Three years of inactivity didn’t bother veteran Vinc Pichel as he took out Damien Brown in the opening round of the featured UFC Fight Night 110 “Hunt vs. Lewis” preliminary bout in New Zealand on Saturday.
Brown began the fight by avoiding virtually everything “From Hell” threw at him and was in control of the action. Pichel continuously tried to make it a brawl on the inside, but Brown stuck to his gameplan and it was paying off. However, when the Californian was backed into the cage during an exchange, “Beatdown” charged in recklessly and paid for it. Pichel threw a left hook and then deposited a wicked right uppercut square on the Aussie’s jaw, dropping him to his knees.
From there, Pichel swarmed him with a flurry of punches while his woozy foe tried to recover. Pichel was relentless and teed off on him with nonstop punches to the head, prompting referee Mark Craig to intervene. The stoppage came 3:37 into the opening frame of the brawl, reigniting the MMA career of Pichel, who reportedly had been contemplating retirement.
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Moraga Dominates Mokhtarian
Flyweight contender John Moraga has had his share of highs and lows inside the Octagon but on Saturday, he was determined to save off the hard-charging Ashkan Mokhtarian’s Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.
Moraga nullified everything “The Assassin” tried and out-grappled him on the ground. Moraga threatened with a cornucopia of submissions, from various chokes to armbars, but Mokhtarian was able to fend them all off. Though he never finished his foe, Moraga won a hideously lopsided unanimous decision; the judges saw it in his favor 30-27 (twice) and 30-25.
Ottow Edges Kunimoto
Though he didn’t show any signs of cage rust after having been out of action for more than two years, Japan’s Kiichi Kunimoto took too long to solve the riddle that was Zak Ottow.
Kunimoto never got into a rhythm as he was controlled on his feet and on the canvas for the first two rounds. Though “The Barbarian” never truly hurt Kunimoto, there was no denying who was ahead going into the final round. Kunimoto went for broke in the third and eventually seized the American’s back and threatened with a rear-naked choke, but “Strasser” couldn’t sink it. Kunimoto’s rally nearly got him the win, however, but he came up just short. Ottow was awarded a split decision win by margins of 29-28 (twice) and 28-29.
Aldrich Denies Jeon
In the lone bout on UFC Fight Pass thanks to the Thibault Gouti - Dong Hyun Kim bout falling apart at the last minute, J.J. Aldrich looked sharp in toppling South Korea’s Chan-Mi Jeon.
Aldrich, who hails from Colorado, used superb footwork and head movement to out-strike the 19-year-old from the outside. Jeon had success when she goaded there American into wild exchanges, but for the most part, Aldrich was focused enough to stick to her gameplan. In the end, Aldrich was given the win via unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 across the board.