UFC Beijing Preliminary Card Results and Recap

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Jessica Aguilar UFC
Jessica Aguilar Credit: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

The UFC made its return to mainland China on Saturday, making its debut in Beijing, where Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou 2 topped the UFC Fight Night 141 card.

For much of North America, UFC Beijing (UFC Fight Night 141) was a UFC Fight Pass exclusive. Not so in certain commonwealth nations, mind you, with BTSport, SONY SIX, and The Fight Network all broadcasting at least the main card in the U.K., India, and Canada, respectively. Where ever you watched it, however, there was plenty of action early in the night — or early in the morning, depending on your time zone.

Topping the card at UFC Beijing, a promising heavyweight rematch between Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. Just a few years ago, the pair clashed as promising prospects. While that fight ended in a doctor’s stoppage win for Ngannou, of late, their career trajectories had been extremely different. Ngannou came up short in a title challenge against Stipe Miocic at the start of the year. Not only that, he gassed out early, raising questions about his suitability as a contender/would-be champ. Then, to make matters worse he put on a career-worst performance against Derrick Lewis over the Summer that many called the worst heavyweight fight of all time. The abysmal performance raised doubts about his staying power in the sport.

Curtis Blaydes, meanwhile, smashed Alistair Overeem in his last appearance in the octagon, and with a multi-fight win streak, he’s poised to claim the next title shot. Well, the one after Brock Lesnar. Or perhaps Jon Jones. Maybe even Stipe. Heavyweight’s a crap shoot, but in any case, Blaydes has a chance for revenge, and to throw his name in the hat for a title shot eventually. The aforementioned Overeem is also on the card, as the former UFC title challenger and Strikeforce champ welcomes Russian heavyweight Sergey Pavlovich to the octagon.

The undercard, meanwhile, is as noticeable for what it lacks as what it has. No men’s flyweight bout, which does not bode well for the endangered division. Former 125lb’er Luis Smolka, however, returns to the UFC — at bantamweight. A light heavyweight contest between former heavyweight Rashad Coulter and Hu Yaozong, meanwhile, was bumped to a catchweight when Coulter came in two pounds over the limit. Yaozong, it should be noted, also competed at heavyweight in his last bout.

The action kicks off at 3:15AM EST — check back come fight time for full results and a recap of the night’s action!

Louis Smolka vs. Su Mudaerji

In the opening fight of UFC Beijing, Luis Smolka immediately shot in for a single leg takedown, then switched to a double, but Su Mudaerji stuffed the attempt. Smolka threw a knee, Mudaerji answered with an elbow. Smolka then shot again, only for the Chinese fighter to sprawl, then defend with elbows. Staying persistant, Smolka finally put Mudaerji on his back. From there, he worked to take the back, looking for a rear-naked choke, softening Mudaerji up with punches, and eventually getting his hooks in. However, the newcomer was agile enough to fend off Smolka’s submission game and escape the round.

Round two opened with a quick exchange before Smolka took his opponent down, only to eat a number of elbows from the bottom. Smolka came up in mount, but Mudaerji rolled through, and looked for a triangle. Mudaerji then briefly reversed, but Smolka latched onto an arm during the transition, stretching it out and picking up the victory via arm bar!

Luis Smolka def. Su Mudaerji by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 2:07

Kevin Holland vs. John Philips

In middleweight action, Kevin Holland opened with a couple of side kicks, but that did not deter John Phillips from pressing forward. When the pair exchanged, they were throwing hard; Holland then landed a body kick but slipped, landing on his back. Phillips allowed him up, only to eat a body shot that hurt him. Holland then began softening him up, connecting repeatedly as Phillips essentially froze with his back on the cage. He’d cover up and recover, finally moving away from the fence. In a clinch, Holland landed several knees, and returned to his kicks, only to land low. Once they were back underway, Phillips caught Holland with a heavy punch, but the Contender Series alum escaped. He’d finish the round with a jumping knee that sent Phillips to his back, but the bell sounded as Holland attempted to follow up.

Holland would find himself rocked in the second, and Phillips swarmed, launching combinations, uppercuts, and backing Holland up. Holland returned fire, covered up, and tried to escape, but Phillips walked him down, continuing to pepper his opponent with shots. Holland connected with a knee, and Phillips began to slow a little. Phillips wobbled Holland again ever so briefly, and once again tried to swarm as Holland covered up, then returned fire. Some furious exchanges in this round, which was much closer than the first.

Early in the third, Phillips found himself on his back when Holland changed levels and briefly took him down. Holland landed a number of shots as Phillips worked his way up. He then took Phillips down again, this time looking to control from the back and get a hook in. Holland would eventually work to mount, but with ninety seconds to go, Phillips reversed. Holland threatened with an arm-bar; Phillips escaped to his feet, but wound up with Holland on his back, locking in the rear-naked choke! Phillips was forced to tap moments later.

Kevin Holland def. John Phillips by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 4:05

Yan Xiaonan vs. Syuri Kondo

Xiaonan came out firing early, mixing in kicks with her combos. Kondo looked to return fire, but was being backed up. The exchanges continued, with Xiaonan the agressor, and getting the better of them. That was the story throughout the first roud: quick punches, quick kicks from Xiaonan, who landed far more than her opponent.

Xiaonan worked in a spinning back fist in the second, while Kondo attempted to push the pace, a key difference from the first. However, Xiaonan was throwing with more volume. She’d try another spinning attempt, and continue firing combinations, but it was Kondo pulling off a sharper spinning back fist, then connecting with a knee. They’d battle it out to the end of the frame,with Xiaonan being successful with her counters more often than not.

Kondo was going to need to really turn things around in the third, and possibly needed a finish, as despite a better showing in the second she was likely down on the scorecards. The Japanese fighter did push the pace again in the third, with Xiaonan on her heels or using lateral movement throughout much of the round. However, she was again having more success with her striking, landing numerous side kicks, and getting the better of things when they did exchange. Xiaonan would finish the round with a spinning attack.

Yan Xiaonan def. Syuri Kondo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Liu Pingyuan vs. Martin Day

Hawaii’s Martin Day threw down with Liu Pingyuan in bantamweight action at UFC Beijing. Day opened the action with a kick, while Pingyuan pressed forward, trying to set up a takedown with his strikes. He latched on to Day’s right leg, while Day hopped, shifted his weight, and managed to stay standing. Pulling free, he went back to a kick. However unable to fire off too much offense, Day wound up in a standing guillotine, with Pingyuan quickly pulling guard. Day rode it out, however, and Pingyuan was forced to release the submission attempt. Day moved back to his feet, and the Chinese fighter followed. Landing a spinning back kick, Day was looking to shift momentum, and put Pingyuan on his heels. A kick to the body landed with a thud; Pingyuan would then shoot, bu Day stuffed the attempt, and got on top briefly before backing off after an upkick.

Pingyuan got his striking going early in the second, firing off an uppercut and again using his hands to set up a takedown attempt. Day defended with elbows to the head as Pingyuan clutched at his leg. A trip attempt led to Day landing on top; after a bit of a scramble he moved back to his feet. Day would catch a kick late in the round, putting Pingyuan on his back and dropping a few punches on his opponent. The Hawaiian backed off, however, preferring to kick the fight standing. He’d clip Pingyaun with a right hand seconds before the bell.

Round three say Martin Day pressing the action early, hoping to pick up where he left off the previous round. Spinning kicks and fast hands were the key. Pingyaun caught a kick and tried to pull guard, but Day was having none of it. Pingyuan, back on the feet, then rocked Day! He moved in for a guillotine attempt, and nearly pulled it off. Day worked for what looked like a D’Arce, but Pingyuan was able to transition to the back, getting hooks in. He was too high up for a choke and worked instead for an arm-bar. Pingyuan looked to be in full control with a minute left in the round, though Day attempted to land punches while his opponent continued to cling to him. They’d go to the scorecards, however.

Liu Pingyuan def. Martin Day def. split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Zhang Weili vs. Jessica Aguilar

Weili had to contend with Jessica Aguilar coming out and immediately initiating a clinch, looking for a takedown. Weili reversed, ‘JAG’ fired off knees, and Weili came over the top with a crushing elbow that opened up Aguilar. The pair battled until Weili wound up scoring the takedown herself. She’d move to side control, and fire off some elbows, eventually looking for a triangle. When she couldn’t secure that, she moved to the arm-bar, and forced the tap!

Zhang Weili def. Jessica Aguilar by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 3:41

Hu Yaozong vs. Rashad Coulter

Yaozong fired off a spinning back kick to open his catchweight bout against Rashad Coulter , which had originally been scheduled as a light heavyweight scrap. Coulter caught the kick but couldn’t dump the Chinese fighter. Instead they wound up in a clinch along the fence for a time; after breaking, Coulter launched some heavy bunches, while Yaozong fired off a solid kick. The pair would then battle by the fence, with Yaozong bloodied; he’d eat further right hands from Coulter, who would begin tagging Hu Yaozong.

Somehow Yaozong escaped the round, and in the second had a bit of a second wind. He’d managed to get Coulter up against the fence, landing some strikes of his own. In the open, Coulter worked his jab, and once again began backing Yaozong up with right hands and combos. Firing off a switch knee towards the end of the round, however, Yaozong was still in it.

Coulter was showing some damage to the lead leg after eating a number of kicks throughout the fight by the time the third round started. Yaozong was able to press him back, against the fence. Coulter would battle back, but both fighters had slowed. Coulter began attack the legs in answer to Yaozong’s own kicks, but they’d go the distance in what turned out to be a closer fight than it originally looked.

Rashad Coulter def. Hu Yaozong by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Wu Yanan vs. Lauren Mueller

Lauren Mueller pressed the action early in her flyweight battle against China’s Wu Yanan. Yanan would answer, and throw out a leg kick or two, but it was Mueller pushing her back, with more power behind her strikes. Yanan would then switch to a takedown, stuffed with ease by Mueller. The pair would then clinch along the fence, reversing several times, with Yanan connecting with a left off the break only to be countered by Mueller’s own left. A quick exchange followed, and Mueller would drop Yanan. However, the Chinese fighter latched onto Mueller’s arm, and instantly turned the tables! She had the arm-bar locked in, and Mueller tapped almost instantly.

Wu Yanan def. Lauren Mueller by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 4:00

Kenan Song vs. Alex Morono

Song vs. Morono started out with the pair feeling each other out on the feet. Morono would answer Song’s right hand with an overhand left that looked like it could put Song’s lights out. Solid movement by Morono early, and he’d fire off a spinning back fist followed by another overhand right near the midway point. Kenan would have to be careful of those heavy blows, even as he pressed forward.

Round two had Kenan Song coming in a little wild early, but he soon settled down. A spinning back fist connected from Morono, however. Song worked in a few leg kicks, but was bloodied around the mouth. Morono worked at range, but Kenan closed the distance and landed. Morono fired back and escaped. The two nodded heads, smiling, near the midway point, clearly pleased with the show they were putting on. Kenan whiffed a head kick, but a body kick moments later did connect.

Heading into the third, Morono changed up his gameplan, shooting for a takedown a minute in. Song fought it off, however, and backed Morono up with strikes, bloodying him in the process. Morono, however, would tag his opponent with an uppercut, land another blow, and take the momentum back again. Song was backing up. They looked like they’d battle it out to the end, but as time wore down, Morono threw a spinning back fist, and suffered a nasty eye poke that sent him to the canvas in pain. After being examined by the doctor, they restarted with thirty seconds to go; Song attacked, swinging hard, but time ran out.

Alex Morono def. Kenan Song by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC Beijing Preliminary Card Results:

Alex Morono def. Kenan Song by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Wu Yanan def. Lauren Mueller by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 4:00
Rashad Coulter def. Hu Yaozong by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Zhang Weili def. Jessica Aguilar by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 3:41
Liu Pingyuan def. Martin Day def. split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Yan Xiaonan def. Syuri Kondo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kevin Holland def. John Phillips by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 4:05
Luis Smolka def. Su Mudaerji by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 2:07

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