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KISH vs. YODER
Back in action for the first time since January, Justine Kish scored a close, but unanimous, decision over UFC newcomer Ashley Yoder in an exciting clash of strawweight prospects that capped off the preliminary portion of Friday’s UFC Fight Night card at Times Union Center in Albany.
All three judges saw it 29-28 for Kish, now 6-0; Yoder falls to 5-2.
The first round was action-packed, filled with several striking exchanges as well as back and forth ground action that saw both fighters have their moments of success.
Kish, who missed weight at 116.5 pounds, went fishing for more submissions in round two, and Yoder kept defending well, using scrambles to stay out of trouble and get into the top position with under two minutes left. There, she worked into the mount and began unleashing ground strikes, finishing the round strong.
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The quality action didn’t ebb in the slightest in the third round, with more dynamic standup exchanges on the feet and scrambles on the mat, thrilling the crowd every step of the way.
BROWN vs. CAMOZZI
Welterweight prospect Randy Brown took no prisoners in his first fight in his home state of New York, stopping Octagon newcomer Brian Camozzi in the second round.
The first round saw both men have their moments, Brown starting and finishing strong as he rocked Camozzi early and cut him on the nose late, but in the middle of the stanza, it was Camozzi nearly locking in an armbar before Brown fought loose.
After his big finish to round one, “Rudeboy” kept the pressure on, and after landing a hard right knee to the head at close range, he poured on the offense, with referee John McCarthy stepping in to stop the bout at the 1:25 mark.
Queens’ Brown improves to 9-1 with the win; Colorado’s Camozzi falls to 7-3.
MEERSCHAERT vs. GIGLIOTTI
It took Gerald Meerschaert 32 fights to get to the UFC, and in his debut, the veteran middleweight announced his arrival in style, submitting Joe Gigliotti in the first round.
Playing it cool in the opening moments, Meerschaert patiently waited for his opening, and after rocking and cutting Gigliotti on the feet, the bout went to the mat and “GM3” locked in the anaconda choke that forced the tap out at 4:12 of the first round.
With the win, Meerschaert improves to 25-8; Gigliotti falls to 7-2.
SANCHEZ vs. SMITH
TUF 23 winner Andrew Sanchez earned his first victory since winning the show in July, decisioning veteran Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith over three rounds.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Sanchez, now 10-2; Smith falls to 14-7.
In a stark contrast to his UFC debut, Sanchez focused on his standup game, and it worked well for him, as he rocked Smith on a number of occasions throughout the opening round.
Smith was able to stay out of serious trouble over the next two frames, but as his left eye rapidly swelled shut, he wasn’t able to mount enough of an offense to get back in the fight, allowing Sanchez to run the table on the scorecards and pick up his second UFC win.
BURGOS vs. TRATOR
Monroe, New York’s Shane Burgos impressed in his short-notice UFC debut, but he got a fight out of Brazilian veteran Tiago Trator before emerging with an exciting unanimous decision victory.
Scores were 30-26, 29-28 and 29-27 for Burgos, now 8-0; Trator falls to 20-6-2 with 1 NC.
After a first round spent chasing more than scoring, Burgos began to catch up with Trator in the second frame, and after rocking his foe on a number of occasions, he dropped and nearly finished the Brazilian. Trator survived and rebounded well, but it was clear that it was Burgos’ fight to lose now. Between rounds two and three, Burgos’ corner cut his ponytail off, and with the newly aerodynamic New Yorker a little lighter, he stalked the tiring Trator in search of a finish. Trator wasn’t going away without a fight though, and the two began to slug it out, much to the delight of the crowd. With a minute left, Burgos added to his point total with a takedown, but the slugging continued once the two stood, continuing to put on a show for the fans until the final horn.
DIAKIESE vs. PEREZ
British up and comer Marc Diakiese improved to 11-0 as a pro in a lightweight bout, spoiling the return of New Jersey’s Frankie Perez via unanimous decision.
Roles were reversed in the opening round, with Perez (10-3) having the better striking attack and Diakiese doing the more effective grappling. And with Diakiese landing several takedowns and controlling the mat portion of the round, it was a solid frame for the “Bonecrusher.”
Perez got back to his ground game in the second, working hard to get Diakiese to the mat. Once there, Perez opened up a nasty cut over Diakiese’s left eye with an elbow, putting a punctuation mark on a big round for the New Jersey product.
With the fight likely on the line, Diakiese made his mark early in the third with a takedown, and he kept Perez grounded for much of the round, allowing him to lock up the decision by three scores of 29-28.
JANES vs. BERISH
After seeing two UFC fights fall by the wayside at the 11th hour, the third time was the charm for Canada’s Ryan Janes, as he won a hard-fought three rounder over Kingston, New York’s Keith Berish.
The unanimous decision read 29-28 across the board for Janes, now 9-1; Berish falls to 5-1 with 1 NC.
Keeping it standing in the first five minutes, Janes and Berish fought at a fast pace, Berish the more heavy-handed of the two, but Janes was the busier fighter, and by the end of the round, New York’s Berish looked to be tiring.
The second round was similar to the first, with Janes again setting the pace while bloodying his foe, but Berish’s flush counters keeping him competitive in the fight.
Berish drew blood on Janes early in round three, but just when it seemed like the New Yorker was charging back, Janes began pressing harder, leading Berish to take the fight to the mat. Janes got up quickly and the two remained locked up against the fence for a spell, but the two then traded takedowns, Janes doing the more effective work on the mat.
LIMA vs. ALDRICH
Strawweight contender Juliana Lima picked up her third UFC victory in the opener, shutting out TUF 23 veteran JJ Aldrich via unanimous decision.
Lima had a strong first round, using her experience in the clinch and on the mat to lock up the frame. Two more takedowns followed in round two, with Aldrich unable to escape her foe’s clutches for very long. Yet despite her seemingly sizeable lead, Lima upped her work rate in the final frame, putting a stamp on her victory, which she locked up by identical scores of 30-27.
The No. 15-ranked Lima improves to 9-3; Aldrich falls to 4-2.