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Vinc Pichel and his Magnum P.I. mustache had one more gear than Jim Miller.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 semifinalist overcame a slow start, excelled in grappling exchanges and continued to establish himself as a late-bloom contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Miller in the featured UFC 252 prelim on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. All three judges sided with Pichel (13-2, 6-2 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27.
Miller (32-15, 21-14 UFC) executed a takedown from the clinch in the first round, scrambled to the Californian’s back and ran through a series of submissions, moving from the rear-naked choke to the guillotine to the calf slicer. Pichel survived, extended the bout and overwhelmed the former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder with a robust clinch, repeated takedowns and punishing ground-and-pound. Miller appeared to be closing on a Hail Mary guillotine late in the third round, but Pichel freed himself from his clutches, resumed his assault and bled the remaining time off the clock.
Jandiroba Armbar Submits Herrig
Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Virna Jandiroba submitted Felice Herrig with an armbar in the first round of their strawweight encounter. In her first appearance since Oct. 6, 2018, Herrig (14-9, 5-4 UFC), who had never before been stopped, raised the white flag 1:44 into Round 1.
Jandiroba (16-1, 2-1 UFC) struck for a takedown inside the first 10 seconds and let her world-class jiu-jitsu skills do the rest. She climbed to mount, threatened with ground-and-pound and caught the armbar when Herrig tried to scramble out of danger. After a brief struggle, Jandiroba adjusted her grip and forced the tapout.
Jandiroba now sports 13 submissions among her 16 professional victories.
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Leg Kicks Power Chavez
A devastating series of lower-leg kicks and lightning-quick hands spurred MMA Masters representative Danny Chavez to a unanimous decision in a three-round featherweight affair. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Chavez (11-3, 1-0 UFC), who will ride a four-fight winning streak into his next assignment.
Brown (14-8, 0-2 UFC) had no answer for the attack on his base. Chavez dropped him twice with leg kicks in the first round, forced him to switch stances and buckled him with a right hand down the middle in the second before pushing him to the mat and swarming with punches. Brown started to turn the tide by pressing forward with punches in Round 3, only to see Chavez short circuit his advances with multiple takedowns.
The 30-year-old Brown has suffered consecutive losses since being signed on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019.
Aggressive Souza Outpoints Yoder
Former Invicta FC titleholder Livinha Souza won for the fifth time in six outings, as she took a unanimous decision from Ashley Yoder in a three-round strawweight scrap. Souza (14-2, 3-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 marks from the judges.
Yoder (7-6, 2-5 UFC) was effective in spurts, particularly in the third round, but took too long to get in gear. Souza targeted the inside of her lower lead leg with repeated kicks, paired them with chopping right hands and held her own in the grappling exchanges. Yoder’s commitment to body kicks seemed to pay dividends in Round 3 and allowed her to exploit her height and reach advantages, but by then, victory was out of reach outside of a finish.
Operating out of Team Quest, Yoder has suffered back-to-back defeats since she defeated Syuri Kondo a little more than a year ago.
Debuting Daukaus Stops Porter
Team Balance export Chris Daukaus put away Parker Porter with punches, a knee strike and follow-up ground-and-pound in the first round of their heavyweight pairing. Porter (9-6, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 4:28 into Round 1, closing the book on a modest two-fight winning streak.
Speed was the difference. Daukaus (9-3, 1-0 UFC) lit up his counterpart with right hands, clinch elbows and low leg kicks. He floored Porter with a multi-punch volley in the center of the cage, swarmed with punches and reset when the finish did not present itself. Soon after, Daukaus sent Porter careening into the cage with a right hand, flurried with follow-up shots—the knee sent him back to the canvas—and mopped up what was left with punches.
Daukaus, 30, has recorded seven victories in eight appearances.
Kamaka Tops Kelley in Slugfest
Crisp counterpunching and well-timed takedowns carried Bellator MMA veteran Kai Kamaka III to a unanimous decision over Tony Kelley in a three-round featherweight slugfest. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Kamaka (8-2, 1-0 UFC).
Kelley (5-2, 0-1 UFC) struggled to match the Hawaiian’s pace in the first round. Kamaka shut down two of his most trusted weapons with effective counters: He answered the jab with left hooks and responded to leg kicks with straight rights. Kelley seemed to find himself in the second and third rounds, where he employed a toxic mix of knees, elbow strikes and punches in close quarters. Kamaka came back with takedowns and continued to assault his opponent’s body with savage left hooks, doing just enough damage to curry favor with the judges.
The 25-year-old Kamaka has rattled off six straight wins.
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