The contest served as the featured bout of tonight’s Dana White’s Contender Series 12 event, which took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
Aguilar pressed forward from the start, but Gomez timed his counters to perfection, as well. Both men landed huge punches in the early going, with Davis suffering a cut on his forehead that sent blood running down his face. After the early exchanges, Gomez took the fight to the floor, stacking the action against the cage and delivering attacks from the top until Aguilar finally found his way to the feet. From there, both men teed off until the bell, both landing clean with full power.
The assault continued in the second. Blood poured down Gomez’s face and chest, and the two took turns launching bombs at each other’s chins. Gomez eventually was able to change levels and drive the action to the canvas, again pushing his opponent’s head to the cage and looking to strike. Aguilar did his best to hold things tight underneath, and Gomez finally backed away in the final minute, allowing the two to finish the round on the feet.
While fatigue was evident in the third, both men continued to throw absolute bombs. Clean shots landed to the chin that somehow both men were able to shake off. Back and forth for most of the round, the two slugged it out until the bitter end, leaving judges to pick a winner. Two out of three leaned toward Aguilar, giving him the split-decision win.
Lewis steamrolls Cunningham
Lewis landed an early right hand over the top, setting the initial pace. Cunningham didn’t back away, looking to return fire in the pocket. Lewis briefly controlled from a Thai clinch but couldn’t truly capitalize on the position, choosing instead to back away and reset.
From there, Lewis continued to move back to the clinch, landing short punches and elbows inside. A big knee scored clean and sent his opponent to the floor, but Cunningham powered his way back to the feet. Still, the onslaught was relentless, and another Lewis knee saw Cunningham stagger against the cage, bringing an end to the fight at the 3:01 mark of the opening round.
Palacios works past Misech
Misech was the aggressor to start, taking the action to the opposite side of the cage, where both men started firing low kicks. Both men chopped at the legs and body in the early going, preferring kicks while setting the range. As the round wore on, punches began to flow, as well, with Misech seeming to deliver the best shots, overall, though both were certainly having success.
Kicks continued to be traded in the second, though Misech started to deliver more and more punches down the middle, as well. The left hand was particularly successful, dotting up Palacios’ right eye. Still, Palacios never backed down, and he continued to score to the legs and body all round long.
Both fighters continued to unleash strikes with full power in the final round. Misech threw everything with power, but Palacios was always there to answer back, both with power and volume. They battled it out until the end, where Palacios’ relentless aggression earned him the judges’ nod, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Espinosa picks up second Contenders win, UFC deal
In a flyweight matchup, Jordan Espinosa (13-5) picked up his second Dana White’s Contender Series win, scoring a stoppage victory over a game Riley Dutro (11-4) with just two seconds left in the contest.
Espinosa wasted no time getting things started, pushing forward with a low kick and then taking Dutro immediately to the floor. Shifting first to side control, Espinosa then tried to grab the neck when Dutro scrambled up, but a few expert rolls saw him work free and back to his feet, where the pace remained high on the restart.
Dutro started to find his range, landing clean with big strikes and seeming to stagger his foe. But just as he was gaining momentum, Espinosa responded in fine form, landing his own clean shot that sent his opponent crashing to the floor. Dutro recovered quickly, and the back-and-forth action continued until the bell.
Espinosa landed clean to start the second, but it soon became clear he was starting to tire. Dutro picked up the pressure , and it began to pay dividends. Espinsoa still jumped in with the occasional big right, but it was Dutro’s volume that began to take over.
Espinosa was rejuvenated in the third, and the pace remained high, with both men finding their mark. Espinosa landed best, scoring a big right hand that staggered his opponent and a high kick that sent him crashing to the floor. Dutro refused to quit, climbing again to his feet and continuing to battle, but Espinosa floored him again late in the round. Dutro turned briefly away from the attack, and referee Mark Smith called off the fight at the 4:58 mark of the final round.
Turner stops gritty Mustaki
In the night’s first contest, lightweight Jalin Turner (7-3) damaged Max Mustaki (6-3) early but found it difficult to put him away, needing the doctor to come and halt the fight due to an apparently broken foot.
The rangy Turner used his long jab to pressure early, though Mustaki was happy to return fire with powerful, snapping hooks. The first real damage came from a powerful Turner straight that busted open his opponent’s nose and saw him stagger back. Turner saw the opportunity to finish, unleashing big knees to the body and punches up top that sent his opponent to the floor. Still, Mustaki refused to quit.
Working from his back, Mustaki grabbed a leg but couldn’t capitalize, with Turner scrambling away and moving to his feet, where he continued the striking assault. More knees to the body saw Mustaki double over in pain, but he continued trying to fire back at every opportunity.
Mustaki’s right foot was badly swollen, but he refused to give up, going toe-to-toe in the pocket until the bell. Unfortunately, doctors determined it was unwise for Mustaki to continue, and the bout was waved off before the second.
Dana White’s Contender Series 12 results include:
- Kevin Aguilar def. Joey Gomez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Bevon Lewis def. Alton Cunningham via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:01
- Ricky Palacios def. Toby Misech via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jordan Espinosa def. Riley Dutro via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:58
- Jalin Turner def. Max Mustaki via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Jordan Espinosa def. Riley Dutro at Dana White's Contender Series 12: Best photos
- Jalin Turner def. Max Mustaki at Dana White's Contender Series 12: Best photos
- USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, July 10: Daniel Cormier is your new pound-for-pound No. 1
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dana White's Contender Series 12 results: Bevon Lewis, Jordan Espinosa score UFC deals