UFC 270 has officially started, and the preliminary card was pretty darn fun overall. We got a first-round TKO that included four freaking knockdowns, a fighter get dropped just to recover and snag a sub, plus a welterweight prospect that let his hands go for a good time, but not a long time.
Then, closing out this portion of the event was an absolute war between UFC veteran, Raoni Barcelos, and promotional newcomer, Victor Henry. Barcelos started hot, but Henry quickly battled back and was able to maintain a pace that aided him in taking each round on every scorecard. Henry, who trains under MMA legend Josh Barnett, looked like a seasoned veteran out there and cashed in as the card’s largest betting underdog.
Before that, Jack Della Maddalena made good on his UFC debut by showing off some pretty punching. He peppered Pete Rodriguez before dropping him with a cross, and then finished off his dazed foe with ground strikes to get the first-round finish. Della Maddalena was throwing his hands with an effortless style that is fun to watch, but then also displayed some power behind his technique to boot. The UFC”s welterweight division might want to keep an eye on this 25-year-old prospect.
The bantamweight division saw Tony Gravely defend all of the guillotine attempts from Saimon Oliveira en route to three scores of 30-27. Tony was credited with 11 takedowns, but perhaps Saimon deserves partial credit for some of them? Gravely showcased some stellar submission defense, complete with lots of top control and a couple of punches sprinkled in here and there.
Someone must have informed Matt Frevola that he doesn’t get paid by the hour to compete in the UFC Octagon, because he went all out on Genaro Valdez. Matt dropped him SEVERAL times with punches before finally getting the first-round ground and pound stoppage. Valdez tried to engage in the firefight, but was quickly rocked and overwhelmed. What a strong way to get back into the win column!
In what was a thrilling ride, Vanessa Demopoulos was floored by an overhand right from Silvana Gomez Juarez in the opening round, but was then able to immediately attack with an armbar to get the tap. The adjustments Demopoulos were textbook, and her recovery from that haymaker was damn near superhuman. Now that is how you win your first UFC fight!
Starting off the UFC 270 event, Jasmine Jasudavicius made good on her promotional debut by winning a unanimous decision over Kay Hansen. Jasudavicius showed off a rounded game, having success on the feet, in the clinch, and on the ground. Hansen was never really in serious trouble at any point in the match, but she definitely ate some elbows from her back.
**See complete results below
Victor Henry def. Raoni Barcelos by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Bantamweight
Barcelos was letting his hands go early in the opening act. He was stepping in and catching Henry with combinations. Henry was getting caught, but he was eating them rather well, and began returning fire. He started landing on Barcelos and was gaining some respect. Not only that, but he actually rocked Barcelos towards the end of the round, and then proceeded to push the pace and put it on until the bell. What a round!
Henry came out leading the dance in the second round. He was unloading a bunch of volume at Raoni, who was bleeding from the nose at this point. Barcelos hunkered down and began putting some combos together. Whenever he would get Henry going backwards, Victory would cut an angle and find open space.
The third act started with the fighters in each other’s face going combination for combination. Neither man was backing down, or giving an inch. Credit to both men for the output! Around the midpoint of the round, Barcelos started to slow down, and henry started to pour it on. Henry clinched up and began launching a ton of knees to the body and legs. Inside of the final minute of the fight, Barcelos had a burst of offense where he was being the aggressor, but it wasn’t enough to take the round.
Jack Della Maddalena def. Pete Rodriguez by TKO at 2:59 of round 1: Welterweight
The welterweights got right to work, throwing combinations back and forth. Both men were adding in ripping shots to the body, and they stayed right in one another’s face. The jab of Della Maddalena had the nose of Rodriguez a bloody mess two-minutes in. Della Maddalena was throwing his punches with so much smoothness. He kept peppering with the jab, and then cracked with a right hand that sat down Rodriguez. A couple of followup ground strikes landed and the referee ended the match.
Tony Gravely def. Saimon Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Bantamweight
Oliveira went at his opponent with a flying knee, that initiated a scramble. Oliveira jumped a guillotine, but Gravely hung tough and escaped into top position. Tony dropped a couple of hammers from the top before focusing on controlling Oliveira. When Saimon did stand to his feet, he was taken right back down. Oliveira kept looking for the guillotine, but Gravely kept fighting it off.
Gravely closed the distance again in the second act, but Oliveira was able to escape this time. Oliveira delivered some stinging strikes before getting taken down, and went back to threatening with a guillotine again. Gravely would escape again, and Oliveira would work back up... again. The knees of Oliveira were landing to the midsection of Gravely, who more grappling oriented. Tony did land some quality punches on the ground, and then on the feet just before the bell.
Oliveira started the final round with a flying knee, but was quickly taken down. Guess what Oliveira did? That’s right, he threatened with a guillotine again, and didn’t get it... again. Gravely made Oliveira work to stand up, and then took him right back to the mat. Oliveira kept working to get up, but would lose position by diving for the guillotine. On the feet, Gravely landed some staggering punches, and then had to eat a knee to get another takedown.
Matt Frevola def. Genaro Valdez by TKO at 3:15 of round 1: Lightweight
Frevola was playing zero games tonight. He came out like a man possessed, throwing punches in bunches. Valdez was willing to meet the aggression, and began throwing back with combinations of his own. Then, Frevola dropped his opponent, but Valdez sprung right back to his feet. Frevola wasn’t finished, though, and kept unloading more leather. Valdez was dropped again, but stood up, and then dropped again, but stood up. This happened several times, with the referee giving Valdez every opportunity to continue. The end came when Frevola took the back with Valdez belly down, and dropped ground strikes until the official stepped in.
Vanessa Demopoulos def. Silvana Gomez Juarez by submission (Armbar) at 2:25 of round 1: Strawweight
Demopoulos pressured right out of the gate, with Gomez Juarez on her bike looking to counter punch. Then, a massive overhand right floored Demopoulos! Gomez Juarez took top position in an attempt to finish, but found herself fighting off an armbar. Demopoulos made all of the correct adjustments to tighten the hold, and was able to get the tap! WOW!
Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Kay Hansen by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): (W) Flyweight
Hansen closed the distance right away and pressed Jasudavicius against the cage. Jasudavicius worked as to not be taken down, and ultimately returned to open space. It was the long strikes that Jasudavicius was deploying, and then she stuffed another takedown attempt before hitting her own. Hansen loosely threatened from her guard, but couldn’t quite keep Jasudavicius from landing some blows. That’s also where the round ended.
Hansen caught a kick to achieve top position early in the second frame, but just as fast as she hit the takedown she got swept. Jasudavicius was back in the full guard, keeping her posture up while looking for openings to strike. Hansen would begin to threaten with a sub, but Jasudavicius would blast her with elbows to easily avoid the holds. Then the referee decided to stand them up, despite a reasonable amount of activity going on. Jasudavicius just scored another takedown before the bell.
The final frame saw the fighters keep it on the feet. Hansen was exploding in with hard punches before darting back on the outside. Jasudavicius was pressing forward, but wasn’t really a lot of volume behind her pressure. Hansen was getting creative with tomahawk elbows, trying to make something happen. The fight ended with Jasudavicius grabbing ahold of the Thai plum and landing a couple of knees to the midsection.