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UFC 200 prelims: Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, Gegard Mousasi deliver first-round TKOs

Joe Lauzon celebrates after knocking out Diego Sanchez. (Getty)

Julianna Pena W3 Cat Zingano

LAS VEGAS – Julianna Pena scored the biggest win of her career Saturday when she rallied to win the final two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards and take a unanimous decision in a women’s bantamweight fight over Cat Zingano at UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena.

Zingano controlled the first and came out storming in the second. The former title challenger, fighting for the first time since her loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 184 last year, threw Pena twice in the opening seconds of the second round.

Zingano had a dominant position, but was unable to do anything with it. She tried to pin Pena’s arms with her legs, but it failed and it allowed Pena to get top position.

Pena dominated the rest of the fight from that point. She took Zingano down in the third round and basically didn’t let her up, out-grappling her over the final five minutes.

It is Pena’s biggest win and should move her into serious title contention after a win over the third-ranked Zingano. It was her fourth consecutive win, the second-longest in the women’s bantamweight division.


Kelvin Gastelum W3 Johny Hendricks

LAS VEGAS – Kelvin Gastelum got back on the winning track by outstriking former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks Saturday at UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena, scoring a unanimous decision.

Gastelum landed the 1-2 repeatedly in the first round, snapping Hendricks’ head back and appearing to stun him on several occasions.

Hendricks, who missed weight by a quarter-pound at Friday’s weigh-in and looked gaunt on the scale, didn’t have a lot of energy. He rallied in the second and landed more strikes, but he didn’t have the fire that marked him during his run to the championship.

Hendricks was coming off a devastating knockout loss earlier this year to Stephen “Wonder Boy” Thompson and was looking to get his career turned back in the right direction.

But after the loss and missing weight again, he may be forced to move up to middleweight.

Judges had it 30-27 twice and 29-28, all for Gastelum. Yahoo Sports had it 30-27 for Gastelum.


TJ Dillashaw W3 Raphael Assuncao

LAS VEGAS – T.J. Dillashaw returned after a heartbreaking loss to Dominick Cruz in January in which Cruz lifted the bantamweight title from him by outclassing Raphael Assuncao on Saturday at UFC 200 in T-Mobile Arena.

Dillashaw lost a hotly disputed decision to Assuncao on Oct. 9, 2013, but he clearly got revenge on Saturday. All three judges scored it 30-27, as did Yahoo Sports.

The first round was a battle of footwork, as each man was battling for position, but Dillashaw’s defense was impregnable. He didn’t land a lot himself in the first, but he blocked just about everything Assuncao threw.

He opened up in the second, bloodying Assuncao’s nose with a hard and quick jab and the occasional right hand behind it. Dillashaw mixed in his share of kicks, as well, and cruised over the last two rounds.

Referee Mark Smith halted the bout briefly in the second to have the ringside physician check Assuncao. Dr. David Watson told Yahoo Sports that Smith was concerned about blood in Assuncao’s eye, but Watson ruled he could continue.

He was dropped by a Dillashaw right shortly after and never got back on track. Dillashaw also controlled the third.


Sage Northcutt W3 Enrique Marin

LAS VEGAS – Sage Northcutt returned to the win column on Saturday, but the 20-year-old wunderkind was once again mostly underwhelming.

Northcutt was nearly submitted twice in the second round, but fought his way out of each attempt and went on to score a unanimous decision over Enrique Marin in a lightweight fight on the prelimary card of UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena.

Northcutt, who lost his last fight to Bryan Barbarena, fighting while he had a case of strep throat, clearly took the first round. He was faster, more active and carried the fight in the opener.

Marin, though, fought back in the second. He locked in an arm bar briefly, but Northcutt fought his way out of it. He couldn’t get to his feet, though, and Marin later went for a Kimura. Northcutt managed to wriggle free of that just before the bell.

The third round was largely uneventful, as Marin seemed to have little energy left. Northcutt didn’t do much, as they grappled along the cage for long stretches in a battle for position, but he was more active and got the verdict.

All three judges scored it 29-28 for Northcutt, as did Yahoo Sports.


Joe Lauzon TKO1 Diego Sanchez

LAS VEGAS – There was little doubt that there would be fireworks in the bout Saturday at UFC 200 between Joe Lauzon and Diego Sanchez. For more than a decade, they have been among the most exciting fighters in MMA.

It was no shock, then, there was an early finish in their fight at T-Mobile Arena. The manner of the finish was the stunner.

Lauzon stopped Sanchez at 1:26 of the first after lighting him up with strikes. Lauzon is a submission expert has seven first-round finishes in his UFC so the fact that he won wasn’t a shock.

But the conventional wisdom was that it would be Sanchez by strikes or Lauzon by submission.

“It’s super satisfying,” Lauzon said. “ … I hit him with a really good shot to start that.”


Gegard Mousasi TKO1 Thiago Santos

Gegard Mousasi used a series of right hands to knock Thiago Santos down Saturday in their middleweight bout at UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena.

When Mousasi couldn’t get the finish, he backed off to allow Santos up. A second later, he used a right cross to deck Santos again and finish the fight at 4:32 of the first round.

Santos was unable to do anything significant and was fending off Mousasi for most of the fight.

Earlier in the fight, Mousasi landed three rights that seemed to hurt Santos. Mousasi took him down and tried to work for a choke. He wasn’t able to get it and after dropping an elbow, Santos kicked at his stomach and Mousasi backed off.

The minute Santos was up, Mousasi hit him with the right and the fight was over. It was his second straight win and fourth in his last five.


Jim Miller TKO1 Takanori Gomi

LAS VEGAS – Jim Miller wasted no time snapping his two-fight losing streak in the opening bout of UFC 200 Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

Miller took Takanori Gomi down after catching a kick early in the fight, and that was the beginning of the end. Miller, a noted submission artist, looked for a choke early on before he starting unloading with ground-and-pound.

Miller landed at least a half dozen clean shots as Gomi was unable to defend himself. Referee Mark Smith jumped in to halt it at 2:18.

The finish was Miller’s ninth in his UFC career, tying him for second most in UFC history with Donald Cerrone and B.J. Penn. Joe Lauzon entered the show with the most, at 11.

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