With one savage blow, Daniel Hooker got the attention of Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweights everywhere.
Hooker (12-5, 2-1 UFC) knocked out former Shooto and Sengoku titleholder Hatsu Hioki with a second-round head kick and follow-up punches at UFC Fight Night “Hunt vs. Miocic” on Saturday at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Hioki, who had never before been stopped by strikes, met his end 4:13 into round two.
Hioki buckled the 25-year-old Kiwi with a right hand in the first round, executed a takedown and climbed to full mount. Hooker responded by springing a reversal off the cage, letting the Japanese veteran know he had no plans to go quietly. Hioki struck for another takedown inside the first minute of round two and again failed to corral the underdog on the canvas. After the two featherweights returned to their feet, Hooker blasted Hioki with a left high kick and then connected on a pair of right hands that left him face down and unconscious on the mat.
Noke Outpoints Prospect Webb
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 quarterfinalist Kyle Noke spoiled the organizational debut of highly touted prospect Jonavin Webb, as he eked out a split decision over the onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder in a preliminary welterweight contest. Two of the three cageside judges -- Barry Foley and Charlie Keech -- sided with Noke by matching 29-28 marks; a third, Christopher Shen, cast a dissenting 30-27 nod in Webb’s favor.
A replacement for the injured Andreas Stahl, Webb (8-1, 0-1 UFC) hit the ground running in his first UFC appearance. The 26-year-old struck for takedowns in each of the first two rounds and attacked his Australian counterpart with various submission attempts, from an Achilles’ lock to a calf slicer. Noke (21-7-1, 5-3 UFC) enjoyed the majority of his success on the feet and during an extended second-round exchange in which he reversed into top position and let loose with kicks to the legs and ground-and-pound.
The outcome appeared to boil down to round three, where Noke stayed busy with his hands and kicks. More importantly, he stayed off the ground and outside of Webb’s wheelhouse.
Rawlings Choke Finishes Ellis
Alliance MMA’s Bec Rawlings submitted Bellator MMA veteran Lisa Ellis with a first-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary women’s strawweight pairing. A replacement for the injured Seo Hee Ham, Ellis (15-10, 0-2 UFC) asked out of the match 4:09 into round one.
Rawlings (6-4, 1-1 UFC) weathered an early takedown and armbar attempt from the United Training Center rep. She later trapped Ellis along the fence and blasted away with clinch knees and punches that had the 32-year-old diving at her feet. Rawlings moved to the back, cinched the choke and forced the stoppage.
Ellis has lost five of her past six bouts.
Scott Guillotine Dispatches AndrewsBrad Scott recorded his eighth win in 10 outings, as he tapped Dylan Andrews with a second-round guillotine choke in an undercard tilt at 185 pounds. Andrews (17-7, 2-3 UFC) conceded defeat 4:54 into round two, suffering his first submission loss since November 2010.
Andrews dropped the Englishman twice with right uppercuts in the first round but could not finish the job. In round two, Scott (10-3, 2-2 UFC) jumped into top position after “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 finalist ducked his punches, snatched a guillotine in a scramble and rolled into a mounted position for the tapout.
The 35-year-old Andrews has lost three fights in a row, all of them finishes.
Chambers Armbar Submits Curran
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 20 graduate Alex Chambers submitted Kailin Curran with a third-round armbar in a preliminary women’s strawweight affair. Chambers (5-2, 1-1 UFC) brought it to a close 3:15 into round three, winning for the third time in four appearances.
Curran (3-2, 0-2 UFC) led for most of the match, as she overwhelmed her Australian adversary with volume striking. Jabs, crosses, leg kicks and knees were all part of her attack, as she seemed to cruise to a two-rounds-to-none advantage. In the third round, Curran landed a double-leg takedown and was immediately met with a kimura lock from the bottom. The Hawaiian freed herself from Chambers’ initial advances but wandered into the fight-ending armbar. Before long, surrender became her only option.
Tenacious O’Reilly Outduels Grujic
Brendan O'Reilly rode strong bookend rounds to a unanimous decision over the reeling Vik Grujic in a three-round undercard battle at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for O’Reilly (6-1, 1-1 UFC).
O’Reilly was at his best in the first round, where he grounded his fellow Aussie twice, threatened with a topside kimura from half guard and ultimately achieved full mount. Grujic (6-5, 1-3 UFC) answered in round two, as he smashed away at his counterpart in the clinch, executed a late takedown, advanced to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt’s back and fished for a rear-naked choke until the horn sounded. O’Reilly survived, and his tenacity paid dividends.
In the third round, Grujic appeared to run out of steam. O’Reilly utilized clinch knees along the fence and delivered a pair of key takedowns to leave his stamp on his first UFC victory.
Newcomer Nguyen Stops Ozkilic
Promotional newcomer Ben Nguyen disposed of Alptekin Ozkilic with first-round punches in a preliminary flyweight clash. Ozkilic (9-4, 1-3 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:59 into round one, as he suffered his second consecutive defeat.
Nguyen (14-5, 1-0 UFC) stayed in the Turkish wrestler’s face with punches, withstood his one successful takedown and made the most of his chances on the feet. There, in the closing seconds of the first round, the Octagon rookie floored Ozkilic with a short left hook and forced the stoppage with a follow-up burst of standing-to-ground punches.
The 26-year-old Nguyen has rattled off eight straight wins.