UFC Fight Night 197 Prelims: Upstart Joel Alvarez Wrecks Favored Thiago Moises in Las Vegas
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Joel Alvarez planted his flag in the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division and shoved Thiago Moises out of the way while doing so. The surging Spaniard discarded Moises with elbows and punches in the first round of their featured UFC Fight Night 197 prelim on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Moises (15-6, 4-4 UFC) met his end 3:01 into Round 1, as the former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion lost for the second time in as many outings.
Alvarez (19-2, 4-1 UFC) bullied the American Top Team representative from start to finish, leaning on six-inch height and reach advantages. He backed up Moises with jabs, leg kicks and rapid-fire elbows. After moving back into open space, Alvarez pressed forward once again, opened a serious cut near the Brazilian’s hairline with another slashing elbow strike, pinned him to the fence and let the punches fly until referee Marc Goddard had seen enough.
Lee Shreds Replacement Calvillo
Former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Andrea Lee carved up Cynthia Calvillo for the better part of 10 minutes, as she earned a technical knockout in their women’s flyweight battle. A short notice replacement for Jessica Eye, Calvillo (9-4-1, 6-4-1 UFC) remained on her stool in between the second and third rounds, resulting in a corner stoppage.
Lee (13-5, 5-3 UFC) utilized a wide array of offensive techniques, but none were quite as important as the jab. She chipped away at Calvillo from the outside, cut off her level changes with uppercuts and denied her bids for takedowns. Lee grew more and more brazen as the fight moved forward, firing front kicks to the body while mixing in crisp combinations at all levels. Bleeding from her nose and from a cut near her right eye, Calvillo had nothing left to offer once the second round concluded.
The 32-year-old Lee will enter her next assignment on the strength of two straight wins.
Woodson Body Snatches Anglin
The once-beaten Sean Woodson cut down fellow Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Collin Anglin with punches in the first round of their featherweight encounter. Anglin (8-3, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:30 into Round 1.
The 6-foot-2 Woodson (9-1, 3-1 UFC) established himself with kicks, clean one-twos and airtight takedown defense. He then pressured Anglin backward, let hooks fly from both hands and eventually zeroed in on the body. Woodson doubled over his adversary with a series of left hooks to the ribcage, and while Anglin tried to stay afloat, one last shot to the liver had him looking for a way out and forced referee Herb Dean to intervene.
Woodson has posted back-to-back victories since his June 2020 submission loss to Julian Erosa.
Casey Handles Outmatched Jojua
MMA Lab export Cortney Casey registered her first victory in more than a year, as she laid claim to a unanimous decision over onetime Fight Nights Global champion Liana Jojua in a three-round women’s flyweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Casey (10-9, 6-8 UFC).
Jojua (8-5, 1-3 UFC) was essentially a non-factor outside of a few late-round takedowns. Casey pestered her with multi-punch bursts and paired them with occasional kicks to the legs and head. Jojua managed to attain top position in all three rounds but lacked the time and wherewithal necessary to exploit her advantages there, thus allowing her counterpart to cruise to the finish line.
The 26-year-old Jojua has suffered back-to-back defeats for the second time in her career.
Alves Guillotine Sinks Diakiese
Former Titan Fighting Championship titleholder Rafael Alves rebounded from a May 22 decision loss to Damir Ismagulov, as he submitted Marc Diakiese with a guillotine choke in the first round of their lightweight confrontation. Diakiese (14-5, 5-5 UFC) bowed out 1:48 into Round 1.
After a brief feeling-out process, Alves (20-10, 1-1 UFC) made his move. He wobbled Diakiese with a jab, followed with a flying knee to the chest and ensnared the Allstars Training Center export in the guillotine when he ducked in for an ill-advised takedown. Soon after, the explosive 31-year-old Brazilian prompted the tap.
Alves has rattled off six wins in seven outings.
Jung Elbows Bury Nzechukwu
Korean Top Team’s Da Un Jung put away Kennedy Nzechukwu with a volley of standing elbow strikes in the first round of their light heavyweight pairing. On a 15-fight unbeaten streak, Jung (15-2-1, 4-0-1 UFC) brought it to an emphatic close 3:04 into Round 1.
Nzechukwu (9-2, 3-2 UFC) never shifted out of neutral. Jung introduced himself with range-finding punches, staggered the Fortis MMA rep with a jarring elbow strike and backed him to the fence. From there, he continued to fire elbows—some landed, others were blocked—until Nzechukwu lost consciousness and collapsed to the canvas.
Jung, 27, has not tasted defeat since Oct. 24, 2015.
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