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The contest served as the final bout of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 5 event, which took place in las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter Gym and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
The two were cautious to start, feeling each other out on the feet while seeking angles. Jones was forced to move in and out of range against a taller foe, eventually shooting for a takedown that didn’t materialize.
Once confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches on the floor sealed the result, though the finish was never in question.
Petties was light on his feet to start, firing off big punches and flashing quick kicks before Arce pushed in to close the distance. Petties worked hard to battle off the cage, though Arce did a solid job of controlling the wrists and preventing much offense. They briefly reset in the center before Petties looked for his own clinch attack, though his best offense scored when they split again.
Arce began to press a bit more on the feet in the second, finding some success with powerful strikes. Petties looked to cover and return fire, but he absorbed several huge shots in the process. Clearly wobbled, Petties searched for options but eventually stumbled to the floor. He tried to clear his head, but Arce kept the pressure high and eventually landed enough for the TKO finish.
The pace was quick to start, though it seemed Perez was the first one to earn respect with his strikes. Gray was content to answer in the pocket until leg kicks started to take their toll, forcing him to change his strategy and look for the takedown. Perez stuffed, latched on to an anaconda choke, and rolled and squeezed until Gray went out at the 2:54 mark of the first, earning Perez the second of two UFC deals issued.
Frelow was aggressive from the start, leaping forward with flying knees and reaching punches as he looked to push the action. Simon battled back with an early takedown, though Frelow moved quickly back to his feet, where the two battled inside. Simon continued to look for takedowns as the round played out, while Frelow countered by looking for guillotine chokes, then standing when they weren’t there.
The pace remained high in the second, with Frelow enjoying some early success with his strikes. However, Simon continued to rely on the takedown to counter and score points of his own. That said, he struggled to keep the position, and Frelow capitalized with more strikes in their time on the feet.
The two stood toe-to-toe in the third, with both men landing flush in the pocket. Both men teed off with big shots in a rousing battle before Simon took it down again and controlled the positioning until the end. It was enough for Simon to take the bout, albeit by split decision.
In a bout that dragged on longer than it should have, Graves took the fight to the floor repeatedly with relative ease and punched away as he tried to end the fight. Unfortunately, his power was lacking, allowing Sims to absorb some 172 blows (over just nine he landed) before the merciful end of the contest at the 2:20 mark of the final frame.
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