The UFC 276 prelims on ABC were quite eventful, with a wild standup war, a set of guillotines, and one UFC legend riding off into the sunset.
Ending the card’s prelims, Jalin Turner made quick work of the UFC’s #14 ranked lightweight, Brad Riddell, stinging him with a right hand, and then choked him with a mounted guillotine. All of this took only 45-seconds, and this sort of performance will catapult “The Tarantula” right into the rankings. This makes five UFC finishes in a row for Turner, which must downright scare the entire 155-pound division.
Before that, Jim Miller caught Donald Cerrone in a guillotine in the second round of their rematch to even the final score to 1-1. Miller now now owns the prestigious accolade of possessing the most wins in UFC history. Jim Miller is definitely Hall of Fame material.
Speaking of a future HoF’er, after the match Cowboy Cerrone left his gloves in the Octagon and has officially called it a career after many years as a consummate action fighter that has fought just about everyone there is to fight around his weight. Cowboy made it cool to take short notice fights and compete against anyone, anywhere, and literally any time. Donald started his pro MMA journey back in 2006, and produced plenty of classic moments across the WEC and UFC alike. Leaving the sport with a highly respectable record of 36-17-2, Cowboy is riding off into the sunset and will surely find himself in the UFC Hall of Fame sooner rather than later. What a career!
Also on the prelims, Ian Garry extended his perfect record to 10-0 by winning a unanimous decision over Gabe Green. Garry utilized his sniping striking style to pick apart Green, all while doing his best to use his footwork to not get pinned against the fence. This makes three up and three down for Garry, and the 24-year-old young gun continues to prove that he has a bright future.
Kicking off the ABC prelims, Dricus Du Plessis went to war with the UFC’s #12 rated middleweight, Brad Tavares, to win an exhausting and exciting unanimous decision. Dricus pushed a crazy pace, exploding in and out of strikes while absorbing everything Tavares had to offer him. Credit to Tavares for taking all of those shots, too, but Du Plessis was all throttle and no brakes to earn three scores of 29-28. Welcome to the top-15 Dricus Du Plessis!
Jalin Turner def. Brad Riddell by submission (guillotine) at :45 of round 1: Lightweight
Turner went right at Riddell, backing him up and landing a big right hand. Riddell shot in for a takedown, but Turner locked up a guillotine. Riddell rolled to his back, and Turner kept squeezing from the full mount. Riddell was dead to rights and tapped out. WOW!
Jim Miller def. Donald Cerrone by submission (guillotine) at 1:32 of round 2: Welterweight
Cowboy came out working his kickboxing, looking to keep Miller on the end of his strikes. Miller was having a tough time getting on the inside, but eventually ate a liver kick and brought an overhand to knock over Cerrone and get on top. From the full guard, Miller worked a little ground and pound, but got a little carried away and got swept. From his back, Jim remained active with his guard, attacking with an armbar, and then Cowboy jumped on a kneebar to close out the round.
Miller got his striking going to open the second act, clipping Cerrone with an overhand right and working some kicks of his own. Then, the fighters kicked each other at the same time, causing Cerrone to slip. Miller quickly jumped jumped on an arm-in guillotine and began squeezing. Cowboy tried to fight it, but the choke was on and he respectfully tapped out.
Ian Garry def. Gabe Green by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
Green pushed Garry backwards right away, looking to apply some pressure. Garry was using a lot of footwork to try and not get pinned against the cage, and both fighters were being calculated without overextending themselves. When one fighter would land something clean, the other would want to get it back. As the round went on, Garry started to find his groove and started to connect with crisp punches, which caused some bleeding just below the left eye of Green.
Garry was fighting long in the second round, not allowing Green to push him back. An accidental eye poke to Green resulted in a brief pause in the action. The fight resumed and Green rushed Garry, which caused the fight to enter into the clinch. It was Garry who came up with a takedown right into full mount. He went to the back, but Green stood to his feet and worked his own takedown. Garry held on to the cage a few times, and the referee warned him for the infraction. Green bailed on the grappling and Garry started to let his strikes go. That didn’t last long as Green rallied and started to mix up his punches while Garry’s back was to the fence.
Early in the third frame, Garry unleashed an angry cross behind a double jab that briefly sat down Green. As soon as Green sprung up, he went right to the clinch and tried to force a body lock takedown, but Garry was not having it. Garry got back to open space and back to sniping. Green kept coming forward, but was just out-classed by a more polished striker.
Dricus Du Plessis def. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Middleweight
Du Plessis pressed the action early, but a hard counter from Tavares stung Dricus and prompted him to wrestle. Du Plessis attempted a lateral drop, but Tavares showed off good hips and landed on top of half guard. Tavares wasn’t able to pass the guard, though, before Du Plessis managed to wrestle up. The takedown continued to elude Dricus, so he started to explode in with wild strikes. Tavares countered him with tight punches that stung him again, prompting Du Plessis to tie up.
The fighters stood in the center of the cage and traded combos to kick off the second stanza. Somewhere in the chaos, a cut opened up on the nose of Tavares. Tavares was sticking to technical fundamentals, while Du Plessis continued to be a wild man. Dricus was landing his funk, exploding over and over with a random assortment of spinning backfists and various punches. With low time, a big left hand landed for Du Plessis that wobbled Tavares.
The wild pace melted over into the third, with Du Plessis throwing punches in bunches, and Tavares answering with measured counters. Tavares was landing solid strikes, but Du Plessis was eating them exceptionally well on top of connecting with more frequency. The volume continued to be in the favor of Du Plessis, and although Tavares was with him the whole time, he just couldn’t match the output of Dricus.