UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm got off to a great start with two quick finishes on the Fight Pass preliminary card. The record-setting crowd at Melbourne, Australia's Etihad Stadium were very appreciative of the performance turned in by hometown hero Daniel Kelly. Here's a rundown of how the first four fights played out:
UFC 193: Rousey vs Holm - live results, play by play, discussion (prelims)
Ben Nguyen def. Ryan Benoit via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:36 of round 1 - Flyweights
Nguyen wasted no time, as he dropped Benoit with a beautiful combo of punches and went to work as soon as he went to the ground. Ben tried to submit his opponent with a rear-naked choke from back control but couldn't get the arm underneath the chin. He initially had Benoit flattened out, then with Benoit on his knees but with Nguyen still in control of his back, he readjusted and sunk in the fight ending RNC. Nguyen improves to 2-0 in the UFC while Benoit drops to 1-2.
James Moontasri def. Anton Zafir via TKO (spinning back kick and punches) at 4:36 of round 1 - Welterweights
Moontasri wasn't getting the better of his late-notice replacement for much of round 1, but once he was given the space and timing to show off his flashy arsenal of strikes, Zafir was doomed. After Zafir did well to get Moontasri down and work from top control, Moontasri was able to get back to his feet late in the round. Moontasri threw a spinning back kick to the ribs, then immediately followed with a spinning backfist that sent Zafir to the canvas. Several punches on the ground forced the stoppage, which puts Moontasri at 2-2 inside the Octagon.
Wow! Spinning back kick & elbow finish by @jmoontasri at #UFC193! https://t.co/MoOXdAqozl— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) November 14, 2015
Rich Walsh def. Steve Kennedy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) - Welterweights
This was a bizarre fight that won't be revisited any time soon. Walsh largely dominated the fight standing with leg kicks that left Kennedy's left leg a different color than when he arrived into the Etihad Stadium. However hapless Kennedy was standing, he kept himself in the fight by taking Walsh down and outgrappling him at the end off round 1. For whatever reason, Walsh was willing to engage with Kennedy on the ground throughout the fight, but Kennedy never threatened to actually win the fight and Walsh did enough to not giveaway a bout he was otherwise dominating. Kennedy drops to 0-2 in the UFC and likely will be cut, whereas Walsh snaps his two-fight losing skid.
Daniel Kelly def. Steve Montgomery via unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Middleweights
Kelly, a four-time Olympic judoka, used his background to great effect throughout the fight against "The Creepy Weasel." Round 1 was a Kelly round as he hurt Montgomery with a few powerful left hooks, and multiple judo throws combined with success from top control. Montgomery took advantage of Kelly's waning output by drilling him with hard punches and kicks. Kelly was gassed and seemingly in trouble after two rounds, but Kelly found a 2nd wind, was able to connect on several lefts, and a late takedown and subsequent advancing to full mount sealed the win for Kelly. He tried to end it in style with an arm-triangle choke but it wasn't to be. Kelly's power in his hands made up for Montgomery's technique and more precise punching and kicking. The Aussie rebounds from a KO loss to Sam Alvey, while Montgomery falls to 0-2 and possibly out of the UFC.