Filed under: UFCThis is the UFC on FX live blog for Mike Easton vs. Jared Papazian, a bantamweight bout on tonight's main card from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Easton (11-1) won his UFC debut last October with a second-round TKO over Byron Bloodworth. Papazian (14-6), coming off a stint as King of the Cage bantamweight champion, is making his UFC debut.
The live blog is below.
Mario Yamasaki is the referee.
Round 1: Easton and Papazian collide into a half-Muay Thai clinch and they perform a bantamweight version of Frye vs. Takayama. Easton presses Papazian against the cage. Papazian connects on a short elbow and reverses Easton. Easton tries knees in clinch. The bantamweights are in a very active battle for position in clinch. But with neither fighter close to landing a big shot or takedown, Yamasaki separates them. They trade leg kicks. Papazian catches a leg kick but isn't able to attempt the takedown. Papazian swings for the fences. Easton keeps a tight boxing defense with hands high and chin tucked. Easton misses on a spinning back kick to the delight of the crowd. Easton slams a kick into the left leg of Papazian. They exchange punches in clinch again to close an active first round. Very close round. Slight edge to Easton. MMA Fighting scores the first round 10-9 for Easton.
Round 2: Easton stalks and they're both eyeing a knockout. Easton lands a leg kick and straight right. They clinch. Easton gains double underhooks but Papazian digs with his right arm and reverses Easton against the cage. Yamasaki separates them with around 2:20 to go. Papazian lands a right and then a nice back kick glances the body of Easton. They clinch again and this time Easton lands a trip takedown into Papazian's halfguard. Easton soon after passes to side. Papazian escapes to halfguard and then to his feet as they return to clinch. Papazian pushes Easton's head away to separate. Easton stalks. Papazian shoots but Easton finishes on top. It looks like Papazian might have pulled guard or Easton reversed. MMA Fighting scores the second 10-9 for Easton.
Round 3: Easton's leg kick is almost caught. They exchange very fast punches. But there's no way they can keep that pace without someone going down and they clinch. Yamasaki separates them. Papazian takes a short breather as his body language tells Yamasaki he was kneed low. After the brief timeout, they clinch and then separate. They box in the pocket. Both fighters are landing decent shots. Easton connects a nice right. Papazian battles back. Easton responds with a left hook. We're probably going to need CompuStrike especially for this round. Somehow neither fighter has been stunned, though. Easton grabs the Muay Thai clinch with just over two minutes left. Papazian connects on a number of jabs. Easton trips Papazian, but Papazian quickly recovers. More closed-distance boxing to close the fight. Both fighters deserve a shot at Fight of the Night for this gutsy performance. MMA Fighting scores the third round 10-9 for Easton. Easton should win at least two of the rounds. The first was super close.
Mike Easton wins via majority decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-29)