An all-decision UFC San Antonio prelim card just concluded with longtime UFC veteran Alex Caceres winning a decision over Steven Peterson. This was the 21st UFC for Caceres. Before that, the promotion’s #6 ranked women’s bantamweight Raquel Pennington bested the #10 ranked Irene Aldana in a tightly contested split decision. After dropping back to back bouts to world champs Amanda Nunes and then Germaine de Randamie, Pennington now finds herself back in the win column and holds down her spot near the top-5.
Klidson Abreu realized his first UFC win with a unanimous decision over promotional veteran Sam Alvey. The bout lacked major wow moments, but somehow Alvey was visibly shocked at the two 30-27’s and 29-28 in favor of his foe. Abreu is the only man to have defeated the UFC’s #12 ranked light heavyweight Johnny Walker. That match occurred outside of the promotion so perhaps can use that angle to move himself up the light heavyweight rankings.
The promotion’s #6 ranked women’s flyweight Jennifer Maia showcased stellar takedown defense en cute to her unanimous decision win over the #5 ranked Roxanne Modafferi. Maia now sits at 2-1 within the UFC. Also on the prelims, former UFC flyweight title contender Ray Borg returned to the win column by pushing the pace on Gabriel Silva, the younger brother of ex-UFC/current Bellator fighter Erick Silva. In a rather emotional post-fight interview, Borg stated that he was back and wouldn’t take his UFC career for granted. Can a seemingly re-motivated Borg make waves at bantamweight?
In a rather exciting three-round war, Mario Bautista picked up a unanimous decision over a very game Jin Soo Son. The bantamweights stood right in front of each other and technically brawled for a large chunk of the fight. Both men showed great gas tanks, tremendous heart, sharp technique, all tied it all together with great sportsmanship. This is a great win for Bautista, but Son’s stock should also rise after this one.
**See complete results below
Alex Caceres def. Steven Peterson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
Caceres came crashing in with his stiff southpaw cross over and over to start the fight. Peterson ate them and kept moving forward. Peterson hit his opponent with a heavy hook and proceeded to grapple. He took the back and worked for the rear-naked choke. Caceres stood to his feet and did a ninja roll to escape to hold. A bloodied Peterson threw punches while on the back until time expire. The referee gave Peterson a warning about raking the eyes as soon as the round ended.
The commentator crew stated that Caceres told his corner that he broke his left hand in the first round. Caceres continued to play the matador in the second round and was even throwing his left hand. Peterson would move forward but kept getting countered. Caceres did a great job of landing and getting out of the way. Caceres continued to have success countering a pressuring Peterson in the third round. With about a minute left in the fight, Peterson found top position but didn’t do anything with it before the bell sounded.
Going to work!
— UFC (@ufc) July 21, 2019
Raquel Pennington def. Irene Aldana by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): (W) Bantamweight
Aldana took the center of the Octagon and began pumping out volume, but not necessarily connecting. Pennington sat on the outside, allowing Aldana to miss. Towards the end of the round, Aldana started to land a bit. The second round saw Aldana press forward again behind her volume. Pennington was able to catch her opponent with punches on the inside, but whenever she would move forward herself she would eat a hard right hand counter. Both athletes landed some knees in the clinch, with Aldana landing the better ones. Pennington finished the round strong by flurrying on Aldana up against the fence as time expired.
Pennington scored an early takedown in the final round but found herself fighting off a leg lock attempt. Aldana locked up a calf slicer and as she went for it, Pennington landed small punches from the top. Pennington scrambled out of harms way and locked up an arm triangle. Aldana escaped and worked again for another leg lock as time ran out.
— UFC (@ufc) July 21, 2019
Klidson Abreu def. Sam Alvey unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Light Heavyweight
Abreu looked to stifle his foe up against the fence to start the match, and kept hunting for the position. Things heated up at the end of the round when Alvey actually pressed forward. Both men landed strikes in the closing moments of the round, and then Abreu landed a knee to face just after the buzzer. Alvey moved forward in the second round and got taken down for it. After exposing his back, Alvey spun into top position and ultimately returned to his feet where a slow and plodding boxing match went on.
Abreu started using his kicks a lot more in the final round. He kept the range and played the outside, which prompted Alvey to move forward. Alvey had bursts of offense, connecting and backing up Abreu. In the final minute of the fight, Abreu blitzed forward with some quality strikes, but didn’t really follow up to hurt Alvey.
— UFC (@ufc) July 21, 2019
Biting down on the mouthpiece and launching!
— UFC (@ufc) July 21, 2019
Jennifer Maia def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): (W) Flyweight
Maia did a great job of fighting off the early takedown attempts from Modafferi. She did however spend a lot of time with her back to the fence. When the fight was in open space, Modafferi ate a couple of hard shots. Maia hit an explosive combo early in the second round that backed off Modafferi. She followed up with a flurry of punches that seemed to stagger Modafferi. Despite giving up the power advantage, Modafferi kept hunting for the takedown, but Maia just wasn’t allowing it. The final round saw more of the same. Modafferi unsuccessfully searching for the takedown while the punches were scoring for Maia.
Ray Borg def. Gabriel Silva by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Bantamweight
A bunch of high-octane scrambles occurred in the opening round. Neither man really being able to solidify a dominant position made for some fun back and forth grappling. Borg jumped a guillotine early in the seocnd frame, but Silva escaped and enjoyed top position. Borg gave up his back and used the bad position to spin into top position. He then scrambled to the back of Silva and began to control for the rest of the round.
Borg came out and achieved a slamming takedown to start he final round. The pace seemed to be wearing on Silva. Whenever Silva did get back to his feet, Borg was quick to take him right back down. He was pretty much defending the whole time as a result of the pace Borg was pushing. Silva did land a spinning elbow at the buzzer, but that was about it.
— UFC (@ufc) July 20, 2019
Mario Bautista def. Jin Soo Son by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Bantamweight
Bautista found early success leaping in with his punches, causing Son to wear it a bit on his face. Son start pressing forward behind his jab, cracking unchecked leg kicks and getting himself into the fight. Son pressed forward in the second round, pushing Bautista up against the cage. Bautista went hard for a Kimura, initiating a fun scramble that took the fight to open space. The warriors started to trade it out on the feet. Back and forth they went in a war of attrition, trying to break one another. Bautista started using punches and even shoulder shrugs to to hurt Son on the inside. This was quite a grueling round that was fought at a crazy pace. The third round was no different and was arguably more exciting.
Felipe Colares def. Domingo Pilarte by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Bantamweight
Colares struck his way into the clinch and started grinding on Pilarte up against the cage. Pilarte ultimately freed himself into open space, but Colares closed the distance and went right back to work. Colares scored the takedown and landed some quality blows before the round ended.
Colares continued to be all over Pilarte in the second round, keeping the distance closed and grinding away. Pilarte did a better job of using his sub attempts to fight off the aggression of his opponent, making for some fun scrambles. Pilarte went for it in the final frame. He closed the distance and took Colares to the mat where he took the back. Colares did not return to his feet or improve his position for the rest of the time. He did manage to not get submitted and even landed some frivolous punches while Pilarte was on his back.
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