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Alan Patrick Silva Alves answered precision with controlled chaos.
The undefeated X-Gym representative kept his perfect professional record intact with a controversial unanimous decision over John Makdessi at UFC 169 “Barao vs. Faber 2” on Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. All three judges scored it for Alves (12-0, 2-0 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Makdessi (12-3, 5-3) left the cage in stunned disbelief, his modest three-fight winning streak a thing of the past. The 28-year-old Tristar Gym standout pecked away at Alves with a variety of punches and kicks, stayed at a safe distance in the face of wild standup techniques and stymied the majority of the Brazilian’s takedown attempts. Alves struck for single takedowns in the first and second rounds but failed to capitalize, as “The Bull” returned to his feet with relative ease.
According to preliminary FightMetric figures, Makdessi outperformed Alves in both total and significant strikes in all three rounds.
Cariaso Outduels Alliance MMA’s Martinez
Surgical standup spearheaded by a prolific kicking game lifted Chris Cariaso to a unanimous decision over Alliance MMA’s Danny Martinez in an undercard tilt at 125 pounds. All three judges arrived at the same ruling: 29-28 for Cariaso (16-5, 6-3 UFC).
A late replacement for the injured Kyoji Horiguchi, Martinez (16-5, 0-1 UFC) dove into clinches and let wild punches fly, a majority of them missing the mark. Cariaso stuffed his takedowns repeatedly and fought effectively from his back when the action did hit the mat. The 32-year-old San Jose, Calif., native stayed composed as Martinez grew more desperate and reckless in the final round, peppering his legs, head and body with kicks.
Cariaso has posted back-to-back wins for the first time since 2012.
Takedowns Drive Catone Past Watson
Former Ring of Combat champion Nick Catone leaned almost exclusively on takedowns in earning a split decision against Tom Watson in an undercard clash at 185 pounds. Two of the three cageside judges scored it for Catone (10-4, 4-4 UFC), 29-28 and 30-27, while a third cast a dissenting 29-28 ruling in favor of Watson.
Neither man established much of a foothold in the match. Outside of a steady stream of leg kicks, Watson (16-7, 1-3 UFC) was largely ineffective and struggled to find a rhythm on the feet. He left Catone with noticeable damage to his lead leg, but his inability to deny takedowns -- “The Jersey Devil” landed five of them -- cost him the decision.
A onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts titleholder, Watson has lost three of his last four fights.
Iaquinta Survives Choke, Takes Decision
Crisp combinations and effective counterpunching spurred “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 finalist Al Iaquinta to a unanimous decision over Kevin Lee in a preliminary lightweight affair. Iaquinta (8-2-1, 3-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 28-27 marks from the judges, delivering his third consecutive victory.
The Serra-Longo Fight Team representative set the tone in the first round, as he planted Lee (7-1, 0-1 UFC) on his rear end with a short straight left, swarmed with punches and later countered a desperate single-leg takedown attempt with a heel hook. The 21-year-old newcomer rebounded in round two, where he secured a takedown, transitioned to Iaquinta’s back and locked in a rear-naked choke. The New York native refused to give in, survived the harrowing sequence and forced the fight to a deciding third frame.
In the third, Lee bloodied the favorite’s nose with some ground-and-pound, only to see Iaquinta pile up the late points with punches.
Surging Hester Overpowers Enz
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 graduate Clint Hester won for the sixth time in as many appearances, as he took a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Andy Enz in an undercard battle at 185 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Hester (10-3, 3-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Enz (7-1, 0-1 UFC) had the necessary heart and desire but lacked the firepower. Hester set the Alaskan prospect on rubbery legs in the first round, ripping into him with a leaping left hook and following it with a clubbing right. Standing-to-ground punches fell next, but Enz kept his composure, recovered and weathered the attack.
Hester turned to takedowns in the second round and countered effectively throughout the third, handing the 22-year-old MMA Lab export his first professional defeat.
Magomedov Wins Ninth Straight
Former M-1 Global champion Rashid Magomedov recorded his ninth consecutive victory, as he captured a unanimous decision over American Top Team prospect Tony Martin in a preliminary lightweight duel. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Magomedov (16-1, 1-0 UFC).
Martin (8-1, 0-1 UFC) made him earn it. The 24-year-old Palos Heights, Ill., native struck for a takedown in the first round and threatened the Magomedov with a pair of submissions, first with a kimura and then with an armbar. The Dagestani winced and writhed but refused to tap, eventually freeing himself from danger.
Rounds two and three belonged to Magomedov, who roughed up his counterpart in the clinch and left him with visible damage to his left eye. He countered a Martin takedown with a power guillotine in the third round, settled in top position, worked his ground-and-pound and then blasted him with a head kick to the face as the two rose to their feet.
Magny Halts Skid, Outpoints Umalatov
Aggressive punching combinations, effective clinch work and timely takedowns carried “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 semifinalist Neil Magny to a unanimous decision over newcomer Gasan Umalatov in an undercard scrap at 170 pounds. Magny (9-3, 2-2 UFC), who entered the cage on a two-fight losing streak, swept the scorecards by 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 counts.
Umalatov (14-3-1, 0-1 UFC) failed to navigate the Grudge Training Center representative’s four-inch height and 10-inch reach advantage. Kept at the end of Magny’s punches, the frustrated 31-year-old Russian resorted to slinging looping right hands to the head and body. Magny mixed in takedowns in the first and third rounds, transitioning to his opponent’s back on two different occasions.