UFC 266 ‘Volkanovski vs. Ortega’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

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Round 1

At long last, UFC 266 is upon us. The 13-fight show comes to
excited fans inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and three
five-round tilts will be on the docket later. For now, we begin in
the prelims with a fun style matchup between men signed from the
third season of Dana White’s Contender Series. In the featherweight
division, Pearce (10-4, 1-1 UFC) and Morales (11-1, 3-1 UFC) throw
down to kick things off, and referee Chris Tognoni is assigned to
their pairing. Morales offers a glove touch but “JSP” waves him
off, and now the fun begins. Pearce stalks Morales down as he is
amped up to start throwing, cutting angles and trying to load up on
right hands. Morales looks to back him off with a head kick, but he
misses so far that he falls over. Pearce thinks about chasing after
him, but Morales springs back up and surprises him with a quick
right hand. “JSP” wears it well and backs away, but he gathers
himself to put together a one-two and a front kick to the solar
plexus. When Morales reaches out with a jab, Pearce counters him
with an overhand right. Morales retreats to chop the legs down, but
a kick gets checked. After some inactivity, the crowd already
begins yelling “woo” as if they all want to be Ric Flair. Those
cries quickly subside when both start slinging leather, and “JSP”
lands the better of the strikes but eats a solid right hand for his
efforts. Pearce checks another leg kick on the way in, and he tags
Morales with a right hand and chains that into a takedown try. The
American hits the takedown, dragging Morales to his back, but he
cannot keep him down for long until Morales pulls himself up
partially using the fence. Pearce aims to hit a mat return with a
trip, and although Morales hops away to keep himself upright on the
first attempt, Pearce manages to throw him down to the ground. As
Pearce looks to pass guard, Morales succeeds with a well-timed
sweep, and “JSP” looks irritated as he fights his way back to his
feet. Pearce lifts Morales up off the ground and pounds him down
with a move that looks like it would be at home in pro wrestling.
Morales is able to scramble back to his feet, and he hacks at
Pearce’s head with elbows, but Pearce still scoops the legs out and
puts him back down. Pearce is never able to keep Morales on his
back for long, but he is controlling the majority of the
situations. One last failed takedown try from Pearce ends the

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pearce
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Pearce
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Pearce

Round 2

Pearce comes out firing from his corner, swinging looping shots as
he pushes his way in to try to take the fight down. He is unable to
put Morales on his back in the early going, and he grinds the
Venezuelan against the wall as Morales grimaces. In an unusual
scramble during a takedown try, Morales surrenders his back but is
able to buck Pearce off of him. When both are on their knees,
Morales locks up a brabo choke, and he tries to roll into it to get
the finish, but in doing so, he actually loosens it up. Pearce
turns his way out and speedily takes Morales’ back, where he
secures a body triangle. Morales tries to twist his way out, but he
only allows Pearce to assume full mount, so he abandons this track
and tries to buck Pearce off of him. Morales fights the hands as
Pearce hunts for a choke, and Pearce smacks him in the head with a
double punch a la Kazushi Sakuraba. Pearce snags mount and jumps
over for an arm-triangle choke, but when he does not have it, he
lets go and allows Morales to turn around and stand back up so that
he can take his back. Pearce rides his foe like a malicious
backpack, and he hooks his arm beneath the neck and sinks in the
rear-naked choke. Morales falls to his knees, hopes to break the
grip but cannot, and he succumbs to the submission by tapping out.
In victory, “JSP” hands Morales his first career stoppage loss,
doing so in impressive fashion to start the night off with a

The Official Result

Jonathan Pearce def. Omar Morales R2 3:31 via Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)