The UFC 260 preliminary card was short on wow moments, but did start off and close out with finishes. In what was a quick submission, Alonzo Menifield tapped out Fabio Cherant with a Von Flue choke in just 71-seconds. Cherant tried to defend a takedown with a guillotine choke, and paid dearly for it thanks to a classic counter. This win snaps a two-fight losing skid for Menifield, who has finished all of his wins before the need for a third-round.
At 170-pounds, Abubakar Nurmagomedov out-struck and out-grappled Jared Gooden en route to a dominant decision win, the light heavyweight division saw Michal Oleksiejczuk earn a split decision over Modestas Bukauskas, and the featherweight division got Omar Morales taking a unanimous nod over Shane Young. Opening up the event, Marc-Andre Barriault pushed the pace on Abu Azaitar, unloading a ton of volume before finally earning the TKO stoppage just four-seconds before the final bell. After going 0-3-1 in his first-four promotional appearances, Barriault has an official UFC win.
**See complete results below
Alonzo Menifield def. Fabio Cherant by submission (Von Flue) at 1:11 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Menifield closed the distance right away, scooping up Cherant to score an early takedown. Cherant threatened with a guillotine, but Menifield responded with a Von Flue choke. Menifield committed to the choke and Cherant tapped out. Ayye!
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jared Gooden by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
With his hands at his sides, Gooden was looking to stop the takedown attempts while scoring with counter punches. Then, Nurmagomedov poked him in the eye. After a brief pause, Nurmagomedov connected with a flush two-piece as Gooden’s hands were at his side. Gooden was wobbled, but stayed on his feet. Nurmagomedov stayed in the driver seat on the feet for the rest off the round.
Nurmagomedov continued to be the better striker in the second act, and the takedown wasn’t even necessary. Gooden was still keeping his hands so low, that Nurmagomedov was easily hitting his target. Nurmagomedov went to his takedown early in the final frame. Gooden stood to his feet, but was on his back in no time. Nurmagomedov never let up his control, staying on top until the final bell.
Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Modestas Bukauskas by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Light Heavyweight
Bukauskas opened the match with a spinning back kick, but Oleksiejczuk quickly returned heavy leather his way. Oleksiejczuk stayed with the pressure, moving forward and backing up his foe. Then, Bukauskas cracked him with a stinging right hand to gain little respect. It wasn’t very long before Oleksiejczuk was back to pressuring behind wide hooks.
Oleksiejczuk continued to pressure in the second act, forcing his foe to fight off of the back foot. Bukauskas was looking to counter when he could, but was spending a lot of time on his bike. Oleksiejczuk was leading for the bulk of the round, until Bukauskas came alive in the final 10-seconds with a blitzing flurry of hard punches and a head kick.
Oleksiejczuk went back to his aggression in the final round, marching forward and backing up his opponent. They entered into the clinch, with Oleksiejczuk having the dominant position, but Bukauskas was able to free himself. Bukauskas continued to counter from his bike, but definitely had to eat a few. A mean hook to the body put Bukauskas back on his bike, but Oleksiejczuk was unable to capitalize on the moment.
Omar Morales def. Shane Young by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Featherweight
A bit of feeling out went on here, with neither man eager to open up. They clinched up and jockeyed for position for quite some time. It was a rather uneventful round. The second round saw Young score an early takedown, but was unable to do anything with it before Morales got back to his feet. Not a lot happened on the feet after that, in what was yet another uneventful round.
Young attempted to get the fight tot her floor in the final frame, but it was Morales who ended up on top. In open space, Morales was the one scoring, catching Young as he was advancing forward. Morales started attacking the leg with success, and began to command the center of the Octagon with his jab. Young just couldn’t mount his offense.
Marc-Andre Barriault def. Abu Azaitar by TKO at 4:56 of round 3: Middleweight
Azaitar started pumping his jab while winging his right hand. Barriault was able to clinch up, but an accidental knee top the cup of Azaitar paused the match. Upon the restart, Azaitar went right back to his jab to overhand strategy. They clinched back up, but this time it was Azaitar who was pressing Barriault against the cage. Both men were scoring on the inside, but Abu was clearly landing the better strikes. In open space, Azaitar added a couple of leg kicks to add to his brawling attack.
Barriault pressured forward in the second act, looking to push the pace. Azaitar responded with a flurry of punches to the head and body that backed off his foe a bit. Barriault started to land a bunch of uppercuts in the clinch, until one haymaker from Abu rocked him. The fight returned to a clinch war, with both men landing solid blows. Azaitar seemed to be fatiguing badly as Barriault seemed to throw with the same pop that he had in the first round. At the end of the round, Barriault had Abu against the fence and he was teeing off.
Barriault pressed the action in the final round, stepping on the gas as Azaitar was fading. Barriault knocked out the mouthpiece of Abu, which led to a weird referee interference and Barriault taking top position. The ref then stopped the action to allow Azaitar to put in his mouthpiece. Barriault then continued to assault Azaitar, pounding away and controlling him until the referee finally decided to stop the fight.