"Violent Bob Ross" sends Richie Smullen to the land of happy trees and fluffy clouds, as Luis Pena (5-0) drops and chokes the SBG Ireland product in one round. Pena has finished all five of his victories, four by submission. #TUF27 pic.twitter.com/bTYM4SyAhE— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) July 7, 2018
Luis Pena felt right at home under the bright lights of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“Violent Bob Ross” submitted SBG Ireland prospect Richie Smullen with a first-round guillotine choke in a featured prelim at “The Ultimate Fighter 27” Finale on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Smullen (3-1-1, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 3:32 into Round 1.
Peña (3-0, 1-0 UFC) conceded an early takedown but stayed calm, sprang a reversal and returned to his feet. The 25-year-old St. Charles MMA product wobbled Smullen with a straight left, followed with a burst of punches and knocked down the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts veteran with another left. Pena then denied an attempted heel hook, caught the guillotine and moved to mount to complete the choke.
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Surging De La Rosa Throttles Ostovich
Team Takedown’s Montana De La Rosa submitted Rachael Ostovich with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their undercard showdown at 125 pounds. Ostovich (4-4, 1-1 UFC) tapped out 4:21 into Round 3, as she lost for the third time in five outings.
De La Rosa (9-4, 2-0 UFC) threw more, landed more and controlled the real estate with her jab. Ostovich had her moments; she connected with a number of two-punch volleys, landed a glancing spinning backfist in the second round and threatened with an armbar in the third. De La Rosa answered in kind. She assumed top position late in Round 3, advanced to the back and threaded her hooks before flattening out Ostovich and dropping elbows and punches. De La Rosa then cinched the choke, tightened her squeeze and drew the curtain.
The 23-year-old De La Rosa now finds herself on a three-fight winning streak.
Gunther Grind Unwinds Zuniga
Strong Style Fight Team representative John Gunther rode a stifling clinch, repeated takedowns and suffocating top control to a majority decision over Allan Zuniga in a preliminary lightweight tilt. Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-28.
Gunther (5-0, 1-0 UFC) did not give the Costa Rican room to breathe much less operate. He routinely pinned Zuniga to the fence, executed takedowns in all three rounds and allowed his counterpart’s frustration to build. However, Gunther ran out of steam in the third round and opened the door for a potential comeback. Zuniga (13-1, 0-1 UFC) cut loose to the body and head with both hands in the waning moments and even mixed in a head kick, but the finish he needed never materialized.
Unbeaten Mitchell Downs Diamond
World Series of Fighting alum Bryce Mitchell made a successful Octagon debut, as he took a majority decision from Team Alpha Male’s Tyler Diamond in a three-round undercard clash at 145 pounds. Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-28.
Mitchell (10-0, 1-0 UFC) surprised his opponent with takedowns in the first round and then trapped him in a triangle choke in the second. Though he failed to net the submission, he chewed up valuable time and battered the trapped Diamond with slashing elbows from the bottom. However, his efforts came at a cost. Diamond (9-1, 0-1 UFC) appeared to have more in the tank in the third round, landed a takedown of his own and corralled the Barata MMA rep on the mat, applying his ground-and-pound from various positions. To his credit, Mitchell withstood the onslaught and was awarded the decision.
‘Ocho’ Peterson Edges Bessette
Takedowns and superior positional grappling carried former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Steven Peterson to a split decision over Matt Bessette in a preliminary featherweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Junichiro Kamijo and Glenn Trowbridge for Peterson, Chris Lee for Bessette.
Bessette (22-9, 0-2 UFC) countered effectively throughout and pieced together his punches and kicks beautifully -- he rang his counterpart’s bell with shin-to-skull contact more than once -- but could not overcome his deficiencies on the ground. Peterson (17-7, 1-1 UFC) turned the tide late in Round 2 and never relinquished momentum. He assumed top position again in the third, advanced to the back and kept Bessette bottled up with a body triangle.
Peterson, 28, has won nine of his last 12 fights.
Meerschaert Choke Dooms Piechota
Roufusport export Gerald Meerschaert won for the ninth time in 10 appearances, as he choked Oskar Piechota unconscious in the second round of their undercard pairing at 185 pounds. The previously unbeaten Piechota (11-1-1, 2-1 UFC) went limp in the clutches of a rear-naked choke 4:55 into Round 2.
Meerschaert (28-9, 3-2 UFC) was in peril for much of the first round. Piechota executed a takedown and eventually transitioned to full mount but failed to secure position. Meerschaert escaped to his feet, only to be knocked off-balance by a counter right hook. He hit the deck and again saw Piechota move to mount before wheeling to the back and nearly finishing it with a rear-naked choke of his own. Meerschaert refused to give in.
Fatigue sank its teeth into Piechota in the second round. There, Meerschaert took down the Pole and unleashed hellacious ground-and-pound before continuing the assault while standing. He cracked Piechota with knees, punches and standing elbows, dragged him back to the canvas and shifted to the back with the choke in place. Soon after, the former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder was face down and unconscious.