LAS VEGAS — Mike Perry wasn’t trolling after all. True to his word, Perry went into Saturday’s welterweight contest against Mickey Gall without a true corner — licensing only his girlfriend instead. At the end of the day, it worked out.
Perry (14-6) defeated Gall (6-3) via unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night inside the UFC’s Apex facility. All three judges scored the bout 29-28.
Prefight headlines were dominated by the fact Perry, 28, built his own camp and served as his own head coach for the fight. He told ESPN prior to the bout he intends to find a new camp in the future, but wanted to prove he could be successful on his own. His girlfriend, Latory Gonzalez, does not have any MMA experience.
The decision appeared to work just fine for Perry, as he walked Gall down throughout the bout and out-wrestled him when he needed to. Gall, a talented submission artist, failed to convert a single takedown attempt. Perry hurt him with a right hand in the second round, and cruised to a decision victory in the third from top position.
Gall’s best moments were all in the opening round. He caught Perry walking forward with counter right hands and left hooks, but there was no sting in his punches compared to Perry’s offense. Perry showed no respect for his punching power and just continued moving forward. Gall never looked the same after a knockdown in the second frame.
According to UFC Stats, Perry out-landed Gall in total strikes 103 to 59.
Perry said he intends to look for a camp in south Florida. He snapped a two-fight skid, although both of those losses came against highly touted, young contenders in Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. Gall falls to 5-3 in the UFC.
— Brett Okamoto
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1 NC; 17-5, 1 NC UFC, -220) vs. Dan Hooker (20-8; 10-4 UFC, +185)
Heavyweight: Maurice Greene (9-5, 4-2 UFC) defeats Gian Villante (17-12, 7-9 UFC) by third-round submission
Greene had just been decked by Villante and had withstood a furious flurry of ground-and-pound. Greene took some damage, but Villante appeared to run out of gas and was just maintaining top control while getting his wind back. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, Villante tapped.
Greene had wrapped his arms around Villante’s head and neck and was holding on, but what appeared in the moment to be no more than a maneuver to keep his opponent close and under control turned into an arm triangle that ended the fight at 3:44 of Round 3.
The fight was primarily a kicking contest for much of its duration. Green delivered far more shots and distributed them well, from legs to body to head. But Villante landed the heavier kicks, and eventually they took their toll on Greene, making him less mobile and within range of Villante’s big punches.
And when Villante landed a big one that put Greene down, he pounced with a flurry of punches. But he could not put his opponent away, and in the end it was Villante who was finished.
With the win, Greene ended a two-fight losing streak, which had halted the momentum he’d built by winning his first three UFC fights.
Villante, who had not fought since a first-round TKO loss in February 2019, was in his 16th UFC fight, his first as a heavyweight. He had competed in that division earlier in his career, but not in nearly a decade.
— Jeff Wagenheim
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Middleweight: Brendan Allen (15-3, 3-0 UFC) vs. Kyle Daukaus (9-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision
Who said exciting scraps have to be fought exclusively on the feet?
Allen and Daukaus had one of the best pure grappling fights in recent UFC memory, a back-and-forth war that included slicing elbows, submission attempts and dynamic sweeps. In the end, Allen was able to earn a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27).
Allen did the only real damage on the feet, landing a nice knee in the first round that dropped Daukaus. Once on top on the ground, Allen and his old-school ground-and-pound game took over. Allen landed big elbows that opened up a nasty, bloody cut over Daukaus’ right eye.
In the second, Daukaus landed a takedown and seemed to regain momentum. But Allen used a guillotine choke attempt to sweep into top position. Daukaus got on top again when Allen got greedy going for a guillotine, but Allen soon found his way on top and landed ground-and-pound again. Daukaus made his way to his feet, but right at the end of the round Allen dropped him with a left hand.
Daukaus’ best round was the third. He got Allen down and did damage to Allen’s left eye with his own elbows. Daukaus got Allen’s back and looked for a choke for a significant amount of time. Allen, at the end, was able to get up and land big shots with Daukaus bent over. The flurry seemed to seal things for the judges.
Afterward, Allen called out fellow middleweight Ian Heinisch for a future fight.
“He can’t run from me forever,” Allen said.
Allen (15-3) has won seven in a row, including his first three UFC fights. The Louisiana native, who trains at Roufusport in Wisconsin, had finished three in a row coming into this bout. Allen, 24, is a legitimate prospect at 185 pounds, known for his excellent Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Daukaus (9-1) was making his UFC debut as an undefeated prospect. The 27-year-old Pennsylvania native had eight submissions in his nine pro wins coming in.
— Marc Raimondi
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Welterweight: Takashi Sato (16-3, 2-1 UFC) defeats Jason Witt (17-6, 0-1 UFC) by first-round TKO
Japan’s Soto made sure Witt’s first UFC fight was a short one.
Sato dropped Witt with a straight left hand in the opening minute of their welterweight bout, and then finished him with follow-up hammerfists on the ground at just the 48-second mark. Witt took the fight on extremely short notice, after Sato’s original opponent, Ramiz Brahimaj, was forced to withdraw after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
The 30-year-old Sato improved to 2-1 in the UFC. He knocked out Ben Saunders in his Octagon debut in April 2019, before dropping a submission loss to Belal Muhammad. The 48-second finish is the second fastest of Sato’s professional career. All but three of his professional wins have come via stoppage.
Witt, 33, managed to cling on to Sato’s leg after the initial left hand, but he did not last long, as Sato calmly stood over him and delivered the finishing strikes. It’s the first time Witt has been finished in more than two years.
“I was confident that I do have knockout power,” Sato said. “I was able to show that and prove that in the Octagon tonight. But I always have so many things that I have to work on in my game and I was able to show what I worked on in my fight camp. I hope everyone can value me as someone who can knock out fighters.”
Catchweight (150 pounds): Julian Erosa (24-9, 2-4 UFC) defeats Sean Woodson (7-1, 1-1 UFC) by third-round submission
Woodson entered the night as the biggest favorite on the card, at 5-1. Erosa, who twice before had been cut by the UFC, was brought in on three days’ notice. And he surely will keep his job after getting the job done so stunningly.
Erosa ate left hand after left hand for nearly the entirety of the fight. But as crisply as they landed, not one of them stopped him in his tracks. Erosa kept coming.
Woodson had the footwork advantage and faster hands, but by the second round Erosa had found ways to close the distance, and he was landing, too. His attacks to the body slowed down Woodson just enough for Erosa to have a more hittable target.
In the first minute of Round 3, Woodson landed a left hook that floored Erosa, but he got right back up and went back on pursuit. He eventually scored a takedown, and while Woodson escaped once, he soon was grounded again, and this time there was no escape. Erosa sank in a D’Arce choke and elicited the tapout at 2:44.
Erosa, an alum of both Dana White’s Contender Series and “The Ultimate Fighter,” had lost all but one of his five UFC fights during two previous stints with the promotion. After dropping three in a row, he was cut by the UFC last year and got a win in February in the CageSport promotion. He received a call from the UFC this week to replace Kyle Nelson, who was forced out of the Woodson fight because of visa issues.
Woodson, who was coming off a win in his UFC debut last October, had made it to the UFC via a win on the Contender Series last summer. He is 28, just two years younger than his opponent. But Erosa was in his 32nd pro fight.
“This means everything to me,” Erosa said. “It was my shot to get back to where I wanted to be. Fighting regionally is not a career, it’s a hobby. This is where it’s a career. So it means everything to me. I moved here to Vegas three years ago and thought it was working out, but I kept getting cut from the UFC. I finally got the win tonight, so hopefully this is the beginning of a good journey here.
“I felt he was really starting to fade. One thing I really work on is my conditioning. I ride my bike to practice and was getting ready for a fight I didn’t even have scheduled over the last six weeks. Stepping in on short notice, I was in just as good of shape as if I had a fight camp. I felt the momentum was shifting, but he dropped me and then I turned the tables. I had to do something big. In my head I told myself I had to put him on the ground and at least put an exclamation point on the round. I was able to get the finish.”
Lightweight: Khama Worthy (16-6, 2-0 UFC) defeats Luis Pena (8-3, 4-3 UFC) by third-round guillotine
Pena had a ton of success with his wrestling, but in the end, Worthy latched onto a decisive guillotine choke as Pena was attempting a single-leg takedown. The technique only tightened when both men hit the mat. Pena had no choice but to tap, giving Worthy a submission victory at 2:53 of the third round.
The guillotine was unique. Worthy snaked his right hand all the way across Pena’s neck with the crook of his elbow right on Pena’s throat. Worthy used his left hand to tighten up the modified choke. As the two landed on the canvas, Pena was totally trapped.
“That’s a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, guillotine,” Worthy said. “… It’s the things I do, because most people don’t want to [stand and] bang with me.”
Worthy was successful with his striking in the first round. In the second, Pena switched it up. He took Worthy down and dominated on the ground, getting into mount and slipping to Worthy’s back multiple times. Worthy survived without being submitted, but the momentum of the fight had definitely shifted.
Pena went back to his wrestling in the third round. Worthy clearly saw it coming. With Pena reaching for a single-leg takedown, Worthy sprawled, flattened him out and landed elbows. Pena kept penetrating for the takedown. So Worthy slipped on that sublime choke and it was quickly over.
“I got that dad strength, man,” Worthy said. “I turn 34 in October. It’s just a different story when you’re in here with me.”
Worthy (16-6) has won seven in a row, including his first two UFC fights via finish. The Pittsburgh resident had a highlight-reel knockout of Devonte Smith in his UFC debut at UFC 241 last August. Worthy, 33, has not lost since 2017.
Per ESPN Stats & Information, Worthy is only the third fighter in the UFC since 2007 to win his first two UFC fights as a 2-to-1 underdog or greater. Worthy was +200 against Pena, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
Pena (8-3) has dropped two of his past three bouts. The 26-year-old Arkansas resident sports a 4-3 UFC record.
“I wanted to come out there and not just get another fast win. I wanted a hard fight,” Worthy said. “I wanted it to be even, or even be down two rounds, and then pull it off to show I’m official. It took me a minute to get here, but I’m a threat to any 155er in this weight class. I can go out there and handle anyone. I don’t have to punch you in the face. I can choke you out, as well.
“He had my back, but never got anything solid. I figured he was just trying to contain me, like most people. I fought out of Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there’s some of the top wrestlers in the world and I’m a striker. So my entire career has been people trying to contain me — trying to keep me in one place and not let me hit them. I’ve built up a style for that.”
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Heavyweight: Tanner Boser (18-6-1, 2-1 UFC) defeats Philipe Lins (14-5, 0-2 UFC) by first-round KO
Quarantine life has apparently treated Boser pretty well.
Boser, of Alberta, Canada, scored a stunning first-round knockout just 2:41 into the bout. Boser came into the bout noticeably trim, weighing in at just 235 pounds, compared with 246 his last time out. Boser said he has placed a lot of focus on strength and conditioning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Boser’s lighter frame appeared to have a positive effect on his speed. He surprised Lins with a piston, overhand right to the temple, and followed that up with an extended flurry that put the Brazilian away. It was Boser’s first finish inside the first round since 2015.
Lins, 34, has had a tough go in the UFC thus far. A former season winner in the PFL format in 2018, Lins has gone 0-2 in the Octagon, with losses to Boser and Andrei Arlovski.
“I actually felt great,” Boser said. “I did a lot of strength and conditioning. I had to make compromises in my training camp, but I felt genuinely good coming into this. I’m glad it paid off.
“I’m not one of the big power punching heavyweights. I’m fast and precise. The game plan worked. The leg kicks made him want to charge in and I made him pay for it. I didn’t think it was going to be a brawl. I thought it was going to be a technical, but arduous night. I thought I’d win by decision because Philipe is a hard guy to put away. I thought we would put together a very technical striking battle.”
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Strawweight: Kay Hansen (7-3, 1-0 UFC) defeats Jinh Yu Frey (9-5, 0-1 UFC) by third-round armbar
Hansen was headed toward an Ivy League college softball career until, as a teen, she saw Ronda Rousey operating inside the Octagon and changed her sports focus to mixed martial arts. Making her UFC debut at age 20, Hansen put that inspiration on display with a Rousey-style finish, catching Frey in an armbar at 2:26 of the third round.
“I know I need like one takedown,” said Hansen, “and that’s all I need.”
She actually landed more than that. Two takedowns in the second round changed the course of a fight that was not going her way. Frey, a former Invicta FC champion also making her promotional debut, had fended off three takedown tries in the first round and figured out Hansen’s timing on the feet. As a result, Frey was landing sharp counter left hands.
That continued early in the second round, but a minute and a half in, Hansen finally got the fight to the canvas, where she kept it for all but the final seconds of the round.
Frey also landed good shots early in Round 3, but when she was again taken to the mat, she found herself in a Hansen armbar attempt. Hansen switched to a triangle briefly, then went back to the armbar and got the tapout.
Frey, an Arkansas native who lives and trains in Texas, is 35. She has been fighting as a pro since 2013, making her pro debut when Hansen was 13.
Frey is a former Invicta FC atomweight (105-pound) champion. She won the belt in 2018 and defended it once before she was stripped of the title in February because she missed weight prior to her fight with Ashley Cummins. Frey won the bout, leaving the title vacant.
Hansen is also an alum of Invicta, where she competed at both strawweight and flyweight. At age 20, Hansen is the second-youngest fighter on the UFC roster. She is a month older than featherweight Chase Hooper.
“I was the youngest woman to fight in Invicta, as well. So now that I’m here, it’s the same label that has stuck to me,” Hansen said. “I’m used to people saying, ‘She’s too young,’ or, ‘She doesn’t have enough experience.’ I’m also used to people saying, ‘She’s a great prospect.’ I’m just going to focus on me, listen to my team and try to get better. I have a lot of heart and determination. I’m excited to tap into the best fighter I can be.
“I was trying to do my best to not get overwhelmed. It was an amazing experience and I’m proud to be a part of the UFC.”
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Featherweight: Youssef Zalal (9-2, 2-0 UFC) defeats Jordan Griffin (18-8, 1-3 UFC)
Zalal dealt with some challenges. He had a hard time keeping Griffin from taking him down. He spent too much time with Griffin pressing him against the cage.
But when the fight was standing at distance, Zalal was the clearly better fighter. The judges felt the same, giving Zalal a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) win.
Griffin took Zalal down several times in the first round and had his back twice, briefly. It seemed like a fight in which Griffin would bully Zalal. That didn’t happen. Zalal rallied in the second round with a perfect straight right to the body that all but folded Griffin. Griffin fell to the canvas and Zalal followed up with hammer fists to the head before Griffin scrambled to his feet.
In the third, Zalal got off even more with his strikes. Once he pushed Griffin back off the cage, Zalal landed a nice knee to the body, an elbow and a punching combination. Griffin, clearly tired by that time due to energy spent and shots to the body, wasn’t able to dominate on the ground as he had earlier.
Zalal (9-2) has won three straight, including his first two UFC fights. The Morocco native, who lives and trains in Colorado, made his UFC debut with a unanimous decision win over Austin Lingo at UFC 247 in February. Zalal, just 23 years old, appears to be someone to watch in the featherweight division.
Griffin (18-8), a 30-year-old Wisconsin resident, has dropped three of his past four.
“It’s a blessing to be 23 years old and 2-0 in the UFC,” Hansen said. “My coaches said, ‘Enjoy the experience and let everything just come to you.’ I’m not rushing anything. I’m just taking it fight by fight.
“I’m young and just trying to learn. You’re not going to get any easy fights. That’s just how this career goes. You got to be ready and willing to accept challenges and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
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