The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) started its first event of 2017 with the Fight Night prelims in Phoenix, Arizona. The card began on UFC Fight Pass and continued on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).
The FS1 portion of the prelims was headlined by a lightweight tilt between Drakkar Klose and Devin Powell. Both men made their UFC debuts. Klose’s offense and grappling were too much for Powell. Klose earned a unanimous decision win.
A barn burner in the bantamweight division featured Augusto Mendes and Frankie Saenz. The back-and-forth affair saw both men drop each other. In the end, Mendes got in the cleaner shots and took a split decision win.
Aleksei Oleinik made history by pulling off the first Ezekiel choke in UFC history. Despite being in full mount, Viktor Pesta was caught in the choke. Pesta was out and the fight was stopped.
In the featured bout of the UFC Fight Pass portion of the preliminary card, strawweights Nina Ansaroff went toe-to-toe with Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. In the third round, Ansaroff took the back of her opponent and locked in a rear-naked choke. She forced the tap and celebrated with her girlfriend, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Here are the rest of the UFC Fight Night prelim results:
FS1 Portion of Prelims
Lightweight: Drakkar Klose def. Devin Powell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Augusto Mendes def. Frankie Saenz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Aleksei Oleinik def. Viktor Pesta by submission (Ezekiel choke) at 2:57 of Round 1
Lightweight: Tony Martin def. Alex White via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
UFC Fight Pass Portion of Prelims
Strawweight: Nina Ansaroff def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:39
Heavyweight: Walt Harris def. Chase Sherman via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 2:41
Light Heavyweight: Joachim Christensen def. Bojan Mihajlovic via KO (uppercut) at 2:05 of Round 3
Heavyweight: Cyril Asker def. Dmitrii Smoliakov via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:41