On one of the more sneaky cards of 2016, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contenders Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett will lock horns later today (Sat., Sept. 3, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 93 live from Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, exclusively on Fight Pass, while Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader pitch in on the main card.
But before the premier bouts get underway at 3:00 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Night 93's preliminary action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 11:45 a.m. ET. The start time may be early, but you better believe the collection of hungry fighters are ready to throw down in German territory. Promising European fighters like Nicolas Dalby, Jim Wallhead, Taylor Lapilus and Scott Ashkam will be on display this afternoon.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC Fight Night 93 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Jessin Ayari vs. Jim Wallhead
Making his anticipated UFC debut, England's Wallhead (29-10) took on fellow Octagon newcomer in German youngster Ayari (16-3) in the headlining preliminary bout. The two welterweights wasted no time in throwing strikes to gauge distance and reaction time, which favored the longer Ayari in the early going. Wallhead responded with some short counters inside, but the German prospect stood tall along the edges and made the Englishman chance him down. In Round 2, Wallhead pressed the action a little more, throwing powerful combinations and backing Ayari up within the first few minutes. Ayari landed a vicious uppercut that temporarily stunned Wallhead, but "Judo" responded in typical fashion. Wallhead landed a good combination to the body to end the second round, but he spent most of the frame chasing Ayari down and coming up short on his strikes. After stagnant exchanges for the first three minutes of Round 3, Wallhead caught Ayari off guard, dropped him and attempted to finish the fight on the ground. Ayari regained his composure, peppered Wallhead with elbows against the cage and stood toe-to-toe with the knockout artist until the end of the fight. Despite getting knocked down twice in the third round, Ayari did enough to capture the split-decision victory.
Two biggest shots of the fight landed by @JudoJimmy here in the second! #UFCHamburg https://t.co/rPMKNA1mP1— #UFCHamburg (@ufc) September 3, 2016
Nicolas Dalby vs. Peter Sobotta
Polish submission specialist Sobotta (16-5-1) looked to regain his welterweight momentum against the promising Dalby (14-2-1) in one of the more underrated matchups of the day. Sobotta landed a flush front kick to the face of Dalby to begin the action before following it up with a vicious right uppercut that dropped the Denmark native. Bleeding and out of sorts, Dalby defended nicely off his back while Sobotta threatened from side control. Sobotta then worked to gain back control and attempted to sink in a rear naked choke, but Dalby hung in tough as Round 1 came to a close. In Round 2, Dalby accidentally poked Sobotta in the eye while countering, forcing the action to temporarily stop. Sobotta then caught a Dalby leg kick, smashed him in the face and took him down again. From there, the Polish grappling expert worked to full mount, weighed heavy on "Sharpshooter" and continued to pepper his bloody face. It was much of the same in Round 3 as Sobotta looked like the more prepared fighter, physically and technically. He earned the unanimous decision win and moves to 8-1 since the start of 2012.
Wow!! BIG uppercut by @PeterSobotta at #UFCHamburg!! https://t.co/qngVLK4VOO— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 3, 2016
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Veronica Macedo
In the only female fight of the afternoon, 20-year-old striking sensation Macedo (5-1) made her promotional debut on short notice in an interesting women's bantamweight bout opposite the hard-nosed Evans-Smith (5-1), who was coming off a win over MMA veteran Marion Reneau earlier this year. Macedo landed a beautiful spinning back kick to begin the first round while the bigger, stronger and more seasoned Evans-Smith looked to close the distance. Macedo defended for a bit before Evans-Smith took her down, secured mount and threatened with multiple submissions. In Round 2, Macedo remained light on her feet and found some success from distance again before Evans-Smith tied the action up. Macedo unexpectedly went for a knee bar, but was unsuccessful in her attempt. As the second round continued, Macedo began to tire from the countless grappling exchanges with the stronger Evans-Smith, who secured a big takedown before Round 2 came to a close. In Round 3, the exhausted Macedo rolled for another knee bar, while Evans-Smith stayed in top control, landed strong ground-and-pound and poured on the offense before earning the technical knockout stoppage. Evans-Smith looked impressive again, while Macedo may want to consider a move down to 115 pounds.
BOMBS being dropped from @AshleeMMA!!! #UFCHamburg https://t.co/aZQ6YSkD2T— #UFCHamburg (@ufc) September 3, 2016
Leandro Issa vs. Taylor Lapilus
The 24-year-old Lapilus (11-2) looked to capture his third UFC victory when he met Issa (13-6) in an important bantamweight prospect fight. Lapilus had trained at Straight Blast Gym in Ireland leading into UFC Fight Night 93 so a lot was to be expected from the young Frenchman. Like a shot from a cannon, Lapilus came out throwing heavy leather, but it was Issa who tied up the action and took the promising up-and-comer down. The Brazilian continued to control "Double Impact," force him to battle inside and score points, while Lapilus defended the takedown and landed some elbows with his back against the cage. Lapilus eventually separated, proceeded to unload on Issa and nearly finished the fight with one minute remaining in the first. It was much of the same in Round 2, as Issa looked to close the distance and Lapilus scored on the feet from the outside, even though the Brazilian landed some strong leg kicks. In the end, Lapilus did enough on the judges' scorecards to earn the unanimous decision win and get back into the UFC win column.
HUGE combos landed by @LapilusTaylor! Issa almost went out!! #UFCHamburg https://t.co/hgBm2BGmuw— #UFCHamburg (@ufc) September 3, 2016
Christian Colombo vs. Jarjis Danho
In the first heavyweight clash of the afternoon, the towering Colombo (8-1-1) looked to impress in his Octagon debut against the shovel-handed Danho (6-1-1). It didn't take long for Danho to grab a hold of the Denmark native and push him against the cage, but it was Colombo who landed a huge knee in the clinch on the break. Danho responded in fashion by being light on his feet, jumping in and out of exchanges and landing a powerful overhand right midway through the first round. But again, Colombo found success in the clinch with titanic knees while threatening with a guillotine. However, Colombo threw an illegal knee to a downed Danho, cut him on the top of the head and caused the referee to deduct one point. Danho secured back control to begin Round 2 before Colombo regained his footing and landed more damaging knees inside. Colombo continued to pressure Danho against the cage in effort to tire him, but Danho responded with timely uppercuts and solid counter rights. Colombo was the more economical striker even late into the third round, but the bout was declared a majority draw on the heels of the first-round point deduction.
Scott Askham vs. Jack Hermansson
Middleweight knockout artist Askham (14-3) looked to build off of his head kick finish of Chris Dempsey this past February when he met Swedish kickboxer Hermansson (14-2) in a battle of 28-year-old prospects. Hermansson came out with great movement and quick counters in Round 1 as Askham loaded up on his strikes. After a few exchanges, Askham began to find his range and utilized powerful uppercuts and strong oblique kicks to pepper the UFC newcomer, while Hermansson continued to score points with body kicks and timely takedown defense. Both men came out extremely aggressive in Round 2, as Ashkam landed even more damaging kicks and Hermansson found a home for his lead jab and right hand. Hermansson started to batter Askham along the cage before the Englishman tied up the action in the clinch and even threatened with an ankle lock before the second round came to a close. In Round 3, Hermansson gained top control and began to rain heavy strikes, as Ashkam looked to tie up a leg. When the action went back to the feet, Hermansson found more success from distance and inside the clinch. He landed the most damaging shots of the bout and rightfully earned the unanimous decision nod, fighting through UFC jitters along the way.
.@_Jack_The_Joker turning it on here in the third round! #UFCHamburg https://t.co/0qEgNVQ9S9— #UFCHamburg (@ufc) September 3, 2016
Rustam Khabilov vs. Leandro Silva
In a battle of hungry lightweight veterans, Khabilov (20-3) looked to hand Silva (19-5-1) is second-straight Octagon loss in the opening bout of the afternoon. After a long feeling out period that lasted nearly half of Round 1, Silva landed a huge left hand that stunned Khabilov and forced him to shoot a lazy takedown. Silva gained mount control before Khabilov reversed positioning to end the first frame. In Round 2, it was Khabilov who winged heavier leather and pushed the pace before landing a huge takedown with just over one minute remaining. Silva threatened with an arm bar off his back, but Khabilov was too heavy in top control, landing a few elbows before the round ended. It was much of the same in Round 3 as Khabilov continued to shoot on the Brazilian, although Silva defended on more than once occasion. Khabilov seemingly did enough through three rounds by controlling the action, pushing the pace, making Silva defend and securing more memorable offense. He earns the unanimous decision victory and moves to 6-2 in UFC.
Maybe @EdsonBarbozaJr? Maybe @ShowtimePettis? @RustamTheTiger wants the big names!! #UFCHamburg https://t.co/adS87SLgh8— #UFCHamburg (@ufc) September 3, 2016
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 93 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET, before the Fight Pass main card start time at 3 p.m. ET.