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Thiago Moises may have punched his ticket to another competitive tax bracket in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division.
Crushing low kicks, efficient counters and stellar striking defense spurred the American Top Team rep to a unanimous decision over Alexander Hernandez in the featured UFC Fight Night 186 prelim on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. All three judges sided with Moises (15-4, 4-2 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Hernandez (12-4, 4-2 UFC) fought fire with fire for much of the three-round encounter. Moises kept him off-balance with kicks to the lower leg, occasional spinning attacks and more basic techniques. The Brazilian hit the accelerator in the third round, invited Hernandez to try to keep up and unleashed his hands and feet in a steady but violent burst of offense that put the finishing touches on his latest conquest.
Moises, 25, has posted three straight wins.
Davis Denies Prospect Mazo
Alexis Davis recorded her first win in more than three years, as she laid claim to a unanimous decision over former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Sabina Mazo in a three-round women’s bantamweight clash. Davis (20-10, 7-5 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 nods from the judges.
Mazo (9-2, 3-2 UFC) was effective in spurts with crisp punching combinations, but her porous takedown defense betrayed her. Davis tore into her lower lead leg with kicks, then struck for takedowns when the opportunities presented themselves. She advanced to Mazo’s back without facing much resistance in the second and third rounds, threaded her hooks and fished for chokes, all while corralling the Colombian Kings MMA export and bleeding valuable time off the clock.
The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for Mazo.
Debuting Lawrence Overwhelms Cachero
American Top Team’s Ronnie Lawrence dazzled in his promotional debut, as he put away Vince Cachero with a sustained burst of ground-and-pound in the third round of their bantamweight pairing. Cachero (7-4, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 2:38 into Round 3, as he lost for the fourth time in five outings.
The 28-year-old Lawrence (7-1, 1-0 UFC) met the A4 Fitness export with overwhelming offense force. He wore down Cachero with repeated takedowns, positional advances and airtight submission defense. Lawrence connected with a spinning back kick to the body in the third round, executed a belly-to-back suplex and ultimately climbed to full mount. Cachero surrendered his back, only to wander into a fight-ending rush of punches, elbows and hammerfists.
Lawrence will carry a four-fight winning streak into his next assignment.
Surging Jacoby Edges Grishin
Damaging kicks to the lower leg and a penetrating jab carried Factory X standout Dustin Jacoby to a unanimous decision in a closely contested three-round light heavyweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Jacoby (14-5, 2-2 UFC), who has rattled off four consecutive victories.
Grishin (31-9-2, 1-2 UFC)—who missed weight by 4.5 pounds for the match—had the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate reeling on more than one occasion in the first round but failed to close the deal. Jacoby found another gear in the middle stanza, chipped away at the Akhmat Fight Team rep’s base with kicks and checked his chin with a counter left hook. Both men had their moments in the third, where Jacoby continued his assault on the lead leg and Grishin answered with forward pressure and power punches.
The 36-year-old Grishin has lost two of his last three fights.