An excellent ground battle opened UFC on Fox 8, as Yaotzin Meza scored his seventh win in nine bouts with a rear naked choke over John Albert at 2:49 of round two.

Meza took Albert down (who had already forfeited 20% of his purse due to weighing in a pound overweight yesterday) early in the first, but had trouble with Albert’s dynamic guard game — which was somewhat reminiscent of Albert’s trainer, Dennis Hallman. Meza went for a guillotine in transition but Albert defended easily and moved into side control. Later, Albert nearly found victory with a far side armbar. Meza tried another guillotine later in the round, even moving to mount — but Albert escaped again.

Albert dropped for a guillotine of his own as the second stanza began, but Meza defended. Albert’s triangle attempt was close to getting the finish again, but he seemed to tire and Meza escaped all the way to take Albert’s back. The product of Arizona’s “The Lab,” a teammate of John Moraga who we will see in our main event, then worked for a rear naked choke to take the victory home.

Yaotzin Meza defeats John Albert by Rear Naked Choke, 2:29 of round two.