Lightweight champion Michael Chandler makes his first appearance since capturing the title last November. Chandler will square off against the veteran Akihiro Gono in a non-title bout.
Luis Santos vs. Ryan Ford
Ford defeated Santos by technical knockout at 1:24 of the second round. Santos appeared to be on the way to making it a quick night as he crushed Ford with a high kick early in the bout. The kick hurt Ford who immediately went into survival mode looking to slow the attack from Santos. The Brazilian would land a series of elbows in the clinch and would finish the round on Ford’s back. Ford would turn the table in the second round. Working in the clinch against the cage, Ford would crumble Santos with a well-placed knee. Ford followed Santos to the ground where he blistered him with several strikes before the referee called off the fight.
Damian Grabowski vs. Dave Huckaba
Grabowski defeated Huckaba by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Timely takedowns in the first two rounds helped to pave the way for the decision victory for Grabowski. He was able to get the fight to the ground as he worked his way in behind combinations. However, Grabowski could mount little offense once he was able to get the takedown. Huckaba appeared to be tentative with his strikes. This was evident in the third round when Grabowski was visible tired. Huckaba landed several nice strikes as Grabowski appeared to be fading. However, Huckaba failed to follow-up with multiple combinations or press the action.
Ben Saunders vs. Bryan Baker
Baker defeated Saunders by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27). Baker advances to the finals of the season six welterweight tournament. Baker, a former middleweight, was able to use his size and strength advantage to nullify the slick submission game of Saunders. The fighters set a quick pace early as Baker pressed the action standing while Saunders responded with submission attempts on the ground. Baker would begin to take control in the second round as he turned the fight into a grinding affair thanks in part to takedowns and solid top control.
Michael Chandler vs. Akihiro Gono
Chandler defeated Gono technical knockout at 0:56 of the first round. A fast start from Chandler leads to a quick finish of Gono. Chandler was aggressive from the opening bell as he charged forward behind a quick combinations. He dropped Gono with a straight right then unleashed a flurry of strikes to end the fight.