There’s another Burns brother making headlines now, as Herbert Burns, the younger brother of Gilbert, made an impressive Octagon debut with a highlight reel first-round knockout of fellow newcomer Nate Landwehr in the featherweight opener.
Burns nearly ended the fight with a D’Arce choke in the opening minute, but Landwehr kept his cool, got back to his feet and broke free. But as the Tennessee native went on the attack with his strikes, a flush right knee to the chin put Landwehr down and out at 2:43 of the first round.
With the win, Rio de Janeiro’s Burns, a Contender Series graduate, moves to 10-2. Landwehr falls to 13-3.
Fighting for the first time since August 2018, bantamweight up and comer Brett Johns snapped a two-fight losing streak with a third-round submission of Tony Gravely.
Johns dominated the first round behind a slick grappling attack that nearly produced a finish in the closing seconds of the frame. Gravely came out fast for the second, though, landing a couple hard shots on the feet before slamming Johns to the mat twice. Johns soon broke out of his slow start to the round, but neither fighter could pull ahead decisively before round’s end.
Gravely got a takedown to start the third frame, but Johns responded well and took his foe’s back. A barrage of ground strikes followed and, this time, when the Welshman sunk in the rear naked choke, Gravely was forced to tap out at 2:53 of round three.
With the win, Johns moves to 16-2. Gravely falls to 19-6.
Women’s bantamweight contender Sara McMann was victorious in her first bout since February 2018, as she shut out Lina Lansberg over three rounds.
It took just 30 seconds for McMann to get the fight to the mat, and what proceeded was a dominant frame for the Olympic silver medalist as she kept Lansberg grounded and nearly submitted her on a couple occasions.
McMann got the fight back to the mat in the opening minute of the second stanza, and it was then a replay of the first, with McMann completely in control, and nothing changed for the Sweden native in the final round, with the scores of 30-27, 30-26 and 30-25 a mere formality.
With the win, the No. 10-ranked McMann moves to 12-5. The No. 11-ranked Lansberg falls to 10-5.
Bantamweight prospect Montel Jackson got a fight out of Brazil’s Felipe Colares, but after three hard-fought rounds, the Milwaukee native emerged victorious by unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-26 twice and 30-25 for Jackson, now 9-1. Colares falls to 9-2.
Jackson controlled the action throughout much of the first round both on the feet and in the grappling exchanges, and while Colares defended well, in the final minute “Quik” roared to life with a barrage of strikes that rattled the Brazilian and nearly finished him. Colares’ chin held up, though, and he made it to the end of the frame.
Fifteen seconds into round two, a left from Jackson dropped Colares, but again, Colares was resilient, catching Jackson in a guillotine choke. Jackson escaped and got back to his feet. The two went on to trade takedowns, and in the final minute it was another barrage of punches from Jackson, but again, Colares weathered the storm.
In the third, Jackson controlled the action with his grappling, and while Colares tried to turn things around with a last-minute guillotine attempt, Jackson stayed cool long enough to hear the final horn and collect his victory.
Raised in North Carolina, Justine Kish made her first start since January 2018 a winning one, as she shut out Lucie Pudilova over three rounds.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Cramerton’s Kish, now 7-2. The Czech Republic’s Pudilova falls to 8-6.
The fight was close and competitive throughout, and while there were only flashes of the sustained action most fans expected, it was more of a tactical three-rounder, with Kish leading and being busier, but Pudilova landing enough hard shots to keep herself in the fight. In the third, a takedown by Kish in the final minute was a big scoring move, capping off her first win since 2016.
British featherweight standout Arnold Allen won his ninth straight, taking a unanimous decision victory over veteran Nik Lentz.
The judges saw it 29-28 twice and 30-27 for Suffolk’s Allen, now 16-1. Lentz falls to 30-11-2 with 1 NC.
Allen kept the pressure on Lentz throughout the first round with crisp strikes that marked up the Minnesotan’s face. Lentz had success with his grappling, keeping things close in the opening five minutes.
The Brit widened his lead in round two as the stick and move strategy he was implementing kept working well while he avoided any extended grappling exchanges from the still aggressive Lentz. And though Allen remained in control in the third, Lentz was far from out of the fight, as he kept marching forward, forcing Allen to go into the next gear to keep his unbeaten UFC run intact.
It took Bevon Lewis three tries, but the highly-regarded middleweight prospect finally made his way into the UFC win column as he outpointed Dequan Townsend over three rounds.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Stone Mountain’s Lewis, now 7-2. Lansing’s Townsend falls to 21-10.
Lewis was steady in the opening frame, largely controlling matters in the clinch, but also fighting well at range. Townsend got in some shots at close range, but not nearly enough to take the round.
The second was more of the same, Lewis impressing with his patience as Townsend tried to land bombs, and he diluted any hopes of a Townsend comeback in the third with his grappling attack, which may have been implemented due to an apparent injury to Lewis’ leg.
Contender Series alum Jamahal Hill got his first UFC victory in light heavyweight action, scoring a competitive three-round unanimous decision over Darko Stosic.
Scores were 29-27 across the board for Hill, now 7-0. Stosic falls to 13-4.
Staying busy on the feet, Hill had a good first round, but Stosic did score a takedown and landed a few hard left hooks, letting the Grand Rapids product know that he was still a threat as long as the fight continued.
After eating another left hook early in the second, Hill picked up the pace with his strikes, and it was clear that Stosic was having troubles with his nose from a Hill shot in the previous frame. The Serbian did hit another takedown just before the horn, though, staying alive in the bout.
Stosic got a takedown to kick off the final round, but after eating a few ground strikes, Hill rose to his feet and went back to work with his long-range striking. Three more Stosic takedowns followed, but it was too little too late for the gritty veteran.
Fighting for the fifth time in less than a year, Angela Hill won two in a row for the first time in her UFC career, as she stopped hometown favorite Hannah Cifers in the second round of their strawweight bout.
Hill utilized her jab well in the opening stages of the fight, though Cifers made it close with good work at close range. But in the second, Hill took things up a notch, and after a throw from the Thai clinch, “Overkill” moved into the mount position and fired off a barrage of unanswered strikes until referee Kevin MacDonald stopped the bout at 4:26 of round two.
With the win, San Diego's Hill moves to 11-7. Wake Forest's Cifers falls to 10-4.
Flyweight contender Alex Perez impressed in his first fight since March 2019, as he submitted Jordan Espinosa in the first round.
Lemoore’s Perez got the fight to the mat a minute in and he bulled Albuquerque’s Espinosa to the fence as he looked for an arm triangle. And as the Californian patiently worked, the choke got deeper and ultimately ended the fight, with the official time of the stoppage at 2:33 of the opening frame.
With the win, the No. 12-ranked Perez moved to 23-5. The No. 11-ranked Espinosa falls to 14-7 with 1 NC.
Michael Chiesa made it 3-0 at welterweight in the Octagon, scoring a workmanlike three-round unanimous decision over Rafael Dos Anjos in the UFC Fight Night co-main event.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Chiesa, now 17-4. The No. 5-ranked Dos Anjos falls to 29-13.
Chiesa was able to implement his grappling game early in the fight, and as he got Dos Anjos to the mat, he took the former lightweight champion’s back and worked for a choke. But Dos Anjos’ veteran cool and experience was on display as he reversed position and got back to his feet with a minute left. It was Chiesa sticking to the game plan, though, as he scored another takedown late.
The second round was a close one, with Dos Anjos chewing up Chiesa’s leg with kicks while the Spokane Valley product continued to work his grappling well.
Chiesa opened up the third frame with a takedown and worked on Dos Anjos’ arm while the Brazilian tried to lock up his opponent’s leg. Once into Dos Anjos’ guard, Chiesa stayed busy with his strikes, and when it was over, there was no question who the winner was.
Curtis Blaydes made his case for a shot at the heavyweight title in the UFC Fight Night main event at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday night, as he upped his winning streak to three with a second round TKO of Junior Dos Santos.
Dos Santos was able to dodge Blaydes’ first takedown attempts in the opening minute, and the two kept it standing until a clinch against the fence with two minutes left. But Blaydes quickly lost his advantage when he landed a low blow that forced a restart to the action. Blaydes did land several right hands, though, allowing him to keep scoring despite not getting the fight to the mat.
Blaydes kept the heat on in the second, and Dos Santos’ tendency to throw lead uppercuts unprotected cost him, as “Razor” drilled him with a straight right, stunning the former world champ. A barrage of unanswered blows followed, with referee Dan Miragliotta stepping in to stop the fight at 1:06 of round two.
With the win, the No. 3-ranked Blaydes moves to 13-2 with 1 NC. The No. 4-ranked Dos Santos falls to 21-7.