On The Prelims is a column that focuses on standout performances from the undercard of a top MMA event every week.
Last night’s UFC 270 pay-per-view event showcased an overwhelming number of UFC newcomers. Out of the entire card, eight fighters were competing in the UFC for the first time.
Some of those appearances were successful. Others, not so much. In total, four of the eight newcomers walked away with a win.
Out of the many that made their first UFC walk, a trio stood out through their performances on the undercard. In this week’s episode of “On The Prelims,” there are three names in particular that we’re going to point out for their effort.
Henry Pulls Off Upset Win In Tough Battle
More than 25 fights deep into his MMA career, Victor Henry was scheduled to make his UFC debut later than most pros do. Not only that, he was set to enter the promotion in a tough spot: on short notice, he was stepping in to face Raoni Barcelos, who was coming off his sole UFC loss.
Many doubted Henry, including oddsmakers who put him at a steep +300 underdog. But despite this, he overcame odds and earned a unanimous decision win.
But that win didn’t come easily. Henry was in a real back-and-forth brawl with Barcelos early on, giving punches almost as much as he was consuming them. As Barcelos started to tire in later rounds, the persistent pace of Henry carried on. This allowed him to eventually gain a comfortable lead that brought him to the decision outcome.
Henry had to wait a long time to get his moment in the UFC lights. This felt similar to names like Chris Barnett and Chris Curtis, who made their debuts at UFC 268 last year. It took Henry many years to get to the big stage, but when he arrived he did so as a well-put-together fighter that is ready to take on some of the bigger names in his division.
Della Maddalena Shows Crisp Striking
Jack Della Maddalena was the sole UFC newcomer on the prelims to earn a stoppage victory. This came in quite a highlight reel fashion, dropping fellow newcomer Pete Rodriguez in the first round with a left cross punch.
This finishing strike was just part of a very dominating win he had on the feet. He was able to quickly hurt Rodriguez with strikes, accumulating damage before closing the show in just minutes.
Della Maddalena’s performance in the cage was certainly the type of debut that everyone imagines to have. His opponent, albeit someone who had little pro experience and was taking the fight on short notice, didn’t have much for him.
With a quick showing that saw him take little damage, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see him again quite soon.
Jasudavicius Reminds Us: It’s A Sport
Early in the night, we were reminded what prelims are like with live crowds. The first few fights are in front of almost nobody, as most of the crowd files in roughly an hour or so before the main card.
As the venue was still quite quiet at 4:00PM local time, Jasmine Jasudavicius had a strong UFC debut against Kay Hansen.
Now, look. The fight wasn’t thrilling, but that’s okay. After the fight, Jasudavicius mentioned that she wanted to stick to her strengths in this fight so that it would be a successful performance.
At the end of the day, this is a sport, and winning should be the priority for these athletes. The fact that Jasudavicius walked away with a win on Saturday night put her above most of the debuting names.
We’re going to see more of her in the future, and we’ll see her tested in different ways when she gets matched against other flyweights. It will be interesting to see how she performs in the UFC.