UFC Fight Night 159 Prelims: Sergio Pettis Spoils Long-Awaited Tyson Nam Debut

By Brian Knapp Sep 21, 2019
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Sergio Pettis brought two of his best friends to the cage: smooth footwork and offensive variety.

The Roufusport standout put a stop to a two-fight skid, made a triumphant return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s resurrected flyweight division and captured a unanimous decision over Tyson Nam in the featured UFC Fight Night 159 prelim on Saturday at Mexico City Arena. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Pettis (18-5, 9-5 UFC).

A short-notice replacement for Alex Perez, Nam (18-10-1, 0-1 UFC) landed at times but to often operated in a single-strike mode. Pettis answered with jabs, inside leg kicks and a side kick to the face, all while staying out of danger against the hard-hitting Hawaiian. In the third round, he exploited Nam’s increasing desperation, countered effectively and even snuck in a front kick to the face.

The setback snapped Nam’s two-fight winning streak.

Quinonez Shuts Out Huachin

“The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” Season 1 finalist Jose Alberto Quinonez bounced back from a March 16 submission loss to Nathaniel Wood with a unanimous decision over Carlos Huachin in a three-round bantamweight confrontation. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Quinonez (8-3, 5-2 UFC).

Huachin (10-5-2, 0-2 UFC) was a step behind from start to finish. Quinonez sat down the Peruvian with a counter right hand inside the first five minutes, then controlled a majority of the second and third rounds with jabs, inside leg kicks, timely takedowns and moderate ground-and-pound. Perhaps knowing he was behind on the scorecards, Huachin tried and failed to author a Hail Mary finish in the waning moments, as he spent most of his time chasing his circling counterpart.

Quinonez, 29, has won five of his past six bouts.

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Nelson Ambushes Reeling Reyes

Kyle Nelson disposed of “The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” Season 2 semifinalist Marco Polo Reyes with a powerful standing elbow, an overhand right and follow-up punches in the first round of their featherweight scrap. A still upright Reyes (8-7, 4-4 UFC) succumbed to blows 1:36 into Round 1, losing for the third time in as many appearances.

Nelson (13-3, 1-2 UFC) lured the Entram Gym representative into the clinch, pushed him to the fence and created enough space to land the elbow. The impact stunned “El Toro” and opened a significant cut on his left eyelid. Nelson then delivered the overhand right, which appeared to have Reyes out on his feet and in no position to defend himself. After a few more sweeping punches, referee Jason Herzog had seen enough.

The victory closed the book on Nelson’s two-fight losing streak.

Hill Elbow Cuts, Stops Carnelossi

Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Angela Hill took care of organizational newcomer Ariane Carnelossi with a surgical elbow strike in the third round of their women’s strawweight battle. A short-notice substitution for Istela Nunes, Carnelossi (12-2, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 1:56 into Round 3.

Hill (10-7, 5-7 UFC) met aggression with precision, as she greeted the muscular, forward-marching Brazilian with knees, elbows and clean counterpunches. Carnelossi turned up the heat in the second round, backed up the Alliance MMA rep with power punches and gained a foothold in the match. However, all her hard work was wiped away in Round 3, where Hill uncorked a downward elbow along the fence and opened a diagonal cut above her opponent’s right eyebrow. Moments later, the cageside physician deemed Carnelossi unfit to continue.

The loss brought an end to Carnelossi’s run of 12 consecutive victories.

Craig Choke Submits Castro

Former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion Paul Craig submitted Vinicius Moreira Castro with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their light heavyweight pairing. Winless in three starts inside the Octagon, Castro (9-4, 0-3 UFC) conceded defeat 3:19 into Round 1.

Craig (12-4, 4-4 UFC) denied a loose single-leg takedown attempt from the Brazilian, sent two knee strikes crashing into his face on the break and then swarmed with punches. Soon after, Castro surrendered his back and yielded to the choke.

The submission was the 11th of Craig’s career but his first by rear-naked choke.

Correia Rebounds, Sinks Eubanks

Bethe Correia leaned on a superior gas tank and volume punching, as she laid claim to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter 26” finalist Sijara Eubanks in a three-round women’s bantamweight encounter. Correia (11-4-1, 5-4-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board.

Eubanks (4-4, 2-2 UFC) started strong but faded just as quickly. The Mark Henry protégé connected with clubbing overhand rights and sneaky left hooks before securing a takedown and applying her ground-and-pound. Correia withstood the assault and inched the fight deeper in the high altitude. Eubanks came out for the second round and appeared visibly fatigued. Correia capitalized, pieced together strong punching combinations and zeroed in on the body, carrying her newfound momentum into the third round. There, the Brazilian stonewalled Eubanks’ attempt for a takedown, doubled up on the jab and continued to attack the body.

The win was Correia’s first since September 2016.

Puelles Silences Overmatched Mariano

“The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” Season 3 finalist Claudio Puelles posted his fourth win in five appearances, as he cruised to a woefully one-sided unanimous decision over Marcos Mariano in a three-round lightweight tilt. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict, scoring it 30-25 for Puelles (9-2, 2-1 UFC).

Mariano (6-6, 0-2 UFC) mustered no meaningful offense. Puelles executed repeated takedowns, achieved full mount on multiple occasions and twice threatened with kimuras. The Peruvian grew more and more dominant as time ticked away, showing no regard for his opponent’s remedial grappling skills. Puelles climbed to full mount with a minute remaining in the third round and unleashed heavy ground-and-pound in a bid to finish before settling for the decision.

The 32-year-old Mariano has lost three of his last four fights. Advertisement
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