The UFC London prelims just concluded with Arnold Allen out-striking Jordan Rinaldi for the bulk of three-rounds. Allen has now won seven in a row, with five of them occurring inside of thew UFC. Before that, England’s own Marc Diakiese picked up a clean unanimous decision over a super-tough Joe Duffy. Diakiese was extremely emotional in victory as he snapped a three-fight losing skid. Also on the card, Saparbek Safarov picked up a unanimous decision tonight over Nick Negumereanu, but it did not come with some controversy. Safarov got away with multiple fence grabs before ultimately getting deducted one point. Nonetheless, this is Safarov’s first win in the UFC.
Dan Ige showed out tonight! He ran right through Danny Henry, dropping him early and then finishing him off with a rear-naked choke in just 77 seconds. The win marks three-straight for Ige, while it splits up a five-fight winning streak for Henry. Priscila Cachoeira and Molly McCann went the distance tonight in gritty battle. When the dust settled, it was McCann who walked away with the unanimous decision. Opening up the card, Nad Narimani and Mike Grundy were involved in a banger! Both men hurt one another, but it was Grundy who dug deep and came up with the second round TKO in his UFC debut.
Arnold Allen def. Jordan Rinaldi by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28): Featherweight
Allen found himself hovering over his foe, launching leg kicks early in the opening round. Back in open space, Allen used his length to score with his straight strikes, keeping his foe on the outside. Rinaldi struggled a bit to connect, seemingly because of the range.
The long strikes of Allen continued to be effective into the second frame. Rinaldi was able to close the distance with his kicks, but they few and far between. He was never really ever close enough to properly attempt a takedown, and continued to get out-struck by Allen. With about ten seconds remaining in the round, Allen blitz his opposition with a combo that dropped Rinaldi, but he survived.
Rinaldi kept getting picked apart in the final round. He wasn’t able to come up with a solution to the length of Allen. At about the midpoint of the round, Allen blitz his foe again like he did at the end of the second round, and almost got taken down for it. Allen continued to win the striking exchanges as Rinaldi just didn’t have much for him.
Marc Diakiese def. Joe Duffy by unanimous decision (30-27 x2): Lightweight
Duffy blasted a short-lived takedown to start the bout. Diakiese scrambled back to his feet where he began to score with brutal leg kicks. A slick elbow sent Duffy stumbling to the canvas, but Duffy quickly returned to his feet. Diakiese got right to work in the second frame, taking his striking attack right to Duffy. Top position was conceded to Diakiese, but the fight was stood back up before anything happened. More vicious leg kicks landed for Diakiese, prompting Duffy to switch stances.
More kicks came flying towards Duffy in the third round. The constant volume from Diakiese prevented Duffy from ever really finding his groove. Diakiese turned into a wrestler for the last-half of the round, scoring a takedown and working from top position. Duffy would attempt to roll for subs, but Diakiese shucked them all off.
Saparbek Safarov def. Nick Negumereanu by unanimous decision (29-26 x2, 29-27): Light Heavyweight
Safarov aggressively pushed forward, placing Negumereanu up against the cage. The referee warned Safarov multiple times about holding on to the cage. Negumereanu went for a kimura sweep, but ended up giving Safarov top position. Several more cage grabs occurred before the referee finally said stop. An extra blow landed for Safarov before he actually stopped. The referee deducted one point from Safarov. The fight restarted back on the feet.
Safarov took top position in the second round. Negumereanu rolled for a leg lock and Safarov was warned yet again about holding on to the cage. A couple of ground strikes landed for Safarov as he looked to pass the guard of his opponent. The damage started to pile up for Safarov but Negumereanu survived the round, despite being slow to get up.
Safarov closed the distance and scored another takedown to start the final round. Negumereanu found himself fending off a kimura attempt, and was able to do so, but then had to block a barrage of punches coming his way. Negumereanu went for his own kimura, but nothing came of it.
Dan Ige def. Danny Henry by submission (RNC) at 1:17 of round 1: Featherweight
The action got underway instantly. Ige blasted Henry and sent him falling to the floor. Ige took the back and cinched up an RNC. Henry was dead to rights and was forced to tap! Wow!
Molly McCann def. Priscila Cachoeira by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): (W) Flyweight
A wild brawl broke out right away! Each flyweight threw and landed punching flurries. A McCann takedown resulted in Cachoeira taking the top position. McCann threw up an armbar attempt from her back but Cachoeira fought it off. McCann was able to end the round in full mount. McCann connected with a crafty spinning backfist to open up the second round. Cachoeira pressed forward to which McCann was able to land some clean counters. Despite McCann out-landing her foe, Cachoeira would not relinquish her forward pressure.
Cachoeira moved forward like the terminator in the final round. Something caused some serious swelling around the left eye of McCann. On her bike, McCann fought off of her back foot, looking to counter her aggressive opponent. A lot more volume landed for eft eye of Cachoeira in this round. The referee halted the action in order for a doc to come in and take a loot at McCann’s eye. The doctor allowed the bout to continue. Cachoeira attempted to strike off of a glove touch to which the crowd booed. The referee warned Cachoeira about an eye poke and then the flyweights touched gloves and went back to fighting.
Mike Grundy def. Nad Narimani by TKO at 4:42 of round 2: Featherweight
A bit of a feeling out process took place across the first-half of this featherweight opening round. Single punches would land here and there, but there wasn’t a ton of variety or volume being thrown. With about 90 seconds remaining in the first round, Grundy achieved a short-lived takedown. The fight returned to open space where each man landed a couple of punches before time expired.
The pace picked up in the second act. Narimani briefly dropped his foe with a counter hook, but Grundy recovered quickly. Narimani did a solid job of fending off the takedown attempts Grundy. A clean right cross rocked Grundy, and Narimani went in for the kill. Then, a left hook from Grundy dropped Narimani! Back on the feet, Grundy turned it up and relentlessly let his hands go. Punch after punch landed, and although Narimani was still standing, the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.