The prelims for UFC Hidalgo had everything: illegal knees to the head, hesitant referees, brutal finishes and weird scorecards. Despite some craziness, fighters like Benitez, Muhammad and Carlos Junior were able to make a statement. Here are the results for the UFC Hidalgo prelims:
Gabriel Benitez def. Sam Sicilia by submission (guillotine) at 1:20 of Round 2
This fight was a battle between hard punches and quick leg kicks. While Sicilia was looking to knock Benitez into another dimension, Benitez slowly picked Sicilia apart with snapping leg kicks. In the second round, Sicilia slowed down and Benitez was able to rock Sicilia. Benitez then sunk in a nasty guillotine off of a takedown attempt and put Sicilia to sleep.
Belal Muhammad def. Augusto Montano by TKO (punches) at 4:19 of Round 3
Muhammad was a massive favorite coming into this fight against Montano. Even though the odds were on his side, Montano put up a great fight. The first round was tightly contested with Muhammad getting the better of the exchanges. In the second Muhammad had success with his left high kick and a well timed takedown, while Montano continued to score with his leg kicks. In the third, Muhammad hit another perfectly timed takedown and finished Montano with a flurry of punches from the top.
Antonio Carlos Junior def. Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes by submission (rear naked) at 4:46 of Round 3
Carlos Junior did a lot while Guimaraes did very little. The first round was extremely boring and saw a questionable point deduction for a kind of illegal knee from Carlos Junior. The second and third round saw Carlos Junior dominate Guimaraes on the ground while Guimaraes did very little to get up. With the third round winding down, Carlos Junior took the back and choked our Guimaraes.
Jose Alberto Quinonez def. Joey Gomez by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Quinonez dominated the first round of the fight, kicking things off with two huge takedowns and then ending the round by dropping Gomez. Quinonez continued to dominate Gomez, taking him down early in the 2nd round and punishing him from the top. Momentum completely changed after Gomez rocked Quinonez with a punch, sending him to the ground as he came charging in. Quinonez was quick to recover though. In the third round, Quinonez dropped Gomez with a knee to the face from the clinch. Quinonez followed up, taking Gomez’s back. Gomez was able to eventually escape, but didn’t have enough time to take the round back.
Randy Brown def. Erick Montano by Submission (guillotine choke) at 0:18 of Round 3.
Brown and Montano spend most of the first round in the clinch, with Brown getting the better of the exchanges. In the second round, Montano was able to get Brown on the ground and land several hard shots. Brown also grabbed the cage multiple times with his fingers and toes, even on a takedown attempt, but was only warned. This wouldn’t matter as in the third round, Montano went in for the takedown but was met with a ninja choke from Brown.
Albert Morales and Alejandro Perez go to a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Even though it was a fight between a Mexican and a Californian, it was four Texans who stole the show, in the worst way possible. Morales was the aggressor in the fight, landing a ton of leg kicks, while Perez was on his bicycle for most of the fight, landing the odd hard shot. After both fighters threw punches well after the bell, referee Kerry Hatley decided to deduct a point from Perez only.
Perez came out like a bat out of hell in the 3rd round, which result in wild scrambles and big knockdowns for each fighter. At one point, Morales landed a clearly illegal knee on Perez, but Hatley let the fight continue. Morales was the clear loser of the first two rounds, but came back to take the third. With the unfair point deduction and the missed illegal knee, it looked like Morales would have a clear win. The judges made up for Hatley’s mistakes by turning in two scorecards of 28-28. Unbelievable performance from the Texas Commission.