The UFC Vegas 32 preliminary card is over and done with, and we got quite a few cool finishes. We didn’t get one of those in the card’s featured prelim, but we did get Brendan Allen taking a gritty decision over a heavy-handed Punahele Soriano. Known for his grappling, it was the striking of Allen that showed up tonight. He was attacking with nasty body kicks and solid defense to take home the unanimous nod. Allen improves his UFC record to 5-1, and called for a fight with the UFC’s #10 ranked middleweight, Edmen Shahbazyan, or a rematch with Sean Strickland.
Before that, “The Russian Sniper” Nassourdine Imavov had a commanding performance against Ian Heinisch, sniffing out a second-round TKO. It was the striking of Imavov that led him to victory here. He was working off of his jab and catching his adversary with clean punches, ultimately forcing Heinisch to take a knee — one to the face and then Ian dropped down to one. Aside from eating a bunch of leg kicks, Nassourdine looked pretty complete tonight, and at 25-years-old he’s going to be a problem at 185-pounds.
We got a finish in the welterweight division when Mickey Gall hit a rear-naked choke on Jordan Williams around the mid-point of the opening round. Gall rocked his opponent right away with a ridiculous right hand from the clinch, and then got back to his bread and butter with his grappling. This is Mickey’s fifth RNC inside of the UFC, so his future opposition better protect their necks.
Making his return to the Octagon for the first time since 2019, Julio Arce earned himself a second-round standing TKO of Andre Ewell. Arce looked sharp out there, fighting smart and throwing his hands with intention. He was able to string together a series of southpaw left hands that put Ewell in big trouble to get himself a win. Man, it’s great to have Julio back in the building!
Earlier in the night, Sijara Eubanks made her return to the flyweight division where she picked up a first-round TKO over Elise Reed. Eubanks went right to the ground, where she controlled her foe as she worked her way into full mount. From there, she was able to dish out fight-ending blows to come up victorious once again at 125-pounds. In her post-fight interview, she called out EVERYONE!
**See complete results below
Brendan Allen def. Punahele Soriano by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Middleweight
Soriano was ready to let his hands go right away, backing up Allen with his power. Allen looked to roll with the punches, covering up and remaining defensively responsible. He was doing well with that, but still feeling the power. Allen was popping his jab out there, touching his target and mixing in some kicks. Soriano began exploding in with hard yet single punches, with most of them being pretty effective. Allen landed a knee up the middle at, or maybe just after, the bell.
Allen landed a stinging body kick to get things going, and Soriano blasted him with a two-piece for it. Allen went back to the body kick, and then followed up with some savage knees to the body. Soriano seemed to be gassing out, and Allen was pouring it on. Soriano was swinging for the fences, but he wasn’t connecting and getting picked at by Allen. So many body kicks were landed in this round, it’s amazing that Soriano didn’t drop from one of them.
Soriano pressed forward in the final round, fighting through fatigue and looking to connect with his big power. Allen was kicking to the leg, and then back to the body. He was also leaping in with a knee from time to time, catching Soriano off guard. Soriano kept throwing, but just wasn’t able to get through with a fight-ending blow. Allen kept attacking the body and continued to fight intelligent for the rest of the match.
Nassourdine Imavov def. Ian Heinisch by TKO at 3:09 of round 2: Middleweight
Heinisch tried to go right at his foe, but Imavov was able to scramble away and into the center of the cage. Imavov was the much cleaner striker in open space, particularly with his hands. He was building off of his jab and touching up his opponent, while Heinisch was winding up on his shots. Ian was scoring with some effective leg kicks, and landed some good punches late, but Imavov was in command.
Heinisch returned to his leg kicks in the second round, and Imavov wasn’t doing much to address them. Both men were able to nullify the other man’s wrestling advances, leaving this fight to take place on the feet. Imavov started opening up, clocking Heinisch with clean punching combos, and a brutal knee to the face that sent Ian to one knee. A barrage of fight ending ground strikes ensued.
Mickey Gall def. Jordan Williams by submission (RNC) at 2:57 of round 1: Welterweight
Gall struck quickly here, dropping Williams in the first 30-seconds with a massive right hand from the clinch. He dove on a guillotine, but Williams was able to scramble out and back to his feet. The fight continued on and Williams started to throw back. It didn’t matter though, because Gall snuffed him again before jumping another guillotine. He let it go to take full mount, and then quickly transitioned to the back. Gall attacked with an RNC, and Williams was forced to tap.
Julio Arce def. Andre Ewell by TKO at 3:45 of round 2: Bantamweight
The fighters elected to begin at range, exchanging kicks back and forth. When it came to the hands, Arce was the one with the sharper boxing. Ewell would move forward, and Arce would counter with a punching combo that backed off Andre. Arce started to be the one pressuring forward, while Ewell was looking to stay on his back foot. The round ended with Arce holding Ewell against the cage.
Arce stayed aggressive in the second act. He walked down Ewell, who was still trying to counter while moving backwards. A small cut formed around the right eye of Julio, but it didn’t seem to be affecting his vision at all. Ewell did his best work when he was coming forward. He was connecting with his long punches, but he wouldn’t keep up with the pressure, and resorted back to countering. Then, Arce connected with a sharp left hand that put Andre on skates. A followup set of stinging left hands put Ewell in all sorts of trouble, prompting the referee to step in for a standing TKO.
Sijara Eubanks def. Elise Reed by TKO at 3:49 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
Eubanks looked to close the distance right away, and was able to hit a bodylock takedown. Reed tied to gain her guard, but Eubanks was able to maintain control. Eubanks methodically transitioned into full mount, and forced Reed to dodge elbows. Reed landed a hard punch from her back, which prompted Eubanks to respond with a violent barrage of ground and pound. The punches were heavy and the eye of Reed had closed shut. The referee had no choice but to step in and stop it.
Diana Belbita def. Hannah Goldy by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Strawweight
Goldy went to the Welterweight early and often with her lead head kick early in the opening round. Belbita was responding with leg kicks of her own, and some punches over the top. Then, Belbita rocked and dropped Goldy with a punching combination, and then swarmed. Goldy was able to tie up and find top position long enough to recover, but that round was all Belbita.
Belbita stayed aggressive to start the second round. She was being the more fluid fighter on the feet, which was allowing her to land her right hand several times. Goldy was able to clinch up against the cage, and launch a handful of knees to the midsection. Back in open space, Goldy went back to her lead leg head kick, and although it hit its mark, Belbita somehow wore it again without issue.
Goldy had a strong start to the final frame. She was throwing out volume, and stuck with her lead leg kicks. Just when she was building up a bit of momentum, a clean right hand from Belbita rocked Goldy and sent her back pedaling. Hannah clinched up against the cage again, racking up a little bit of clock as Belbita was stuck against the cage. Then at the very end of the round, Goldy hit a takedown and landed a bunch of clean elbows from the full mount up until the bell sounded.