Gegard Mousasi jabbed his way to a unanimous-decision win over late replacement Ilir Latifi in the main event at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.
Mousasi kept a distance for the majority of the fight, which gave him the opportunity land strikes while keeping his opponent at bay. Judges scored it for Mousasi with tallies of 30-27 across the panel.
“I know he’s a wrestler, so I didn’t want him to close the distance,” Mousasi said following the win. “I fought smart. Some people lay and pray. Maybe I did a little bit of that [standing] up.”
For much of the fight, Latifi backpedaled as his opponent controlled the center of the Octagon. Mousasi threw left hands that continued to back Latifi up, and the Dutch fighter continued this approach throughout the opening round.
In the second round, Latifi began to engage more, throwing counterpunches that landed, but not often. Mousasi continued to keep a distance in his favor, landing more jab-cross combinations on his shorter opponent.
Latifi’s biggest moment came towards the end of the final round when he caught a low kick from Mousasi, putting the fight to the ground a moment later. Latifi attempted some ground-and-pound, but time expired and judges gave the unanimous nod to Mousasi.
“I thought I had the advantage, striking-wise, so I took advantage of that,” Mousasi said.
Following the win in his UFC debut, Mousasi revealed in his post-fight interview that he was injured going into the contest. He did not, however, detail exactly how he was hurt.
Latifi replaced Alexander Gustafsson after the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation declared him unfit to compete on Saturday due to a cut. Mousasi said he would welcome a chance to fight Gustafsson another time.
Ross Pearson knocks out Ryan Couture
Ross Pearson stopped Ryan Couture in the second round of their co-main event at UFC on Fuel TV 9 on Saturday, earning a technical knockout over the UFC-debuting fighter.
Pearson came back after being neutralized in the first round, landing a combination of strikes to earn the win in the second frame.
“Just patience and timing,” Pearson said in his post-fight interview when asked what he attributed the win to. “I’m getting a little older and wiser now.”
Couture clinched with his opponent in the early stages of the fight, controlling the pace and neutralizing Pearson’s striking. The two separated and Pearson began to land strikes, but his opponent returned to the clinch and earned the round.
Couture began to engage with more strikes in the second, throwing combinations that found their marks. Pearson, however, caught a low kick from his opponent and forced him to the ground, working with strikes from top position.
As Couture got up, Pearson landed a kick that began the tail end of the fight. Several punches later, Couture fell to the canvas and Pearson finished the contest at the 3:45 mark of the round.
Following the win, Pearson said he may have broken his foot during warmups. His MMA record improves to 15-6.
Matt Mitrione takes just seconds to finish Phil DeFries
Well, that was quick.
Matt Mitrione knocked out Phil De Fries in the first round of their UFC Sweden main card fight in Stockholm.
De Fries shot in for a takedown as his opponent came charging forward with a right-handed punch. The strike found its mark and De Fries fell to the canvas with Mitrione on top of him.
While on the ground, Mitrione continued landing punches until his opponent was unresponsive. The referee stepped in to put a stop to the fight at just 19 seconds into the fight.
Mitrione improves his overall record to 6-2, and continues his transition from former professional football player to mixed martial artist.
Brad Pickett edges Mike Easton in a close contest
Brad Pickett edged out Mike Easton with a split-decision win in their UFC on Fuel TV main card fight in Sweden.
Judges gave the fight to Pickett with scores of 28-29, 30-27 and 30-27.
Easton and Pickett kept the fight close for the duration of the match-up. The first round had Pickett finding his spots on the feet, landing punches and outscoring his opponent with strikes in the frame.
Easton appeared to get the edge in the second round, scoring takedowns and controlling his opponent on the ground. Pickett bounced back in the third round to again show the edge on the feet en route to the split decision.
With the win, Pickett improves his record to 23-7, while Easton drops to 13-3.
Diego Brandao makes quick work of Pablo Garza
Diego Brandao showed his Jiu-Jitsu is top notch, submitting Pablo Garza in the first round of their main card fight at UFC on Fuel.
The two fighters measured each other on the feet early on in the fight, but once it got to the ground things changed. Brandao shifted easily from position to position, eventually locking on an arm triangle.
Garza attempted to fight off the hold, but was ultimately forced to tap out. The finish came at 3:27 of the opening frame.
Akira Corrasani decisions Robbie Peralta
Akira Corrasani went the distance with Robbie Peralta, earning a unanimous decision in the first main card fight in Sweden.
The two went back and forth for the entire 15-minute contest, but Corrasani scored points in the judges’ eyes with takedowns and strikes. The officials gave it to the victor with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
- Reza Madadi def. Michael Johnson by submission (choke) at 1:33, R2
- Tor Troeng def. Adam Cella by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:11, R1
- Adlan Amagov def. Chris Spang by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Conor McGregor def. Marcus Brimage by TKO at 1:07, R1
- Ryan LaFlare def. Benny Alloway via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tom Lawlor def. Michael Kuiper by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:05, R2
- Papy Abedi def. Besam Yousef via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)