Starting UFC’s seven-fight preliminary card on Saturday was a bantamweight fight between Ali Alqasi and Irwin Rivera. Here’s how the fight went.
Bout 1: Ali Alqaisi (8-3) vs. Irwin Rivera (9-5) (Bantamweight)
Alqaisi put Rivera against the cage in a clinch in the first minute after Rivera dipped in with punches. Rivera got a takedown from the clinch, landing in side control on top. The fighters went to their feet again in the second minute. Alqaisi got a body kick for a takedown in the third minute. They went back up for a moment in a clinch, going back down with Alqaisi in half guard on top. On his knees, Alqaisi tried for a guillotine choke. They went back to the feet with just over a minute left in the fight. Alqaisi got a takedown in the final minute from the clinch. He stayed in full guard until the round ran out of time.
Rivera landed a clean left cross early in the second round. The fighters were evenly matched early in the round with striking. Alqaisi caught a leg kick in the third minute but wasn’t able to get a takedown from it. Alqaisi got a single leg takedown in the fourth minute although he lost the position on the ground quickly. Rivera tried for his own takedown in the final minute. While Rivera couldn’t get a takedown, he landed a combination of strikes in the clinch. Alqaisi got a takedown in the closing seconds of the round. They stood up and stayed in a clinch until the round ended.
Alqaisi got a single leg takedown in the second minute, although Rivera was able to get up moments after. Rivera landed a leg kick that hurt the lead leg of Alqaisi, wobbling him for a moment. A knee to the groin halfway through the round caused a pause in the action. Rivera connected with a knee to the head when they resumed. Rivera got a takedown in the final minute of the fight, although Alqaisi was able to get up seconds after. Going to the scorecards, a split decision went to Rivera (29-28 Rivera, 29-28 Alqaisi & 29-28 Rivera).
RESULT: Irwin Rivera def. Ali Alqaisi via Decision, Split
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