20230429071226 prelims - Replay Madness

is starting to loom large as a problem in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight

In the featured preliminary bout of UFC Fight Night 223 on Saturday
at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, “Badys” took a hard-fought unanimous
decision over Jake
. The hulking Slovakian towered over Collier but
struggled with his opponent’s speed and aggression, at least in the
first round, during which Collier came forward, landed numerous
sharp boxing combinations and largely eluded Buday’s efforts to
clinch or bring the fight to the fence. Collier’s advantages
dissipated after the opening frame, however, as the Missouri native
appeared to tire out, allowing Buday to take over the fight in
increasingly dominant fashion over Rounds 2 and 3. Buday was able
to force clinch exchanges, score with hard knees to the body, and
generally have his way with Collier. The third round featured a
brief reprieve for both men, as an accidentally eye poke led to a
break of several minutes, but once action resumed, Buday was still
the evidently fresher fighter. Late in the final round, Buday
pancaked a Collier takedown attempt, took top position and poured
on punches as time expired, but too little, too late to merit a
serious look from referee Mark Smith. Buday collected unanimous
29-28 scorecards from the cageside judges, giving him an 11-1
overall record and a third straight win since joining the UFC out
of the 2021 season of Dana White’s Contender Series. Collier’s loss
sent him to 13-9 (5-8 UFC), including a 2-5 mark since moving up to

Relentless Durden Smothers Johnson

put on a three-round takedown and back control clinic at
the expense of Charles
, en route to sweeping all three rounds on all three
judges’ scorecards. The story of the fight was Durden’s wrestling
and offensive grappling, from the first round on. Within the first
minute of the fight, he took Johnson’s back standing, locked up a
body triangle, and processed to dominate the bulk of the round with
repeated choke attempts, punctuated by stinging punches from the
back. After a Johnson escape, Durden promptly took him down again
and kept the pressure on, including constant work for positional
advances and a couple of emphatic mat returns. The second round was
a near-repeat of the first, as Durden once again took Johnson down
repeatedly, took back mount and provided virtually all of the
offense for the first four minutes of the round. When they returned
to their feet with 45 seconds left in the frame, however, Durden
appeared winded, pointing the way toward a possible window of
opportunity for Johnson to get back into the fight. For a while, it
looked as though momentum had shifted, as Johnson opened Round 3 by
shucking off his foe’s takedown attempts and hurting him with
punches, but before he could rack up any appreciable damage, Durden
once again took his back, sealing up the round—and the fight—for
himself. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Durden
(15-4-1; 4-2-1 UFC), placing him on a three-fight winning streak
since his first-round submission loss to Muhammad
last March. In defeat, Johnson fell to 13-5, 2-3 in the

Alekseeva Taps Out Egger

The third straight catchweight bout to open “UFC Vegas 72” featured
a third straight successful Octagon debut, as Irina
cranked up a kneebar on Stephanie
for a first-round submission. Alekseeva, whose four-pound
miss on the scale Friday dictated the 140-pound catchweight at
which the fight was contested, struggled in the early going against
Egger. The Swiss judoka was the more poised and effective fighter
on the feet, advancing and scoring with kicks while Alekseeva
mostly missed with wild swings, but it was all moot once the fight
hit the ground. Egger attempted a rear waistlock, Alekseeva
countered by rolling for a kneebar and from there, “The Russian
Ronda” had her way. Egger defended effectively for a few moments,
but Alekseeva rolled through to a better position and the tap came
nearly instantly, prompting referee Jason Herzog to intervene at 2
minutes, 11 seconds of Round 1. Alekseeva’s impressive grappling
display, marred only by the severe weight infraction, elevated her
professional record to 5-1; Egger’s record dropped to 8-4 (4-3

McGhee Clubs, Subs Newson

(7-1) capped off what must have been a whirlwind week,
as he stepped up on a few days’ notice to face Journey
and ended up netting the biggest win of his career. The
140-pound catchweight clash was a torrid affair from the beginning,
as Newson and McGhee—both habitual bantamweights—threw caution to
the wind and set a furious pace in a highly competitive first
round. The second frame appeared to be set to deliver more of the
same, but everything turned on a dime when McGhee sat Newson down
with a clean left hand.
“Maniac” pounced, took Newson’s back in a flash and locked up a
rear-naked choke before his opponent could react.

Newson tapped within seconds, spurring referee Mark Smith into
action for the stop at 2:03. The win was McGhee’s third straight
overall and propelled him to 1-0 in the Octagon, while Newson fell
to 10-5 with one no contest overall, 1-4 (1 NC) in the UFC.

Horth Outlasts Cowan

The opening bout featured Jamie-Lyn Horth (6-0) keeping her
undefeated record intact in a 138-pound catchweight affair against
fellow UFC debutante Hailey
(7-3), who missed the contracted bantamweight limit on
Friday. All three rounds were individually competitive, as Horth
scored repeatedly with kicks to the body and head, while Cowan
leaned on power punches, effective clinch work and a couple of
emphatic takedowns. Going into the final round, it may well have
been either woman’s fight for the taking, but it was Horth who
pulled ahead as the less apparently fatigued fighter. After 15
minutes, the Canadian prevailed by unanimous 29-28 scores, marking
a triumphant Octagon debut and a successful return to action after
a nearly 18-month layoff. Cowan, who finally made her way to the
cage after previously scheduled debuts in February and March were
both scuttled, fell to 0-1 in the promotion.

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Martin Buday Grinds Down Jake Collier