The UFC invaded Virginia for a special early Saturday card at UFC Fight Night 63.
Chad Mendes made quick work out of fellow former UFC featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas, stopping him in the first round. Mendes, who has lost only to champion Jose Aldo twice before, landed with a stiff shot and never let up.
Lamas, who also competed against Aldo for the title, survived twice, but a third time down on the canvas was too much for him.
In the co-main event, lightweights Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal put together a 15-minute battle, with Iaquinta scoring the split-decision. Iaquinta appeared to be on his game early, but Masvidal landed a huge shot that opened him up.
The decision was not a happy one for the crowd to hear, as two judges gave it to Iaquinta 29-28, while the third had it 30-27 for Masvidal. The win was the fourth straight for Iaquinta, who stormed out of the Octagon after asking the fans if they were booing him, adding several expletives.
Michael Chiesa, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, improved to 12-2 by dominating Mitch Clarke. Chiesa scored an easy decision, almost finishing the Canadian a number of times with a rear-naked choke to get back on track after a 2014 loss to Joe Lauzon.
Another former Ultimate Fighter winner, Julianna Pena, finally made her return to the Octagon, fighting for the first time since 2013 and earning a finish of Milana Dudiva. Once Pena scored the mount, the Brazilian never let up, landing vicious elbows and forcing the referee to step in.
Pena suffered a torn hamstring, ACL, MCL and other ligament damage in training, leaving her with a year-plus recovery.
Veteran Clay Guida showed off his new skills from training in Los Angeles with Ronda Rousey’s head trainer, earning a victory over Robbie Peralta. “The Carpenter,” looking to move up the 145-pound ladder, dominated Peralta with his wrestling, nearly securing a submission late in the third.
Former featherweight contender Dustin Poirier made a triumphant return to the lightweight division, flooring Carlos Diego Ferreira and earning a first round knockout. “The Diamond” will return this summer, he announced, on the New Orleans card.
The prelims featured a pair of former No. 1 contenders, as Liz Carmouche bested Lauren Murphy in a controversial decision. Murphy controlled much of the contest with her wrestling, but the judges rewarded Carmouche the win.
Gray Maynard, who previously competed for the lightweight belt, suffered his fourth straight loss with a decision defeat to Alexander Yakovlev.
Timothy Johnson finished Shamil Abdurakhimov in a heavyweight affair and Ron Stallings picked up a decision over Justin Jones.
Mendes, Poirier, Pena and Johnson all earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses and an additional $50,000.
Complete results can be found below:
Chad Mendes def. Ricardo Lamas via TKO (strikes) at 2:45 of Round 1
Al Iaquinta def. Jorge Masvidal via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Michael Chiesa def. Mitch Clarke via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-28)
Julianna Pena def. Milana Dudieva via TKO (strikes) at 3:59 of Round 1
Clay Guida def. Robbie Peralta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dustin Poirier def. Carlos Diego Ferreira via KO (strikes) at 3:45 of Round 1
Liz Carmouche def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexander Yakovlev def. Gray Maynard via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Timothy Johnson def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via TKO (strikes) at 4:57 of Round 1
Ron Stallings def. Justin Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)