Octagonside by Andreas Hale & Anthony Springer, Jr.
Photos by Chris Cozzone
In the main event of the evening lightweight Jonathan Brookins was crowned as the new Ultimate Fighter Season 12 champion after defeating Michael Johnson via unanimous decision. In round one Johnson had the fight firmly in his grasp as he dropped Brookins repeatedly with hard, crisp combinations. Round two saw Brookins return to his wrestling and control his opponent from the top position for most of the period. The final round saw Johnson score with some blows, but the wrestling of Brookins took over again and he remained in control as time ticked away. Scorecards all read the same, 29-28.
Despite both being deducted points for blows to the back of the head, Stephan Bonnar defeated Igor Pokrajac via unanimous decision in the evening’s light heavyweight co-feature. Scorecards all read the same, 29-26.
In a middleweight contest, Demian Maia defeated former TUF 3 champion Kendall Grove via unanimous decision. Judges’ scorecards all read the same, 29-28.
In a welterweight contest Rick Story defeated Johnny Hendricks via unanimous decision. Scorecards all read the same, 29-28.
Leonard Garcia was awarded a controversial three round, split decision over Nam Phan in a lightweight showdown. Scorecards read 29-28 twice in favor of Garcia and 30-27 once in favor of Phan.
In the night’s final undercard bout, Cody McKenzie used his patented guillotine choke to stop fellow housemate Aaron Wilkinson at 2:03 in the opening round. Ian Loveland used a heavy handed approach to defeat Tyler Toner via unanimous decision. Loveland set the pace from the opening moments, dropping Toner with a big right hand. The judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 30-26. Kyle Watson defeats Sako Chivitchian by unanimous decision. Both men preferred to block punches and kicks with their faces, though neither was able to do significant damage. The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27, 29-28. David Branch defeats Rich Antonnito by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). In what is likely the knockout of the year, Pablo Gara sent Fredson Paixao to dreamland with a brutal left knee to earn a first round victory. Official time of the bout was :51 seconds. Nick Pace submitted Will Campuzano at 4:31 in the final round. Pace choked his foe with a leg over the head and an arm on the throat. When asked what the maneuver is called, the bantamweight simply said, “The Pace.”