Alexander Yakovlev prolonged the misery for Gray Maynard.
Yakovlev leaned on crisp punching combinations, opportunistic takedowns and a near-finish in the second round, as he claimed a unanimous decision from Maynard at UFC Fight Night “Mendes vs. Lamas” on Saturday at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Maynard (11-5-1, 9-5-1 UFC), who twice fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown, has suffered four consecutive defeats.
A three-time NCAA All-American wrestler, Maynard delivered takedowns in the first and second rounds but failed to consolidate them with damage on the ground. In the second round, Yakovlev (22-6-1, 1-2 UFC) sent the Xtreme Couture rep to the canvas with a straight left hand, sprawled out of desperate takedowns and swarmed with punches. Maynard survived but never fully recovered. Yakovlev polished off the 35-year-old Phoenix native with a takedown and some ground-and-pound late in round three.
Carmouche Halts Two-Fight Skid
Liz Carmouche snapped a two-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision over former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Lauren Murphy in a preliminary women’s bantamweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Carmouche (10-5, 2-3 UFC).
Murphy (8-2, 0-2 UFC) spent a majority of her time grinding on the Team Hurricane Awesome export in the clinch but did not exact much of a physical toll in close quarters, as her punches and knees lacked real steam. Carmouche countered effectively throughout the 15-minute bout and secured a pair of third-round takedowns, posting her first victory in almost two years.
Johnson Wins Eighth Straight
North Dakota-based Minnesotan Timothy Johnson disposed of Shamil Abdurahimov with ground-and-pound from the mount in the first round of their heavyweight scrap. Abdurakhimov (15-3, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:57 into round one.
Johnson (9-1, 1-0 UFC) marched forward, chipped away with punches and slowly wore down his counterpart. Abdurakhimov scored with straight punches, many of them while moving backward, but a point deduction for grabbing the fence seemed to disrupt his rhythm. Johnson countered a kick in the waning moments of round one, executed a takedown in the center of the cage, advanced immediately to mount and dropped unanswered rights and lefts until the stoppage was called.
The 30-year-old Johnson has won eight fights in a row.
Stallings Outguns ‘Lazy Bones’ Jones
Ron Stallings threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak, as he took a unanimous decision from former King of the Cage champion Justin Jones in an undercard clash at 185 pounds. A Lloyd Irvin protégé, Stallings (13-7, 1-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 marks.
Jones (3-2, 0-2 UFC) was outgunned on the feet. Stallings set the tone with a pair of body kicks in the first round, the second of which had the Californian ducking for cover. Jones spent much of his time fishing for takedowns and bullying his way into the clinch, but he was largely ineffective at close range. Stallings put the finishing touches on the victory with a strong third round, where he utilized body-head punching combinations, a damaging muay Thai clinch in the center of the cage and punishing kicks at all levels.