Reza Madadi rallied to stop Michael Johnson in the final round. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
No one will ever question Reza Madadi’s resilience.
Nearly finished by a first-round head kick, Madadi stormed back to submit “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 finalist Michael Johnson with a brabo choke at UFC on Fuel TV 9 “Mousasi vs. Latifi” on Saturday at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. Madadi (13-3, 2-1) finished it 1:33 into round three, as he won for the eighth time in nine appearances.
Johnson (12-8, 4-4 UFC) had his chance, and it was a golden one. The 26-year-old Blackzilians representative blasted Madadi with a shin to the face late in the first round and swarmed for the stoppage. The Sweden-based Iranian somehow survived, pushing the fight deeper.
Madadi turned the tide with takedowns and strong topside grappling in the second round, as Johnson began to fade. In the third, the “Mad Dog” delivered another takedown and framed up a brabo choke for the submission.
Troeng Choke Finishes Cella
Tor Troeng coaxed a tapout from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 castmate Adam Cella with a first-round rear-naked choke in an undercard tilt at 185 pounds. Cella (4-1, 0-1 UFC) submitted to the choke 3:11 into round one.
Troeng (16-4-1, 1-0 UFC) struck for a takedown, dodged a few upkicks and settled into the American’s guard. He transitioned smoothly to Cella’s back, secured one hook and then another and went to work on the finish. Troeng softened up his opponent with punches, cinched the choke and brought the match to a decisive conclusion, much to the delight of his fellow Swedes.
Amagov Outduels Fellow Strikeforce Alum Spang
Low kicks and timely takedowns carried Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Adlan Amagov to a unanimous decision over Las Vegas-based Swede Chris Spang in a preliminary welterweight duel. Amagov (12-2-1, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards by matching 30-27 marks, as he won for the sixth time in his last seven appearances.
Spang (5-2, 0-1 UFC) never established an offensive foothold in the bout. Amagov attacked his legs and body, all while keeping him off-balance with a wide array of flashy spinning techniques. The 28-year-old Chechen also mixed in takedowns at opportune times and polished off his victory with a suplex late in the third round.
Irish Prospect McGregor Smashes Brimage
Former two-division Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Conor McGregor dazzled in his promotional debut, as he wiped out American Top Team’s Marcus Brimage with a series of savage first round uppercuts in a featherweight encounter. Brimage (6-2, 3-1 UFC) met his end a mere 67 seconds into round one.
McGregor (13-2, 1-0 UFC) got down to business in a hurry. The promising 24-year-old Irishman wobbled Brimage with an uppercut and then floored him with two more. A torrent of thunderous blows followed, leaving referee Robert Sundel no choice but to intervene. McGregor has finished his last nine opponents, seven of them inside one round.
LaFlare Grounds, Outpoints Alloway
Former Ring of Combat champion Ryan LaFlare enjoyed a successful Octagon debut, as he cruised to a unanimous verdict over “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” semifinalist Ben Alloway in an undercard clash at 170 pounds. LaFlare (8-0, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27 marks, as he went the distance for the first time as a professional.
The 29-year-old LaFlare fed his foe a steady diet of takedowns and top control. He grounded Alloway (12-4, 1-1 UFC) in all three rounds, dodged the Australian’s submission attempts and worked diligently to pass guard. The defeat snapped Alloway’s six-fight winning streak.
Lawlor Guillotine Submits Kuiper
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 alum Tom Lawlor submitted Michael Kuiper with a second-round guillotine choke in a preliminary middleweight matchup. Kuiper (12-2, 1-2 UFC) conceded defeat 65 seconds into round two.
Lawlor (9-5, 5-4 UFC) overcome a one-sided first round in which he appeared to suffer a knee injury. Kuiper controlled the frame with sprawls, repeated takedowns and late ground-and-pound. In round two, the Dutch judoka moved in for another takedown, only to find himself trapped in Lawlor’s patented guillotine. The tapout followed soon after.
Abedi Nabs Split Verdict
Takedowns, top control and occasional ground-and-pound spurred Congolese judo black belt Papy Abedi to a split decision over Besam Yousef at 170 pounds. All three judges arrived at 29-28 scores, two of them siding with Abedi (9-2, 1-2 UFC).
The 34-year-old Abedi did his best work in the first round, as he delivered a pair of takedowns, grinded on the grounded Yousef (6-2, 0-2 UFC) with elbows and punches and attacked with thudding knees from the clinch.
From there, the tide seemed to turn in Yousef’s favor. The 28-year-old stunned Abedi with an uppercut in the second round, answered his opponent’s takedowns with a few of his own and executed well in the clinch in the third. Still, his retorts were not enough to alter the verdict, as Abedi enjoyed the sweet taste of victory for the first time since October 2010.