Three fights comprised the UFC Fight Pass portion of the UFC Fight Night 98 preliminary card in Mexico City, Mexico. They all went to the scorecards, including a feature bout between Sam Alvey and Alex Nicholson. Here's how the fights played out.
Sam Alvey def. Alex Nicholson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Middleweights
Nicholson caught Alvey with a high kick, albeit not flush, just 30 seconds into the 1st. Alex implemented a kick-heavy gameplan against the counterfighting Alvey. "Smilin' Sam" took a shot in the groin that stopped the fight for a minute. Herb Dean warned Nicholson that a point would be taken away for the next infraction. Alvey turned up the heat a little bit by chasing Nicholson down after an uppercut, but Nicholson threw a spinning backfist in return. The kicks of Nicholson appeared to be enough to win him the round.
Round 2 saw Alvey once again get hit in the groin, with Nicholson's foot making contact in his nether regions. Alvey was in considerable pain this time, but he did continue, and Nicholson wasn't docked a point. Alvey was rocked by a left hook and his knees buckled on him momentarily. This led to Alvey shooting for a takedown, which Nicholson stuffed. A hard right hook sparked a good exchange between both men for a few seconds. Alvey was more aggressive and able to find his range. Two left hands stopped Nicholson in his tracks and Alvey began to tee off. A right hook scored for Alvey to end the round.
Alvey was able to time Nicholson coming in better than he had in the 1st round and in the earlier part of the 2nd. The left hand was connecting and he was throwing right hooks afterward, but Nicholson's chin withstood those shots. Nicholson's kicks were not being used nearly as often, but he did catch Alvey with a stiff left uppercut as they were both throwing. Alvey threw more and landed more in the final round and was able to rally to get the win.
Marco Polo Reyes def. Jason Novelli by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) - Lightweights
Unlike Reyes' ridiculous way with Dong Hyun Kim, this fight's opening frame started out with more of a feel-out process. A Reyes right hand was probably the hardest shot landed in the first 2.5 minutes. Novelli shot in for a takedown, which momentarily put Reyes down, but the Mexican quickly returned to his feet. Novelli stung Reyes with a nice right hand just seconds later for what was his best strike of the round. An eye poke by Novelli paused the fight for just about a minute before action resumed.
The fight opened up a bit more in round 2, with both men landing hard leg kicks on each other. Reyes stuffed a takedown when Novelli changed levels, and then reversed him into his guard on the way down. Reyes remained on top for the remainder of the round, with Novelli more or less staying in guard and minimizing the damage he could take. Reyes' elbows were effective when thrown, but otherwise not much else happened.
A hard right hand with 2:50 knocked Novelli's mouthpiece out, and the fight had to be halted during a break in the action to put it back in. With Reyes getting the better of the striking, Novelli hit a well-timed takedown and tried to pass into full mount with about 30 seconds to go, but Reyes pushed against the hips and escaped. Novelli stayed on him, Reyes gave up his back, then switched to full mount and hammered away with hard elbow. Novelli rolled into backmount and attempted a rear-naked choke, but the fight ended without a finish.
Enrique Barzola def. Chris Avila by unanimous decision (30-26 x3) - Featherweights
Barzola had the upper hand with the takedowns in round 1. He also threw plenty of leg kicks and body shots. Avila's best offense came through his boxing, landing a couple of decent combinations. Avila just wasn't active enough over the course of two rounds, and Barzola remained relentless with his pressure and his takedowns. Avila wasn't getting dominated and pinned to the ground, but he did eat several punches when put there before returning to his feet. Enrique showed some signs of his cardio fading a bit, but he was in full control at the end of round 2. Avila was forced to switch stances due to the numerous leg kicks he absorbed, and he just had absolutely no answer for Barzola's takedowns and top control. The Peruvian easily outstruck, outwrestled, outgrappled, and outworked Avila for the decision win.