UFC 266 is officially underway, and the early prelims have produced some gnarly finishes, including a 15-second knockout and a set of subs. Closing out this part of the show, Jalin Turner made quick work of Uros Medic, hurting him on the feet before submitting him on the mat... all in the opening round. This was a lights-out performance for Turner, who has now won three-fights in a row, all by way of finish. This is the first loss of Medic’s career.
Before that, Nick Maximov took a grinding unanimous decision over Cody Brundage. He was hunting for the takedown all fight, putting Cody through a rinse and repeat style that had him doing a ton of defending. Brundage found a little bit of success late in the final round, but it wasn’t enough to get the dub. Nick is still undefeated as he makes good on his UFC debut.
In what was a wicked knockout, Matt Semelsberger sparked out Martin Sano in a sporty 15-seconds. It was a jab feint to right hand that landed clean as day, sending Sano into a state of complete confusion. This makes a 15-second AND a 16-second knockout courtesy of the right hand of Semelsberger in the UFC thus far, and that’s ridiculous.
Opening up the event, Jonathan Pearce picked up a second-round rear-naked choke on Omar Morales. Pearce thrived in the grappling department, giving his opponent zero space to operate before sniffing out the finish. This makes back-to-back finishes in the UFC for JSP.
**See complete results below
Jalin Turner def. Uros Medic by submission (RNC) at 4:01 of round 1: Lightweight
The lightweights got right to work, exchanging in the pocket before Turner hit a takedown. Medic remained relatively safe on the bottom, and after an illegal fence grab, Turner opted to relinquish his dominant position. As soon as the fight went back to its feet, Turner went off. He unleashed some heavy strikes to the head and body that put Medic in all sorts of trouble. Jalin swarmed as Medic wilted to the ground, and then he jumped on the back and hit an RNC.
Nick Maximov def. Cody Brundage by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Middleweight
Maximov looked to be aggressive early, but Brundage was able to back him off by stuffing the takedown attempts and landing some crafty knees upstairs. Maximov switched up his attack and began scoring with his hands. Brundage responded with some unchecked leg kicks, which prompted Maximov to switch up his stance. Maximov clinched up and started launching knees at his opponent, but was struggling to get Brundage to the ground. Maximov would eventually hit a takedown, and after instantly have to fight off a Kimura attempt, was able to solidify top position.
Brundage shot in right away in the second act, but Maximov sprawled properly and transitioned to the back. A couple of flush punches scored for Maximov as he rode his adversary to maintain control. Brundage worked to stand back up, but he was still pinned against the fence. He wound up on his back again when he jumped a guillotine, and Maximov kept control from there to the bell.
Maximov returned to his wrestling in the third round. pressing Brundage against the fence and grinding away on him. Brundage was working to improve his position, but he just couldn’t get any real seperation. When he did finally slip into a dominant position, he was able to dish out some big punches and elbows that cut open Maximov. Brundage came alive there at the end, but it just wasn’t quite enough.
Matt Semelsberger def. Martin Sano by KO at :15 of round 1: Welterweight
Welp, this one didn’t last too long. Semelsberger threw a jab to the head, one to the body, and then faked a jab and brought the right hand down the pipe. This punch lands as Morales was throwing a hook, and it put Sano out on impact. He then dropped a hammerfist before the referee had a chance to step in. GEEZ!
Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales by submission (RNC) at 3:31 of round 2: Featherweight
Pearce was the one looking to press forward to get things going, with Morales looking to counter. Pearce ended up closing the distance in clinch, and hit a takedown to put Morales on his back. Morales would hit a slick sweep, but Pearce stood up and hit another takedown. Morales worked to get back up, but was unable to mount any further offense before the bell.
Pearce closed the distance again to begin the second round, and was able to get to the back of Morales. He was shaken off though as Morales was able to escape out the back door. Morales then botched an anaconda choke, and exposed his back once again. Pearce surfed atop of his opponent, before landing on the back once again and sicking an RNC.