The eight-fight UFC Fight Island 3: ‘Whittaker vs. Till’ preliminary card just wrapped up with longtime veteran Francisco Trinaldo rallying to pull out a late third-round TKO of UFC newcomer, Jai Herbert. Herbert seemed to have this one in the bag, but an overhand left from Trinaldo had other plans. There was a bit of a sad sight after the punch dropped and stunned Herbert. Trinaldo realized his victim was done fighting so opted to not follow up, but the referee did not stop the bout. Trinaldo had no choice but to drop hammers on a defenseless person until the referee was satisfied. It was an excellent comeback, and it’s a shame it’s overshadowed by poor officiating. It should also be noted that Trinaldo missed weight by four-pounds.
Before that, Jesse Ronson finally got himself a UFC win by club and subbing Nicolas Dalby in the first round. Ronson lost three close split decisions to top flight competition in his first UFC stint, but has made a comeback after some regional work and got himself that win. What a story! In the heavyweight division, UFC newcomer Tom Aspinall ran right through Jake Collier in a sporty 45-seconds. A crushing knee to the body was immediately followed by a devastating jab-cross combo to send Collier crashing to the floor. Not a bad way to make your UFC debut and extend your winning streak to four. He also called his shot in his post-fight interview, calling out fellow surging big-man, Sergey Spivak.
Also on the undercard, rising featherweight prospect, Movsar Evloev, put on a striking clinic against Mike Grundy en route to a unanimous decision. Evloev was forced to pull of a magical escape from an early D’arce attempt from Grundy, but after that it was pretty much all Evloev. Now sitting at 13-0, Evloev has won all-three of his UFC bouts.
The first finish of the night came in the heavyweight division when Tanner Boser stopped Raphael Pessoa with strikes in the second round. Boser stung Pessoa with a left hook, and then dropped some ferocious ground strikes to seal the deal. This makes back to back knockouts in less than 30-days for Boser, who called out Maurice Greene in his post-fight interview.
**See complete results below
Francisco Trinaldo def. Jai Herbert by TKO at 1:30 of round 1: Lightweight
Herbert came out throwing a ton of straight strikes. He was doing quite well until Trinaldo cracked him with a right hand. Trinaldo then closed the distance and started a lengthy grind cycle. Herbert had to fight off a guillotine attempt and carry the weight of Trinaldo for some time. He eventually reversed the position and landed a strong knee to the face, causing a cut on the cheek of Trinaldo. Herbert also snagged a takedown of his own before the end of the round.
Herbert dropped Trinaldo with a mean cross right at the start of the second round. He followed his foe to the ground and took the back. They spent a lot of time in this position, with Trinaldo having a two on one grip. Trinaldo reversed on top but Herbert did a superb job of scrambling to his feet without skipping a beat. Herbert started to pour it on, rocking Trinaldo several times with crisp straights.
Herbert had a ton of spring in his step to begin the final round. Just when it looked like Herbert was in complete control, Trinaldo unleashed everything he had in an overhand left and connected flush. Herbert hit the deck, appearing to be out of it, so Trinaldo showcased tremendous sportsmanship by not following up. The referee failed to stop the fight, so Trinaldo was forced to deliver unnecessary ground strikes on a defenseless fighter until the referee was pleased.
Jesse Ronson def. Nicolas Dalby by submission (RNC) at 2:48 of round 1: Welterweight
The welterweights did not need any feeling out moments in this one. They went in exchanging right away. Both fighters were looking sharp, and then BOOM! Ronson dropped Dalby with a cracking southpaw cross in midst a flurry. He pounced with ground strikes, which opened up the rear-naked choke for the tap.
Tom Aspinall def. Jake Collier by TKO at :45 of round 1: Heavyweight
This one didn’t last very long. The big men started exchanging inside of the cage and Aspinall scored with a brutal knee to the midsection. He followed up with a crisp one-two that floored Collier. Only one followup strike was necessary as Collier was already done for.
Movsar Evloev def. Mike Grundy by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
Grundy scored himself a quick takedown to get things going. Evloev used a gorgeous escape to scramble back to his feet, but Grundy took him right back down. Grundy attacked with a D’arce but Evloev kicked off of the hip of Grundy to hit a brilliant escape. In open space, Evloev rocked Grundy with a counter cross, causing a cut just below the eye.
Grundy struggled to get takedowns in the second act, and was unable to get things going in the striking department. Evloev continued to score with punches and stuff takedown attempts. This round was quite one sided. The final frame saw more of the same. Grundy botched a bunch of takedowns, and Evloev ran away with the strike count.
Tanner Boser def. Raphael Pessoa by TKO at 2:36 of round 2: Heavyweight
Lots of feeling out went on in the opening round. Boser moved around a great deal, while Pessoa kind of just stayed stationary. Boser did connect with a couple of leg kicks here and there. Pessoa blitzed a few times with haymakers, but Boser was able to skirt out of the way.
Boser stayed with his leg attack in the second act. He thrashed the inside as well as the outside of the thigh of Pessoa. Then, Boser uncorked a massive left hand that hurt Pessoa’s eye. Pessoa opted to fall down to the floor and Boser began to drop hellacious ground and pound until the referee stepped in.
Pannie Kianzad def. Bethe Correia by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): (W) Bantamweight
Kianzad came out looking to score with boxing combinations while Correia was waiting on the counter. The volume was coming from Kianzad. Correia would make the first two punches miss, but it was the third that was catching her. Kianzad also found success from he Thai plum landing some knees top the body. When the ten-second sticks sounded off, Correia thought it was the end of the round and started walking away. Kianzad swung on her and connected with a hard right hand that rocked Correia and had her backpedaling. The referee warned Correia after the bell about waiting for the bell. Correia simply smiled it off.
Kianzad attacked right away in the second act, clipping Correia with another hard punching combo. Then she slipped and gave Correia top position. A couple of ground strikes scored for Correia before Kianzad made it back to her feet. The striking was back and forth, with Correia throwing a bit more volume than she did in the first round.
The bantamweights slugged it out in the third round. Just when it looked like Kianzad was about to take over, Correia began to swing heavy hooks. Back and forth they went, with Kianzad rocking Correia with a nasty combination. Kianzad started to pour on the volume. Throwing multiple punches at a time was really paying dividends. Correia did score a last second takedown just to do it.
Ramazan Emeev def. Niklas Stolze by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Welterweight
Stolze opened up the bout with heavy calf kicks. Emeev went to the takedown and attacked hard with a front choke. Stolze hung tough and escaped the hold, but Emeev was still attached. Stolze attacked with a guillotine choke, but that just put himself on the bottom. They stood up with ten-seconds remaining in the round, and Stolze blasted Emeev with a flying knee that rocked him.
Emeev fought rather smart in the second round. He stayed defensively sound, allowing Stolze to throw whatever, so long as it wasn’t landing clean. That aided him carefully picking his strikes and he was scoring clean with a lot of straights. Emeev wasn’t opening up a bunch and he wasn’t going crazy. It was a strong of give nothing and take everything round for Emeev.
Emeev closed the distance right away in the final frame. He grabbed ahold of a body lock and delivered a mean knee to the face. That brought the bout back to open space, and that’s when Stolze hit a takedown of his own. Emeev scrambled out, clinched up, and started to deploy his own grind on Stolze. He landed a series of the same sort of knee he rocked Stolze with earlier in the round. Somehow Stolze ate them without too much issue.
Nathaniel Wood def. John Castaneda by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Bantamweight
The bantamweights spent a lot of the first round standing right in front of one another. They went back and forth with punching and kicking combos coming from both sides. Neither man really took over at any one point. Castaneda would press forward, and then it was Wood’s turn.
Castaneda pressed forward early in the second act, backing up Wood with heavy hands. Although was moving backwards, he was staying composed and defensively sound. The pressure began top subside and Wood began to throw his punches in three-piece combos, and he was landing. He started to push Castaneda back, attacking the leg to boot.
Wood continued to look sharp in the final frame. He was bouncing on his toes and looked every bit of fresh as he did in the previous two rounds. Castaneda struggled with volume coming his way. He tried to move forward but the combinations from Wood kept disrupting his rhythm.