On Saturday, April 4, the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night 63: Mendes vs. Lamas from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.
In the night’s main event, former featherweight title challengers Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas locked horns. Mendes competed for the first time since dropping a five-round war against champion Jose Aldo at UFC 179 last fall. Both of the 29-year-old’s career losses had come against the Brazilian. Lamas, meanwhile, was looking a second crack at the champion. The 32-year-old had earned two straight wins since falling to Aldo in early 2014.
The co-main event featured a pair of lightweights hoping to fight their way into title talk as veteran Jorge Masvidal took on TUF: Live runner-up Al Iaquinta. The former Strikeforce title challenger Masvidal had won five of his six fights in the Octagon, including three straight. Iaquinta rode a similar wave of momentum, having won six of his last seven, with his last three wins coming via TKO.
The 10-fight event kicked off Saturday with four preliminary card bouts on Fox Sports 1 at 11 a.m. ET, with the six-fight main card airing live at 1 p.m. ET, also on Fox Sports 1.
The night’s main event didn’t last a round as Chad Mendes demolished Ricardo Lamas via TKO. Lamas opened with kicks, but Mendes was patient. He found an opening for his overhand right and Lamas crumpled to the canvas. He tried to recover, but Mendes smelled blood. He delivered a big knee that sent Lamas face-first to the mat again. The referee allowed the fight to continue and Mendes delivered more punishment before begging the referee to intervene.
In a very controversial decision, lightweight Al Iaquinta eked out a split decision win over Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal controlled the range with his jab, and then unloaded with a violent combination late in round one that dropped Iaquinta. Masvidal looked for the finish, opening up a big cut under the right eye of Iaquinta. In the second round, both fighters traded strike for strike. The final round saw Iaquinta swing wildly, but Masvidal was masterful with his jab. Amazingly, two of the judge score the fight in Iaquinta’s favor.
Lightweight Michael Chiesa used strong grappling and a variety of strikes to get the better of Canada’s Mitch Clarke. Chiesa began landing his left hand early in the fight. Clarke tried to push the fight against the cage, but fell victim to a hip toss from Chiesa and was quickly mounted. He gave up his back and Chiesa looked for a rear-naked choke. Clarke survived, but in round two, it was more of the same. Clarke wore Chiesa like a backpack for most of the round and was forced to defend multiple submission attempts. Clarke showed heart in round three, scoring with his striking, but it was too little, too late, as Chiesa took the lopsided decision win.
TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena returned from a lengthy injury layoff and dominated Russia’s Milana Dudieva. Pena came out firing, prompting Dudieva to look for a takedown. Pena stayed upright momentarily, but Dudieva took the fight to the mat. Pena worked back to her feet and scored a takedown of her own. She moved to mount and unleashed a nasty barrage of elbows, punches and hammerfists that led to the stoppage.
Clay Guida got back in the win column, besting fellow featherweight Robbie Peralta by unanimous decision. Guida slammed Peralta to the canvas twice in the opening minutes to set the tone of the fight. He would control Peralta along the fence for a large portion of the first and second stanzas. Peralta scored with short shots from in close, opening a cut over Guida’s left eye. Guida’s wrestling was simply too much, as he claimed all three rounds on all three scorecards.
Returning to the lightweight division, Dustin Poirier handed Brazilian Carlos Diego Ferreira his second straight loss with a first-round knockout. Poirier was aggressive from the get-go, scoring with left hands. Ferreira looked for an arm-drag takedown, but Poirier scrambled free. Poirier continued to find a home for his left hand, dropping the Brazilian multiple times before finishing the fight on the ground.
Former title challenger Liz Carmouche took home a controversial decision win over former Invicta FC champion Lauren Murphy. Murphy controlled the action throughout the first two rounds, marching forward and working from the clinch. Carmouche was tentative and looked to counter. In the third round, Carmouche came alive and earned multiple takedowns. Carmouche’s efforts were enough to convince the judges, despite what looked like a clear win for Murphy.
In his lightweight debut, Alexander Yakovlev outworked former title challenger Gray Maynard and claimed a unanimous decision. The pair traded takedowns early, but it was Maynard’s movement that was the difference. In round two, Yakovlev used his length well and dropped Maynard. He looked for the finish, but Maynard survived. Yakovlev scored a late takedown in round three to seal the fight.
Heavyweight Tim Johnson scored a late, first-round stoppage win over Shamil Abdurahimov. The Russian was warned repeatedly for grabbing the fence and was deducted a point by the referee. The pair traded single shots and clinch attempts until Johnson earned a takedown late in the round. He quickly moved to mount and rained punches to get the win.
Ron Stallings earned a win in his own backyard, edging out Justin Jones by unanimous decision. Stallings scored with body shots early, but Jones survived. Jones controlled the positioning along the cage and scored with takedowns, but never got his striking game going. Stallings continued to score from range and took home the win on the scorecards.