Aljamain Sterling passed another stern test in the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight division.
The former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder submitted Johnny Eduardo with a second-round guillotine choke at UFC Fight Night “Namajunas vs. VanZant” on Thursday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Eduardo (27-10, 2-2 UFC) conceded defeat 4:18 into round two, his two-fight winning streak at an end.
Sterling (12-0, 4-0 UFC) methodically chipped away at the Nova Uniao-trained Brazilian with takedowns, ground-and-pound and front kicks to the body. The surging Serra-Longo Fight Team prospect snatched a single-leg takedown in the second round, softened Eduardo with ground-and-pound -- elbows, punches and hammerfists all landed -- and took the guillotine, moving to a mounted position for the tapout.
Means Hook KOs Howard
Former King of the Cage champion Tim Means delivered an exquisite one-punch knockout against John Howard in the second round of their undercard tussle at 170 pounds. Howard (23-12, 7-7 UFC) hit the canvas as stiff as a board 21 seconds into round two.
Working behind a four-inch reach and five-inch height advantage, Means tuned up “Doomsday” with volume and precision in the first round. His success on the feet helped offset three Howard takedowns. Lightning struck in round two. There, Means angled away from the onetime Ring of Combat titleholder, detonated a short left hook and added a hammerfist on the supine Howard for good measure.
Means, 31, has won five of his past six bouts.
Replacement Moraes Stuns Akhmedov
Multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Sergio Moraes disposed of Jackson-Wink MMA representative Omari Akhmedov with third-round punches in a preliminary welterweight duel. A fill-in for the injured Lyman Good, Moraes (10-2, 4-1 UFC) sealed it 2:18 into round three.
Akhmedov (15-3, 3-2 UFC) appeared to have two-rounds-to-none lead entering the final five minutes, as he knocked down the Brazilian with an overhand right in the first round and executed a takedown late in the second. In between, he mixed power punches with kicks to the legs and body. Moraes stood his ground, clipped him with a clean right cross midway through the third round and polished off his latest victory with a violent burst of rights and lefts.
The 33-year-old Moraes has quietly pieced together a four-fight winning streak.
Carlos Jr.-Casey Ends in No-Contest
An undercard encounter at 185 pounds between former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Kevin Casey and “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” Season 3 winner Antonio Carlos Jr. resulted in a no-contest because of an accidental eye poke. Casey (9-3, 1-1 UFC) informed the cageside physician he could not see out of his right eye, leading to an immediate stoppage.
The end came 11 seconds into round one following the foul by Carlos Jr. (5-1, 2-1 UFC).
Ponzinibbio Blasts Through Stahl
American Top Team’s Santiago Ponzinibbio put away Andreas Stahl with first-round punches in a preliminary welterweight affair. Ponzinibbio (21-3, 3-2 UFC) brought it to a close 4:25 into round one, as he posted his 10th win in 12 appearances.
Stahl (9-2, 0-2 UFC) was never competitive. He completed two takedowns but failed to consolidate them with damage. On the feet, he was no match for the Argentinian. Ponzinibbio tore into him with leg kicks and clean punching combinations, forcing him to cover up more than once. Late in the first round, Ponzinibbio floored the Swede with a right cross and prompted referee Herb Dean to act with follow-up punches.
Roberts Triangle Finishes Coy
Blackzilians export Danny Roberts choked Nathan Coy unconscious with a first-round triangle choke in an undercard tilt at 170 pounds. A replacement for injured American Top Team stablemate Michael Graves, Coy (14-6, 0-1 UFC) lost consciousness 2:46 into round one.
Roberts (12-1, 1-0 UFC) surrendered a takedown to the NCAA All-American wrestler, lured him into his guard and snatched the triangle before Coy could react. A brief struggle ensued, but the choke took hold and yielded its desired result.
The 28-year-old Roberts has won six fights in a row.
Streaking Tukhugov Outpoints Nover
Tiger Muay Thai’s Zubaira Tukhugov recorded his ninth straight win, as he took a split decision from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 finalist Phillipe Nover in a preliminary featherweight clash. Scores were 29-28 for Nover, 30-27 and 30-27 for Tukhugov.
Tukhugov (18-3, 3-0 UFC) controlled the range and pace, countered effectively and cut loose with wild punching flurries when the mood struck. Nover (11-6-1, 1-4 UFC) struggled with output but attacked the body and arms with a series of kicks that took some of the steam out of his opponent’s shots. However, his inability to string together meaningful offense proved costly on the scorecards.
Curran Choke Submits Kagan
Kailin Curran submitted Jackson-Wink MMA rep Emily Kagan with a second-round rear-naked choke in a women’s undercard battle at 115 pounds. Curran (4-2, 1-2 UFC) finished it 4:13 into round two, brought to immediate tears by her first taste of victory inside the Octagon.
Kagan (3-3, 0-2 UFC) ran the Hawaiian through a labyrinth of clinches and left hands for much of the match. Curran countered a takedown into top position late in the second round, advanced to the back and cinched the choke for the tapout.