Court McGee got back in the win column after 2 years on the sidelines, Yancy Medeiros got a somewhat debatable decision win over John Makdessi, and Magomed Mastofaev recorded the only finish of the UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor Fight Pass preliminary card.
Here's how the opening prelims played out:
Magomed Mustafaev def. Joe Proctor via TKO (strikes) at 1:54 of round 1 - Lightweights
This was a complete blowout. Mustafaev threw with violent intentions with every strike he fired away, and Proctor found out just how hard he hits. Hard body kicks by Mustafaev backed Proctor up, then Magomed went for the kill. Knees to the body and knees to the head felled Proctor, who was then punched several times on the ground before the referee stepped in. Mustafaev is 2-0 in the UFC and looking every bit the part of a top-flight prospect.
Yancy Medeiros def. John Makdessi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) - Lightweights
It was a tactical kickboxing match in the 1st round, with Makdessi finding success with his kicks but Medeiros throwing a little more. Medeiros often switched stances and feigned strikes and pulled back, perhaps to keep Makdessi guessing. Makdessi started to get his timing and rhythm going in the 2nd round. A spinning hook kick caught Medeiros on the side of his jaw. Yancy shook it off as if to say it didn't hurt him. Makdessi was able to score with big punches and consistently get past the long reach advantage. Medeiros' only takedown attempt of the 2nd was stuffed by the Canadian, who clearly took the round. It was more kickboxing in the last round, but the pace turned up and both men were getting more quality shots in. Medeiros made use of his long arms by timing Makdessi and landing right hands. Makdessi's kicks continued to pose problems for the former heavyweight. In the closing seconds, Makdessi was dropped by a left hook as the two men had an exciting exchange to close out the fight. That could've been the deciding factor, as two judges had it for Medeiros for the split decision win. Makdessi is now 1-3 in his last 4.
Court McGee def. Marcio Alexandre Jr. via unanimous decision (30-37, 29-28, 29-28) - Welterweights
Almost two years removed from his last fight due to various injuries, TUF 11 winner Court McGee was victorious in the opening bout of the prelims. McGee initially struggled to cope with the striking and speed of Alexandre, particularly the body kicks. Alexandre showed exemplary takedown defense but did drop for a guillotine at the end of the 1st round. McGee escaped but there wasn't enough time to land anything of consequence. The 2nd round saw McGee close down Alexandre and give him no room to work his strikes. It wasn't pretty, but McGee went for takedowns consistently and when they were stuffed, he held Alexandre against the fence and threw knees to the thigh and nullified any offense Marcio could initiate. The 3rd round was all McGee, who did connect on quality strikes and also got his only two takedowns of the fight. Court finished strongly with good ground-and-pound off the 2nd takedown (after easily fending off Alexandre's guillotine attempt), and picked up the decision win on his 31st birthday. Alexandre Jr. is now 0-3 in the UFC.