The UFC Vegas 17 preliminary card just wrapped up with the promotion’s former lightweight champ, Anthony Pettis, taking a unanimous decision over the unranked welterweight Alex Morono. Pettis found himself with his back taken in the opening round, but come the end of the third, he had Morono on skates. This makes two wins in a row for Pettis, who stated a desire to drop back down to 155-pounds in his post-fight interview.
Before that, the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division saw the #14 ranked, Pannie Kianzad take a unanimous decision over the #13 rated, Sijara Eubanks. After getting controlled in the opening act, Kianzad rallied to take the next two frames. This makes three-straight wins for Kianzad.
In the UFC women’s flyweight division, the unranked Taila Santos dominated the UFC’s #13 ranked, Gillian Robertson, on the ground for the majority of three-rounds to win a unanimous decision. Santos had to fend off a few submission attempts, but was able to do so and enjoy ample time on top. This makes back-to-back wins for Santos, who just might have a number next to her name come next week.
In what became a possible candidate for Submission of the Year, Jimmy Flick hit a sweet flying triangle on Cody Durden in the first-round. Flick had to overcome some early adversity as Durden came to fight, but once Flick got one of his head kicks caught, he seized the moment to hit a flying submission. This was Flick’s UFC debut, but his fourth fight/win of 2020... each of those matches ended by way of submission.
**See complete results below
Anthony Pettis def. Alex Morono by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Welterweight
Pettis slipped on a kick to open the match, and Morono instantly jumped on the back. Pettis was staying safe, but tons of time went by before the former champ could spin into top position. Back on the feet, Pettis was able to get himself back into the fight. Morono almost took the back again just before the bell, but Pettis was able to spin and take top control.
Morono marched forward in the second round, backing up Pettis. The former champ began to kick at the body, causing a welt to form of Morono’s midsection. Pettis stayed on his bike, darting in to strike and then skirting away from the counter.
Pettis opened the final round with a head kick that touched the mark. A botched spinning maneuver led to Morono jumping on the back again, but Pettis was able to spin into top position. A lot of clock was eaten up with Pettis on top, with the fighters staying busy enough to not get stood up. Back on the feet, Pettis clocked his foe with a wheel kick that wobbled Morono. Pettis jumped a guillotine but was unable to finish it before the bell.
Pannie Kianzad def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Bantamweight
Eubanks changed levels to get things going and earned herself a takedown. She did a sound job of controlling Kianzad on the ground, and sprinkled a couple of ground strikes here and there. Kianzad threatened with an armbar but Eubanks was hip to it and remained safe and in control.
Kianzad worked a takedown from the clinch early int he seocnd-round. Eubanks was able to stay standing, but Kianzad was scoring with some strikes in the clinch. Eubanks hit a double leg takedown, but immediately had to defend an armbar attempt. Back on the feet, Eubanks stalled out o a takedown attempt and ate all sorts of Travis Browne elbows for it.
The third round saw the fight move right to the clinch, with Kianzad being the one pressing Eubanks against the cage. Back in open space, Kianzad seemed to have a bit more gas in the tank. Both fighters were throwing and landing, but Kianzad was the one using the better footwork.
Deron Winn def. Antonio Arroyo by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): 195-pounds
Winn earned himself an early bodylock takedown, but Arroyo scrambled back up before sustaining any damage. Winn went right back to the grappling, scoring takedowns but not really landing many strikes. Arroyo worked back to his feet and began to tee off on Winn with punches. Winn responded by diving on a low single leg, but wrestling was his only offense.
Arroyo spun for a kick early in the second round, and Winn capitalized by snagging a takedown. Arroyo stood back up, but ate a few punches for his troubles. Winn stayed true to his gameplan and went back to the takedown. He kept winning the grappling exchanges, even if he couldn’t hold any one position for an extended period of time. Winn stayed true to his gameplan and went back to the takedown. He kept winning the grappling exchanges, even if he couldn’t hold any one position for an extended period of time.
Winn quickly hit takedown to start the final frame, but used a kneebar to scramble back up to his feet. Another takedown was scored by Winn and this time he was able to solidify the position. When Arroyo did finally stand back up, Winn just took him right back down.
Taila Santos def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 29-28): (W) Flyweight
The fighters quickly clinched up, and that’s when Robertson jumped for a flying armbar. Santos defended well and escaped the hold, and then landed some descent strikes from the top. Robertson landed a couple of elbows from her back, which stifled the offensive output of Santos.
Santos quickly took top position in the second-round. Robertson rolled for the armbar again, but Santos placed her knee with all of her weight on Robertson face to escape the hold. Then, Santos worked for a triangle of her own, but Robertson escaped into top position. After botching another armbar attempt, Robertson found herself back on the bottom where she would stay for the rest of the round. Robertson jumped a guillotine early in the final frame, but that resulted in Santos taking top position. Robertson had a brief moment with a close armbar attempt, but Santos again defended well and re-established control. The fight did not return to its feet.
Tafon Nchukwi def. Jamie Pickett by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2): Middleweight
Nchukwi went right at his opponent with heavy combinations. He was launching punches followed by head kicks. Whenever they collided, Nchukwi would launch brutal knees to the body. When Pickett managed to get himself a takedown, Nchukwi quickly worked his way back to his feet. Nchukwi got right back to finishing his punches with head kicks.
Tafon continued to be the aggressor in the seocnd act, even if he wasn’t throwing as much as he was in the first-round. They clinched up and Nchukwi roughed up Pickett against the cage. He hurt Pickett to the body with a knee, and although Jamie tried to pass it off as a low blow, the ref wasn’t having it. Pickett would score here and there with long strikes as his opposed advanced forward. When Pickett did flurry, he was able to land flush and back up Nchukwi. It looked as if they clashed heads just before the bell, with Pickett seeming to be the worse for it.
The doctor came in to check on Pickett just before the start of the final round, but allowed the bout continued. Nchukwi went back to pressing forward, keeping his foe from finding a groove. A big head kick landed for Nchukwi, and then a hard knee sent Pickett falling to the floor. Nchukwi pounced trying to finish, but Pickett survived and worked back to his feet. The rest of the round saw Nchukwi remain in the driver’s seat.
Jimmy Flick def. Cody Durden by submission (Flying Triangle) at 3:18 of round 1: Flyweight
Durden pressed forward right away and got himself a takedown. Flick did a great job of working back to his feet without eating too many ground strikes. On the feet, it was Durden who was getting off with the strikes while Flick kind of just shelled up. Then, Durden catches a head kick, but Flick jumped right into a triangle. A couple of adjustments were made on the ground and Durden was forced to tap. Wow!
Christos Giagos def. Carlton Minus by unanimous decision (30-36, 29-27, 29-28) : 160-pounds
Giagos blasted his foe with a right hand to set up a takedown early in the first round. Minus would stand up a couple of times before Giagos finally locked down the top position. Switching back and forth from the full mount and back mount, Giagos peppered Minus with big shots. With about 90-seconds left in the opening act, Minus was able to escape out of the back door, but was unable to mount any offense before getting taken down again.
It didn’t take very long for Giagos to get the fight to the ground on the second round. Minus kept trying to improve his position, but Giagos was all over him, continuously surfing on top. Minus seven stood up at one point with v attached to his back, but opted to drop back down to the ground.
Minus struggled with the chain wrestling again to open the third round, but he was at least able to scramble up and into open space for an extended period of time. A labored Giagos struggled to get the fight back to the floor, and Minus was the one throwing the volume. Despite being the fresher fighter down the stretch, Minus was unable to pull out the finish.