The UFC 232: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 Fight Pass preliminary card has wrapped up. Opening the night’s action was a quick submission finish by bantamweight prospect by Montel Jackson over Brian Kelleher, followed by an entertaining decision victory for welterweight Curtis Millender over Siyar Bahadurzada. In the middleweight division, Uriah Hall rallied from two rounds down to spark Bevon Lewis in a dramatic third-round KO, while British bantamweight Nathaniel Wood dominated Andre Ewell on his way to a third-round rear-naked choke.
Here’s how the fights played out at The Forum in Inglewood, CA.
Nathaniel Wood def. Andre Ewell by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 of round 3 – Bantamweights
Wood stunned Ewell early with a right hand that put his opponent on the floor. He followed him to the ground, but Ewell secured an underhook and got back to his feet, then sent Wood back with a straight left hand. It was certainly a wild back-and-forth beginning with both men having their moments on the feet. A great inside leg kick buckled Ewell and momentarily put him off balance. Ewell appeared to be having balance issues as a result, and Wood upped the aggression and caught Ewell with several clean punches upstairs.
Wood came out firing with more leg kicks and then bashed Ewell with a series of uppercuts, as a mad flurry ensued before Nathaniel put him on his back with a takedown. Wood stayed on top for literally the entire time it was on the ground. He really beat up Ewell, who offered pretty much nothing from his loose guard, and Andre was never close to escaping, instead absorbing several heavy punches to the head and body. Ewell was taken down again in round three and any lingering drama disappeared when that happened. Wood was able to get the finish late by taking his back in a scramble and locking up the rear-naked choke. A comprehensive win for Wood to go to 2-0 in the UFC, while Ewell experiences his first UFC defeat.
Uriah Hall def. Bevon Lewis by KO (punch) at 1:32 of round 3 – Middleweights
Lewis came out attacking heavily, rocking Hall with a front kick and an elbow and just swarming Uriah with a bevy of strikes from mid-range and in the clinch. Hall weathered the early storm and worked his jab. Lewis was searching for the overhand right, particularly off of Hall’s jab, and Uriah was seemingly content to throw single strikes.
Round two was still mostly in Lewis’ control, as he clocked Hall with a right hand and then a head kick against the fence. Hall just totally lacked the necessary output and accuracy to swing things back in his favor. Some late success, including his favored spinning back kick, was not enough to avoid being 2-0 down through ten minutes.
Lewis opened up round three by doing some damage in the clinch before they separated. Out of nowhere, Hall crushed Bevon with a right hand that turned his lights out. Another comeback KO win for Uriah Hall, as Lewis loses for the first time in his career.
Curtis Millender def. Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) – Welterweights
Millender threw several kicks early and often, and Siyar “The Great” shook his head after getting hit with a spinning kick to the head. Bahadurzada was loading up on power punches but to little effect. Millender did an excellent job of controlling distance so that he could land quality shots and avoid getting hit.
Bahadurzada came out more aggressively to start round two. He was able to land a right hand that caught Millender’s attention, but Curtis stuck with his jab and kicks to consistently score against his opponent. Siyar had more success in the middle frame than at the beginning, but it wasn’t frequent enough. To his credit, he was able to get a takedown with under two minutes to go and stay on top. Not too much ground-and-pound was generated by Bahadurzada but it might have stolen the round for him.
Siyar looked to engage in a slugfest with Millender to start the third round, landing some hard shots but getting countered and hurt in the process. A massive right hand had him wobbly and nearly out on his feet. Millender was picking him apart with precise punches and Bahadurzada showed tremendous toughness to not get finished. Siyar was somehow able to complete a takedown and get in a couple of ground strikes. Millender exploded to his feet, only to be taken down again, as Curtis appeared to be fading. Millender was able to separate from Siyar’s grip when he stood back up with about 90 seconds left. Millender withstood a walloping right hand and then answered back with two clean shots of his own. Bahadurzada went for one final takedown and wound up getting reversed in the closing seconds.
Montel Jackson def. Brian Kelleher by submission (D’Arce choke) at 1:40 of round 1 – 137 lbs catchweight
Jackson was almost flawless for the whopping 100 seconds the fight lasted. An elbow in the clinch floored Kelleher, and after a series of left hands thrown by Montel, he switched to a D’Arce choke and had Kelleher tapping. Not a bad way to get your first submission win, although his failure to make weight will render him ineligible to win a post-fight bonus. In a classy move by Kelleher, he said he’d returned Jackson’s fine money back to him, as Montel lost 20% of his purse to his opponent.