Read on for UFC Fight Night prelim results...
TULSA, August 23 – Welterweight veteran Ben Saunders wasn’t able to get a knockout in his first UFC fight since 2010, but he was spectacular nonetheless Saturday at the BOK Center, as he delivered the first omoplata submission finish in UFC history, with newcomer Chris Heatherly being the first-round victim in UFC Fight Night prelim action.
Heatherly showed no fear of Saunders’ striking attack as the bout began, matching him blow for blow until he was able to put “Killa B” on his back. Saunders was undeterred by the change in scenery, as he worked for a submission, eventually locking in an omoplata that produced a tap out at 2:18 of the opening frame.
With the win, Saunders improves to 17-6-2; Heatherly falls to 8-2 with 1 NC.
MAGNY vs. GARCIA
Neil Magny made it four for four in 2014, scoring a three-round unanimous decision victory over Alex Garcia in welterweight action.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Magny, now 12-4; Garcia falls to 12-2.
Giving up a significant height and reach advantage, Garcia was destined to have problems at long range, but surprisingly, Magny opted to take “The Dominican Nightmare” to the mat. The problems remained for Garcia, as Magny controlled matters on the ground as well throughout the opening round.
Favoring his right leg after throwing a punch, Garcia had trouble tracking Magny down in the second, but he was able to get the fight to the mat, albeit without any significant scoring while there. And once standing, he was relegated to wild rushes at his foe.
The Octagonside physician checked Garcia’s leg to begin round three, and after being cleared to continue, he proceeded to slam Magny to the mat. Garcia kept Magny there for the first two minutes of the round, even staying locked on his foe’s back as the Coloradan rose. Soon, the two tumbled back to the ground, Garcia in control. Finally, Magny got free with 30 seconds left, getting his own takedown just before the final horn.
“That fight went very weird," said Magny. "Not at all what I was expecting and I’m a little disappointed. The plan was to keep the distance and use my big reach advantage to pick him apart from the outside. I was trying to pressure him and wear him down, but he really wouldn’t engage out there at all. It’s a difficult choice because you have to either press towards your opponent and open yourself up to be countered or hang back. I’m 4-0 this year in the Octagon so I’m ready to take on all comers. I want to stay active.”
DARIUSH vs. MARTIN
A rough first round didn’t prove to be problematic for Beneil Dariush in his lightweight bout against Tony Martin, as he roared back in the second to submit the Minnesotan.
The two grappling specialists kept it standing for the majority of the first round, with Martin in control of the action as he consistently beat Dariush to the punch. The two briefly hit the mat in the final two minutes, but other than that, it was all standing and all Martin.
The stand-up battle turned into a grueling close quarters grappling match in round two, and it was here where Dariush turned things around, as he smoothly caught Martin in a ground scramble, locking in an arm triangle that finished the bout via tap out at the 3:38 mark.
With the win, Dariush improves to 8-1; Martin falls to 8-2.
HOBAR vs. PHILLIPS
After a disappointing showing in his first UFC bout against Pedro Munhoz earlier this year, Matt Hobar looked like a different fighter in scoring a dominant three-round unanimous decision win over Aaron Phillips in a bantamweight matchup.
Scores were 29-28 on all three judges’ cards.
Hobar (9-2) got the fight to the mat early in the first, with Phillips working his submission game from his back. Hobar stayed busy though, changing positions to keep the Louisianan from getting set. Phillips still got in his shots from the bottom position, but Hobar kept his cool and superior positioning as he took the round.
Phillips (8-2) ate another takedown seconds into round two, and Hobar’s pace remained high with punches and knees, even as the two rose and grappled against the fence. When Phillips finally got loose, he was able to get back in the fight with his strikes, but in the final two minutes, Hobar earned another takedown, and he kept the now bloodied Phillips grounded to the horn.
The strategy didn’t change for Hobar in the final frame, as he opted for the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ plan of attack, and Phillips simply had no answers for it as he suffered his second consecutive UFC loss.
REIS vs. SANCHEZ
A late replacement for the injured Timothy Elliott, Albuquerque prospect Joby Sanchez gave veteran Wilson Reis some trouble in the second round of their opener, but Reis bookended the round with solid efforts in the first and third to pull off the unanimous decision win in his flyweight debut.
All three judges saw it 29-28 for Reis, now 18-5; Sanchez falls to 6-1.
The first two minutes of the bout were a track meet, Reis chasing and Sanchez laterally moving around the Octagon. When Reis was able to close the gap for a moment in the third minute, he jarred the newcomer briefly, but the exchanges were few and far between. With less than two minutes left, Reis took his elusive foe to the mat and soon took his back, remaining there to the end of the round, even as Sanchez rose to his feet.
After losing the first frame, Sanchez got his offense in gear in round two, dropping Reis early with a left hand and then sending him back to the deck moments later with a right kick to the head. The Brazilian survived, but he was on wobbly legs as he got up, only getting back to business around the midway point of the stanza, as he scored another takedown and took Sanchez’ back. Elbows to the leg allowed the New Mexico product to escape, but he wound up in the same predicament late in the round.
Reis got the fight to the mat early in the third, but Sanchez was again able to spring up almost immediately. The tenacious veteran wasn’t giving up on the ground game though, and he kept pressing to implement his jiu-jitsu attack, finally sinking in a rear naked choke with just over a minute left. Sanchez showed great poise in escaping and getting back to his feet, but he was unable to secure the final fight-changing flurry before the horn.