UFC 230 went through many changes over the last few months, and although the card was not what most fans wanted on paper, it delivered exciting fights from top to bottom and ended up being one of the more memorable Ultimate Fighting Championship events of 2018. The latest installment in the Geek for Technique series focuses on the best moves from the UFC 230 prelims on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It started with the heavyweights, as Marcos Rogerio de Lima took on Adam Wieczorek and won a unanimous decision. Wieczorek came into the fight as a decent favorite, but de Lima controlled the bout from bell to bell and dominated on the feet and on the ground.
Shane Burgos made quick work of Kurt Holobaugh in a featherweight prelim. After getting dropped with a beautiful right hook, Burgos locked up an armbar on an overzealous Holobaugh and finished the fight in the first round. The Team Tiger Schulmann product is now 4-1 inside the Octagon and appears to have a bright future in one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions.
The last fight on the UFC Fight Pass prelims saw Matt Frevola and Lando Vannata fight to a majority draw in one of the better fights of the year. After a close first round, Vannata picked up the pace in the second and started to find his groove. However, Frevola kept coming forward and outstruck Vannata in the third round, resulting in a draw on two of the three scorecards.
The first bout of the Fox Sports 1 prelims saw Lyman Good knock out longtime veteran Ben Saunders in the first round. The two clinched early, and Saunders landed some good knees to the body before Good connected with a few clean uppercuts that finished the fight. Good is now 2-1 in the UFC, and despite some injury setbacks, the former Bellator MMA champion still has a chance to wreak havoc on the welterweight division.
Sheymon Moraes defeated Julio Arce via decision in one of the bloodiest fights in recent memory. Early in the bout, Moraes landed a Thai-style front elbow that cut Arce and led to his bleeding horrendously for the rest of the fight. Despite some early adversity, Arce kept moving forward and attempted to strike in the pocket with Moraes. He also executed a beautiful back take by hopping off the cage and nearly locked up a standing-rear naked choke. However, Moraes’ counterstriking proved too much to deal with, as he took home a split decision.
Sijara Eubanks outpointed Roxanne Modafferi in a rather uneventful confrontation. Eubanks was supposed to fight for the title against Valentina Shevchenko on this card but was pulled when Joanna Jedrzejczyk agreed to a blockbuster battle with Shevchenko in December. In what was supposed to be a performance that proved she deserved the title shot, Eubanks barley made it past Modafferi and looked generally unimpressive in doing so. She is still young and has plenty of time to develop, but after this effort, it does not look like she will be fighting for a title anytime soon.
The Fox Sports 1 undercard headliner saw yet another underdog put forth a terrific effort when Jason Rinaldi dominated Jason Knight from bell to bell. Many thought Knight would have the striking advantage, but nobody expected such a dominant grappling performance from Rinaldi. He controlled Knight on the ground for almost the entire fight. Rinaldi had nearly 11 minutes of ground control time and allowed Knight to land only 12 total strikes.