UFC 217 Prelims: James Vick Beats Second-Round Buzzer to Stop Joseph Duffy

By Brian Knapp Nov 4, 2017

It appears that James Vick has grown tired of flying under the radar in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division.

“The Ultimate Fighter 15” semifinalist cut down Cage Warriors Fighting Championship vet Joseph Duffy with a right uppercut and follow-up punches in the featured UFC 217 prelim on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. Duffy (16-3, 4-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:59 into Round 1, bringing his two-fight winning streak to a halt.

A competitive first round gave way to the second, where Vick (12-1, 8-1 UFC) seized control with straight punches in combination and repeated leg kicks. Late in the frame, the Lloyd Irvin protégé connected with a brutal uppercut that sent the Irishman crashing to the canvas. A barrage of punches and hammerfists followed, resulting in the stoppage.

Related » UFC 217 Round-by-Round Scoring

Harris Head Kick Prompts Disqualification

Two-state Golden Gloves champion Walt Harris was disqualified in his preliminary heavyweight clash with onetime British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion Mark Godbeer. The end came 4:29 into Round 1, leaving all parties involved and the audience unfulfilled.

Harris (10-7, 3-6 UFC) struck for a takedown inside the first minute and moved from side control to full mount before settling in half guard and delivering some ground-and-pound. Once the two men returned to their feet, things went awry. Harris sent a knee crashing into the Englishman’s groin, and referee Blake Grice intervened to give Godbeer (13-3, 2-1 UFC) time to recover. However, Harris ignored his commands, kept fighting and sent a head kick crashing into his defenseless counterpart’s face. Godbeer was examined by the cageside physician and could not continue, prompting the disqualification.

St. Preux Head Kick KOs Anderson

Strikeforce veteran Ovince St. Preux knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner Corey Anderson with a spectacular head kick in the third round of their preliminary light heavyweight encounter. A short-notice fill-in for Patrick Cummins, St. Preux (22-10, 10-5 UFC) drew the curtain 1:25 into Round 3.

Anderson (9-4, 6-4 UFC) enjoyed long stretches of success, as he bullied his way into the clinch, secured takedowns and assaulted the former University of Tennessee linebacker with ground-and-pound. Momentum appeared to be in his corner at the start of the third round, but one swing of St. Preux’s might left leg changed everything. Shin met skill in the center of the cage, instantly freezing Anderson where he stood. No follow-up shots were required.

St. Preux has won three fights in a row, all of them finishes.

Brown Outduels Undefeated Gall

Former Ring of Combat champion Randy Brown won for the third time in four appearances, as he took a unanimous decision from Mickey Gall in a three-round undercard battle at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Brown (10-2, 4-2 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27.

Gall (4-1, 3-1 UFC) had his moments and was particularly dominant in the second round, where he smothered his Jamaican adversary in top position, floated from side control to full mount and fished for submissions. It was not enough to overcome Brown. The 27-year-old leaned on bookend rounds, assumed top position and bloodied Gall with elbows, forearm strikes and hammerfists. Brown spent most of the third round on top, controlling the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt and applying his ground-and-pound when necessary.

Blaydes Awarded Bizarre Stoppage

Elevation Fight Team rep Curtis Blaydes was awarded a technical knockout over Alexey Oleynik in the second round of their preliminary heavyweight tilt. The cageside physician deemed Oleynik (55-11-1, 4-2 UFC) unfit to continue 1:56 into Round 2, mere moments after an illegal head kick grazed off his ear. For a time, confusion reigned.

Blaydes (9-1, 3-1 UFC) had the Russian grappler reeling with power punches throughout a one-sided first round, flooring him with a right uppercut while incorporating takedowns when opportunities arose. His face swollen and bruised, Oleynik had little left in the tank for the second. There, Blaydes delivered another takedown, returned to his feet and buzzed the tower with a front kick on his downed counterpart. Referee Blake Grice recognized the foul, paused the match and invited the doctor into the cage to examine Oleynik. He then looked at replays of the blow and came to the conclusion that it did no serious damage to the M-1 Global veteran. Soon after, the doctor advised him to call for the stoppage.

The loss snapped Oleynik’s modest two-fight winning streak.

Ramos Elbow Fells Zahabi

Ricardo Lucas Ramos dispatched Tristar Gym prospect Aimeann Zahabi with a perfectly timed and exquisitely placed spinning elbow in the third round of their undercard scrap at 135 pounds. An unconscious Zahabi (7-1, 1-1 UFC) hit the deck, his toes curled, 1:58 into Round 3.

Ramos (11-1, 2-0 UFC) chipped away at the previously unbeaten Canadian with leg kicks throughout much of the first round, mixing in sharp jabs and a pair of takedowns. The 22-year-old Legacy Fighting Championship veteran held his own in the clinch and proved superior in the scrambles. Zahabi switched gears in the middle stanza, where he picked up his activity level, outboxed his counterpart and paired stinging jabs with thudding right uppercuts. However, all his work went for naught when he backed Ramos to the fence in the third round. The Brazilian cut loose with two spinning elbows. The first one missed its intended mark; the second detonated on Zahabi’s jaw.

Ramos has rattled off three straight wins.


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