BRIAN FOSTER VS. FORREST PETZ
Round 1 - Referee Herb Dean oversees the evening's first preliminary contest. Foster all smiles as he's introduced. Foster fakes an early shot. Jab from Foster and another fake. Low kick from Foster opens a few traded shots, but nothing big lands. Foster really thumping with that lead leg as he fakes takedown attempts. Spinning back kick lands from Foster. Petz moves in to counter, but he gets clipped with a right hand. He doesn't drop immediately, but he's obviously stunned as he staggers down to the floor. Foster jumps on top and unleashes a barrage of some 30 unanswered punches. Petz trying to roll and recover, but Foster is relentless on top, and Dean is forced to step in. Brian Foster def. Forrest Petz via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 1:07.
DAVID MITCHELL VS. ANTHONY "T.J." WALDBURGER
Round 1 - Referee Jon Schorle in charge of the two welterweight newcomers. Mitchell charges forward with two lazy low kicks. Waldburger fires one back, but Mitchell rushes in for the takedown. He drops to guard and threatens immediately with his legs high. Waldburger steps out and tries to move to top position. Mitchell attacks the leg, and Waldburger drops back to do the same. Neither appears to have anything secure, but they continue adjusting and playing the leg game. Waldburger releases and spins to the top. He lands one short punch before Mitchell regains guard. Omo plata attempts, but Waldburger steps out and slides around. He takes the back. Mitchell rolls to escape and finds himself in an armbar. He defends well and steps back to the feet. Halfway in. Lots of transitions early. Takedown attempt from Mitchell, but Waldburger sweeps to to. Mitchell again looks to attack from the bottom, but Waldburger pulls away immediately.back on the feet, and Mitchell drops to his back looking for a kimura. Foster escapes to the top. Beautiful transitions from both in a grappling heavy matchup. One minute left. Waldburger lands a few punches from top, steps away and dives back in with more. Mitchell works to his feet, but his face shows the accumulation from the punches. Waldburger very calm against the cage. Mitchell drops for a leg, but Mitchell steps out and into mount, where the round ends. Fun first round, and MMAjunkie.com sees it for Waldburger, 10-9.
Round 2 - Mitchell kicks low. Waldburger kicks high, but Mitchell trips him up on the missed strike. Waldburger scrambles up to his feet and attaches himself to a single-leg. He gets it, but he's forced to defend a kimura. Mitchell rolls and tries to move to an armbar. Waldburger pulls his appendage free and stands. Waldburger walks through a few upkicks and lands a punch. Mitchell fires a few elbows from underneath. Waldburger grabs the left leg and falls back. Mitchell stands up on it. Waldburger trips him, but he jumps right back up and takes top position. Waldburger immediately sweeps and moves out to side control. Two minutes in. Mitchell controlling the head with his left arm, but Waldburger in no danger from side control. Mitchell releases, and Waldburger immediately steps into mount. He rolls out for an armbar on the left side. Mitchell defends it and works free. Mitchell on top, but he gives it up to attack the leg. Nothing there, and Waldburger pops up, delivers a few punches and then attacks Mitchell's leg. Neither fighter seems concerned with position in this interesting grappling match. Mitchell lands an illegal kick to the face on the floor, but Schorle leaves the fighters down as they work the leg game. Mitchell works to his feet and tries to grab hold of a guillotine as he falls. Waldburger immediately works free and lands a few elbows from top. He backs away at the bell, though he gives his opponent one final shove to the floor. Another one for Waldburger on the MMAjunkie.com card, 10-9.
Round 3 - Another kick to open from Mitchell, and Waldburger catches it and pushes him to the floor. Immediately into side control, and he spins all the way around before taking the back and locking in a rear-naked choke. It looks very deep and under the chin, but Mitchell somehow survives. Still, he's in trouble. Waldburger in mount and delivers several direct punches before taking the back and leaning against the cage. Mitchell's face bloodied as he tries to control his opponent's arm. Waldburger tries to step over Mitchell's arm to control it. Mitchell slides off and dives down to attack the left leg. Waldburger steps through it and starts delivering punishment from the top. Back to the feet, and Mitchell tries to push into a takedown. Instead, Waldburger powers back the other way and pushes his opponent into the cage. Mitchell lands an upkick, but he looks exhausted. Mitchell tries to shoot in on a single from his butt, but Waldburger sniffs it out and pushes him to the floor. One minute left. Mitchell spinning from his back, and he's looking to attack an arm, but Waldburger pulls free and moves to side control. Waldburger transitions to mount. Mitchell rolls, and Waldburger takes the back. Chants of "T-J" in the crowd. Mitchell rolls again, and Waldburger lands a few punches from the top as the final bell sounds. Waldburger takes the round on the MMAjunkie.com card, 10-9, and the fight is his as well, 30-27. If you like grappling, this was a good one. Anthony "T.J." Waldburger def. David Mitchell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
RICH ATTONITO VS. RAFEL NATAL
Round 1 - Referee Kerry Hatley in the cage. Natal feigns a kick and paws a few jabs as he circles around Attonito. Big left hook for Attonito. Natal tries to counter and moves away. Low kick for Natal. Attonito walks into a knee, but his hands look crisp early. Attonito to the body. Natal lands a few wild swinging hooks. Natal with a slapping low kick. Attonito ducking his head as he punches, and Natal looks like he's timing it early. Right hand counter lands for Natal. Natal with a high kick that's partially blocked. Wild hooks by both, but the longer Natal gets the best of it. Low kick from Attonito. Halfway in. Natal moving away well, though Attonito does land to the gut. Attonito kicks low, and Natal just misses over the top. High kick from Natal blocked. Attonito answers with low kicks. Side kick from Natal scores. Attoito ducks inside and lands a big right. Natal hits the deck. Attonito pounces with some 17 blows that connect with varying degrees of effectiveness. He lets Natal back to his feet, and the Braizlian has obviously not recovered yet. Attonito attacks, but he stays a little too far away. Natal stays away and shakes out the cobwebs. He shoots in and brings Attonito to the floor. Natal in half-mount. Attonito gains guard when Natal looks for the choke. Round ends there. Natal had a slight lead before getting clocked, but MMAjunkie.com gives Attonito the round on that damage, 10-9.
Round 2 - Both fighters back to boxing again early. Natal mixing in a few kicks as well, and both fighters narrowly miss on a few homerun shots. Natal slips on a high kick, and he staggers as he regains his feet. Natal jabbing, and Attonito trying to get inside to deliver another massive punch. Natal using his kicks to maintain distance. Natal finally shoots in, and Attonito pulls guard. We're halfway in. Attonito does a good job of defending underneath and preventing any offense from Natal. Scramble back up to the feet. Pace slows just a bit. Attonito misses a lead left. Attonito does land to the body, and Natal nearly ducks into another uppercut. Attonito looks for a takedown, but it's not there. Natal maintains his distance. Natal tries for another takedown, but it's not there, either. It's a close round again, but MMAjunkie.com awards it to Natal narrowly, 10-9, based on his control of the pace and the one takedown.
Round 3 - Attonito pressing early as he tries to close the gap. Natal kicks high, but it's blocked. He throws again and lands a slapping blow. Natal ducks under a hook and tries a takedown, but Attonito pulls away. Natal jabs to maintain distance, but Attonito sneaks in a few right hands. Attonito catches a kick and lands one punch, but Natal pulls away before his opponent can really capitalize. Natal telegraphs a takedown, and Attonito shoves him to the floor and sets up in top position. Attonito postures and lands a few punches. He stands, avoids a few upkicks and dives in with a punch. Attonito on top in Natal's guard halfway in. Natal working his hips and legs underneath, but Attonito staying tight and firing punches when he can. Natal tries to grab wrist control on Attonito left arm, but he yanks it free and delivers a few punches. Attonito is claiming the round by staying on top and defending well. Elbow from the top with one minute left. Natal still trying to work, but Hatley stands them with 30 seconds left. Natal throws a high kick. Natal leaps in with a hook, but Attonito scores with the counter and sends Natal to the deck securing the likely win. MMAjunkie.com sees the final frame for Attonito, 10-9, and awards him the fight, 29-28. Rich Attonito def. Rafael Natal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
DAVE BRANCH VS. TOMASZ DRWAL
Round 1 - Referee Herb Dean in charge. Branch opens with a low kick. Drwal stationary as Branch bounces at range. Low kick again from Branch, and he fakes a shot. Drwal tries a low kick, and Branch is on top of him immediately. Takedown, and Drwal pulls guard one minute in. Drwal gets his left leg on the shoulder, and Branch is defending the right leg from completing the triangle. Branch postures to escape trouble, and he finally works Drwal's leg off the shoulder. Branch in half-mount. Drwal on his right side and trying to prevent damage. Branch stands and delivers a few right hands to the gut. He pushes back in and sets up in half-mount. Drwal trying to control with overhooks, though Branch does sneak in a few crisp punches. Closed half-guard on the bottom, and the pace is moderate. Crowd boos, and Branch tries to advance. Drwal wraps his left arm around the neck and tries to squeeze, but Branch is fine and pulls free with a minute left. Dean uses that moment to stand the two. Drwal moves in behind a left hand. Branch defends against the cage and lands a nice knee before backing away. They reset on the feet, and the round ends there. MMAjunkie.com sees it for Branch, 10-9.
Round 2 - Branch opens with a low kick. He shoots from distance, and Drwal pushes him off. Branch shoots again, and Drwal stands him up and pushes his opponent to the cage. Branch jockeys for position and finally spins off the cage and into Drwal. Branch drops low around the waist and eventually sucks Drwal off the cage. Half-mount for Branch. He delivers a nice forearm from the top. Drwal spins but Branch locks in the hooks and takes the back. Drwal works to his feet, and Branch is pretty high on the back. Branch transitions to the side and tries to take an arm from the back, but he falls off. Drwal slips out the back, but they immediately work into the clinch again. Branch pushes in, but he's stalling, and Drwal looks to Dean for a restart with a little less than two minutes. He gets it. Branch shoots in from distance, but there's nothing behind it. Branch walks into a Drwal right hand and literally turns and runs away a few steps to reset. Crowd doesn't like that. Striking exchange, and Drwal catches a finger in the eye. He takes a moment, and we restart. Branch shoots in again, but he's lost some quickness and power, and Drwal is shucking them off easily. Branch ducks into a knee. Branch lands a jab, and Drwal is short on the counter. Branch scampers away and lands a right. Round ends to boos, and Drwal raises his arms to the crowd. MMAjunkie.com sees the second for Branch, 10-9, though Drwal landed some of his best shots in the closing minutes of the round.
Round 3 - Branch again with the early low kick. He shoots again, and Drwal stops it. Branch does land a snapping 1-2, and he ducks into the clinch behind it. He drops levels quickly and dumps Drwal on his back. Drwal pulls guard, and his head is against the cage. Closed guard underneath, and he's trying to hold Branch close. Branch pulls away momentarily, but the pushes immediately back in. Drwal sits against the cage and regains his feet. He spins off the cage, but Branch powers off and pushes Drwal back into the cage. Short knees on the outside from Branch, but Dean calls for a quick restart after seeing so much of this position. Branch lands a high kick with little steam behind it. Two minutes left. Striking is tentative, and crowd again boos. Branch shoots. Drwal defends very well, but Branch just pushes into the clinch. It's effective, and he throws short knees to keep Dean happy. The crowd, not so much. They reset on their own. Drwal chases a retreating Branch and does land a right. Branch shoots, and Drwal again stands him up and delivers a knee. Branch pushes Drwal into the cage again in a familiar position. Dean calls for action. They break and reset with 12 seconds left, but Branch immediately moves back into the clinch. Fight ends there, and the Austin crowd boos the effort. MMAjunkie.com sees the final round for Branch, 10-9, and gives him the fight, 30-27. Dave Branch def. Tomasz Drwal via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
JARED HAMMAN VS. KYLE KINGSBURY
Round 1 - Referee Jon Schorle officiates. Hamman tries a knee but eats a straight. Kingsbury shoots in behind that, and Hamman hits the deck. Hamman works back to his feet, but Kingsbury stays glued to body and brings him back down. A second effort from Hamman gets him back to the feet. Kingsbury delivers a stiff 1-2. Hamman stands in the pocket and returns fire. High kick from Hamman. Kingsbury drops but pops back up and moves away. Kingsbury scores, but Hamman lands a slick overhand. Into the clinch, and Kingsbury pushes Hamman into the cage. Two minutes in. Nothing there, and the two reset. Kingsbury kicks low, but Hamman counters over the top. Kingsbury moves in with a 1-2 that snaps Hamman's head back. Good shots from both. Hamman pulls guard, and Kingsbury fine with that as he sets up on top. Hamman scrambles underneath and gets back to his feet. Hammnan's left eye marked up. He just misses a spinning backfist. Kingsbury ducks and scores a takedown. Hamman cagewalks back to his feet. Hamman dumps him again. Back up again, and they reset. Traded punches again. Right hand staggers Hamman. Lots of punches scoring from both fighters. Crowd needed this, and they're showing the appreciation. Kingsbury into the clinch again. Hamman knee inside winds up short. They push off and trade in a flurry at the end. Kingsbury walks away with a bloody nose. Fun round, and MMAjunkie.com gives it to Kingsbury, 10-9.
Round 2 - Fast pace early. Hamman again finding a home for the overhand right, while Kingsbury using a nice straight. Jab lands for Kingsbury. Hamman countering over Kingsbury's low kicks well, but Kingsbury's jab is popping his opponent's head back. Left hook lands for Kingsbury. Kingsbury thinks shot but eats a knee. Right hand lands for Kingsbury. Hamman grabs his eye, but Schorle doesn't intervene. Hamman's left eye showing real wear. Kingsbury really picking Hamman apart. Hamman trying to fire back in the pocket, and the crowd is on its feet. Kingsbury stalking and landing. Hamman grabs his face again. Halfway in. Kingsbury settles in a bit and moves into the clinch. Hamman pulls away and lands to the body. Kingsbury slowing the attack, though he does land a nice straight. May have punched himself out. Hamman bloody, but he's still moving forward. Great toe-to-toe action. Kingsbury ducks under a big overhand and takes Hamman to the mat. No advantage, and he steps back up. Hamman moves in and gets taken down again. His face is a bloody mess, but Hamman doing a great job of working up each time. Less than a minute. Hamman land a few hammerfists, and the two stand. Kingsbury slips on a knee, and Hamman pounces. Kingsbury feels the danger and scrambles away. Hamman like a Terminator at the end of the round, and he lands some stinging blows. MMAjunkie.com sees the round for Kingsbury, 10-9, but Hamman may be the one in control in the final frame. Great action so far.
Round 3 - Rousing ovation to start the third. Hamman does look fresher as he attacks, but Kingsbury right there to answer as he staggers his opponent with straight shots. Kingsbury trying to retreat and set up his shots, but Hamman relentless. Takedown from Kingsbury, but Hamman immediately back up. Lefts traded. Straight knocks Hamman's mouthpiece out. He puts it back in and re-engages. Into the clinch, and knees are traded. Hamman just misses a big knee as they break. Kingsbury with another takedown, but Hamman will not stay on the floor. Kingsbury's mouth wide open. Hamman lands a jab. Kingsbury answers and adds a straight for good measure. Hamman with a 1-2. Great stuff from both fighters. Hamman loses the mouthpiece again. Quick restart. Hamman with a lead left. Kingsbury with a big right. Flurries from both fighters. Right hand knocks Hamman's mouthpiece out again. Schorle waits for a break before giving it back. Kingsbury shoots in. He drives Hamman across the cage, into the fence and down. Guess what? Hamman's not staying there. More punches. Both fighters exhausted and trading. Hamman stuffs a takedown. Kingsbury stands and retreats, and Hamman attacks until the final bell. Probably stole the round with a courageous final flurry. Kingsbury should walk away with this win, but neither guy should lose in this early "Fight of the Night" candidate. MMAjunkie.com sees the final round for Hamman, 10-9, but the fight goes to Kingsbury, 29-28. Kyle Kingsbury def. Jared Hamman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).