The UFC 255 preliminary card just wrapped up with top ranked flyweights Brandon Royval and Brandon Moreno. The #1 ranked Moreno was able to get the fight to the ground and finish the #6 ranked Royval with strikes with just one-second left in the opening round. The second the fight was over, Royval screamed out in pain as his shoulder was dislocated. Moreno is now unbeaten in his last-five fights, and should be up next in line for a shot at the 125-pound strap.
Before that, the likely owner of Knockout of the Year, Joaquin Buckley, earned himself another spectacular finish when he stopped Jordan Wright with punches in the second round. Buckley was chucking heat as he usually does, and hurt his foe pretty badly at the end of the first-round. It was only 18-seconds into the second act when Buckley manifested the finish. It’s safe to say that “New Mansa” has the hot hand.
Antonina Shevchenko had a standout performance on the prelims by stopping Ariane Lipski with strikes on the ground in the second round. Lipski was landed big punches on the feet, but once the fight hit the ground that's when Shevchenko took over. The win gets Shevchenko back into the win column, and despite her strong Muay Thai base, Shevchenko’s last two UFC wins happened on the ground.
In a predominantly standup affair, Alan Jouban and Jared Gooden fought the full fifteen-minutes. Both men landed their respective shots, but it was Jouban got the better off the exchanges overall and walked away with the unanimous decision. With three scores of 30-27, Jouban finds himself back in the win column for the first time since February of 2018.
The UFC 255 prelims got off to a great start with a gritty war between promotional newcomers Sasha Palatnikov and Louis Cosce. As a heavy betting favorite, Cosce came out and dropped Palatnikov with heavy punches, but this fight was far from over. Palatnikov survived the onslaught and began to turn the tide in his favor by the end of the opening act. From there on out, Palatnikov stayed just in control and pulled out a late finish with strikes in the third round. What a way to make your UFC debut.
**See complete results below
Brandon Moreno def. Brandon Royval by TKO at 4:59 of round 1: Flyweight
Royval opened the bout with a series of strikes, but Moreno changed levels to snag a takedown. Royval quickly sprung back up to his feet and a striking battle ensued. Moreno was able to take the back off of a botched spinning elbow attempt from Royval. Moreno attacked an RNC and cranked away on the neck. Somehow, Royval gritted through the hold, but his back was still taken. Moreno started to unleash a barrage of punches, and Royval was unable to advance his position. The referee had no choice but to stop the fight. It looked like Royval’s shoulder popped out of socket, causing him to scream in agony just after the fight.
Joaquin Buckley def. Jordan Wright by KO at :18 of round 2: Middleweight
Buckley clinched up to get things going, pressing Wright up against the cage. The takedown wasn’t there, so Buckley broke off into open space. Buckley was loading up on his punches, giving Wright time to get out of the way of his punches. The defense of Wright was holding up, until the end of the round. That’s when Buckley unloaded a flurry that dropped Wright, nearly finish9ing before the bell. Buckley went right after his opponent in the second round. He uncorked a flurry of heavy hooks that caught Wright cleanly. Wright went down and the referee stepped right in to stop the fight.
Antonina Shevchenko def. Ariane Lipski by TKO at 4:33 of round 2: (W) Flyweight
Lipski went right at Shevchenko with heavy punches. They clinched up and Lipski tried to muscle Shevchenko to the floor, but was unsuccessful. Shevchenko hit an head and arm throw, which resulted in a weird scramble. Shevchenko ended the round on top.
Shevchenko quickly found top position in he second round. She locked down the position and began to drop some punishment. Shevchenko moved into full mount and began to drop punch after punch. The referee warned Lipski to improve her position but Shevchenko was going wild. The ref was forced to stop the fight.
Nicolas Dalby def. Daniel Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Welterweight
A little bit of feeling out went on to get things going here. Dalby scored with a massive straight that staggered Rodriguez, but was unable to takeover because of it. Some back and forth went on for a bit, and the Rodriguez started to turn it up. He started pressuring and throwing a lot more volume, which seemed to have Dalby out of sorts.
Rodriguez switched things up and looked for the takedown to start the second act. He pressed Dalby against the cage but was unable to get the fight to the floor. After eating a few punches, Dalby shot in for a takedown of his own. Rodriguez stayed vertical, but Dalby kept trying to find a way to get the takedown until the bell.
Dalby went back to the takedown in the final round, but Rodriguez again defended well to stay on his feet. The pace slowed down a bit, with Dalby being the one pushing the action and throwing the volume. Rodriguez did land a zinger towards the end of the round, but he was much more inactive than he was in the previous two rounds.
Alan Jouban def. Jared Gooden by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
Gooden went at Jouban to get things going, but Alan was prepared to counter strike. Jouban was using his boxing to meet Gooden when he would come forward. A big right hand scored for Gooden, and then Jouban responded with a head kick of his own. Jouban also routinely cracked the body with a kick, scoring over and over. A clash of heads caused the right eye of Jouban to swell.
Gooden seemed to be the more composed fighter in the seocnd round. Jouban was doing a lot of moving around. The power strikes of Goodness's began to build up, but then a big left hand hurt Gooden. Jouban started to pour it on as Gooden backed himself up to the fence. Gooden was briefly dropped with an elbow, ut recovered rather quickly. Jouban kept landing quality strikes, but just couldn’t put his opponent away.
The fighters went right at it to start the final round, with both men landing strong straights. Goodness's was showing some more urgency, upping his aggression. Jouban was wearing it on his face at this point, but he was still popping off with repetitive jabs. Gooden shot in for a takedown but found himself stuck in a guillotine. Jouban rolled into full mount and tried to finish but ran out of time.
Kyle Daukaus def. Dustin Stoltzfus by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26): Middleweight
Thew bout opened up with Daukaus used a big overhand to close the distance. Stoltzfus fought hard to remain vertical, but his back was stuck up against the cage. Stoltzfus finally reversed the position, but that only resulted in him getting taken down. Several hard strikes scored from the top from Daukaus. The round ended in wonky entanglement of the legs.
Daukaus came out hot for the second act, pressuring Stoltzfus with strikes. An accidental cup shot to Stoltzfus brought a brief pause to the bout. The fight resumed and Daukaus got right back to work. He forced his for against the cage and got his grind on. Stoltzfus just couldn't find any seperation until the final ten-seconds of the round.
Daukaus opened up the third round with a flush flurry of punches. The fight then quickly went to the inside, and some more cage grinding ensued. They jockeyed back and forth for control, but it was Daukaus who was getting the better of the exchanges. Stoltzfus went for a Hail Mary leg lock, but just ate some punches for his troubles. Back on the feet, it was Daukaus who was landing all the blows, and he even attacked with a D’arce a the end of the round.
Sasha Palatnikov def. Louis Cosce by TKO at 2:27 of round 3: Welterweight
The fighters went right at it, with each man scoring on the feet. Palatnikov got himself a short-lived takedown, but soon found himself stuck on the bottm eating shots. Cosce began blasting away, putting into survival mode. Palatnikov stood to his feet but was dropped with a barrage of punches. Somehow, Palatnikov survived and then started to land punches of his own. He was landing flush, causing Cosce to take a back step. Cosce was slowing down and Palatnikov was turning it up. What a crazy round!
Palatnikov definitely appeared much fresher than Cosce at the start of the second round. Cosce was losing the striking exchanges as the fresher fighter was able to get off with his combos. Then, a low blow to Palatnikov brought a pause to the bout, giving Cosce a rest as well. The slugfest got back underway, with both men swinging with defense taking a back seat.
The final round got off to grinding start up against the fence, but Palatnikov kept grabbing the fence. The referee paused the fight to give Palatnikov a hard warning. The fight resumed as well as the war of attrition. An accidental cup shot from Cosce brought another halt to the bout. The fight resumed yet again, and Palatnikov stormed with a flurry of punches. A stiff right hand buckled Cosce, prompting him to shoot a desperation takedown. Palatnikov sprawled and unleashed another barrage of punches, this time the referee stepped in to rescue Cosce.