UFC Fight Island continues its rampage through the MMA world as we enter Fight Island 2, the third fight card of four. We will finally crown a flyweight champion, whilst the co main sees two top ranked middleweights do battle. However, we first start with the prelims!
Carlos Felipe vs Serghei Spivac (W) – Heavyweight Bout
To kick the fight card off tonight, we have a battle between heavyweights as Carlos Felipe takes on Serghei Spivac. Felipe came flying out of the blocks at the first bell whilst Spivac stayed composed, sitting behind some fantastic block defense and a lovely left-hand jab. Felipe was swinging wild the entire round, trying to break the defense of Spivac but he kept behind his jab and pieced some nice combos together, stinging and hurting Felipe. Spivac won that for me 10-9.
Round 2 was pretty action-packed throughout, with Felipe seeming to find a way to slip Spivac’s left jab more and enjoy more success with his heavier shots. Spivac seemed to understand that and started to shoot for takedowns more, although he didn’t get them, he managed to pin Felipe against the cage wall and hit some nice elbows. Felipe turned his attention to some body shots, changing his levels and keeping Spivac guessing. 19-19 for me after two rounds.
Round 3 was pure domination for Spivac, he took Felipe to the ground early and put in some heavy ground and pound. Felipe managed to get back to his feet but was dragged down again pretty quickly. Spivac enjoyed at least 2 more minutes of dominant position and ground and pound until Felipe got to his feet again, only to be dragged down for a 3rd time. 29-27 for me for Spivac and two judges agreed with me, giving the win to Spivac via decision.
Davi Ramos vs Arman Tsarukyan (W) – Lightweight Bout
Next up is the lightweights as two promising prospects in Davi Ramos and Arman Tsarukyan do battle. Tsarukyan looked really comfortable at the start of the fight, on the feet he was pretty fluid and finding some success with a variety of shots, including a spinning back kick to the body of Ramos. Ramos shot for a takedown but got countered, with Tsarukyan taking dominant position for over 2 minutes, chipping away at the defense of Ramos. 10-9 Tsarukyan for me after 1.
Ramos came out with a lot more aggression in round 2, putting Tsarukyan on the back foot and hitting him with some powerful shots, including a couple of hooks. Tsarukyan, however, came back into the round and took Ramos down with a beautiful double leg takedown, the first time Ramos has been taken down in the UFC. Tsarukyan then teed off on the feet with some great combos and caught Ramos with a stunning leg kick. 20-18 Tsarukyan for me.
Round 3 started and was paused almost instantly after Tsarukyan was hit low. After the restart, Tsarukyan was feeling good as he was cutting the defense of Ramos up with a huge variety of shots from small combos with his hands, to spinning back kicks to the body and head. Ramos had a pretty nasty cut right on his eye and the ref called the doctor in to check but the fight carried on. Ramos shot for a takedown, didn’t get it and Tsarukyan got one of his own to end the round and fight. 30-27 to Tsarukyan for me and the judges agreed. Tsarukyan is a serious talent at lightweight at just 23 years old.
Malcolm Gordon vs Amir Albazi (W) – Bantamweight Bout
Bantamweights are up next on the prelims as Malcolm Gordon welcomes promising prospect Amir Albazi to the octagon. Both guys seemed very energetic and active when they came in front of each other as the bell rang. Amir had some early success with some straight rights and lefts down the defense of Gordon whilst Gordon was trying to hit him with some power shots. Amir then shot for the takedown and got it, engaging in a grappling battle with a black belt in Gordon. Amir almost got the back but then Gordon countered it, however, doing that he left himself open and Amir locked in a triangle choke and Gordon tapped. Amir Albazi taps out a black belt on short notice for his UFC debut in the first round!
Brett Johns (W) vs Montel Jackson – Bantamweight Bout
Bantamweights were next up once again on the prelim card order and this time it was fought between two very promising prospects in Brett Johns and Montel Jackson. Johns started the fight really well, even though he was the smaller guy he got on the inside and clinched Jackson up fairly early in the round. After some nice clinch work from Johns, Jackson broke out and nailed him with a hefty elbow that sent Johns to the floor, he tried to finish the fight but Johns defended well to survive the round. 10-9 Jackson for me after that knockdown.
Johns started the round pretty quickly, just like the previous one, locking Montel up and going for a takedown, but Jackson has a tricky frame and defended well. Johns clinched up again and Jackson took Johns down with a nice foot sweep and Johns shot for a double leg and got it. From there he went for multiple submissions, including an armbar and a triangle choke but Montel defended well and finished in dominant position. Close round but I’ll say Johns took it, so it’s 19-19 heading into the third.
The third round was pretty much the same, with Johns grabbing a hold of Jackson, putting him up against the cage and taking him down. Jackson defended well though and the takedowns never really went anywhere, which could affect the score cards. Johns looked to have a guillotine locked in but Montel countered well. Montel hit Johns with a nasty knee to the head as Johns shot for the takedown. Will be a tough one to score but I’ll say 29-28 Johns and the judges agree as Johns takes the win.
Joe Duffy vs Joel Alvarez (W) – Lightweight Bout
Lightweights are up once again on the prelims as Joe Duffy looks to bounce back against promising prospect Joel Alvarez. This first round was a cracker, both fighters came out of the gates with some strong strikes, switching levels and keeping eachother guessing. Duffy started with some nice leg kicks but Alvarez answered back with some powerful leg kicks of his own. Duffy shot for the takedown and got it but Alvarez managed to lock a guillotine in and make Duffy tap for the first round win.
Grant Dawson (W) vs Nad Narimani – Catchweight Bout
A catchweight bout is what the card has in store for us next between Grant Dawson and Nad Narimani. Dawson came out hot in this first round, throwing some hellacious calf kicks that Narimani was feeling from the off. Narimani did check one and that put Dawson on the floor, but Dawson flew back up and hit Narimani with a nasty knee. Dawson scored the takedown shortly after and then dominated for the rest of the round on the ground. 10-9 Dawson for me.
Round 2 was almost a mirror image of the first, Dawson came out of the gates with authority and threw a lovely calf kick and then a knee to the head of Narimani who answered back with a right hand. Dawson scored the takedown shortly after and got the back after that and was looking for the rear-naked choke but Narimani defended well but couldn’t escape Dawson. 20-18 for Dawson.
Round 3 was spent entirely on the feet and Grant Dawson showed the world he’s not just a simple wrestler as he was throwing all kinds of strikes at Narimani and hardly seemed to miss. His calf kicks were devastating for Narimani and whilst he gave his all in the final round, he was too compromised to do anything lethal in the round and Dawson won that 30-27 for me. The judges scored it oddly but Dawson came out with the win.
Roman Dolidze (W) vs Khadis Ibragimov – Light Heavyweight Bout
To finish the prelims out we have a featured prelim bout between light heavyweights as Roman Dolidze makes his UFC debut against a violent striker in Khadis Ibragimov. This first round started pretty slowly, with Dolidze moving around and sending the occasional leg kick to Ibragimov. After some more leg kicks, Ibragimov sent one back, however, Dolidze checked the kick and Ibragimov started limping in pain, much to the delight of Dolidze as he let off a serial killer esque grin. He went for a head kick but got tripped and the ref allowed him to get to the feet. Seconds after that Dolidze faked a head kick and hit a picture-perfect knee to the jaw of Ibragimov to knock him out for the debut win.
Alexandre Pantoja vs Askar Askarov (W) – Flyweight Bout
Main card time and the flyweights get us underway as two highly ranked contenders in Alexandre Pantoja and Askar Askarov go head to head. My god did this round start hot as hell, Pantoja came running out and tried to lock in a standing guillotine, Askarov escaped but almost fell into a triangle choke, then an arm triangle attempt and then an armbar attempt. Askarov kept his composure though and enjoyed some good wrestling for a solid 90 seconds or so. Pantoja pulled off a lovely back take for the body triangle from the back and kept dominant position for the remainder of the round. Pantoja 10-9 for me.
Round 2 was just as good as the previous as both guys came flying out and were happy to exchange some shots at the start until Pantoja seemed to be enjoying the better success of the two. Askarov went back to his wrestling and tried to take Pantoja down, but Pantoja’s takedown defense is brilliant. Both guys were scrambling and countering eachother in a fantastic display of wrestling, BJJ and Jiu-Jitsu. Tough one to call so I’ll say 19-19.
Surprisingly, round 3 was fought entirely on the feet with both guys seeming to be tired after the hectic pace of the first two rounds. Pantoja was trying to piece some combos together as a counter to Askarov who was flooding the pressure on and was finding some good success with the jab. Askarov caught Pantoja a few times in the last round and caught him with a hefty strike at the bell. I’ll say 29-28 Askarov but that was a really exciting fight and I’d love to see it again. The judges gave the decision to Askarov who kicks the main card off with a bang.
Ariane Lipski (W) vs Luana Carolina – Women’s Flyweight Bout
Up next on the main card is the only women’s fight of the night and its between Ariane Lipski and Luana Carolina as they have a tough job following that last fight. Well this fight didn’t last long; Lipski didn’t waste any time getting on the inside of the longer Carolina and dropped her with a body shot. She leapt on her and both fighters just got entangled in all kind of ways and Lipski somehow got Carolina’s knee in a kneebar submission and the fight was over, very impressive and hopefully Carolina’s knee isn’t damaged too badly.
Marc Diakiese vs Rafael Fiziev (W) – Lightweight Bout
The third lightweight fight of the night is next as Marc Diakiese takes on Rafael Fiziev, who took the fight on a month’s notice. Diakiese started the fight well with some good leg kicks, one that put Fiziev to his knees. However, Fiziev came back with some hellacious body kicks that did some real damage and caused Diakiese to shoot for a takedown or two. Both shots were stuffed and Fiziev enjoyed dominant position both times. 10-9 Fiziev so far after 1.
The start of round 2 was all Fiziev again as he backed Diakiese up with some nasty body shots and some nice leg kicks, Diakiese shot for a takedown but Fiziev stuffed it and Diakiese had to settle for some nice work in the clinch. The second half of the round was Diakiese’s though, he came into the fight more, started throwing some combos rather than single shots and countered the leg kicks well. Closer round but I have it 20-18 Fiziev.
Round 3 started and Diakiese looked more comfortable but urgent, knowing he needed a finish to win the fight, he was looking to piece together some nice combos but Fiziev wasn’t giving him the time or space to do so. Diakiese countered a body kick with a wonderful right hand that stunned Fiziev, he then followed up with some nice combos and ended up lighting his opponent up a little, however, it was too little too late and I have it 29-28 Fiziev. Two judges agreed with me and Fiziev takes the win and impresses at Fight Island.
Jack Hermansson (W) vs Kelvin Gastelum – Middleweight Bout
Co-main event of the evening time and its between two top ranked middleweights looking to put their names in the title fight contention list as Jack Hermansson battle Kelvin Gastelum. Hermansson came out with some great leg kicks early on and seemed to shoot for the takedown and body lock Kelvin on the cage wall. Kelvin got the takedown and looked to be fine and then all of a sudden Hermansson burst energetically and locked in a heel hook for the submission win within 75 seconds, unbelievable performance and win!
Deiveson Figueiredo (W) vs Joseph Benavidez – Flyweight Title Bout
ITSSSSSSSS TIMEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s main event time as we finally crown a flyweight champion in a rematch between two of the best flyweights to do it in Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez. My oh my what a round, Figueiredo came out and hit Benavidez with some leg kicks and then went upstairs with a beauty of a right hook and knocked Benavidez down, he jumped on him and tried to finish the fight via a rear-naked choke twice and Benavidez did fantastically to break out of both. Soon after, Figueiredo knocked Benavidez down again with another hook, then knocked him down a third time, jumped on his back and choked him out cold to win the flyweight title. We, for sure, witnessed a murder and we may have witnessed someone who could challenge Demetrious Johnson as a dominant flyweight champion for years to come.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports