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UFC on FOX 27 prelims results and highlights: Green wins bloody battle; Bektic scores TKO finish

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Check out the results and highlights from UFC on FOX 27, featuring some controversial decisions, a bloody battle between Bobby Green and Erik Koch, and a brutal body shot finish from Mirsad Bektic

Questionable scorecards and fights that qualify as cures for insomnia defined the early contests for the UFC’s showing in Charlotte. The front runner for Robbery of the Year for 2018 was established as Ji Yeon Kim somehow convinced the judges she beat Justine Kish despite being outlanded by Kish in every round, usually by a significant margin. That was followed by a pair of women’s contests lacking in drama and action, leaving viewers wanting.

Fortunately, the final two contests delivered on the goods to ensure the prelims weren’t a complete loss. Bobby Green pushed a hard pace on Erik Koch to secure a unanimous decision while Mirsad Bektic reminded everyone of his physical abilities by brutalizing Godofredo Pepey with a right hand to the bread basket.

Bobby Green def. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Lightweights

Koch opened with some kicks to the legs and body, but Green wouldn’t leave the pocket. Koch began finding a home for his fists before Green answered with some heavy leather or his own. They tie up in the clinch, Green scoring some knees before going back to the middle. Green begins potshotting and Koch scores a hard right hand. They end up back in the clinch before Koch scores a tip into the half guard of Green. Koch scored some good elbows and punches before looking for a RNC. Green escaped and pressed forward, looking to steal the round before ending the round with a flurry of punches.

Green comes with the pressure again to open round two as he expertly mixed his punches and kicks. Koch looked for the counter, but Green avoided most of the return fire with an occasional clinch with knees from Green making an appearance. Green jab kept finding a home in Koch’s body too as Koch began to show signs of cracking under Green’s pressure late in the round.

Green hearts Koch about 20 seconds in as Koch stumbles forward swinging recklessly. Green sidestepped as Koch regained his composure. Green found a home for his jab time and again, taunting Koch as the Wisconsin native was wary of attacking. Green scored a takedown midway through the round and scored some elbows from side control before Koch swept Green as he attempted to improve his position. The advantage didn’t last long as Green regained control amidst a scramble.

Koch pressing the advantage early in the fight:

Green closing the opening round strong:

Green’s pressure getting the better of Koch:

Mirsad Bektic def. Godofredo Pepey via TKO at 2:47 of RD1: Featherweights

Pepey flashed his high-octane offense with some high kicks before Bektic’s pressure began to materialize. Pepey showed good timing on some counter punches as the action went against the fence. Bektic backed off briefly, then began swinging heavy leather again. He found a home for him right hand in Pepey’s body, folding up the Brazilian and finishing him off with some ground strikes.

Pepey showing functional offense in close quarters:

Check out Bektic’s devastating body shot:

Katlyn Chookagian def. Mara Romero Borella via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Women’s Flyweight

The ladies exchanged combinations in the pocket, but neither landed with much efficiency early. Borella began finding a home for her low kicks before Chookagian began changing things up, mixing in some kicks with her jab. The problem was, she wasn’t finding Borella. Chookagian landed a few kicks before Borella scored on a brief flurry to close out the round.

Borella and Chookagian picked up where they left off in the second: Borella scoring with low kicks while Chookagian came up short with her strikes. Borella scored some knees with a brief clinch exchange midway through the round. Borella began moving forward on Chookagian, finding a bit more comfort with her hands. Much like the first though, this round offered little of significance.

Chookagian showed more urgency in the final frame, actually touching up Borella with some frequency with her punches. Borella began pressing the action again for a while, but Chookagian’s counter jab thwarted Borella outside of some more low kicks. Borella decided she’d seen enough, clinched up and got a takedown. Chookagian wrapped up Borella’s head in a triangle upon hitting her back. Borella pulled her head out, but Chookagian got back to her feet to close out the round with more nondescript action to close the fight in a coin flip of a fight.

Chookagian connecting with some offense… in her UFC flyweight debut:

Randa Markos def. Juliana Lima via unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Women’s Strawweight

The story of round one was clinch control. Markos searched long and hard for a takedown against the fence. They reversed control a couple of times before Lima ended up getting the takedown. On the ground, Markos swept and closed out the round by scoring some good ground-and-pound.

40 seconds of circling and trading in the pocket was interrupted when Markos clinched up only for Lima to trip her to the ground. The ref stood them up after Lima did nothing from the top, Markos effectively minimizing the damage. Markos again became the aggressor, pursuing the clinch before securing a takedown. Markos scored with some more ground-and-pound before Lima began threatening with an armbar, but couldn’t score it before the round expired.

Markos opened the third swinging heavy leather, pushing Lima against the fence before – you guessed it – clinching up. A judo trip put Markos on top of Lima again before Lima did a good job of tying up Markos. Markos slowly advanced to side control, only for Lima to get back to her feet. Just as they started the fight, they traded clinch control against the cage to end a largely forgettable contest.

One of the brief moments of actual action between Markos and Lima:

Just about every other moment of significant offense from Markos:

Ji Yeon Kim def. Justine Kish via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27): Women’s Flyweight

Outside of a brief exchange in the pocket, the opening half of the first round was a feeling out process. Kish began to push the pace a bit more with body and high kicks as Kim looked for her opportunities to counter. There wasn’t a lot of volume from either side, though it was clear Kish’s output landed more than Kim’s.

Kim opened the second with a hard right, though Kish recovered quickly to continue her pressure. Kish mixed things up a bit more with her punches and kicks while Kim found a home for her counters more. A couple of exchanges later in the round saw Kish rock Kim’s head backwards, though Kim responded shortly after, displaying her durability. Kish finished the round with a nice flurry of offense in hopes of putting a stamp on the round.

Kish opened the final frame as the pressure fighter, but the roles reversed shortly thereafter as Kim began looking to land her big right hand. She did land it a few times, but Kish usually answered with a kick or body shot to keep things close. Kish began to find a come for her counters to the head as Kim’s attack began to reek of desperation. Kim couldn’t find the big shot she was looking for in the latter half of the round but her efforts were enough for the judges to award her a controversial split decision.

Exciting early exchange between Kish and Kim:

Check out these ladies leaving it all out there:

Vinc Pichel def. Joaquim Silva via unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Lightweights

Pichel pressured early, getting off a number of strikes before Silva even threw a strike. Pichel continued to pick Silva apart with low kicks before Silva landed his first notable strike… about three-and-a-half minutes into the contest. Silva stuffed a Pichel takedown attempt to close out a forgettable round.

Pichel picked up where he left off, throwing some short strikes while pursuing the takedown. Silva wouldn’t give it to him before they moved to the middle of the cage, Pichel continuing to work the low kicks. Aside from the occasional flurry with his fists, Pichel’s low kicks were the only notable offense in another forgettable round.

After an exchange of low kicks, Silva began to pressure and let his fists fly. Pichel scored a leg sweep to stall Silva’s momentum, though Silva’s pressure resumed. Silva began picking Pichel apart, scoring brief flurries, even rocking Pichel’s head backwards on consecutive punches. Pichel’s jabs weren’t enough to deter Silva, only changing the narrative with a takedown attempt with 30 seconds left, but couldn’t keep Silva down. They threw fisticuffs to close out the round and the fight. It was a close fight, but Pichel got the decision

Fight Pass Prelims

Niko Price def. George Sullivan via submission at 4:21 of RD2: Welterweights

Coming off the first loss of his career, Price came out with a bit more hesitation than usual, allowing Sullivan to take an early lead with his combination boxing. That didn’t last for long as the ATT representative began pressing Sullivan against the fence for long periods of time and looking for takedowns. Sullivan briefly reversed roles, only for Price to stuff the takedown and dish out some damage on the ground. Continuing to be the more active fighter, Price closed out the round strong with punches to Sullivan against the fence.

They opened the second in the middle of the cage again, Sullivan looking to change course after eating a hard right from Price. Getting Price to the ground, Sullivan proceeded to methodically work his ground-and-pound, mixing elbows with punches. Price scrambled back to his feet with a bit over a minute to go before reversing roles to get Sullivan to the ground. Sullivan gave up his back and Price was quick to sneak in a RNC, leaving Sullivan tapping in short manner.

Sullivan didn’t want to stand up anymore after this punch from Price:

Price quick to snag the neck:

Cory Sandhagen def. Austin Arnett via TKO at 3:48 of RD1: Featherweights

In the opening contest of the card, Sandhagen showed zero ill-effects from fighting just eight days earlier, outworking the lanky Arnett by targeting the body. Arnett had his moments as well, putting together some slick punching combinations when he caught Sandhagen with his hands down, but he wasn’t active enough with the counter to compete with the Colorado native’s volume.

Sandhagen continued to be the active fighter, though Arnett did find a takedown and get Sandhagen’s back for a bit of a scare. It was all downhill after Sandhagen shook him off. Getting to their feet, Sandhagen began alternating between slinging punches and throwing knees in the clinch when he had Arnett against the fence. Arnett collapsed and a few hammerfists to the head later, it was all over.

Some of Sandhagen’s early work:

The finishing sequence:

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