UFC Fight Night 190 Prelims: Kennedy Nzechukwu Rallies to Score TKO Over Danilo Marques

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jun 26, 2021

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Once Kennedy Nzechukwu gets rolling, it’s difficult to halt his momentum.

The Dana White’s Contender Series alum shook off a slow start at UFC Fight Night 190 to defeat Danilo Marques via technical knockout in a light heavyweight showdown on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Nzechukwu (9-1, 3-1 UFC) brought the show to a close 20 seconds into Round 3 for his third consecutive promotional triumph.

The first half of the bout belonged to Marques (11-3, 2-1 UFC). The Demian Maia protégé landed an immediate single-leg takedown and made Nzechukwu wear him like a backpack for approximately 4:30 of the opening round. Marques grounded the Fortis MMA product again in Round 2, this time securing back control on the mat. Nzechukwu was able to escape the predicament and began to find a rhythm with his punching combinations before the horn, a precursor for what was to come.

Nzechukwu wasted little time imposing his will in Round 3, as he tagged a fast-fading Marques with repeated punching combinations to the head. The Brazilian had no answer other than to cover up against the fence, and finally, referee Jason Herzog stepped in to save Marques from Nzechukwu’s onslaught.

Rakhmonov Remains Undefeated, Overwhelms Prazeres

Shavkat Rakhmonov has the looks of a prospect to watch in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division.

The former M-1 Global champion dominated Michel Prazeres before submitting his Brazilian foe with a rear-naked choke 2:10 into Round 2 of their 170-pound matchup. The 26-year-old Kazakhstan native has kicked off his Octagon tenure with back-to-back tapouts and becomes the first person to submit Prazeres in 30 professional outings.

After a relatively slow-paced opening stanza, Rakhmonov (14-0, 2-0 UFC) put Prazeres (26-4, 10-4 UFC) on the defensive with a spinning heel kick to the face and a step-in knee. That assault forced the 39-year-old Brazilian to shoot out of desperation, but Rakhmonov denied his foe’s takedown and punished him with a series of heavy standing-to-ground right hands. From there, Rakhmonov worked his way to Prazeres’ back and elicited a quick tap with the choke from a seated position.

Related » UFC Fight Night 190 Round-by-Round Scoring

Wells Lamps Alves in Promotional Debut

Former Cage Fury Fighting Championships and CES MMA king Jeremiah Wells made a strong impression on less than a week’s notice, as he knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3” winner Warlley Alves in a welterweight clash. A crushing right hand and follow-up punches from the Philadelphia native rendered Alves unconscious 30 seconds into Round 2, giving Wells his third consecutive finish.

Wells (9-2-1, 1-0 UFC), who was a replacement for Ramazan Emeev, was powerful and explosive in virtually all his movements. After assuming top position following an Alves slip and attacking with ground-and-pound in Round 1, Wells connected with a right hand to the jaw early in the second period. When a dazed Alves (14-5, 8-5 UFC) attempted to return to his feet, Wells unloaded with approximately four more punches before referee Chris Tognoni stepped in to wave off the fight.

Prachnio Liver Kick Folds Villanueva

Marcin Prachnio weathered early adversity before knocking out former Fury Fighting Championships title holder Isaac Villanueva in a light heavyweight scrap. The Warsaw native brought an instant end to the contest with a left kick to the liver 56 seconds into Round 2. After beginning his promotional tenure with three straight defeats, Prachnio (15-5, 2-3 UFC) is now the owner of a modest two-bout winning streak in the Octagon.

Villanueva (18-12, 1-3 UFC) forced his foe to cover up early, when he landed an uppercut that left visible damage on Prachnio’s left eye. The 37-year-old Texan couldn’t capitalize on the early advantage, and Prachnio gradually took control with a more diverse offense attack. The Tatsujin Dojo representative blended his punches and kicks effectively, and he compromised Villanueva’s movement with a steady diet of low kicks. Early in the second frame, Prachnio switched to a southpaw stance and buried his shin in Villanueva’s body, a blow that had his foe doubled over in pain on the canvas immediately.

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Avila Chokes Out Stoliarenko

Julia Avila beat Julija Stoliarenko at her own game, as she earned a third-round submission victory over the former Invicta Fighting Championships title holder in a bantamweight tilt. The 33-year-old known as “Raging Panda” ended the contest with a rear-naked choke at the 4:19 mark of Round 3. Avila (9-2, 3-1 UFC) has been victorious in five of her last six professional outings.

Avila was her typically aggressive self early on, as she pressed the action and forced Stoliarenko (9-5-2, 0-2 UFC) to brawl during several furious exchanges in Round 1. Avila bloodied Stoliarenko’s nose with a front kick to the face during one sequence, and the Lithuanian fighter leaked fluid for the rest of the bout. Stoliarenko attempted to slow the pace with takedowns and clinches, but that approach ultimately backfired. Avila landed a takedown of her own in the third stanza, took her foe’s back during a scramble and then locked in the fight-ending maneuver to force a quick tap.

Rosa Hands Jaynes Fourth Straight Loss

American Top Team export Charles Rosa sent Justin Jaynes to his fourth consecutive defeat, earning a split-decision triumph in a competitive featherweight affair. Adalaide Byrd scored it 30-27 and Chris Lee had it 29-28 -- both in favor of Rosa -- while Ron McCarthy submitted a 29-28 scorecard for Jaynes.

After getting rocked during an initial exchange, Rosa did a good job blending his striking and grappling, advancing with combinations and scoring a takedown late in Round 1. The second stanza saw “Boston Strong” control positioning on the canvas while trapping Jaynes’ arm to land a steady stream of moderate ground-and-pound in the most decisive round of the fight.

Jaynes (16-8, 1-4 UFC) emptied his clip in Round 3, as he rocked his opponent with a left hook and right hand before taking Rosa to the canvas. From there, the Xtreme Couture product secured an arm-triangle choke and passed to the proper side. Somehow, Rosa (14-5, 5-5 UFC) didn’t tap, and he eventually escaped to end the period landing more punches from top position.

Hadzovic Holds Off Late Medeiros Charge

Damir Hadzovic racked up an early lead on the scorecards, then held off a late surge from Yancy Medeiros to win a unanimous decision in a lightweight clash. All three cageside judges submitted 29-28 tallies in favor of “The Bosnian Bomber.” Medeiros (15-8, 1 NC, 6-8, 1 NC UFC) has lost four straight bouts within the Las Vegas-based promotion.

Hadzovic (14-6, 4-4 UFC) had his way for the first 10 minutes, as he tagged Medeiros with punching combinations to the head while mixing in the occasional takedown. The Arte Suave Copenhagen representative had Medeiros reeling on multiple occasions, but the Hawaiian displayed his trademark grit and hung tough in the fight.

Those offensive outbursts gradually took their toll on Hadzovic, who fatigued badly in the final frame after nearly finishing his opponent with a barrage of punches early in the period. Once his adversary’s tank emptied, Medeiros landed multiple takedowns, transitioned to dominant positions and locked in a tight rear-naked choke in the bout’s waning seconds. It wasn’t enough to put Hadzovic away, however. Advertisement
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