The preliminary segment of the UFC 245 card has just ended with the company’s #14 ranked welterweight, Geoff Neal, running right through the heavy-handed, Mike Perry in 90-seconds. Neal rocked him with a head kick, and then followed up with a savage flurry to put him away. Neal has won all five of his UFC bouts, with four of them coming by way of finish.
Before that, the UFC’s #10 ranked bantamweight, Irene Aldana, put the returning #2 ranked, Ketlen Vieira, to sleep with strikes in the opening round. Vieira was landing early, but it only took one punch from Aldana to drop her, and then a couple follow up ground strikes to seal the deal. This should catapult Aldana high up in the rankings as she just made an emphatic statement.
The UFC’s #14 ranked middleweight, Omari Akhmedov, won a grueling decision over the #10 ranked Ian Heinisch. He used his counter punching to catch his opponent coming in, and then fought off the late takedown attempts. Don’t look now, but Akhmedov has not lost in his last six UFC bouts. Opening up the ESPN2 prelims was a pair of old school UFC veterans in Matt Brown and Ben Saunders. It was Brown who was able to find top position and land some fight ending ground strikes in the seocnd act. This was Brown’s first fight in two years, and is officially on a two-fight win streak.
Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry by TKO at 1:30 of round 1: Welterweight
Neal struck first, clocking Perry with a head kick that wobbled him. He then pounced, overwhelming Perry with strikes causing him to fold up against the fence. The ground strikes were academic and the referee stepped in to rescue Perry. Wow!
Irene Aldana def. Ketlen Vieira by KO at 4:51 of round 1: Bantamweight
Vieira came out throwing big punches at her opponent. Aldana was looking to move in and out with her striking, but Vieira was getting the better of the exchanges. Then, Aldana uncorked a hook that dropped Vieira. Aldana followed up with vicious ground strikes that put Vieira to sleeeeeeep!
Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Bantamweight
Akhmedov got off to a good start. He was able to land his strikes while evading the returning blows. He was also able to score a slamming takedown, even if v was able to scramble right back up. Heinisch came out working his leg kicks in the second act. Both men landed some solid punches in the pocket, and then Akhmedov closed the distance to work the takedown. Heinisch defended well and returned to open space. Heinisch switched gears and started to work for the takedown himself. He was actually able to pull it off just before the bell.
Heinisch continued to pressure in the third round, but Akhmedov was content to counter. Heinisch closed the distance again but couldn’t keep it closed for very long. In open space, Heinisch landed a big knee, but soon after ate a hook that rocked him. The takedown manifested for Heinisch in the final minute of the fight, but Akhmedov got back up and landed some solid punches.
Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders by TKO at 4:55 of round 2: Welterweight
Brown came out on hit a trip to take top position. Saunders wasted no time in grabbing the rubber guard on that 10th planet tip. Saunders locked up a triangle but Brown defended well. Saunders spent a lot of time squeezing his legs, but Brown escaped anyways. Brown pressured again in the second round. He landed a head kick and an elbow that split open Saunders. Brown hit another trip to take top position, and Saunders again went to the rubber guard. The rubber guard was passed and Brown was able to drop a couple of strikes before the ref stood them up. Brown hit the trip once again, and dropped some hammers on Saunders. He unloaded his punches and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.