Finishes came at a premium on the UFC Vegas 18 preliminary card, with just the first and final bout of this portion of the card ending early. Closing out the prelims, Devonte Smith scored a doctor stoppage TKO on Justin Jaynes off of the strength of some ground strikes that caused severe swelling around the eye in the seocnd-round. This win puts Smith back into the win column, however, it marks three-straight losses by way of finish for Jaynes.
Before that, surging bantamweight Karol Rosa ran away with the scorecards against Joselyne Edwards. Although there was a brawling spell that broke out at one point, this fight was won in the grappling realm. When the fight went in close, it was all Rosa all the time. She was able to control Edwards for quite some time to advance her UFC record to 3-0.
In a scrappy affair, the UFC’s flyweight division saw Lara Procopio and Molly McCann go the distance. McCann had a super-tight armbar attempt in the second frame, but Procopio owned much of the other grappling exchanges. This mark thew first UFC win for Procopio, and perhaps the final professional MMA appearance for McCann, who left her gloves in the center of the Octagon.
Opening up the event, Ode Osbourne made quick work of Jerome Rivera, scoring the knockout in just 26-seconds. He blasted his foe with a blistering southpaw cross that sent Rivera falling to the floor, before a handful of academic strikes made it official. Not a bad way to get things going!
**See complete results below
Devonte Smith def. Justin Jaynes by TKO at 3:38 of round 2: 160-pounds
A little bit of feeling out went on to get this one going. Smith was the one that took the center while Jaynes played the outside. Jaynes did connect with a big overhand right that briefly staggered Smith. As the fight went on, the intensity began to pick up and both men began to let their strikes go.
Smith got himself a takedown early int he second round. He locked down side control and waited for the perfect moment to take full mount. He dropped a couple of hammers before taking the back. A botched RNC attempt allowed Jaynes to scramble up, but his eye had swollen badly from some ground and pound — and the referee brought in the doctor to take a look. The fight did not restart and Smith got the win.
Karol Rosa def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Bantamweight
Rosa instantly shot in for the takedown and put Edwards on her back. Edwards was forced flat, and did very little to improve her position. After quite a bit of time, Edwards finally found a way to scramble up to her feet. She started to throw heat to make up for lost time, but Rosa was swing big, too.
Rosa opened the second act with some stinging leg kicks, which opened up her boxing game. Edwards was not checking the leg kicks at all, and they were quickly adding up. Just when it looked like Edwards was done, she started to throw and connect with a wild flurry. Rosa went to the takedown, and started to leak blood from her mouth as she controlled from the top. Rosa wasted no time in getting the takedown in the final round. She controlled for some time before electing to stand back up. Edwards continued to struggle to get any separation, and found herself stuck with her back to the cage without any answers.
Lara Procopio def. Molly McCann by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27): (W) Flyweight
McCann was swinging leather early and often. Procopio looked to clinch up in hopes of getting the takedown, but McCann was being stubborn. Procopio had to work really hard to get her opponent on the ground, but once she got there she was able to maintain control. McCann was sick on there bottom, getting punched and here and there, but dominated the whole time.
Procopio met McCann’s early aggression with knees from the Thai clinch. She then uses the clinch position to get herself a takedown. McCann threatened with a really tight armbar, but she lost her grip, allowing Procopio to escape. McCann had to work her way up too her feet, but all of that effort was wasted as she was taken right back down.
Procopio closed the distance to start the final round and methodically worked to a takedown. She then dropped back for a leg lock, but McCann started to roll and roll until she was free. Procopio went right back to her smothering grappling strategy. McCann just couldn’t get space and continued to be controlled until the bell.
Seung Woo Choi def. Youssef Zalal by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Choi brought the pressure early, looking to throw leather as Zalal used his footwork to stay on the outside. Zalal started to pump his jab, and then switched gears and started to clinch. He pressed Choi against the fence until the referee decided it was time to break them apart. Just before the bell, Choi was able to unleash a flurry and snag a takedown to end the round on top.
Zalal went back to the clinch two begin the second stanza. He pressed Choi against the cage for some time, but didn’t inflict much of any damage with the position. Choi landed some punches in open space before he initiated the clinch. He also scored a short-lived takedown, seemingly just because he could.
Choi opened the final round with another strong combination, followed by pushing Zalal to the ground. He allowed his foe to stand back up, just to press him against the cage. Zalal managed to jump a guillotine, which looked pretty tight at one point, but ended up giving up top position once Choi escaped. Zalal got back p and began working hard for the takedown, but just wasn't able to get Choi to concede a takedown.
Timur Valiev def. Martin Day by unanimous decision (30-25 x2, 30-26): Featherweight
A bit of measuring went on to get things going, with Valiev attacking with leg kicks. Valiev changed gears and grabbed ahold of a bodylock, and then began to force Day to carry his weight. He was able top get the fight to the floor and pin Day to the mat for the remainder of the round.
Valiev earned himself a quick takedown in the center of the Octagon to begin the second act. Day was getting shutdown at every turn. He was unable to advance his position, no matter what he tried to do. Valiev took the back for a split second, but Day spun around and stood up just before the bell. The final round saw more of the same. Valiev was all over Day, not giving him an inch of breathing room.
Ode Osbourne def. Jerome Rivera by KO at :26 of round 1: Featherweight
This one didn’t last very long. The fight began with Rivera getting a head kick caught and then being countered with a laser-like southpaw cross from Osbourne. Rivera hit the deck and Osbourne pounced with a couple of fight-ending ground strikes. Just like that.