Read on for Fight Night Orlando early prelim results...
USMAN vs. EDWARDS
The grappling of Kamaru Usman was too much for England’s Leon Edwards in their welterweight bout at Amway Center in Orlando Saturday, with “The Nigerian Nightmare” using that attack to win a three-round unanimous decision in UFC Fight Night early prelim action.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Despite spending some time on his back, Edwards had a good first round, tossing off all but one of Usman’s takedown attempts as he displayed solid stand-up techniques. And even off his back, the Brit stayed busy with a triangle choke attempt and some elbows.
More from UFC Fight Night Orlando: Postfight bonus recap | Full results | Fight stats | dos Anjos makes quick work of Cowboy to defend title | Reem gets big TKO, Diaz and newcomer win on main card | Marquardt, Oliveira and Shevchenko win in prelims | Usman goes distance, Ngannou and Luque win in FIGHT PASS prelims | Backstage interviews Nate Diaz, Karolina Kowalkiewicz , Charles Oliveira, Nate Marquardt | Best pictures from Fight Night Orlando
A thudding left by Usman began round two and set up a second takedown, and this time the Ultimate Fighter alum controlled the grappling portion of the fight on the mat and when the two stood and clinched against the fence. Edwards got off some punches while standing, but a late takedown by Usman added more points to his tally.
In the third, Usman’s wrestling broke the fight open against the tiring Edwards, and the dominant ground attack was just what the Floridian needed to secure the round and the fight.
Usman moves to 7-1 with the win; Birmingham’s Edwards falls to 10-3.
LUQUE vs. HASSAN
In a rematch of an action-packed Ultimate Fighter 21 bout, welterweight prospect Vicente Luque evened the score with Hayder Hassan, winning by submission in the first round.
Hassan attempted to use a stick and move strategy to throw Luque off his rhythm as the fight began, but the Brazilian pressured effectively and eventually tagged his foe with a hard right hand that jarred him. In response, Hassan sought a takedown, but as Luque stuffed it, he took his opponent’s neck and brought the fight to the mat. There, the anaconda choke ended matters, with referee Jorge Alonso stepping in at the 2:13 mark.
Brasilia’s Luque moves to 8-5-1 with the win; Coconut Creek’s Hassan, who won a split decision over Luque on TUF 21, falls to 6-3.
NGANNOU vs. HENRIQUE
A battle of debuting heavyweights kicked off the card in Orlando, and it was France’s Francis Ngannou making an immediate impression with a second-round knockout of Brazil’s Luis Henrique.
Henrique wisely opted against a striking battle with the hard-hitting Ngannou, choosing instead to grapple, with the result being some success on the ground and in the clinch. Both segments ended in restarts by referee John Hosegood, but were likely enough to seal the round for the Brazilian.
There was more of the same early in Round 2, but this time, when Hosegood broke them apart, Ngannou took advantage, whipping off an impressive combination of punches ended by a left uppercut that put Henrique down and out at the 2:53 mark.
With the win, Paris’ Ngannou improves to 6-1; Rio de Janeiro’s Henrique falls to 8-2 with 1 NC.