There was no Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum this time around, but the UFC still delivered a crowd-pleasing night of fights Saturday in Mexico for UFC Fight Night 78.
Stepping up on short notice, Neil Magny earned a split decision in the main event over Kelvin Gastelum. Magny replaced Matt Brown and earned his UFC-leading 10th win since 2013.
Former featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas spoiled the division debut of Diego Sanchez, nearly taking his leg with him in earning a decision. Sanchez was competing in his fourth weight class in the UFC.
With UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson sitting cageside, Henry Cejudo improved to 10-0 and 4-0 inside the Octagon with a decision win over Jussier Formiga. The former U.S. Olympic gold medalist found a home with his takedowns and striking to pull out the victory.
In the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 welterweight tournament, Erick Montano claimed a split decision victory over close friend Enrique Marin. Montano had strong first and third rounds around a dominating second for Marin.
Wrestling was the difference in the finals of TUF: Latin America 2 in the lightweight division, as Enrique Barzola picked up a decision over Horacio Gutierrez. Despite being the smaller fighter, effective takedowns and precise ground-and-pound was the difference for Barzola.
Efrain Escudero, the second coach on TUF, started off the main card but was bested by Leandro Silva. Silva used effective striking and takedown defense to turn back the efforts of Escudero.
Much to the delight of the Mexican crowd, Erik Perez scored a decision victory over Taylor Lapilus to conclude the prelims. Perez is a native of Monterrey and had the fans behind him through the three-round battle.
They went the distance, as Bartosz Fabinski claimed it on all three scorecards over Hector Urbina.
For Scott Jorgensen, the night was ended early, as an injury gave Alejandro Perez the submission win in the second round.
Andre Fili showed his striking skills, scoring a first round knockout of Gabriel Benitez. “Touchy” connected with a head-kick and followed up claiming the stoppage in 3:13.
In early prelim action, Alvaro Herrera and Marco Polo Reyes each scored first round finishes as part of the UFC Fight Pass lineup. Herrera knocked out Vernon Ramos in just 30 seconds, while Reyes did the same to Cesar Arzamendia in 3:42.
Also, Michel Prazeres earned a split decision over Valmir Lazaro to start the night.
Check out complete results below:
Neil Magny def. Kelvin Gastelum via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Ricardo Lamas def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Henry Cejudo def. Jussier Formiga via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Erick Montano def. Enrique Marin via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) to win The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 welterweight final
Enrique Barzola def. Horacio Gutierrez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to win The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 lightweight final
Leandro Silva def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Erik Perez def. Taylor Lapilus via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bartosz Fabinski def. Hector Urbina via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Alejandro Perez def. Scott Jorgensen via submission (leg injury) at 4:26 of Round 2
Andre Fili def. Gabriel Benitez via TKO (head-kick, strikes) at 3:13 of Round 1
Alvaro Herrera def. Vernon Ramos via KO (strike) at :30 of Round 1
Marco Polo Reyes def. Cesar Arzamendia via KO (strike) at 3:42 of Round 1
Michel Prazeres def. Valmir Lazaro via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)