UFC 195 Prelims: Dustin Poirier Unanimous Decision Slows Joseph Duffy’s Lightweight Rise

By Brian Knapp Jan 2, 2016

The fact that Joseph Duffy was the last man to defeat Conor McGregor meant nothing to Dustin Poirier.

Takedowns and a punishing top game carried Poirier to a unanimous decision over Duffy at UFC 195 “Lawler vs. Condit” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All three cageside judges scored it for Poirier (19-4, 11-3 UFC): 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

Duffy (14-2, 2-1 UFC) had his moments, as he walked the American Top Team standout into a right hand in the first round and locked in a triangle choke in the closing seconds of the third. Poirier would not be denied. The Louisianan secured takedowns in all three rounds, held his position and tore into the Irishman from the top. Poirier, his nose leaking blood like a sieve, did his best work in round two, where he dragged Duffy to the ground and sliced through his defenses with repeated elbows to the face.

Related » UFC 195 Round-by-Round Scoring

McDonald Choke Stuns Kanehara

In his first appearance in more than two years, Michael McDonald submitted former Sengoku champion Masanori Kanehara with a first-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary bantamweight pairing. Kanehara (25-13-5, 1-2 UFC) conceded defeat 2:09 into round two, as he lost for the third time in four outings.

McDonald (17-3, 6-2 UFC) never got going, until the finish. He jumped on an ill-advised guillotine choke in the first round, saw Kanehara escape and spent the majority of the round defending from his back. Round two followed a similar narrative. Kanehara ducked into a takedown, moved to mount and locked down an arm-triangle choke. McDonald somehow freed himself, transitioned immediately to the back and cinched the rear-naked choke in one of the more dazzling fight-ending sequences in recent memory.

Undefeated Kish Downs Ansaroff

A hyperactive Justine Kish kept her perfect professional record intact with a unanimous verdict against American Top Team’s Nina Ansaroff in a preliminary women’s strawweight confrontation. All three cageside judges scored it for Kish (5-0, 1-0 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

The three-round fight was far more competitive than the scorecards would indicate. Ansaroff (6-5, 0-2 UFC) cut off the Resurrection Fighting Alliance veteran’s forward movement with clean counters in the first round, staggered her with a left hook in the second and executed a takedown in the third. Still, it was not enough for the judges. Kish controlled the final minute of round two from top position and then made her move late in the third. There, she landed another takedown, advanced to mount and climbed to Ansaroff’s back before ceding position.

Ansaroff has dropped back-to-back bouts.

Dober Denies Unbeaten Holtzman

Surprise takedowns and damaging ground-and-pound spurred Elevation Fight Team rep Drew Dober to a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Scott Holtzman in a three-round undercard tilt at 155 pounds. Dober (16-7, 2-3 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board.

A short-notice fill-in for the injured Erik Koch, Holtzman (8-1, 1-1 UFC) never could turn the corner despite enjoying significant success in the second round. Dober controlled the first and third, where he tripped the MMA Lab export to the mat and chewed up the 32-year-old Tennessee native with elbows. By the time it was over, Holtzman was bleeding from multiple cuts and had experienced his first professional defeat.

Tanaka Edges Soto on Split Verdict

Michinori Tanaka eked out a split decision over former Bellator MMA champion Joe Soto in a preliminary bantamweight clash. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Tanaka (11-1, 2-1 UFC).

Tanaka struck effectively in combination, mixed in occasional jabs and delivered takedowns in the first and second rounds. Soto (15-5, 0-3 UFC) responded with leg kicks and a pair of submission attempts, a gogoplata in round one and a guillotine choke in round two. Tanaka escaped both. However, the Japanese prospect ran out of steam over the final five minutes. Soto let loose with jarring left hooks and probing jabs before landing a takedown and moving to mount in the waning moments. He closed the three-round bout on Tanaka’s back, a rear-naked choke in place.

A replacement for the injured Russell Doane, the 28-year-old Soto has lost three fights in a row.

Westcott Bashes Overmatched Garcia

“The Ultimate Fighter Nations” finalist Sheldon Westcott put away World Extreme Cagefighting and Bellator MMA alum Edgar Garcia with first-round punches in an undercard battle at 170 pounds. Garcia (14-5, 0-4 UFC) succumbed to blows 3:12 into round one.

Westcott (9-3-1, 1-2 UFC) executed a takedown inside the first minute, climbed towards mount and eventually advanced to the back. From there, the 31-year-old Canadian flattened out Garcia, broke his will and brought it to a close with an unending stream of punches.

The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Westcott.


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