After a high-action prelim card, the main card of UFC Belfast slowed down to a crawl with three low-intensity fights that all went the distance.
Stevie Ray def. Ross Pearson by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27).
Though he won’t win Fight of the Night, Stevie Ray will be pleased with his comfortable decision win over a tough veteran. Ray out-struck Pearson slightly in the first, with both fighters trading leg-kicks. Pearon ripped a few kicks to the body, and Ray let fly with kicks to the head. Ray also scored with a big slam, even though Pearson got straight back up. The second round was closer, with neither man landing much meaningful offense and Pearson defending a couple of takedowns. Feeling down on the scorecards Pearson attempted to walk down Ray, but was unable to land the knockout blow. Ray stayed elusive and landed a few more hard leg-kicks for good measure.
Alexander Volkov def. Timothy Johnson by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28).
Volkov just managed to get by Johnson in a slow and sluggish heavyweight affair. After taking a couple of shots from Johnson early on, Volkov rushed in and landed a stiff combination of punches that forced Johnson into the fence. After taking a few more blows, Johnson threw out a huge uppercut that collapsed Volkov (highlight below). Volkov managed to survive the heavy ground-and-pound that followed and even bloodied Johnson before the round ended. Both men got their licks in during the second round, but most that round was spent stalled in the clinch position. Both men had slowed down considerably by the third round, but it was Volkov who was able to land more strikes and control a number of long clinches against the fence.
WHOA!!! @TBearTim doesn't give a damn about the hype!! #UFCBelfast https://t.co/QI0vUMLQE5— UFC (@ufc) November 19, 2016
Artem Lobov def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Both men seemed happy to contest this fight entirely on the feet. Lobov spent most of his time slowly stalking Ishihara and landing heavy rights to head. Ishihara decided to wait for his moment to land a big counter-strike, but the longer he waited the more damage he took from Lobov’s right hand. In the second and third rounds Lobov mixed things up, with leg-kicks, a spinning back-kick, and a few standing hammerfists. Lobov also had Ishihara in trouble with a flurry at the end of the second round (highlight below). The moment Ishihara was waiting for finally came midway through the third, when he dropped a charging Lobov with a left hand. The Japanese fighter was unable to follow up, though. Lobov got up and continued to tee-off on Ishihara, earning a lop-sided decision victory. After the decision was read Lobov’s teammate, and current UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, Conor McGregor stormed the cage to celebrate (highlight below).
Trading shots at the end of round 2!! What a fight! How do you guys have it scored? #UFCBelfast https://t.co/eSrp7qrbty— UFC (@ufc) November 19, 2016
Your winner @RusHammerMMA!! #UFCBelfast pic.twitter.com/2E8Okaqn90— UFC (@ufc) November 19, 2016