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Soto heel hooks, Perez holds on in prelims

Read on for UFC Fight Night prelim results...
PEREZ vs ARANTES

Mexican star Erik Perez thrilled the fans at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City Saturday night, winning a razor-close split decision over Brazil’s Felipe Arantes in UFC Fight Night prelim action.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Monterrey’s Perez, now 17-6; Sao Paulo’s Arantes falls to 18-8-1 with 2 NC.

Perez had some difficulty finding his range on Arantes in the first round, so he opted to take the fight to the mat, only to be nearly caught in a heel hook and then an armbar. Perez made it out of immediate trouble, but he was walking gingerly on his left leg.

The bruised knee continued to be an issue for Perez in the second, but after Arantes lost his balance and fell to the mat, “Goyito” was able to get into the mount position. A subsequent scramble saw Arantes take his opponent’s back, but Perez was able to get free with two minutes left.

In the third, the fight went to the mat early, Perez in control from the top position. With a little over two minutes left, Arantes rose to his feet and began stalking his opponent. Perez’ leg gave out on him in the closing seconds, with Arantes nearly finishing the fight with an arm triangle before the horn intervened.

SOTO vs BELTRAN

Veteran Joe Soto made it two straight in the Octagon in impressive style, submitting Marco Beltran in less than two minutes.

The bout was held at a catchweight of 140 pounds.
Joe Soto's heel hook submission was the UFC's first since December of 2014

After the two grappled on the mat for a spell in the early going following a Soto takedown, the Californian suddenly put the heat on and locked in a heel hook, forcing a tap out at the 1:37 mark from Beltran, who falls to 8-5 and suffers his first UFC loss. Soto, who took the bout on less than a week’s notice after Guido Cannetti was pulled due to a potential anti-doping violation, moves to 17-5.

GRIFFIN vs MONTANO

California welterweight Max Griffin made a statement in his second UFC bout, spoiling the homecoming of former TUF Latin America winner Erick Montano with a 54-second knockout victory.

Forty seconds into the fight, the two exchanged and Montano took the worst of it thanks to a hard right hand, and as the hometown favorite fell to the canvas, Griffin followed him, reeling off a barrage of punches until referee Jerin Valel intervened and stopped the bout.

Sacramento’s Griffin moves to 13-3 with the win; Montano falls to 8-5.

SILVA DE ANDRADE vs BRIONES

Bantamweights Douglas Silva de Andrade and Henry Briones put on a show for the fans in Mexico City, with Brazil’s Silva outlasting Briones and finishing his foe with a spinning backfist in the third and final round.

Now the owner of only the fourth spinning backfist knockout in UFC history, Silva got off to a strong start in the first round, but by the end of the opening frame, Briones had found his range and the crowd cheered the Tijuana native with every shot he landed.

In the second, a brawl broke out, and while Silva got in his shots, the more telling blows appeared to be landing for Briones. By round three though, the wear began to show on Briones’ face, and after a counter left elbow stunned him, Silva finished the job with the backfist that brought referee Keith Peterson in to stop the fight at 2:33 of the final frame.

With the win, Silva de Andrade improves to 24-1 with 1 NC; Briones falls to 19-6-1.

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