Ryan Spann welcomed us all back from the MMA layoff at UFC 249 with a hard-fought unanimous decision over the durable Sam Alvey.
The happiest man in the UFC, at least on first glace, was back in action at UFC 249. Sam Alvey opened up the preliminary card in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, facing off with the dangerous Ryan Spann.
Spann, a former LFA light heavyweight champion, was on a seven-fight win streak to enter the night. Longtime UFC vet Alvey, meanwhile, was looking to snap a three-fight skid. And happy to help open up the economy, he told us ahead of the fight.
The fighters met in the center of the Octagon, then Spann pushed forward and landed multiple overhand rights while pushing Alvey against the fence. Spann tried multiple times to drag Alvey down, but Alvey was very resistant. Spann then transitioned to an arm triangle as Alvey stood up. The face of Alvey went red as Spann squeezed the arm triangle while standing up, but he gave the ref a smile, then broke free. Spann was a bit burned out by the squeeze, and Alvey began catching him with a short counter right hook. Spann pushed hard at the end of the round, but it was a nice bounce back by Alvey after the near submission.
Alvey landed another check right hook to start the second round while Spann was still thinking wrestling. He went with his overhand right to takedown attempt combination, but again couldn’t drag Alvey down. Spann’s own right hands started to land more consistently, but couldn’t quite avoid Alvey’s counters. Spann fired in a head kick that Alvey walked right through.
Spann unloaded after eating a right hand down the middle, blasting Alvey with a head kick and unleashing a heavy combination of punches. Alvey circled out, then landed a pair of right hooks. Spann came back with heat of his own, catching Alvey with a right. Spann came forward with a kick and was countered again. Alvey then cracked Spann with a right hand that rocked him, then came forward and dragged him down. Alvey elected to go for the choke, but couldn’t get it, as Spann stood back up. However, he was rocked again at the very end of the round.
What a way to get back to business! 👏@Superman_Spann and @SmilenSam go the distance to kick off #UFC249 – who took it for you? 📝 pic.twitter.com/hn6tBKWb8O
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2020
Ryan Spann def. Sam Alvey by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)