UFC Fight Night 103 Prelims: Drakkar Klose, Augusto Mendes, Alexey Oleynik Triumphant in Phoenix

By Brian Knapp Jan 15, 2017

Drakkar Klose played the bully card in his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.

A replacement for the injured Jordan Rinaldi, the MMA Lab prospect remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over New Hampshire-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night “Rodriguez vs. Penn” on Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. Klose (7-0-1, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27 nods from all three judges.

Powell (8-2, 0-1 UFC) could not match the short-notice fill-in’s physicality. Klose engaged him in the clinch, uncorking punches, elbows, forearm strikes, knees and foot stomps. He incorporated takedowns in the first and second rounds but spent the vast majority of his energy on the feet, bombarding Powell’s head, body and legs.

The loss snapped Powell’s six-fight winning streak.

Split Decision Sends Mendes Past Saenz

MMA Lab export Augusto Mendes rebounded from his first professional defeat, as he eked out a split verdict over onetime King of the Cage champion Frankie Saenz in a three-round undercard scrap at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Mendes (6-1, 1-1 UFC).

Both men had their moments, and both appeared close to authoring finishes. Mendes staggered the Fight Ready standout with clean punches in all three rounds, all while integrating a few strategic takedowns. However, the former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion did not escape unscathed. Saenz (11-5, 3-3 UFC) floored him with a short standing elbow in the clinch in the second round and tested his resolve at various other points. In the end, the decision went to the Brazilian.

Saenz, 36, has lost three fights in a row after a 3-0 start to his UFC career.

Mounted Oleineik Taps Pesta

M-1 Global veteran Alexey Oleynik submitted Viktor Pesta with a first-round Ezekiel choke in preliminary heavyweight matchup. Pesta (10-4, 1-4 UFC) tapped 2:57 into Round 1, his losing streak now at three and his place on the UFC roster tenuous at best.

Pesta secured a takedown inside the first 90 seconds, peppered the Russian grappler with ground-and-pound and advanced to full mount. He had merely fallen into Oleynik’s trap. The 39-year-old snaked his arms into place from the bottom, tightened his squeeze and completed an improbable submission.

It was the first successful Ezekiel choke in UFC history. A replacement for the injured Damian Grabowski, Oleynik (51-10-1, 3-1 UFC) has rattled off 12 wins in his last 13 appearances.

Martin Breaks Cup, Prevails Over White

Team Sityodtong rep Tony Martin won for the third time in four outings, as he captured a unanimous decision from Alex White in a three-round undercard encounter at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Martin (11-3, 3-3 UFC).

A replacement for the injured Erik Koch, White (11-3, 2-3 UFC) failed to maintain a safe distance between himself and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt. Martin neutralized the Columbia, Missouri, native with clinches and takedowns, applying his ground-and-pound and fishing for submissions whenever the action spilled onto the mat. He spent the final five minutes frustrating White in close quarters, barely allowing him enough space to breathe along the cage.

Martin Smothers Replacement White Team Sityodtong rep Tony Martin won for the third time in four outings, as he captured a unanimous decision from Alex White in a three-round undercard encounter at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Martin (11-3, 3-3 UFC).

A replacement for the injured Erik Koch, White (11-3, 2-3 UFC) failed to maintain a safe distance between himself and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt. Martin neutralized the Columbia, Missouri, native with clinches and takedowns, applying his ground-and-pound and fishing for submissions whenever the action spilled onto the mat. He spent the final five minutes frustrating White in close quarters, barely allowing him enough space to breathe along the cage.

Ansaroff Choke Subdues Jones-Lybarger Nina Ansaroff submitted former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger with a third-round rear-naked choke in their undercard pairing at 115 pounds. Jones-Lybarger (6-4, 0-3 UFC) conceded defeat 3:39 into Round 3, as she suffered her third consecutive setback.

Ansaroff (7-5, 1-2 UFC) executed a tide-shifting takedown in the first round but hit her stride in the second. There, she swept Jones-Lybarger off her feet with a brutal calf kick, assumed top position and flowed from full mount to the back, threatening with submissions while she worked. The scene repeated itself in the third. Ansaroff again achieved full mount, shifted to the back and cinched the choke for the tapout.

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

Resurgent Harris Blasts Sherman

American Top Team’s Walt Harris put away Chase Sherman with a sensational multi-strike combination in the second round of their preliminary heavyweight tilt. Sherman (9-3, 0-2 UFC) packed his bags 2:41 into Round 2.

Christensen Uppercut Short Circuits Sherman

Harris (9-5, 2-4 UFC) had the Mississippi native reeling in the first round before an inadvertent low blow stymied his momentum. The 33-year-old was undeterred. He battered Sherman with heavy punches to start the middle stanza, engaged him in the center of the cage and then delivered a knee strike-right hook-straight left combo that dropped the Duke Roufus protégé where he stood. Harris polished off the clean finish with a standing-to-ground hammerfist.

Former Superior Challenge champion Joachim Christensen knocked out Bohan Mihajlovic with a jarring uppercut in the third round of their undercard battle at 205 pounds. Christensen (14-4, 1-1 UFC) brought it to a close 2:05 into Round 3.

Mihajlovic (10-5, 0-2 UFC) was ineffective in every phase. Christensen undressed him with straight punches from distance and did business in the clinch, where he snapped back the Serbian judoka’s head with a series of knee strikes and short uppercuts. He appeared to be ticketed for a clear-cut unanimous decision before he connected with a right uppercut that sent Mihajlovic crashing to the mat in the third round, his head resting against the fence. A few follow-up punches from Christensen forced the stoppage.

Asker Blows Out Smoilakov Cyril Asker disposed of Dmitri Smoliakov with first-round punches in their preliminary heavyweight affair. Smoliakov (8-2, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:41 into Round 1.

Asker (8-2, 1-1 UFC) entertained the Russian with a few standup exchanges before executing a takedown and climbing to full mount. Smoliakov offered no meaningful defense from his back. Asker pushed him to the fence and let loose with unanswered punches, hammerfists and elbows until the referee had seen enough.

The 31-year-old Asker has won six of his last seven bouts.

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