Alves (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) landed the more telling blows in the first and second rounds, once wobbling Touahri (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) before settling into a sparring rhythm to close out a 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 unanimous-decision victory.
The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 118 event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Alves arrived on a two-fight losing skid, the first professional setbacks of his career. Originally scheduled to face U.K. vet Jim Wallhead, he faced a more unpredictable threat in Touahri, who earned notice for several highlight-reel knockouts.
To mitigate risk, Alves was in on a takedown attempt early and tried to end the fight with a quick rear-naked choke. But his poor placement allowed the UFC newcomer to escape. A sharp combination set up another takedown, but again, Touahri escaped as the two kneed the body against the cage.
Unable to dominate on the mat, Alves resolved to slug it out in the middle frame. He had his best success of the night with a pair of right hands that staggered Touahri. Unfortunately for him, though, the opening Touahri left with a lead jab to the body didn’t pay dividends via hard counter rights.
By the final frame, the pair did a lot of moving but landed very little of consequence. The arrival of UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor, there to take in his training partner Artem Lobov’s upcoming fight, drew more of a reaction than the action in the cage.
In the end, though, Alves snapped his skid and welcomed Touahri to the UFC with a loss, which snapped a five-fight winning streak on the international circuit.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 118 results include:
(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Poland.)view original article >>