A wildly anticipated showdown between two of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s premier lightweights concluded in anticlimactic fashion.
Eddie Alvarez landed two illegal knees -- referee Herb Dean declared the fouls inadvertent -- in the second round of their featured prelim at UFC 211 “Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2” on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The end came 4:12 into Round 2, much to the chagrin of those in attendance.
Poirier (21-5) was surgical in his approach, lighting into the Philadelphia native with leg kicks, body kicks and straight left hands throughout the first round. Alvarez (28-5) seemed to wake up on the second, though it took a near-finish to do the trick. Poirier had him reeling with punches and closed in for a potential stoppage. Wounded and stunned, Alvarez refused to go away. He fought back from the brink, rocked Poirier with a right hand, secured a takedown and trapped him along the fence. Knees to the head of the grounded Poirier followed, necessitating the no-contest.
Related » UFC 211 Round-by-Round Scoring
Surging Knight Stops Skelly
Jason Knight wiped out Team Takedown standout Chas Skelly with third-round punches in an entertaining undercard clash at 145 pounds. Knight (17-2) brought it to a close 39 seconds into Round 3, as he extended his winning streak to three fights and continued his climb on the crowded featherweight ladder.
Skelly (17-3) did not find as much success as he had hoped, though they fought to a virtual stalemate on the feet. Knight met his takedowns with an active guard, twice sweeping him with omoplatas in the first round. The Mississippi native tore into Skelly with crisp, straight punching combinations in the middle stanza, stuffed his takedowns and held his own in the clinch. Early in Round 3, Knight connected with a stepping uppercut that dazed and dropped the Texan, leaving him defenseless against the attack that followed. Knight piled on with elbows and punches, delivering a sustained beating until referee Jacob Montalvo had seen enough.
Sherman Elbow Sinks Coulter
Titan Fighting Championships veteran Chase Sherman disposed of promotional newcomer Rashad Coulter with a standing elbow strike in the second round of a preliminary heavyweight battle that teetered between ridiculous and sublime. Coulter (8-2) hit the deck 3:36 into Round 2.
Sherman (10-3) brutalized the Texan with crushing kicks to the lead leg throughout a one-sided first round. Coulter fought on in an admirable display of fortitude and resolve, despite his barely being able to stand. Sherman wobbled him with a close-quarters knee and dropped him with a clean right hand in the middle stanza, moved in for the kill and then ran out of steam. Coulter bounced back briefly and staggered the Jackson-Wink rep with power punches upstairs. Prosperity was short-lived. Sherman found some additional reserves, backed Coulter to the cage and unleashed the elbow that folded the 5-foot-11 powerhouse where he stood, bringing their remarkable encounter to a close.
The loss snapped Coulter’s five-fight winning streak.
Vick Blows Away Reyes
“The Ultimate Fighter 15” graduate James Vick cut down Marco Polo Reyes with punches in the first round of their preliminary lightweight confrontation. Reyes (7-4) succumbed to blows 2:39 into Round 1, his four-fight winning streak having run its course.
Vick (11-1) waited for his opening and did not miss it. Reyes leaned on punch-kick combinations but left himself open to counters. Vick clipped him with a short left and then floored him with a straight right to the temple before pouncing with unanswered hammerfists for the finish.
The 30-year-old Vick has posted back-to-back wins since being knocked out by Beneil Dariush at UFC 199 a little less than a year ago.
Casey Subdues Bloodied Aguilar
Cortney Casey spoiled the return of former World Series of Fighting champion Jessica Aguilar, as she was awarded a unanimous verdict in their three-round undercard pairing at 115 pounds. Casey (7-4) swept the scorecards with matching 30-27 marks.
In her first appearance since August 2015, Aguilar (19-6) struck for takedowns but offered little else in terms of meaningful offense. Casey frustrated the American Top Team mainstay with upkicks from her back, denying her attempts to consolidate takedowns with guard passes and ground-and-pound. Aguilar’s situation did not improve late in the fight, as Casey battered her with power punches that left her bleeding from the nose and mouth.
Tenacious Barzola Upends Benitez
Enrique Barzola won for the fourth time in five outings, as he captured a unanimous decision over American Kickboxing Academy export Gabriel Benitez in a preliminary featherweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Barzola (13-3-1), who entered the cage as a slight underdog.
Benitez (19-6) chipped away at the tenacious Peruvian with a series of leg and body kicks, all while mixing in stiff straight left hands upstairs. Barzola answered with takedowns, ground-and-pound and positional control, as he slowly wore down the 28-year-old Mexican standout and turned the tide in his favor. Benitez was credited with a knockdown in the waning seconds, but it was not enough to sway the judges.
Antigulov Choke Submits Christensen
Former Absolute Championship Berkut titleholder Gadzhimurad Antigulov submitted Joachim Christensen with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their undercard scrap at 205 pounds. Christensen (14-5) bowed out 2:21 into Round 1.
Antigulov (20-4) executed a takedown, maneuvered onto the Dane’s back and threaded his hooks before going to work on the choke. Christensen did what he could to deny his opponent’s advances, but his situation soon became hopeless and he was left with no choice but to tap.
The 30-year-old Antigulov has rattled off 14 consecutive victories.