The UFC VEGAS 19 preliminary card was pure fire! We got a bunch of finishes that came by way of strikes, with only the final matchup reaching the scorecards. That decision came when Jared Gordon took the win against Danny Chavez, doing work in both the standup and the ground departments. This makes two-straight dubs for Gordon, both oddly enough being catchweight tilts.
Before that, John Castaneda took out longtime MMA veteran Eddie Wineland with a flurry of punches in the first round. After he hurt Eddie on the feet, he swarmed with fight-ending ground and pound to achieve his first-ever UFC victory. Castaneda is now 1-1 under the UFC banner, and proved to have some firepower in his hands — which is nearly a must at the top of the increasingly deep bantamweight division.
Earlier in the night, Julian Erosa and Nate Landwehr put on a 56-second sprint of violence. Landwehr struck first with a brief knockdown, and then Erosa instantly recovered and returned a barrage of uppercuts that put Landwehr on skates. It was a lethal jump knee from Erosa that sent Landwehr falling down to the canvas, and a flurry of ground punches finished the job. Despite the good stoppage, Landwehr protested that he was fine, even though he was not in fact fine.
Making good on her UFC debut, Casey O’Neill dominated Shana Dobson on the ground to earn herself a second-round TKO. The 23-year-old O’Neill remains undefeated, extending her young record to 6-0. The UFC’s women’s flyweight division has someone new to keep an eye on. In what might be a UFC first, featherweight Chas Skelly made the walk to the Octagon, but his opponent, Jamall Emmers, suffered back spasms just before he made the walk — and the bout was subsequently cancelled. Can you recall this sort of thing ever happening before?
Also on the prelims, Aiemann Zahabi, brother of legendary coach Firas Zahabi, scored an epic knockout of Drako Rodriguez in the first round. It was a sensational 1-2, with the cross being the lethal blow that sent Drako crashing to the canvas. A solo ground strike hit its mark before the referee even had a chance to step in, officially snapping a two-fight losing skid for Aiemann. This was quite impressive!
Opening up the show, the heavyweight division saw Sergey Spivak out-wrestle UFC newcomer Jared Vanderaa before unloading a ton of fight-ending ground and pound at the end of the second round. The ref gave Jared EVERY opportunity to improve his position, but tonight belonged to Sergey. Being a willing wrestler at heavyweight can be such an advantage, and Spivak seems more than willing to exploit any holes in his adversary’s takedown defense. This is the first time that the 26-year-old Spivak has won back to back fights in the UFC.
**See complete results below
Jared Gordon def. Danny Chavez by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
A bit of feeling put went on to get things going, with Gordon slowly pressing forward. They were winging punches back and forth, with both men landing and absorbing big shots. Then, an accidental cup kick from Gordon brought a pause to the match. The fight restarted and the combatants went right back to launching power strikes at one another. It was Gordon pressing forward, but neither man was really taking over.
Chavez shot in early in the second act, but couldn’t solidify the takedown. The calf kicks were flying in from both sides, as well as heavy punches. Then, it was Gordon who earned a takedown, but he was actually able to establish top position. Gordon counted to work from the top, dropping strikes and eating a lot of clock.
Chavez pressed forward to begin the final frame. He walked down Gordon looking for the knockout. Gordon returned fire. and then switched hears and hit another takedown. After getting controlled, Chavez worked back to his feet, but could not escape the clinch of Gordon.
John Castaneda def. Eddie Wineland by TKO at 4:44 of round 1: Bantamweight
Wineland pushed the pace right away, going right at Castaneda with a boxing attack. Castaneda sat back and wasn't’t really throwing a lot of volume. He was being defensive and getting pushed back. By the end of the round, Castaneda started to throw and he was connecting. Then, a barrage of punches from Castaneda rocked Wineland, sending him stumbling backwards. John pounced and unleashed a non-stop flurry of punches, and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The official probably could have let this one go, but it’s always better to error on the side of caution.
Julian Erosa def. Nate Landwehr by TKO at :56 of round 1: Featherweight
Welp, this one didn’t take very long! The warriors went right at one another, with Landwehr rocking Erosa first. Then, Erosa started firing back with punches in punches, hurting his adversary in return. A slick flying jump knee landed on the button and Landwehr went down. A series of punches were landing as the referee stepped in and called off the fight, and Landwehr instantly stood up and started protesting. It looked like a solid stoppage.
Casey O’Neill def. Shana Dobson by TKO at 3:41 of round 3: (W) Flyweight
The fighters got right to work, exchanging heat and looking aggressive on both sides. O’Neill closed the distance and clinched up against the cage, and when she got Dobson down, she wasn’t able to keep her there. More back and forth on the feet went on, with Dobson landing a brutal knee from the Thai clinch. O’Neill went back to the takedown and was able to realize it. She landed several ground strikes before Shana was finally able to stand up, and even then O’Neill took her right back down.
It didn’t take very long for O’Neill to get the fight tot he ground in the second round. She took the back, and then the full mount, dropping a bunch of blows and totally controlling the fight. The onslaught did not stop as strike after strike landed and the control never let up. The referee had no choice but to step in and rescue Dobson.
Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers was cancelled: Featherweight
Aiemann Zahabi def. Drako Rodriguez by KO at 3:05 of round 1: Bantamweight
Rodriguez started leading the dance right away, establishing control of the center while throwing power. Zahabi responded will stiff jabs, but he was eating some calf kicks. Then, an extremely well placed counter cross from Zahabi floored Rodriguez! It only took one punch, but a followup ground strike sealed the deal WOW!
Sergey Spivak def. Jared Vanderaa by TKO at 4:32 of round 2: Heavyweight
Vanderaa came out pressuring, but Spivak was able to use that aggression to get a takedown. Spivak did a great job of preventing his foe from getting back to open space, and was able to solidify top position. Several punches and elbows dropped down for Spivak, as Vanderaa was stuck underneath without any answers.
A botched head kick from Vanderaa to start the second round gave Spivak the chance to close the distance and earn a takedown. That’s when the fight went right back to looking like it did in the opening round. A cut opened up on Vanderaa due to the punishment being rained down upon him. Spivak started to unload the strikes, and all Vanderaa could do was cover up. Sergey dropped repetitive hammerfists until the referee finally stepped in.