UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington Preliminary Results and Recap

Thales Leites UFC
Thales Leites Credit: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

UFC 224’s preliminary card on Fight Pass started off strong, with Markus Perez picking up a first round submission victory.

UFC 224 flew under the radar pretty much until fight week was upon us, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some fights worthy of keeping an eye on. In the main event, of course, Amanda Nunes looked to secure her third title defense against Raquel Pennington. Despite the fight being criminally under-promoted, it had the opportunity to establish Nunes as one of the best women’s bantamweights ever, and get her halfway to Ronda Rousey’s title defense mark.

Also on the card, the legendary Vitor Belfort, himself a former light heavyweight champion and tournament winner, would call it a career. In his final fight, he was scheduled to face off against another formidable Brazilian, Lyoto Machida.

Before any of that could go down, however, the UFC Fight Pass Prelims were on deck. A four-pack of fights featuring names like Thales Leites, Warlley Alves, and Alberto Mina, they promised to bring the action — so would they deliver?

Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic

At middleweight, James Bochnovic went right to the body with a kick off the opening bell of the night’s first fight, and immediately followed that up by looking for a takedown. However, it was Perez threatening to take the back. Unable to secure, the two worked back to their feet, which led to a grappling exchange along the fence. Perez got the better of that, finishing with a big takedown. He was then able to transition to half guard, and looked to slide in an arm-triangle choke, only to be denied. Perez was able to transition to the back, and after a couple of attempts that didn’t get under the chin, sunk in the rear-naked choke, earning the tap!

Markus Perez def. James Bochnovic by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:28

Alberto Mina vs. Ramazan Emeev

In what was a key welterweight fight for the undefeated 36-year old Alberto Mina, it was Ramazan Emeev connecting first with a big right hand. Mina would fire back a little later with a body kick, but Emeev would come over the top with another right hand in a counter. He then took the back, and threw Mina to his knees, keeping his arms locked and looking for some ground strikes. Mina made it back up, with Emeev looking for a kimura then taking things back to the canvas.

Mina would roll for a knee bar in the final minute of the round, but was forced to let it go. With things getting underway in the second, Mina scored with a leg kick, then went high with his next kick. Emeev, however, fell back on his grabbling, getting a seatbelt-like grip on his opponent, clasping his hands around his waist. Emeev was clearly looking to wear his opponent down, much to the displeasure of the crowd.

The third round was similarly uneventful, with Emeev wearing his opponent down. A tiring Mina allowed Ramazan Emeev to work his stand-up a little more, but for the most part, wall and stall was the name of the game, with the crowd again letting Emeev have it as the round wore on. In the end, they went to the scorecards, with Emeev earning the clear decision.

Ramazan Emeev def. Alberto Mina by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Thales Leites vs. Jack Hermansson

In middleweight action Jack Hermansson stayed extremely mobile early, moving in and out, working his jab. Leites finally snatched a leg, looking to slow the fight down and take it to the mat. However, Hermansson showed some solid takedown defense, fighting the Brazilian off. Neither fighter came close to finishing in the first, but the second was another story.

In the second, Thales Leites scored and early takedown that seemed to hurt Hermansson. Hermansson was grimacing, clearly in pain, and was unable to do much to fight back. Leites looked to sink in a submission, eventually sinking in an arm-triangle choke. Leites was able to step over his opponent, but Hermansson somehow fought off the submission even while unable to do much else.

Incredibly, Hermansson came out for the third round, but was quickly taken down, with Leites again looking for a submission finish. However, the most unlikely of comebacks then unfolded. Still crippled, Hermansson was in serious danger. But when Thales Leites looking to grab a guillotine, Hermansson was able to slip free and get into mount. That allowed him to begin unleashing some furious ground and pound, knowing it was his only shot. Soon enough, the ref waved off the fight. Afterwards, Hermansson said he’d broken his rib during the takedown, and was still grimacing during the post-fight interview.

Jack Hermansson def. Thales Leites by TKO, Round 3, 2:10

Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev

Warlley Alves looked to impose his will early in the featured fight of the UFC 224 Fight Pass prelims. Against the fence, he was able to land knees and grind away at his opponent. When Aliev had space to work, he was able to get his hands going. However, towards the end of the first round, it was Alves connecting with a right hand that wobbled Aliev briefly. That seemed to put some pep in his step, as he came back slinging leather, looking to make something happen. Aliev would finish the round with a throw at the bell, and they would head to a second.

Round two saw Aliev and Alves working against the fence again, only this time, Aliev was able to get the better of the grappling exchanges early. However, Alves remained determined, and a short left connected under Aliev’s eye. That caused some considerable swelling under his right eye, which got worse and worse as the round progressed. With his eye swollen shut, the doctor called the fight off between rounds, giving Warlley Alves the TKO win!

Warlley Alves def. Sultan Aliev by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 2, 5:00

Check back throughout the night for results and a full recap of the UFC 224 preliminary action!

UFC 224 Fight Pass Preliminary Results

Warlley Alves def. Sultan Aliev by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 2, 5:00
Jack Hermansson def. Thales Leites by TKO, Round 3, 2:10
Ramazan Emeev def. Alberto Mina by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Markus Perez def. James Bochnovic by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:28