Read on for TUF 23 Finale early prelim results...
LEE vs MATTHEWS
Kevin Lee pulled off the most impressive win of his Octagon career in lightweight action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday, stopping Aussie phenom Jake Matthews in the first round of their TUF 23 Finale prelim bout.
Lee (13-2), who has now won five of his last six, showed off his strength immediately, slamming Matthews (11-2) to the mat, where he began firing off strikes to the head. After a spell on the canvas, Matthews rose, but Lee remained locked on as they grappled against the fence. Midway through the round, the two separated, Matthews landing a hard kick while Lee responded by knocking his foe’s mouthpiece out and taking him back to the mat. Lee quickly took Matthews’s back and fired away with both hands, referee Jason Herzog stepping in to stop the contest at the 4:06 mark.
More from The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale: Results | Jedrzejczyk retains title in five-round epic | Suarez, Sanchez newest Ultimate Fighters | Maynard, Nicolau go distance for victories | Li, Lee show off power at TUF 23 finals | Backstage interviews: Doo Ho Choi, Joaquim Silva | Octagon interviews: Tatiana Suarez. Kevin Lee
LI vs. ZAFIR
Welterweight prospect Jingliang Li made short work of Anton Zafir, winning the opening bout of the evening via first-round knockout.
Zafir had some success early with a takedown and some groundwork, but as soon as Li deftly reversed position and got to his feet, he took the Australian down and delivered a few thudding ground strikes that put Zafir out, with referee Chris Tognoni halting the bout at the 2:46 mark.
With the win, China’s Li moves to 11-4; Zafir falls to 7-3.