Glover Teixeira did not grant Ovince St. Preux passage to the upper tier of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight decision.
Teixeira left St. Preux unconscious with a third-round rear-naked choke in the UFC Fight Night “St. Preux vs. Teixeira” headliner on Saturday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. St. Preux (18-7, 6-2 UFC) went limp 3:10 into round three, his two-fight winning streak at an end.
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and deft topside grappling buoyed Teixeira (23-4, 6-2 UFC), who weathered a first-round liver kick from the former University of Tennessee football player. He took down and mounted St. Preux in the first and third frames, chipping away with punches, hammerfists, elbows and forearm strikes. Teixeira completed the last of his takedowns inside the first minute of round three, worked to mount, forced St. Preux to surrender his back and locked in the choke.
The victory halted Teixeira’s two-fight losing streak.
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Dariush Downs Johnson in Shocking Decision
In the lightweight co-main event, Kings MMA rep Beneil Dariush was by most accounts gifted a split decision over Michael Johnson following their three-round contest at 155 pounds. Two of the three cageside judges (Richard Bertrand and Douglas Crosby) scored it for Dariush, 29-28 and 29-28, while a third (Sal D'Amato) saw it 29-28 for Johnson.
Johnson (16-9, 8-5 UFC) seemed to be in complete control for vast stretches of the first and second rounds, as he countered beautifully with his quick hands, fired off multi-punch combinations and sprawled out of one takedown after another. Dariush, meanwhile, relied heavily on leg kicks across the first 10 minutes but struggled with the Blackzilians standout’s speed and athleticism. He did his best work in the third round, where he popped Johnson with stiff jabs, landed a glancing flying knee and picked up his pace. Still, until the verdict was read, it felt as though his efforts were going to fall short.
Dariush (12-1, 6-1 UFC) has won five fights in a row.
Brunson Overwhelms, Stops Alvey
Strikeforce veteran Derek Brunson put away Team Quest export Sam Alvey with first-round punches in a middleweight showcase. Alvey (26-7, 3-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:19 into round one, his three-fight winning streak halted in decisive fashion.
Brunson (14-3, 5-1 UFC) bullied into the clinch and delivered punches in tight spaces, giving the former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder no room to operate. Alvey broke away, only to be met with a seemingly endless volley of power punches from the North Carolinian. He eventually collapsed on all fours and did not defend himself sufficiently enough to satisfy referee Mario Yamasaki. Alvey protested the stoppage, to no avail.
The 31-year-old Brunson now has 10 first-round finishes among his 14 career victories.
Rosholt Snaps Johnson Streak
Team Takedown representative Jared Rosholt rode his superiority in the tie-ups, multiple takedowns and some mild ground-and-pound to a unanimous decision over Timothy Johnson in a featured heavyweight battle. Rosholt (13-2, 5-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks from all three cageside judges.
Johnson (9-2, 1-1 UFC) failed to keep a safe distance between himself and the three-time NCAA All-American wrestler. Rosholt assumed top position in all three rounds -- he briefly achieved full mount in the first -- and neutralized the North Dakota-based Minnesotan with control, sporadic strikes and the occasional submission attempt. Fatigue took hold in round three, opening a window of opportunity for Johnson. He had Rosholt on the run with a series of clubbing punches late in the frame but secured an ill-advised takedown, which allowed “The Big Show” to weather the storm and bleed the remaining seconds off the clock.
The loss snapped Johnson’s run of eight straight wins.
Nunes Choke Stuns McMann
American Top Team’s Amanda Nunes submitted Sara McMann with a first-round rear-naked choke in a women’s bantamweight showcase. McMann (8-3, 2-3 UFC) tapped 2:53 into round one, as the 2004 Olympic silver medalist lost for the third time in four appearances.
Nunes (11-4, 4-1 UFC) peppered the Olympian with clean, accurate punches on the feet and shut down her takedown game with surprising ease. McMann grew increasingly desperate. Nunes countered a leg kick with a three-punch combination -- a wicked right hand set off the quick burst -- that drove McMann to her knees. The Brazilian then climbed to half guard, advanced to the back, softened McMann with punches and cinched the choke.
An emerging threat at 135 pounds, Nunes will ride a two-fight winning streak into her next outing.
Borg Buries Newcomer Herrera
Takedowns and an oppressive top game carried fast-rising Fit NHB prospect Ray Borg to a clean-sweep unanimous decision over Geane Herrera in a featured flyweight clash. Borg (9-1, 3-1 UFC), who missed weight for the match, earned 30-27 scores from all three judges.
Herrera (8-1, 0-1 UFC) was forced to play defense for virtually the entire fight. Borg completed takedowns inside the first minute of all three rounds, buried the newcomer beneath him and proceeded to pile up points with ground-and-pound, guard passes and submission attempts. Herrera had a brief glimmer of hope in the third round, where he sliced open Borg with a short elbow from the bottom. Blood spurted all over the canvas, but the cageside physician declared the New Mexico native fit to continue after a brief pause. Upon the restart, Borg resumes his assault from top position.
The 22-year-old Borg has rattled off three straight wins.