Pedro Munhoz made the move from Kings MMA to American Top Team and did not skip a beat in the cross-country switch.
The former Resurrection Fighting Alliance titleholder put his third consecutive victory in the books and continued to climb the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight ladder with a unanimous decision over Damian Stasiak in the featured UFC Fight Night 109 “Gustafsson vs. Teixeira” prelim on Sunday at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. All three judges sided with Munhoz (14-2): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Stasiak (10-4) scored with his share of strikes and showed a particular affinity for the spinning back kick to the body. However, he could not match the Brazilian’s aggression. Munhoz moved forward and gradually wore down the Polish karateka with multi-punch bursts upstairs and kicks to the head, body and legs. The 30-year-old punctuated his latest conquest with a strong third round, where he drove into top position and wrenched Stasiak to the canvas with one takedown after another.
Smith Outhustles Reeling Camozzi
Repeated takedowns and damaging ground-and-pound carried Arizona Combat Sports standout Trevor Smith to a lopsided unanimous decision over Chris Camozzi in a preliminary middleweight confrontation. A fill-in for the injured Magnus Cedenblad, Smith (15-7) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 marks from the judges.
Camozzi (24-13) looked lost. Smith closed the distance, drew him into clinches and recorded takedowns in all three rounds. He operated effectively in full guard, half guard and side control, while he also transitioned to the back and advanced to full mount. Smith was at his best in the middle stanza, where he opened a cut on “The Ultimate Fighter 11” alum’s left brow with a short elbow strike from top position.
The 30-year-old Camozzi finds himself on a three-fight losing streak, his spot on the UFC roster having grown tenuous.
Undefeated Silva Edges Madadi
“The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” Season 4 semifinalist Joaquim Silva kept his perfect professional record intact with a split decision over Reza Madadi in a three-round undercard battle at 155 pounds. All three judges struck 29-28 scorecards, two of them siding with the undefeated Silva (10-0).
A replacement for the injured Mairbek Taisumov, Madadi (14-6) enjoyed success with max-effort power punches, takedowns and top control. However, his pace appeared to slow down the stretch, allowing Silva to turn the tide in his favor. The Brazilian fired away with sharp punching combinations, knocked an off-balance Madadi to the canvas with a counter right hand in the third round and advanced to the Sweden-based Iranian’s back. Silva later shut down two “Mad Dog” takedowns, scrambled into top position and applied his ground -and-pound.
Madadi, 38, has lost four times in his past six appearances.
Velickovic Spoils Musoke Return
Former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Bojan Velickovic cut down Nicholas Musoke with punches in the third round of their preliminary welterweight encounter. In his first fight in more than two years, Musoke (13-5) hit the deck 4:37 into Round 3.
Two closely contested rounds gave way to the third. The two welterweights exchanged in single strikes on the feet, as neither man showed a willingness to give ground. Velickovic (15-4-1) clipped the Tristar Gym-trained Swede with a counter right hook to the temple that had him dancing all over the cage on wobbly legs. Musoke collapsed under the pressure of a follow-up attack, ate another shot while defenseless on his back and required the assistance of referee Kevin Sataki.
The 31-year-old Musoke has lost three of his last four fights.
Unbeaten Till Bests Ayari
Undefeated muay Thai stylist Darren Till made a triumphant return, as he captured a three-round unanimous decision from Jessin Ayari in an undercard tilt at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Till (14-0-1): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-27. It marked his first appearance inside the Octagon since October 2015.
Ayari (16-4) was game but overmatched. Till -- who missed weight for the bout by five pounds -- staggered him on several occasions with counter left hands and tore into his body with a series of crushing kicks. However, the 24-year-old Liverpool, England, native did perhaps his best work when the action spilled onto the mat. There, he punished Ayari with grinding forearms, hammerfists and short punches.
The loss snapped a seven-fight winning streak for Ayari.
Hazdovic Knee KOs Held
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship veteran Damir Hazdovic knocked out Marcin Held with an exquisitely executed knee strike in the third round of their preliminary lightweight pairing. Hazdovic (11-3) brought it to a close seven seconds into Round 3, as he won for the seventh time in eight appearances.
Held (22-7) was in complete control for two rounds. The Polish leg lock connoisseur executed repeated takedowns, floated from full guard and half guard to side control and full mount, made smooth transitions to the back and threatened with chokes. At the start of the final frame, Hazdovic moved backward, caught Held rolling for a leg lock and drilled him with a front-leg knee to the temple for a shocking finish.
The 25-year-old Held at 0-3 remains winless in the UFC.