In the night's final preliminary bout, underdog Tyson Steele (10-1) weathered an early submission storm from Gregor Gracie (7-3) to battle back with a first-round TKO win.
Steele opened with an early straight, but Gracie returned fire with his own punches and moved into a clinch, where he took the fight to the floor. He quickly advanced to mount, and Steele squirmed underneath. Gracie first teased the rear-naked choke but then transitioned smoothly into an arm-triangle. To his credit, Steele defended the move well, but he left his arm behind, and Gracie latched onto an armbar. Somehow, Steele survived again, and things quickly changed.
Energized from his escape, Steele exploded with a massive barrage of powerful punches on the feet and a flying knee to the chin. A bloodied and wobbled Gracie hit the deck, and Steele continued to pound away. The submission ace looked for one last desperation hold, but Steele pulled his leg free and continued to pound away until referee Chris Tognoni stepped in with just eight seconds left in the opening frame.
With the biggest win of his career, Steele now boasts a four-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Gracie falls to 1-2 in his past three fights.