Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a UFC Fight Night 83 event, emanating from inside CONSOL Energy Center tonight (Sun., Feb. 21, 2016), featuring a Welterweight headliner pitting fearsome striker Donald Cerrone against the unpredictable Brazilian Alex Oliveira.
Two different "Cowboys" will tangle in "Steel City" as Cerrone looks to right the ship after a knockout loss to 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos back in Dec. 2015 when he meets the upstart Oliveira, who boasts a 3-1 Octagon record.
In the co-main event, Strikeforce veteran Derek Brunson will welcome back Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Roan Carneiro to the Octagon after "Jucao's" lengthy layoff because of injury.
Elsewhere on the evening's main card are notable collisions between Bantamweight up-and-comers Cody Garbrandt and Augusto Mendes, as well as a Featherweight contest between Top-15 studs Dennis Bermudez and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
However, before we can get to those bouts, fight fans will be treated to a set of seven "Prelims" bouts, which will begin on the Fight Pass digital streaming service at 5:30 p.m. ET, and then transfer over to FOX Sports 1 (FS1) at 7 p.m. ET, which is where the remainder of the fight card will be shown.
Below are the results recaps for the three Fight Pass "Prelims" exchanges:
Marion Reneau vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
"The Bruiser" looks to bounce back from a loss to current women's 135-pound titleholder Holly Holm with a victory over the returning Ashlee Evans-Smith.
Lots of movement early from Reneau. Body kick from Smith. Nice left from Reneau. Another straight left. Hard leg kick for the Californian. Smith lands on the break from a clinch. Good combo from Smith. Reneau pummeling Smith, who appears to have gathered her wits about her following a scare. Big, big right hands were raining down on Smith. Solid leg kick from Reneau. Another one from the "Belizean." Hard body kick scores for Smith. Smith switching between stances. Reneau catches a body kick and puts Smith on her behind. Reneau locks up a guillotine choke just as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Reneau
Nice kicks to the body from Reneau. Chopping leg kick now. More of those right body kicks for Smith. Reneau targets the body again with a punch. She should start pairing the straight left with some kicks. Very impressed with the intelligent striking gameplan of Reneau. Not overexerting herself and fighting at a nice range. Another big leg kick from Reneau. The 38-year-old is a lot quicker than Smith. Plus, she's utilizing far more footwork and head movement, which is even more important. Commentators Brian Stann and Jon Anik pose the question: why has Smith yet to pursue a takedown? I would agree. 20-18 Reneau
Smith smashes a body kick into the oblique section of Reneau. Hard leg kick to the right leg of Smith for Reneau. Smith catches a kick, tries to move into the guard of Reneau. Referee stands Reneau up. Smith likes switching stances to throw the left body kick from southpaw. Reneau continuing to do a great job of fighting at range and landing leg kicks in round three. Smith just having a hard time finding her way inside. Probably a little tentative. She catches a body kick and gets double underhooks. Great takedown defense from Reneau. 30-27 Reneau
Smith improves to 4-1 overall, while Reneau drops to 6-3 and loses her second straight.
Result: Smith via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27)
Lauren Murphy vs. Kelly Faszholz
Former Invicta FC competitor Lauren Murphy was looking for her first UFC win when she took on the undefeated California competitor Faszholz.
Murphy pursues Faszholz, who begins to counter early. Faszholz eats a leg kick. The pair clinch about a minute in. Some knees by Murphy. Big lefts from the Faszholz. Superman punch right after. Faszholz very composed for her UFC debut. Murphy lands a right after a jab. Nice shot from Faszholz catches Murphy, who gets pelted with incoming body shots. One-two combo scores for the newcomer. Very nice body kick and right hand for Faszholz. The MMA Lab representative Murphy is the slower fighter here. Murphy coming with better head movement now as she's consistently landing, but moving her head off the the center line. Murphy now grinding Faszholz up against the fence. She's got double underhooks. Faszholz bloodied a bit. Tough round to score. I'll give a slight edge to Faszholz, but Murphy closed very nicely. 10-9 Faszholz
Nice jabs to start by Faszholz. Good knee from the women's bantamweight prospect. Murphy returning fire with knees in the clinch. Faszholz's nose is busted up. She's eating quite a bit more shots now and noticeably slower. It's Faszholz moving forward now. Good left from Faszholz. Huge right. She tries the superman punch again. More kicks coming from Faszholz in the second round. Murphy's combinations continuously getting better. The two women clinch with 60 seconds left. Not a bad idea. Wear Faszholz down and run away with the third round. Fasholz capitalizes on a missed spinning back kick attempt from Murphy and takes her down briefly, looking for top position as round two ends. 19-19 Murphy
Faszholz's left eye nearly shut. "Lucky" plants a right and left hand on the jaw of Faszholz. Murphy changes levels and secures her first takedown of the fight. She's in full guard. Faszholz looking for submissions, perhaps a triangle. She's controlling the posture as Murphy continues to land punches to the face and body. Now Faszholz targeting the wrists of her opponent. Murphy pins Faszholz against the fence and begins to posture up. Nice elbows from the veteran of 11 professional fights Murphy. Hammering away at the body now is Murphy. Murphy might finish it now as she obtains full mount. She snags the TKO stoppage right before the final bell.
Murphy brings her overall record to 9-2. She captures her first UFC win, while Faszholz, who fought admirably throughout, falls to 3-1.
Result: Murphy via third-round TKO
Anthony Hamilton vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Two veteran heavyweights threw down in the opening bout of the card as Jackson-Wink MMA's Hamilton battled Russia's Abdurakhimov.
Abdurakhimov defends the initial takedown. Hamilton is hurt when the pair strike in close range. Abdurakhimov stays on him. Hamilton out of harm's way for now. Spinning body kick scores for the Dagestani. Hamilton needs to set up his combinations better. "Abrek" continues to find the mark with his uppercut. Overhand right misses for the American. So far, it's Abdurakhimov showing much superior striking. Looks to be much more comfortable than he was in his Octagon debut. Abdurakhimov doing most of the damage when the two clinch. Hamilton lands a couple of good knees in the clinch. He should look to drop and pursue a single or double. Hamilton couldn't get double underhooks and they break. 10-9 Abdurakhimov
More rights come from Abdurakhimov to open the second round. Abdurakhimov misses on a spinning elbow attempt and they clinch. Nothing significant from either man in the clinch and they break. Right hook-left uppercut combo for Abdurakhimov. It's time for Hamilton to swing the momentum his way. Feint, level changes ... he's gotta do something. He can't let Abdurakhimov sit back and counter strike. More uppercuts for the 34-year-old. The pair clinch up with two minutes to go and Abdurakhimov lands a couple of knees to the leg. Big straight right hand counters the leg kick of the Albuquerque-based fighter Hamilton. Hamilton moves in for the takedown, presses his opponent into the fence and is unable to muster up much offense. 20-18 Abdurakhimov
Straight to the clinch for Hamilton. A cut opens up on the head from Abdurakhimov, who lands a right. "Freight Train" moves forward and scores with a right. Nice jab from the Russian and then a right. Good leg kick from the American. They exchange strikes in close. Big body shots from Hamilton are countered by Abdurakhimov. Some more clinch work from both men with 90 seconds left. We get a stop because Abdurakhimov lost his mouthpiece. They're trading. Another sweet jab from Abdurakhimov. Hamilton eats a right hand upon leaving the clinch. Both men launch attacks in the center of the Octagon to close out the fight. 30-27 Abdurakhimov
Abdurakhimov improves his overall record to 16-3. He also earns his first UFC victory. Hamilton drops to 2-3 in the Octagon.
Result: Abdurakhimov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
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