UFC 254 is officially underway and the early prelims just closed out with Miranda Maverick making her promotional debut in spectacular fashion with a first-round TKO of Liana Jojua. Maverick was focused on working her strikes, and shattered the nose of Jojua with a slick and well-timed up-elbow. Jojua kept fighting and made it out of the round, but the doctor came in to asses the cut on the nose in between rounds and suggested that the match be stopped. Maverick is coming into the UFC from Invicta, where she showed off her grappling gifts. It’s safe to say that this was the coming out party for the striking of someone who trains out of a place called The House of Muay Thai.
Opening up the show, Joel Alvarez snagged up a first-round armbar on Alexander Yakovlev in just three-minutes flat. Yakovlev got the takedown he wanted, but the guard game of Alvarez is pretty nasty! After dropping a decision in his UFC debut, Alvarez has successfully finished three-straight opponents before the need for a third-round. It should be noted that Alvarez missed weight for this match by 3.5 pounds.
Miranda Maverick def. Liana Jojua by TKO at 5:00 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
Jojua took the center of the cage and worked her counter strikes, catching Maverick as she moved forward. Maverick began throwing in combinations and started scarring. She would throw multiple punches and then finish up with a kick, and really started to command the fight. A vicious elbow exploded the nose of Jojua, but she kept throwing and escaped the round. The doctor took a look at the cut in between rounds and recommended that the fight be stopped immediately.
Joel Alvarez def. Alexander Yakovlev by submission (Armbar) at 3:00 of round 1: Lightweight
Alvarez took an early kicking attack to Yakovlev, attacking both the body and legs. Yakovlev shot in for the takedown, but spent some time fighting off a guillotine attempt. A couple of ground strikes landed from the top, but Alvarez threw up and armbar. Yakovlev tried to pull away from the hold and Alvarez was able to stick with it until he got the tap.
**It should be noted that Alvarez missed weight by 3.5 pounds