Stay up to date with what’s happening today with the UFC 281 preliminary card, which is going down from the storied Madison Square Garden in New York City.
There are a whopping NINE scheduled bouts on this part of the docket, with the featured preliminary matchup taking place between talented lightweights Renato Moicano and Brad Riddell. Also on the prelims, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Dominick Reyes, will collide with the promotion’s #12 ranked 205-pounder, Ryan Spann.
Renato Moicano def. Brad Riddell by submission (RNC) at 3:20 of round 1: Lightweight
Moicano came out looking to pressure behind his jab. He was catching Riddell early, causing a cut below Brad’s right eye. Riddell was struggling to close the distance, and to make things worse, Moicano found his way to the back. It wasn’t long before Moicano locked up an RNC and had Riddell tapping.
Ryan Spann def. Dominick Reyes by KO at 1:20 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Spann wobbled Reyes early in the opening act, and then dropped Dominick shortly after that. Reyes stood back up, but Spann was coming. Ryan then rendered Reyes unconscious with a ridiculous left jab that landed solid, and then glanced with an overhand right. One devastating ground strike landed before the ref had a chance to jump in. WOWSERS!
Erin Blanchfield def. Molly McCann by submission (Kimura) at 3:37 of round 1: (W) Flyweight
Blanchfield came out and snagged a takedown within the first-minute of the fight. She locked up a mounted crucifix and dropped punch after punch as McCann bucked and bucked. Blanchfield then switched to a Kimura, and had it tight, but somehow McCann hung tough. The 23-year-old then readjusted and returned to the sub attempt, and Molly was forced to tap.
Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Middleweight
There wasn’t much feeling out going on to start this one. Both men were cracking with stinging solo strikes, and both were connecting. Petroski switched thing up by shooting for the takedown, and although Turman stood right up, Andre stayed attached. Turman broke free and started to attack with leg kicks, with only a few of them being checked. The round ended with a last-second takedown from Petroski, and a couple of elbows from Turman.
Turman went back to his leg kicks in the second round, which prompted Petroski to attempt and land a takedown. After defending a viscous RNC/neck crank attempt, Turman was able to stand back up. It was Turman’s turn to clinch up and score a short-lived takedown. Petroski worked his way to his feet, and pulled off top position in a scramble.
Petroski came out and blasted a double leg that resulted in him having top position with plenty of time left on the clock. He went hard for a guillotine, but bailed on it and maintained his spot on top. Petroski proceeded to grind on Turman, rinsing and repeating takedowns for the rest of the round.
Matt Frevola def. Ottman Azaitar by KO at 2:30 of round 1: Lightweight
The fight started with Frevola launching all sorts of attacks from too far out, missing big. Just as Azaitar rushed in with punches of his own, Frevola clipped him with a nasty set of blows from the pocket that flattened Azaitar. Frevola pounced with a brutal barrage of ground and pound to prompt the referee to step in. YIKES!
Silvana Gomez Juarez def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Strawweight
Kowalkiewicz pressured right away, and it wasn’t long before she initiated a scramble and took the back. Gomez Juarez fought hard to defend against the RNC attempts, and kept trying to improve her position, but the control of Kowalkiewicz was heavy.
Kowalkiewicz got back to pressuring in the second round, trying to punch her way into a takedown. Gomez Juarez was doing a good job of using her footwork to avoid the takedown, and started to get some offense going. The jab was working for Kowalkiewicz, but Gomez Juarez was returning harder punches.
We got plenty of exchanges in the third act. Kowalkiewicz was staying true to her straight punches, while Gomez Juarez was looping hers. Kowalkiewicz finally found her moment to close the distance, and almost took the back, but Gomez Juarez was quick to scramble up to her feet.
The scorecards were slow to come in, followed by an official pulling out the scorecards to do some math. How this sort of thing is possible in 2022 is beyond me.
Mike Trizano def. Seung Woo Choi by KO at 4:51 of round 1: Featherweight
We got a crazy DOUBLE KNOCKDOWN to start this one! Both men stood right up and got right back to throwing leather. It wasn’t long before Trizano connected again and scored another knockdown. Choi stood up again and began returning fire, and was able rock Trizano in another wild turn of events. It was Trizano’s turn to recover, so he did just that and pulled out a stellar left hook to knockout Choi with one punch. WHAT A CRAZY ROUND/FIGHT!
Montel Jackson def. Julio Arce by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Bantamweight
Jackson found early success in the clinch, pressing Arce up against the cage. The crowd didn’t like it too much, and the referee ultimately broke the fighters apart. From there, Arce started to press forward, exchanging jabs with Jackson. Julio also scored a last-second takedown.
The second round saw some sticky boxing, with a descent amount of jabs being thrown out there, but few of them really landing. Towards the end of the round, Jackson closed the distance and held Arce against the cage until the bell. It wasn’t an easy round to judge.
A stiff jab from Jackson dropped Arce early in the third round. Jackson got on top, but Arce started to threaten with triangle attempts and up kicks. Jackson kept stacking Arce, but was unable to pass his guard before Julio stood back to his feet. The rest of the round included more sticky boxing, with nothing truly meaningful transpiring.
Carlos Ulberg def. Nicolae Negumereanu by KO at 3:44 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Ulberg utilized his jab right away, sticking a pressuring Negumereanu. A couple of stinging leg kicks landed for Ulberg, as Negumereanu wasn’t checking any of them. Then, as Negumereanu was moving forward, a fade away left hook from Ulberg dropped him. As Negumereanu tried to stand up a set of follow up punches from Ulberg put him out. Eek!