UFC Fight Night 26 from Boston has started. Here’s the prelims re-cap in order and as they occur.
Fight 1: Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick (Lightweight Bout)
Round 1: The bell rang, the two came out and touched gloves Nijem went for the take-down and got it, but Vick wall-walked his way back to the feet and in doing so, cemented a guillotine choke and made Nijem tap; James Vick wins, at the 58 second mark of round 1.
Fight 2: Ovince St. Preux vs. Cody Donovan (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
Round 1: The round started a little slowly, but with Donavan moving forward and connecting with a couple of punches. Donovan went for a take-down but it was stuffed by “OSP”. With that, the fight moved up against the cage with Donovan pushing the action and controlling Ovince. Donovan managed to get the OSP down, but when they hit the canvas St. Preux used a wizard to immediately reverse position and flipped Donovan to his back, leaving OSP in his guard. From there it was 7 heavy lefts, with the 6th making the difference. Referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight; Ovince St. Preux wins the bout via KO, at the 2:07 mark of round 1.
Fight 3: Cole Miller vs. Manny Gamburyan (Featherweight Bout)
Round 1: Mill and Gamburyan met in the middle of the ring and it was obvious from the outset that Gamburyan was looking to land a big right. He threw it several times in the round, but without success. Miller used front kicks and his jab to keep the distance and make effective use of his reach. Gamburyan pushed the fight up against the fence, got the takedown, but did little with it. As the round ended, Miller had made his way to his feet and in doing so, landed two nasty elbows to the back of Gamburyan’s. A doctor was called in to check the fighter, but he was okay to go and the fight continued.
Round 2: Pretty much the same as round 1, with Gamburyan still throwing that big right and being the general in the rind. Miller used his reach via front kicks and jabs to keep Gamburyan at bay. Manny landed a couple of effective low-kicks and Miller hit him with a nice knee. Gamburyan got the fight up against the cage again and managed a takedown, but again had nothing in the way of real offense. In getting back up to his feet, Miller effectively used his elbows to open a cut on Manny’s head.
Round 3: Same as rounds 1 & 2 with Gamburyan being the more “come-forward” fighter. Again he used some nice low-kicks and again, Miller countered with front-kicks and jabs. Miller landed a beautiful knee to Gamburyan’s face and in response, Manny hit him with a flurry of punches and grabbed a takedown in the middle of the ring. Miller was able to move the fight to the cage and then wall-walk back to his feet, but in doing so, Manny picked him up and dumped him back on the canvas. The fight ended by way of unanimous decision; winner, Manny Gamburyan.
Fight 4: Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda (Featherweight)
Round 1: saw Brandao land some good strikes and kicks and a jumping knee that wobbled Pineda; easily won the round.
Round 2: Saw both fighters already show fatigue. Brandao was able to secure a couple of takedowns, but Pineda was able to reverse and at one point was in full-mount and delivering damage. Brando survived and in doing so, almost secured an ankle lock. Pineda survived the attempt and regained control of Brandao on the ground.
Round 3: Both fighters are now visible tired and particularly Pineda. There was a nice exchange and Brando got another takedown, but once down he let Pineda back up. Once up, Brando took Pineda back down back down, but did no damage. As the round was closing out, the ref stood the fighters up and Pineda threw a couple of very telegraphed and slow wheel-kicks. The fight concluded with a nice little exchange on the feet and up against the cage, but nothing more; winner, buy unanimous decision, Diego Brandao.
Fight 5: Mike Thomas Brown vs. Steven Siler (Featherweight)
Round 1: They came out had a feeling-out process for about 30 seconds and then Brown rushed in with a wide right and left, and in doing so got was caught by a Siler big right and was dropped to the canvass. Siler followed him to the canvas and hit him with 2 more big rights and the fight was over; winner by KO, at the :50 second mark of round 1.
Fight 6: Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway (Featherweight)
Round 1: From the get go it was two things from McGregor pressure and dynamism. He used a series of kicks and punches to take control of the Octagon and keep Holloway backing up and up against the cage for the whole round. Holloway had little to offer Conor in the way of response; 10 – 9 round for McGregor, possibly 10 – 9.
Round 2: McGregor maintained ring control and continued to score points with jabs, upper-cuts and kicks. Holloway for his part finally started going after McGregor’s lead leg with a bit of his own offense, but nothing that was of a threat to McGregor. Conor caught a Holloway kick and took him to the ground, but did little to know damage while there; 10 – 9 round McGregor
Round 3: McGregor broke the round by taking Holloway and the fight to the ground where he kept it for nearly half the round. He did some damage while there, but not tons. He was able to take full mount, but did little with it. Holloway made it back to the feet and delivered a nice head-kick of his own which seem to have stunned Conor a little, but McGregor quickly got a second take-down and kept it Holloway on his back for the remainder of the fight; Conor McGregor, winner by unanimous decision.
Fight 7: Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett (Bantamweight Bout)
Round 1: The fight didn’t really start as much as it erupted and when it did, it erupted in McDonald’s favor. Pickett rushed McDonald and McDonald made him pay for it. He hit him with everything but the kitchen sink and somehow Pickett survived it. McDonald scored a take-down, but once there gave it up to get Pickett back on his feet. The round was all McDonald easily 10 – 9, possibly 10 – 8.
Round 2: Pickett came out determined and moving forward, but still eating leather. Pickett shot for the take-down and got it. He kept McDonald there and did some damage, but McDonald seemed to be waiting for his moment. As the opportunity presented itself and with Pickett in his guard, McDonald threw up a triangle and attacked both Pickett’s arm and neck at the same time. As Pickett attempted to retrieve the arm, McDonald sunk-in the choke and Pickett tapped; winner by way of triangle choke, Michael McDonald at 3:43 of the 2nd round.