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Prazeres, Pantoja score wins on prelims

 PRAZERES vs CUMMINGS

Despite six consecutive wins at lightweight, battles with the scale forced Brazil’s Michel Prazeres to the welterweight division, but Saturday night at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, Prazeres extended his winning streak to seven with a split decision win over Zak Cummings.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Belem’s Prazeres, who improves to 25-2. Kansas City’s Cummings falls to 21-6.

Despite dealing with a sizeable height and reach advantage, Prazeres used his overhand right and strategic use of the clinch and his wrestling game to keep Cummings guessing. The American had his moments on the feet, but they weren’t frequent enough for him to take home the victory.

PANTOJA vs MORENO

No. 12-ranked flyweight Alexandre Pantoja defeated No. 7-ranked Brandon Moreno on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter, and in their second meeting in Chile, Pantoja repeated that victory, winning a clear-cut unanimous decision over “The Assassin Baby.”

Scores were 30-26 twice and 29-27 for Rio de Janeiro’s Pantoja, now 19-3. Tijuana’s Moreno falls to 14-5.

Technically sound with his crisp counterpunching all night, Pantoja wobbled his foe with left hands on a couple occasions and bloodied his nose with the same blow in the first round, and while Moreno was game and aggressive all night, his wide punches left too many openings for the Brazilian to take advantage of, leaving that as the story of the fight.

BOTELHO vs KONDO

After going three rounds in her UFC debut last October, Brazil’s Poliana Botelho needed a little over 30 seconds to get her second Octagon victory, as she stopped Japan’s Syuri Kondo in spectacular fashion.

Botelho took control of the Octagon from the start, and after a kick to the body hurt Kondo, a straight right put the Tokyo product on the canvas. A series of ground strikes followed, with referee Camila Albuquerque stopping the fight 33 seconds into the opening round, making it the fastest finish in UFC women’s strawweight history.

Rio de Janeiro’s Botelho moves to 7-1 with the win. Kondo falls to 6-1.

BENITEZ vs BANDENAY

Mexico’s Gabriel Benitez kept the momentum going from his recent win over Jason Knight, as he halted Humberto Bandenay in the first round of their featherweight bout.

In the midst of an early exchange, Benitez (21-7) struck first and dropped the Peruvian up and comer. As Benitez looked to finish, Bandenay (14-5, 1 NC) locked in an armbar, but Benitez slammed his way out of it, with a couple follow-up shots bringing an end to the contest. The official time of referee Osiris Maia’s stoppage was 39 seconds of round one.

BARZOLA vs DAVIS

Former TUF Latin America 2 winner Enrique Barzola made it four in a row in prelim action, as he shut out featherweight prospect Brandon Davis over three rounds.

Scores were 30-27 and 30-26 twice for Peru’s Barzola, who improves to 16-3-1. Mississippi’s Davis falls to 9-4.

After a competitive first round, Barzola began to pull away behind a consistent grappling attack that included a pair of submission attempts in the second frame. Davis tried to get Barzola into a slugfest in the final round, but Barzola stuck to the game plan to pick up the victory.

SAENZ vs BRIONES

Bantamweight veteran Frankie Saenz delivered another workmanlike effort in picking up his second consecutive victory, decisioning Henry Briones over three rounds.

Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-26 for Arizona’s Saenz, now 13-5. Tijuana’s Briones falls to 19-8-1.

Mixing his striking, clinch work and takedowns well throughout all 15 minutes, Saenz dropped Briones in the second round and cut him over the left eye, keeping the Mexican battler from getting into a rhythm with his standup game, allowing the Scottsdale product to win all three frames.

PUELLES vs SILVA

Peru’s Claudio Silva appeared to be on his way to his second consecutive UFC loss before “El Nino” stormed back to score a third-round submission win over Felipe Silva.

Puelles had a solid first round on the mat, but in the second, his defense got spotty as he tired, and Brazil’s Silva began tagging him, hurting and dropping him with under two minutes left. In the final round, Silva put Puelles on the deck again, but after surviving that assault, Puelles managed to catch his foe in a tight kneebar, forcing the tap out at 2:23 of the third.

With the win, Lima’s Puelles moves to 9-2. Minas Gerais’ Silva falls to 8-2.
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