The UFC Raleigh card is underway and the co-main event just witnessed Michael Chiesa upset the promotion’s #5 ranked welterweight, Rafael dos Anjos, by way of unanimous decision. Chiesa leaned heavy on his grappling here. He looked to close the distance throughout and was able to solidify top position in the final round. This must be the biggest win of Chiesa’s career, and he has now won three-straight at 170-pounds.
Before that, the UFC’s #12 ranked flyweight, Alex Perez, choked the #11 ranked, Jordan Espinosa, unconscious with an arm triangle in the first round. The submission came with Perez on top in half guard, which is not the traditional way we see this sub pulled off at the elite level. Perez has now won five of his six UFC appearances.
Also on the UFC Raleigh main card, the ever-improving Angela Hill scored a second round TKO of Hannah Cifers. Hill hit a sweet trip from the clinch, worked to full mount, and dropped all sorts of punishment until the referee had seen enough. Hill has now won three of her last four fights. Opening up the main card, Jamahal Hill and Darko Stosic went the distance in a rather exciting, and predominantly standup, affair. Hill had to overcome some early haymakers, but took control of the fight with a variety of strikes to the head and body to secure a unanimous decision. Hill remains undefeated in his UFC debut, advancing his record to 7-0.
**See complete results below
Michael Chiesa def. Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 X2) : Welterweight
RDA brought his typical pressure but Chiesa was prepared to meet the aggression. Chiesa closed the distance and shoved the former lightweight champ up against the cage. He was able to take the back to work an RNC, but RDA was smart and escaped the position. Back on the feet, RDA cracked a couple of kicks, but Chiesa again closed the distance until the bell sounded.
Chiesa looked to clinch up for the takedown to open the second act, but RDA wasn’t having it. RDA was fighting off the clinch to get himself back to open space. Chiesa stuck to his gameplan though, and was to re-close the gap and make the bout a war of grappling. Each man won scrambles in what was a pretty close round.
Chiesa picked up a quick takedown to start the final frame. He was able to hold down RDA from half guard to rack up some control time. Chiesa attacked the far arm and RDA exploded out of it and instantly attacked a leg. RDA was unable to lock up a sub, or improve his position. Chiesa began to punch away from the top as RDA was stuck on the bottom.
Alex Perez def. Jordan Espinosa by technical submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:33 of round 1: Flyweight
Perez was able to score a takedown about one-minute into the opening round. He solidified his position before working for an arm triangle. Espinosa started to fight it off, but Perez stayed with it. Then, Espinosa went to sleep!
Angela Hill def. Hannah Cifers by TKO at 4:26 of round 2: Strawweight
Hill pressed forward early, mixing up her Wiley strikes. Cifers was content to sit back and hunt for the counter. Hill was doing a solid job of evading the return strikes by using her footwork. When the bout reached the clinch, they were both able to land some knees to the body. Hill used the same strategy in the second frame, but once she secured a Thai clinch, she used the moment to hit a trip. From side control, Hill tried to muscle an arm triangle, but bailed and took full mount. Hill dropped some mean elbows, cutting open her opposition. Cifers was stuck and was absorbing some real damage. The referee had no choice but to step in and stop the match.
Jamahal Hill def. Darko Stosic by unanimous decision (29-27 x3): Light heavyweight
Stosic was throwing heat right out of the gate, and Hill was there willing to trade. Hill was looking to land his long strikes while Stosic was crashing in with savage hooks. The forward pressure was coming from Stosic, who had to get on the inside of his taller opponent. Stosic hit a brief takedown, but nothing was there for him. Whenever Stosic did land a bomb, Hill would crack a smile to let everyone know it registered.
Stosic continued to find success with his leaping left hook in the second round. Hill kept wearing it well and would go right back to returning fire. Hill started to press forward with straight punches and piercing knees to the body. Hill stayed with the body work, mixing in a variety of punches to the midsection. The output of Stosic dwindled, and Hill began to fire at will.
In the final round, Stosic was able to blast a takedown and dish out a couple of solid strikes before Hill scrambled back up. On the feet, the length of Hill continued to give Stosic fits in the striking department. He was landing with his jabs and crosses, and when Stosic did hit another takedown, Hill sprung right back to his feet. In the final minute, v went back to the takedown, but again Hill worked to get up.