Read on for UFC 227 prelim results...
MUNHOZ vs JOHNS
Bantamweight standouts Pedro Munhoz and Brett Johns put on a show for the fans at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, with Brazil’s Munhoz taking a three-round unanimous decision victory over Wales’ Johns in UFC 227 prelim action.
Not surprisingly, the fight was competitive from the start, with the two contenders standing in the pocket and testing each other’s standup. Johns landed several hard right hands, but Munhoz was the busier and more effective striker in the opening five minutes.
Munhoz kept the pressure on in round two, and in the second minute, he put Johns on the canvas with a kick to the body. As Johns tried to recover, Munhoz delivered a series of ground strikes, but the Welshman was able to recover and avoid a couple chokes on his way back to the feet. With two minutes left, a leg kick dropped Johns, but again, Johns made it upright. The kicks kept coming, but Johns bit down on his mouthpiece and began firing hooks upstairs, thrilling the crowd. But it was Munhoz finishing the round in control after staggering Johns with a kick to the head and putting him on the deck again.
In the second minute of the final round, Johns got hurt again by a body shot, but Munhoz’ follow-up choke attempt came up empty. From there, the pace finally dipped, but the 135-pounders earned that brief respite until the horn, when the judges rendered a 30-26, 29-28, 29-27 verdict in Munhoz’ favor.
With the win, the No. 9-ranked Munhoz moves to 16-3 with 1 NC. The No. 14-ranked Johns falls to 15-2.
SIMON vs JACKSON
The judges saw it 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Vancouver, Washington’s Simon, now 14-1. Milwaukee’s Jackson falls to 6-1.
Using a swarming style that used takedowns and effective clinch work, Simon kept the pace high for 15 minutes. Jackson was never out of the fight, landing some hard shots that kept Simon honest, but he didn’t have enough of an offensive response to put Simon on the defensive or slow him down.
RAMOS vs KANG
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Sao Paulo’s Ramos, now 12-1. Busan’s Kang falls to 14-8 with 1 NC.
Ramos’s striking was sharp during all three rounds, but every series of punches was met by an almost immediate response from Kang, and when he was able to have success with his takedowns and ground attack, it closed the gap between the two, leading to a back and forth final round that saw Ramos ultimately pull away on two of the three judges’ scorecards.
MORAES vs SAYLES
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Rio de Janeiro’s Moraes, now 10-2. San Diego’s Sayles falls to 7-2.
More accurate with his strikes in the opening two stanzas, Moraes built an early lead, albeit a slight one in the competitive bout, and while Sayles had the most dominant round win in the final frame, it wasn’t enough on the scorecards to get the win.
PEREZ vs TORRES
Rising flyweight star Alex Perez made a statement in his bout with Jose Torres, handing the Chicagoan his first pro loss via first-round knockout, landing 104 of 170 strikes in less than four minutes in the process.
Perez got in Torres’ face immediately and poured it on with his strikes, bloodying and bruising his opponent’s face in the process. Torres progressively worked his way into the fight, but with under two minutes left, Perez stunned his foe and again unleashed a barrage of strikes. This time, Torres wasn’t getting off the hook, and as he fell to the mat, referee Frank Trigg stopped the fight. The official time of the stoppage was 3:36 of round one.
Lemoore’s Perez moves to 21-4 with the win. Torres falls to 8-1.
ZHANG vs TAYLOR
Highly-touted UFC strawweight newcomer Weili Zhang delivered on the hype in her first trip to the Octagon, winning a three-round unanimous decision over Danielle Taylor to extend her winning streak to 17.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Beijing’s Zhang, now 17-1. Van Nuys’ Taylor falls to 9-4.
Busy and active with her strikes, the stronger Zhang used a physical style throughout the three-rounder, and it allowed her to keep Taylor on the end of her strikes. Taylor did have success, particularly with a right hand that stunned Zhang at the end of the first and second rounds, but her work-rate wasn’t enough to allow her to take over on the scorecards.
VERA vs BUREN
Vera had some difficulty with Buren’s grappling attack in the first round and early in round two, but at range, “Chito” worked well, and when he got a late second round takedown, everything changed. When the two rose, Vera dug a left to the body and dropped Buren hard to the mat, with referee Frank Trigg stepping in to halt the fight at 4:53 of the opening frame.
With the win, Ecuador’s Vera, who replaced Bharat Khandare, moves to 11-5-1. Beijing’s Buren falls to 10-6.