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Feb 24th
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Home MMA Ultimate Fight Night 20 Results
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Ultimate Fight Night 20 Results

ufn_20Gray Maynard finally got a chance to shut Nate Diaz up and did so using slick speed and defense to get the split decision victory over the Caesar Gracie standout. Bad blood was brewing leading up to Ultimate Fight Night 20 in Fairfax, Virginia. Diaz gave Maynard his only taste of defeat during the semi-finals of the Ultimate Fighter 5. Though that lost was not reflected on either fighters professional record as all fights on the show are seen as exhibition matches. Maynard swore that he would fight a completely different fight and stuck to his game plan avoiding taking down Diaz at all costs and instead chose to stand with the taller and lankier opponent. The three round contest was a technical one with no fight ending blows being landed. Maynard did land the heavier of the strikes working in fast hooks to the head of Diaz in all three rounds. A heavy knee in the second more than likely secured the fight for Maynard as Diaz fell to his knees briefly before clinching up and recovering. Diaz would push back late in the third, landing more shots in that final round than the first two combined. Diaz, not known for his knockout power, just could not mount anything to put Maynard away as the two swung at each other before the fight ended. Though it seemed the Xtreme Couture fighter’s game plan was to keep it standing Maynard admitted “The game plan went out the window; I don’t know; I saw his face and I wanted to fight. It was stupid, but I hope you guys enjoyed it a little bit.” Maynard remains undefeated with a record of 8-0 while Diaz suffers his third loss in the UFC.

Dunham mounts his own comeback, taps undefeated Escudero

Who would of thought we would be treated to not one but two come from behind victories tonight. In the battle of the undefeated’s, Efrain Escudero and Evan Dunham went at each other in a bout similar to that of Simpson/Lawlor just one fight before. Dunham mounted from a first round deficit to rally back in the second and third rounds by submitting his opponent at 1:59 of the third round. The undefeated Mexican fighter and Ultimate Fighter 8 winner (Escudero) was patient in the first, using his reflexes to slip many of Dunham’s strikes. A flying knee locked on to Dunham’s chin provided the first round drama as he was visibly shook. A pursuing Escudero chased after him loading up on strikes and throwing wild haymaker hooks, a majority of which missed but one landed, sending Dunham flat on his back. Dunham quickly nullified the situation using his Jiu-jitsu skills to work in an armbar attempt on the pressing fighter. Dunham would show the heart of a lion as he recovered and made up for lost ground in the final two rounds. The Las Vegas fighter would press forward in the second, landing straight rights and mixing it up with a single leg takedown. The highlight reel finish would come in the third as Dunham took his opponent down and landed short elbows from the top position. Escudero sensed danger and immediately looked to work to stand but gave up his back. He attempted to shrug of his opponent but allowed Dunham to get in position for a triangle and finally an arm bar for the submission victory. 

Simpson survives early scare to comeback for the spilt decision win

Aaron Simpson and Tom Lawlor put on a show for those inside The Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Simpson rallied from a 10-8 round in the first that saw him badly hurt to go on and win via spilt decision on the judges scorecards (29-28). Simpson commented on that first round after the fight, “He hit harder than I thought, he really surprised me.” A surprise is what we got as the south paw, Lawlor had Simpson on dream street multiple times in the first. Lawlor would counter with stinging left hooks over Simpsons jab to send him backpedaling into the cage. While working inside the clinch, he would go on to land huge upper cuts on two occasions and follow up with a huge left hook that hurt his opponent in the first minute of the round. Simpson fought for dear life, clinching whenever he could and miraculously survived. He would regain his legs in the second and momentum, scoring takedowns and landing blows from side control on the fading Lawlor. With his confidence now back Simpson kept moving forward in the third as Lawlor was completely gassed. It allowed Simpson to work more takedowns and eventually took Lawlor’s back. It was enough to sway the judges in his favor as the spilt decision was award to the undefeated Simpson. Though many booed the decision in attendance Simpson said his game plan from the start was to “wrestle and stand up.” 
Sadollah goes the distance; wins by points

The Ultimate Fighter 7 winner Amir Sadollah came back from an injury and put on an impressive performance against Jonathon Blackburn for the unanimous decision victory. The added time off to nurse his injuries allowed Sadollah to work his kickboxing in Holland and it showed. Sadollah started the bout using front legs kicks as a way to inflict damage and offset the timing and rhythm of Blackburn. His opponent landed a few good strikes but never could amount to rallying significant damage on the home state fighter. Both in the second and third rounds, Sadollah was able to set up openings with advancing front and side kicks that hurt Blackburn. It enabled him to set up a short check hook that landed in the second and a flying knee in the third, both of which had Blackburn on shakey ground. Blackburn managed to survive as Sadollah opted to take the fighter to the ground and not engage to finish the fight. The final round was spent mostly in the guard, with Blackburn defending against the constant attempts at mount and side control from Sadollah. Both fighters shook each other hands at the end of the bell and Sadalloh was the clear winner with a unanimous decision victory (30-27) on all three judge’s scorecards. Sadollah seemed befuddled in his post fight interview but thanked his home state fans for supporting him.

In the undercard:
Nick Catone def. Jesse Forbes via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Gerald Harris def. John Salter via TKO in R3 (3:24)
Rafael Dos Anjos def. Kyle Bradley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rory MacDonald def. Mike "Joker" Guymon via armbar in R1 (4:27)
Thiago Tavares vs. Nick Lentz declared a draw (28-28, 28-28, 29-27)
Rick Story def. Jesse Lennox via split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
Chris Leben def. Jay Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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