Read on for results from the prelim fights at UFC Fight Night Nashville on April 22, 2017
LEITES vs. ALVEY
In a clash of middleweight contenders at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Thales Leites won a shutout three-round unanimous decision over Sam Alvey, snapping Alvey’s four-fight winning streak in the process.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for the No. 11-ranked Leites, now 27-7. The No. 13-ranked Alvey falls to 30-9 with 1 NC.
Leites came out firing kicks at Alvey, quickly battering his foe’s lead right leg. Alvey tried his best to counter, but Leites made sure to be gone before the thunder rolled in. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Leites looked to add to his lead with a takedown, but Alvey tossed it aside easily.
The pattern continued in round two, and while Alvey landed a few more blows, Leites responded with a late takedown that added to his lead heading into round three.
Alvey showed a sense of urgency in the final round, and he kept moving forward despite taking a low kick and a poke to the eye. Leites stayed out of danger though, effectively running out the clock.
MORENO vs. ORTIZ
Flyweight phenom Brandon Moreno made it three for three in the Octagon, impressively finishing Tennessee native Dustin Ortiz via second-round submission.
Franklin’s Ortiz was looking to take the fight to the mat throughout the first round, and he got his wish with less than two minutes left in the frame. Moreno reacted well though, reversing position and getting into the mount a minute later.
In the second, Moreno began landing his strikes more frequently on the aggressive Ortiz, who was able to land another takedown. But after the two rose, Moreno dropped the veteran with a kick to the head. Ortiz recovered quickly as Moreno flew in for the finish, but the Mexican prospect was able to take Ortiz’ back with less than two minutes left. There, Moreno patiently waited for the opening to finish, and when he got it, he did, sinking in the rear naked choke that ended the fight at the 4:06 mark.
With the win, the No. 10-ranked Moreno moves to 14-3; the No. 9-ranked Ortiz falls to 16-7.
HOLTZMAN vs. MCBRIDE
Knoxville’s Scott Holtzman remained unbeaten in his home state of Tennessee, taking a hard-fought three round unanimous decision over Michael McBride.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-26.
Holtzman’s left hook was on target from the start, leading to a flash knockdown early in the round. An inadvertent low kick by Holtzman brought a brief halt to the bout, slowing the local hero’s momentum. But when the fight resumed, Holtzman continued throwing bombs at the Iowan, this time landing with the right hand. The left cracked McBride again in the final two minutes, but he began taking it better, and when he landed his own shots, he cut Holtzman and then took him down to go fishing for submissions.
McBride had his moments on the mat in round two, but the fresher Holtzman continued to punish him both on the feet and the ground, marking up his face and leg in the process.
There was more of the same in the third, with Holtzman dodging submission attempts while battering his game foe with several hard shots throughout the final five minutes.
With the win, Holtzman moves to 10-2; McBride falls to 8-3.
TAYLOR vs. PENNE
California’s Danielle Taylor scored the most important win of her career, outpointing No. 14-ranked Jessica Penne via unanimous decision.
All three judges saw it 29-28 for Taylor, now 9-2; Penne falls to 12-6.
“I believe I’m one of the best in the division and I want to be ranked. I believe I’m ready for a Top 10 opponent!” #UFCNashville pic.twitter.com/AXDpDlIzCf
— #UFCNashville (@ufc) April 23, 2017
Penne was a lot sharper in round two as she largely kept Taylor at bay. But in the final minute, “Dynamite” scored with several hard shots, evening the score once again.
The third was another razor-thin one to call, and while a takedown in the closing seconds by Penne was pivotal, it wasn’t enough for her to get the victory on the scorecards.
DAVIS vs. DANDOIS
Bantamweight contender Alexis Davis got a scare from Octagon newcomer Cindy Dandois before pulling out a three-round unanimous decision win.
Dandois got Davis to the mat seconds into the fight, but Davis fought well off her back, eventually reversing position while working for an armbar. When Dandois was able to elude the submission, Davis jumped into the mount and fired off strikes before going for a heel hook that Dandois again escaped.
The two bantamweights battled it out on the feet and in the clinch for much of round two before the fighters tumbled to the mat with two minutes left. They didn’t stay there long, with Davis quickly prompting a return to the feet, but Dandois did score a takedown with a minute remaining, and she scored with some punches before the horn.
Dandois remained the busier fighter in the final round, but Davis nearly locked up a submission in the closing moments, and it may have been enough to steal the round and the fight via identical scores of 29-28.
With the win, the No. 10-ranked Davis improves to 18-7; Belgium’s Dandois falls to 8-3.
Arizona’s Bryan Barberena spoiled the welterweight debut and return of Joe Proctor, halting his opponent in round one.
After a slow start, Barberena (13-4) and Proctor (11-5) began testing each other out on the feet, with each landed shot drawing taunts from both fighters. With less than two minutes remaining, Barberena made Proctor pay for the gamesmanship, landing a right hand that dropped the New Englander to the deck. Proctor tried to clear the cobwebs, but Barberena wouldn’t allow it, with a furious barrage bringing in referee Dan Miragliotta to halt the bout at the 3:30 mark.
SANDOVAL vs. SCHNELL
Flyweight prospect Hector Sandoval fit a lot of offense into less than five minutes, stopping Matt Schnell in the first round.
There were some flashbacks to the Don Frye-Yoshihiro Takayama bout in the early going, as Sandoval and Schnell slugged it out in the clinch. Sandoval had the edge, but a Schnell takedown evened things up before the two settled into a less frantic groove. Just before the three-minute mark, Sandoval scored with a big right and followed up with a takedown, and while Schnell rose quickly, Sandoval continued to land more hard shots. Schnell rebounded with a tight guillotine choke, but “Kid Alex” slammed his way out of trouble and followed up with a series of hammerfists that ended the bout at 4:24 of the first round.
With the win, Sacramento’s Sandoval ups his record to 14-3; Shreveport’s Schnell falls to 10-4.