The UFC 256 card is underway and the preliminary portion saw some pretty darn cool finishes! Closing out the prelims, longtime UFC veteran Cub Swanson knocked out fellow veteran Daniel Pineda in the second-round. Pineda was looking solid up until Cub stung him at the end of the opening round, and then the second act was where Swanson unleashed a set of uppercuts followed by a crisp cross that sat down Pineda. This makes two wins in a row for Cub, who was returning from a serious knee injury.
Before that, lightweight Tiger Muay Thai prospect, Rafael Fiziev, pulled out a wicked three-piece combo to knockout Renato Moicano in the first-round. Moicano was holding his own on the feet at first, until Fiziev unleashed that wicked combo that sent him falling to the floor. One followup strike landed before the referee stepped in and waved off the contest. Moicano protested, but he looked pretty hurt. After a rough promotional debut, Fiziev has posted up three-straight victories, with this one in particular putting the division on notice.
In what was a standout performance, the UFC’s #10 ranked strawweight, Tecia Torres, put it on short-notice replacement, Sam Hughes. Torres scored a ton of volume in the opening round that culminated in a retirement TKO in the corner between the first and second rounds. Hughes told her corner that she couldn’t see out of one of her eyes, so her coaches stopped the fight. Torres was as aggressive and as confident as ever, and looked downright great. In her post-fight interview, she called for a top-ranked opponent, and expressed a desire to make a run at the 115-pound title.
Opening up UFC 256, Peter Barrett was off to a great start against young buck Chase Hooper, until the 21-year-old dove on a leg and pulled off a third-round heel hook. Hooper’s leg got thrashed in the first-two rounds, forcing him to grit through the punishment. Chase is now 2-1 in the UFC.
**See complete results below
Cub Swanson def. Daniel Pineda by KO at 1:52 of round 2: Featherweight
Pineda pressed forward early on, peppering the leg of Cub and throwing slick punches. Swanson had to fight on the outside and then leap in with haymakers. Pineda slipped and Cub took top position, but after a few submission attempts from Daniel Swanson opted to stand up. The leg kicks of Pineda were paying off and visibly affecting the stance of Cub. Then, Swanson dropped Pineda with one of his haymakers. Pineda stood up and ate a couple of hard right hands and a few elbows just before the bell. Kind of a crazy round with that late momentum shift!
Swanson went right at his foe, stinging Pineda to start the second act. Pineda recovered, but then Swanson unleashed a series of uppercuts that dazed him again, and then put him down with a piston of a right hand. One followup punch scored before the referee had seen enough. What a finish!
Rafael Fiziev def. Renato Moicano by KO at 4:05 of round 1: Lightweight
Moicano didn’t shy away from the standup at all, willing to trade with Fiziev on the feet. Both men were landing solid strikes. Fiziev was landing all sorts of kicks to the legs and body, sometimes back to back. Moicano stuck to the basics, throwing his straight punches and pressing forward. As the two were exchanging, Fiziev landed with a ripping left to the body, a jarring right to jaw, and then a flush left hook to the button of an already stunned Moicano. As soon as Moicano hit the deck, Fiziev dove in with one punch and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Moicano immediately protested, but he seemed quite dazed.
Gavin Tucker def. Billy Quarantillo by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Featherweight
The featherweights went right to work, exchanging hard combos back and forth. Quarantillo was doing his best to make it ugly, with Tucker being the slicker technician of the two. In the clinch, Tucker was the one pressing Quarantillo against the cage, and he was also the one scoring with elbows.
Tucker started strong int he second act, landing volume on Quarantillo fro all ranges. Quarantillo kept throwing and trying to make it a dog fight, but Tucker hit a takedown and enjoyed a bit of top control. The final frame saw more of the same. Tucker continued to outclass his opponent on the feet, as well as in the grappling department. Credit to Quarantillo for never quitting, but Tucker was just a step ahead the entire way. The icing on the cake was several takedowns to round out a rather complete performance.
Tecia Torres def. Sam Hughes by TKO at 5:00 of round 1: Strawweight
Torres blitzed her opponent with volume right out of the gate, prompting Hughes to clinch up against the cage. Torres circled out and went right back to throwing punches in bunches. The aggressiveness of Torres was overwhelming Hughes, who was getting pieced up and was only firing one strike at a time. In the corner after the opening round, Hughes stated that she couldn’t see out of one of her eyes, so her corner stopped the fight.
Chase Hooper def. Peter Barrett by submission (Heel Hook) at 3:02 of round 3: Featherweight
Barrett slowly pressed looking to box, while Hooper stayed on the outside launching a variety of kicks. An accidental cup shot from Barrett caused a pause in the action, but Hooper quickly recovered and the fight got back underway. Barrett landed a couple of quality punches before Hooper connected with an accidental cup kick of his own. The match restarted again and Hooper worked hard for a takedown against the cage, and then rolled for a leg lock at the bell.
Barrett did some early damage in the second round with some cracking leg kicks. Hooper was visibly hurt by the kicks and was switching stances back and forth trying to find a way to not get lit up. He ended up diving for a leg in order to get the fight to the floor, but Barrett was able to remain safe and return back to his feet without issue.
Hooper scored with a series of kicks to open up the final round, and then dove on another leg lock attempt. That’s when the chess game started. Barrett tried his best to remain still and safe, but Hooper made all the right moves and was able to finish a heel hook. What a comeback!