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Kelowna's Sarah Moras wins UFC debut, but London lightweight Jesse Ronson loses

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Canadian Sarah (Cheesecake) Moras won her UFC debut with a unanimous decision over Alexis (Sneaky Zebra) Dufresne on the undercard of "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 19 televised finale Sunday.

Lightweight Jesse (The Body Snatcher) Ronson of London, Ont., however, lost a 29-28, 28-29, 30-27 decision to Kevin (The Motown Phenom) Lee. It was Ronson's third straight split decision loss in the UFC, leaving a question-mark over his future with the organization.

The main event on the Mandalay Bay Events Center card featured the last chapter of a trilogy of fights between former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn and former lightweight title-holder Frankie Edgar.

Moras' fight, contested mainly on the ground with Dufresne in top position, was changed to a catchweight of 143 pounds after Dufresne failed to make the 136-pound bantamweight limit. Moras got 20 per cent of Dufresne's purse as a result.

"Part of me was pissed off and part of me was stoked because I got more money," said the 26-year-old from Kelowna, B.C.

The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for Moras, who was busier throughout the fight. Dufresne, who had never been out of the first round, also seemed to run out of steam.

"I'm stoked to get the win, I'm stoked to fight in the UFC and I'm stoked for what's to come next," said Moras (4-1).

"I knew I did a lot more damage to her in the fight," she added. "I wasn't sure how the judges were going to score it because I knew she was on top a bit more but this is MMA, this isn't jiu-jitsu and I'm glad the judges knew that."

Dufresne (5-1) saw it differently.

"I was surprised with the result," she said. "Didn't think the decision would go that way. Very disappointing."

The two exchanged blows from the opening bell, with Moras connecting, before Dufresne took her down with a trip. Dufresne transitioned to side control, then started to bring down knees to the body.

A scrambling Moras fought off a potential mount and looked to attack Dufresne from the bottom. The Canadian also caught Dufresne with a nasty up-kick.

Dufresne controlled the round but acquitted herself well on the ground.

"Let's put her on her back. Let's see what she's got," was the message from the Moras corner between rounds.

Moras came out swinging in the second but Dufresne weathered the storm and took her down. Montreal referee Yves Lavigne stood them up, wanting more action and he got it when Moras took Dufresne down.

Stood up again, the fight went back to the ground with Moras reversing Dufresne.

Dufresne took Moras down with another hip throw to open the third. Moras looked to stay active from the bottom but Dufresne was controlling the action despite not mounting much offence.

Moras, a graduate of Season 18 of "The Ultimate Fighter," caught Dufresne with another up-kick and then tried a string of submissions in the dying moments.

An exhausted Dufresne had trouble getting up off the canvas after the final bell. Moras held her arms up in triumph.

Moras' journey to the UFC after the reality TV show was slowed by a knee injury, that forced her off the Season 18 finale card.

Ronson (13-5) never really got his game going against Lee, who used his wrestling skills to good effect.

Ronson stuffed three takedown attempts in the first round before Lee slammed him to the ground. Ronson got right back to his feet, only to be taken down again in a strong opening round for the Detroit fighter.

Lee (8-1) was the aggressor in the second round, eventually taking Ronson down

"We've got to get you going first ... Jesse, let your hands go," Ronson was told in his corner.

Ronson landed a takedown of his own in the third and was close to a choke when he got Lee's back but lost position and Lee rolled out.

Ronson, 28, was a late injury replacement last September against Michel Prazeres, a tree trunk of a fighter, and then had to go to Brazil in February to face Francisco Trinaldo. He lost both via split decisions, snapping the eight-fight win streak that got him into the UFC.

A disappointed Ronson said he had to work on his game, perhaps outside the UFC. Little things had cost him in each of his UFC losses, he lamented.

"This is the highest level and those little things that you need to do, you can't be ironing those out," Ronson said. "So I need to take this loss, work hard at it and I'm very determined to come back. After three losses, I know I'm going to have to do some makeup fights outside the organization and I'm determined to iron out all these things and tweak out everything I need to do to come back so I don't make those mistakes."

He said the third-round choke was "very close" but he failed to get his hooks in and secure the hold.

The 21-year-old Lee, one of the youngest fighters on the UFC roster, lost his UFC debut to Al Iaquinta at UFC 169 in February.

Earlier, Brazilian lightweight Adriano Martins (26-7) knocked out Mexican Juan Manuel Puig (11-3) with a short right hook at 2:21 of the first round.

"Great KO by Martins!!!!!!" tweeted UFC president Dana White.

In the opening fight of the day, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Robert Drysdale forced light-heavyweight Keith Berish to tap out to a rear-naked choke at 2:03 of the first round in a battle of UFC debutantes. Drysdale went into the fight as an 8-1 favourite.

Berish's knee buckled the wrong way as he fell from a standing position with Drysdale (7-0) on his back, prompting groans from the crowd as the replay showed on the big screens. Berish (5-1) was carried from the cage by his cornermen.

It was the seventh straight submission win for Drysdale, whose longest fight lasted 2:06.

Bantamweight Leandro Issa, a Brazilian fighting out of Singapore, submitted China's Jumabieke (Leopard) Tuerxun via armbar at 3:49 of the third round to even his UFC record at 1-1. Issa (12-4), who had a point deducted in the second round for grabbing the fence, punished Tuerxun (17-2) with leg kicks before showing off the skills that won him a BJJ world championship.

In a battle of TUF 19 light-heavyweights, Patrick Walsh (5-2) of Team Edgar won a unanimous 29-28 decision over Daniel (Dragon) Spohn (8-5) of Team Penn.

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