The contest served as the featured bout of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 19 event from the UFC Apex, which streamed on ESPN+.
Wallace got to the center to start, but it was Solecki who would set the pace, darting in and out of range to strike before changing levels and dragging the action to the floor. The ensuing scramble saw Solecki work to the dominant position, where he used strikes to open up opportunities to improve his position, eventually getting to the back.
Wallace defended well, but Solecki was step ahead, and as his oppnent looked to escape, he quickly found himself in a nasty arm-in guillotine choke. Solecki committed to the finish, squeezing tight and putting Wallace to sleep at the 3:49 mark of the first.
In light heavyweight action, Brazil’s Antonio Trocoli (12-3) was expecting to strike with Norway’s Kenneth Bergh (6-1) but suffered a broken foot early on and turned to grappling to pick up an first-round win.
The taller Trocoli looked to strike from range to start, but Bergh was able to push forward and into the clinch in the opening minute. Bergh punished his opponent’s leg with knee as they battled for position in tight. However, it was Trocoli who eventually found space for a beautiful outside trip, immediately hunting for an arm-triangle choke when they hit the deck. When Bergh escaped from that hold, Trocoli swithced to the back and was able to slide in a rear-naked choke, earning a tap at the 3:57 mark of the first round.
The pace was quick at the start, and after a few quick strikes, Azure was able to take the fight to the floor and slip around to the back. He couldn’t keep it there, though, and Ocon moved quickly back to the feet. As the two exchanged strikes, it was Azure who appeared to find his range a little quicker. Azure punished the legs with sharp kicks and seemed to get the best of the boxing exchanges, as well.
Ocon was aggressive to start the second, but Azure remained the more effective striker. Repeated low kicks made it impossible for Ocon to stay upright, though Azure surprisingly elected to take the action to the canvas. Once on the back, Azure softened up his opponent with big punches before turning his attention to the choke. Ocon showed capable submission defense, but the offense was very one-sided.
Azure took the fight quickly to the floor again in the third. Ocon continued to show impressive choke defense, but the action remained against him. Azure never did get the finish, but he continued to throw strikes until the final bell, walking away with a unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
The two men wasted little time moving forward and looking to strike. A Sumter slip allowed Pitolo to land the first big shots of the contest, though both men were finding their way through their opponent’s defense. That said, it was Pitolo’s pressure that was rewarded, as he blasted away with punches to the body, sending Sumter crashing to the canvas and ending the fight at the 1:37 mark of the opening round.
The two fighters came out firing from the start, with Pearce favoring kicks at all levels, but Rosales showing quick hands in reply. Rosales was certainly landing his share of solid strikes up the middle, but Pearce showed no desire to leave the pocket. Pearce’s nose was busted up early, but he walked through the punches to land his own. Pearce’s chin was admirable, but he was certainly taking the worst of the exchanges.
Pearce’s grit was on display again to start the second, walking forward aggressively in the face of crisp strikes that found their mark over and over again. Pearce’s corner begged for him to show some head movement, but his relentlessness did start to pay off as Rosales looked to tire. Pearce did not, and momentum started to shift in his direction, first on the feet and then briefly on the floor. Rosales crawled back up, but it was clear he was exhausted from the relentless pace.
Rosales kept swinging, but when he slipped to the floor on a missed flying knee, Pearce jumped on top, and finished the round with strikes from the top position, pausing only to defend from a very earnest takedown attempt.
Pearce was the aggressor to start the third, striking his way into a quick takedown attempt and setting up in side control. Rosales was able to slip out the back door, but he immediately gave up position by jumping too high on the back and slipping off. Pearce made him pay, firing down a huge right hand that saw Rosales suffer a quick flash, and referee Herb Dean waved off the fight at the 1:50 mark of the frame.
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Dana White’s Contender Series 19 results include:
Joe Solecki def. Jesse Wallace via technical submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:49
Antonio Trocoli def. Kenneth Bergh via submission (neck crank) – Round 1, 3:57
Hunter Azure def. Christian Ocon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Maki Pitolo def. Justin Sumter via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:37
Jonathan Pearce def. Jacob Rosales via TKO (punch) – Round 3, 1:50
- Watch MMA Junkie Radio here at 8 p.m. ET with Randy Couture, Chris Curtis
- Live video stream: Dana White's Contender Series 19 pre-show from UFC Apex (7:15 p.m. ET)
- Gilbert Melendez won't say 'retirement,' but plans to step back from fighting
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dana White's Contender Series 19 results: All five winners get UFC deals