As the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi this month, the promotion wanted to start things off with a bang in UFC 253. Four different division fights were lined up on the preliminary card for UFC 253.
The preliminary card was loaded with strong fighters going head to head in what supposed to be their first encounters with one another. Here is a look at all the results-
Light Heavyweight: Aleksa Camur vs William Knight
William Knight defeated Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision. The first fight of the UFC 253 Preliminary Card was a formidable light heavyweight contest. Heading into the fight, Aleksa Camur picked up a win in his top-flight debut at UFC 246 in January. The 24-year-old beat Justin Ledet by decision after winning each of his first 5 professional fights by knockout.
Whereas William Knight made his UFC debut in this one and has seen all nine of his fights decided by knockout with eight KO wins and one KO loss.
As the fight commenced started on the aggressive note, getting an early warning from referee as well. Looking to make it 7-0 in his professional MMA career, Camur seemed to have the upper hand with more connectivity in the first round.
But as the second round commenced it was William Knight who made his way back in this fight. Although it was Camur who started on the aggressive front but Knight was connecting more significantly. After the end of the 2nd round it seemed Knight tied the affair all up.
Heading into the last and final round, everything was up for grabs for the duo. Knight seemed to keep all his energy for the last round, with significant attempts to finish off the fight Knight was evidently being the aggressor. As the bell rang it was all up to the judges.
Winner- Willian Knight defeated Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 and 30-27)
Featherweight: Shane Young vs Ludovit Klein
Ludovit Klein defeated Shane Young via TKO in Round 1. This fight had the potential to steal the show on the preliminary card. Ludovit Klein made his UFC debut as he stepped in to take Nate Landwehr’s spot after Landwehr was forced to pull out of this pay-per-view due to COVID-19. Klein has won each of his last seven fights, with six of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Whereas Shane Young was 7-1 over this last 8 fights, with his only loss over that stretch coming in his promotion debut against the current UFC Featherweight Champion, Alexander Volkanovski.
As the fight started Young wanted to take upper hand and started with his kicks. Klein maintained his composure only to punch fiercely on his opponent’s head that left him dead. What was to follow was the wrath of attack from Klein to finish of the fight within the 1st round of the fight itself. Klein landed a devastating uppercut to let the referee intervene and call it off.
Winner- Ludovit Klein defeated Shane Young via TKO Round 1 (01:16)
Welterweight: Diego Sanchez vs Jake Matthews
Jake Matthews defeated Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision after dominating display. This was Diego Sanchez’s first of the last 4 fights before he hangs up his gloves after an illustrious career. Heading into the fight Matthews surely had the wind flowing with him as he holds a 5-1 record in his last 6 fights. Whereas Sanchez was 9-10 in his last 19 fights, that being because the 38-year-old was not able to string consecutive wins together.
As the fight started Matthews did certainly dominate from the very first second. Having connected twice as many strikes as Sanchez. Matthews was driving the fight in his favour in the first round. Towards the end of the first round Matthews caught Sanchez very badly as the latter started pouring blood from his nose.
Going into the 2nd round, Matthews was clear about his strategy of killing his opponent’s endurance and stamina as well by each passing minute. Along with significant strike, Matthews was not allowing Sanchez anyway back into the fight. Even the combination Sanchez was attempting saw no connection. Many suggested as the round ended, Sanchez was saved by the bell.
In the entire course of the 3rd round Sanchez was only trying to ensure to not phase out to a TKO. While Matthews was quick with counter punches and leg kicks. Matthews was connecting every time we swung towards Sanchez. As the bell sounded, Sanchez accomplished to stand for all 3 rounds. But as the decision went into the hands of the judges, the outcome was clear.
Winner- Jake Matthews defeated Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 and 30-26)
Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs Alex da Silva Coelho
Brad Riddell defeated Alex de Silva Coelho via unanimous decision. The former had a very impressive start to his mixed martial arts career. With 5 straight wins in his professional career including 2 in UFC. Riddell is known for his power striking. Whereas With 13 of his 21 career wins coming by knockout, da Silva had the power potential to pull off the upset if the match shakes out perfectly.
Silva started the fight with his combination which was countered by leg kicks from Riddell. Silva completed couple of takedowns as well with Riddell looking to back away from as his defensive strategy. After missing a head kick, Silva tried to go in for a guillotine choke as well but was interrupted by the bell. If it was to be scored Silva did lead in the first round.
The 2nd round was a tied affair with the duo able to make significant counters after each attack. Both fighters seemed to be giving their everything but Silva landed the much-noticed knees onto Riddell’s body. Towards the end of the round Silva tried to swing the score in his favor by a takedown but Riddell dodged it out.
It was all up for grabs in the last round. As the fighters commenced fighting Riddell was warned for an eye poke on Silva. The doctor came in to ensure safety. As the action continued Riddell went for takedowns to assure scores land in his favour as Silva’s eye was swelling up even more as the round went along. As the buzzer sounded, nothing could separate these two. It was all up to the judges to decide.
Winner- Brad Riddell defeated Alex da Silva Coelho via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 29-28)