Stay up to date with what’s happening today with the UFC 284 preliminary card, which is going down from the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
The card’s featured prelim will take place in the light heavyweight division when Tyson Pedro collides with Modestas Bukauskas. After four years on the sidelines, Australia’s Pedro returned to action in 2022 to post up back-to-back first round knockouts. For Bukauskas, he was cut from the UFC following a 1-4 stint, but will be returning to the promotion following two Cage Warriors wins to get back on track.
On the Early Prelims, there’s a scrappy strawweight tilt between Muay Thai aficionado, Loma Lookboonmee, and the always game, Elise Reed. I am expecting a fun striking battle here. Not only is the standup where each fighter thrives, but the ground game is what has given both Loma and Elise the most fits thus far in the UFC. Lookboonmee has the best Muay Thai in the UFC, and no that is not up for debate, but Reed has a big right hand that she is more than willing to throw.
The early prelims begin at 6:00pm ET/3:00pm, PT, immediately followed by the regular preliminary card. Both broadcasts can be streamed on ESPN+. The PPV main card is slated for 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT, and can be purchased on ESPN+.
Modestas Bukauskas def. Tyson Pedro by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Light Heavyweight
Bukauskas started fast, with his timing appearing to be dialed in. He was catching Pedro having lapses in his defense, showing that he does belong in the UFC. Pedro then hit a bodylock takedown, and started to control his opponent. Bukauskas almost got up, but Pedro fully jumped a guillotine to keep the fight on the ground. Bukauskas found his moment to get back up, and delivered some meaningful punches before the bell.
Pedro got his strikes going to start the seocnd round. They were mostly single punches and naked leg kicks, but he was being effective. He then landed a front kick to the cup of Bukauskas, causing a brief timeout. The fight got back underway, and the output of Bukauskas continued to less than it was in the previous round.
The fighters swapped leg kicks back and forth to begin the final round. Pedro then closed the distance, but couldn’t keep Bukauskas against the fence for very long. They continued to trade jab for jab, until Pedro clinched up again. He didn’t really do anything with the position, other than hold on. At least when Bukauskas had Pedro against the cage he was scoring with knees to the body. The round ended with a blitz from Bukauskas, leaving a strong impression on the judges.
Joshua Culibao def. Melsik Baghdasaryan by submission (RNC) at 2:02 of round 2: Featherweight
Baghdasaryan was the one pressing forward to get things going, with Culibao playing the outside. Culibao was having a little bit of difficulty connecting on his strikes, mostly because he was standing too far away. Baghdasaryan was frequently deploying his rear leg, to the body and head, but Culibao was checking the ones going to the legs. Then, Baghdasaryan landed with a spinning back kick right to the cup. The fight resumed, but there was only 10-seconds left in the round.
Baghdasaryan got away with a head butt inside of the clinch in the opening minute of the second round. Then almost out of nowhere, Culibao knocked over Baghdasaryan with a jab as Melsik was throwing a kick. Joshua quickly jumped on the back with an RNC already applied. Culibao fully locked up the sub, and Baghdasaryan tapped out.
Make that three straight for @CulibaoMMA! #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/nMUrDEytTM— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
JOSH CULIBAO HAS NO QUIT @CulibaoMMA taps Baghdasaryan after dealing with adversity in Round 1! #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/bbDsfTO732— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
Kleydson Rodrigues def. Shannon Ross by TKO at :59 of round 1: Flyweight
This one did not last long at all! Rodrigues hurt Ross to the body with a nasty liver kick, and then went in for the kill. He tried a few spinning kicks, but then switched gears and started to pepper the midsection with some ruthless body hooks. Ross wilted from the onslaught, prompting the referee to step in and stop the fight. WOWSERS!
Rodrigues wasted NO time #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/jQp0Ic1sUL— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 12, 2023
** It should be noted that Kleydson Rodrigues missed weight by one-pound
Jamie Mullarkey def. Francisco Prado by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight
The fighters started to mix it up on the feet to get things going, but as soon as Prado started to find a groove, Mullarkey snagged a takedown. After eating a couple of shots, Prado found a way to get to his feet, but it wasn’t long before Mullarkey took him right back down. Jamie stayed on top this time, and dropped some more ground strikes to ice the round.
There was a lot of measuring and calculating going on to begin the second round. Both men were standing far out at range, with neither man really wanting to come forward. Mullarkey was doing a good job of utilizing his reach advantage. He was keeping it in Prado’s face, which made it difficult for Francisco to score his own punches. With about a minute to go in the round, Mullarkey landed his best strike of the fight, a big left that briefly staggered Prado.
The jab continued to be the foundation for Mullarkey in the third round. He was staying composed and commanding the cage like a true veteran. Prado tried to force a takedown, but Mullarkey stuffed it with ease to keep the fight where he wanted it. It was actually Mullarkey who blasted the takedown, but Prado attacked again with a Kimora to sweep. Mullarkey escaped the bad position to end the match on the feet.
Jack Jenkins def. Don Shainis by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
Jenkins opened the match with some brutal knees to the body from the Thai clinch. Shainis responded with an accidental cup check, causing a brief break in the action. The resumed and the fighters began exchanging combos. Jenkins cracked away with one nasty calf kick that seemed to instantly slow down Shainis. From there, Jenkins targeted the lead leg of Shainis a couple more times, but Shainis started to check them. Shainis fired with a big leg kick of his own, and then talked a little trash for it. Jenkins immediately attacked him with a flurry to land another one and send a message.
Another low blow from Shainis occurred in the first-minute of the second round. The crowd erupted in boos, and the referee gave Shainis a hard warning. The fight got started again and Jenkins hit a sneaky trip from the clinch to get on top. Jenkins was controlling, but as he tried to take the back, Shainis was able to scramble out and up to his feet. Jenkins was looking harp on his feet. He was ripping punches to the head and the body, and even slipping in those leg kicks. Shainis then hit a takedown of his own and landed in full mount. He landed a few big elbows, butJenkins exploded up, and scored a takedown of his own before the bell. What a sequence!
It took about 30-seconds for Jenkins to take the back in the third round, but credit to Shainis for quickly getting back to his feet. Jenkins went back to the takedown, planting Shainis on his back against the fence. Shainis threatened with a Kimura from the half guard, and it was actually kind of close, but Jenkins toughed it out and continued to grind. The round ended on the feet with Jenkins landing a clean front kick to the face that stung Shainis.
FACE KICK AT THE END OF THE FIGHT #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/vZACTWtVrx— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 12, 2023
Loma Lookboonmee def. Elise Reed by submission (RNC) at :44 of round 2: Strawweight
Reed was finding a home for her right hand on the inside early in the opening round. Lookboonmee responded with her patented leg kicks, sending cracking sounds echoing through the arena. A large welt formed on the left thigh of Reed form the kicks, and the fight quickly entered the clinch after that. Lookboonmee came up with a takedown, but Reed immediately reversed on top. The nose of Reed was leaking all over the place, but she was in top position. The round came to an end with Reed on the back.
Lookboonmee went right to the takedown in the second round, and transitioned right to the back. It wasn’t long before a rear-naked choke was engaged, and Reed was tapping out. WHAT!
Lookboonmee secures the first finish at #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/DUV9SyxHxR— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) February 12, 2023
Blake Bilder def. Shane Young by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
The opening round started out a bit sticky here. Neither fighter was really opening up in the feet, but there was a lot of movement going on. With about two minutes to go in the round, Bilder switched gears and hit a takedown. Young eventually scrambled up to his feet, just to eat a knee to the face when he got there.
The same sort of sticky kickboxing match continued into the second stanza. Bilder tried to go back top his takedown, but Young was all over it. Each time Blake tried to get the fight down, Young had an answer to remain standing. It was a pretty close round, but I’d have to give it to Young.
The final act saw Bilder try to for a takedown again, but again Young was refusing to play that game. Bilder was the more active fighter in the standup. He was unloading a bunch of volume, and although they weren’t exactly fight-enders, they were definitely adding up. In the final minute, Young stalked forward, but Bilder kept intercepting him with counters.
Elves Brener def. Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29): Featherweight
There was quite a bit of feeling out going on to kick off the show. Gradually, Tukhugov started to apply pressure, and did land a few punches, but wasn’t really able to take over. Brener fought off of his back foot for most of the round, pawing with his jab and scoring with leg kicks. A big gash opened up on the middle of Tukhugov’s forehead, but it’s unclear what caused it.
Brenner came out aggressive to begin the second act, but the forward pressure didn’t last very long. Tukhugov began coming forward, mixing up his jab and left hook, keeping Brener guessing at which strike it was going to be. The cut on Tukhugov’s forehead was still leaking, but it didn’t seem to be bothering him much at all. During the final minute of the round, Brener started to rally by increasing his output and keeping Tukhugov defensive. It wasn’t enough to win the round, though.
Tukhugov continued to work his boxing in the third. He kept finding crafty ways to use his right hand to set up his left. Both men shot in for their first takedown attempts early in the final round, and neither man was successful. It was Tukhugov who came up with a body lock, and from there spent some time pressing Brener up against the cage. The final minute saw Brener go for it, launching a varied attack while Tukhugov sat back and remained defensive.
**It should be noted that Zubaira Tukhugov missed weight by 1.5-pounds
By split decision to open the show!— UFC (@ufc) February 11, 2023
Elves Brener takes his UFC debut in a CLOSE one with Tukhugov #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/Vov1EHx8w7
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)