By Dustin Lee DePue
Austin, TX—Several fighters took steps up the contender ladders in their respective weight divisions tonight at the Frank Erwin Center. Nate Marquardt, Jim Miller, Charles Oliveira, and Cole Miller all took home wins in what was an entertaining night of fights.
In the main event, Nate Marquardt took a step closer to title contention after scoring a TKO stoppage over Rousimar Palhares. After a lengthy feeling out process, Palhares attempted to close the distance, forcing Marquardt to back and counter. Palhares bulled through the punches and went for the takedown. After a scramble, Palhares ended up in side control before stepping up and falling back into an ankle lock. Marquardt was able to slip out and get to his feet. For a moment, Palhares seemed distracted, pointing at Marquardt’s leg and saying something to the ref. This moment of distraction cost him as Marquardt loaded up a big right hand that stunned Palhares. Marquardt followed up with punches for the TKO stoppage at 3:28 of the first round.
Charles Oliveira notched his 14th win and added to his highlight reel with a thrilling third round submission over Efrain Escudero. Oliveira attacked Escudero with kicks to the legs and body, setting them up with fast jabs and lots of head movement. Escudero seemed to have trouble with his opponents speed and aggressiveness. He managed to score late in the first round with a pair of hard elbows from within Oliveira’s guard but that was the best it got for him.
By the third round, Oliveira’s assault on Escudero’s legs and body had taken its toll on his speed. The end came after Oliveira ate an accidental knee strike to the groin. After taking several minutes to recover, Oliveira came out with urgency, bouncing Escudero off of the cage and sending him airborne and onto the mat. As Escudero scrambled to his feet, Oliveira jumped onto his back and sunk in a rear naked choke. Still standing, Escudero was forced to tap at 2:25
Jim Miller notched his fifth straight win in the UFC with a unanimous decision victory over Gleison Tibau. With both men sporting BJJ black belts and strong wrestling, it came down to Miller’s superior hands. He landed several significant punches, buckling Tibau twice in the first round and hurting him again in the second with an overhand left that had Tibau in trouble. Tibau scored several takedowns in the fight but wasn’t able to mount any offense on the ground. The third round was even with both man landing punches but neither able to take advantage. Miller was rightfully awarded the decision by scores of 30-29, 30-29, 29-28.
Cole Miller backed up his big talk in stopping Ross Pearson by rear naked choke in the second round. After hurting Pearson with a right hand, Miller closed the distance with a flying knee and rocked Pearson with a left hook. As Pearson stumbled to the mat, Miller pounced, latching on a rear-naked choke for the tap out at 1:49 of the second round.
Nate Marquardt def Rousimar Palhares by TKO (Strikes) 3:28 Rd 1
Charles Oliveira def Efrain Escudero by Rear Naked Choke 2:25 Rd 3
Jim Miller def Gleison by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Cole Miller def Ross Pearson by RNC 1:49 Rd 2