The UFC 271 early prelims were pretty darn fun with plenty of knockdowns and even back-to-back technical submissions. Closing out this portion of the prelims, Ronnie Lawrence knocked down Mana Martinez three times, and then survived being dropped twice in the third, to go on and win a unanimous decision. The late momentum swing in this one was pretty epic, but Lawrence was able to hang on. Ronnie is now 2-0 in the UFC.
Before that, Jacob Malkoun got his grind on by dominating AJ Dobson on the ground across the second and third rounds. It took him five minutes to find his footing, but once he did he never relinquished control. Malkoun has now won two in a row.
We got a wild one in the bantamweight division when Douglas Silva de Andrade technically submitted Sergey Morozov with a rear-naked choke in the second round. The win did not come without some adversary, though, as Morozov rocked, dropped, and cut open Douglas in the opening act. The tide quickly turned in the seocnd when Silva de Andrade showed up with some angry hands that were hitting their mark. A couple of knockdowns later and Silva de Andrade was on the back, an RNC was applied, and Morozov was unconscious.
We got a technical submission on the early prelims when Jeremiah Wells put a debuting Blood Diamond to sleep in the first round with a rear-naked choke. Wells nearly sprinted into a fall as soon as the match began, but that scenario ended up with him in the clinch, and and Blood Diamond never returned to open space after that. Jeremiah has finished both of his UFC opponents, first with his striking and now with his submissions.
Opening up the event, Maxim Grishin picked up a rather pedestrian decision over William Knight. Nonetheless, Grishin is back in the win column.
**See complete results below
Ronnie Lawrence def. Mana Martinez by unanimous decision (29-27 x2, 29-28): Bantamweight
As soon as Lawrence saw his entry to the takedown, he took it and planted Martinez on his back. Martinez did work back to his feet, but a big right hand from Lawrence sat him back down. Lawrence spent the rest of the round controlling from the full guard.
A big left hand from Lawrence dropped Martinez early in the second stanza. As soon as Martinez stood up, he got knocked down for the third time. Outside of those two big moments, the rest of the round was pretty much a bunch of top control from Lawrence.
Martinez had a much better start to the third round. He was throwing out some strikes and even stuffed as takedown. He managed to land a spinning back fist that dropped Lawrence, and then instantly knocked him down again with a cross. He had Ronnie in all sorts of trouble, but Lawrence was able to tie up, find top position, and survive the round.
Jacob Malkoun def. AJ Dobson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Middleweight
Malkoun tasted the power right away, prompting him to try and work his wrestling. Dobson was doing well with defending the grappling advances, and was able to let some jabs and crosses go from open space. Malkoun did start to land towards the end of the round, and even hit a short-lived takedown before the bell.
Malkoun looked to close the distance again in the second act. He was able to grind on Dobson and land a ton of punches from the power half. Malkoun was all over Dobson with extreme dominance. Malkoun went right back to the same position in the third round, and he kept it. Dobson just didn’t have an answer for smothering attack from Malkoun.
Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Sergey Morozov by technical submission (RNC) at 3:34 of round 2: Bantamweight
Morozov let his hands go early in the opening act, hurting Silva de Andrade and then dropping him with a flurry. From there, Morozov took top position and started to drop some consistent ground and pound. An elbow cut open Silva de Andrade, causing him to leak all over the place. Silva de Andrade worked to his feet, but ate a flush knee to the face for his troubles. This was a phenomenal round for Morozov.
The second round went a little bit differently. Silva de Andrade came out with angry hands and rocked Morozov, and then scored a knockdown of his own. Morozov accidentally poked Silva de Andrade, so a brief timeout was called. Upon the restart, Silva de Andrade dropped Morozov again with the same combo that sat him down earlier in the round. Silva de Andrade stayed on him, hurting Morozov some more before going to the ground and taking the back. Next came the RNC, and Morozov went to sleep instead of tapping out.
Jeremiah Wells def. Blood Diamond by technical submission (RNC) at 4:38 of round 1: Welterweight
Wells began the match by sprinting to his left, but stumbled and almost got caught out of position. Luckily for him, he was able to clinch up and avoid the punches coming his way. Diamond fought off the first few takedown attempts, but ultimately gave it up. Wells controlled from the back, dropping punches when he could. He then locked up a rear-naked choke, and kept squeezing until the referee noticed that Diamond went to sleep.
Maxim Grishin def. William Knight by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Light heavyweight
The opening round was rather pedestrian, with not a ton of volume coming from Grishin, and even less coming from Knight. At least Grishin was throwing something out there. Grishin was poking at Knight in the second round with long range weapons, prompting William to start wrestling. He landed a good body slam, but his aggression quickly turned against him and he ended up on his back. Knight kept trying to grapple in the third round, but Grishin did of not hanging around on the ground.