The UFC Vegas 27 prelims are officially in the books, and we had three of the six matches end early. We got a one-armed rear-naked choke, a swift 60-second knockout, and then the third finish closed out the prelims with a heavyweight guillotine. Said guillotine came at the hands of “Big” Ben Rothwell who tired out Chris Barnett before securing the seocnd-round tap. This was probably Rothwell’s cleanest win since Josh Barnett in 2016, and he has now won three of his last four outings.
Earlier in the night, Bruno Silva pulled off a spectacular knockout on Victor Rodriguez in just 60-seconds. Silva landed a savage knee from the Thai clinch, and then uncorked a blistering right hand that put Rodriguez down. A few academic ground strikes landed before the referee had a chance to step in. This makes back-to-back knockouts for Silva, he posses tremendous power for 125-pounds.
Earlier on the prelims, the UFC #11 ranked flyweight, David Dvorak, hit a smooth one-armed RNC on Juancamilo Ronderos int he opening act. Dvorak first stung his foe with a hefty overhand right, and then took advantage of a botched takedown to take the back and get the finish in less than half of a round. Dvorak has won all -three of his UFC appearances, and appears to be a promising prospect at 125-pounds.
**See complete results below
Ben Rothwell def. Chris Barnett by submission (Guillotine) at 2:07 of round 2: Heavyweight
Rothwell pressed forward right away as Barnett stayed on the outside kicking at the legs. Barnett was being the busier fighter, but Rothwell was making them count when he did throw. Rothwell then switched gears and used a bodylock takedown to put Barnett on his back. Barnett fought off a rear-naked choke attempt to scramble back up to his feet, and that’s where the fighters slugged it out until the bell.
Rothwell plodded forward in the second round, bombing on his labored and retreating opponent. Barnett kept turning his back and running away from the giant Rothwell, prompting the referee to warn him about his timidity. Barnett soon shot in for a desperation takedown to which Rothwell sprawled.
Court McGee def. Claudio Silva by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 29-27): Welterweight
Silva went at his foe with head kicks right away, while McGee was looking to land with hands. McGee then switched levels and put Silva on his back, but it didn’t take very long for Claudio to get back up. McGee began connecting with crisp right hands that were landing flush. Silva responded by closing the distance and pressing Court against the cage, but was unable to get a takedown.
Silva went back to the takedown early int he second stanza, and although he got it, McGee was quick to get back to his feet. Silva then botched another takedown, to which Court took top position. McGee worked from the top, punching and elbowing when he could, while keeping Silva pinned to the mat. Claudio rolled for a leg lock, but McGee violently punched his way out of it. The round came to a close with McGee working hard for a head and arm choke.
Silva went hard to the body to begin the final frame. He kicked to the body, then punched to the body, and then kicked the body again. McGee was feeling it and backing up, but the aggression of Silva soon died out. That’s when McGee got himself a seemingly easy takedown. Claudio kept trying, but his gas tank had abandoned him and Court remained in control.
Bruno Silva def. Victor Rodriguez by KO at 1:00 of round 1: Flyweight
Silva blasted Rodriguez with a mean knee from the Thai clinch that hurt right away. He then unloaded a nuclear right hand that absolutely flattened Rodriguez. Bruno pounced with some ferocious followup ground and pound to seal the deal. Yikes!
Joshua Culibao def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke by unanimous decision (29-29 x3): Featherweight
Nuerdanbieke worked hard for the takedown right away. Culibao was fighting hard to not concede the takedown, but Nuerdanbieke was being relentless with his attempts. Nuerdanbieke kept his foe neutralized against the cage, before Culibao finally freed himself to the center of the Octagon. Culibao unleashed a handful of significant low calf kicks before the round expired.
Culibao got right back to lighting up the calf of Nuerdanbieke int he second round. He was also throwing out a lot of feints and different looks, while Nuerdanbieke was sort of just waiting and looking for an entry to the inside. Nuerdanbieke finally exploded in and pushed Culibao against the fence, but the fight didn’t stay there for very long. Culibao went back to open space where he continued to be the slicker striker.
Jabs and calf kicks were landing religiously for Culibao in the third round. Nuerdanbieke just couldn’t get much going on the feet, and spent a lot of time getting stuck. When Nuerdanbieke did finally shoot against the fence, Culibao attacked with a ninja choke that made Shayilan fall to his back to escape. As soon as Nuerdanbieke stood up, Culibao busted his face open with a flurry of punches. It was quite a strong finish for Joshua.
David Dvorak def. Juancamilo Ronderos by submission (RNC) at 2:18 of round 1: Flyweight
It didn’t take very long for Dvorak to do some damage here. He cracked Ronderos with a heavy overhand right that instantly caused the short-notice fighter to retreat. Ronderos tried to shoot in for a takedown, but Dvorak jumped on his back and threatened with a RNC. It only took one arm for Dvorak to achieve the tap from Ronderos.
Damir Ismagulov def. Rafael Alves by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Lightweight
Alves started hot! He went right at Ismagulov with powerful punches that floored the Russian in the opening sequence. Alves then jumped a guillotine, but ended up underneath Ismagulov. Several meaningful ground strikes scored, including a bunch of thudding body strikes. Ismagulov dominated the rest of the round.
The second act saw Ismagulov get his volume striking game going. He was attacking with straight punches while pressuring forward, and then dropped Alves with a mean hook. Surprisingly, Alves instantly sprung back to his feet, but Ismagulov was still coming forward. Ismagulov found top position again after Alves botched a takedown, and remained there until the bell.
Alves jumped another guillotine early in the final frame, giving Ismagulov top position again. This time, Alves was able to explode back up to his feet and into open space. He started to press forward, peppering Ismagulov and backing him up. Ismagulov finally shot in for a takedown, and although he didn’t get it, he was able to momentarily stall out his foe against the cage. Alves exploded free and landed some hard knees on the inside before the bell.