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After 22 Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts, Francisco Trinaldo has seen some things in the Octagon.
His latest appearance was one of his most memorable to date, as the Brazilian weathered adversity and rallied for a third-round technical knockout against former Cage Warriors champion Jai Herbert at UFC on ESPN 14 at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. A massive overhand left sent Herbert to the canvas, and several follow-up punches on the mat ended the contest at the 1:30 mark of Round 3.
“It's easy to hit, but it's harder to come back,” said Trinaldo, who missed weight by four pounds on Friday. “It's harder to stay in the fight. Look at my face, it's all cut up, but I made it through the fight.”
After being stung by a right hand early, Trinaldo (26-7, 16-6 UFC) controlled the majority of Round 1 through takedowns and grueling clinch work. That approach took its toll on the 41-year-old, however, and Herbert sat his man down with a stinging straight right in the second stanza. The Renegade Jiu-Jitsu representative threatened with a rear-naked choke before staggering his foe with another straight right later in the period.
Trinaldo managed to survive until the final stanza, where the aforementioned overhand left stopped Herbert (10-2, 0-1 UFC) in his tracks and sent him crashing to the canvas. The Englishman appeared to be out and Trinaldo hesitated to continue the assault. Once it became clear referee Herb Dean wouldn’t stop the fight, Trinaldo finished the job with ground-and-pound. After the victory, “Massaranduba” announced his intentions to move up to welterweight.
Ronson Choke Stuns Dalby
Jesse Ronson earned his first UFC victory in style, as he submitted Nicolas Dalby in a welterweight tilt. Ronson brought a halt to the bout with a rear-naked choke at the 2:48 mark of Round 1 in his first Octagon appearance since 2014. The Canadian veteran’s initial three UFC bouts were all split-decision defeats.
“I clawed tooth and nail to get back here,” Ronson said. “To hell and back, man. That’s all it is.”
A natural lightweight, Ronson (22-10, 1-3 UFC) made the visibly larger Dalby (18-4-1, 1 NC, 2-3-1 UFC) pay for his aggression. As Dalby rushed forward with a punching combination, Ronson dropped him with a counter left. From there, Ronson mounted his opponent, rained down elbows from above and forced Dalby to give up his back. It was only a matter of moments before Dalby was forced to ask out of the fight once the choke was secured.
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Aspinall Impresses in Debut
Cage Warriors veteran Tom Aspinall made short work of Jake Collier, winning via technical knockout in a heavyweight affair. The Team Kaobon representative stopped Collier just 45 seconds into Round 1 for his fourth consecutive professional triumph. Collier, who has competed as low as middleweight in past UFC bouts, has lost two of his last three promotional appearances.
After connecting with some hard low kicks in the bout’s early moments, Aspinall (8-2, 1-0 UFC) hurt Collier (11-5, 3-4 UFC) with a knee to the body before flooring his opponent with a one-two combination on the chin. Aspinall then dove in for one follow-up blow on the floor before referee Daniel Movahedi stepped in on Collier’s behalf.
Evloev Keeps Perfect Record Intact
Movsar Evloev survived an early moment of danger to pull away for a unanimous decision triumph over Mike Grundy in a battle of featherweight prospects. All three judges scored the bout for Evloev: 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Grundy (12-2, 1-1 UFC) had his best chance at victory in the opening stanza, when he ensnared Evloev (13-3, 3-0 UFC) in an extremely tight brabo choke. Just when it appeared he was about to go out, the Russian expertly used his legs to kick off Grundy’s hip and spun out of danger. From there, it was all Evoloev. He rocked Grundy with a hard counter right toward the end of Round 1, and continued to pick him apart with crisp punching combinations, kicks to the head and knees to the body.
Grundy’s takedown attempts became more telegraphed as the bout progessed, and even when he was able to drag Evloev to the canvas, the former M-1 Global champion scrambled to his feet with ease.
Boser Topples Pessoa
Tanner Boser earned his second knockout victory in less than one month’s time, as he stopped Raphael Pessoa in Round 2 of a heavyweight clash. Boser, who was coming off a first-round KO of Philipe Lins on June 27, brought the contest to a close with an overhand left and follow-up ground strikes at the 2:36 mark of the period.
Boser looked to utilize his speed advantage early, as he switched stances, feinted liberally and attacked with leg kicks against his larger foe. Meanwhile, Pessoa’s (10-2, 1-2 UFC) occasional forward rushes yielded little for the Rio de Janeiro native. Boser found his opening in the second frame, when the overhand left hindered Pessoa’s vision and caused the Brazilian to collapse against the fence. From there, Boser (19-6-1, 3-1 UFC) landed approximately 10 unanswered punches on his fallen foe before Herb Dean waved off the contest.
“I know Round 1 isn’t always exciting,” Boser said. “I have to set things up, and then I’m able to land the big shots later on in the fight.”
Kianzad Outsrikes Correia
Invicta Fighting Championships veteran Pannie Kianzad won her second straight fight in the Octagon, earning a unanimous decision over former title challenger Bethe Correia. Two judges saw the fight 30-27, while a third had it 29-28 — all in favor of the 28-year-old Swede. Correia has won just twice in eight UFC appearances dating back to her championship clash against Ronda Rousey in 2015.
Kianzad (13-5, 3-1 UFC) was quicker to the punch than Correia throughout the bantamweight contest. “Banzai” was particularly effective with her jab and lead left hook, and she was also opportunistic, tagging her foe with a combination after Correia mistakenly went for a fist bump with 10 seconds left in Round 1. Correia (11-5-1, 5-5-1 UFC) continued to wade forward, and a counter left hook caused some swelling under Kianzad’s right eye in the third frame. Ultimately, though, Correia could not match Kianzad’s volume.
Emeev Outworks Stolze
Ramazan Emeev relied on takedowns, suffocating pressure and a solid right hand to garner a unanimous verdict against promotional newcomer Niklas Stolze at welterweight. All three judges scored the contest for the 33-year-old American Top Team representative: 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Emeev (19-4, 4-1 UFC) was relentless from the outset of the fight, as he grounded his German adversary three times in the opening stanza. Stolze’s best moment came near the end of the period, when a flying knee landed directly on Emeev’s chin and temporarily rocked his Dagestani opponent. Stolze (12-4, 0-1 UFC) was unable to further capitalize, as the horn sounded shortly thereafter. The pace slowed over the final 10 minutes, and Emeev seized control behind a consistent right hand and grueling wrestling against the fence.
Wood Cruises Past Castaneda
Former Cage Warriors champion Nathaniel Wood spoiled John Castaneda’s Octagon debut, taking a clear-cut unanimous verdict in a bantamweight bout. Wood (17-4, 4-1 UFC) swept the scorecards by identical 30-27 counts, sending Castaneda (17-5, 0-1 UFC) to his third loss in his last four outings.
Wood gradually pulled away thanks to a steady diet of straight right hands and kicks to the legs and body. “The Prospect” really found a rhythm in Round 2, when he began to tag the Combate Americas veteran with combinations while opening a cut near his opponent’s right eye. A game Castaneda did his best to pressure and force exchanges throughout, but Wood proved to be the far more accurate and technical competitor.
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