THE MACHINE - @MerabDvalishvil! #UFCVegas2 pic.twitter.com/ClBq38Bp5z — UFC (@ufc) June 14, 2020
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Relentless pace, takedowns and top control carried Merab Dvalishvili to a clear-cut unanimous decision triumph over Combate Americas champion Gustavo Lopez in the UFC on ESPN 10 featured preliminary bout at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Two judges submitted 30-26 scorecards, while a third saw the catchweight bout 30-25 — all in favor of the Serra-Longo Fight Team member.
The largest underdog on the card, Lopez never had an answer for his opponent’s pressure. Dvalishvili landed multiple takedowns in each period, advanced position and picked his spots to land purposeful ground-and-pound. While Lopez (11-5, 0-1 UFC) was able to scramble back to his feet repeatedly, he often found himself planted back on the canvas moments later.
After losing his first two Octagon appearances, “The Machine” has fashioned a four-fight winning streak in UFC competition.
Avila Swarms Mazany
Julia Avila ruined Gina Mazany’s UFC return, scoring a quick technical knockout victory in a bantamweight affair. A barrage of punches from “The Raging Panda” brought a halt to the bout just 22 seconds into Round 1. Avila (8-1, 2-0 UFC) has won four straight professional outings.
Mazany (6-4, 1-4 UFC) landed a couple solid left hands during an initial exchange, but when the combatants clinched, an Avila (8-1, 2-0 UFC) knee to the midsection altered the course of the fight. A reeling Mazany backed away as Avila pressed forward with punches, hunting for the finish. “The Ultimate Fighter 18” castmember then covered up and turned away from her adversary, and Avila closed the show with approximately 10 unanswered right hands.
“There’s a few times I let my animal side release, and there it is,” Avila said.
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Nam Wallops Newcomer Adashev
Tyson Nam made sure his first UFC triumph was a memorable one, as he put newcomer Zarrukh Adashev on his personal highlight reel. The Sports Lab representative knocked out his foe 32 seconds into the opening frame of their bantamweight tilt, ending a two-bout skid within the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Nam (19-11-1, 1-2 UFC) countered an Adashev (3-2, 0-1 UFC) inside leg kick with a massive right hand over the top that landed directly on the jaw and floored his foe. Nam then connected with one follow-up blow on the canvas before the bout was halted by referee Herb Dean. The 36-year-old rebounded from back-to-back decision losses against Sergio Pettis and Kai Kara-France in his first two Octagon appearances.
“His only chance was to come in hard from the start, but I’m gonna fight fire with fire,” Nam said. “Even though these guys can hit hard, I feel like I can always hit harder.”
Aguilera Makes Short Work of Ivy
Christian Aguilera made a strong impression against fellow Octagon debutante Anthony Ivy, winning via technical knockout in a welterweight clash. The Legacy Fighting Alliance veteran brought a halt to the contest 59 seconds in to Round 1 for his third consecutive triumph. Aguilera (14-6, 1-0 UFC) has finished 11 of his career wins by KO or TKO.
Ivy briefly experienced some success landing low kicks, but Aguilera set the stage for the finishing sequence shortly thereafter with a right hand behind the ear followed by a jab. As Ivy (8-3, 0-1 UFC) wobbled backward to the fence, “The Beast” unloaded with a series of unanswered power punches to bring a halt to the bout.