‘‘Joe Lauzon is a tough kid,’’ Miller said. ‘‘I knew I was going to have to bring my best effort to put him away and I was never able to. That’s how good he is on the ground. And even in the last minute, look what he was trying to do to win the fight.’’
After two dull main-card bouts resulted in wins for Okami and Brunson, Philippou (12-2) and Boetsch entertained the crowd — but Boetsch (16-5) left his first loss in two years with big cuts on his forehead and nose along with an apparently injured hand. Philippou was impressive in his fifth straight victory, winning as a fairly late replacement for Chris Weidman, his training partner.
In the early fights, veteran Jamie Varner (21-7-1) continued his comeback with a split-decision victory over Melvin Guillard (47-13-3), and heavyweight Todd Duffee (9-2) returned to the UFC after an acrimonious 2½-year absence with a nasty first-round knockout victory over Phil De Fries. Rising Mexican bantamweight Erik Perez earned his third straight first-round victory, stopping Byron Bloodworth with a knee to the stomach.