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UFC 277 results & video: Morales TKO’s Fugitt, Negumereanu thrashes Potieria

On the UFC 277 early prelims, Michael Morales stopped Adam Fugitt with strikes, and Nick Negumereanu earned a standing TKO on Ihor Potieria.

UFC 277 is in progress, and the early prelims just wrapped up with two finish across the first-four fights.

Closing out this portion of the preliminaries, 23-year-old Michael Morales put hands on Adam Fugitt to secure a third round TKO. It was the right hand of Morales that did the real damage, and once he had Fugitt hurt, he refused to let him off the hook. Michael extends his unblemished record to 14-0.

In the women’s bantamweight division, Joselyne Edwards won a split decision over Ji Yeon Kim. Edwards received scores of 30-27 and 29-28, while Kim received one scorecard of 29-28. The victory marks two in a row for Edwards.

Nick Negumereanu put on an incredible performance tonight, overwhelming Ihor Potieria with strikes to get a standing TKO in the second round. Negumereanu worked his clinch and ground game in the opening act, and then came out for round two with a completely different strategy. Nick flooded Potieria with punches and knees until the referee had seen enough. Don’t look now but this makes four wins in a row for Negumereanu.

Despite botching his weight cut, Orion Cosce puled off a unanimous decision over Blood Diamond. It was the grappling that was his key to success, as he was able to neutralize Diamond on the floor in the first and third to get three scores of 29-28.

Early prelims:

Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt by TKO at 1:09 of round 3: Welterweight

The welterweights met in the middle to get things started, with Fugitt launching naked kicks. Morales was doing a lot of measuring, looking to set up his hands. As soon as Morales started to land, Fugitt hit a takedown to get on top. Morales was able to remain safe on the ground and found a way to make it back to his feet. He started to connect with some stiff right hands to get himself back in the round just before the bell.

Morales was poking his jab out there in the second round, and bring the right on its own. He was landing, but surely didn’t seem to be prioritizing his defense. Fugitt pressed forward, standing up to the firepower and trying to stay in the face of Morales. The problem was that Morales continued to land more punches.

Fugitt clinched up early in the second round, and tried to get the fight to the floor, but Morales wasn’t having it. Morales found seperation and clipped Fugitt with a hard right hand that dropped him. From there he pounced with a frenzy of punches, with Fugitt barely holding on. He then dropped Fugitt with another right hand, and the referee stepped in to wave it off.

Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): Bantamweight

Edwards was pressing the action right out of the gate. She was backing up Kim with jabs and teep kicks. Kim was using her footwork to stay elusive and make Edwards miss a lot, but she also wasn’t landing many of her own strikes. Edwards continued to stay long in the second act. She was throwing teeps and sidekicks, while Kim started to come forward more than she did in the opening round. When Kim did press forward, she would connect with her best punches.

The pace picked up to begin the final round. The fighters were standing in the pocket, exchanging punches back and forth. Edwards threw a kick, and when she planted her feet back to the mat she had a bit of a limp. They then clinched up, and after a bit of jockeying for position, Edwards came up with a takedown. After botching an armbar attempt, Edwards lost the position and Kim stood back to her feet. Edwards came up with some big punches down the stretch, and appeared to take the round.

Nick Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria by TKO at 3:33 of round 2: Light Heavyweight

Negumereanu was grinding early here, pressing Potieria against the fence. He was able to drag Potieria down to the mat, and as soon as Ihor stood up, Negumereanu pushed him right back down. Nick opted to not follow him to the floor, though, and exchanged strikes until the bell.

The second round saw the fighters exchange leather right away. Negumereanu wasn’t looking to clinch up, rather he seemed content to slug it out with Potieria. Nick had more pep in his step, while Potieria seemed to be fatiguing badly. Negumereanu was turning up! A nasty uppercut knocked out the mouthpiece of Potieria, followed by punch after punch, and knee after knee. The referee had no choice but to step in and rescue a drowning Potieria. WOW!

Orion Cosce def. Blood Diamond by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Welterweight

Diamond stood his ground in the center of the Octagon to get things going. He was popping out punches and kicks, but it wasn’t long before Cosce used his own punches to close the distance. After a bit of back and forth in the clinch, Cosce realized a takedown. Once Diamond stood to his feet, Cosce hit a sweet suplex, but couldn’t keep the fight on the ground.

The second round saw Cosce close the distance again, pressing Diamond against the cage. Diamond did a great job of not giving up the takedown, and was able to return to open space. That’s where Diamond started to let his strikes fly. There was unique sequence that involved a double backfist, one from each man, with Cosce seeming to take the worst of it. Cosce seemed to be in a lot of trouble on his feet, but somehow kept finding ways to clinch back up.

Cosce closed the distance to begin the final round, and successfully landed a lateral drop to plant Diamond on his back. Diamond tried to scramble up, but Cosce won the positional battle to keep the match on the mat. No matter what Diamond did, he just couldn’t get his opponent off of him.