Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brings a stacked, two-title fight UFC 185 pay-per-view (PPV) to Dallas, Texas tonight (Sat., March 14, 2015).
Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis aims to continue his dominant reign when he goes toe-to-toe with No. 1 contender Rafael dos Anjos in the evening's main event. Recently crowned women's strawweight champ Carla Esparza is set to make the first title defense of her UFC career against muay-thai tactician Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event slot.
Prior to the aforementioned tantalizing title bouts, Fight Pass and FX played host to an unbelievable set of "Prelims."
Fight fans were treated to a fantastic display of striking on the undercard of UFC 185. Ryan Benoit overcame a poor first round against Sergio Pettis to stop the latter in his flyweight debut with a huge left hand in the second frame.
In the preliminary headliner, Ross Pearson continued the trend of knockouts by flooring Sam Stout with a vicious left haymaker in the second round of their lightweight tilt.
Check out the UFC 185 "Prelims" recap below:
Ross Pearson vs. Sam Stout
Veteran lightweights went to war atop the preliminary card on FX.
Stout lands a left hand to begin round one, then lands a body kick. "Hands of Stone" is starting to get his timing down. A right-left combination from Pearson tags Stout's chin. "The Real Deal" fires off an inside leg kick and is finding a home for his right hand. Pearson continues his heavy-handed assault, while the Team Tompkins fighter lands a body kick. Pearson lands a solid left hook after Stout records a body kick. The 30-year-old Pearson is landing right and left hands at will now. A left hook and jab behind it comes from Pearson. Stout pushes forward with punches and a takedown attempt, but it's shrugged off by the Brit. Pearson punishes the Canadian's body as round one comes to a close.
The pair are going toe-to-toe to kick off round two. Stout utilizing a lot of crosses and body kicks. Pearson lands a good inside leg kick, and sends the 30-year-old home early off the strength of a left hook. The Alliance MMA standout nabs his seventh-career victory by technical (knockout).
Elias Theodorou vs. Roger Narvaez
The undefeated Theodorou marched into Narvaez's home state and outstruck the well-rounded middleweight.
The Canadian is looking ultra aggressive early, throwing a head kick and pressuring "The Silverback" into the fence. They emerge from a short stint in the clinch to do battle. Theodorou is looking sharp early. He's throwing diverse combinations, but nothing significant is landing. "The Spartan" throws a left high kick and switches stances. A brief stoppage into this kickboxing affair for what appeared to be an errant groin shot by Theodorou. The 26-year-old Narvaez misses with the head kick. Theodorou and the Texas Native trade body kicks to end round one.
Theodorou opens the second round with a body kick, but he eats a push kick from Narvaez. A left hand-right body kick combination hits paydirt for Theodorou. The undefeated 26-year-old finds himself in the guard of the Narvaez after hitting the takedown. He transitions into side control but the pair stand up shortly after. A head kick lands for Theodorou, while Narvaez misses on his own high kick. Theodorou eats a Narvaez right after pressuring. Nice outside leg kick followed by a body kick from Theodorou. He secures his second takedown of the frame and is teeing off on Narvaez against the cage. The referee eventually separates them, awarding the Kros gym member a second-round TKO victory.
Daron Cruickshank vs. Beneil Dariush
Two thrilling lightweights attempting to climb the 155-pound ladder put on a show. Dariush's pin-point striking proved pivotal, as he went on to secure a submission victory.
The Iranian lands a good body kick to start things off. Another quick body kick finds the mark. Cruickshank charges forward and eats a head kick, followed by a left hand from the 25-year-old Dariush. Dariush is finding a home for the left body kick. He has "The Detroit Superstar" retreating following another body kick. Cruickshank comes back to the take the center of the Octagon. Dariush with a right jab-left body kick combination. The Kings MMA standout ducks the spinning head kick from Cruickshank. The Michigan man is getting countered often. Dariush lands a huge body kick, as Cruickshank tries and fails to hit the takedown. Dariush with an outside leg kick on Cruickshank, who's switching between orthodox and southpaw stances. Cruickshank attempts the flying knee, but gets taken down instead. Dariush ends round one on top and in his opponent's half-guard.
Dariush lands a clean straight left to begin round two. He lands another body kick, but has his back taken momentarily by the 29-year-old Cruickshank. Beautiful pin point right-left jab combo nails Cruickshank, who consequentially looks for the takedown. Dariush takes his back and is looking to isolate an arm. Cruickshank defends and scrambles, but gives up his back. Dariush methodically cinches in the rear-naked choke for the second-round finish.
Jared Rosholt vs. Josh Copeland
"The Big Show" took on "Cuddly Bear" in a bout that was anything but cuddly. With both fighters looking to start new winning streaks, it was the power wrestling of Rosholt that ultimately made the difference in this meeting of heavyweights.
Rosholt shoots for a takedown after a lengthy feeling out period, but it's stuffed by the Coloradoan. The 28-year-old Rosholt pressures Copeland against the cage. Copeland can't shrug him off. The two are soon separated by referee Dan Miragliotta. Rosholt misses with the heavy right hand and ducks an overhand right from Copeland. The Texas native tags Copeland with a big right hand but Copeland eats it. Copeland thinks about the right uppercut but disengages. Rosholt charges in, but eats a left hand counter from Copeland, who starts to stalk Rosholt. Rosholt then pressures him into the cage, landing a nice knee in the process, bringing round one to a close
Copeland is pawing with the left jab to begin round two. A Rosholt takedown attempt is stuffed by Copeland. Rosholt recklessly pushes forward, with nothing major landing. Good right hand counter from the 32-year-old Copeland. Rosholt getting a little sloppy. A right hand from Rosholt grazes Copeland, who intends on finding a home for his right hand. A swing and a miss by Copeland, who lands a good body blow to follow up the punch. Rosholt dumps The Grudge Training Center fighter on his head, after charging forward with the double jab. Rosholt has Copeland pressed up against the fence and is in side control. He's landing very good hammer fists and elbows. Rosholt continues to pound Copeland's body to finish out round two.
Copeland starts out the third round as the aggressor and looks for an uppercut. He lands a nice body shot on a charging Rosholt. The Team Takedown representative notches his second takedown of the night, and begins to work in side control. Rosholt is landing very heavy hands and elbows. No real threat of an escape by Copeland. Rosholt lands one more big flurry on the ground to earn the third round stoppage.
Sergio Pettis vs. Ryan Benoit
"The Phenom" entered this tilt with the heavy-handed Benoit looking to carve out a niche in the flyweight division. After initially having great success on the feet in the first frame, things were about to take a turn for the worse.
Pettis throws a right hand early but misses. The Roufusport fighter attempts a head kick but it's blocked by Benoit. Benoit charges forward but gets rocked with a right hand counter from Pettis. He continues to punish Benoit with a right-left combo. Pettis begins working the jab and follows it up with a solid right hand. A leg kick by Pettis is checked by the Dallas native. A body kick lands for Pettis, who is then taken down by Benoit. The 21-year-old Pettis makes an incredible reversal and ends up in Benoit's half-guard. Benoit is doing a good job of corralling Pettis and not taking any damage. Benoit escapes and gets back to his feet. Pettis continues to stun Benoit with his right hand, and then changes levels for a takedown. He lets loose with right and left hands before the first-round bell.
Benoit takes the center of the Octagon to start the second round and immediately presses forward. The two are hurling punches at each other. A body kick lands for Benoit, but Pettis answers right back with a leg kick. Pettis lands a right hand, then goes for a takedown, but it's stuffed by Benoit. "Baby Face" and Pettis exchange left hooks, with the latter hitting the canvas. The 25-year-old Benoit lands several unanswered punches on Pettis for an unforgettable first UFC victory.
Jake Lindsey vs. Joseph Duffy
Former Cage Warriors lightweight champion Joseph Duffy made his highly-anticipated UFC debut against the struggling Jake Lindsey. It really went off without a hitch.
Both men begin the bout pawing away with jabs. A left hook for "Irish Joe" lands. Duffy tags Lindsey again with a right cross but a nice outside leg kick lands for the "The Librarian." Lindsey charges into Duffy with a lead right uppercut and eats a punch. The 27-year-old Duffy goes high with a left kick and lands flush. He continues to press forward, landing a brutal body shot combination, as referee Herb Dean separates the pair. Duffy dominates Lindsey for the first-round TKO win.
Larissa Pacheco vs. Germaine de Randamie
Women's bantamweights Pacheco and Randamie took to the Octagon to try and get back in the win column, with only one fighter displaying a real sense of urgency.
The two exchange leg kicks to begin. De Randamie lands a nice inside leg kick, then takes a jab from Pachecho. De Randamie lands a body kick. Pachecho pushes forward with the lead right jab but misses. The Dutch kickboxer is working the jab-cross combination. Pachecho rushes in and gets tagged with a right. A nice one-two combo lands for the 30-year-old De Randamie. A hard left and right hand lands for De Randamie. She's really beginning to tee off and find her range. We have a takedown attempt by the Brazilian Pacheco, but De Randamie makes her pay with a knee. They separate from the fence and are back in the center of the Octagon. Huge uppercut and right hook land for Randamie. She lands a pair of punches before the end of round one.
A nice left hand and inside leg kick combo has De Randamie off to a great start in round two. She lands a nice knee shortly afterwards. The 20-year-old Pacheco lands a solid body kick to De Randamie's abdomen. De Randamie is putting together punches in bunches now. The American Kickboxing Academy Product attempts a head kick, which grazes Pacheco. De Randamie is putting the pressure on Pacheco with devastating right hooks, which causes the referee to step in, awarding De Randamie the second-round TKO victory.
With the UFC 185 "Prelims" in the books, we now turn our attention to a stacked main card of fights, including the evening's marquee main event of Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos.
For complete UFC 185: 'Pettis vs. Dos Anjos' results, including play-by-play updates, click here.