*** Follow UFC Fight Night 41: "Munoz vs. Mousasi" play-by-play coverage of the main card RIGHT HERE. ***
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) invades Berlin for the first time ever, with Germany being the first stop for Saturday's (May 31, 2014) double date.
UFC Fight Night 41: "Munoz vs. Mousasi" takes place inside O2 World in Berlin, Germany, as the promotion visits the European nation for the third time, broadcast exclusively on the organization's digital network, Fight Pass.
Before the cowboys of the main card commence shooting their pistols, the "Prelims" took shape online, providing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans with a bunch of noteworthy scraps early on during the afternoon.
In the "Prelims" main event, German judoka standout Nick Hein was successful in his UFC debut, defeating Drew Dober by unanimous decision.
Hein caught Dober over and over again with his left hook, bloodying the American in the process. Dober caught the German with a straight left which staggered Hein, who went for the takedown seconds later. When the Nebraskan made his way back to his feet, the two fighters traded punches at the center until Hein put Dober on his back again.
The Cologne-based slugger put a lot of power behind his strikes, as the Victory Fighting Championship (VFC) veteran tried to weather the storm by staying the pocket. Hein's judo skills were also showcased, tripping Hein and sticking to his back like glue. The German eventually took Dober's back, who sacrificed himself by dropping down, taking top position to finish the round positively.
Dober was busier on the feet in the third round, but he was still eating those left hooks. Hein showed resiliency when the American tried to take him down, with Dober bleeding all over Hein's body in the clinch. Referee Marc Goddard called a stop to the action momentarily for the doctor to check out Dober's cut. Allowed to continue, Dober pushed forward, yet he couldn't find an answer for Hein's power punches and slick footwork.
Middleweight prospect Magnus Cedenblad submitted Krzysztof Jotko in a middleweight affair, continuing his impressive submission streak, which now clocks in at four.
Both fighters were ready for a war in the beginning of the third round, trading ferociously until Jotko tied up the Swede against the fence. Cedenblad didn't do too much damage while working in the Polish combatant's guard, having to land another takedown after Jotko made his way back up.
Cedenblad's kickboxing was on point throughout the second round, throwing plenty of front kicks and blows to the body. "Jycken" sent Jotko back on the mat, attacking with a head and arm choke, however, Jotko reversed positioning and caught his foe in a rear-naked choke. Cedenblad survived and turned the tables on Jotko, locking in a guillotine choke to end his foe's unbeaten streak.
It took Iuri Alcantara only 25 seconds to knock out Vaughan Lee in their bantamweight contest, landing an overhand left hook that sent the Englishman crashing to the mat. The Brazilian continued the onslaught until the referee Grant Waterman stepped in, acquiring his third stoppage via strikes in his Zuffa tenure.
Germany's own Peter Sobotta beat Pawel Pawlak, winning for the first time under the Zuffa banner in his second Octagon stint.
Both combatants engaged in a technical striking battle to commence the fight, with Sobotta going to the body often with kicks. He established his jab quite well, too, as Pawlak tried to close the distance. The latter got stronger towards the end, throwing his left hook over and over again.
The German secured the takedown in the second round, with the Polish fighter doing well off his back. Staying active and keeping the pressure on his opponent, Sobotta couldn't quite get the positions he wanted, but made up for it by landing punches and elbows.
Sobotta looked impressive in the third round, mixing up his strikes and got another takedown. "Plastinho" had trouble adjusting to his opponent's style, seeming uncomfortable for the entire contest.
In one of the more intriguing bouts on the "prelims" broadcast, former Pancrase star Maximo Blanco got his second win in his past six fights, getting the better of Andy Ogle in an exciting featherweight scrap.
In one of the craziest opening sequences you'll ever see in UFC history, the Venezuelan stormed out of the gate with a flying kick that dropped Ogle, who was cut open on the mouth. "Maxi" continued to pounce on the young Brit, but the Sunderland-based fighter put his adversary on the mat and tried to lock in a rear-naked choke.
Blanco opened the round by trying the same exact kick, but made up for his miss by landing a huge takedown. Ogle was quick to rise, landing a takedown of his own seconds later. "The Little Axe" secured the back, working a rear-naked choke attempt for almost the entire round until Blanco spun out and found himself in his opponent's guard to finish the round.
In the third round, Ogle landed some proficient strikes early on, but it was Blanco who did a better job of working the jab, along with a spinning head kick that landed. The South American continued to land his combinations accurately, winning the entertaining fight by unanimous decision.
A battle of European heavyweights commenced the action on Saturday afternoon, as Ruslan Magomedov earned his first Octagon victory, breaking Viktor Pesta's undefeated streak.
The first round got the home crowd going, as the Dagestani got the better of Pesta, flooring him early on with a punch, followed by another big shot and a head kick later on. The Czechoslovakian was quick to respond, dropping Magomedov with a knee from the clinch, working his ground-and-pound to try and finish the fight.
Despite getting caught in more counter punches than he would have liked to, Pesta absorbed another huge leg kick, but maintained composure and secured a big takedown, while his opponent finished the round by landing some more heavy shots.
Going into the third round, it was a relatively even fight, yet it didn't stop both competitors from slugging it out. Magomedov stuffed his foe's takedown attempts, focusing on his combinations. There was more aggression and another good head kick from the Dagestani, which ultimately won him the fight by unanimous decision.
Here are the UFC Fight Night 41 "Prelims" quick results:
170 lbs.: Nick Hein def. Drew Dober via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Magnus Cedenblad def. Krzysztof Jotko via submission (guillotine) 4:58 | R2
135 lbs.: Iuri Alcantara def. Vaughan Lee via technical knockout (strikes) 0:25 | R1
170 lbs.: Peter Sobotta def. Pawel Pawlak via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Maximo Blanco def. Andy Ogle via unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Ruslan Magomedov def. Viktor Pesta via unanimous decision
Be sure to follow live results coverage of UFC Fight Night 41: "Munoz vs. Mousasi" right here.