UFC Fight Night 173 Prelims: Overweight Jonathan Martinez Smashes Frankie Saenz

By Ben Duffy Aug 1, 2020

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Jonathan Martinez came in heavy, and he laid a similarly heavy beating on Frankie Saenz.

The “Dragon,” who weighed in at 140.5 pounds for a bantamweight bout, put a lopsided two-round beating on Frankie Saenz before ending it early in the third. From the outset, Martinez was the stronger, quicker fighter, outmuscling Saenz in the clinch and landing vicious combinations at range. The fight could have been stopped in the second round, as Martinez dropped Saenz several times with head kicks and punches and had referee Chris Tognoni looking closely at the horn. Martinez picked up right where he left off in the third, dropping the advancing Saenz with a huge intercepting knee strike. A few largely academic ground strikes later, Tognoni waved the fight off.

With the dominant win—his most impressive showing yet, aside from the weight miss—the 26-year-old Texan moves to 12-3, while Saenz is now 12-7 after suffering the first back-to-back stoppage losses of his career.

Maness Hands Munoz His First Defeat

In a contentious, foul-plagued fight, Joseph Nathan Maness hung the first “L” on fellow UFC debutant Johnny Munoz Jr. Munoz, who came into the fight with a 10-0 record compiled entirely in King of the Cage, landed three low blows during the fight, the last of which arrived in the final round and elicited a point deduction. Nonetheless, “Kid Kvenbo” appeared to have done enough to earn at least a draw, as he had won the first round in dominant fashion—Maness may have been saved by the horn—and arguably won the second as well. Nonetheless, the judges scored the fight for Maness by unanimous 29-27 scorecards, indicating they had awarded Maness the second and third rounds. With the win, Maness is now 12-1; Munoz falls to 10-1.

Emmers Dominates Cachero

Jamall Emmers was just too much for the debuting Vince Cachero in their featherweight prelim matchup. The much taller Emmers scored early and often with body kicks and clinch knees to win a fast and furious first round, then carried the second as well by adding in some thudding punch combinations and a nicely-timed late takedown as the pace slowed. Emmers sealed the deal in the final round with another takedown, advancing to side control. Cachero, who stepped up in weight on short notice, was game throughout, but clearly lost all three rounds, an observation echoed by the cageside judges, who awarded the fight to Emmers by unanimous 30-27 scorecards. “Prettyboy” advances to 18-5 and evens his UFC ledger after losing his own debut to Giga Chikadze in March, while Cachero falls to 7-3 and will presumably drop to his preferred 135-pound division in his next fight.

Gutierrez Survives to Draw with Durden

In the opening bout of the evening, bantamweight Chris Gutierrez welcomed Cody Durden to the UFC and ended up spending 10 minutes digging himself out of a hole. The first round was all one-way traffic, as Durden took Gutierrez down off of a kick, executed a lightning-quick back take and proceeded to spend the next four minutes in total control. Durden pelted Gutierrez with annoying short shots while attempting several neck crank/rear-naked choke submissions, earning a 10-8 round from all three judges; scorecards. However, Gutierrez composed himself and went on to win the second and third rounds with his sharp kicking, avoiding the rest of Durden’s increasingly labored takedown attempts. The judges unanimously scored the bout a 28-28 draw, sending Gutierrez to 15-4-2 (3-1-1 UFC). Durden goes to 11-2-1 and sees his seven-fight win streak become an eight-fight unbeaten streak. Advertisement
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