UFC on ESPN 12 Prelims Results and Recap
UFC on ESPN 12 prelims kicked off from Apex Facility with intriguing prospect duels to present a fitting main card warm up.
For UFC on ESPN 12 results and analysis, click here.
Featherweights: Jordan Griffin vs. Youssef Zalal
Griffin set early tone by pushing pace with little to show for his work. In a round of starts and stops the American tried taking Zalal’s back unsuccessfully at the midway point before the two met center cage. Finally, just before round one’s horn, Griffin planted his opponent to seal the opening frame.
Zalal began middle round action confidently before Griffin made another failed back-take effort. Five additional uneventful minutes saw each man jockey and pummel for momentary dominance against the cage. Hard Muay Thai connects tilted momentum in Zalal’s favor moving forward.
Rugged strikes from the up-and-comer began an urgent third round before Griffin outmuscled his opponent for a brief mat exchange. When Zalal escaped, flashy strikes resumed as the Factory X product imprinted a haphazard opening match.
By outlanding Griffin 80-30, Youssef Zalal grabbed decision victory to stand 9-2. The 23-year-old now has three straight wins to his name as he navigates 145 pound UFC waters. Griffin falls to 18-8.
Strawweights: Kay Hensen (7-3)vs. Jinh Huy Frey (9-5)
Matters opened with 20-year-old Hensen advancing and probing for a takedown her veteran opponent shrugged off. As the combatants circled mid Octagon, the younger fighter landed more telling jabs and overhands. As the first period ended, Frey kept cool in the pocket but was outworked by Hensen.
After intermission, back-and-forth standup preceded the 10th Planet trainee completing a crucial takedown.While transitioning from half guard to side control, stiff Hensen side punches highlighted the second round’s final three minutes. Overall, the fresh-faced grappler clearly won the middle period.
Round three brought tentative circling and standup before Hensen muscled in for an armbar stoppage at (2:26) of round two. The strength Hensen displayed against former Invicta champion Frey was an impressive feat. With nowhere to turn, the 35-year-old calmly tapped as her arm bent at uncomfortable angles.
Conversely, sporting a crimson badge to mark her highlight UFC debut, the MMA prospect Hensen won a fourth straight fight and secured her fourth paid submission.
Philipe Lins (14-5) vs. Tanner Boser (18-6-1)
Boser earned statement victory after showing Lins too much agility and diverse kick boxing.
The explosive finish came at (2:41) of round one as the slight underdog unloaded on his stationary opponent’s prone chin. Boser netted his second win in three fights as Lins took his fourth TKO defeat.
The 28-year-old Canadian looked excellent while controlling every second of a short proving ground heavyweight battle. Expect larger opportunities ahead for Tanner Boser.
Lightweights: Luis Pena (8-3) vs. Khama Worthy (15-6)
During the initial stages Worthy showed greater speed and volume while outlanding Pena. As the round progressed, “Deathstar's” quicker reflexes proved troublesome for his favored opponent.
Having none of the stand up, “Violent Bob Ross” turned round two into a grappling show. After riding Worthy’s back while attempting chain submissions for over three minutes, Pena established ground superiority and stole needed points.
The concluding stanza saw Pena throw visibly winded form. Meanwhile, Khama Worthy exploited his opportunity along the cage as he caught lunging Pena in a fight-ending guillotine at (2:57) of round three. Worthy has now won seven consecutive. Pena has split his last four.