one shot. Franco does finally get a takedown late in the round, but it's not enough to salvage the round so we're tied entering the third.</p><p> </p><p>

The third round starts like the second, with Franco shooting and the Serbian punishing him for the attempts. Paletilolu is starting to tire though, and the persistant Franco finally drags him to the mat. He rapidly moves to mount and applies an americana. Paletilolu tries to hold on until the end of the round, but Franco torques the arm and the pain is too much. Paletilolu taps with one second left. <strong>Winner: Arthur Franco -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:59 of Round 3 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Robun Yamazaki</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Nestor Morozov</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two wrestlers here, and Yamazaki is a -520 favorite. The only significant action in round 1 is when Morozov stuffs a Yamazaki shot and rocks the Japanese fighter with punches before he can escape. It's enough to give the Russian the first round. Yamazaki is able to get the takedown in the second and threatens Morozov with a series of submission holds. Morozov survives, but Yamazaki evens the fight by taking the second stanza.</p><p> </p><p>

The final three rounds are uneventful, as both men circle and exchange single strikes. None of the rounds are decisive, so this one could go either way. Judge #1 leans Yamazaki. Judge #2 goes for Morozov. The final judge gives a 48-47 upset victory to Morozov. <strong>Winner: Nestor Morozov -- Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Garry McSweegan</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Ebizo Fujishima</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this striker vs. grappler contest, McSweegan is a -330 favorite. Neither man could establish himself in round one. Fujishima was able to dodge all of McSweegan's punches, while McSweegan was able to stuff all of Fujishima's shots. We go to the second.</p><p> </p><p>

>Round two begins!</p><p>

>McSweegan counters a left jab with a series of quick punches.</p><p>

>McSweegan explodes on Fujishima, knocking him down with a barrage of big lefts!</p><p>

>McSweegan knows that this is a golden opportunity, and quickly pounces on Fujishima, looking to finish him off by raining down punches!</p><p>

>McSweegan pounds away on Fujishima, landing several great shots that rock Fujishima!</p><p>

>The referee jumps in and stops the match!</p><p>

>That has to be called a controversial finish as Fujishima may have been in trouble but he was still clearly active and trying to defend himself!</p><p> </p><p>

Another controversial stoppage. The refs need to quit being so quick to intervene -- this is MMA, let 'em fight. <strong>Winner: Gary McSweegan -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:15 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Aleksei Chekhov</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Denilson da Cunha</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Chekhov is a substantial favorite at -780, and his technique and power are too much for the Brazilian. Chekhov beats him up in the first and puts him away in the second. <strong>Winner: Aleksei Chekhov -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:19 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. John Rivero</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Curt Kitson</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite being the lower seed, Kitson is a slight favorite here. He is listed at -150 and Rivero goes off at -130. The first round features protracted grappling along the cage, with neither man establishing dominance. A late throw by Kitson probably secures him the round. The second round features more of the same. Rivero pushes Kitson against the fence and they exchange reversals back and forth. Then out of nowhere Kitson slaps on a standing guillotine! A surprised Rivero struggles briefly, but is forced to tap out. <strong>Winner: Curt Kitson -- Submission (Guillotine) at 3:58 of Round 2 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. Junior Patinkin</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Lenny McFadden</strong></p><p> </p><p>

At -670, Patinkin is favored. Patinkin knows that wrestlers like McFadden struggle when on their back, and he exploits this weakness by repeatedly taking down the Scotsman and punishing him from the top. By the third McFadden starts to fade and Patinkin turns up the heat to get the stoppage. <strong>Winner: Junior Patinkin -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:44 of Round 3 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Leandro Piquet</strong></p><p><strong>

43. Inejiro Chiba</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two strikers battle in this one and Piquet is a -310 favorite. The fight opens in spectacular fashion, as Piquet launches a superb spinning back roundhouse kick that puts Chiba down. Piquet gets side control, but is unable to finish off Chiba. Still, Piquet easily takes the first.</p><p> </p><p>

The second round starts just as exciting, but it's Chiba who does the damage this time as he drops Piquet with an enormous right hook. Piquet recovers quickly and is able to get back to his feet. Looking for revenge, the Brazilian launches a wild spinning back fist. Chiba is ready though, and counters with another right hook that again floors Piquet. Chiba dives in for the finish, but Piquet is able to scramble and put Chiba on his back. Piquet moves to side control and begins blasting away at Chiba. The Japanese fighter struggles to escape, but can't get free. The ref warns him to improve his position, but Piquet is relentless and the fight is stopped. Great back-and-forth fight. <strong>Winner: Leandro Piquet -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:05 of Round 2 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another exciting bracket -- the LHWs are really coming through. Three lower seeds won here, although Kitson and Franco winning aren't really upsets. We also had another controversial stoppage and a great back and forth fight. I hope the round of 32 continues to be this exciting.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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<p>Heavyweights -- Bracket A</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>1. Hassan Fezzik</strong></p><p><strong>

64. Aleksander Ivanov</strong></p><p> </p><p>

It's time for the big boys to take to the cage. Fezzik is the most dominant fighter in the world, and the odds reflect this as he is a -1170 favorite over his fellow sambo practitioner. Can Ivanov score the biggest upset in MMA history? No. <strong>Winner: Hassan Fezzik -- Submission (Guillotine) at 2:47 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>32. Ikuhisa Tamura</strong></p><p><strong>

33. Elzo Alves Moura</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This one is nearly even -- Tamura lists at -140 and Moura at -130. The winner gets the unenviable task of trying to derail Fezzik in the next round. While neither fighter dominates the contest, Moura combines slightly crisper strikes with a few takedowns to ride out a solid decision victory. <strong>Winner: Elzo Alves Moura -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>16. Rick Stanley</strong></p><p><strong>

49. Stjepan Andric</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Stanley is the favorite at -560, but if Andric can put the kick boxer on his back he should be able to upset the American. Andric doesn't waste much time, and the second he sees an opening he shoots in for a single leg. Stanley is ready though, and clips the Croatian as he comes in. Andric is staggered, and Stanley follows up with a flurry of shots that drop the wrestler. Stanley continues with bunches of punches on the ground, and the referee is forced to save Andric. <strong>Winner: Rick Stanley -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:31 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>17. Tony McCall</strong></p><p><strong>

48. Stanislaw Lipnicki</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Another American kick boxer vs. Eastern European wrestler. McCall is favored at -470. Can Lipnicki succeed where Andric failed and score some takedowns? The answer is "yes" -- at least a few. The big Pole is able to drag McCall to the mat in the first and fourth, where his top control is able to earn him the rounds. More often though, McCall is able to counter or stuff Lipnicki's takedown attempts, and when they're standing McCall definitely gets the better of the action. Basically they fight two rounds on the ground and three rounds standing. It's the three fought on the feet that sway the judges. <strong>Winner: Tony McCall -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>8. Ari Peltonen</strong></p><p><strong>

57. Milton Harvey</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Peltonen is a -690 favorite and he cruises to a unanimous but boring decision victory. <strong>Winner: Ari Peltonen -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>25. Jean-Pierre Richelleau</strong></p><p><strong>

40. Gerson Mauricio</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Richelleau is a slim -140 favorite in this battle of kick boxers. The men stand and trade for the entire first round, and both get in their shots. Mauricio starts to pick up Richelleau's timing, and uses good counter-striking to push the first round in his favor. In the second, Mauricio's counter attacks pay an even bigger dividend, as he counters a Richelleau body kick with a series of right hands that knock down the Frenchman. A still-dazed Richelleau is unable to ward of the subsequent ground and pound, and the referee rescues him. <strong>Winner: Gerson Maruicio -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:18 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>9. Jeff Carlton</strong></p><p><strong>

56. Collins Lundie</strong></p><p> </p><p>

A tough style matchup for Lundie, as he'll want to keep the fight standing and Carlton is known for his takedowns and ground attack. The odds reflect this and list Carlton as a -740 favorite. This one plays our according to expectations. Carlton takes down Lundie, passes his guard and beats him up for a while. After Lundie is sufficiently softened up, Carlton swings for an armbar and forces the tap. <strong>Winner: Jeff Carlton -- Submission (Armbar) at 4:06 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>24. Fatuma Roy</strong></p><p><strong>

41. Lefter Oktay</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite being a significantly lower seed, Oktay is actually the favorite here at -170 compared to Roy's -120. Oktay opens the first by pulling Roy down into his guard. The round is spent with Oktay attempting submissions and Roy peppering him with shots from the top. Very close round, but since he spent the time on top the nod likely goes to Roy. In the second, Oktay tries a different strategy. Instead of pulling guard, he simply punches Roy in the face. This is much more effective, and sends the American tumbling to the ground. Oktay is able to obtain mount and pounds away, and although the ref is close to stopping the fight Roy manages to hang on until the bell. We're now tied at one round each.</p><p> </p><p>

Roles are reversed in the third. This time it's Roy who punches Oktay in the nose and sends the Turkish fighter down. Although he is unable to finish Oktay, Roy easily wins the round to regain the lead. During the fourth round they trade blows both in the center and along the cage. It's a close round, but his dirty boxing likely gives the edge to Oktay. According to my scorecard we're all even entering the final round. Both fighters are exhausted now, and the fifth round is fairly slow paced. No clear cut winner here, so both men are nervous as we go to the judges. All three scorecards are the same, 48-47 for the winner.... Lefter Oktay. <strong>Winner: Lefter Oktay -- Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Three lower seeds won here, but none were really big upsets. Fezzik looked awesome as usual and looks to be tough to beat.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket A faces the winner of Bracket B in the final four.</p>

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<p>Heavyweights -- Bracket B</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>4. Tim Boyer</strong></p><p><strong>

61. Ilson de Lima</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two massive strikers go at it here, and Boyer is a big -900 favorite. We could have a big upset brewing here, as de Lima uses a quick counter-striking strategy to easily win the standup battle in the first. Can Boyer come up with a strategy to turn the tables?</p><p> </p><p>

>Between rounds we could hear the corner of Boyer telling him to swing for the fences.</p><p> </p><p>

O.K., the strategy seems to be to punch the Brazilian in the face. Hard.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go, round two!</p><p>

>Boyer counters a left jab by using a huge right cross and de Lima is knocked clean out!</p><p>

>Tim Boyer takes the victory by way of Knock Out!</p><p> </p><p>

Seems like a good strategy. <strong>Winner: Tim Boyer -- KO (Punch) at 0:33 of Round 2 (Fantastic).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>29. Gary Sampson</strong></p><p><strong>

36. Tank Manu'a</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The lower-seeded Manu'a is actually a slight favorite at -150 over Sampson (-130). These two battle back and forth over the full 5 rounds. It's a competitive fight, but Sampson does a bit more throughout and the judges award him a well-earned victory. <strong>Winner: Gary Sampson -- Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>13. Hiro Arai</strong></p><p><strong>

52. Sergio do Vale</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The bettors favor Arai at -690 and he wastes no time, pounding out do Vale in just over a minute. <strong>Winner: Hiro Arai -- TKO (Stikes) at 1:05 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>20. Gladstone Lopes</strong></p><p><strong>

45. Eddie Whelan</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Lopes has a 39 pound weight advantage and the bettors have established him as a -420 favorite. The first two rounds are excruciatingly boring as the two men each wait for other to make the first move. This looks more like Astaire and Rogers than Ali and Frazier -- there are more punches thrown on an average episode of <em>The Jersey Shore</em>. Perhaps spurred on by the crowd's boos, Whelan opens the third by rushing the Brazilian. It's a mistake though, as Lopes drops the Brit with a counter right and finishes him off a couple of shots on the ground. <strong>Winner: Gladstone Lopes -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:15 of Round 3 (Very Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>5. Armen Sarkisian</strong></p><p><strong>

60. Raimundo Pinheiro</strong></p><p> </p><p>

As a -970 favorite, it appears most everyone thinks Sarkisian will take down the Brazilian kick boxer and pound him out. That's pretty much what happens, except that instead of ending via TKO it ends via choke. <strong>Winner: Armen Sarkisian -- Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:19 of Round 2 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>28. Dave Lennon</strong></p><p><strong>

37. Perry Barr</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In this battle of Britain, Lennon is a slight -220 favorite. Barr establishes himself immediately by wrestling Lennon to the mat. Barr controls Lennon on the ground and gives him a pretty good beating to easily secure the first round. In the second Lennon is determined not to let Barr take him down, so he is ready when Barr shoots in. Lennon catches him with a solid right and Barr's knees go wobbly. Lennon pounces immediately and wails away on his staggered opponent. Barr collapses to the ground and Lennon continues to pound away until the referee has seen enough. <strong>Winner: Dave Lennon -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:16 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>12. Harry Milne</strong></p><p><strong>

53. Stan Blackheath</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Why is every athlete whose name is Stan given the nickname "The Man"? Blackheath is not the man in the eyes of the betting public, who list Milne as a -620 favorite. The Brit then proceeds to prove that Blackheath is indeed not "The Man". Milne simply wades in and smacks around Blackheath. An elbow from the clinch opens up a particularly nasty cut over Blackheath's left eye. At a break in the action, the ref asks the ringside physician to take a look at the gash. Since you can see the white of Blackheath's skull through the cut, the doctor wisely waives off the fight. <strong>Winner: Harry Milne -- TKO (Cut) at 4:23 of Round 1 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>21. Duke Aiona</strong></p><p><strong>

44. Murilo Satinho</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Aiona is a slight -170 favorite. Aiona seems intent on avoiding going to the ground and Satinho seems just as intent to get it there. The first round devolves into the Hawaiian keeping his distance from Satinho and the Brazilian being unable to catch him. Terrible round. Satinho is finally able to grab Aiona early in the second drags him down to the mat. He quickly moves to mount but foolishly gives up the dominant position by swinging for an armbar. Aiona is able to stack him up, pull out the arm and obtain side control. Aiona starts throwing shots down at the Brazilian, but Satinho scrambles and is able to get back on top of a turtled Aiona. This time Satinho forgoes any subtlety and simply smashes Aiona in the side of the head. The Hawaiian has no answers for the assault and the referee steps in to save him. <strong>Winner: Murilo Satinho -- TKO (Strikes) at 3:58 of Round 3 (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Fairly uneventful bracket as the only higher seed to fall was Aiona.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket B faces the winner of Bracket A in the final four.</p>

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<p>Heavyweights -- Bracket C</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>2. James Foster</strong></p><p><strong>

63. Frank Analysis</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Foster is a -1170 favorite, and by my frank analysis (sorry) I see no realistic way for him to lose this fight. He doesn't. <strong>Winner: James Foster -- Submission (Armbar) at 3:24 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>31. Vic Millican</strong></p><p><strong>

34. Russell McPhee</strong></p><p> </p><p>

This looks to be a closer matchup, with Millican a small -180 favorite. McPhee has absolutely no ground game, so this isn't a bad matchup for him since Millican is likely to keep it standing. This at least gives McPhee a chance to land a big shot. The only problem is that Millican is a better boxer and has a better chin. And it shows as McPhee is unable to connect clean and the Brit has no trouble landing. It isn't long before Millican counters a wild McPhee bomb and connects with a right that drops the Canadian. Millican follows up with a couple of shots on the ground and it's all over. <strong>Winner: Vic Millican -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:02 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15. Gunnar Nilsson</strong></p><p><strong>

50. Julio Correa</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Size and experience are on Nilsson's side, and he comes off as a -450 favorite. This starts out as a boxing match, as neither fighter looks to take the fight to the ground. They exchange a few shots and then Correa unloads with a series of right hands that stagger and drop the big Swede. He dives in and attempts to finish, but Nilsson is able to pull him into half-guard and survive. The rest of the round plays out with Correa on top and he clearly wins the first. We go to the second:</p><p> </p><p>

>Round two begins!</p><p>

>It sounded like his corner told Correa to stand with Nilsson, but to be careful not to get caught.</p><p>

>A jab misses and Correa counters with a couple of hard rights!</p><p>

>Nilsson looks unsteady on his feet as he retreats, that last blow may have rocked him!</p><p>

>Nilsson gets clocked with a right hook during an exchange and is down! He is out cold!</p><p>

>Julio Correa takes the victory by way of Knock Out!</p><p>

>Post-Fight: Nilsson says that he was not happy with how his training for this fight went, and says that contributed to the loss.</p><p> </p><p>

Excuses, excuses. It wasn't a bad training camp that made Nilsson stand and trade while ignoring his trademark ground and pound. <strong>Winner: Julio Correa -- KO (Punch) at 0:50 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>18. Stratos Papaioannou</strong></p><p><strong>

47. Josimar Martins</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Papaioannour is a -480 favorite. This is a back-and-forth affair. Papaioannou nails a few takedowns and scores points on the ground, while Martins gets the better of the standup. This continues for the full 5 rounds as neither man is able to impose his will or his game. Every round is very close and this fight could go either way. Let's see what the judges think. Judge #1 has it 48-47 for Martins. Judge #2 has the same score, but favors Papaioannou. Judge #3 also has it 48-47 for the winner, by split decision, Stratos Papaioannou. <strong>Winner: Stratos Papaioannou -- Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>7. Stafford Alois</strong></p><p><strong>

58. Jesse Singh</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two big British strikers battle here, and Alois is favored at -630. It doesn't take long for Alois to establish himself as the far superior striker of the two. And since Singh doesn't have any sort of ground game, it's clear he's in trouble. He resorts to throwing telegraphed bombs in an attempt to land a one-punch knockout. It doesn't work as Alois lands a beautiful counter left hook that turns out Singh's lights. <strong>Winner: Stafford Alois -- KO (Punch) at 1:50 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>26. Norman Pike</strong></p><p><strong>

39. Khru Duangjan</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Although he is the lower seed, the bettors actually favor Duangjan in this contest, establishing him as a -220 favorite. As the cliche goes, when in doubt follow the money. About a minute in, Pike shoots for a takedown and gets staggered by a counter right for his troubles. Later in the round a second takedown attempt by Pike is also met by a counter-right, and this time the Canadian is knocked to the ground. Duangjan leaps in for the finish and connects with an absolute bomb that leaves no doubt. <strong>Winner: Khru Duangjan -- KO (Punch) at 4:28 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>10. Mason Archer</strong></p><p><strong>

55. Murray Darby</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Huge height and weight advantage for Archer, and as long as he can keep it standing he should have no trouble. Archer is a -710 favorite. Archer uses his prodigious reach to great advantage as Darby is unable to get inside and clinch or secure a takedown. It is only a matter of time before Darby pays for his inability to take the fight to the ground, and the end comes early in the second. <strong>Winner: Mason Archer -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:23 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>23. Christopher Sharp</strong></p><p><strong>

42. Rav Kapur</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two underrated fighters here that in my opinion could be seeded much higher. Sharp is the slimmest of favorites at -160 (Kapur is at -140). This is a classic grappler vs. striker contest; the American will certainly want a mat battle while the Brit will want to stand and trade. Who will be able to dictate the fight's location? We find the answer midway through the first round, when Sharp shoots in for his first takedown attempt. He catches Kapur in a single-leg and drags him to the ground. From there Sharp displays his grappling superiority as he methodically improves his position before unleashing a flurry of punches that leave Kapur helpless. <strong>Winner: Christopher Sharp -- TKO (Strikes) at 4:33 of Round 1 (Great).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The excitement in this bracket was Correa's upset of Nilsson. Still, Foster is certainly the favorite to come out of this bracket.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket C faces the winner of Bracket D in the final four.</p>

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<p>Heavyweights -- Bracket D</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>3. Kunimichi Kikuchi</strong></p><p><strong>

62. Sherman Shields</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite being outweighed by over 45 pounds, Kikuchi is a massive -1120 favorite in this battle of wrestlers. The first round is a bit of a snooze-fest, as Shields quickly clinches with Kikuchi and pushes him against the fence. They jockey for position throughout the round and trade short, peppering strikes. It's a close round, but Shields does enough to steal it and we could have an upset in the making. "Wall and stall" is a smart strategy for Shields, who is outgunned in the striking game and vulnerable to subs on the ground. Can he keep it up?</p><p> </p><p>

The second opens with the men exchanging probing strikes. Seeing an opening, Shields shoots in to try and clinch. Kikuchi is too quick however, and catches Shields with a right hand counter that staggers the big man. Kikuchi follows up with a barrage of rights and lefts and Shields has no answers. Eventually the ref steps in and calls the fight. <strong>Winner: Kunimichi Kikuchi -- TKO (Strikes) at 1:12 of Round 2 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>30. Jack Cobblepot</strong></p><p><strong>

35. Frank Sheedy</strong></p><p> </p><p>

There's over 500 lbs. of grappling prowess in the cage, Cobblepot is a slight -180 favorite. We'll watch this one in its entirety.</p><p> </p><p>

>And here we go!</p><p>

>An exchange of strikes doesn't really lead to anything.</p><p>

>They both meet with strikes, but neither does any damage.</p><p>

>Sheedy is knocked out after a huge close range left hand lands flush on his jaw!</p><p>

>By Knock Out, the winner is Jack Cobblepot!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Winner: Jack Cobblepot -- KO (Punch) at 1:08 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>14. Palmer Lette</strong></p><p><strong>

51. Percy Catcher</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Lette has a big 53 lb. weight advantage and is the favorite at -820. Catcher doesn't offer much in this affair other than a pretty strong chin. That allows him to last almost 8 minutes before Lette stops him. <strong>Winner: Palmer Lette -- TKO (Strikes) at 2:53 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>19. Carter Potter</strong></p><p><strong>

46. Gyokusho Fujimoto</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Potter is a -260 favorite. Fujimoto puts on a striking clinic in the first round, using movement and counter-striking to pummel Potter at every turn. Half way through the round a series of big right hands knocks Potter to the ground. Potter displays a solid guard to survive the round, but that was a terrible opener for the Kiwi. In round 2 Potter wisely tries to take the fight to the ground. Unfortunately for him, Fujimoto counters every shot beautifully and rocks Potter a couple of times in the round. Potter has no solution for Fujimoto so far, and unless he discovers one quickly he is going to be an upset victim.</p><p> </p><p>

As we start the third, Fujimoto is looking a bit winded which may give the well-conditioned Potter an opening. He again shoots for the takedown, but this time Fujimoto's counter is a bit too slow and Potter is able to drag the fight to the ground. Fujimoto survives the subsequent sub attempts and ground and pound, but Potter is able to win the third and bring the fight closer.</p><p> </p><p>

For some inexplicable reason, Potter decides to stand and trade in the fourth. After his successful ground game in the third this seems to be a mistake, and indeed Fujimoto scores with solid leg kicks and counter right hands. Just as it seems Fujimoto is cruising to a 3 rounds to 1 lead, Potter throws a wild right hook out of nowhere that lands flush on Fujimoto's chin. Fujimoto is out before he hits the mat. I guess I should shut up and quit questioning his strategy.<strong>Winner: Carter Potter -- KO (Punch) at 3:35 of Round 4 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>6. Raul Hughes</strong></p><p><strong>

59. Grant Shodwart</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The American is a -880 favorite, and I frankly see no way that Shodwart can beat Hughes. And indeed he can't, although he does make it into the second round before Hughes sends him to dream land. <strong>Winner: Raul Hughes -- KO (Punch) at 3:43 of Round 2 (Average).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>27. Terron Cabal</strong></p><p><strong>

38. Marvin Stevens</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Striker vs. grappler here, and Stevens' path to victory is clear -- take down Cabal and dry hump him into a decision. Cabal is a -350 favorite.</p><p> </p><p>

>There's the opening bell!</p><p>

>Cabal feints one way to put Stevens off balance, then comes in with a barrage of big right hands, forcing Stevens back up against the cage!</p><p>

>Stevens gets knocked down and Cabal keeps up the pressure with punch after punch!</p><p>

>The referee pulls Cabal away, stopping the match!</p><p> </p><p>

Wow, that was quick! Fat boy didn't even have time to put down his sandwich before Cabal made him cry. <strong>Winner: Terron Cabal -- TKO (Strikes) at 0:18 of Round 1 (Good).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>11. Grzegorz Boniek</strong></p><p><strong>

54. Fletcher Merman</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The betting public has Boniek as a -600 favorite. These two basically grab ahold of each other and waltz around the cage for 25 minutes. Boniek is the better dancer and the judges award him a lopsided decision victory. This one's not worth writing anything more. <strong>Winner: Grzegorz Boniek -- Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) (Poor).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>22. Leon Banks</strong></p><p><strong>

43. Souleymane Ya Konan</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Two big, scary strikers go at it here, and Banks is a -210 favorite. This one is going to come down to who lands the big punch first. We flip a coin and it's.... Banks. <strong>Winner: Leon Banks -- KO (Punch) at 0:26 of Round 2 (Decent).</strong></p><p> </p><p>

A couple of quick fights in this bracket, but no upsets as the higher seed all advanced. That wraps up the first round for all weight classes.</p><p> </p><p>

The winner of Bracket D faces the winner of Bracket C in the final four.</p>

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