The UFC Fight Island Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige main card is rolling right along and the co-main event just witnessed the promotion’s #13 ranked flyweight, Tim Elliott, take a hard-earned decision over the heavy-handed Ryan Benoit. It was the volume and the grappling of Elliot that helped him get the nod, but his cardio might be the real MVP of his style tonight. He pushed the pace and secure two of the three rounds on each scorecard. This snaps a rough three-fight losing skid for Elliot, who has now already fought three-times in 2020.
Before that, the UFC’s #8 ranked bantamweight, Jimmie Rivera, took a clean decision over the #9 ranked, Cody Stamann. Rivera got the better of the striking exchanges and did a sound job fighting off the takedown attempts. This was a much needed win for Rivera, who now finds himself back in the win column and holds on to his position in the rankings.
Also on the main card, Taila Santos made excellent use of her range on the feet, and parlayed that with controlling top position, to earn a dominant decision over the UFC’s #15 ranked women’s flyweight, Molly McCann. Santos was on point in all areas, having answers for her opponent wherever the fight went. This is Santos’ first win inside of the UFC as she advances her record to 16-1.
Opening up the main card, savage striker, Abdul Razak Alhassan, and UFC newcomer, Mounir Lazzez, unexpectedly went the distance. They put on a ridiculous opening round that was full of devastating blows on both sides, and that also had one giant momentum shift. Once the initial storm from Alhassan was weathered, Lazzez began to pull away in all facets of the sport to upset the veteran in his promotional debut. In his post-fight interview, Lazzez went big and called out “Platinum” Mike Perry, who might have some things to clear up before he is allowed to compete again.
**See complete results below
Tim Elliott def. Ryan Benoit by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Flyweight
Elliot brought his typical pressure to get things going. He pawed a great deal with his lead hand, keeping Benoit at range. Benoit responded with a cross top head kick combo that hit the mark, but somehow Elliott wore it without issue. Elliott looked for entries to a takedown, but Benoit was scrambling with immense speed to avoid the ground.
Benoit found a groove in the second round. He was landing his hands from different angles while keeping Elliott too far away to properly shoot a takedown. Benoit was actually the one that hit a takedown, but Elliott was quick to attack with a Guillotine. He didn’t pull off the sub attempt but he did find top position. Benoit attacked with a near kneebar, and then used the position to get back to his feet. The round ended with Benoit taking the back, but eating a series of unobstructed elbows.
Elliott scored with some sneaky elbows early int he final frame, which led to him grinding on Benoit against the cage. Something happened and Elliott began to fiddle around with his own hand. Benoit recognized what was going on and started to up his output, but Elliot addressed the aggression with many jabs. Benoit struggled to get Elliot off of him, but managed to do so long enough to have one last berserker flurry before time ran out.
Jimmie Rivera def. Cody Stamann by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
There was a bunch of explosive striking to kick off this one. Rivera deployed a strong leg kicking game with Stamann looking to explode with his hands. When Stamann did throw a kick, Rivera caught it and blasted him with a right hand that floored him. Stamann was more off balance than anything, and initiated a grappling exchange. Stamann controlled Rivera against the cage while having a back clinch, but the referee broke them apart into open space. Rivera landed some smooth body shots and a couple over the top before the end of the round.
Right away, Stamann went for the takedown in the second frame. He succeeded for a moment, but Rivera stood right back up with Stamann attached to his back. Rivera scrambled until he achieved a takedown of his own, putting Stamann on the defensive. Back in the center of the Octagon, Rivera led the dance with a pressuring boxing attack. He wasn’t throwing a lot, but when he did they were vicious three-pieces.
Rivera continued to get the better of the striking exchanges in the final round. Stamann just kind of set back while Rivera marched forward and selectively picked his shots. Stamann did finally shoot in for a takedown, but Rivera fought it off with great effort and escaped. Down the stretch, Rivera kept pressuring and kept winning the exchanges until the bell.
Taila Santos def. Molly McCann by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Flyweight
The flyweights stood right in front of one another and went toe to toe. Both women were landing said combos, and then the referee paused the fight to warn Santos about grabbing the hair of McCann. The bout resumed and McCann landed a couple of hard hooks, but ended up conceding the takedown. Santos stayed in close, taking McCann back down when she eventually scrambled back up.
McCann stuck with her punch-heavy attack in the second round. Santos was returning fire with punch kick combos that were scoring. They clinched back up, jockeying for position up against the cage. That’s where Santos landed some knees to the face and then hit another takedown. She attacked with a D’arce for a moment, and although shed din’t pull off the sub, she maintained control of McCann all the way until the bell.
McCann started the final round with intensity, throwing haymakers but getting countered with knees. Santos went back to the takedown, and proceeded to control her opposition in a grinding fashion. McCann didn’t have any answers for the grappling and denied a chance at a Hail Mary.
Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Mounir Lazzez by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Welterweight
Alhassan did what Alhassan does and he brought the fight to Lazzez right away. He threw multiple sets of flurries, landing and keeping his opponent’s back to the cage. Somehow, Lazzez absorbed the punishment and started to return evil knees to the body. He coupled in some kicks to the head, leaving a fatigued Alhassan defensive. Lazzez even hit a takedown at the end of the round.
The second frame saw Lazzez reduce Alhassan down to two-strikes at a time, as well as had him backpedaling. An assortment of volume connected for Lazzez before he earned himself a takedown. A rather quick referee standup brought the bout back to its feet, and then a flurry of elbows from Lazzez aided him in achieving another takedown.
Alhassan pressed forward in the final round and hunted for a takedown. Lazzez did a great job of immediately scrambling back to his feet and not allowing Alhassan to maintain top position. Lazzez went and hit a takedown of his own and was able to control Alhassan for a descent amount of time. Alhassan scrambled up to his feet and delivered a last-second barrage of wild punches, with at least one good one getting through.