MORAES vs DODSNON
Marlon Moraes picked up his first Octagon win in UFC Fight Night action at Ted Constant Convocation Center Saturday night, outpointing John Dodson via split decision in a meeting of bantamweight contenders.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 27-30 for the No. 9-ranked Moraes, now 19-5-1. The No. 8-ranked Dodson falls to 20-9.
Moraes had a good first round thanks to a busy attack featuring an array of kicks, but the good scoring was diluted by a low kick and an eye poke, two accidental fouls that put him on the verge of losing a point. Add in a flash knockdown scored by Dodson with a little over three minutes left, and “The Magician” was more than in the fight.
Starting to open up with his hands in round two, Moraes landed a couple hard right hands while Dodson scored the first two takedowns of the fight. Moraes did get one takedown back late, continuing to make the fight a scoring nightmare for the judges.
The third round was nip and tuck throughout, with neither fighter able to make that final run until the closing seconds, when Moraes locked in a tight guillotine choke that might have ended the bout if the horn didn’t intervene.
SUAREZ vs PEREIRA
An intriguing matchup of unbeaten strawweights turned into a one-sided rout, as Ultimate Fighter 23 winner Tatiana Suarez returned from an injury-induced layoff to shut out Viviane Pereira in her first bout since July 2016.
Suarez put in a dominant effort in the opening frame thanks to a relentless ground attack that saw her keep Pereira grounded for over three minutes. In the second, Suarez wasted little time putting the Brazilian back on the mat, and with two minutes left, she got the mount position and began firing hard elbows. Pereira would escape the mount but not the mat, as Suarez continued to pile up the points.
It didn’t get better for Pereira in the final round, as Suarez got the fight to the canvas and didn’t let up, wrapping up the clear-cut decision by tallies of 30-27 twice and 30-26.
With the win, Suarez moves to 6-0; Pereira falls to 13-1.
NORTHCUTT vs QUINONES
Lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt returned from an 11-month layoff in impressive fashion, winning a shutout three-round unanimous decision over Michel Quinones.
Northcutt (9-2) was patient and confident in the first two rounds, keeping steady pressure on Quinones while flurrying when the opportunity presented itself. Quinones (8-3) began getting some shots in during the second, but it was still Northcutt in control with his crisp striking as well as a pair of takedowns at the end of each stanza.
The third was more of the same from Northcutt, who was a step ahead of his foe all night, with Quinones unable to kick it into another gear down the stretch, allowing Texas’ “Super Sage” to emerge victorious via three scores of 30-27.
ANSAROFF vs HILL
Strawweight prospects Nina Ansaroff and Angela Hill put on an exciting kickboxing show in their three-rounder, with Ansaroff winning a close, but unanimous, decision.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Ansaroff, now 8-5. Hill falls to 7-4.
The fists and feet were flying from the start in this one, Hill the busier of the two while Ansaraoff was intent on landing hard counters. “Overkill” mixed her attacks up nicely, though, allowing her to surge into the lead.
Ansaroff stayed the course in round two, bloodying Hill’s nose while ripping her opponent’s leg with kicks, but the Californian got in plenty of her own shots, drawing some blood herself by the end of the frame.
In the third, it was more of the same from both battlers, who didn’t let up for the final five minutes, but the heavier blows continued to be landed by Ansaroff, who scored with the biggest shot of the fight in the closing seconds, a head kick that briefly halted Hill’s forward motion and may have clinched the round and the fight for the Floridian.
McGEE vs STRICKLAND
In a competitive meeting of welterweight veterans, Sean Strickland won a three-round unanimous decision over Court McGee.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
An early head kick by McGee (19-7) resulted in a takedown by Strickland (19-2), but the “Crusher” scrambled back to his feet. Once standing again, Strickland’s striking was sharp, but McGee dug in well to the body, making for some interesting close-range exchanges for the next few minutes.
The close back-and-forth action continued in rounds two and three, McGee marching forward while Strickland worked his jab well throughout. But a late stretch of ground-and-pound by Strickland served the Californian well until McGee rose with a minute left. A Strickland takedown and rear naked choke attempt did close the show in style for him, the crowd roaring as the bout went to the scorecards.
COLLIER vs FORTUNA
Jake Collier put in a full 15 minutes of work in his competitive light heavyweight scrap with Brazil’s Marcel Fortuna, pushing him over the top via unanimous decision.
Collier (11-4) got off to a bit of a wild start, but as soon as he settled in, he began landing at a solid clip on Fortuna, who countered well in response, making it a close round to score.
Fortuna (9-3) scored a takedown early in round two, but Collier shook his foe off when the two stood, allowing the Missouri product to get back to his aggressive striking attack. With 90 seconds left, Fortuna got a second takedown and nearly locked up an arm triangle, but Collier got loose and then scrambled into the top position where he remained for the rest of the frame.
Keeping the pace high, Collier continued pressing in the final round, and while he did get rocked briefly by Fortuna, he recovered and got back to business, wrapping up the decision by scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
ROBERSON vs STEWART
A 15-second knockout earned Karl Roberson a UFC contract, but “Baby K” showed off his ground game in his Octagon debut, submitting Darren Stewart in the first round of the middleweight opener.
After throwing some kicks to get close on his foe, London’s Stewart looked for a takedown, but Roberson turned the tables with a quick throw to the mat. There, the New Jersey native went to work, taking Stewart’s back before patiently sinking in the rear naked choke that produced the tap out at 3:41 of the opening stanza.
Roberson moves to 6-0 with the win; Stewart falls to 7-2 with 1 NC.