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Jack Hermansson Outwits Joe Pyfer in Taxing UFC Fight Night 236 Main Event


Experience has no substitute.

Hermansson dug in his heels and curbed some of the enthusiasm
around one of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division’s
fastest-rising stars, as he took a unanimous decision from Joe Pyfer in
UFC Fight Night 236 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in
Las Vegas. All three judges saw it the same: 48-47 for Hermansson
(24-8, 11-6 UFC).

Pyfer (12-3, 3-1 UFC) managed to hold serve through two rounds with
booming punches to the body and head. However, he started to
unravel when those efforts failed to throw Hermansson off his
scent. The former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder
battered Pyfer’s lower lead leg with crushing kicks and marked up
his face with a piercing jab, seizing the reins with his guile and
grit. Hermansson forced the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate
onto his back foot, at which point he became far less aggressive
and effective. Pyfer had little left in the tank for Round 5.
Hermansson secured a takedown some two minutes into the period and
proceeded to pile up points with the remaining time, hammering the
American with shoulder strikes, short punches and elbows.

The loss put an end to Pyfer’s run of consecutive victories at

Meanwhile, Xtreme Couture’s Dan Ige bounced
back from a Sept. 23 decision defeat to Bryce
Mitchell in resounding fashion, as he punched out Team Alpha
Male mainstay Andre Fili in
the first round of their featherweight co-main event. A
short-notice substitution for Lerone
Murphy, Fili (23-11, 11-10 UFC) checked out 2:43 into Round

Ige (18-7, 10-6 UFC) got busy with left hooks to the body and head,
all while mixing in a few leg kicks. Fili responded with check
hooks and a guard-splitting jab, only to see his work unravel in an
Ige decked the Californian with a counter overhand right and
followed it with a savage standing-to-ground punch for the
no-questions-asked finish

The 32-year-old Ige has won three of his last four fights.

Further down the card, ex-World Warriors Fighting Championship
titleholder Ihor
Potieria stepped in as a late replacement for Albert
Duraev and laid claim to a unanimous verdict over
organizational newcomer Robert
Bryczek in a three-round middleweight showcase. Potieria (20-5,
2-3 UFC)—who missed weight for the bout by 1½ pounds—earned 30-27,
30-27 and 29-28 scores from the cageside judges.

Bryczek (17-6, 0-1 UFC) landed his share of shots but struggled to
managed distance effectively against the lengthy Ukrainian.
Potieria hit his stride in the second round and turned up the heat
further in the third. He floored Bryczek with a right hook,
sprawled on an attempted takedown and swarmed with follow-up
punches. Once it became apparent the finish he sought was not in
play, Potieria settled back into a rhythm, kept his Polish
counterpart at bay and salted away the decision.

The setback snapped Bryczek’s five-fight winning streak.

Not to be overshadowed by those above him on the bill, former
Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Gregory
Rodrigues disposed of Brad
Tavares with punches in the third round of their middleweight
Tavares (20-9, 15-9 UFC) succumbed to unanswered blows 55 seconds
into Round 3, losing for the third time in four

Rodrigues (15-5, 6-2 UFC) simply had more horsepower at his
disposal. He tore into Tavares’ lower lead leg with kicks, backed
him up with punches and incorporated takedowns when opportunities
arose. Rodrigues unleashed a hellacious barrage of power punches
early in the third round, fired a knee up the middle and reset in
open space. He then pushed Tavares to the fence and cut loose with
a volley of right hands to the head that had “The Ultimate Fighter
11” semifinalist ducking for cover and forced referee Jason Herzog
to act.

The 31-year-old Rodrigues has rattled off eight victories across
his past 10 outings.

Elsewhere, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 finalist Michael
Johnson rebounded from a May 20 knockout loss to Diego
Ferreira with a unanimous decision over Darrius
Flowers in a three-round lightweight feature. All three
cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Johnson (22-19, 14-15

Flowers (12-7-1, 0-2 UFC) called upon an active kicking game but
could not stay upright long enough for it to take hold. Johnson
executed multiple takedowns, consolidating them with stifling
control, smooth positional advances and steady ground-and-pound.
Flowers offered little in terms of meaningful resistance until late
in the third round. However, the experienced and resourceful
Johnson managed to dodge a few bullets in the waning moments,
quieting a potential rally from the Syndicate MMA rep.

Johnson, 37, has won three of his past five bouts.

Finally, Fusion X-Cel rep Rodolfo
Vieira took care of former Fight Nights Global champion
Petrosyan with an arm-triangle choke in the first round of
their middleweight appetizer.
Petrosyan (9-3, 3-2 UFC) raised the white flag of surrender 4:48
into Round 1, suffering the first submission defeat of his 12-fight

The 34-year-old Vieira (10-2, 5-2 UFC) obliged the Armenian
kickboxer with a few standup exchanges, then tuned up the takedowns
and control. The 2015 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Fighting
World Championships gold medalist climbed to full mount with
roughly a minute to go in the first round and briefly transitioned
to the back before settling in top position. From there, he framed
the arm-triangle, tightened his squeeze and prompted the

All 10 of Vieira’s professional MMA victories have resulted in
finishes, nine of them via submission.

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