Andre Fili stunned Gabriel Benitez with a head kick. | Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty/UFC
Andre Fili took the shin-to-skull path to his latest victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s featherweight division.
Team Alpha Male’s Fili wiped out Gabriel Benitez with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches at UFC Fight Night “Magny vs. Gastelum” on Saturday at the Monterrey Arena in Monterrey, Mexico. Wrapped in the arms of referee John McCarthy, Benitez (18-5, 2-1 UFC) wilted 3:13 into round one, his run of four consecutive wins at an end.
Fili (15-3, 3-2 UFC) weathered some serious kicks to the legs and body, along with a few straight lefts upstairs. He staggered Benitez with a head kick, followed it with a takedown and then reset once the American Kickboxing Academy representative returned to his feet. Fili later backed him towards the cage, delivered another head kick and finished it with a burst of rights and lefts.
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Emotional Perez Upends LapilusAlliance MMA’s Erik Perez made the necessary mid- to late-fight adjustments in claiming a unanimous decision over promising Frenchman Taylor Lapilus in a preliminary bantamweight match. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Perez (15-6, 5-2 UFC), who has rattled of 10 wins across his last 12 starts.
Lapilus (10-2, 2-1 UFC) mixed his punches with kicks and countered beautifully throughout a competitive first round, giving “El Goyito” few openings with which to work. Perez withstood an attempted guillotine choke early in the second, assumed top position and slowly turned the tide in his favor. He pushed a pace Lapilus could not much in round three, where he landed a key takedown and salted away the victory with an active top game and some ground-and-pound.
The defeat halted a five-fight winning streak for Lapilus, who replaced the injured Damian Stasiak on short notice.
Fabinski Grinds Down Urbina
Repeated takedowns, suffocating top control and elbow-laced ground-and-pound carried Bartosz Fabinski to a unanimous decision over Hector Urbina in their three-round undercard tilt at 170 pounds. Fabinksi (13-2, 2-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 nods from the judges.
Urbina (17-9-1, 1-1 UFC) failed to keep a safe distance between himself and the grind-minded Pole. Fabinski struck for takedowns in all three rounds, camped out in his counterpart’s guard and punished him with elbows, short punches and forearm strikes. The scene repeated itself over and over again throughout the 15-minute bout, much to the chagrin of the pro-Urbina crowd. Urbina also suffered a gruesome gash on his left eyelid, the result of an inadvertent second-round head butt.
The 29-year-old Fabinski has won six in a row.
Perez Deals Jorgensen Another Defeat
“The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” Season 1 winner Alejandro Perez was awarded a second-round technical knockout when Scott Jorgensen tapped out due to a leg injury. Jorgensen (15-12, 4-8 UFC) bowed out 4:26 into round two.
Perez (16-6, 2-1 UFC) zeroed in on the World Extreme Cagefighting veteran’s lower leg with a series of kicks, one of which resulted in the injury in the closing seconds of the first round. Jorgensen spent the rest of the fight compromised, as he stumbled awkwardly around the cage, unable to put any weight on his leg. The pain eventually became too much to bear.
Jorgensen, 33, has lost eight of his last 10 bouts.
Herrera Executes Quick Stoppage
Jackson-Wink MMA export Alvaro Herrera knocked out fellow Octagon rookie Vernon Ramos with a three-punch combination in the first round of their undercard tilt at 170 pounds. Ramos (3-1, 0-1 UFC) met his end 30 seconds into round one.
Herrera (9-3, 1-0 UFC) waited for an opportunity to present itself and capitalized on it. The 25-year-old blasted Ramos with a left hook, right uppercut and finishing right cross that put the Panamanian face-down on the mat. No follow-up shots were necessary, as referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough.
Reyes Left Hook Zaps Arzamendia
Alliance MMA rep Polo Reyes cut down Cesar Arzamendia with first-round punches in a preliminary lightweight affair. Reyes (4-1, 1-0 UFC) brought it to a close 3:42 into round one.
Arzamendia (7-2, 0-1 UFC) controlled much of the fight with repeated takedowns and knees to the body in close quarters. Reyes ate one of those knees in the clinch, separated the Paraguayan’s grip and sent him crashing to the canvas with a clean left hook on the break. A few dive-bomb hammerfists forced referee Mario Yamasaki to call for the stoppage.
The loss snapped Arzamendia’s two-fight winning streak.
Powerhouse Prazeres Nips Lazaro
Michel Richard Cunha dos Prazeres posted his third win in four outings, as he took a contentious split decision from Nova Uniao’s Valmir Lazaro in a three-round undercard clash at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Prazeres (19-2, 3-2 UFC).
Prazeres paired winging power punches -- some of which landed, many of which did not -- with occasional takedowns but offered little else in terms of meaningful offense. Lazaro (13-4, 1-2) worked behind a stabbing jab and kicks to the upper and lower leg of his opponent. The 30-year-old also rendered Prazeres ineffective in the clinch and shut down the majority of his takedown attempts, forcing him to pull guard and retreat to his back on more than one occasion. Still, the judges sided with Prazeres.