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Joe Solecki just added a significant name to his burgeoning mixed martial arts resume at UFC on ABC 2.
In a matchup of two grappling-based fighters, Joe Solecki was able to neutralize Jim Miller (32-16, 1 NC, 21-15, 1 NC UFC) for the better part of two rounds, earning a unanimous decision against the 37-time Octagon veteran in their lightweight clash at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon. After 15 minutes, Solecki (11-2, 3-0) received scorecards of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 from the cageside judges.
Most of the bout was contested on the mat. Solecki appeared to be quicker to the punch in the opening stages of Round 1, but Miller was able to stuff a takedown and assume top position for the final two minutes of the period. The bout took on a similar form for the last two frames, only it was Solecki who dictated the action, as he secured takedowns, stayed busy with moderate ground-and-pound and neutralized Miller’s guard.
Miller has lost three of his last four fights.
Ex-KSW Champ Gamrot Stops Holtzman
Former Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki champion Mateusz Gamrot earned his first UFC triumph in emphatic fashion, stopping Scott Holtzman via technical knockout in their lightweight encounter. The 30-year-old American Top Team member brought the show to a close 1:22 into the the second round, sending Holtzman to his second consecutive KO defeat.
Gamrot (18-1, 1-1 UFC) frustrated his foe in Round 1 with side-to-side movement, all while blending right hands and takedowns together nicely when he went on the offensive. “Gamer” found his opening early in the second period, when he dropped Holtzman (14-5, 7-5 UFC) to a knee with a one-two combination. Gamrot then followed his man to the mat and swarmed with approximately four to five more right hands before the contest was halted.
Related » UFC on ABC 2 Round-by-Round Scoring
Makdessi Wins Striking Duel Against Bahamondes
John Makdessi’s wealth of UFC experience paid off against an Octagon newcomer.
The Roufusport veteran navigated a significant height and reach disadvantage to earn a split decision triumph over Chilean fighter Ignacio Bahamondes in an entertaining lightweight affair. Sal D’Amato scored the fight 29-28 for Makdessi and Dave Hagen had it 30-27 for “The Bull,” while Derek Cleary submitted a 29-28 tally in favor of Bahamondes.
The rangy Bahamondes (11-4, 0-1 UFC) started quickly, switching stances while landing a variety of long punches and low kicks against his opponent. While that volume was impressive, Makdessi (18-7, 11-7 UFC) turned the tide when he rocked his foe with a counter right in Round 1. From there, he swarmed with punches near the fence and stunned him again. Although Bahamondes survived, Makdessi led the dance much of the rest of the way, controlling the fight with pressure and crisp straight punches.
Returning Danho Wallops De Castro
Jarjis Danho made a triumphant return to the Octagon after more than four years away, as he scored a knockout of Yorgan De Castro in a heavyweight encounter. The end came 3:02 into Round 1, sending De Castro to his third consecutive defeat within the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Danho (6-1-1, 1-1-1 UFC) began with a measured approach, circling on the outside and landing low kicks while De Castro (6-3, 1-3 UFC) searched for a counters. As De Castro upped his aggression, that’s when “Man Mountain” found his opening. Danho caught his adversary coming forward with a short right hand to the side of the head, and De Castro fell back awkwardly on his right leg. Danho landed one more follow-up hammerfist before referee Mike Beltran was able to step in on De Castro’s behalf.
Danho hadn’t competed since a majority draw against Cristian Colombo at UFC Fight Night 93 on Sept. 3, 2016.
Shore Outgrinds Azure, Takes Split Verdict
Former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship title holder Jack Shore held off Hunter Azure in a grueling bantamweight scrap, winning a competitive split decision to remain undefeated. Two judges submitted 30-27 scorecards in favor of Shore (14-0, 3-0 UFC), while a third saw it 29-28 for Azure.
While Shore’s first two Octagon appearances ended in rear-naked choke victories, he met far more resistance against Azure (9-2, 2-2 UFC), who battled him tooth-and-nail in the clinch and on the canvas for the majority of the fight. The Welshman known as “Tank” did his best work in Round 3, when he grounded Azure, briefly took his back and controlled the majority of the frame to clinch his victory.
Saldana Edges Griffin
Luis Saldana took a hard-fought unanimous decision triumph over Jordan Griffin in a featherweight battle of Dana White’s Contender Series alums. All three judges submitted 29-28 tallies in favor of the 30-year-old MMA Lab export.
Saldana set the tone in Round 1, when he landed multiple precision straight rights and buckled Griffin with hard low kicks. Griffin responded with a blistering pace, briefly overwhelming his foe with pressure and takedowns while threatening with a tight rear-naked choke at the end of the second stanza.
Saldana (15-6, 1-0 UFC) regained control in Round 3, winning the battle of positioning and fending off another choke attempt from Griffin (18-9, 1-4 UFC) down the stretch. Saldana went the distance in victory for the first time in his professional tenure.
Jung Dominates Knight with Takedowns, Control
Da Un Jung was in complete control against William Knight, winning a unanimous decision behind repeated takedowns and suffocating top control in a light heavyweight contest. All three cageside judges submitted scorecards (30-26, 30-26, 30-27) in favor of the Korean Top Team representative, who is unbeaten in his last 14 professional outings.
Early on, Knight (9-2, 1-1 UFC) showcased an inability to defend Jung’s takedowns from the clinch, and the South Korean grounded his adversary on multiple occasions. By the end of Round 1, Knight was bleeding from his mouth and clearly fatigued. It only got worse in the second frame, when Jung (14-2-1, 3-0-1 UFC) was able to make Knight carry his weight, take his back and hammer away with punches and elbows to the head from back mount.
The American displayed a sense of urgency in Round 3, as he threw multiple overhand rights as Jung attempted to close the distance. However, Jung was able to execute a level change and plant Knight on the canvas once more, where he was able to ride out the fight.
Kasanganay Rebounds, Chokes Out Palatnikov
One bout removed from being on the receiving end of a viral knockout loss against Joaquin Buckley, Impa Kasanganya showed he has a short memory.
The Dana White’s Contender Series alum was successful in his welterweight debut, submitting Sasha Palatnikov (6-3, 1-1 UFC) with a rear-naked choke 26 seconds into Round 2 of the card’s opening bout. Kasanganay (9-1, 2-1 UFC) buckled his adversary with a right hand early in the second frame and then jumped on Palatnikov’s back during a scramble to lock in the fight-ending maneuver. The Sanford MMA product’s squeeze was tight enough that he didn’t need to get his hooks in to elicit the tapout.