The UFC Tampa prelims are in the books, and was the setting where Ryan Spann submitted Devin Clark in the second round. The fight was a bit lethargic, but once it going, it suddenly ended. Spann has now extended his winning streak to seven, with three of them occurring within the UFC.
In a case for a corner throwing in the towel, Mike Davis delivered so much damage on Thomas Gifford before ultimately scoring a brutal knockout in the third round. The fight probably could have been stopped many times, both by the referee and Gifford’s corner, but it went on and resulted in a somewhat hard to watch faceplant. Before that, Max Griffin and Alex Morono put on a banger over the course of three rounds. Each man had their moments in what was a bit of a mirror match. When the dust had settled, it was Morono who took the decision victory. Don’t look now but Morono is on a three-fight winning wave.
Also on the undercard, Deiveson Figueiredo earned himself a first round submission win over Tim Elliott. Elliot was game, but the second he shot in, Figueiredo jumped a guillotine to secure the tap. This makes two straight wins for Figueiredo, who called out Joe Benavidez on the mic. And then picking up yet another win, Marlon Vera let loose on Andre Ewell, ultimately pulling off a third round TKO. Not only is this five straight victories for Chito, but it’s also five-straight finishes. Earlier on the prelims, Miguel Baeza made good on his UFC debut by stopping Hector Aldana with strikes in the second round. He landed a devastating calf kick that dropped his foe, and secured the win with ground strikes to remain undefeated.
**See complete results below
Ryan Spann def. Devin Clark by submission (Guillotine) at 2:01 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
Clark shot in for the takedown early on, but found himself fighting off a guillotine. Back on the feet, Spann looked to get the fight to the ground, but it was Clark who found one. Spann was quick to stand up and got right back to hunting for the takedown. In open space, very few strikes were thrown. The lethargic pace in open space leaked into the second frame, but things picked up. Spann started to let his hands go, causing Clark to shell up. He then grabbed a hold of a standing guillotine and forced the tap.
Mike Davis def. Thomas Gifford by KO at 4:45 of round 3: Lightweight
Davis started cracking right away. His striking combinations were crisp and explosive, but Gifford was taking it. Davis kept throwing and Gifford kept eating knuckle sandwiches. Despite getting pieced up, Gifford pressed forward. The strikes began to add up at the end of the round. He was able to rock his foe, throw him to the ground, and land a plethora of ground strikes before the horn sounded.
The output of Davis slowed down a bit in the second act, but he was still in complete control. Gifford shot in but fell to his back and ate some more ground blows. Back on the feet, Davis was firing at will, but the toughness of Gifford was still there. Gifford answered the bell for the final round, but it was just more of the same. He showed off tons of heart, tons of toughness, but absorbed tons of punches. Finally, Davis landed a massive that knocked out Gifford, causing him to faceplant.
Alex Morono def. Max Griffin by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2): Welterweight
The welterweights felt each other out to start the bout, and then started to get to work. Griffin was looking to set up his right hand off of the jab, with Morono looking to do pretty much the same thing. The second continued the same tit for tat pace. Griffin was the one who landed a big shot that had Morono backpedalling. Griffin became the one pressing forward. Just when he seemed to be in control, Morono landed a slick head kick that briefly dropped Griffin. Morono went in for the kill, throwing everything at his opponent, but Griffin somehow remained standing and was even throwing back.
Griffin seemed fully recovered in the final act. He pressed forward landing his right hand, and then hit a takedown to put Morono on his back. Morono stood back up but got taken right back down. Rinse and repeat. Griffin scored with ground strikes as time ticked away. What a fight!
Deiveson Figueiredo def. Tim Elliott by submission (Guillotine) at 3:08 of round 1: Flyweight
Figueiredo landed a bomb in the opening minute of the fight that seemed to stagger Elliot. Tons of creativity was on display from Elliot. He was landing crafty strikes and cutting unorthodox angles to score. Then, Elliot shot in for the takedown, but Figueiredo jumped a guillotine and earned the tap.
Marlon Vera def. Andre Ewell by TKO at 3:17 of round 3: Bantamweight
Vera jumped a head and arm triangle from the standing position early in the fight. Ewell hung tough and escaped, taking top position. A lot of time was spent on the ground, but very few strikes were landed. back on the feet, neither man really landed anything significant before the bell.
Chito brought steady pressure in the second round. Ewell danced around on the outside looking to keep Vera off of him. Ewell landed several straight punches as Vera looked to close the distance. Vera was able to clinch up and land a bunch of devastating knees to the body. Chito came alive at the end of the round, blasting his opponent with a flurry of punches.
The forward movement of Vera continued into the third round. He was landing a nice variety of kicks and punches while Ewell was looking a bit overwhelmed. Despite getting blasted, Ewell somehow stayed on his feet, showing off tremendous toughness. Nonetheless, Vera was able to put his opponent on the floor, and smashed him with strikes until the referee had seen enough.
Miguel Baeza def. Hector Aldana by TKO at 2:32 of round 2: Welterweight
Aldana stalked forward in the opening round, with Baeza looking to counter with a massive right hand. A lot of feeling out was going on. Aldana was trying to close the distance but struggled to get within range to land. Baeza did score a last second takedown before the bell. In the second round, the pace looked a lot similar, but then boom! Baeza landed one devastating calf kick that dropped Aldana. Baeza followed up with ground strikes as Aldana simply covered up, prompting the referee to stop the fight.
Marvin Vettori def. Andrew Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Vettori came out scoring, landing heavy strikes and backing up Sanchez. The volume was all on the side of Vettori. Sanchez was having issues pulling the trigger. Sanchez started to throw a lot more in the second round. He was backing up Vettori and landing strikes. Vettori landed some strikes here and there, but nothing close to what he did in the opening act. Sanchez pressured to begin the final round but Vettori was ready for it. Vettori was the one throwing with power with Sanchez more geared towards volume. Sanchez kept pressing forward, but Vettori kept landing the better strikes,
JJ Aldrich def. Lauren Mueller by unanimous decision (30-27 29-28 x2): (W) Flyweight
Mueller pressed forward leading the dance with Aldrich on the back foot looking to counter. Then, Aldrich closed the distance and worked until her opponent was on the floor. Mueller stood back to her feet but struggled to get her back off of the cage. Aldrich found a lot of success in the second round with her jab-cross combo. Mueller kept pressing forward, but Aldrich was beating her to the punch. Mueller started pressing at the end of the round, backing up her opponent and letting her know that she can strike too.
The final round saw Aldrich start hot, landing punches in bunches and rocking Mueller. The pace settled down and Mueller returned to her forward pressure. She landed a couple of solid punches, but was unable to steal back the round from Aldrich.