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The bout served as the featured matchup of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 21, which streamed live on ESPN+ from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Kuramagomedov opened with a wild kick to start the bout, but Williams pressed forward and looked to throw hands in reply. Both men moved well around the cage and fired strikes from in tight. Kuramagomedov was the more active fighter, but Williams was the one who made his strikes count, briefly wobbling his opponent with power punches.
Kuramagomedov continued to press forward as the round unfolded, but it certainly was not without risk, with Williams finding a home for a big left hand on several occasions. However, Kuramagomedov was happy to swing back, doing his own share of damage with wild, creative replies.
The pace was high to open the second, with both men again remaining in close quarters and rifling off punches and kicks. Williams looked the more powerful fighter, but Kuramagomedov was successful with his creativity, sweeping his foe off-balance with a low kick and then tagging him in the chin with a flying knee. Williams showed an incredible chin in taking the blow, and he then defended a few takedown shortly after.
Kuramagomedov continued to deliver big punches as the round carried on, but Williams showed an incredible chin. Williams’ return fire was devastating in the moments he was able to reply, but Kuramagomedov kept his volume high with athletic combinations.
Williams pressed forward to start the third. Kuramagomedov moved on the outside and chopped at the legs, adding punches up top when possible. The two had no problem standing in the pocket and trading, both men trying to be the one moving forward. Kuramagomedov shot forward late in the frame but was stuffed on the takedown, and the pair went back to the feet to slug it out.
A risky Kuramagomedov high kick backfired, with the counter sending him briefly to the floor. He didn’t stay there, though, and he quickly crawled back up, where the two continued trading strikes until the bell, bringing the crowd to their feet. In the end, Williams earned a clean sweep on one judge’s card, but dropped the other two with scores of 29-28, giving Kuramagomedov a split-decision win. UFC president Dana White said after the contest that he disagreed with the result and did not award Kuramagomedov a contract.
McKinney came out quickly, kicking frequently to the body and walking past a sharp jab to get inside for a takedown attempt. Woodson defended well, and McKinney was forced to back away and reset, though he was successful on his next attempt to get the fight to the floor. Once there, McKinney went straight to the back and tried to work in the rear-naked choke. Woodson kept his chin tucked, surviving the difficult position, but McKinney’s figure-four around the body made it impossible to peel him away, and he finished the round on the back.
McKinney was loose to start the second, and he was able to slip under his opponent’s punches and drag the action again to the canvas almost immediately. Taking the back and quick fashion, McKinney began hunting for the choke. Once again, Woodson refused to go away, and the effort was rewarded. After finally peeling his opponent away and scrambling back to the feet, Woodson through a leaping knee as McKinney started to duck in for another takedown. The shot landed clean, and McKinney was out cold at the 1:49 mark of the frame. Woodson earned a UFC deal with the result.
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2019
Lohsen came out firing with strikes from range, though he struggled to find the target. Okanovich pressed forward and closed the distance, and the two went to work in the clinch. After a brief battle, it was Lohsen who was able to score a trip and take top position as the action hit the canvas. Working from the top, Lohsen locked in a D’Arce choke from an odd angle and then stepped over to mount to try and secure his squeeze. Okanovich refused to relent, and Lohsen adjusted his focus, turning to a triangle choke. While he couldn’t secure it, he did roll to mount before looking at an armbar. Okanovich showed incredible defense, turning through every submission attempt and winding up in top position, punching away in the final minute in a wild reversal.
Okanovich pressed forward quickly in the second. Lohsen tried to fire back, but it was clear Okanovich was the fresher man. Working from the center, Okanovich was firing the heavier punches, though Lohsen did a good job of rolling with the strikes and throwing a few good shots of his own from wild angles.
Okanovich remained on the prowl as the round continued. Lohsen answered with a desperate takedown attempt, but Okanovich shucked it aside with relative ease and working back to his feet. Lohsen was clearly exhausted., but Okanovich couldn’t quite put together enough strikes to put him away. Lohsen dove forward again in the final minute, but he didn’t have the energy to complete the takedown, and they ended the frame in a bit of a scramble on the floor.
Okanovich continued to control the pace in the third. There was no question he was the one with ability to end the fight, but Lohsen wouldn’t go away. Rolling with strikes and firing back from odd angles, Lohsen did just enough to keep Okanovich’s respect, keeping him from being free of concern while moving forward. Still, Okanovich was clearly the one landed the more effective blows, and he continued to strike until the bell, walking away with a clear decision win, 30-27 on all three cards.
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2019
Hill took the center to start but was patient to open, choosing to study and pick his shots to start. An errant low kick landed to Poppeck’s groin, forcing a brief timeout, but the action resumed quickly. A body kick visibly hurt Poppeck, and Hill tried to finish the job with punches. However, Poppeck was able to slow things down in the clinch while he recovered.
The two men continued to trade punches and kicks as the bout carried on, utilizing more single shots than lengthy combinations. A Hill eyepoke brought another timeout, but the two men resumed quickly once again on the restart.
Hill opened the second by stringing together a few combinations, and Poppeck looked to counter with a takedown. Hill was up to the challenge, and he landed a few knees inside, including one the drew a complaint from Poppeck for landing low, but referee Mark Smith advised them to carry on.
Hill continued to kick from range as the round unfolded, and his work to the body saw Poppeck double over in clear pain. Hill tried to push forward and finish, but Poppeck covered well and tried to survive. A Poppeck takedown saw Hill get quickly back to his feet and blast away with vicious knees to the body. Poppeck eventually crumpled to the floor, and Hill followed with additional strikes to get the stoppage at the 4:29 mark of the round, earning a UFC deal in the process.
Quarantillo opened the bout with a few chopping low kicks, but Kirk immediately changed levels and brought the action to the floor, advancing very quickly past his opponent’s guard. Quarantillo turned, and Kirk briefly took his back but would eventually settle into side control after a scramble. Once there, Kirk moved quickly to mount and then again to the back in a relentless series of attacks. Quarantillo tried to posture and sneak out the back door, but Kirk remained on the back, punching and trying to sink in a fight-ending technique.
The scrappy Quarantillo kept looking to escape, and he briefly took top position when a Kirk armbar missed. Kirk didn’t stay there long, though, and the action reset on the feet. Undaunted, Kirk took the fight again to the canvas late in the frame, finishing the round with punches from the dominant spot.
Kirk came out with a few wild strikes to start the second but then quickly changed his mind and began to hunt the takedowns. Quarantillo defended well, though, and the pair ended up trading punches and kicks on the feet. Quarantillo gained steam as the round continued, digging away with big punches to all levels while pressing forward. Kirk tried to slow things down by clinching, but Quarantillo was able to push him away repeatedly cause damage with big punches and knees.
Clearly fatigued, Kirk showed a commendable chin, but the action was one-sided. Referee Herb Dean watched closely and warned Kirk to fight back, and he somehow survived until the bell.
Quarantillo picked up where he left off to start the third, walking forward and throwing power shots. With Dean again watching closely, Kirk staggered in the center of the cage after being tagged with a flurry, and the fight was waved off at the 22-second mark of the frame, with Quarantillo taking home a UFC deal in the process.
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2019
Dana White’s Contender Series 21 results include:
- Ramazan Kuramagomedov def. Jordan Williams via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sean Woodson def. Terrance McKinney via knockout (knee) – Round 2, 1:49
- J.J. Okanovich def. Christian Lohsen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jamahal Hill def. Alexander Poppeck via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:29
- Billy Quarantillo def. Kamuela Kirk via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:22
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