The UFC London prelims took a real battering, as two fights were cancelled before the card could even begin. With Ian Entwistle vs. Brett Johns and Tom Breese vs. Oluwale Bamgbose off the lineup, the card was reduced to eleven fights, with seven of those on the prelims. Here’s how the preliminary card matchups played out, including Joseph Duffy’s outstanding showing against Reza Madadi, plus a phenomenal knockout by Marc Diakiese.
Joseph Duffy def. Reza Madadi by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) – Lightweights
Madadi struck first early with a jumping knee as Duffy ducked his head down. He was able to take the Irishman to the floor, then pick him up and drop him again. Duffy was able to reverse Madadi on the second takedown and gain top position. Duffy controlled the Swede on the mat and briefly held side control before Madadi gained half-guard. Madadi went for a guillotine but couldn’t lock it up, and Duffy kept grinding away on top and land some sharp elbows on the ground. One elbow opened up a big cut on the forehead just before the round ended.
Duffy cracked a bloodied Madadi with a two-punch combo after just missing with a flying knee. “Mad Dog” egged him on, but Duffy picked his shots strategically and took control of the fight. Madadi more or less smeared his own blood all over his face mid-fight, as if to make it a mask. Duffy tagged Madadi with a sharp knee. Madadi took Duffy down but only momentarily, and Duffy returned to his striking ways. It was a dominant round for Duffy, as Madadi had no meaningful answers on the feet.
Duffy continued his dominance over Madadi in the final round. He defended Madadi’s takedown attempts, kept himself out of harm’s way, and placed his shots beautifully regardless of Madadi’s incessant bluffing. Another uppercut cut through Reza’s guard heading into the final minute. Duffy turned up the heat and dug in a vicious left hook to the body that appeared to hurt his opponent. Duffy enters free agency on the back of this excellent performance, which netted him a one-sided decision.
Francimar Barroso def. Darren Stewart by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – Light Heavyweights
Stewart timed Barroso coming in on him and immediately took him down. Barroso threatened with an armbar, but Stewart was privy to it and let him get back to his feet. With about ninety seconds left in the opening round, the Brazilian caught Stewart with a good jab, and then had his body kick caught. Barroso secure a late takedown before the horn sounded.
Barroso powerfully slammed Stewart to the mat early in round 2, as he imposed his physicality on the undersized Brit. The grinding style wore Stewart down and Darren was unable to mount any offense. After the referee separated the two due to lack of action, it was evident that Stewart’s cardio was failing him.
Very little happened in round 3. Stewart was throwing and not landing often. Barroso wasn’t throwing as much and also wasn’t landing often. Stewart pushed forward and did connect with a right hand, but the pace slowed to a crawl after they clinched up for the millionth time. Barroso vs. Stewart I ended in a no-contest, the rematch ended in a Barroso win.
Very little happened in round 1. Omielanczuk outstruck Johnson and was the faster, more agile fighter. Johnson couldn’t take the Polish fighter down once, but did get in a couple of flurries towards the second-half of the opening frame.
Omielanczuk continued to land the leg kick at will, and after a brief exchange of punches, Johnson initiated another clinch. Johnson landed a hard elbow as he exited. Omielanczuk clipped Johnson with a nice left. Referee Marc Goddard stopped action momentarily after Omielanczuk evidently pulled Johnson’s mouthguard out. On the restart, Johnson was able to get the takedown and fire away a series of damaging head shots on the ground before getting back to his feet.
Round three was mostly terrible. Neither man could get the takedowns going, and the striking was sloppy. Johnson did appear to buckle Omielanczuk with a straight right before failing to take Daniel down. Not much else to summarize from a really poor battle between two ranked heavyweights.
Leon Edwards def. Vicente Luque by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – Welterweights
Edwards was getting the better of Luque on the feet, but it was a relative stalemate against the fence, as Edwards was stuffing Luque’s takedowns. Midway through the opening round, Luque reversed Edwards’ failed takedown and wound up on top. Vicente advanced to side control and then worked to get a front head lock, but wound up just kneeing Edwards to the body instead.
Luque had a hold of Edwards’ leg but the Brit hit a nice switch and had control of Luque’s head. He used it more for control than anything else, but Luque wriggled free and pushed for the takedown again. The referee separated them, after which Edwards drilled Luque with a vicious body kick. After a flying knee, Edwards got the takedown into half-guard. Edwards threw some ground-and-pound to the body. The referee had another quick stand-up, and the round ended with Luque and Edwards in a clinch battle after Luque did well to defend a double leg.
The wrestling and grappling struggle continued in the final round, with Edwards continuing to fend off Luque’s takedown attempts and hitting switches. With the battle for dominant position going nowhere, they got back to their feet, and Edwards teed off to the body and to the head. Puzzlingly, he shot for a takedown. That was unsuccessful, but Edwards continued to hammer away at an increasingly worn down Luque. Edwards again failed on a takedown but this time it was Luque going to the body with his punches. Edwards changed levels and finished a takedown to end a grueling contest. Following his third consecutive win, Edwards called for a fight with Donald Cerrone.
Marc Diakiese def. Teemu Packalen by KO (punch) at :30 of round 1 – Lightweights
Diakiese put on a show. A hard leg kick, followed by a spinning kick to the head, and a spinning back kick to the body, then a blocked jumping body kick. Seconds later, “Bonecrusher” ended the fight with one of the most sensational right hands you’ll ever see. Packalen’s legs stiffened in an instant, and there was no need for a follow-up shot. What a KO by Diakiese, who has three wins in as many fights in the UFC. That was outstanding.
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2017
Brad Scott def. Scott Askham by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Middleweights
After both men traded powerful kicks in the early stages, Brad Scott dropped Scott Askham with a hard right hand. Askham was able to get back to his feet and return fire with an uppercut and a right hook. Scott was battering Askham’s lead leg with low kicks and he seemed to be limping. Askham took damage to the legs, body, and head against the fence. Askham tried to fight his way back with knees to the body in the clinch.
After a slow start to round 2, Brad returned to throwing powerful leg kicks, but it was Askham who was able to tag ihs foe with a left hand over the top. Askham briefly had Scott down but Brad got back to his feet. Just as Askham was able to manage a sustained run of offense, another leg kick had Askham stumbling backwards and momentarily switching stances. Scott went to work on the left leg, and Askham was unable to check them with any regularity. Askham punched Scott hard in the eye and that had him backing up, and they each exchanged big shots to end the middle phase of this action-packed affair.
Askham was outworking Scott early in round three, finding success with a jab from orthodox and landing good punches from longer range. The leg kicks from Brad Scott continued to pile up but not at the same frequency as in the previous two rounds. Scott popped Askham with his own hard jab with just over two minutes left in the fight. The tough-as-nails Askham dug into the right side of Scott’s body with kicks to the ribs. Askham finished the stronger of the two with solid combination striking, although Brad Scott had the final say with a right hand to Askham’s jaw, and he was the man who was awarded the split decision victory.
Lina Lansberg def. Lucie Pudilova by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) – Women’s Bantamweights
Lansberg wasted no time pushing Pudilova straight towards the fence, where she landed several knees in the clinch. Pudilova returned the favor at times. It was really just a battle of knees more than anything else in the opening round. Late in the first, the Swede cracked the Czech with a right elbow. Lansberg had the upper hand in the clinch battles as the round closed, and Pudilova looked a little fatigued.
In round 2, Lansberg caught a Pudilova kick an delivered hard kicks to the body and to the head in return. Lansberg caught Pudilova with a left hook and stung her with two jabs, as she had the advantage in this round against an opponent whom she’d beaten once before. Pudilova did answer with a combination against the fence, but wound up taken down off a single-leg. Not much offense was initiated by either woman for the rest of the round.
Pudilova cracked Lansberg with a 1-2 that forced her into a level change and an ugly, failed takedown attempt. She bloodied up Lansberg with elbows to the side of the head. It was Pudilova who had turned the tide and was getting the better of Lansberg. The right eye of Lansberg was swelling and Pudilova popped her with a hard right hand in the closing seconds. A battered and bruised Lansberg got the decision, much to the displeasure of the crowd. Lansberg herself said in the post-fight interview that she thought Lucie was the rightful winner. Whatever the case, Lansberg gets her first UFC win.
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