By Thomas Gerbasi
OMAHA, NE, September 17 – Popular local light heavyweight Houston Alexander promised a new level of aggression in his homecoming bout against Eric Schafer tonight at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, but while ‘The Assassin’ certainly did his part in pushing the pace, it was the non-stop ground attack of Schafer that ruled the day as he submitted Alexander in their furiously paced UFC Fight Night bout.
With the arena filling with the chants of ‘Houston, Houston’, Alexander immediately responded with a series of vicious knees that put Schafer on the mat. As the hometown hero pounced, Schafer tried to grab a leg for a submission, but Alexander escaped and rose to his feet. At close range, the two locked up and traded knees, with Schafer getting a takedown midway through the round. Schafer got into side control and looked to be close to a finish, but Alexander escaped, and seconds later he averted another submission, this time a guillotine choke. But Schafer was relentless in keeping a dominant position, and he fired off a series of heavy strikes from the mount position. The crowd tried to get their man back into the fight with deafening cheers, but Schafer wasn’t about to let him off the hook, and after he sunk in an arm triangle, Alexander was forced to tap out at the 4:53 mark of the opening round.
With the win, Schafer improves to 12-3-2; Alexander falls to 8-4 with 1 NC.
Lightweight contender Clay Guida was relentless and effective in his bout against Mac Danzig, using a smothering attack to score a three round unanimous decision win over the Ultimate Fighter season six winner.
Scores were 30-27, and 29-28 twice for Illinois’ Guida.
The opening stages of the bout were fast-paced yet tactical, with Danzig’s more controlled attack being the more effective. Yet just when Danzig opened up at the midway point, it gave Guida the opportunity to score the takedown he was looking for. ‘The Carpenter’ immediately bulled his opponent to the fence, and though Danzig used that fence to rise to his feet twice, Guida immediately returned him to his spot on the canvas with a pair of takedowns that punctuated the round.
Guida (24-6) went on the offensive with even more vigor in the second, as he used strikes to set up his takedowns. Yet Danzig (19-5-1) was cool under pressure, getting back to his feet and calmly pecking at his foe while standing in the pocket. What Danzig wasn’t able to do consistently was stop Guida’s takedowns, which was going to make things difficult for him on the scorecards.
Showing an increased sense of urgency, Danzig came out fast for the final round, striking and eventually taking Guida to the mat. Guida fought his way out of trouble though and reversed position, landing punches on Danzig while the two locked up along the Octagon fence. This control of the action by Guida was visibly frustrating Danzig, who was unable to mount a consistent offense that would have allowed him to pull the bout out.
In a competitive middleweight bout, Alan Belcher bounced back from an April loss to Jason Day, using his superior striking to nab a three round unanimous decision over Ed Herman.
Scores were 29-28 across the board and for Belcher, who ups his record to 12-4; Herman drops to 16-6. The verdict was originally announced as split, but a scoring discrepancy was corrected after the announcement was made.
The war in the first round was waged on the feet, with Belcher’s kicks edging out Herman’s punches, prompting ‘Short Fuse’ to put Belcher on his back with under two minutes left. Herman tried to get his ground and pound game going on the mat, but was unable to do any serious damage throughout the remained of the round.
Belcher’s standup game, both offensively and defensively, looked sharp in the second as he picked at Herman while avoiding any incoming fire with good head movement. With 3:20 to go, a hard right jarred Herman and knocked him into the fence. Herman held on, but his legs still seemed rubbery. He was able to get Belcher on the mat in the final two minutes though, and as he cleared his head, he fired off ground strikes until Belcher got back to his feet and finished the round off with some misdirection and a superman punch before the bell rang.
After touching gloves for the final round, Herman shot in for a takedown but was rebuffed, allowing Belcher to continue his standup attack. Herman was as game as always, but in an effort to get close enough for a takedown, he was eating punches from his opponent. As the fight entered it’s final 120 seconds, Herman got Belcher to the canvas, but was unable to score effectively before ‘The Talent’ got back to his feet. Another takedown in the closing minute by Herman was more effective, but his final assault was too late to pull out the win.
Schafer Stuns Alexander; Guida, Belcher Victorious at UFC Fight Night
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Popular local light heavyweight Houston Alexander promised a new level of aggression in his homecoming bout against Eric Schafer tonight at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, but while ‘The Assassin’ certainly did his part in pushing the pace, it was the non-stop ground attack of Schafer that ruled the day as he submitted Alexander in their furiously paced UFC Fight Night bout.