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Sometimes old dogs have no need for new tricks.
Rafael dos Anjos reasserted himself in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division and closed the book on a two-fight losing streak, as he submitted Kevin Lee with an arm-triangle choke in the fourth round of their UFC Fight Night 152 headliner on Saturday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. An exhausted Lee (17-5, 10-5 UFC) conceded defeat 3:47 into Round 4.
A former lightweight titleholder who has more than held his own at 170 pounds, dos Anjos (29-11, 18-9 UFC) leaned his deep reservoir of experience, weathered an early onslaught and made “The Motown Phenom” work for every inch of ground he gained. Fatigue was quick to set in. Dos Anjos made his move in the third and fourth rounds, as he took advantage of a depleted opponent. He dropped Lee to a knee with an inside leg kick in Round 4, sprawled out of an attempted takedown and wheeled to the back before driving into full mount. The longtime Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt made a smooth transition to the choke, cleared his legs and forced the tap.
Lee, 26, has lost three times in his last four appearances and faces real questions moving forward.
Resolute Heinisch Breaks Carlos Jr.
A superior gas tank, relentlessness in scrambles and damaging ground-and-pound lifted once-beaten Factory X representative Ian Heinisch to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3” winner Antonio Carlos Jr. in the middleweight co-main event. Heinisch (13-1, 2-0 UFC) carried 29-28 scorecards from all three judges.
Carlos Jr. (10-3, 7-3 UFC) started strong -- he executed multiple takedowns and nearly locked in a modified kimura in the first round -- but faded late, as he was unable to match his counterpart’s pace. Heinisch utilized an effective sprawl, scrambled into top position in the second and third rounds and abused the Brazilian with ground-and-pound to stifle his world-class submission skills.
Heinisch will carry a five-fight winning streak into his next appearance.
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Spencer Choke Submits Anderson
Felicia Spencer kept her perfect professional record intact, as she submitted fellow former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Megan Anderson in the first round of their women’s featherweight showcase. Anderson (9-4, 1-2 UFC) tapped 3:24 into Round 1, losing for the second time in three outings.
Spencer (7-0, 1-0 UFC) walked through the Aussie’s punches, lured her into the clinch and pulled guard. She then maneuvered her way onto Anderson’s back, softened her with ground-and-pound, locked the choke in place and drew the curtain on a successful Octagon debut.
The 28-year-old Spencer has disposed of her last three opponents with rear-naked chokes.
Luque Bludgeons Replacement Krantz
“The Ultimate Fighter 21” graduate Vicente Luque withstood an early blitz and dispatched Derrick Krantz with punches in the first round of their featured welterweight clash. A short-notice substitution for Neil Magny, Krantz (23-11, 0-1 UFC) failed to answer referee Dan Miragliotta’s call to defend himself 3:52 into Round 1.
Luque (16-6-1, 9-2 UFC) encountered some serious aggression at the start, as the promotional newcomer backed him up with punches, freed himself from a standing guillotine and ultimately advanced to the back. Krantz, however, surrendered the position in favor of an ill-advised guillotine and allowed the Brazilian to work back to a standing position. Once there, Luque buckled the Bellator MMA alum’s knees with a chopping right hand, swarmed with punches and drove him to all fours, where unanswered punches brought it to a close.
The 27-year-old Luque now finds himself on a five-fight winning streak.
Oliveira Levels Rival Lentz
Chute Boxe standout Charles Oliveira cut down Nik Lentz with a straight right hand and follow-up punches in the second round of their lightweight showcase. Lentz (30-10-2, 14-7-1 UFC) met his end 2:11 into Round 2 and remains winless -- he is 0-2 with one no-contest -- in three encounters with “Do Bronx.”
Oliveira (27-8, 15-8 UFC) opened a cut near his rival’s left eye with a stepping elbow in the first round, forced him into a takedown and swept into top position. After a failed guillotine choke, he postured in Lentz’s guard and poured on the punishment with elbow strikes. Oliveira was warned for an illegal upkick in Round 2, the foul resulting in a restart on the ground. However, he scrambled to his feet, dropped Lentz with a straight right and mopped up what was left with hammerfists.
The 29-year-old Oliveira has won five fights in a row, all of them finishes inside two rounds.
Surging Ramos Tops Hubbard
Power punching combinations paired with takedowns and superior grappling spurred Team Nogueira’s Davi Ramos to a unanimous decision over former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Austin Hubbard in a three-round lightweight feature. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Ramos (10-2, 4-1 UFC).
Hubbard (10-3, 0-1 UFC) performed well in his promotional debut but lacked the firepower he needed to keep the 2015 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist at bay. Ramos threatened with a rear-naked choke in the waning seconds of the first round, continued to score with multi-punch bursts in the second and staggered the Elevation Fight Team export with a clean left hook in the third. Hubbard withstood the onslaught and knocked the off-balance Brazilian to the canvas late in Round 3, but a miraculous finish was not in the cards.
Ramos, 32, has quietly pieced together a four-fight winning streak.
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