UFC 193 Preliminary Card Recap: Nguyen, Kelly, Noke & Matthews the big winners

The UFC 193 Preliminary Card kicked off at 10.15am AEST at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and was broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass with Ben Nguyen setting the tone early for the Australians with an impressive submission win over Ryan Benoit at the 2:35 mark of the first round. Benoit, who has only fought twice in the last two years due to injury, was out performed by the honorary Aussie.

Anton Zafir made his debut on the UFC stage, on eight days notice, against James Moontasri. Zafir dominated the fight early on with a big over hand right and a takedown, much to the delight of the crowd, however Moontasri would not be outclassed, and finished the fight with a spinning back kick, spinning back fist combo 4:36 into the first round.

Aussie Veteran, Daniel Kelly, impressed with a unanimous decision win over Steve Montgomery in what was a three round war. Kelly was aggressive from start to finish with his trademark judo skills on display for all to see; it was that left hook however which he landed over and over again in the third round that got the crowd to their feet. Montgomery put in a galant effort, making Kelly eat punches, and knees, on his way into the clinch, but it wouldn’t be enough to keep the Aussie down in what was an overall impressive performance.

Kyle Noke made the fans roar when he walked out to Men At Work’s “Down Under.” The Aussie, who currently trains out of Jackson Winkeljohn in the USA, put his training to good use when he finished Peter Sobotta at the 2:01 mark of the first round. Noke landed a big front kick to the liver dropping Sobotta before laying in the ground and pound in what will likely be one of the performances of the night.

Jake Matthews and Akbarh Arreola (23-9-1) closed out the prelims in a fantastic fight that saw the Celtic Kid taking home the win after the ref stopped the fight before the third round could begin. Matthews did considerable damage to his opponent in the second round after taking him to the ground early, from there he dished out a series of short elbows and punches, opening up Arreola above the eye doing enough damage for him not to be able to continue.

The UFC 193 main card will be broadcast live on pay-per-view and is headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between defending champion Ronda Rousey (12-0) and top contender Holly Holm (9-0). In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0) will put her women’s strawweight title on the line when she takes on Valerie Letourneau (8-3). Also slated for the main card, Mark Hunt rematches Antonio Silva, Robert Whittaker squares off with Uriah Hall and Stefan Struve faces Jared Rosholt.

Keep track of UFC 193 quick results as they happen here.

Combat sports enthusiast.