UFC Melbourne: Kelly wins hard fought war whilst Nguyen puts on a clinic at Rod Laver

The UFC returned with a card booked top to bottom with the best of Australian MMA that featured on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 101 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Sunday.

Daniel Kelly, the perennial underdog, put in a grinding performance that saw him take home the unanimous decision victory over Chris Camozzi. The Melbourne local fought through a nasty elbow to the head which saw Kelly covered in his own blood for the better part of three rounds. In what was a back-and-forth war Kelly and Camozzi put on an entertaining fight for the fans with Kelly showcasing his world-class judo skills and some ground and pound in the third round that almost resulted in a TKO victory.

Ben Nguyen put on the performance of his career with a unanimous decision victory over Geane Herrera. Herrera came out early as the aggressor landing a push kick to the chest and a left hand that collected Nguyen but it was all upside for the Integrated MMA product from then on. Nguyen’s stick and move, head and body combinations and sharp upper cuts were the perfect recipe for success and he executed the game plan perfectly. Nguyen finished the fights with 302 strikes landed with 118 of those significant.

Damien Brown was all smiles throughout his three round fight with Jon Tuck despite being dropped early in the first round. The Aussie made a gallant comeback relying on his heavy hands and body kicks to take home the split decision victory in what was a hard fought battle between the two lightweights.

Jenel Lausa and Yao Zhikui put in a fight worthy of a performance bonus and kicked off the morning in spectacular fashion. Lausa dominated the fight from the first bell with lighting fast speed, powerful hands and creative footwork. Lausa’s ability to defend size takedowns and counter effectively disarmed Zhikui’s biggest weapon and ensured the UFC debutant took home the first win of his career inside the octagon.

Prelim Card Results:

  • Daniel Kelly def. Chris Camozzi via Decision (Unanimous: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Damien Brown def. Jon Tuck via Decision (Split: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
  • Jonathan Meunier def. Richard Walsh via Decision (Unanimous: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ben Nguyen def. Geane Herrera via Decision (Unanimous: 30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
  • Jason Knight def. Dan Hooker via Decision (Unanimous: 29-28, 30-27, 30 -26)
  • Marlon Vera  def. Ning Guangyou via Decision (Unanimous: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jenel Lausa def. Yao Zhikui via Decision (Unanimous: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Combat sports enthusiast.