UFC 240 Prelims: Viviane Araujo, Hakeem Dawodu, Gavin Tucker Shine in Edmonton

By: Brian Knapp
Jul 27, 2019

The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 240 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Viviane Araujo made Alexis Davis look like an extra on “The Walking Dead” set.

The former Pancrase champion brutalized Davis with fast hands, established herself as a player in the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s flyweight division and laid claim to a unanimous decision in the featured UFC 240 prelim on Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28 for Araujo (8-1, 2-0 UFC).

Davis (19-10, 6-5 UFC) was a mangled mess by the time their 15-minute battle was over. Araujo shredded the Canadian with sharp punches, a snapping jab and clubbing overhand right her primary weapons of choice. For reasons known only to the Brazilian, she secured a takedown in the second round. Davis used the threat of a heel hook to reverse into top position, at which point she unleashed punches and elbows while trying to turn the tide in her favor. However, Araujo kept the fight standing across the final five minutes, pecked away with punches and slammed the door on the onetime the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

Araujo, 32, will carry a five-fight winning streak into her next assignment.

Dawodu Head Kick Vanquishes Horie

World Series of Fighting veteran Hakeem Dawodu cut down promotional newcomer Yoshinori Horie with a head kick in the third round of their featherweight affair. Horie (8-2, 0-1 UFC) met his end 4:09 into Round 3, his modest two-fight winning streak having reached his conclusion.

Dawodu (10-1-1, 3-1 UFC) spent much of the first round in pursuit of the shifty Japanese import, absorbing right hands and occasional leg kicks in the process. Horie ran out of steam in Round 2, where the Canadian kickboxer cracked his code and engaged him at close range with brutal knee strikes to the body before shoveling a left hand into his face. Dawodu found another gear in the third round, as he continued to pile up points. As the bout drifted into its final minute, he connected with another knee to the body and followed it with a head kick that sat down Horie and resulted in the stoppage.

The 28-year-old Dawodu has rattled off three straight victories.

Related » UFC 240 Round-by-Round Scoring

Tucker Choke Submits Choi

Tristar Gym standout Gavin Tucker returned from close to a two-year layoff to submit Seung Woo Choi with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their featherweight encounter. Choi (7-3, 0-2 UFC) bowed out 3:17 into Round 3, as the former Top Fighting Championship titleholder lost for the second time in as many outings.

Tucker (11-1, 2-1 UFC) controlled the vast majority of exchanges with his grappling. The 33-year-old Canadian grinded away with takedowns, positional advances and steady ground-and-pound. Midway through the third round, Tucker advanced to the back, wrapped the South Korean in the choke and prompted the tapout.

The submission was Tucker’s first since February 2013.

Figueiredo Shoots Down Pantoja

Exquisite head movement, deft footwork and a vastly superior standup arsenal carried Deiveson Figueiredo to a clear-cut unanimous decision over former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Alexandre Pantoja in a three-round flyweight confrontation. Figueiredo (16-1, 5-1 UFC) swept the cards with 30-27 scores across the board.

Pantoja (21-4, 5-2 UFC) failed to establish a foothold in the match, struggled to secure takedowns and wound up at the mercy of a far more capable striker. Figueiredo emptied his toolbox with jabs, leg kicks, stepping elbows, uppercuts and everything in between. Pantoja kept his nose in the fight, even as his face was tenderized by clean punches from his counterpart. He mustered a late rally against Figueiredo, to no avail.

The setback closed the book on Pantoja’s three-fight winning streak.

Fast-Rising Robertson Subdues Frota

American Top Team prospect Gillian Robertson put away Sarah Frota with a volley of elbow strikes from full mount in the second round of their women’s flyweight tilt. A bloody and exhausted Frota (9-2, 0-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:13 into Round 2.

Robertson (7-3, 4-1 UFC) withstood a few harrowing ground exchanges -- it included an inverted triangle choke -- with the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and altered the trajectory of the fight with an elbow late in the first round, the impact cutting her counterpart above the left eye. Frota conceded another takedown in the middle stanza and found herself trapped in full mount while slowly yielding to fatigue. Another elbow opened another cut near the Astra Fight Team export’s right eye, forced her into a fetal position and set the stage for the finish.

The 24-year-old Robertson has won five of her last six fights.

Relentless Koch Handles Stewart

Roufusport’s Erik Koch registered his first win since May 29, 2016, as he took a unanimous decision from Kyle Stewart in a three-round welterweight pairing. All three judges sided with Koch (16-6, 5-5 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28, pushing his record inside the Octagon back to the .500 mark.

Stewart (11-3, 0-2 UFC) let go with a few punching bursts but did not stand out in any one phase. Koch executed takedowns in the second and third rounds, as he methodically wore down the MMA Lab representative. The 30-year-old achieved full mount late in Round 3 and buried Stewart with ground-and-pound in between various choke attempts.

The loss snapped a two-fight losing streak for Koch. Advertisement

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