Making his debut on the UFC 271 early preliminary card was Contender Series winner A.J. Dobson.
The undefeated middleweight was paired up with Jacob Malkoun, entering his third UFC fight in search of a second win in the promotion. His first had come last year, against Abdul Razak Alhassan.
Dobson opened up throwing some nice straight punches. It was certain Dobson was headhunting early. He tagged Malkoun with a right hand and Malkoun shot in on the legs. Malkoun elevated Dobson but Dobson showed good balance and escaped the clinch. Malkoun went for the takedown again but Dobson shook it off. Dobson looked to have a lot of confidence and was continuing to land some good shots on Malkoun. Dobson was mixing in some kicks behind his straight punches really teeing off of Malkoun. Malkoun in the last ten seconds took Dobson down finally, but right at the bell.
In round two the action started quick. More straight punches from Dobson right into some nice clinch work. Malkoun, knowing he had to get the fight down, pressed Dobson against the cage. He did get Dobson down twice in a few seconds and while on the back unloaded with some punches. Malkoun wasn’t on the back fully, but he had control against the cage and landed some good shots on the side of the head. Busy work from Malkoun as he kept landing and not letting Dobson back to his feet. Malkoun kept Dobson on the mat until the last few seconds.
Round three saw both fighters trading but of course Malkoun shot in on the legs. He pressed forward and went to the back and threw Dobson to his knees. Dobson got back up and now his takedown defense was failing him, as he was taken right back down. That time Malkoun was in half-guard. The crowd was booing but Malkoun always stayed busy chipping away with ground and pound. A frustrated Dobson, on bottom, could be heard hollering at his opponent but Malkoun dominated the position until the final bell.
Official Result: Jacob Malkoun def. AJ Dobson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)