UFC 246 Prelims: Roxanne Modafferi Springs Upset on Previously Unbeaten Maycee Barber

By Brian Knapp Jan 18, 2020
The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 246 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Never count out Roxanne Modafferi.

The Syndicate MMA standout leaned on takedowns, positional control and heavy ground-and-pound, as she upset the previously unbeaten and heavily favored Maycee Barber by unanimous decision in the featured UFC 246 prelim on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Modafferi (24-16, 3-4 UFC) was awarded 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 nods from the judges.

Barber (8-1, 3-1 UFC) spent much of the first round pinned beneath “The Happy Warrior,” but her situation took an ominous turn in the second. After absorbing a Modafferi jab, the 21-year-old Roufusport prospect’s left knee appeared to buckle underneath her. Modafferi moved into top position, sliced open the stricken Roufusport export with a well-placed elbow strike that had blood flowing freely. Barber retreated to her corner with a visible limp between rounds, clearly compromised by her injured knee. Modafferi struck for a takedown in the third round, took advantage of the situation, extracted herself from an attempted keylock and chewed up the remaining time with effective grappling.

Modafferi, 37, has won five of her past eight fights.

Surging Yusuff Topples Fili

Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Sodiq Yusuff extended his run of consecutive victories to six, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Team Alpha Male’s Andre Fili in a three-round battle at 145 pounds. All three judges struck 29-28 scorecards in Yusuff’s favor.

The Lloyd Irvin protégé unleashed power punches with both hands in the first round, withstood an exchange in which both men were hurt and threatened with a kimura. Yusuff (11-1, 4-0 UFC) assumed top position in the middle frame after catching a kick from the Californian and operated between half guard, side control and full mount. Fili (20-7, 8-6 UFC) switched from orthodox to southpaw in Round 3, flummoxed his foe with aggression and pace, all while benefiting from a noticeable slowdown from Yusuff.

The setback halted Fili’s modest two-fight winning streak.

Related » UFC 246 Round-by-Round Scoring

Undefeated Askarov Subdues Elliott

Former Absolute Championship Akhmat titleholder Askar Askarov remained unbeaten, as he walked away with a unanimous decision over Tim Elliott in a three-round flyweight scrap. All three cageside judges scored it for Askarov (11-0-1, 1-0-1 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

Elliott (15-10-1, 4-8 UFC) ran into serious trouble right out of the gate. Askarov connected with a crushing right hook that left the Glory MMA export slumped and out on his feet for a brief moment in the first round. Elliott retreated to the ground to regain his wits, only to be met with ground-and-pound. Askarov answered three high-amplitude takedowns from the onetime Titan Fighting Championships titlist in the middle stanza with sharp straight punching combinations and an active guard. Frustration grew in Elliott down the stretch, as he approached his adversary with his hands down across the final five minutes and was greeted by more punches from the unshakable Russian.

The win was Askarov’s first since May 2018.

Dober Waylays Hyped Haqparast

Elevation Fight Team standout Drew Dober wiped out Nasrat Haqparast with punches in the first round of their lightweight tilt. Haqparast (11-3, 3-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 70 seconds into Round 1, his three-fight winning streak having run its course.

The 31-year-old Dober (22-9, 8-5 UFC) stayed composed under heavy fire from the Tristar Gym prospect. He countered a leg kick and floored Haqparast with a perfectly timed overhand left. Sensing the finish was near, Dober pounced on his fallen adversary and dropped jackhammer left hands until the job was done.

Dober has posted five wins across his last six outings.

Unbeaten Camur Bests Ledet

Strong Style Fight Team prospect Aleksa Camur kept his perfect professional record intact, as he took a unanimous decision from Justin Ledet in a three-round light heavyweight encounter. Camur (6-0, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks from the judges.

Ledet (9-3, 3-3 UFC) had his moments—he staggered the Dana White’s Contender Series alum twice with left hooks in the first round—but failed to maintain an effective pace. Camur did his best work on the fence, where he bottled up the Texan and attacked him with clinch knees, standing elbows and punching bursts. He put the finishing touches on a successful Octagon debut late in the third round, where he executed a tactical takedown with 10 seconds left in the bout.

The 31-year-old Ledet has lost three fights in a row.

Clinch-Centric Mazo Upends Aldrich

A ferocious Thai clinch carried former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Sabina Mazo to a split decision over J.J. Aldrich in a three-round women’s flyweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Chris Lee for Aldrich, Adalaide Byrd and Junichiro Kamijo for Mazo.

Aldrich (8-4, 4-3 UFC) maintained control of the early exchanges with occasional leg kicks, crisp boxing and a steady diet of straight lefts, one of which snapped back her counterpart’s head. Mazo (8-1, 2-1 UFC) hit the accelerator in the second round, trapped the 303 Training Center rep in the double-collar tie and went to work with knees to the body and head. She adopted the same approach in Round 3, where she continued to assault Aldrich with knees at close range despite a puzzling restart from referee Chris Tognoni with roughly 90 seconds remaining on the clock.

Mazo, 22, has recorded back-to-back victories since losing a unanimous verdict to Maryna Moroz on March 30. Advertisement
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>