UFC 279 is underway, and the early prelims just finished up with four decisions across four fights.
Closing out this part of the prelims, Norma Dumont bested Danyelle Wolf by way of unanimous decision. Dumont won the standup exchanges, dropping Wolf in the second stanza, and then also dominated on the ground. This was a clean sweep for Dumont, who has now won four of her last five outings.
Before that, Alatengheili picked up a unanimous decision over a pretty game Chad Anheliger. This one was pretty scrappy, with both men looking to land heaters throughout, but the better strikes came from Alatengheili. He visibly wobbled Anheliger in the opening round, and continued to be the heavier puncher overall. Alatengheili is now enjoying a three-fight unbeaten streak.
In the strawweight division, Elise Reed took a tightly contested unanimous decision over UFC newcomer, Melissa Martinez. Reed scored a big knockdown in the opening act, and then came up with some takedowns from the clinch in the third to bag two of the three rounds.
Opening up the event, Yohan Lainesse won a close split decision over Darian Weeks. There weren’t a lot of wow moments in this fight, with some sticky striking and quite a few failed takedown attempts. Nonetheless, Lainesse has officially won a UFC match.
Norma Dumont def. Danyelle Wolf by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26): (W) Featherweight
Wolf came out pumping her jab, while Dumont sat back attacking with leg kicks. Dumont came up with a big right hand that seemed to get the attention of Wolf. The jab continued to probe away, and she started to put her right hand behind it. It was a pretty close round, but it seemed like the volume was on the side of Dumont.
Dumont kept attacking the lead leg of Wolf in the second round. Wolf started to land with her hands, but as soon as they clinched up, she took Wolf right down to the ground. She let Wold stand to her feet, but went right back to the clinch. Once they broke apart, Dumont scored a big right hand that wobbled Wolf. It wasn’t long before another one of those rights hit its mark, this time dropping Wolf.
Dumont shot an early takedown in the final frame to get on top with plenty of time to work. Several ground strikes connected for Dumont, who was making the most of her MMA experience. Wolf was unable to get back to her feet, and Dumont continued to dominate.
Alatengheili def. Chad Anheliger by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Bantamweight
There was a bit of measuring and calculating going on here to begin this matchup. The crowd began to grow a little restless, but Alatengheili connected with a big left hand that brought them back into it. Anheliger started to back himself, keeping his back close to the cage. Alatengheili stung his foe with a flush right hand that visibly wobbled him. He then started to attack the lead leg, while Anheliger was busted open around his mouth and focused on moving away.
Anheliger got himself back into the fight in the second round. He started to open up with his own combinations, but Alatengheili was still delivering powerful punching combos. Alatengheili was still attacking the legs, but Anheliger was also beginning to sneak in his own low kicks. It was a much better five-minutes for Anheliger, but probably not enough to take the round.
Alatengheili opened the final frame with a takedown that surprised Anheliger. As he stood over his opponent, Anheliger was spamming up kicks, that made Alatengheili think twice about getting on top. The referee decided to stand up Anheliger, and the striking battle continued. Down the stretch, Anheliger was the one pumping out more volume, but Alatengheili puled off another takedown attempt to close out the frame on top.
Elise Reed def. Melissa Martinez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) : Strawweight
Martinez opened the match by sticking and moving, and staying elusive on her feet. She was looking sharp, but a blistering right hand from Reed briefly dropped her. Martinez quickly recovered and initiated a grappling exchange that started with a takedown attempt, but ended up in the clinch. Some jockeying for position went on before they ultimately broke free.
Reed was pressuring to begin the second round, with Martinez on her bike playing the outside. When Reed got in front of her, she was able to connect with a set of right hands before the fighters moved out of the pocket. Reed elected to close the distance into the clinch, and she landed a few knees, but couldn’t get a takedown.
Reed connected with a solid right hand to open the final frame, but Martinez ate it rather well. Martinez started to press the action, darting in and out with a varied attack to the legs and body. As Reed began to pressure, Martinez snagged herself a takedown, but quickly elected to stand up. From the clinch, Reed was able to hit a trip, and as soon as Martinez stood up, Reed took her right back down. Martinez quickly scrambled back up, but back down she went, while Reed was sprinkling in punches along the way.
Yohan Lainesse def. Darian Weeks by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Welterweight
Lainesse was finding a home for his straight right hand in the opening round. Weeks was trying to counter with a wild overhand on a few occasions, but the more linear punch was landing first.
Weeks was struggling to hit his mark, however, he did manage to deliver a counter left hook that dropped Lainesse, who was throwing at the same time. He didn’t really build upon the knockdown, as the fight went in a bit of a sticky direction. Neither man was really landing clean, and Weeks began shooting for takedowns. Lainesse was doing a good job of either not going down, or immediately springing right back up when he did hit the deck.
Weeks returned to his takedown attack in the third, but Lainesse remained sharp with his takedown defense. The standup was still pretty sticky. Both fighters were struggling to touch their targets, with Weeks being the one that was doing most of the advancing.