Chris Cariaso def. Will Campuzano by Unanimous Decision
It was another night of exciting fights with an assortment of quality bouts under the UFC banner, and tonight, these men put on an exciting show for the troops at Fort Hood. We'll begin with the first live fight of the night aired on Spike TV, which featured a hungry, and aggressive Matt Wiman, picking apart a surprisingly timid Cole Miller. I'm not sure what went wrong for Cole in this fight, but judging from the knee brace, and how he reacted to be kicked in the leg, I'm led to believe he was injured going into this fight. Injured or not, Wiman's strategy of pressuring Miller and forcing him to backpedal paid off huge for Wiman as Miller quickly faded and had no answer for him standing, or on the ground.
Pat Barry narrowly avoided being edged out by Joey Beltran in their heavyweight bout, with Beltran wading into Barry's reach with multiple punches and looking to clinch when the distance was closed. Beltran had little success taking Barry down, and was left holding him against the cage repeatedly, where although he attempted to damage Barry, they were often separated by the referee...and that's when Barry began to go to work. Leg kick after leg kick slammed into Beltran's knee and thigh, leaving it a beaten purple come the end of the fight. Come the second round, Barry seemed to wake up, realizing that dropping another round by being held against the fence could very well lose him the fight. The kicks began to fly, with Barry throwing head kicks, "Pettis kicks", and plenty of leg kicks. Although Barry displayed good kick boxing, he took far too much damage for a striker of his caliber. When Beltran began to catch Barry and dirty box, he'd land three or more punches at a time, and send Barry backpedaling, looking to escape. Despite a hearty attempt to avoid taking a beating from Barry's kicks, Beltran collapsed when the final bell sounded, obviously in terrible pain from the leg kicks. Barry won the decision, but he's got to work on those counter punches.
In the third fight of the night, Mark Hominick showed great patience against George Roop, and secured his title shot against current featherweight champion, Jose Aldo. Roop came out game, ready to sling feet and fists with Hominick, despite being an underdog. Roop took the fight to Hominick, but good footwork and defense prevent Roop from landing anything significant. When Hominick chose to strike back, he dropped Roop, and let him come back to his feet. Roop was disheartened, but stayed in the fight, only to be dropped again, and finished off with a solid shot as he sit on the mat, with his back to the cage. At first, I felt the stoppage early, but when Roop rose to his feet and stumbled into Hominick, it was obvious that the stoppage was fair.
Matt Mitrione pulled no punches in the co-main event of the evening, showing once again that his heavy hands and hard head may one day see the top of the heavyweight division, crushing Tim Hague in the first round. Mitrione gets a little too excited while trading punches, at times finding himself looking to find his footing because off poor foot work while on the attack, but when he found Hague's jaw with a left hand, he dropped him once, then once again in the final moments of the bout, finishing him off with some very solid punches on the ground. Mitrione called out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in his post fight interview, and I must say, that's an interesting match up.
Finally, in the main event, the experience, and newly reformed Melvin Guillard took on the highly regarded, 11-1 Evan Dunham. It was the speed, power, and technique of Guillard that decided the fight, derailing the Dunham hype train with powerful punches and vicious knees against the cage in the first round. Guillard found himself one the ground with Dunham on top once, but stayed calm and found his way back to the feet, where he clearly outmatched Dunham. Although the final blow of the fight may have been an illegal knee to face of Dunham, Guillard was quite impressive, and he seemed just as impressed with himself as the fans were. Post-fight, Guillard told Joe Rogan that 2011 is his year, and he considers himself the BEST lightweight on the planet. I don't quite agree, but if he continues to perform as he did tonight, he will certainly be in the mix at the top ranks of the ever evolving lightweight division.