The weekend’s preliminaries for the stacked UFC 214 card delivered on action and finishes in the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. This included an excellent win for Ricardo Lamas as the 35-year-old was eager to ensure he was not a stepping stone for the promising mixed martial arts career of up-and-coming flyweight Jason Knight.
The Mississippi native landed impressive shots from the bottom after being taken down by “The Bully” early in the fight. After an attempted heel hook, Lamas bided his time and eventually let Knight back to his feet.
Lamas was accurate and relentless in his striking, wobbling the 25-year-old numerous times before referee Mike Beltran called a halt to proceedings, handing Knight his first loss since December 2015.
Serra-Longo BJJ’s Aljamain Sterling continued to impress and make a name for himself as he defeated UFC veteran Renan Barao in a unanimous decision victory which took place at the catchweight limit of 140lbs. A condition for Barao going back down in weight class was he had to first prove he could safely make 140lb before he’s allowed to attempt 135lb due to previous issues.
From the off, “The Funkmaster” looked to stand and strike whilst evading the Brazilian’s attacks however the former bantamweight champion landed a takedown and came close to finding a submission but Sterling showed off an excellent grappling defence.
However, after a shaky first round, Sterling found his rhythm and dominated proceedings in the second with numerous submission attempts of his own and varied strikes with nasty knees and elbows to both the body and face of Barao.
All three judges scored the contest in favour of Sterling, who now has consecutive victories, giving the New Yorker the unanimous decision.
In a battle of unbeaten featherweight contenders, Brian Ortega faced Renato Carneiro. Both fighters had perfect records of 11-0 going into the fight, with the Californian a slight underdog going into the cage.
The first round was quite even with both fighters landing bombs early on. Carneiro landed the higher volume and quality of shots in the first round, despite eye-catching shots landed by the American.
In the second, Ortega was on the end of some vicious attacks yet again and was outworked, meaning he needed a finish in the last. Carneiro landed a takedown in the third round but put himself in a dangerous situation when he was in a guillotine choke. Ortega finished the fight by submission and ended Moicano’s perfect record in style.
There were also wins for Jarred Brooks, Aleksandra Alba, Drew Dober and Calvin Kattar.