UFC Wichita Preliminary Card Results and Recap

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Reneau vs Kunitskaya Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

UFC Wichita had plenty of action early in the night, with a key women’s bantamweight bout between Yana Kunitskaya and Marion Reneau, plus Anthony Rocco Martin and Sergio Moraes in the featured fight.

The UFC rolled into Wichita, Kansas for the first time on Saturday, bringing with it former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. Topping the UFC Wichita card in the main event, ‘Cigano’ was set to face Derrick Lewis, the most recent challenger to Daniel Cormier’s heavyweight crown.

Earlier in the night, however, a number of entertaining — and in some cases key — fights went down. Among those, Maurice Greene was facing an old foe in UFC newcomer Jeff Hughes. Hughes happened to be the last man to defeat Greene, a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter 28, outside the UFC. Also of note on the preliminary card, Marion Reneau vs. Yana Kunitskaya. Kunitskaya, a former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, had entered the UFC in a title shot against then-featherweight champ Cris Cyborg. After falling to Cyborg, she moved to bantamweight, picking up a win over Lina Lansberg in her return to 135lbs.

An impressive win in Wichita could very well boost ‘Foxy’ into title contention in a thin women’s 135lb division.

Alex White vs. Dan Moret

Dan Moret has his opponent pressed up against the fence early in the card’s opening bout, a lightweight clash between himself and Alex White. That early drive in then stalled, as the pair wound up tied up against the cage for a time. On a break, they exchanged blows, and Moret then changed levels and pursued a takedown again. Another break moments later, and Moret managed to land upstairs before finally landing a takedown.

The grappling continued in round two, with a number of reversals along the cage. White, who had suffered a nasty cut towards the end of the first round, was bleeding profusely by the midway point of the second. When the pair finally broke it was Moret on the attack, White backpedaling. And again, Moret would drive his opponent into the cage. Off the break, both men were landing, but Moret was getting the better of most exchanges. Then in the final minute of round two, the pair began trading bombs, with Moret taking some damage of this own.

Round three saw Moret shooting wild for a single leg, and putting the fight against the fence once more. After taking some damage at the end of the second that was no doubt the smart approach. White, however, managed to get Moret down briefly after reversing; back on the feet, he relied on a whizzer to fend off another takedown attempt. White would get the fight to the ground again later in the round; they’d trade at the very end, and head to the judges, who saw it in favor of White. His success late in the second turned things around, and he clearly took the third.

Alex White def. Dan Moret by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alex Morono vs. Zak Ottow

Morono opened the card’s first welterweight bout working his jab. Ottow answered back, and the pair traded strikes, though neither man was putting together much in the way of combinations early. Ottow attacked the body with a kick. Ottow would then shoot for a takedown only to be caught in a guillotine. It looked tight, but Ottow broke free only for Morono to move to mount and begin unloading bombs. Ottow covered up, turned over, but Morono stayed right there, landing more ground n’ pound including nasty elbows until the ref waved it off!

Alex Morono def. Zak Ottow by verbal submission (strikes), Round 1, 3:34

Louis Smolka vs. Matt Schnell

In bantamweight action, former flyweight Louis Smolka looked to build on a successful return to the promotion last November when he took on Matt Schnell. Schnell was on the attack early, firing a left after the pair exchanged kicks. Schnell was able to back Smolka up and land a right; shortly thereafter the pair would exchange in close. Following that, Schnell manage to take Smolka down, then locked in a guillotine, trapping Smolka, who managed to hang in there until Schnell transitioned to a triangle. After a brief flirtation with an arm-bar as Smolka looked to break free, Schnell managed to re-establish the triangle and force the tap!

Matt Schnell def. Louis Smolka by submission (triangle), Round 1, 3:18

Maurice Greene vs. Jeff Hughes

TUF 28 alum Maurice Greene took on the last man to beat him, Jeff Hughes, on the UFC Wichita preliminary card Saturday. Greene worked in some leg kicks early, which Hughes answered. Greene, however, had the clear reach advantage. He was controlling the pace, and was the more aggressive fighter early. Greene would back Hughes up against the cage, unloading, but the newcomer was able to cover up and escape. Greene would back his opponent up again, however, landing some standing elbows. In the final minute, Hughes pressed forward, setting up a takedown attempt with strikes, but Greene stuffed it. Hughes, however, would connect a couple of times upstairs before the bell.

Hughes worked his jab early in the second, forcing Greene to back off. Less than a minute in, he’d land a combination. Greene attempted a spinning back kick, but there wasn’t much on it. A heavy body shot by Hughes then sent Greene back to the fence; Hughes followed him, looking for a takedown, but probably should have forced Greene to continue defending on teh feet. Greene then connected with a jab, wobbling Jeff Hughes! Hughes survived, and fired back. Greene would begin pressing the action again, but was caught at least twice coming in. Hughes was loading up on his punches in the final minute, Greene would go back to his spinning kick, and they’d head to a third.

Round three saw Greene working kicks, landing to the body. Hughes would find success with his hands, but a leg kick by Greene took his opponent’s legs out from under him. After that, however, Hughes was able to control the octagon, cutting off the corners. Hughes attempted a spinning back fist with little more than a minute remaining, then landed a left hand and a body kick in the final minute. However, on the scorecards, Hughes came out on the wrong end. Greene took home a split decision.

Maurice Greene def. Dan Moret by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Grant Dawson vs. Julian Erosa

An early triangle attempt got things started between featherweights Grant Dawson and Julian Erosa. Back on the feet, Dawson latched on to Erosa by the cage and simply refused to let go. He’d eventually drag his opponent down and show some slick transitions. Dawson was in control during the first round between the pair, even hoisting Erosa up and slamming him down mid-round.

Round two saw more great ground work and takedowns from Grant Dawson. Erosa proved able to escape to his feet, however. Dawson would mix in kicks, while Erosa would find an opening and fire back. At the end of the round, the floodgates would open, and the pair would begin trading back and forth, with Erosa being dropped following a spinning back attempt. However, he battled back and hurt Dawson, setting up a promising third frame.

Erosa would again look for a triangle early in round three after the fight went to the ground. Dawson, however, was able to take his opponent’s back. There, he slowly worked to flatten Erosa out. Erosa rolled, surviving a choke to move Dawson back into guard. Dawson, however, took the back once more at the midway mark. From there, Dawson would dominate the remainder of the round, earning the decision on the scorecards.

Grant Dawson def. Julian Erosa by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)

Marion Reneau vs. Yana Kunitskaya

With a noticeable height advantage, Yana Kunitskaya was able to bully Marion Reneau to the ground early in the opening round of their bantamweight bout. As Reneau regained her feet, Kunitskaya let go with her hands. In the clinch, she added knees and elbows; Reneau fired off a punch on the break, but wasn’t able to find many openings for her offense. She would land a right hand later in the round, a caught a kick in the dying seconds, dumping Kunitskaya on her back.

The second saw Kunitskaya open with her jab, but Reneau answered back with a combination. Reneau was looking for a way in on the taller fighter, as Kunitskaya used her kicks to keep her opponent at bay. Much of the round was spent in this fashion, but when she did get her boxing going (and inside on Kunitskaya), Reneau was able to find some success. Still, she was bloodied by the end of the round, a clear sign of that reach advantage.

Kunitskaya continued to work her kicks, attacking Reneau’s legs early in round three. Her jab was active as well, but Reneau was able to answer back with a couple of two-punch combos. That allowed her to back Kunitskaya up, even if briefly. Both women were bloodied, and Reneau was finding much more success in the third, slowing pulling ahead via head strikes. Making matters worse, Kuniskaya’s nose appeared broken. The Russian’s lower face was a mask of blood. She held on to the end, and thanks to capturing the first two rounds, claimed a unanimous decision win — to the dissatisfaction of the crowd.

Yana Kunitskaya def. Marion Reneau by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Anthony Rocco Martin vs. Sérgio Moraes

Martin vs. Moraes went to the ground within the first minute, and after some early danger, Anthony Rocco Martin was able to get on top. Moraes had a guillotine grip without any real threat behind it. Martin landed a couple punches to the body, but Moraes threw an arm up to underline the overall lack of activity. That led to a ref stand-up. Martin targeted the lower leg; Moraes fired back with a body kick. They’d battle it out to the bell.

In the second, Martin was firing his leg kick once again. Moraes wasn’t checking the attack, and instead found himself on his heels, moving backwards as Martin attacked. Just to mix things up, Martin then landed a kick on the upper thigh. A jump knee led to a low blow by Moraes, but Martin did not want to take any time to recover. Moraes was clearly become tired, and frustrated after eating such a heavy volume of leg kicks. Heading into the third, it was Martin in the driver’s seat.

More kicks from Martin in the third, while Moraes tried to anticipate and check the kicks before they even came. He’d slowed on the feet, whether from cardio or damage or both. Martin simply wasn’t standing in place long enough to be hit. When they did come together, Martin tied up Moraes against the cage. Moraes would reverse and look for a takedown, but couldn’t complete it. In the final minute, he would land a takedown at long last, but it was too little, too late.

Anthony Rocco Martin def. Sérgio Moraes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC Wichita Preliminary Card Results and Recap

Anthony Rocco Martin def. Sérgio Moraes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Yana Kunitskaya def. Marion Reneau by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Grant Dawson def. Julian Erosa by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
Maurice Greene def. Dan Moret by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Schnell def. Louis Smolka by submission (triangle), Round 1, 3:18
Alex Morono def. Zak Ottow by verbal submission (strikes), Round 1, 3:34
Alex White def. Dan Moret by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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