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Devonte Smith is no longer out of sight or out of mind.
In his first appearance since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, the Factory X prospect made a triumphant return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a second-round technical knockout of Justin Jaynes at UFC Fight Night 184 on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Referee Keith Peterson called for the stoppage 3:38 into Round 2 on the advice of the cageside physician, as Jaynes (16-7, 1-3 UFC) suffered a gruesome hematoma that closed his left eye.
Smith (11-2, 3-1 UFC) settled into the 160-pound catchweight clash with jabs and leg kicks, survived after being staggered by an overhand right in the first round and executed a takedown in the second. From there, Jaynes’ situation deteriorated rapidly. Smith moved to side control and dropped a few short elbows, one of which led to the fight-ending swelling. He later transitioned to full mount and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Once the two men returned to an upright position, Peterson motioned for the doctor to examine Jaynes.
Ascending Rosa Vanquishes Edwards
Takedowns, positional advances and ground-and-pound spurred Parana Vale Tudo prospect Karol Rosa to a unanimous verdict over former King of the Cage champion Joselyne Edwards in a three-round bantamweight scrap. All three judges scored it the same: 30-27 for the surging Rosa (14-3, 3-0 UFC).
Edwards (10-3, 1-1 UFC) could not match the Brazilian’s aggression. Rosa backed her to the fence, executed takedowns, achieved full mount on multiple occasions and incorporated some ferocious ground-and-pound. Edwards did damage on the feet, as she cut Rosa where her lips meet in the second round. Blood poured from the wound, drenching the canvas and both competitors. However, it was not a factor in the outcome. Rosa was undeterred, battered the Panamanian with leg kicks and excelled in the clinch, where she connected with knees to the body and sweeping power punches.
Rosa has rattled off five straight wins.
Once-Beaten Procopio Handles McCann
Former Shooto Brazil champion Lara Procopio rebounded from her Aug. 31, 2019 decision loss to the aforementioned Rosa with unanimous decision over Molly McCann in a three-round battle at 125 pounds. Procopio (7-1, 1-1 UFC) carried all three scorecards: 29-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
McCann (10-4, 3-3 UFC) failed to dictate the terms of the engagement and paid the price. Procopio pressured the British boxer into the clinch, secured multiple takedowns, advanced to dominant positions and applied her ground-and-pound. McCann surprised her with an attempted armbar in the second round and had the Brazilian’s corner holding its breath for several tense moments. However, Procopio eventually extricated herself from the maneuver and resumed her assault from top position. By the time the 15-minute encounter was complete, the Nova Uniao standout had piled up nearly nine minutes of control time.
The 30-year-old McCann will enter her next assignment on a two-fight losing streak.
Resurgent Choi Downs Zalal
Former Top Fighting Championship titleholder Seung Woo Choi strengthened his foothold at 145 pounds and recorded his second consecutive victory, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Youssef Zalal in a three-round featherweight tilt. All three judges scored it for Choi (9-3, 2-2 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
The South Korean swamped Zalal (10-4, 3-2 UFC) with superior size, power and discipline. He punched effectively in combination, mixed in the occasional front kick and even incorporated a takedown in the closing seconds of Round 1. Zalal was a non-factor through the first 10 minutes, the Factory X standout struggling to find a rhythm while he circled on the outside. He saw his best chance to turn the tide in his favor come and go in the third round, where he executed a takedown, trapped Choi in a mounted guillotine and later transitioned to a triangle choke. However, Zalal’s efforts fell short. Choi escaped, steered clear of danger for the remainder of the bout and exited the cage with his hand raised.
Zalal, 24, has suffered back-to-back defeats for just the second time in his career.
Dominant Valiev Stymies Day
Sharp leg kicks, repeated takedowns and steady ground-and-pound carried Professional Fighters League veteran Timur Valiev to a lopsided unanimous decision over former Universal Reality Combat Championship titleholder Martin Day in a three-round bantamweight affair. Valiev (17-2, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26 marks from the cageside judges.
Day (8-6, 0-4 UFC) had no answer for the weaponry his counterpart brought to bear. Valiev struck for takedowns in all three rounds, progressed to dominant positions—he floated from full guard to half guard to side control during their grappling exchanges—and built an insurmountable lead with short punches and elbows from the top.
Valiev has compiled a 7-0 record with one no-contest across his past eight appearances.
Osbourne Wrecks Reeling Rivera
Pura Vida MMA representative Ode Osbourne cut down fellow Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Jerome Rivera with punches in the first round of their featherweight pairing. Rivera (10-5, 0-3 UFC) succumbed to blows 26 seconds into Round 1 and remains winless in three starts inside the Octagon.
It was over in a hurry. Osbourne (9-3, 1-1 UFC) countered a head kick with a clean straight left, followed his fallen counterpart the canvas and drew the curtain with follow-up punches.
Osbourne, 29, has won five of his last six fights.