Check out the results of the six preliminary card bouts at UFC 209, including incredible comeback wins for Darren Elkins and Iuri Alcantara.
The UFC 209 preliminary card was action-packed and drama-filled. We may have just seen two of the most amazing rallies in recent UFC history, as Darren Elkins pulled off the unlikely win against Mirsad Bektic, while Iuri Alcantara overcame a 100+ strike differential to stun bantamweight prospect Luke Sanders. Here’s how the fights played out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marcin Tybura def. Luis Henrique via TKO (strikes) at 3:46 of round 3 – Heavyweights
Barely anything happened in the first two minutes, and then the action picked up in an instant. Henrique got blasted with a knee but turned that into a takedown. Tybura scrambled up quickly and then he was hit with a knee. The Polish fighter leg swept Henrique for a nifty takedown. After some top control time, Henrique was on his knee, then back to his feet, and he completed a takedown to end the round.
Henrique took Tybura down early in round 2 and immediately gained side control. Tybura scrambled back up but Henrique had a hold of Marcin’s neck. Knees were thrown but Tybura was covering up well. A horrendously boring clinch battle against the fence ensued and Herb Dean broke them up. Tybura momentarily froze up Henrique with a front kick, and then Henrique stalled the action. Hardly anything else of note happened for the rest of the round.
A front kick and right hand hurt Henrique, who then initiated a clinch. Herb Dean separated them for the umpteenth time. Henrique showed impressive takedown defense and held onto the neck for a guillotine choke, but couldn’t get the finish. Tybura took Henrique’s back and then turned it into full mount and teed off with ground-and-pound. Henrique was getting clubbed with punches and Herb Dean called it off. Tybura gets his second straight stoppage win, while Henrique drops to 2-2.
Darren Elkins def. Mirsad Bektic via TKO (punch and head kick) at 3:19 of round 3 – Featherweights
Bektic and Elkins started off with strikes, and Mirsad twice cracked Elkins with right hands before taking him down with a power double. Bektic moved to side control and unleashed some splicing elbows that immediately cut Elkins’ forehead open. Mirsad put Elkins in the crucifix position and hammered away with more strikes, before Elkins was able to regain half guard, but his face was an absolute bloody mess. Bektic’s ground-and-pound was pinpoint and brutal.
Elkins landed a knee to start the second round, but he got clipped with another right hand and taken down. Elkins ate some knees to the body as he got back to his feet. Bektic pushed hard for the takedown again but couldn’t get it, and Elkins countered with a guillotine. Elkins lost the chokehold but did sustain a little bit of offense. Bektic continued to win the striking exchanges but Elkins was able to scramble and counterwrestle with Bektic. Alas, Bektic still got Eklins on his back and continued to bust up Darren’s face.
Bektic got hit with what appeared to be a kick to the groin, but replays suggest it might have been to the body. After the restart, Bektic lit up Elkins with a left hook and right hand combination. Elkins stuffed two more takedowns but not a third one. Bektic was caught in a heel hook but Elkins didn’t couldn’t adjust to secure it. Incredibly, Elkins delivered some knees to the body and then as Mirsad got up, he rocked Bektic with a right hand and a head kick to get the knockout. An epic comeback that just followed Iuri Alcantara’s epic comeback literally in the previous fight. Bektic loses for the first time in his career, while Elkins gets his first finish in four years.
If you watched the entire fight. You know why this finish was incredible.
Darren “The Damage” Elkins #UFC209 https://t.co/L0r5r1IPc9
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) March 5, 2017
Iuri Alcantara def. Luke Sanders via submission (kneebar) at 3:13 of round 2 – Bantamweights
Sanders clipped Alcantara in the opening minute of the fight. The Brazilian was swinging for the fences but Sanders did well to evade those shots and then get the takedown. Luke had Alcantara’s back in a scramble and pummeled Alcantara with a slew of punches and hammerfists to the head. Alcantara tried to get a kimura on the left arm, but Sanders stopped it and kept the onslaught going. Alcantara was getting battered and the referee was threatening to stop the fight. Sanders drilled Alcantara with elbows and then more punches. Luke threw a blatant illegal knee, which cost him a point. Poor decision by Sanders effectively gave Alcantara a lifeline.
Alcantara began round 2 with a nice left hand in this southpaw vs. southpaw matchup. Sanders blasted Iuri with a hard left and Alcantara rolled for a leg, but Sanders was privy to it. A knee to the body hurt Alcantara and he was in major trouble again. Sanders nearly threw another illegal knee to the head but it may have landed on the chest. Luke was in full command of the fight, striking Alcantara repeatedly, and then Alcantara rolled for a kneebar out of nowhere and got the tap. One of the most incredible comebacks you will ever see in any MMA fight. Sanders drops to 1-1 in the UFC, while Alcantara has now won three of his last four.
Iuri Alcantara makes a comeback for the ages over Luke Sanders. #UFC209 https://t.co/REf18GGMUO
— FS1 (@FS1) March 5, 2017
Mark Godbeer def. Daniel Spitz by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) – Heavyweights
Godbeer immediately kicked things off with a knee to Spitz’s dome. Spitz was getting tagged early and often in striking exchanges. The newcomer Spitz connected on a leg kick but Godbeer answered back with a leg kick that put Spitz off balance. Godbeer was throwing heavy shots and winding up on his punches throughout the round. The pace slowed down, but Godbeer punctuated the opening frame with a stinging right hand and a counter left hook.
In round 2, Spitz shot for a single but Godbeer was able to use the whizzer to fend it off. Two right hands had Spitz hurt but he was able to grab a hold of Godbeer and take him down. Godbeer scrambled back to his feet. Godbeer unleashed shots to the body and Spitz’s gas tank looked to be gone. The former college football player hung in tough even as Godbeer poured on the pressure and the punishment.
Round 3 was not very easy on the eyes from an entertainment perspective. Both guys were gassed and Spitz never landed the knockout shot he needed to get to win the fight. A right hand cracked Spitz and he was hurt again, but Godbeer still couldn’t put him away with the ensuing mini-flurry against the fence. Godbeer gets his first UFC win, while Spitz is unable to get the upset on short notice.
Tyson Pedro def. Paul Craig via TKO (elbows) at 4:10 of round 1 – Light Heavyweights
Tyson Pedro improved to 2-0 in the UFC after a slow start, as he pounded out Scotland’s Paul Craig. While Craig was getting the better of Pedro in the clinch battle in the early stages, the fight change after a straight right dropped Craig. Pedro let Craig get back to his feet, where he would continue the beating. Another right hand rocked Craig, big knees had him hurt even more. Craig tried to toss Pedro down, but wound up on his back, with Pedro in side control. Pedro bashed Craig with elbows from the crucifix position to get the opening round TKO. Craig loses for the first time in his MMA career.
THAT’S IT!! @Tyson_Pedro_ remains unbeaten via RD1 TKO!! #UFC209 pic.twitter.com/8v0kGW0JPl
— #UFC209 (@ufc) March 5, 2017
Albert Morales def. Andre Soukhamthath by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Bantamweights
Morales started off nicely with heavy leg kicks on the UFC newcomer. Soukhamthath got popped with a hard jab and a leg kick. Andre was able to generate some offense with a left hook, but didn’t have much of an answer for Albert’s leg kicks. Soukhamthath pressed forward and cracked Morales with a nice uppercut. A failed flying knee by Soukhamthath led to him getting tagged by a Morales right hand towards the end of the opening round.
Soukhamthath came out more aggressively in round 2 and was landing his own leg kicks, and mixed those strikes up with his preferred boxing. Morales changed things up by changing levels and taking Andre down, but it was brief and Soukhamthath was back up to his feet. Morales took Soukhamthath down off the single leg, but was immediately reversed, gave up his back, ate some strikes, and then Morales rolled to his back and went to full guard. Soukhamthath fended off Morales trying to grab his arm, and Andre advanced to half guard and got in some more good strikes before they returned to their feet. Soukhamthath scored with a hard knee to end the round.
Both men connected on good shots early in round 3, as they went toe-to-toe with big punches. Soukhamthath went on an all-out assault on Morales’ body, throwing a bunch of vicious left hooks to the body, as well as a knee. Morales was able to land some shots but Andre seem unfazed, and Morales continued to get mauled with the same punch. Soukhamthath bizarrely went for the takedown, which backfired in a big way. Morales took Soukhamthath’s back and started beating him up with ground-and-pound. Albert had the body lock and was searching for a rear-naked choke but never came close to getting it. Soukhamthath took some more shots but then he ended the fight by throwing punches and landing flush on Morales, even with Albert controlling his back. A fun and strategically odd fight goes the way of Morales, who spoils Soukhamthath’s UFC debut.