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Jiri Prochazka Rallies to Wreck Aleksandar Rakic in Las Vegas

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Jiri
Prochazka deals in unadulterated violence.

The former
Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder
dispatched Aleksandar
Rakic with punches in the second round of their featured
UFC
300 prelim on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Rakic (14-4, 6-3 UFC) checked out 3:17 into Round 2
,
as he bounced back from his Nov. 11 knockout loss to Alex
Pereira.

Prochazka (30-4-1, 4-1 UFC) endured some initial suffering. Rakic
tortured him with devastating kicks to the lower leg for much of
the first five minutes, forcing him to switch stances. Prochazka
was undeterred. He wobbled Rakic with right hands on multiple
occasions in the second round, eventually set him on skates and
gave chase with follow-up punches and a knee strike to the head
along the fence. It was the beginning of the end. Rakic ultimately
collapsed in the center of the cage, absorbing a barrage of elbows
and punches before he turned away from contact. A few more punches
fell before referee Herb Dean elected to intervene.

Meanwhile, Serra-Longo Fight Team’s Aljamain
Sterling completely controlled and neutralized Calvin
Kattar, as he made a successful move to 145 pounds with a
one-sided unanimous decision in their three-round featherweight
altercation. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27
for Sterling (24-4, 17-4 UFC).

Kattar (23-8, 7-6 UFC) generated no meaningful offense in his first
appearance since Oct. 29, 2022. Sterling (24-4, 16-4 UFC) left
behind the bantamweight division he once ruled, completed takedowns
in all three rounds, swamped the New England Cartel product with
suffocating control and generally made life miserable for his
increasingly frustrated adversary. Kattar’s face bore a look of
resignation for much of the third round, as he was unable to
counteract the former 135-pound champion’s efforts.

Sterling has won 10 of his last 11 fights.



Elsewhere, two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time Professional
Fighters League champion Kayla
Harrison passed her first test inside the Octagon and did so
with breathtaking ease, as she disposed of Holly Holm
with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their women’s
bantamweight scrap.
Harrison (17-1, 1-0 UFC) slammed the door 1:47 into Round
2
.

Holm (15-7, 8-7 UFC) chose to engage the decorated judoka in close
quarters and paid a steep price for her questionable-at-best
approach. Harrison took top position in the first round and
activated her ground-and-pound. Punches and elbows fell,
establishing a clear tone and setting the stage for what was to
come. Harrison followed a head kick into a takedown early in the
middle stanza, threatened with a standing guillotine and dumped
“The Preacher’s Daughter” to the canvas a second time. She climbed
to full mount, progressed to the back and cinched the fight-ending
choke in a dominant display of power and technique.

Harrison joined Amanda
Nunes and Miesha Tate
as the only women to stop Holm inside the distance.

Not to be outshined, surging Lobo Gym standout Diego Lopes
blew away Sodiq
Yusuff with punches in the first round of their featherweight
confrontation.
Yusuff (13-4, 6-3 UFC) succumbed to blows 1:29 into Round 1,
suffering his second setback in as many starts
.

Lopes (24-6, 3-1 UFC) cracked the Lloyd Irvin
protégé with a few low kicks, obliged him with a close-range
standup exchange and proceeded to floor him twice with brutal right
uppercuts. He powered into full mount, forced Yusuff to go belly
down and polished off the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate
with unanswered punches.

The 29-year-old Lopes now has 15 first-round finishes on his
resume.

Elsewhere, American Top Team export Renato
Carneiro showed considerable resolve, withstood a near finish
and took care of Jalin
Turner with elbows and punches in the second round of their
lightweight tilt.
Carneiro (19-5-1, 11-5 UFC) drew the curtain 4:11 into Round
2
.

Turner (14-8, 7-5 UFC) appeared to sting the Brazilian with a pair
of early front kicks to the body, then almost ended it with a
straight left hand late in the first round. Carneiro hit the deck
in a dazed state, where he was ripe for the picking. Instead of
following up, Turner elected to walk away in hopes of procuring a
sensational stoppage. Carneiro rose to his feet, survived the
waning seconds and recovered between rounds. “Moicano” took down
Turner roughly a minute into Round 3, advanced to full mount and
went to work with his world-class ground skills. Carneiro
ultimately settled on a three-quarter mount, trapped the American
beneath him and cut loose with blows from above until the job was
done.

Carneiro will ride a three-fight winning streak into his next
outing.

Still deeper into the prelims, Parana Vale Tudo star Jessica
Andrade called upon damaging leg kicks and timely takedowns in
claiming a split verdict over Marina
Rodriguez in a competitive three-round women’s strawweight
affair. All three members of the assigned judiciary scored it
29-28: Adalaide Byrd and David Lethaby for Andrade, Derek Cleary
for Rodriguez.

Andrade (26-12, 17-10 UFC) capitalized on the opportunities she was
afforded. She spent time in top position in the first and third
rounds, pressed forward while eating punches from her rangy
adversary, damaged Rodriguez’s legs and leaned on swarming punching
attacks along the fence. It proved to be just enough to get by.
Rodriguez (17-4-2, 7-4-2 UFC) was effective on the perimeter but
too often allowed “Bate Estaca” to close the distance and
compromise her defenses. Andrade dropped her to a knee with one
final leg kick late in the third round, giving the judges one more
piece of evidence to consider.

The 32-year-old Andrade has rattled off back-to-back victories.

Others were forced to go the distance, as ex-King of the Cage
champion Bobby Green
rebounded from his Dec. 2 knockout loss to the aforementioned
Turner and brutalized Jim Miller
ahead of a unanimous decision in their three-round lightweight
battle. Green (32-15-1, 13-10-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with
30-27, 30-25 and 29-26 marks from the cageside judges.

Miller (37-18, 26-17 UFC) staggered the Pinnacle MMA rep twice with
left hands inside the first five minutes but could not match his
opponent’s speed or ferocity. The tide turned in the second round,
then devolved into an absolute bloodbath. Green tore apart the
right side of the onetime Cage Fury Fighting Championship
titleholder’s face with a piercing jab and accurate multi-punch
bursts. He dazed the battered and bloody Miller with a left hook
late in Round 3, then dropped him with a subsequent right. Heavy
ground-and-pound followed. Only Miller’s legendary durability
allowed him to reach the final bell.

Green, 37, has won three of his past four bouts.

Finally, former flyweight champion Deiveson
Figueiredo put away Team Alpha Male’s Cody
Garbrandt with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their
pairing at 135 pounds.
Figueiredo (23-3-1, 12-3-1 UFC) brought it to a close 4:02 into
Round 2, nailing down his third win in four
appearances
.

Garbrandt (14-6, 9-6 UFC) took a cautious approach from the start,
preferring to counter with his lightning-quick hands and chip away
with powerful leg kicks. Figueiredo shifted gears in the middle
stanza, executed a takedown and tightened the screws from top
position. He threatened with an arm-triangle, then progressed to
the back after Garbrandt triggered an ill-advised scramble.
Figueiredo bottled up the Ohio native with a body triangle, slipped
his forearm under the chin and prompted the tapout.

It was the first submission defeat of Garbrandt’s 20-fight career.

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