The UFC Sydney FOX Sports 1 prelims feature a few legitimate fight of the night candidates in the Qudos Bank Arena.
Before former champion Fabricio Werdum looks to earn his second win in as many months against Marcin Tybura in the main event of UFC Sydney, four preliminary fights will take place on FOX Sports 1. The featured prelim is a bout between aggressive flyweights Ryan Benoit and Askhan Mokhtarian. Benoit has alternated losses and wins in his UFC career, and looks to even up his 2-3 Octagon record. Mokhtarian, on the other hand, seeks to bounce back from a tough loss to John Moraga in his promotional debut.
The rescheduled bout between Will Brooks and Nik Lentz is set to take place as well. Brooks is 1-2 in the Octagon after losing to both Alex and Charles Oliveira via stoppage. Lentz has been in the UFC since 2009, posting an 11-5-1 record in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions.
Rashad Coulter will attempt to get in the win column this time following his Fight of the Night defeat in his promotional debut. He’ll welcome Australia native Tai Tuivasa to the UFC. Tuivasa is 5-0 in his career, all wins coming via first-round knockout.
But first, Damien Brown and Frank Camacho will throw down to kick things off on FOX Sports 1. Brown is 2-2 in his UFC career and will aim to impress his home country. Frank Camacho is coming off a short notice debut loss in which he earned Fight of the Night.
The UFC Sydney FOX Sports 1 prelims start at 8 p.m. EST. Check back here for full recaps and results of the four-fight slate.
1. Ryan Benoit vs. Askhan Mokhtarian
It only took a minute for Askhan Mokhtarian to find his range, as he landed a big right hand that wobbled Ryan Benoit early. Mokhtarian clinched up with Benoit but could not secure a takedown. Benoit landed a right of his own after the separation.
Mokhtarian showed plenty of lateral movement, to the dismay of Benoit. Once he stopped in front of Benoit, he ate a pair of straight punches. Another one-two landed for Benoit as Mokhtarian elected to strike less as the round went on. Benoit landed a pair of heavy hooks to end the round.
Benoit told his coaches that he believed his hand was broken in between rounds. A big head kick landed for Benoit, and followed up landing a shot with his injured hand. Mokhtarian answered with a left, then ate a head kick. Another left landed for Mokhtarian then a leg kick.
Mokhtarian began to stick jabs to the body then landed a big left hook. Benoit ate a leg kick as he pushed back. Haymakers landed for each fighter simultaneously, and a charge from Benoit was thwarted. Benoit put a stamp on the round with a takedown and hard punches as Mokhtarian was standing up.
Simultaneous lefts landed for each fighter to start the third round, as Mokhtarian committed to his footwork. Benoit landed a few lefts, then Mokhtarian charged in and landed a spinning backfist. Mokhtarian landed a left, and Benoit pushed back. Mokhtarian changed directions right into a beautiful head kick that knocked Askhan Mokhtarian out. A great late finish for the flyweight. Benoit exchanged words with Mokhtarian’s corner afterwards but nothing escalated.
Ryan Benoit def. Askhan Mokhtarian by KO (Head Kick) in Round 3 (2:38)
2. Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
Nik Lentz clinched up right away and threw a knee that Books deflected. Brooks separated and ate a leg kick from Lentz as he attempted a jab. Brook has early strategy of landing a jab then using head movement to avoid retaliation.
Brooks saw the right moment to shoot in and he did, taking Lentz down. Letz attempted a guillotine that became fairly deep until Brooks flipped out of it. Lentz began to land on the feet. Brooks stuck to his straight punches that were landing with consistency, then had a takedown effort stuffed.
Lentz ate a jab then charged in to clinch Brooks against the fence. The round ended with Lentz hanging off of Brooks on the cage.
It was back to the jab in round two for Brooks. He sought one-twos while slipping the attacks of Lentz. Early on it just seems that Brooks is on a different level. Lentz landed a body kick that Brooks turned into a temporary clinch.
The fighters separated and Lentz pushed forward, causing Brooks to shoot a reactive takedown. The takedown was successful, but Lentz locked in the guillotine again. This time, Brooks’ escape attempts were fruitless, and he was forced to tap. A come-from-behind victory for “The Carny.”
Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks by Submission (Guillotine) in Round 2 (2:05)
3. Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
The big fellas clashed quickly, with Tuivasa pushing Coulter against the cage with a string of punches. Tuivasa attempted a takedown but ended up on his back. Coulter was unable to generate much offense from top position, as Tuivasa tactfully stood up. Tuivasa was able to push Coulter against the cage again with a huge right hand, then threw Coulter to his hands and knees.
Coulter stood up immediately then ate a heavy combination from Tuivasa. Tuivasa put his weight on Coulter against the cage, but not for long. The heavyweights separated and Tuivasa threw a leg kick that swept Coulter off his feet. As Coulter stood up, Tuivasa threw a flying knee that landed clean. Coulter was out immediately and the fight was stopped as Tuivasa missed his follow up bomb.
Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter by KO (Flying Knee) in Round 1 (4:35)
4. Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho
Punches were exchanged early, then Damien Brown initiated a grappling exchange. Camacho turned Brown to the fence, then Brown was able to reverse position and secure a takedown. Camacho stood up, then took down Brown, who bounced up very quickly. Later on, Brown took down Camacho and took his back, but could not lock in a choke before the time expired.
Frank Camacho took control of the pace in the second round. He consistently pushed forward and threw wild shots. Brown happily obliged to the brawl and threw haymakers back at Camacho. Towards the end of the second round, Brown began to get a feel for his game. Landing a hard shot on Camacho.
Camacho must have heard a bell because he stopped and let out a battle cry a few seconds before the round ended, then apologized to Brown for not fighting.
Brown came out hard in round three, going for a knockout blow. Camacho and Brown both went wild. Brown threw spinning attacks, and Camacho threw heavy combinations in return. By the end of the final round, both fighters were a mess and completely abandoned any defensive strategy. Hands were dropped and punches were flying. With Brown’s back against the cage, shots landed hard until the final bell. Fight of the night, easy.
Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)