Ryan LaFlare stayed undefeated at UFC on Fox 9. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Ryan LaFlare climbed another rung on the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight ladder.
LaFlare landed in volume with power, precision and variety, as he registered a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 winner Court McGee at UFC on Fox 9 “Johnson vs. Benavidez 2” on Saturday at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif. All three judges scored it the same: 29-28 for LaFlare (10-0, 3-0 UFC).
McGee (16-4, 5-3 UFC) set the former Ring of Combat champion on rubbery legs with a left hook in the first round and made a strong closing argument with a takedown and ground-and-pound late in the third. However, LaFlare’s sustained attack took its toll. He was at his best in the second round, where he ripped into “The Crusher” with multi-strike combinations, scored with a takedown and opened a diagonal cut above McGree’s right eye with effective ground-and-pound.
Barboza Weathers Barrage, Decisions Castillo
Former Ring of Combat champion Edson Barboza survived a near-finish to pick up a majority decision against Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo in a wild preliminary lightweight confrontation. Two of the three judges saw it 29-28 for Barboza; a third ruled it a 28-28 draw.
Castillo (16-6, 6-3 UFC) had the muay Thai stylist reeling in the first round, where he cracked Barboza with a three-punch barrage, moved to full mount, fished for a rear-naked choke and unleashed some hellacious ground-and-pound. Though battered and bloodied, Barboza refused to wilt.
In the second round, the momentum shifted on the strength of Barboza’s trademark leg kicks. They stopped Castillo in his tracks and set up a wicked left hook that sent “Last Call” to the canvas in a dazed state. Barboza (13-1, 7-1 UFC) pounced and threatened his adversary with an anaconda choke. He, too, could not finish, and the bout advanced to a third round. There, the Brazilian doubled over Castillo with a vicious spinning back kick to the body and resumed his assault on the Californian’s legs.
Makovsky Announces Arrival, Stuns Jorgensen
Former Bellator MMA titleholder and reigning Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Zach Makovsky made an instant splash in the Octagon, as he cruised to a unanimous decision over Scott Jorgensen in a preliminary flyweight affair. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Makovsky (17-4, 1-0 UFC), who replaced the injured John Dodson on short notice.
Jorgensen (14-8, 3-4 UFC) never seemed to find a rhythm. Makovsky rattled him with a pair of left hands in the first round and kept him off-balance with various kicks.
Jorgensen fished for his patented guillotine choke in the second, but it was not to be and the missed opportunity proved costly. Makovsky did some of his best work in round three, where he advanced to full mount and ultimately transitioned to Jorgensen’s back in the final minute.
Stout Dominates, Outpoints McKenzie
A superior standup game spurred Sam Stout to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 quarterfinalist Cody McKenzie in a preliminary lightweight clash. Stout (20-9-1, 9-8 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27 marks.
McKenzie (14-4, 3-4 UFC) struck for a takedown early in the first round and threatened with a leg lock late in the third. In between, Stout dominated the standing exchanges with punches and kicks, many of them to the body. He knocked down the Alaskan with a stiff right hand to the solar plexus inside the first five minutes and never looked back, putting his skilled hands and feet to optimum use.
Trujillo Overwhelms Overmatched Bowling
Blackzilians representative Abel Trujillo dispatched Strikeforce alum Roger Bowling with a violent volley of second-round punches in their undercard battle at 155 pounds. Trujillo (11-5, 2-1 UFC) drew it to a close 1:35 into round two.
Bowling (11-5, 0-1 UFC) was on his heels from the start. Trujillo drilled him with power punches to the head and knees to the body, all while mixing in takedowns and ground-and-pound. In the second round, the 30-year-old Greensboro, N.C., native put Bowling on the canvas and cracked him with a pair of right hands. Bowling staggered to his feet, only to be met with a knee to the chest and more punches from his aggressive opponent. By then, referee “Big” John McCarthy had seen enough.
Debuting Ozkilic Downs Uyenoyama
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and effective counterpunching carried Turkish newcomer Alp Ozkilic to a split verdict over Shooto, Strikeforce and Dream veteran Darren Uyenoyama in a preliminary flyweight scrap. Two of the three cageside judges scored it for Ozkilic by 30-27 and 29-28 counts; a third cast a dissenting 29-28 nod in Uyenoyama’s favor.
Ozkilic (9-1, 1-0 UFC), who replaced an injured John Moraga on short notice, featured a stout jab and a heavy right hand throughout the 15-minute encounter. While he maintained an active guard, Uyenoyama (8-5, 2-2 UFC) spent too much time on his back, either put there by Ozkilic takedowns or driven there by his own decision to retreat.