UFC Raleigh Results: Brett Johns Earns Third-Round Submission in Grappling-Heavy Affair

Brett Johns and Tony Gravely, UFC Raleigh
Brett Johns and Tony Gravely, UFC Raleigh Face-Offs Credit: Bryson Hester/Cageside Press

After 17 months away from the Octagon, Brett Johns returned at UFC Raleigh with a submission win over newcomer Tony Gravely.

After over a year away, featherweight Brett Johns returned to the octagon at UFC Raleigh Saturday night. His return fight doubled as the welcome wagon for Tony Gravely, the former CES MMA champion who won his way into the UFC on the Contender Series last year. More of a veteran than a prospect, all eyes would be on Gravely to see how he fared in this long-awaited debut.

Here is how the play by play went down:

Round 1:

Gravely came out throwing a series of kicks including a spinning kick to the body. Gravely shoo\t in on a takedown and Johns responded by locking in a guillotine. The former NCAA wrestler was able to pop his head out while he took the European fighter down. He landed a few ground strikes and began to grind Johns against the fence while the “Pikey” worked to his feet. Johns threw Gravely with a judo throw then looked for the guillotine once again. The former CES bantamweight champion was able to work to his feet but was slammed back to the canvas. The Welshman jumped on the back of Gravley with both hooks in. He began to work for a rear-naked choke. Gravely fought off the submission but Johns showed his grappling chops by getting the submission hold in. With 25-seconds it looked really deep but somehow the Virginia native fought it off and survived the round.

Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Johns.

Round 2:

Gravely started the round firing by landing a hard knee and then some follow up punches. They all landed and briefly rocked the “Pikey.” Johns attempted a takedown but the American fought off the move. Gravely picked up Johns and slammed him to the canvas twice. He jumped on the back of Johns and locked in one hook. Johns scrambled and bumped off Johns, who stood too high. Both fighters reversed each other in some fun wrestling exchanges. They worked back to their feet until Gravely was able to take his adversary down. He couldn’t keep Johns down, who worked back to his feet. They both fired off shots but Johns was able to take Gravely down briefly. Gravely worked back up as the round ended. Really close round and lot of excitement if you are a wrestling fan.

Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Gravely. 

Round 3:

They both started firing off hard punches to open the action until Johns caught a leg and attempted to take Gravely down. Johns pressed forward and Gravely threw him with a perfectly timed headlock. Another scramble ensued and they were both on his feet. Johns took Gravely down and took his back. He looked for a rear-naked choke as he stretched Gravely out. Gravley rolled to his stomach and was hit with several strikes. The “Pikey” then locked in a rear-naked choke forcing Gravely to tap out and giving himself a submission win.

Official Results: Brett Johns def. Tony Gravely by submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 3, 2:53