Lightweight action between Drew Dober and Rafael Alves on the UFC 277 prelims promised to be a hard-hitting affair.
The match-up did not disappoint, but it had a weird start, with Alves signalling that there was loose tape on his foot. That halted the action, but the ref ordered him to fight on.
The pair then came together in an exchange, which let Alves get the fight to the ground in an early takedown. He threatened to move to mount, but Dober won a few small positional battles and was able to force Alves back into his guard. On his back was still not where Drew Dober wanted to be, however, especially with half the round still to come.
Dober would escape out with just over a minute left in the round, and the pair went right back to trading, with Dober eating at least one shot that appeared to hurt him. Dober would finish the round on the attack, however, with Alves back against the fence covering and moving.
In the second, Dober attacked the body with multiple kicks and turned up the heat with Alves circling along the fence. Alves had slowed a step; Dober, frankly, had not. The offense for Alves had also slowed to a crawl, which allowed Dober to lead the dance and implement his fight. When Alves did attempt to counter, he too often hit air. Late in the third, an eye poke would land on Alves, giving him some recovery time, though whether the thumb that scraped across his eye would hamper his vision remained to be seen.
They got wild off the restart, swinging for the fences and launching jumping kicks. Alves’ defense was amazing and spontaneously led to him showing off some dance moves after ducking and dodging pretty much every punch Dober threw. Alves then shot for a takedown, which Dober reversed to end the round.
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Round three had Dober going back to the body early. The body work would pay off a moment later, as a left hook to Alves’ ribs caused him to drop to his knees, wincing in pain. That was the end right there, with Dober earning the KO off the body shot.
Official Result: Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves by knockout (body shot), Round 3, 1:30