UFC 265 Prelims: Rafael Fiziev Denies Game Bobby Green in Three-Round Barnburner

By: Brian Knapp
Aug 7, 2021

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 265 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Rafael Fiziev cleared another significant hurdle in the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division.

The once-beaten Tiger Muay Thai star leaned on a sustained body attack and clean power punches, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over former King of the Cage champion Bobby Green in the featured UFC 265 prelim on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston. All three cageside judges sided with Fiziev (10-1, 4-1 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Green (27-12-1, 8-7-1 UFC) held his own with the highly touted prospect but lacked the horsepower necessary to fight fire with fire. Fiziev staggered him twice with clubbing right hands in the second round and opened a cut across the bridge of his nose with a standing elbow strike. Green responded with a stellar effort in Round 3, where high-volume punching and sheer force of will nearly turned the tide in his favor.

Fiziev, 28, has won four fights in a row.

Morales Rebounds, Outpoints Rodriguez

Syndicate MMA’s Vince Morales bounced back from consecutive defeats to Benito Lopez and Chris Gutierrez with a unanimous decision over Drako Rodriguez in their three-round bantamweight battle. Morales (10-5, 2-3 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks from the judges.

Rodriguez (7-3, 0-2 UFC) implemented a stout jab and effective counters but lacked the aggression needed to bring it all together. Morales seized control in the second round and turned up the heat in the third. There, he connected with a number of overhand rights, maintained a healthy pace and pressed forward with punches.

The 25-year-old Rodriguez has suffered two straight defeats.

Related » UFC 265 Round-by-Round Scoring

Menifield Dominates Grizzled Herman

Devastating leg kicks and heavy power punches carried Saekson Muay Thai product Alonzo Menifield to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 finalist Ed Herman in a three-round light heavyweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Menifield (11-2, 4-2 UFC).

Herman (26-15, 13-11 UFC) absorbed a copious amount of punishment. Menifield sent one kick after another crashing into his lead leg, resulting in a grotesque hematoma and compromised movement. He pinned Herman to the fence early in the second round and cut loose for a potential finish, a series of clubbing standing hammerfists tipping his spear. Herman withstood the assault and challenged the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate to dig deeper into his gas tank in Round 3. Menifield obliged, continued to attack the leg with kicks and kept himself out of harm’s way.

The loss snapped Herman’s three-fight winning streak.

Penne Armbar Taps Kowalkiewicz

Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Jessica Penne authored her first finish in more than eight years, as she submitted Karolina Kowalkiewicz with an armbar in the first round of their undercard scrap at 115 pounds. Penne (14-5, 3-3 UFC) brought it to a close 4:32 into Round 1.

Kowalkiewicz (12-7, 5-7 UFC) tripped the Alliance MMA export to the mat, kicked at her legs while standing over her and made an unwise decision to engage her on the ground. Penne swept almost immediately, waded through a few upkicks and climbed to full mount before transitioning to the armbar. Kowalkiewicz tried in vain to free herself but only sank deeper into the maneuver. After Penne readjusted her grip during a scramble, the onetime KSW champion had no choice but to surrender.

Winless since April 2018, Kowalkiewicz has lost five fights in a row.

Kape Knee Fells Osbourne

Former Rizin Fighting Federation champion Manel Kape cut down Ode Osbourne with a flying knee and follow-up punches in the first round of their flyweight confrontation. Osbourne (9-4, 1-2 UFC) met his end 4:44 into Round 1, suffering his second setback in three starts.

Kape (16-6, 1-2 UFC)—who missed weight for the match by three pounds—darted in and out of the pocket and landed with both hands before his adversary slowed him down with a few perfectly timed lefts of his own. He backed away from Osbourne in the center of the cage, switched stances, took flight and connected with the knee. Kape gave chase as the Dana White’s Contender Series alum collapsed backward and flurried with punches until referee Jeff Rexroad had seen enough.

It was the eighth first-round stoppage victory of Kape’s career.

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 265 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Surging Johns KOs Dos Santos

Fortis MMA rep Miles Johns knocked out former Titan Fighting Championships titleholder Anderson dos Santos in the third round of their bantamweight clash. Dos Santos (21-9, 1-3 UFC) bowed out 1:16 into Round 3, losing for the third time in four outings.

Johns (12-2, 3-1 UFC) was dominant from the outset. He turned dos Santos into a one-legged fighter with low kicks in the first round and let his hands do the rest. Johns built a commanding lead through two rounds, as he unleashed crackling combos and forced the Brazilian to switch stances in a bid to shield his damaged leg. Early in Round 3, the onetime Legacy Fighting Alliance champion ducked a jab from dos Santos, buried a left hook into his body and floored him with a right hook to the head. No follow-up shots were necessary.

The 27-year-old Johns has recorded back-to-back knockouts since his UFC 274 loss to Mario Bautista in February 2020.

Unbeaten Gatto Sinks Leonardo

Melissa Gatto shined in her promotional debut and forced a doctor stoppage against Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Victoria Leonardo in between the second and third rounds of their women’s flyweight encounter. Leonardo (8-4, 0-2 UFC) was not allowed to continue after being examined by the cageside physician.

In her first appearance since Sept. 29, 2018, Gatto (7-0-2, 1-0 UFC) dictated the terms of their engagement with a steady jab, clean two-punch combinations, timely takedowns and a hyperactive submission game. She had Leonardo in legitimate danger on multiple occasions in the first round and forced her backward for much of the second. Leonardo informed her corner that her arm was injured during the 60-second interval between rounds, and referee Jacob Montalvo called for the stoppage soon after.

Gatto will carry a two-fight winning streak into her next assignment.

Munoz Choke Vanquishes Simmons

Former King of the Cage champion Johnny Munoz Jr. submitted Jamey Simmons with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their bantamweight pairing. Munoz (11-1, 1-1 UFC) drew the curtain 2:35 into Round 2, as he rebounded from a decision defeat to Joseph Nathan Maness a little more than a year ago.

Simmons (7-4, 0-2 UFC) struggled to find his target. Munoz set the tone with a steady jab in the first round, then made his move in the second. There, he struck for a takedown, advanced to the back and flattened out Simmons before fishing for the finish. Munoz cut off avenues for escape, readjusted his grip and cinched the fight-ending choke.

The win was Munoz’s first since Sept. 7, 2019. Advertisement
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