Bobby Moffett was victorious in his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut but not in the manner in which he envisioned.
The MMA Lab standout submitted Chas Skelly with a brabo choke in the second round of their featherweight prelim at UFC Fight Night 139 on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Moffett (14-3, 1-0 UFC) brought it to a close 2:43 into Round 2, through the result was not without controversy. Thinking Skelly was unconscious, referee Tim Mills had moved in to release the choke and call for the stoppage. The Hard Knocks 365 representative immediately rose to his feet in protest, to no avail. After several tense moments and multiple looks at replays, Mills’ decision stood.
Skelly (17-4, 6-4 UFC) transitioned from a takedown to a standing back take in the first round, attached himself to his opponent’s back and hunted for the rear-naked choke. Moffett fought through the adversity and pushed the fight deeper. He landed a takedown roughly 90 seconds into the second round, only to be reversed by the cagy Skelly. However, Moffett cinched a brabo choke from the bottom and squeezed until Mills intervened.
Moffett has won four fights in a row.
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Ramos Choke Submits Gunther
Onetime Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Davi Ramos submitted John Gunther with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their lightweight prelim. Ramos (9-2, 3-1 UFC) drew the curtain 1:57 into Round 1.
Gunther (5-1, 1-1 UFC) had nothing to offer the decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Ramos secured a double-leg takedown, passed to side control and wheeled to the back. He then threaded his hooks, locked in the choke and elicited the tapout from the previously unbeaten Strong Style Fight Team export.
Ramos, 32, will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next outing.
Smith Debuts with 46-Second Knockout
Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series alum Devonte Smith needed less than a minute to wipe out Julian Erosa with punches in their undercard pairing at 155 pounds. Erosa (22-6, 1-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 46 seconds into Round 1, his three-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Smith (9-1, 1-0 UFC) picked his spots, floored “The Ultimate Fighter 22” graduate with a crisp two-punch combination and swarmed with punches. Powerless to defend himself, Erosa ate one shot after another until referee Tim Mills arrived on the scene to prevent further damage.
The sub-minute finish was the first of Smith’s career.
Yoder Nets First Octagon Win
Team Quest’s Ashley Yoder eked out a split decision over “The Ultimate Fighter 23” finalist Amanda Bobby Cooper in a three-round undercard tilt at 155 pounds. Scores were 29-28 and 29-28 for Yoder (6-4, 1-3 UFC), 30-27 for Cooper.
Cooper (3-5, 2-4 UFC) was strong out of the gate, as she scored with leg kicks, punching combinations to the head and an early takedown. However, Yoder answered in the second round, where she paired a head-and-arm throw with some mild ground-and-pound. She made more progress in the third, as she reversed a double-leg takedown into top position, threatened with a kneebar and advanced to the back in the waning seconds, biting down on a face crank on the neutralized Cooper.
The win was Yoder’s first in nearly two years.
Shelton Edges Morales on Scorecards
American Top Team’s Eric Shelton righted his ship with a split decision over Joseph Morales in a preliminary flyweight affair. Judges Chris Lee and Ben Ramirez scored it for Shelton, 29-28 and 30-27, while Thrasher cast a dissenting 30-27 nod for Morales.
Shelton (12-5, 2-3 UFC) was quicker on the draw, executed well-timed takedowns at opportune times and leaned on airtight submission defense. Morales (9-2, 1-2 UFC) did his best work in the third round, where he delivered a takedown of his own, turned up the heat and made his play to earn favor on the scorecards. His efforts fell short.
Shelton has posted victories in two of his last three appearances.
De La Rosa Outduels Sanchez, Moves to 11-1
Factory X representative Mark De La Rosa recorded his second win as many appearances, as he took a split decision from Joby Sanchez in a three-round undercard scrap at 135 pounds. Thrasher struck a 29-28 scorecard for Sanchez, while judges Sal D’Amato and Hale Hilsabeck saw it for De La Rosa (11-1, 2-1 UFC): 29-28 and 30-27.
Sanchez (11-4, 1-4 UFC) had his moments but spent too much time fighting off his back foot. De La Rosa zeroed in on his lower leg with kicks and remained the aggressor throughout their 15-minute engagement, forcing his counterpart to circle on the perimeter.
The 27-year-old Sanchez has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career.