The UFC Vegas 46 preliminary card is in the books, and although each bout went the distance, we did get a couple of knockdowns and some fun scrambles. Closing out the prelims, Jamie Pickett won himself a unanimous decision over a debuting Joseph Holmes. Pickett had to endure some rangy strikes in the opening act, but was able to push the pace and take over. In what became the underlying theme of the prelims, Pickett is now on a two-fight winning streak.
Before that, Court McGee ran away with the scorecards against Ramiz Brahimaj, finding himself three scores of 30-27. Court pulled a classic veteran move here, grinding on Ramiz and keeping him defensive. McGee even used one of the few moments in open space to score a knockdown at the very end of the first round. Just like all of the other victors on the prelims, Court has now won consecutive fights.
Also on the prelims, Brian Kelleher earned himself a unanimous decision over a scrappy Kevin Croom. Kelleher scored a knockdown in the opening act, to which Croom responded with a bunch of volume. Brian then switched gears and began to dominate with his wrestling to secure the victory. This makes two straight for “Boom.”
Opening up the show was scrambles galore as TJ Brown won a decision over short notice opponent Charles Rosa. Brown was bombing with his hands right away, and then began working his takedowns. He had to avoid a plethora of submission attempts from a scrappy Rosa, but was able to remain safe to pick up his second win in a row.
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Jamie Pickett def. Joseph Holmes by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Middleweight
Holmes was first to pull the trigger here, launching kicks to the head and body. Once they clinched up, neither man was able to take over. Pickett seemed a lot more hesitant to open up with his strikes. With about 30-seconds remaining in the round, Pickett scored a lifting takedown, although Holmes quickly scrambled up to his feet.
Pickett was much more willing to open up in the second round, and caused some swelling under the left eye of Holmes. Pickett also appeared to be the fresher of the two fighters out there. Holmes started to mount a little bit of offense towards of the end of the round, but nothing nearly enough to win the round.
Pickett started the final frame with some aggression, looking to take it to his opponent. He would land a few punches before clinching up and pressing Holmes against the fence. Then he would break free and repeat the process. Homes would connect with a strike here and there, but just seemed too fatigue to ever follow up before getting clinched up.
Court McGee def. Ramiz Brahimaj by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Welterweight
McGee pulled a veteran move here to get things going by closing the distance and getting his grind on. He earned a takedown, and although he didn’t keep it, he remained attached and in the grind. When Brahimaj finally did find open space, a huge right hand dropped him to the ground.
Brahimaj had to eat a crippling calf kick to get himself a takedown, but McGee was right back up and got a takedown of his own. Brahimaj stood up, but was caught in the quicksand. McGee went back to his grind, keeping Brahimaj’s back to the cage while controlling the tempo. McGee went right back to the clinch in the final round, pressing Brahimaj against the fence. Brahimaj jumped a guillotine to defend a takedown, but just ended up on the bottom. Court remained in control, staying a step ahead of his opponent for the rest of the round.
Brian Kelleher def. Kevin Croom by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
Croom took the fight to Kelleher right away, but then a big right hook from Brian sat him down. Kevin quickly stood up, and accidentally landed a cup shot, prompting a short break. Croom was mixing in his kicks, both to the calf and head. Kelleher did land a sweet spinning backfist right into a takedown, but ran out of time to do anything with the position.
Croom stayed with his volume attack in the second round. He was looking to overwhelm Kelleher and remain in the driver’s seat. Kelleher had to wait it out, but then started to bomb with his hands. He was ripping to the body, and after eating an elbow from Croom and being split open, then secured a takedown to end the round on top.
Kelleher returned to his takedown to begin the final frame. Whenever Croom made it back to his feet, Kelleher would quickly drag him back down to the mat. Brian started to hunt for the choke, switching back and forth from a guillotine to a a D’arce attempt. He was dominating Croom on the floor, and closed out the round with a barrage of ground and pound.
TJ Brown def. Charles Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Featherweight
Brown took the center of the Octagon and started working his boxing right away. He was throwing big punches, but Rosa was weathering the storm. Rosa buckled his opponent with a leg kick, causing Brown to shoot in. The threat of being choked deterred him from wanting to be on the ground, though. Brown was switching stances to try and avoid the calf kick land some leather, and then went back to the takedown. He locked up an arm triangle, but nothing was there.
It didn’t take very long for Brown to shoot in and get a takedown in the second act. Rosa threatened with a couple of submission attempts before hitting a sweep and getting on top. Brown made the most of the next scramble by hitting a reversal of his own. He went back to the arm triangle, but again Rosa defended well. Some more crazy scrambles took place, usually resulting in Rosa on the bottom due to him diving for subs and losing position.
Brown went right back to the takedown in the final frame, finding top position in about 30-seconds into the round. Rosa was able to scramble, sprawl, and then get on top but Brown exploded back up and right into a single leg. Rosa kept working and ultimately found himself threatening with a D’arce, trying to force a finish, but running out of time.