The UFC 215 preliminary card is in the books, and it provided plenty of highlights for fans in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Kajan Johnson returned from a long layoff and managed a stunning KO win, heavyweight Arjan Bhullar turned in a successful UFC debut, Rick Glenn pummeled prospect Gavin Tucker in a fight that had no business going the distance, Sarah Moras pulled off a slick finish of Ashlee Evans-Smith, and Ketlen Vieira rallied from a tough round 1 to submit Sara McMann. Here’s how the fights played out.
Ketlen Vieira def. Sara McMann by submission (arm-triangle) at 4:16 of round 2 - Women’s Bantamweights
McMann used her vaunted wrestling skills right away, putting the Brazilian on her back before slamming home some flush elbows. Vieira searched for a triangle choke but McMann was privy to it. McMann advanced to full mount and unleashed hammerfists and punches. In a turn of events, Vieira swept her and was able to go for a leg, but was unable to get the submission.
The Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling faked a punch and changed levels for a takedown early in the 2nd round, but Vieira stuffed the single and landed several good hammerfists. McMann scored with good strikes in the clinch against the fence, including a knee to the body and some inside elbows. Vieira hit a switch and took McMann down, then tapped McMann out with an arm-triangle choke from half-guard. It’s a major upset win for Vieira, who is now 9-0 in her MMA career and 3-0 in the UFC. McMann sees her three-fight win streak come to a crashing halt.
There is a new contender at 135 pounds, and her name is Ketlen Vieira! That makes her pro record now 9-0! https://t.co/VKIhbOOBau— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 10, 2017
Sarah Moras def. Ashlee Evans-Smith by submission (armbar) at 2:51 of round 1 - Women’s Bantamweights
Evans-Smith had the first takedown of the fight, quickly taking down Moras in the opening minute and straight into side control. Moras did well to gain full guard. The Canadian went for an armbar, and she did a tremendous job of setting it up. Once she got Evans-Smith away from the cage and flipped over to her back, then extended the arm and bent it in a way arms should not be bent. A huge win for “Cheesecake” Moras, who returns from a two-year hiatus to improve to 5-2 in her pro career. Evans-Smith is now on the first losing streak of her career.
Sarah Moras with the impressive submission win, but she clearly has no chill! https://t.co/pFzZc1vpbA— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 10, 2017
Rick Glenn def. Gavin Tucker by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 29-27) - Featherweights
Glenn wasted no time going on the attack, attempting a standing choke in the clinch in the opening seconds. Tucker did escape and they returned to striking. The Canadian initiated the majority of the round 1 striking exchanges, and both men had their moments. Tucker definitely had the edge in speed. A clean left hand by Glenn knocked Tucker down. He got back to his feet and ate a knee to the body, and it was Glenn who was definitely ahead on the scorecards after a quality first five minutes.
Glenn scored with a head kick to start round 2, and Tucker responded with uppercuts in the clinch and an aggressive series of punches. A failed takedown turned into a heel hook attempt for Tucker, and Glenn poured on the punishment. It was very evident that Tucker had gassed himself out and Glenn was taking full advantage. Tucker was bloodied up and losing on the feet and on the ground. Vicious elbows by Glenn nearly finished Tucker just before the round ended.
With Glenn’s corner imploring their fighter to get the finish, “The Gladiator” picked his shots and continued to land knees, punches, and elbows on Tucker. A poor, labored takedown gifted Glenn top position. One more leglock try by Tucker was unsuccessful, and the beating continued. The punishment was just unnecessary and the referee should’ve 100% stopped it, and somehow didn’t. It was wholly uncomfortable to watch.
Glenn improves to 2-1 in the UFC while Tucker suffers the first defeat of his career, and he got bludgeoned damned near beyond recognition. The judge who scored it 29-27 has to be called into question, because that’s indefensible.
Clarke led the early striking exchanges and was active as well as creative with his kicks. White responded with big power punches that tagged the Canadian, who had his name chanted by the partisan crowd. White was getting his timing in with his boxing as the fight progressed, but Clarke was also connecting on his own shots. A left hook early in round 2 appeared to have buzzed Clarke, although it could’ve been a slip. Clarke cracked White with some standing elbows in the clinch, as the fight continued to swing back-and-forth. White bashed Clarke with about a billion elbows in the clinch and bloodied his opponent’s face. A knee to the body hurt Clarke and dropped him, and White motioned to him to get back up. White teed off with accurate punches and had Clarke reeling. A cracking left hook put Clarke on his back again, and once more he returned to his feet. Clarke desperately sought a takedown and ate some more elbows for his troubles. Clarke was in massive trouble and White got himself the TKO with one last series of strikes to send Clarke to the canvas for good.
This was a terrific performance from White, as he improves to 3-3 in the UFC. As for Clarke, he emotionally announced his retirement following his third consecutive defeat. He ends his career with a record of 11-5, including a submission win over Al Iaquinta.
Alex White delivers a beatdown in a big win over Mitch Clarke to get UFC 215 prelims started! https://t.co/usjTrVeG4e— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 10, 2017
Former Olympic wrestler Arjan Bhullar drew first blood with a hard overhand right. The UFC newcomer did get clipped with an uppercut by the Brazilian later on in the round, which didn’t see many clean strikes land. Bhullar was unable to get the takedown in the final minute of the opening frame. Just before the midway point of round 2, Bhullar knocked Henrique down with a hard right hand, and then when Henrique got back up, he was put on his back off a double leg takedown. Bhullar unleashed some hard elbows and controlled the rest of round 2. Fighting with a sense of urgency, Henrique came out aggressively in round 3, landing some power shots and firing off strong leg kicks. Bhullar appeared to be the less fresh of the two fighters, and Henrique was getting the better of the exchanges and stopping the takedowns. The jab was there for Henrique and Bhullar was struggling to get off the more effective offense. It was too little, too late for the Brazilian, as Canada’s Bhullar took the unanimous decision win to remain undefeated in his MMA career. Henrique drops to 2-3 inside the Octagon.
Kajan Johnson def. Adriano Martins by KO (punch) at :49 of round 3 - Lightweights
Almost nothing of consequence happened for the whole of round 1. I say “almost” because Martins floored Johnson with a clubbing left hand in the closing seconds, then failed to get a guillotine before time expired. Johnson was more active in the 2nd round, throwing and landing several good kicks. He also clipped Martins with a right hand after Martins caught a kick. Martins’ best punch was again the left hand, but it was still a brutally slow-paced bout. Johnson connected on a right hand behind the ear early in the third and final round, and Martins flopped to his stomach in a state of unconsciousness.
This is a great win for Canada’s “Ragin’” Kajan Johnson, who came into tonight on a two-year layoff. It’s a bad loss for Martins, who was a heavy favorite and now is on a two-fight losing skid.