The Fight Pass prelims of UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Pettis are now in the books. After an error in adding up the scores, Sean Strickland was declared the winner after initially having his contest with Court McGee declared a draw. Jake Collier was the busier fighter in his decision victory over Marcel Fortuna and Karl Roberson secured a surprising submission victory over Darren Stewart.
Sean Strickland defeated Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) - Welterweights
McGee took the center of the Octagon right away, putting pressure on Strickland. Strickland landed a hard right to create a scramble that ended with him in the top position, though it didn’t stay there long. McGee didn’t let up once they returned to their feet, constantly throwing offense at Strickland; a jab, a low kick, a short combination, body kicks. Strickland’s response, thought fewer and further between, had the greater impact, but it wasn’t making up for his lack of volume. Strickland began finding a home for his jab more frequently around the final minute of the round, making it a difficult round to judge.
McGee opened the second with a takedown attempt and would have had it… except Strickland grabbed the fence. Breaking the rules continues to pay off. More pressure from McGee ensued with equal exchanges before Strickland cleanly stuffed a takedown attempt midway through the round. McGee’s pressure was met with less fire from Strickland, though there wasn’t a lot behind McGee’s offense. Nonetheless, his volume gave him the round.
McGee opened round three with a head kick at the end of a combo, though it didn’t land with full impact. More pressure from McGee with minimal return from Strickland for two minutes. Strickland stuffed a McGee takedown attempt about midway through the round, ending up in the top position and landing some big elbows from there. Gaining half-guard, Strickland continued to land offense before McGee scrambled back to his feet, again looking for the takedown as he took Strickland’s back. McGee dropped for an ill-advised heel hook, eating damage from Strickland. Strickland then thew McGee to the ground and took his back in the scramble, nearly securing a RNC. McGee fought it off only for Strickland to end the round landing hard punches to take the round and the fight.
Jake Collier defeated Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) - Light Heavyweights
Collier started out the contest wild, throwing kicks and punches with reckless abandon as Fortuna caught him a couple of times to knock his off-balance opponent to the ground twice. Collier settled down and continued his assault, taking the momentum despite a spinning back-elbow that landed clean less with less than two minutes left in the first. Collier landed a combination of his own about 10 seconds later that seemed to hurt Fortuna, with neither making a decisive case to win the round.
After opening the second by trading strikes, Fortuna secured a takedown less than a minute in, but couldn’t secure the back of Collier. Collier became the aggressor as Fortuna began to show fatigue, though Fortuna did seem to have more oomph when his strikes landed. Finding a bit of a second wind, Fortuna secured a double-leg takedown into the mount. As Fortuna searched for the arm-triangle choke, Collier bucked him off, entering Fortuna’s guard and landing elbows and punches to end the round.
Collier opened the third with a beautiful combination punctuated by a head kick, again having Fortuna backing up. Fortuna secured a takedown attempt almost two minutes in, but couldn’t keep Collier down, the fight continuing on the feet with Collier pressuring. Fortuna stunned Collier with two minutes left, upping his output in hopes of finishing Collier, but Collier recovered. It was back-and-forth from there as Fortuna recognized he needed to up his output. Collier closed the contest having his takedown stuffed by Fortuna, stalling just enough to prevent Fortuna from getting the finish. Close contest, but the right man won in the end.
Karl Roberson defeated Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:41 of round 1 - Middleweights
Stewart came out the aggressor, throwing strikes from a distance in hopes Roberson would walk into something. After a minute or so, Roberson landed a flurry and closed the distance, landing a series of knees in the clinch. Stewart reversed him against the fence to look for the takedown only for Roberson to turn the tides with a lateral drop. Roberson took Stewart’s back and immediately began searching for the RNC. Stewart fought it off for a while before eventually giving in, giving Roberson a win in his UFC debut.