Bobby Green still has it.
Merciless forward pressure, superb body work and a late takedown spurred the former King of the Cage champion to a unanimous decision over Erik Koch in the featured UFC on Fox 27 prelim on Saturday at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Green (24-8-1, 5-3-1 UFC) was awarded 29-28 marks on all three scorecards, as he snapped a four-fight winless streak and notched his first win since July 26, 2014.
Koch (15-6, 4-5 UFC) raced out to a lead in the first round, where he executed a trip takedown, climbed to full mount and forced the Californian to surrender his back. He hunted the rear-naked choke, only to squander position in his haste to finish. Green turned the corner in the middle stanza, as he battered the Roufusport mainstay with clinch knees, punches and elbows in close quarters. Koch continued to fade in Round 3. There, Green struck for a takedown and hammered away with elbows, surviving a desperate Koch reversal before scrambling back on top and cutting loose with more ground-and-pound.
Related » UFC on Fox 27 Round-by-Round Scoring
Bektic Punch Folds Castro
Tristar Gym prospect Mirsad Bektic rebounded from his first professional defeat and did so in spectacular fashion, as he cut down Godofredo Castro with punches in the first round of their undercard scrap at 145 pounds. Castro (13-6, 5-6 UFC) bit the dust 2:47 into Round 1.
Bektic (12-1, 5-1 UFC) waded through significant danger against the notoriously aggressive Brazilian. Midway through the first round, he countered a knee strike from Castro with a hellacious straight right hand to the solar plexus. “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” finalist withdrew in visible distress, collapsed to the canvas and could not defend himself against Bektic’s follow-up punches.
Castro, 30, has lost three times across his past four appearances.
Chookagian Slows Borella Rise
Onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Katlyn Chookagian made a triumphant return to 125 pounds, as she took a unanimous verdict from Mara Romero Borella in a preliminary women’s flyweight confrontation. All three cageside judges sided with Chookagian: 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Neither woman did much to gain separation from the other. Borella (12-5, 1-1 UFC) stalked the Mark Henry understudy from a position of power in the center of the cage, popping away with leg kicks and hearty right hands. Chookagian (10-1, 3-1 UFC) was the busier fighter, remained committed to her jab and utilized an active kicking game to keep the American Top Team-trained Italian from becoming too comfortable. Borella landed a takedown in the third round but saw her advantage negated when Chookagian threw up a quick triangle choke and escaped to her feet.
The loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Borella.
Markos Handles Frustrated Lima
Takedowns and a suffocating top game carried “The Ultimate Fighter 20” semifinalist Randa Markos to a unanimous decision against Juliana Lima in a three-round undercard tilt at 115 pounds. Markos (8-5, 4-4 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27 marks across the board.
Outside of a first-round takedown, Lima (9-5, 3-4 UFC) struggled to string together anything meaningful. Markos routinely bullied her way into the clinch and either leaned on the Brazilian with grueling exchanges along the fence or executed takedowns. Once on top, she floated between full mount, side control and half guard, all while applying her ground-and-pound on an increasingly frustrated Lima.
The 35-year-old Lima has lost three of her last four fights.
Headhunting Kim Edges Kish
Former Deep Jewels champion Ji Yeon Kim won for the seventh time in eight outings, as she eked out a split decision over Justine Kish in a preliminary women’s flyweight encounter. Judges Cardo Urso and Stephen Elliott scored it 29-28 and 30-27 for Kim, while Sal D’Amato saw it 29-28 for Kish.
Kim (7-1-2, 1-1 UFC) focused almost exclusively on the head, uncorking punches with both hands while showing little to no regard for the return fire with which she was met. Kish (6-2, 2-2 UFC) did a better job of mixing up her strikes, pairing kicks to the legs, body, head and arms with punches upstairs. However, she got outhustled over the final five minutes, as Kim blasted her with rights and lefts to the face that resulted in visible damage and perhaps cost her the decision.
Kish has dropped back-to-back bouts since starting her career 6-0.
Surging Pichel Outpoints Silva
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 semifinalist Vinc Pichel extended his winning streak to four fights, as he captured a unanimous decision from the previously unbeaten Joaquim Silva in a three-round undercard battle at 155 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Pichel (11-1, 4-1 UFC).
The first and third rounds were tightly contested, with Silva (10-1, 3-1 UFC) committing to an active kicking game and Pichel pushing the Brazilian backward with punches and leg kicks. Neither man was willing to yield in the other. Pichel did his best work in the second round, where he swooped into the clinch behind a standing elbow early and poured on the punishment late, feeding his counterpart jabs, leg kicks and elbows.
Price Choke Taps Sullivan
ATT’s Niko Price submitted former CFFC titleholder George Sullivan with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their preliminary welterweight affair. In his first appearance since Jan. 30, 2016, Sullivan (17-6, 3-3 UFC) conceded defeat 4:21 into Round 2.
Price (11-1, 3-1 UFC) piled up early points with leg kicks and sharp jabs, then switched gears with a body-lock takedown after tasting a three-punch volley from the Kurt Pellegrino protégé. He had Sullivan reeling with a knee strike and surgical right hand at the start of the middle stanza but surrendered a takedown and wound up eating elbows, one of which opened a cut near his right eye. Price was undeterred. He escaped to his feet, scrambled to a kneeling Sullivan’s back and softened him with punches before cinching the choke.
Stellar Sandhagen Blasts Arnett
Elevation Fight Team prospect Cory Sandhagen mixed together all the elements of hand-to-hand combat, as he disposed of Austin Arnett with punches in the second round of their undercard pairing at 145 pounds. Arnett (15-4, 0-1 UFC) withered 3:48 into Round 2, losing for the second time in as many outings.
Sandhagen (8-1, 1-0 UFC) carved up the Titan Fighting Championships alum with a variety of strikes, though his leg kicks and left hooks to the body were particularly effective. The 25-year-old also incorporated a takedown and ground-and-pound, cutting off Arnett at every turn. Midway through the second round, Sandhagen doubled over the Sikjitsu representative with a wicked left hook the liver and swarmed with punches and knees before delivering a devastating left uppercut to the body. Arnett collapsed to the canvas, where he was met with fight-ending punches and hammerfists.
Sandhagen has rattled off three consecutive victories.