Kicking off the UFC’s show on Saturday night was a bantamweight bout between Cole Smith and Hunter Azure. Here’s how it went.
Bout 1: Cole Smith (7-1) vs. Hunter Azure (8-1) (Bantamweight)
Azure secured a double leg takedown in the first minute of the fight. Smith was able to get back to his feet quickly. Azure got ahold of Smith’s head on the feet, although they separated shortly after. In the second minute, Azure dropped Smith with a two-hook combination. Azure got ahold of Smith’s head on the ground, getting on his back as they moved back to their feet. Smith was able to get him off his back, putting Azure against the cage in a body lock. Smith landed a punch from the position that knocked Azure’s mouthpiece out. A short pause came in the fight so he could put it back in. They separated from the body lock with two minutes to go. Azure pushed Smith to the ground to get him down. Smith tried for an armbar for a moment from the bottom. Azure escaped, holding half guard on top after. Azure got on the back of Smith as they stood up again. Azure kept Smith pressed against the cage in a body lock before they returned to stand-up striking.
Pressing forward with punches, Azure landed a clean right cross early in the second round before he put Smith against the cage in a body lock. Smith was able to reverse the position, putting Azure against the cage. Smith eventually got a takedown from the position. Smith was able to get on the back of Azure before they got back to the feet in the second minute of the round. Azure got on the back of Smith again while on the feet. They separated with three minutes to go in the fight. Smith shot for a takedown, although Azure took his back on the ground. They returned to the feet in the fourth minute, where Azure secured a double leg takedown. Smith got back to the feet while Azure was still on his back. Azure stayed pressed on Smith against the cage until the round ended.
Azure tired for a single leg takedown in the opening minute of the third round. He wasn’t able to get it, only putting Smith against the cage. Smith connected with a clean right cross at the end of a combination in the second minute of the round. Smith slipped after throwing the combination, allowing Azure to do another body lock against the cage when he got up. Azure got a double leg takedown in the third minute of the round. He got the back of Smith shortly after, although he was thrown off once Smith got to his feet. Smith got a takedown in the fourth minute of the round, getting on the back of Azure as they stood up. They went back down while Smith tried for a rear naked choke. The choke was on the chin of Azure before Smith lost grip. Smith stayed on the back of Azure until the round ran out of time. After three rounds, Azure won the fight via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
RESULT: Hunter Azure def. Cole Smith via Decision, Unanimous
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