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Hector Lombard, Ross Pearson feast with knockouts at UFC on FX 6

Robert Whittaker and Norman Parke win ‘The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes’ titles

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Hector Lombard, from Australia, weighs-in in Calgary, Alberta, Friday, July 20, 2012. UFC 149 takes place in Calgary, on Sat., July 21.

The Ultimate Fighter 16 finale

  • When: Saturday Dec. 15, 3-9 p.m.
  • Where: The Joint at Hard Rock
  • How to watch: Preliminary bouts on Facebook at 2:30, preliminary bouts on FUEL TV at 4, main card on FX at 6
  • Tickets: $100-$250 remaining Ticketmaster
  • Main card bouts: Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione; Colton Smith vs. Mike Ricci; Pat Barry vs. Shane del Rosario; Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner; Dustin Poirier vs. Jonathan Brookins
Click to enlarge photo

Ross Pearson controls Junior Assuncao during their featherweight bout at UFC 141 Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Note: Full results from the UFC on FX 6 preliminary card are listed at the bottom of the page.

The first right hand Hector Lombard landed cleanly sent Rousimar Palhares crashing into the fence.

The second one Lombard delivered nearly jarred Palhares’ mouthpiece out. Ensuing versions of the same strike gashed Palhares above his right eye and, ultimately, knocked him out 3:38 into the first round.

Lombard, long considered one of the best middleweights in the world, nabbed his first UFC victory on the main card of UFC on FX 6 in Queensland, Australia Friday night.

“I actually started my MMA career here in this city,” an emotional Lombard exclaimed moments after his victory. “I believe I won the last fight, but getting my first win in the UFC means a lot.”

Lombard hadn’t lost in 25 consecutive bouts, dating back to 2006, before dropping a split-decision to Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 in his octagon debut this summer. The upset gave Lombard the unfortunate “overrated” tag.

But the Cuban-born veteran took the first step to shedding that label at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. He also called out who he’d like to fight next to continue to prove himself.

“I want to do that to (Michael) Bisping,” Lombard yelling. “Bisping, where are you? Stop talking. I want to get my hands on you.”

Bisping is scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort on the next FX card, scheduled for Jan. 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, so Lombard will have to wait. He wasn’t the only one to erase recent bad memories on the card assembled to serve as the finale of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes,” which pitted British lightweights and welterweights against their Australian rivals.

Ross Pearson, who coached the British team opposite rival George Sotiropoulos, moved on from an unmemorable stint at featherweight. Pearson moved back up to lightweight to face Sotiropoulos and responded with a TKO victory 41 seconds into the third round.

Pearson dropped Sotiropoulos with strikes three times before the finish.

“It was just patience,” Pearson said. “I knew the shots I wanted to land. I said all along, I just needed to touch him.”

The British team dominated the reality show, but Robert Whittaker made sure the home fans weren’t hanging their heads all night. Whittaker, an Australian, partook in a slugfest with Brad Scott, a Briton, for the welterweight “TUF” title.

Whittaker took the first and third rounds on all three judges scorecards, in part because of several successful head kicks, to win a unanimous decision.

In the other “TUF” final, lightweight best friends Colin Fletcher and Norman Parke from the British team squared off for the championship. Parke got inside of Fletcher’s reach advantage and out-grappled the lanky 6-foot-2 fighter en route to a unanimous-decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 29-29) .

Parke and Whittaker each earned a guaranteed six-figure UFC contract for prevailing in their eight-man tournaments.

“The contract is a bonus,” Whittaker said. “The real joy was just defending my country and making everyone proud.”

Check below for full results from the UFC on FX 6 preliminary card.

Chad Mendes outclassed featherweight newcomer Yaotzin Meza. Mendes knocked out Meza with an overhand right at 1:55 of the first round.

Joey Beltran pulled off the upset of the night, picking up only his second victory in the octagon out of his last seven tries. Beltran, a 2-to-1 underdog, won every round on every judges’ scorecard against Igor Pokrajac and nearly knocked out the Croatian multiple times in their light heavyweight bout.

Welterweight veteran Mike Pierce won his third fight in six months. Pierce beat Seth Baczynski, who was on a four-fight winning streak of his own, by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). Like most of Pierce’s opponents, Baczynski failed to stop most of his takedowns.

Ben Alloway knocked out Manuel Rodriguez with a front kick at 4:57 of the first round in their welterweight bout. Rodriguez scored a takedown early, but Alloway’s edge on the feet ended up deciding the fight.

Lightweight Mike Wilkinson was considered one of the favorites on “TUF: The Smashes” before an injury forced him to pull out of the tournament in the semifinals. He proved he deserved that status Friday night, as Wilkinson defeated Brendan Loughnane, one of his British teammates on the show, by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) to remain undefeated.

UFC newcomer Cody Donovan defeated Nick Penner by first-round TKO in a light heavyweight bout.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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