Brace returned to New Zealand on Saturday for a show at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch. Streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, the main event featured a welterweight fight between striker B.J Bland and BJJ black belt Renan Secco.
Secco made his intentions clear in the opening round as he closed the distance on a number of occasions in search of the takedown. Bland, however, did well to nullify his efforts and keep the fight standing where he looked to hold the advantage against the taller Secco.
Much of the same continued in the second round and Bland really began to find his mark with his striking. Secco was able to lock in a tight looking knee bar midway through the round, however Bland was able to escape. Bland then continued to push the pace on the feet, backing Secco up against the cage with flurries.
The takedown attempts dried up from Secco in the final frame. Bland continued his forward pressure landing some hard punches and body kicks, at one point dropping Secco with a left hook to the face.
Bland was awarded a well-deserved unanimous decision from the judges.
Timaru veteran Scott MacGregor scored a quick-fire TKO in the co-main event, folding newcomer Joshua Henderson with a body kick before sealing the deal with punches against the cage.
XFC Australia featherweight champion Shane Young moved up to the lightweight division and proved too good across the board for Siitia Letti. Letti remained resilient throughout the encounter, despite eating some hard shots including a head kick in the opening round.
Lightweights Pumau Campbell and Taneira Terry met in a fast paced, technical standup battle which saw Campbell take home a unanimous decision after three rounds of entertaining action.
Powerful striker Chris O’Donoghue was too good on the night for Ereura Piwari and ended their fight in the second round, overwhelming his opponent with strikes against the cage.
In a welterweight contest, Cole Davids put in a strong performance against Jo Van Duin and picked up a unanimous decision for his efforts.
Among other fights from Saturday night, Sam Holdaway showed off his ground game as he controlled Lachlan Eckert en route to a rear-naked choke submission in the opening round, and a big straight right hand from Selby Devereux stopped Iain Blade in the show opener.