Chad Mendes ran right through Ricardo Lamas. | Photo: Josh Hedges/UFC/Zuffa/Getty
Chad Mendes laid waste to Ricardo Lamas.
The Team Alpha Male ace took care of Lamas with first-round punches in the UFC Fight Night “Mendes vs. Lamas” headliner on Saturday at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Mendes (17-2, 8-2 UFC) drew the curtain 2:45 into round one, as he recorded his sixth victory in seven outings and made his case for another crack at the Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight title.
Lamas (15-4, 6-2 UFC) enjoyed some initial success with leg kicks and punches from the outside. However, a counter right hand from Mendes connected on the top of the head, staggered the Chicago native and permanently altered the direction of the fight. Mendes swarmed with punches, knocked down “The Bully” twice more and forced referee Dan Miragliotta to intervene when he snuck one last left hand underneath Lamas’ armpit, snapping his head back.
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Iaquinta Edges Masvidal on Points
In the lightweight co-main event, Serra-Longo Fight Team representative Al Iaquinta walked away with a contentious split decision over Jorge Masvidal. Two of the three cageside judges saw it 29-28 for Iaquinta; a third cast a dissenting 30-27 nod in favor of Masvidal.
Masvidal (28-9, 5-2 UFC) turned in a dominant first five minutes, as he bashed “The Ultimate Fighter 15” finalist with a punishing jab. Late in the round, he drove Iaquinta (12-3-1, 7-2 UFC) to the canvas with a flying knee, a short right hook to the temple and follow-up punches. Masvidal then opened a gruesome cut under the New Yorker’s right eye with an elbow strike from the top. Iaquinta, though bloodied, weathered the onslaught.
From there, Masvidal seemed to sit on his lead. His offensive output dwindled, though his jab remained an effective weapon. Iaquinta invested in leg kicks and brought his overhand right into play, slowly turning the tide in his favor. Fans booed the decision, leading Iaquinta to storm out of the cage in a rage.
Chiesa Handles MMA Lab’s Clarke
Michael Chiesa won for the third time in four fights, as he claimed a unanimous decision from MMA Lab export Mitch Clarke in a featured battle at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Chiesa (12-2, 5-2 UFC): 29-26, 29-26 and 29-28.
Chiesa set the tone with a strong first round, as he landed multiple trip takedowns, transitioned to the Canadian’s back and threatened with a rear-naked choke and later an armbar. The scene repeated itself in round two, where “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 winner spent even more time piling up points on the ground. Clarke (11-3, 2-3 UFC) remained on his feet in the third round and punched effectively, but by then, the fight had long been lost.
Pena Rips Apart Dudieva
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 winner Julianna Pena put away Milana Dudieva with first-round ground-and-pound from the mount in a women’s bantamweight showcase. Fully recovered from reconstructive knee surgery, Pena (6-2, 2-0 UFC) brought it to a close 3:59 into round one.
Dudieva (11-4, 1-1 UFC) struck for an early takedown but otherwise was a non-factor. Pena scrambled to her feet, dragged the Russian to the mat with a single-leg and climbed immediately to mount. From there, the punches, hammerfists and elbows flew. Dudieva surrendered her back at one point, only to see Pena return to the mount. One last burst of punches and elbows forced referee Keith Peterson to act.
Active Guida Sinks Peralta
Repeated takedowns and an active top game carried onetime Strikeforce champion Clay Guida to a unanimous decision over Robbie Peralta in a featured clash at 145 pounds. Guida (32-15, 12-9 UFC) swept the scorecards with identical 30-27 nods.
Peralta (18-6, 4-3 UFC) enjoyed some success with his punches in open space -- he opened a cut near Guida’s left eye with a right hook -- but could not stay on his feet long enough to sustain it. Guida overwhelmed with his almost pathological pursuit of takedowns and clinches, nearly finishing it with a third-round arm-triangle choke.
Poirier Wrecks Ferreira in Lightweight Return
American Top Team’s blew away former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Carlos Diego Ferreira with first-round punches in a lightweight showcase. Ferreira (11-2, 2-2 UFC), who had never before been finished, met his end 3:45 into round one.
In his first appearance at 155 pounds since November 2010, Poirier (17-4, 9-3 UFC) lit up the Brazilian with punching combinations and invited him to exchange in the pocket. The 26-year-old Louisianan floored Ferreira with a short straight left, avoided his advances on the ground and allowed him to return to his feet. Poirier dropped him again with a sneaky right uppercut and then sealed the deal with vicious punches and hammerfists.
Poirier has rattled off four wins in his past five outings.