The UFC Fresno preliminary bouts have just concluded with Alexis Davis picking up a close split decision victory over Liz Carmouche in the women’s flyweight division. Following back-to-back disappointing split decision losses, Andre Soukhamthath realized his first UFC win, in emphatic fashion no less, as he TKO’d Luke Sanders in the 2nd round of their short notice match. Also on the UFC Fresno prelims, UFC newcomer Alex Perez pulled off a slick D’arce submission as he bested Carls John de Tomas in the 2nd round of their bantamweight tilt. The UFC Fight Pass Prelims saw two 3rd round finishes, as Davi Ramos realized a 3rd round Rear-Naked Choke on Chris Gruetzemacher, and Trevin Giles knocked out Antonio Braga Neto with a gorgeous 1-2 combo.
Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29: (W) Flyweight
Davis wasted no time in closing the distance, pinning Carmouche up against the fence, but was unable to find a takedown before the referee, UFC veteran Frank Trigg, brought the bout back to open space. It was Carmouche who found a trip to realize top position. Davis did a sound job of controlling the posture of her opponent from her back, and even locked up a super tight Armbar as the round ended.
Davis caught a kick and found top position in the full guard of Carmouche to open up the second stanza. A bunch of clock was eaten up as Davis was in the dominant position, but the referee stood up the athletes, and Carmouche scored a last second takedown to close out the round.
Davis came out in the 3rd round with a sizable hematoma over her left eye, and was met with an angry barrage of hooks, with the bulk of the punches landing. Carmouche continued to pour it on, finding top position, but Davis again locked up a pretty tight Armbar. Carmouche once again powered out of the submission by spiking her opponent, but was reversed in the closing moments, giving Davis top position as the round ended.
Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders by TKO at 1:06 of round 2: Bantamweight
Sanders came out throwing volume at Soukhamthath, pressing the action. A flying knee to the body knocked down Sanders, but Sanders appeared to be more off balance than anything. Soukhamthath found himself with his back to the cage down the stretch, as Sanders racked up fence control for the 2nd half of the opening round.
Soukhamthath showed up huge for the second round, flooring Sanders with a brilliant right hook to the button. Unlike his previous UFC appearances, he unleashed his killer instinct and finished off his dazed foe with ground strikes.
**In Soukhamthath’s pre-fight interview with Bloody Elbow, “The Asian Sensation” predicted a 2nd round finish.
Watch Andre Soukhamthath handle his biz like a true boss player:
Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas by Submission (D’arce) at 1:54 of round 2: Bantamweight
The bout opened up with de Tomas on the counter, catching Perez as he pressured forward. Perez locked up an Anaconda Choke and stuck with it, but de Tomas was able to work his way out of danger. Perez quickly found a takedown in the second frame, riding de Tomas while landing a whole bunch of softening strikes. From the wrestling ride position, Perez slickly transitioned into another Anaconda attempt, but this time he was able to apply the proper squeeze to realize the tap.
Watch this slick submission transition from Alex Perez:
Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Bantamweight
Dvalishvili closed the distance right away, shoving his foe up against the fence, but Saenz responded with a brutal series of knees from the Thai Clinch. An accidental headbutt opened up a sizable cut over the right eye of Dvalishvili, but didn’t seem to bother him too much. Dvalishvili blasted a takedown in the final minute of the opening round, but Saenz returned to his feet before the buzzer.
Saenz looked to return to the Thai Clinch to kick off the second round, but Dvalishvili used it as a moment to score another takedown. Saenz once again returned to his feet, but struggled to find separation as Dvalishvili continued to control him against the fence. Dvalishvili picked up yet another takedown, but again, he could not hold his opponent on the ground.
Another headbutt opened up another cut on Dvalishvili’s head, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to pour on the pressure, controlling Saenz against thew cage. Saenz began connecting from the Thai Clinch, and followed up with a combo, but Dvalishvili ate all of it and proceeded to hunt for the takedown. When the dust settled, it was Saenz who walked away with the split decision.
Saenz’s Muay Thai was his key to victory:
Fight Pass Prelims:
Alejandro Perez def. Iuri Alcantara by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Bantamweight
The entire opening round owned a respectful undertone, as neither athlete was able to land a dramatic blow to make a mark. There were a lot of feints and a lot of touching, but not too much to write home about. Boos were heavy to open up the 2nd stanza, as the Fresno crowd was unenthused with the lack of action taking place, or not taking place; whichever is funnier. Perez landed a solid right hand just past the midpoint of the round, and to even things up, Alcantara landed a solid right of his own. More of the same blah across the final round, with Perez controlling Perez against the cage for a brief stint. Alcantara pressed forward in the final 30 seconds, but a big right hand briefly staggered Alcantara in the closing moments.
Davi Ramos def. Chris Gruetzemacher by Submission (RNC) at :50 of round 3: Light Heavyweight
These lightweights went right at each other without any feeling out process. “Gritz’ was cracked with a full on flying knee, but ate it like a champ. Ramos scored a takedown at the midpoint of the opening round, and controlled his opponent until the round expired.
Ramos came out aggressive to start the second round, throwing hard punches with descent speed. “Gritz” found himself on his back again, but the referee was quick to stand up the athletes. Gruetzemacher started moving forward with pressure as Ramos appeared to be fading a bit. Ramos pulled off a late takedown, to which “Gritz” bounced right back up to his feet, but Ramos secured another takedown as the round ended. Ramos closed the distance right away to kick off the final frame, taking the back of his foe, and locking up an air tight RNC. “Gritz” was dead to rights and had no choice but to tap.
Ramos is a BJJ black belt if you couldn’t tell:
Watch “Gritz” eat this flying knee better than a big bowl of grits:
Trevin Giles def. Antonio Braga Neto by KO at 2:27 of round 3: Middleweight
Giles let his hands fly right out of the gate, maintaining the range and busting up Braga Neto early. Braga Neto was able to finally close the distance and plant Giles on the canvas, and controlled his opponent for the entire second half of the opening round. The jab of Giles was rather active early on in the second frame as Braga Neto began to show signs of fatigue. Giles continued to work behind his cracking jab, which set up heavy leg kicks and a menacing right hand. Braga Neto shot in for a takedown to open up the final round, but Giles returned to his feet with some extreme quickness. Giles continued to pop with the jab, which set up a gorgeous 1-2 finishing combo that ended the night for Braga Neto.
Welcome to the 185 pound division, Trevin Giles: