UFC Fight Night 168 Prelims: Jalin Turner Blasts Undefeated Newcomer Joshua Culibao

By Brian Knapp Feb 22, 2020

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Hospitality does not appear to be in Jalin Turner’s DNA.

The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate disposed of the previously unbeaten Joshua Culibao with punches in the second round of their featured UFC Fight Night 168 prelim on Saturday at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. A short-notice replacement for teammate Jamie Mullarkey, Culibao (8-1, 0-1 UFC) bit the dust 3:01 into Round 2. It was not the Ultimate Fighting Championship introduction for which he had hoped.

Turner (9-5, 2-2 UFC) kept the onetime Diamondback Fighting Championship titleholder on the end of his punches, threatened him with a pair of guillotine chokes and made his move when the situation called for it. Culibao injured his ankle on the base of the cage early in the second round, and his lack of mobility left him as little more than a sitting duck. Turner initiated ground exchange, achieved full mount and ultimately advanced to the back. From there, he flattened out Culibao and drew the curtain with a sustained burst of punches and elbows.

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Surgical Tukhugov Waylays Aguilar

American Kickboxing Academy representative Zubaira Tukhugov wiped out former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Kevin Aguilar with punches in the first round of their preliminary featherweight affair. Saddled by his second straight loss, Aguilar (17-3, 2-2 UFC) packed his bags 3:21 into Round 1.

Tukhugov (19-4-1, 4-1-1 UFC) fought with poise, patience and purpose. He sat down Aguilar with a left hook, allowed him to stand and cracked him with a thudding overhand right. Tukhugov then swarmed for the finish, as two right uppercuts preceded another slashing left hook. Aguilar hit the deck again, covered up under a barrage of punches and forced referee Marc Goddard to intervene on his behalf.

The win was Tukhugov’s first since Dec. 10, 2015.

Matthews Outlasts Reeling Meek

“The Ultimate Fighter Nations” alum Jake Matthews won for the fifth time in six fights, as he captured a unanimous decision over Norwegian madman Emil Meek in a three-round undercard scrap at 170 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Matthews (16-4, 9-4 UFC).

Meek (9-5, 1-3 UFC) could not overcome a slow start. Matthews dropped the onetime Venator Fighting Championship titleholder with a lunging left uppercut in the first round, struck for multiple takedowns and consolidated his efforts with positional control and ground-and-pound. However, the Aussie labored through the third round, where Meek denied his bids for takedowns, brutalized his lower leg with kicks and connected with a handful of powerful punches. Matthews withstood those efforts, settled for a decision and exited the cage with his hand raised.

The 31-year-old Meek now finds himself on a three-fight losing streak.

Ascending Song Wallops Potter

Kenan Song cut down former Hex Fight Series champion Callan Potter with punches in the first round of their preliminary welterweight tilt. Potter (18-9, 1-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:20 into Round 1, losing for the third time in five appearances.

The 29-year-old Song (16-5, 4-1 UFC) feigned interest in a grappling exchange and let his hands do the rest. He pieced together a multi-punch volley that was punctuated by a right hook that floored Potter and rendered him incapable of defending himself. After Song cut loose with a few more punches, referee Neil Swailes moved in to prevent further carnage.

Song has won four of his past five bouts.

Kara-France Rebounds, Outstrikes Nam

City Kickboxing standout Kai Kara-France continued his climb on the flyweight ladder, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Tyson Nam in a three-round confrontation at 125 pounds. Kara-France (21-8, 4-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27 marks from all three judges.

Nam (18-11-1, 0-2 UFC) was a step behind. In his first outing since a Dec. 14 decision defeat to Brandon Moreno, Kara-France attacked the head, body and legs with varying degrees of success, steered clear of the Hawaiian’s power punches and did enough to differentiate himself in the minds of the judges.

Kara-France has rattled off nine wins in 10 appearances.

Resurgent Hill Upends Suphisara

Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Angela Hill recorded her third straight win, as she took a unanimous decision from Konklak Suphisara in a three-round women’s strawweight confrontation. All three cageside judges scored it for Hill (12-7, 7-7 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Suphisara (4-2, 0-1 UFC) struggled to find her comfort zone. A short-notice replacement for Hannah Goldy, Hill held her own on the feet with the decorated muay Thai practitioner, set the tone with a takedown late in the first round and threatened with a triangle choke in the second. Suphisara found another gear across the final five minutes but failed to author the finish she needed.

The loss snapped Suphisara’s modest two-fight winning streak.

Replacement Cachoeira KOs Dobson

Parana Vale Tudo export Priscila Cachoeira knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 26 graduate Shana Dobson in the first round of their preliminary encounter at 125 pounds. Dobson (3-4, 1-3 UFC) bowed out 40 seconds into Round 1, as the Lloyd Irvin protege suffered her third consecutive defeat.

A short-notice substitution for Rachael Ostovich, Cachoeira (9-3, 1-3 UFC) made the most of her opportunity. The 31-year-old Brazilian stormed out of the gate aggressively and uncorked a devastating uppercut that separated Dobson from her senses less than a minute into the first round.

The victory halted Cachoeira’s three-fight losing streak. Advertisement
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