The UFC 268 card is underway, and the early prelims just closed out with 23-year-old welterweight prospect, Ian Garry, pulling of a sweet counter knockout of Jordan Williams, with just one-second remaining in the opening round. Jordan was game and landed some quality strikes early on, but once Garry found his timing, he was able to dispatch his opponent with style. Ian talks the talk, walks the walk, and extends his spotless record to 8-0. Is “The Future” really the future?
Before that, Chris Barnett picking up a stellar wheel kick finish of Gian Villante in the second round. Barnett danced his way to the Octagon, added to his highlight reel, and front flipped to butt drop in celebration. Not only did he do that, but on the mic Barnett showed ample respect to Villante, who is calling it a career. Villante closes out his professional MMA record at 17-14. He went 3-2 in Strikeforce before a lengthy tenure with the UFC, posting up a promotional record of 7-11.
Before that, Dustin Jacoby leaned on his striking fundamentals to take a unanimous decision over John Allan. This was basically a kickboxing match, with a bunch a volume but very few wow moments. It was a short notice fight for Jacoby, who collects a paycheck, a win bonus, and extends his unbeaten streak to seven-straight.
In the UFC’s featherweight division, Melsik Baghdasaryan took a unanimous decision over Bruno Souza. The fight was competitive, with Melsik getting ahead early and then Souza fighting his way back into as the output of Baghdasaryan started to wane. With a UFC record of 2-0, Baghdasaryan is off to a good start on the big stage.
Opening up UFC 268, Ode Osbourne picked up a unanimous decision over promotional newcomer, C.J. Vergara. The win did not come easy, as Vergara had a late surge, but Ode banked the first-two rounds to walk away with the nod. Osbourne extends his UFC record to 2-2. It should also be noted that Vergara missed weight by one-pound.
**See complete results below
Ian Garry def. Jordan Williams by KO at 4:59 of round 1: Welterweight
Williams opened the match with some flush punches that forced Garry to back up and reset. Jordan was getting off first, while Garry seemed to still be trying to get his footing in the fight. The athletes clinched up and Garry began landing knees to the body. Once they separated, Ian started going high with his head kick, and he was connecting. Then, Garry connected with a slick counter cross that dazed Williams, and then landed another duo of right hands to put Jordan out. WOW!!!
Chris Barnett def. Gian Villante by TKO at 2:23 of round 2: Heavyweight
Villante took the center of the Octagon, taking his time launching kicks at Barnett. In response, Barnett started landing kicks of his own. Villante began mixing in some punches, while Chris stuck with his kicking routine. Barnett opened up the second round with a fancy spinning jump kick that missed wildly, but at least the crowd appreciated it. But then, Barnett unleashed a wheel kick that connected and sent Villante crashing tot he floor. He pounced with ground and pound until the referee stepped in. In celebration, Chris did a front flip to his butt.
Dustin Jacoby def. John Allan by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Light Heavyweight
Jacoby pressed the action right away and the fighters exchanged leg kicks. It was Jacoby who the one connecting with the hands. The difference is striking ability was becoming more and more evident. An accidental eye poke to Allan caused a momentary break in the action, and upon the restart Jacoby got right back to work. Dustin was applying the pressure with straights and leg kicks, all while making Allan miss on a lot of his shots.
The second round saw more of the same. Jacoby was leading the dance with the same jabs and crosses that he was using to dictate the pace in the opening round. Allan was doing a better job of throwing more volume. He was attacking with leg kicks and started moving forward. Just as Allan was gaining steam, another eye poke brought a halt to the action. The doctor came in and deemed John fit to continue. The fight resumed but there wasn't much time left on the clock.
Allan began the third round with some urgency, he was taking the center and pushing back Jacoby. It was the jab of Jacoby that was getting through. It was disrupting John from advancing in the way that was winning him moments. Down the stretch, it was more jabs from Jacoby, with neither man being able to deliver a ‘wow’ moment.
Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Bruno Souza by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Featherweight
Baghdasaryan opened the fight with some stinging leg kicks. He was walking down Souza, who was on the back foot. Souza would explode in from time to time, but wasn’t really connecting with anything when he did it. The leg kicks kept coming, prompting Souza to start shooting takedowns and trying to clinch up.
Baghdasaryan clipped Souza with a punch around the left eye early in the second round that seemed to make him backpedal. So much so that the crowd began to boo. Souza started to engage again, sneaking in some strikes. Baghdasaryan kept pressuring and landing leg kicks. He also seemed to be getting a bit frustrated with his elusive opponent, and unleashed an aggressive boxing combination to reminded Souza of the power.
Souza came out ready to go in the third act. He popped Baghdasaryan with some flush straights, and there wasn’t much coming back his way. The volume was on the side of Souza, as the output of Melsik was low. Souza looked for the takedown, but Baghdasaryan was able to shut down the chained attempts to remain on his feet. The crowd wasn’t too happy with the way the match ended.
Ode Osbourne def. C.J. Vergara by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Flyweight
Osbourne got off to a good start, being the more active fighter and unloading a bit of volume. Vergara scored a couple of strikes here and there, and did a great job of stuffing the takedown advances coming his way, but he wasn’t matching the striking output of his opponent.
The standup battle continues in the second round. Osbourne was still the one landing the more punches, and even though they didn’t have a ton of sting on them, the accumulative damage started to present itself. Vergara was bleeding from the mouth, and despite having the power advantage, struggled to reach his target. Osbourne got himself a takedown just before the bell to ice the round.
Vergara pressed the action in the final frame, showing some urgency to get a finish. Osbourne fought going backwards, and would hit the brakes and bolt forward with stiff straights.Vergara kept pressing forward, punching his way into the clinch, and then would deliver piercing knees to the body. The fighters got tangled up and Vergara ended up with top position. He dropped ground and pound, and a couple of hard elbows got through, but time expired before he could produce a finish.