Russell Doane (13-3), Max Holloway (8-3) and Dustin Kimura (11-1) all impressed with victories in their respective preliminary bouts on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 34 event, which took place at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore.
It was a night for the Hawaiians to remember as they went a perfect 3-0 in the promotion’s first visit to South East Asia.
Hawaiians Doane, Holloway and Kimura dominate at UFC Fight Night 34
Russell Doane kicked off the night’s proceedings and fought the only way an underdog could – defying the odds and finishing the favorite. Leandro Issa, his opponent, was favored by many to be the victor that night, but Hawaii’s Doane had other ideas. After surviving a Triangle Choke scare towards the end of the first round, Doane dominated the striking exchanges in the second, finding his mark with numerous straight rights. The finish, though, was pure class. The 30-year-old locked in a Triangle Choke after a beautiful transition, forcing an intervention from the referee when Issa refused to tap.
The win was a huge feather in Doane’s cap considering the fact he had submitted a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champ.
“It was a perfect match, everything went according to my game plan, and Leandro was the perfect opponent for me and I wish him all the best,” Doane said, after the fight.
Dustin Kimura was in action up next and he was determined to impress the masses as well. The pressure was on Kimura to win after the defeat he suffered at the hands of Mitch Gagnon in his previous bout. And he duly delivered.
The 24-year-old, though, was caught early in the opening stages, succumbing to a barrage of punches delivered by his opponent, Jon delos Reyes. But Kimura secured a takedown soon after, and maneuvered his way to a slick Armbar submission victory.
“I felt good today and the crowd cheering me on was really great, even though I made a few small errors,” Kimura said. “It’s a tremendous experience for me here tonight (because) I come from a small island, Guam, so to be with such big names is really a good experience.”
Chope, standing at 6’4”, gave Holloway lots to think about because of the massive reach and height advantage he possessed. The Hawaiian resorted to some unorthodox strikes in the opening stages, as he tried to find his range and timing to get the better of Chope. He eventually did, and Chope found himself in heaps of trouble thereon in.
The 22-year-old pressurized Chope with strikes, forcing the American to back up. The finish eventually came at the 2:27 mark of round two, where Chope was forced to cover up due to Holloway’s constant barrage of punches.
“The fight went perfect. We went down to the ground but I managed to get back on my feet, and make it a stand-up fight,” Holloway said. “At no point was I going to get myself into a situation where I might get a submission. Will Chope’s a jiujitsu Champion, he came out and tried to take me down which is what we were prepared for. We’ve been working on my takedown defence in training.”