Just when it looked as if UFC 221 was on its way to a fourth three-round decision to open the card, Jussier Formiga flipped the script.
With a gorgeous counter spinning backfist, Formiga (21-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) put Ben Nguyen (17-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) on the canvas. After a short bit of ground-and-pound, the Brazilian sank in a rear-naked choke that put Nguyen to sleep at the 1:43 mark of the third round.
The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 221 event at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.
Nguyen bullied Formiga to the fence in the first 15 seconds and kept him there for a bit before Formiga broke away. But Nguyen quickly put him back there and tried to land knees in the clinch. Formiga punched his way out 90 seconds into the round, but not long after found himself needing to block a high kick from Nguyen, who then pushed him back to the fence. But with two minutes left, Formiga got a takedown and moved immediately into side control with plenty of time to work. After 30 seconds, Formiga expertly stepped over to full mount. The Brazilian didn’t get off much offense from there, but kept Nguyen easily under control to head to the second.
Formiga got Nguyen to the canvas again in the second, but once again didn’t get a lot of offense up. The fact Nguyen got back to his feet with 75 seconds left in the round seemed to be a win for him, and he got inside for a right hand. In the closing seconds of the round, Nguyen got time from an eye poke, but the restart didn’t have enough time for anything but a glove touch.
The third started out slowly. But in the blink of an eye, Formiga changed all that. When Nguyen threw a high kick, Formiga countered with a picture-perfect spinning back fist. He connnected, and Nguyen was in a world of trouble with ground-and-pound. He turtled up and gave his back, and Formiga was more than happy to take it for a rear-naked choke. Nguyen never tapped, but soon was out cold from the choke.
Formiga won for the second straight time and third time in four fights. Nguyen is back in the loss column after a two-fight winning streak.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 221 results include:
- Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:43
- Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jose Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
- UFC 221 results: Ross Pearson snaps four-fight skid with decision over Mizuto Hirota
- GIF Parade: Working through a range of feelings when you hear Jimmy Smith on a UFC broadcast
- UFC 221 results: Luke Jumeau rallies to top Daichi Abe after rough first
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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