LAS VEGAS – Dana White’s Contender Series returns Tuesday with five fights on ESPN+ from the UFC Apex, and MMA Junkie is on the scene for full coverage.
In the featured bout, middleweight Jhonoven Pati (6-3), a two-time LFA veteran whose six career victories have all come by way of stoppage, faces Jamie Pickett (10-4), who has appeared twice before on Dana White’s Contenders Series but lost each time to UFC contract winners Charles Byrd and Puna Soriano.
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In a flyweight contest Jeffrey Molina (8-2) proved to be too much for a dangerous Jacob Silva (6-3), battling his way to a decision win over the course of three action-packed rounds.
Molina was busy with low kicks early, but Silva was able to catch a few of them and trip him to the floor. Molina was able to scramble to his feet each time, but it put him in a few scary positions early. On the feet, both men threw rapid-fire strikes, with Silva seemingly getting the best of the punching exchanges until the bell, when Molina scored a flash knockdown right at the final tick.
Silva was aggressive in the second, while the longer Molina did his best to stay away and work from range. The exchanges were spirited and frequent. Silva was the one talking forward, but Molina was plenty capable in his attacks, using more kicks than his opponent but probably not landing with quite as much power. Molina landed his best shot in the final minute with a clean high kick, then moved into the clinch and tried to score with knees inside to end the round.
Silva remained the one pushing forward at the start of the third, but Molina was efficient in his striking off the back foot. Silva suffered a cut on his right cheek but continued to push forward. Referee Mark Smith had the doctor take a look at him following a clash of heads, but Silva was fine to continue, and the two pressed on with their relentless exchanges. Molina certainly absorbed his share of stiff strikes along the way, but he didn’t show much of the damage. Silva wasn’t quite as lucky, but he also pushed until the very end, flurrying until the final bell, but it wasn’t enough, and Molina walked away with a decision win, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
WHAT. A. FIGHT.
— UFC (@ufc) August 26, 2020
Romero took the center to start, flashing out low kicks and quick hands. But Breeden countered with stiff punches down the middle, clearly earning his opponent’s respect. Both men were content to strike in the early going, with Romero favoring kicks in his combinations but Breeden answering back with powerful straight shots. Romero was the aggressor in most of the exchanges, but he was constantly aware of Breeden’s firepower, as well.
Breeden looked to change levels early in the second but couldn’t get inside. Romero popped him with an uppercut shortly after, but Breeden appeared relatively unaffected. The two continued to trade on the feet, with Breeden having success when he was the busier fighter but often finding himself content to counter, instead. Romero’s low kicks continued to find the mark, and his uppercut landed clean again, as well. Romero constantly sought new angles and mixed in a spinning backfist, as well, before scoring a takedown with a little more than a minute remaining. Breeden worked his way up shortly after, and the two finished the round on the feet. Breeden landed his best shot of the frame in the waning seconds but didn’t stay active enough afterward.
Breeden tried to press in the third, but Romero moved well to escape. It was clear Breeden wanted to brawl, but Romero’s speed and footwork made that difficult. As Romero continued attacking the left leg, Breeden struggled to stay upright. Still, even as he limped around the cage, Breeden did his best to engage. However, Romero settled back into a rhythm, sticking and moving and making it tough to track him down. Breeden deserved credit for his heart, but Romero cruised on the cards, 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28.
At the start of the fight, it was Bowen who was sharp on the feet, landing a few solid low kicks before Huckbody elected to shoot from range, scrambling his way to top position. Bowen then looked to escaped to his feet, but Huckbody rolled with him and was able to advance to mount. From there, he chased after the arm-triangle, missing it on the first few attempts but locking it in on a subsequent effort and getting a quick tap for an impressive submission win at the 1:28 mark of the opening round.
Less than 90 seconds in! ⏱
🇺🇸 @Collin37659590 secures the win via arm triangle.
— UFC (@ufc) August 26, 2020
Up-to-the minute Dana White’s Contender Series 30 results include:
- Jhonoven Pati vs. Jamie Pickett
- Rafael Alves vs. Alejandro Flores
- Jeffrey Molina def. Jacob Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Anthony Romero def. Mike Breeden via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
- Collin Huckbody def. Kyron Bowen via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 1:28