MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for August: A kick that earned a UFC contract

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from August. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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The Nominees

Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes at Dana White’s Contender Series 4

Julian Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of Phil Hawes (4-2) at the Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event.

After an opening round in which both men had some shining moments, Marquez took over in the second, walking forward with strikes and wobbling Hawes before finishing him off with a vicious high kick.

Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114

In less time than it takes most people to tie their shoes, Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) put Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) to sleep with an offensive outburst as swift as it was brutal.

A counter right hand from Ortiz put Sandoval on his heels, and the followup put him away just 15 seconds into the fight, giving Ortiz the fastest finish in UFC flyweight history.

Humberto Bandenay def. Martin Bravo at UFC Fight Night 114

Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he needed only two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay knocked Bravo out cold in the opening minute of the fight. It gave Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

Mike Rodriguez def. Jamelle Jones at Dana White’s Contender Series 5

After a cautious start, Jamelle Jones (7-5) was forced to move in and out of range against a taller Mike Rodriguez (9-2). He eventually shot for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches sealed the result, giving Rodriguez a highlight-reel finish and a UFC contract.

Martin Nguyen def. Marat Gafurov via punches at ONE Championship 59

A perfect counter by Martin Nguyen (9-1) ended the undefeated run of Marat Gafurov (15-1), and ONE Championship got a new featherweight champion in the process.

Nguyen saw himself in a rough spot early, but a low kick by Gafurov paved the way for a massive overhand that had the now-ex-champ landing face down on the mat for the brutal stoppage.

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The Winner: Julian Marquez

Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round, when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second round, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on autopilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought a UFC contract to Marquez.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 5 results: Mike Rodriguez, Alex Perez score UFC deals

Another two fighters punched their ticket to the UFC, including light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez (9-2), who scored a devastating knockout victory over Jamelle Jones (7-5).

The contest served as the final bout of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 5 event, which took place in las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter Gym and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

The two were cautious to start, feeling each other out on the feet while seeking angles. Jones was forced to move in and out of range against a taller foe, eventually shooting for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Once confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches on the floor sealed the result, though the finish was never in question.

In the night’s co-feature, Julio Arce (13-2) proved rugged in battling through some flashy attacks from Peter Petties (5-3) before earning a second-round TKO finish.

Petties was light on his feet to start, firing off big punches and flashing quick kicks before Arce pushed in to close the distance. Petties worked hard to battle off the cage, though Arce did a solid job of controlling the wrists and preventing much offense. They briefly reset in the center before Petties looked for his own clinch attack, though his best offense scored when they split again.

Arce began to press a bit more on the feet in the second, finding some success with powerful strikes. Petties looked to cover and return fire, but he absorbed several huge shots in the process. Clearly wobbled, Petties searched for options but eventually stumbled to the floor. He tried to clear his head, but Arce kept the pressure high and eventually landed enough for the TKO finish.

Flyweights Alex Perez (18-4) and Kevin Gray (9-4) brought it from the opening bell, and while it lasted just under three minutes, the contest proved entertaining.

The pace was quick to start, though it seemed Perez was the first one to earn respect with his strikes. Gray was content to answer in the pocket until leg kicks started to take their toll, forcing him to change his strategy and look for the takedown. Perez stuffed, latched on to an anaconda choke, and rolled and squeezed until Gray went out at the 2:54 mark of the first, earning Perez the second of two UFC deals issued.

In a thrilling bantamweight matchup, Ricky Simon (10-1) picked up a hard-fought split-decision win over Donavon Frelow (6-3).

Frelow was aggressive from the start, leaping forward with flying knees and reaching punches as he looked to push the action. Simon battled back with an early takedown, though Frelow moved quickly back to his feet, where the two battled inside. Simon continued to look for takedowns as the round played out, while Frelow countered by looking for guillotine chokes, then standing when they weren’t there.

The pace remained high in the second, with Frelow enjoying some early success with his strikes. However, Simon continued to rely on the takedown to counter and score points of his own. That said, he struggled to keep the position, and Frelow capitalized with more strikes in their time on the feet.

The two stood toe-to-toe in the third, with both men landing flush in the pocket. Both men teed off with big shots in a rousing battle before Simon took it down again and controlled the positioning until the end. It was enough for Simon to take the bout, albeit by split decision.

In a heavyweight clash to start the night, Shelton Graves (7-3) picked up a third-round TKO finish of a seemingly overmatched Everett Sims (4-1).

In a bout that dragged on longer than it should have, Graves took the fight to the floor repeatedly with relative ease and punched away as he tried to end the fight. Unfortunately, his power was lacking, allowing Sims to absorb some 172 blows (over just nine he landed) before the merciful end of the contest at the 2:20 mark of the final frame.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 5 lineup revealed, with Mike Rodriguez vs. Jamelle Jones

The lineup for the fifth edition of Dana White’s Contender Series is set.

UFC officials on Tuesday revealed the five fights that will be featured at Dana White’s Contender Series 5, which takes place Aug. 8 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

The featured bout takes place in the light heavyweight division with Mike Rodriguez (7-2) vs. Jamelle Jones (7-4).

Additional matchups include Julio Arce (11-2) vs. Peter Petties (5-2) at featherweight, Alex Perez (17-4) vs. Kevin Gray (9-3) at flyweight, Donavan Frelow (6-2) vs. Ricky Simon (9-1) at bantamweight, and Shelton Graves (5-3) vs. Everett Sims (3-0) at heavyweight.

The main event features two fighters trending in different directions. Rodriguez has won five of his past six fights, including back-to-back victories. Jones, meanwhile, has dropped two of his past three after a four-fight winning streak.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie