Before the pair of title fights headlining UFC 232, the UFC Fight Pass Prelims take place featuring several exciting strikers.
UFC 232 has had a messy lead-up, despite only one fighter pulling out of the event. From Las Vegas to Los Angeles with less than a week to go, it has been a wild week for those involved in the card. Affected by this switch possibly was preliminary fighter Montel Jackson, who missed the 136-pound bantamweight limit yesterday.
The four-fight Fight Pass preliminary card is fully intact as planned however, and it is as follows:
- Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Ewell
- Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis
- Curtis Millender vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
- Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson
Headlining the slate of fights on the streaming service is Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Ewell. Wood is an English prospect who held the Cage Warriors bantamweight title before heading to the UFC. Ewell is on a five-fight win streak with the latest being a debut victory against Renan Barao.
Uriah Hall welcomes Bevon Lewis to the UFC. Hall is in the midst of a rough patch in his career, going 1-4 since November 2015 and falling to Paulo Costa in his last fight. Lewis is undefeated at 6-0 with two fights on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Ewell
It was a kick-focused attack to start the fight on both sides. Wood landed a two-punch combination, then was able to knock Ewell down with a pair of right hands. Wood followed, but Ewell wrapped him up effectively. After standing up, Ewell landed a solid body shot, but a big right straight from Wood did some damage. Wood clinched up with Ewell against the cage to end the round.
Both fighters met in the center of the Octagon to start the second round and threw some heavy shots. Wood was able to get a handle on Ewell to take him down into guard. Wood landed some sparse ground-and-pound, eventually passing to half guard. Ewell was able to retain guard and largely stifle Wood’s offense aside from a second pass to half guard late in the round.
Wood went to the clinch early in the final round, tripping Ewell into side control. Ewell squirmed back to full guard and Wood rode it out. With a minute left in the frame, Ewell kicked him off, but Wood was able pounce onto Ewell’s back and sink in a rear-naked choke.
Nathaniel Wood def. Andre Ewell by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 3 (4:12)
Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis
Bevon Lewis started the fight aggressively, overwhelming Hall with kicks early on. Lewis backed Hall to the cage and landed several knees from the clinch. Hall ate them and was able to separate. A stiff jab landed for Hall but there was no follow-up. Lewis’s output slowed near the halfway point of the round, but Hall had yet to find his range. Hall’s jab landed a second time with some sting behind it. The remainder of the round was fairly slow, with Hall establishing range and Lewis slowing his pace down.
An inaccurate exchange kicked off the second round, and this fight was slowly becoming a stalemate. Neither man could land significant shots until nearly two minutes in, when Lewis landed a head kick without follow-up. Hall had a head kick deflected and fell to the canvas, prompting Lewis to get a back clinch as Hall stood up. Lewis pushed him to the cage and held him there for over a minute. Hall was able to walk Lewis down after the separation, controlling the Octagon for the little time left in the round.
Leg kicks were exchanged early in the final round, then a two-punch combination connected for Lewis. Lewis followed him to the cage to establish a clinch. Lewis landed a right hand on the exit. Simultaneous right hands were thrown and Hall’s was able to put Lewis to sleep, a great comeback win for Uriah Hall.
Uriah Hall def. Bevon Lewis by KO (Right Hook) in Round 3 (1:32)
Curtis Millender vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
The fight started before the referee indicated, with an intense staredown in the middle of the Octagon. When the real fight started, Millender went right to work with his kicks, throwing straight kicks to keep Bahadurzada at a distance. Bahadurzada landed a strong body kick then a left hand. A leg kick by Millender took Bahadurzada off balance temporarily, then he landed a wheel kick followed by a head kick, all of which connected. Bahadurzada shook his head at both kicks but they certainly did damage.
Bahadurzada landed a swift hook, which was answered by a right hand. Millender stayed diligent with his jab to set up the head kick. Millender looked excellent in the first round, but Bahadurzada is not out of it yet.
Bahadurzada stormed out in the second round, landing a body kick then a head-body punch combination. Bahadurzada started consistently landing leg kicks, which helped open the rest of his game. Siyar was trash talking his opponent to try to keep him in the pocket, and it was working as he was landing more frequently than Millender. Some fiery exchanges happened but both fighters defended effectively. A right hand landed for Millender, temporarily stopping Bahadurzada’s advances.
Bahadurzada dodged a spinning elbow, then scored a takedown with over 90 seconds left in the round. Millender was unable to escape from half guard for the remainder of the round.
The final round had a blistering start, with Bahadurzada landing early. Millender landed a strong shot that caused Bahadurzada to lose his mouthpiece. After action resumed, a right hand landed for Millender that rocked his opponent. Bahadurzada was shaking his head as Millender landed heavy punches, even though he could barely keep his legs under him. Millender had Bahadurzada stuck against the cage as he was unloading, but a desperation shot from Siyar took the fight to the canvas.
Millender was able to get back up, but was stunned by a Bahadurzada hook. Bahadurzada shot for a takedown after getting caught with a few punches, but Millender was able to reverse position, ending the fight on top.
Curtis Millender def. Siyar Bahadurzada by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson
A body kick for Jackson starts the fight which is answered by a pair of Kelleher leg kicks. After a slight pause inaction due to an offline kick by Kelleher, the southpaw Jackson landed a stiff jab quickly followed by a right hook. Another kick landed for Jackson and Kelleher stormed in to try and change the momentum. Unfortunately for him, he was met with a Jackson elbow that dropped the New Yorker. Jackson pounced on him and unloaded several punches, then transitioned to a D’Arce choke. Jackson went to his back to sink in the choke and Kelleher was forced to tap.
Montel Jackson said that the victory doesn’t feel too great since he missed weight, but to soften the blow, Kelleher said he’ll be sending the 20-percent of Jackson’s purse back to him.
Montel Jackson def. Brian Kelleher by Submission (D’Arce Choke) in Round 1 (1:40)