UFC Sydney Fight Pass Preliminary Results and Recap

Alex Chambers UFC
Alex Chambers. Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 121 landed in Sydney, Australia on Saturday (Sunday local time), but would the fights live up to past events down under?

The UFC returned to Sydney, Australia on Saturday, and brought with it a card that saw its main event lost to the bizarre Mark Hunt situation. That having been said, the promotion had found a serviceable replacement for Hunt in former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. That made the headliner of UFC Sydney passable — but the rest of the card came off a little thin, at least on paper.

Still, if history is any lesson, cards weak on paper often turn out to produce some of the best action. Would that be the case with UFC Sydney? The show opened up with a trio of fights on UFC Fight Pass, with the odds suggesting that at least a couple would produce.

In the featured preliminary fight, Australian Alex Chambers took on Nadia Kassem at a catchweight of 120lbs. Chambers entered the night 1-2 in the UFC, and desperately wanted back in the win column.

Opening the UFC Fight Pass Preliminary card was a heavyweight showdown between Anthony Hamilton and Adam Wieczorek that had been set for UFC Gdansk until soccer (sorry, football) hooligans forced the bout to be moved from its original date. Seriously.

Also on the UFC Sydney early prelims, flyweights Jenel Lausa and Eric Shelton would battle it out.

Check back come fight time for results and a full recap of the night’s action!

Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek

Hamilton vs. Wieczorek finally got underway at UFC Sydney after being dropped from the UFC Gdansk card. Hamilton went on the offensive early, pushing the action and pressing his opponent against the fence. He’d secure the takedown just under a minute in, and immediately went to half-guard. That allowed him to land some big body shots, softening up Wieczorek. Hamilton then moved to side control, but was back in half-guard moments later. Wieczorek stayed busy off his back, and Hamilton seemed to think about letting him up before changing his mind and moving back in. Hamilton then looked to pin an arm, trying to create space, but Wieczorek continued to stay active, and Hamilton finally did choose to let him up. The Polish fighter would look to get his jab going, but Hamilton showed heavier hands, and had a clear edge in round one.

Adam Wieczorek held the center of the cage and looked to establish range to start the second. He then went upstairs with a headkick; that grazed Hamilton and knocked him down. Wieczorek moved into half-guard, and looked to pull his leg free to gain mount. Hamilton clamped down on Wieczorek’s leg with his own, trapping it, while the Polish fighter pressed down on Hamilton’s mouth then dropped a couple elbows. Hamilton would, however, manage to escape, and get back to his feet off a scramble. Neither man was able to do much standing up, but Hamilton would land a trip with just under a minute left in the round.

Anthony Hamilton looked to pick up the pace in the third, letting his hands fly then pressing Wieczorek against the cage once more. Underhooks in, he threw some knees to the body and thighs of his opponent. Wieczorek landed a knee to the body of his own off the break, and they moved back to the middle of the octagon. Hamilton would control the action, get the better of the exchanges, and continue to work for takedowns. While Wieczorek would stuff the takedown attempts and stay standing, he was losing the battle for control. They’d go to the buzzer, with Wieczorek getting the nod from the judges. Not a robbery, but that fight could have gone either way.

Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton

Lause vs. Shelton saw the flyweights feeling each other out early, with Lausa launching a head kick just after the round got underway. He’d later scoop up Shelton for a big takedown, dropping him on his back and landing in guard. Shelton kept his feet on Lausa’s hips to create space, but Lausa was able stay heavy, preventing any escape. Shelton would threaten with a kimura which allowed him room to get back up; he’d nearly take the back then take Lausa down. That wouldn’t last long, but just before the end of the first Shelton would score another explosive takedown that may have made the difference on the scorecards.

A crisp overhand right found a home early for Lausa in round two, while Shelton flashed a few level changes to keep his opponent on his toes. A surprisingly quick takedown saw Shelton briefly get Lausa down, but that would last mere seconds. Lausa looked for a kimura, but that allowed Shelton to mount then take the back. He’d find himself in mount dropping some big elbows moments later, that was followed by a scramble, but eventually Shelton was back on top. Even from guard he was able to add some hard punches to the head of Lausa.

Round three saw Shelton come out and immediately go on the offensive. Likely down two rounds, Lausa needed to make something happen in the third. Instead, it was Shelton in control, landing the takedown and assaulting Lausa with elbows. Shelton would stay busy — and on top — until the final few seconds, when he allowed Lausa back up. Shelton would then drop his opponent, and launch a flying knee, putting the icing on the cake just before the buzzer.

Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem

Nadia Kassem was making her UFC debut against a fellow Australian in 39-year old Alex Chambers. Chambers held the center of the cage early, while both fighters opened fire. Chambers would repeatedly try to catch a Kassem kick, and look to take the fight to the canvas. While that was stuffed, she’d use her left hook to set up a single leg, eventually finishing it. Chambers then went to work from half-guard, landing some punches to the body. Kassem would defend via an inverted heel hook. Chambers, focusing on freeing her leg, then ate some punches to the head from the sitting Kassem. Once free, however, Chambers would look to land some ground and pound. She’d finish the round dropping elbows.

A scramble led to a takedown early for Alex Chambers in round two, but she would take some damage on the way in. Kassem was not grounded for long, and back up, it was Kassem who would land a big knee, then throw a hard kick that was caught by Chambers. They’d battle in the clinch; out in the open, Kassem was showing she was no slouch in the striking department, but Chambers continued to catch her kicks. Kassem was planted on her back off one of those, but locked in a triangle, and worked to transition to an arm-bar. Kassem held onto the triangle while wrenching on Chambers’ arm; Chambers was forced to step over to escape harm, then had to step over again, rolling through the submission attempt. She ate a number of hard shots for her troubles, and Kassem proved she was a serious threat off her back in the second.

Kassem opened the third round with a knee to the body, while Chambers looked to pick her spots. Kassem then threw her arms up, working the crowd and inviting Chambers in. Chambers would answer with a double leg takedown, finding herself in Kassem’s closed guard. Kassem would look for another triangle, but this time, Chambers was quickly out of it. She’d stand up and work the legs of Kassem, but after re-engaging, it was Kassem who would threaten with a leg lock. Kassem then managed to land a number of punches from the top and look for an inverted triangle moments later; they’d then work their way back up. Kassem would land a huge head kick, and follow it up with a knee in the final half minute! Another knee and another high kick followed. Chambers continued to press forward in response, but was getting beat up for her troubles. The bell would sound; what would the scorecards say?

Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

UFC Fight Night 121: Werdum vs. Tybura Fight Pass Preliminary Results:

Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)
Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)