The UFC Raleigh prelims are in the books, and just concluded with Bevon Lewis taking a grinding decision Dequan Townsend. Lewis used his cross early, and then switched to his clinch control to solidify the win. After the bout, Lewis was limping hard, so he likely had to fight through an injury to get the victory, which is his first within the UFC. Before that, Arnold Allen fought a tough bout with Nik Lentz, and walked away with the unanimous decision. Allen had to deal with the classic pressure of Lentz, but was able to do so with strikes. When the fight entered the clinch, Allen worked hard to not allow his opponent to control him. The 26-year old Allen has now won all seven of his UFC bouts.
Montel Jackson put on a complete performance en route to a dominant unanimous decision win against Felipe Colares. He was owning the bulk of the grappling exchanges but did the most damage when he let his hands go. It seemed as if Jackson could have gotten the finish with his hands, but was super-willing to grapple. Nonetheless, Jackson’s impressive win moves him to three-straight in the UFC.
Getting himself back into the win column, Brett Johns pulled out a third round submission of UFC newcomer, Tony Gravely. The bout was highly competitive, full of ample back and forth scrambles. Johns was ultimately able to take the back and use punches to sneak in a rear-naked choke. Brother of the UFC’s Gilbert Burns, Herbert Burns, made good on his promotional debut with a sensational knockout of Nate Landwehr in the first round. Just when it looked as if the grappling of Burns was going to be his path to victory here, he blasted his foe with a brutal knee to the face that ended it all. You couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off the show!
**See complete results below
Bevon Lewis def. Dequan Townsend by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Middleweight
Lewis pressed forward behind his strikes to open the bout. When the fight got on the inside, he looked to clinch and use his knees. Townsend delivered a hard knee on the inside that made Lewis take a knee, but Bevon stood right back up and shoved his foe against the fence. Towards the end of the round, Townsend opened up with a flurry, but Lewis defended well.
Lewis continued to land his crisp cross in the second act. He also returned to his clinch attack, pressing Townsend up against the cage. Townsend would try an blitz in open space, but Lewis proved to be hard to hit. Lewis leaned heavy on his clinch again in the final round. After eating a hard leg kick, he pressed Townsend against the cage and worked for a takedown. Townsend finally found some separation, but it didn’t last for very long. Lewis was able to close the distance once again, and stalled out his opponent against the cage.
Arnold Allen def. Nik Lentz by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Lentz brought his classic forward pressure but Allen was using his footwork to keep away and counter strike. Lentz finally closed the distance and started to grind away. Allen fought his way back into open space and the combatants traded single shots. Both men landed, but Allen seemed to get the better of the exchanges.
Lentz brought his forward pressure again in the second round, but Allen was ready to meet him with strikes. Lentz would rush in just to get pop-shotted, and started to wear it on his face. He was finally able to close the distance towards the end of the round, but didn’t do much with it. Allen remained long in the final round, staying on the outside and forcing Lentz to have to find ways to get on the inside. Lentz was throwing a lot of volume, but most of it either missed or was blocked. Allen also handled himself well in the clinch. He didn’t allow Lentz to hold him against the cage and kept pummeling for his undercooks.
Justine Kish def. Lucie Pudilova by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Flyweight
The opening round saw a ton of footwork and feeling out from the fighters. The tempo picked up in the final 90-seconds of the frame, when Kish blitzed forward with a flurry. More footwork was on display after that, with few significant strikes being dished out. Kish pressed forward in the second round, entering the clinch and trying to make something happen. The bout quickly returned to open space with both fighters dancing around. Kish would leap in with kicks before getting right back on the outside. Pudilova did throw a couple of jabs to disrupt the forward progress of Kish. The final round saw a lot more of the same. Both fighters spent a lot of time just outside of striking range. Kish did hit a takedown at the end of the round to finish up the competition in a dominant position.
Montel Jackson def. Felipe Colares by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2) : Bantamweight
Jackson came out throwing crisp strikes, but then shifted gears and started to grind on Colares. Several times Colares was able to stand up, but Jackson kept taking him right back down. All of the sudden, Jackson opened up with his hands and landed a bunch of solid punches on the feet. Just as the ten-second sticks clacked, Montel again unloaded a flurry with many bombs connecting clean.
Jackson dropped Colares with a stiff cross to open up the second stanza. He took top position but Colares locked up a pretty tight guillotine. Jackson was able to ultimately escape, and returned to grinding away on his opponent. On the feet, Jackson unleashed another flurry, connecting with more unblocked blows that had the head of Colares bouncing all over the place. Colares hit a slick spinning elbow to open the final round, but Jackson wore it quite well. Jackson got himself a takedown but Colares was down to scramble. Jackson would mix up his grinding attack but did find himself fighting off another guillotine at the end of the round.
Sara McMann def. Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27): (W) Bantamweight
McMann was quick to get a takedown and begin controlling from the top. She delivered several sinister body shots before passing the half guard and working for a D’arce. Lansberg fought it off but was still stuck on the bottom. McMann went hard for a Kimora in the final moments of the round, but Lansberg held her off.
It took less than a minute for McMann to achieve a takedown in the second round. Lansberg was trying different things to improve her position, but the control of McMann was stifling. Lansberg did not return to her feet that round. The third frame saw more of the same. McMann was owning the grappling exchanges with Lansberg looking quite lost. This time though, McMann was able to find the back and drop some strikes. Just like the two previous rounds, Lansberg did not return to her feet.
Brett Johns def. Tony Gravely by submission (RNC) at 2:53 of round 3: Bantamweight
Johns went for an early Guillotine attempt, but Gravely changed levels and took top position and escaped. Back on the feet, Johns hit a trip but Gravely was right back up. Johns hit another takedown and was able to jump on the back as Gravely stood up. Gravely went down to the mat, and then he stood back to his feet, all with Johns on his back. Just when it looked as if Johns had a tight RNC locked up, Gravely was able to tough it out and escape the round.
Gravely let his hands going early in the second round, landing several clean punches. He then switched gears and scored a huge lifting slam. Johns stood up but was taken right back down before giving his back. The fighters began to scramble back and forth, with each man winning respective exchanges.
The scrappy grappling continued into the third act. Johns managed to get to the back and started hunting for an RNC. Johns bailed on the sub attempt and started to drop punches. The blows distracted Gravely long enough for Johns to slip in that RNC and force the tap. What a competitive fight!
Herbert Burns def. Nate Landwehr by KO at 2:43 of round 1: Featherweight
Burns pressed forward behind his strikes, throwing the volume as Landwehr was waiting. He then shot in for the takedown and quickly locked up a D’arce. Landwehr hung tough and worked his way back to his feet, which is quite an impressive feat against such a great grappler. Landwehr then started to open up and let his hands go, but Burns three a perfectly placed knee right on the button. That was it!