Read on for UFC 209 prelim results...
TYBURA vs. HENRIQUE
Polish heavyweight prospect Marcin Tybura picked up his second straight knockout victory in UFC 209 prelim action at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, halting Brazil’s Luis Henrique in the third and final round Saturday.
The first round was fought at a fast pace in the grappling realm, both fighters taking turns showing off their mat prowess. That led to a slower second frame, and the grueling clinch work got the Vegas fans restless. But in the third, Tybura broke open a close fight when he was able to take the mount position and fire off the ground strikes that brought referee Herb Dean in to stop the bout at the 3:46 mark.
With the win, Warsaw’s Tybura improves to 15-2; Rio de Janeiro’s Henrique falls to 10-3 with 1 NC.
ELKINS vs. BEKTIC
It was a miraculous comeback from gutsy veteran Darren Elkins, as he survived a furious attack from Mirsad Bektic, then roared back to hand the Bosnia native his first loss via third round TKO.
Bektic took over at the start, using his striking to get Elkins’ attention before taking the Indiana native to the mat. There, Bektic opened a cut on Elkins’ face and locked him into a crucifix position, where several hard strikes followed. Elkins was able to get back into half-guard, but the strikes kept coming, producing more damage on his face.
Elkins got back into the fight in the second round with a couple guillotine choke attempts, but Bektic still controlled much of the action. By the third round though, Elkins was still standing and still scrapping, and as Bektic tired, Elkins fired, and after a seemingly routine stint against the fence, Bektic stumbled following a series of shots and then fell after eating a kick to the head that brought referee Chris Tognoni in to stop the fight at 3:19 of the final frame
With the win, the No. 14-ranked Elkins moved to 23-5; the No. 13-ranked Bektic falls to 11-1.
ALCANTARA vs. SANDERS
Luke Sanders appeared to be on his way to the biggest win of his career against bantamweight contender Iuri Alcantara, but the composed Brazilian eventually found a route to victory, ending the bout via submission in round two.
After Alcantara got the fight off to a wild start, it was Sanders settling the fight down and getting his striking game into gear before widening his lead on the mat, where he hammered his veteran foe with several hard punches. With Sanders pounding away, Alcantara had no answers, but an illegal knee by the Nashville product brought a momentary halt to the action and cost him a point from referee Marc Goddard.
Sanders’ strikes continued to wobble Alcantara in round two, as the Brazilian was clearly still rattled by the punishment he took in the previous frame, but in the midst of a scramble on the ground, Alcantara showed the presence of mind to lock up Sanders’ leg, with the kneebar forcing Sanders to tap out at 3:13 of the second round.
With the win, the No. 15-ranked Alcantara moves to 34-7 with 1 NC; Sanders falls to 11-1.
GODBEER vs. SPITZ
British banger Mark Godbeer removed newcomer Daniel Spitz from the ranks of the unbeaten in heavyweight action, winning a three-round unanimous decision.
All three judges saw it 30-27.
The busier Godbeer had a good first round, as he had little difficulty making his opponent’s three-inch height advantage a non-issue. After eating more of the Brit’s power shots in the second minute of round two, Spitz got the fight to the mat, but only briefly, as Godbeer fought his way back to his feet and began pouring it on his tiring foe. With a minute left in the second frame, Spitz was fighting purely on heart as his gas tank emptied, but he was able to make it out of the round.
In a slow third frame, it looked like Spitz was going to survive, but with under two minutes remaining, Godbeer sent Spitz to a knee with a hard punch to the head. The Spokane product again showed great resilience though, as he rose, ate a couple more hard shots, but made it to the final horn.
With the win, Bridgwater’s Godbeer moves to 12-3; Spitz falls to 5-1.
PEDRO vs. CRAIG
Sydney’s Tyson Pedro ended his clash of unbeaten light heavyweights with Paul Craig in emphatic fashion, halting the Scotland native in the first round.
Craig started out well, using his range to land some head kicks, but in the clinch, it was Pedro’s world. After separating, Pedro used a straight right to the head to put Craig on the deck with two minutes left, and while he let his foe up, a subsequent visit to the mat saw Pedro take control, with a series of unanswered elbows bringing in referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight at the 4:10 mark.
With the win, Pedro moves to 6-0; Craig falls to 9-1.
MORALES vs. SOUKHAMTHATH
Bantamweights Albert Morales and Andre Soukhamthath put on an entertaining three-rounder in the opener, with Morales using a late surge to pull out a split decision win.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Morales, now 7-1-1; Soukhamthath falls to 11-4.
Morales was in control for much of the first two rounds, with a stiff jab and frequent leg kicks in the opening frame followed by a takedown in the second. But late in round two, Soukhamthath was able to reverse position on the mat and control the ground work until the horn.
Soukhamthath began to find his striking range in the final round, with his body attack clearly bothering Morales. The Californian was able to get the fight back to the mat though, allowing him the opportunity to switch things up in the nick of time. Nearly sinking in a rear naked choke, Morales was back in front and he stayed there, notching his first UFC victory.