The prelims from UFC Norfolk are over with and we’ve got the results for you. Marlon Moraes picked up his first win in the UFC after a controversial split decision win over John Dodson. Tatiana Suarez made a statement that she is coming for the strawweight belt, ragdolling Viviane Pereira. Sage Northcutt got back on track with a unanimous decision over Michel Quinones. Last but not least, Angela Hill and Nina Ansaroff went back-and-forth in the early favorite for FOTN with Ansaroff emerging victorious. Lots of decisions for UFC Norfolk.
Marlon Moraes defeated John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27) - Bantamweight
Moraes landed the first hard blow of the contest, leading Dodson to be more alert. Moraes barely misses on a spinning back-kick. Moraes landed a hard shot on Dodson, only for the former flyweight to explode off the fence with a hard shot of his own that briefly floors Moraes. Back on his feet, Moraes again targets the legs, accidently catching Dodson in the groin as Dodson explodes forward. Dodson looked like he was going to vomit for a bit as the doc checks him out, but the fight resumes. Moraes clips Dodson with a right hand in an exchange and begins picking up momentum as Dodson was reluctant to engage. Moraes poked Dodson in the eye with about 15 seconds in the round, getting a firm warning from the ref. Dodson scores a head kick to end the round. Very hard round to score.
A wild exchange in the clinch opened round two before Moraes begins pressuring Dodson. They exchanged hard punches, neither looking worse for wear. Moraes landing more before Dodson scores a takedown off a caught kick, though Moraes countered with a leg lock attempt to get back to his feet. Déjà vu as another takedown from Dodson followed by another leg lock attempt from Moraes to get back to his feet. Moraes continued the pressure and volume, securing a takedown with about 30 seconds left, but can’t score any offense before the round ended with them on their feet.
Dodson comes out more aggressive, but soon we’re back to Moraes putting on the pressure. Moraes slipped on a low kick, but Dodson couldn’t capitalize. Moraes continued to land more offense, taking advantage of his length. Dodson landed a hard right with 90 seconds left, but Moraes recovered quick. Moraes goes for a takedown with about 40 seconds left, but can’t finish it. A scramble ensues and Moraes catches Dodson in a guillotine and Dodson taps… after the bell rings. Hard fought victory for Moraes, but the crowd booed the decision.
Tatiana Suarez defeated Viviane Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) - Women’s Strawwweight
Suarez opened up with a series of low kicks before mixing them higher. Pereira landed a few punches as Suarez charges for the takedown before Pereira looked for the guillotine. Suarez fought out and finished the takedown. Pereira was active from the bottom, landing more offense from her back than Suarez was from the top. Suarez eventually found Pereira’s back, landing punches to the back of Pereira’s head as she hunted for the choke. Pereira fought off Suarez’s attempts, but couldn’t get back to her feet even as Suarez abandoned her back looking to land offense from the top.
Pereira again comes out defensive, stuffing Suarez’s takedown attempt. However, she went for the guillotine, allowing Suarez to drive her to the ground. Suarez advanced from side control to half guard to the mount. From there, Suarez landed brutal elbows. Pereira bucked her off using the fence, only for Suarez to jump right back on top of her. Pereira tried to get back to her feet, but Suarez wasn’t having any of it, dragging her back down and scoring more offense from the top.
Pereira tried to pressure Suarez, knowing she needed a finish, but Suarez gets another takedown anyway, putting the fight right where the second round ended. About the only thing positive that could be said of Pereira is she didn’t allow Suazez to advance her position the way she wanted… at least for a while. Suarez got the mount with about two minutes left and began landing punches. Pereira fought out only for Suarez to take her back, looking for the RNC. Pereira prevented that, but it doesn’t take away from how dominant Suarez was in her return from a 16 month absence.
Sage Northcutt defeated Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27 x3) - Lightweight
Northcutt opens up showing improved timing, landing a few counter punches. Quinones responds with low kicks, but Northcutt began mixing up his arsenal with kicks to keep Quinones off-balance. Northcutt lands a few hard body kicks. Northcutt ended the round with a takedown.
Northcutt came out aggressive, picking up where he left off leading with his jab. A pretty looking body kick was blocked by Quinones. Northcutt maintained the pressure, mixing kicks and punches. Northcutt began targeting Quinones head with kicks, but couldn’t land cleanly. Quinones throws the occasional low kick, but didn’t respond much. An explosive takedown with 20 seconds left lands from Northcutt. Northcutt ends the round as he began it: firmly in control.
Northcutt begins the round leaning heavy on his jab, doubling up on it about a minute into the round. Quinones feinted more with his punches, but it’s still his kicks he attacked with. Northcutt puts him on his butt briefly with off a side kick, but Quinones gets right back up. The action slows, though Northcutt remained the busier fighter with low kicks. Quinones landed a glancing blow with a minute left, but Northcutt shakes it off. Northcutt missed a cartwheel kick and the fight ended, giving Northcutt his first win since UFC 200.
Nina Ansaroff defeated Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Women’s Strawweight
Hill and Ansaroff meet in the middle, exchanging kicks and jabs. Hill slowly began to secure the momentum with her volume. Hill clinches and lands some good offense. Ansaroff lands some kicks before Hill catches one and takes her to the ground, though not for long. More kicks from Ansaroff while Hill answers with punches, landing a hard right before the round ends.
Hill opens strong before Ansaroff lands a hard right, causing Hill’s nose to bleed. Ansaroff tried a takedown off a caught kick, but unsuccessful. An exchange of kicks and Ansaroff slowly takes the momentum. Ansaroff hurts Hill with a low kick. Hill rocks Ansaroff with a counter right with about 90 seconds left, though Ansaroff recovers quickly. Ansaroff lands a nice combo with about 90 seconds left, taking firm control of the rest of the round.
The ladies picked right up where they left off, throwing with reckless abandon. Ansaroff lands a spinning back-kick and continues to eat up Hill’s leg with kicks. Hill tries to answer in kind, but Ansaroff is clearly in control. A short exchange in the clinch – Hill’s wheelhouse – isn’t enough to swing the momentum Hill’s way as Ansaroff continues with the leg kicks. Hill keeps it close enough that a single exchange in her favor could swing the momentum, but it never happens. The ladies end the fight missing on simultaneous spinning back-kicks. Fantastic fight with Ansaroff picking up her second win in a row.