Early flooring doesn't faze Diaz

Thursday September 17th, 2009

Nate Diaz said he wanted someone who would give him a real fight in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. Melvin Guillard let him know right away that his wish was about to granted.

Just seconds after the start of UFC Fight Night 19's main event, the explosive Guillard floored Diaz with a heavy right hand in the center of the Octagon. While Diaz lay on his back waiting for the follow-up assault, Guillard motioned him back to his feet, seemingly indicating that this was one fight he wasn't about to give away by pursuing his opponent out of his own comfort zone. But a round-and-a-half later, he did exactly that, shooting for an ill-advised takedown attempt that landed him in the guillotine choke that would force him to submit at 2:13 of the second round.

Despite all the trash talk and blustering gestures from Diaz, he found out early on that Guillard wasn't a man he wanted to trade blows with. The New Orleans fighter may have been giving up a significant height and reach advantage, but he was by far the quicker and more effective striker, scoring with kicks to the body and sharp punch combos to the head, one of which opened a gash over Diaz's right eye midway through the first.

That's when Diaz seemed to conclude that he needed to get the fight to the mat, and while he was able to put Guillard down several times, he wasn't able to keep him there long enough to mount any offense. Fortunately for Diaz, he didn't need to. Guillard made it easy for him when he attempted a double-leg takedown attempt and stuck his head directly into Diaz's armpit, practically begging to be choked. Diaz complied and, just like that, his two-fight losing streak was broken.

For Guillard, it marked the seventh submission defeat of his career, with his only other loss coming by way of decision back in 2004. But after the way he seemed to be in complete control of this fight -- and in the main event on live TV -- it may be the hardest one yet for him to stomach.

In the night's other prominent lightweight bout, Gray Maynard again put his improved boxing skills to good use, outpointing Roger Huerta on the feet for the first two rounds before finally taking things to the mat in the third en route to a split-decision victory.

The closest Maynard came to finishing an opponent in his last five fights came in the third and final round, when "The Bully" locked on a kimura that appeared to have Huerta in serious trouble. But, as Maynard twisted his shoulder like a wet towel he was trying to ring out, Huerta stayed calm and somehow reversed the position after looking like he might have suffered a debilitating injury.

As courageous a finish as it was, it wasn't enough to send Huerta out of the UFC on a win. The fighter-turned-actor could find no answer to Maynard's patient stand-up game in the early rounds, and two of the three judges gave all three rounds to Maynard.

Elsewhere on the card:

• Former WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit survived early trouble to defeat Jake Ellenberger via split decision in a close bout that nearly saw Condit knocked out several times in the first round before turning it on late in the fight.

• In a back-and-forth middleweight battle, Nate Quarry outlasted and outstruck Louisiana's Tim Credeur to win a unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds.

• In the light heavyweight division, former Marine Brian Stann took a unanimous decision victory over Steve Cantwell in the rubber match between the two former WEC champions.

• Xtreme Couture product Mike Pyle earned his first UFC victory, submitting welterweight Chris Wilson with a guillotine choke 2:15 into the third round.

• Middleweight C.B. Dollaway bested UFC newcomer Jay Silva via unanimous decision after three rounds.

Jeremy Stephens opened up a cut over Justin Buchholz's eye midway through the first frame that necessitated a look from the ringside physician, who ultimately decided to call an end to the bout and award Stephens with the TKO victory at 3:32 of round one.

• UFC rookie Mike Pierce was victorious in his Octagon debut, edging welterweight Brock Larson on all three judges' scorecards.

Ryan Jensen managed to lock Steve Steinbeiss into a tight guillotine choke late in the first round, and though Steinbeiss appeared to give the referee a signal that he was OK, the bout was still stopped at 3:56 of the first round, giving Jensen the technical submission victory.

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