UFC Vegas 18 Results: After Over a Year Away, Seung Woo Choi Defeats Youssef Zalal

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Youssef Zalal and Seung Woo Choi, UFC Vegas 18
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: (R-L) Seungwoo Choi of South Korea punches Youssef Zalal of Morocco in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Seung Woo Choi picked up his second straight win on the UFC Vegas 18 prelims, defeating Youssef Zalal via decision.

Returning at UFC Vegas 18 was South Korea’s Seung Woo Choi, with the featherweight back in action for the first time since December 2019. Looking to put together two straight wins, Choi was up against Youssef Zalal, who was stepping in for Colin Angllin at the event. Who in turn had been replacing Steven “Ocho” Peterson.

Choi was no doubt happy just to have a fight on Saturday.

Choi opened up with heavy pressure, starting off fast and putting Zalal on the backfoot. Zalal tried to keep Choi at bay with his jab, while Choi was trying to find his distance. Choi started to find his range with a couple of calf kicks, and Zalal responded with a counter 1-2 that landed clean. Zalal faked a takedown attempt and then landed a check left hook, however soon Zalal did shoot for a takedown that Choi stuffed against the cage. The two were separated after a brief clinch and Choi went back on the attack to end the round, landing a big combination and getting a big takedown to end the round on top.

Choi started off fast once again in the second, pressing Zalal against the fence to start the round. Zalal reversed position and worked for a takedown but was unsuccessful; eventually the two separated and Choi started to work on his combinations once again from the outside. He then landed a quick combination before shooting into another clinch situation, where he landed some knees to the body before getting a takedown. Choi quickly backed off from the ground and returned to the feet, where the two ended the round once again in the clinch.

Choi started off the third and final round with a trip takedown, and quickly let Zalal return to the feet. It had been a rather close fight to that point. Choi landed a counter left hand and forced his way into the clinch again, Zalal went for a guillotine attempt but couldn’t get it, however, he was able to reverse position against the fence and get a takedown. Zalal then went for a guillotine choke but was unable to land it. Choi then took top position and sat in guard for a bit before returning to the feet. Zalal immediately shot for a takedown and was able to get it, however, he wasn’t able to do much with the position and two soon went to a decision. All three judges awarded the fight to Choi, with Zalal winning a round on two scorecards.

Official Result: Seung Woo Choi def. Youssef Zalal by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

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