UFC Fight Night 169 ‘Benavidez vs. Figueiredo’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring
Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC on ESPN+ live on your computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
Sherdog's live UFC Fight Night 169 coverage will begin at 5 p.m. ET.
Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.
Round 1Let’s get down to business with the first of 12 fights on UFC Norfolk, pitting an undefeated welterweight in Brady (11-0, 1-0 UFC) against the hard-hitting Austrian Naurdiev (19-3, 2-1 UFC). Referee Scott Howard is in charge of the action for this opening bout, and there is no touch of gloves as they simply walk towards one another. Naurdiev advances and tries to time a counter knee, but misses and lands a leg kick. Brady returns fire with one of his own, and block a head kick that comes his direction. Naurdiev stalks Brady down as he lands a jab, and eats a left hook before firing another jab out. Brady starts swinging with a few combinations, and then has a leg kick get caught. Naurdiev just misses a one-two, and throws out a lazy kick that Brady catches. The American tries to take advantage of the position, but Naurdiev slashes at him with a few elbows to force his opponent to set his leg down. Brady glances a one-two off the dome, and Naurdiev walks towards him throwing impactful body kicks. A one-two from Naurdiev misses, but he follows that with another body kick. There is some marking around the undefeated fighter’s face, and Naurdiev leaps forward with a knee but only partially connects with it. Brady pushes him away and jabs at him before shooting for a takedown, but he is easily stuffed. Naurdiev makes him pay with a body kick and a few punches, so Brady circles away and lands a left hook. He doubles up the jab and follows it with a heavy right hand, and hammers the body with a kick that lands with an audible thud. Naurdiev fires a spinning back kick at him, and Brady blocks it but is still knocked backward. The unbeaten fighter rushes back at him with a few punches, and retreats to avoid the counter. Naurdiev throws up a high kick that is barely blocked, and chases after him with punches. Again leaping up with a knee, Brady absorbs it and catches it, before letting it go. He rushes forward with a three-punch salvo, and only lands on the final one. He shoots in low for a takedown, but “The Austrian Wonderboy” stands him up easily. The two fight in the clinch as the round expires.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Naurdiev
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Brady
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Naurdiev
Round 2The two trade jabs to begin the round, and Naurdiev lands a low kick as he tries to psyche up the crowd. They continue to exchange tit-for-tat, landing one strike before replying with one, and so forth. Brady races forward to string together a chain of punches, and punctuates the combination with a solid low kick. Naurdiev comes back at him, and Brady is quick to answer with a similar combination. The leg kicks already show a little marking on the left leg of the Austrian, and Brady shoots in to hit a double leg takedown. As Naurdiev springs out of it, Brady transitions into a single leg, and Naurdiev grabs the fence to stay up right. Howard admonishes Naurdiev, and Brady doggedly continues to pursue the takedown -- he lands it by tripping the leg out from beneath his opponent. With one knee down, Brady is content to throw knees to the thigh, and nearly takes Naurdiev’s back while the Austrian fights him off. Brady lumps him up with several short punches as the crowd begins to cheer his name, and Naurdiev spins out of bad position but Brady has control of his left leg. Brady wraps his arm around his foe’s neck to pursue an arm-in guillotine choke, but this allows Naurdiev to stand back up. He powers through and trips the lead leg out of Brady, and gets him down for but a moment, until the American fights back up. Brady grabs the leg and puts Naurdiev down on his back, where he quick takes half guard and looks to posture up to deliver some ground-and-pound. Brady stings him with a few loud elbows, all while maintaining heavy top pressure to grind out his opponent. The round concludes with Brady on top.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brady
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Brady
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Brady
Round 3Naurdiev starts out the round with a jab, and eats two for his efforts. A left-right hook combination scores for Brady, and Naurdiev walks through them and stalks down his opponent. Brady throws a few legs kicks to the inside and outside, and then crashes forward with a series of punches. Brady backs off, and then shoots in for a takedown, but bails on it when he does not get good position out of it. Naurdiev shoves him off, and then runs forward with a knee. Brady times it to avoid the brunt of the damage, and channels him momentum into a takedown. With the Austrian crouching against the cage, Brady stays heavy and keeps Naurdiev grounded, while attempting to get off some strikes. “The Austrian Wonderboy” springs back to his feet, but Brady immediately pulls him right back down. Like the last round, Naurdiev pulls on the cage to try to get up, and again Howard simply tells him to knock it off. Brady ignores what he is doing, and ties up Naurdiev while throwing punches as he nearly secures back control. With Naurdiev sitting with his back against the cage wall, Brady is only able to take one side of his back, allowing Naurdiev to try stand once more. Brady wrenches him back down, and nearly takes back mount, but Naurdiev bucks him off as he tries to scramble. All the while, Brady is thudding down punches, and while they may not be very damaging, they are adding up quickly. Brady holds all of his body weight on the Austrian, and Naurdiev is trapped with a leg stuck beneath him. When we hear the 10-second clapper, Brady wraps his arms around his opponent’s neck to jump for a guillotine choke, but time runs out before he can get anything going.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brady (29-28 Brady)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Brady (30-26 Brady)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Brady (29-28 Brady)
The Official ResultSean Brady def. Ismail Naurdiev via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Round 1Up next, the “Alpha Ginger” Carlyle (8-1, 0-0 UFC) wants to tell Cruz (8-2, 0-0 UFC) he done messed up, A-A-lon. Both featherweight newcomers with eight wins each, referee Scott Howard will once again keep an eye on the proceedings. Carlyle immediately sprints towards his opponent, but backs off and throws a low kick. The two both trade kicks, with Carlyle going low while Cruz throws to the body. Carlyle spins around his opponent with a hard low kick, and then skips forward with a fake that makes Cruz run away. “Alpha Ginger” wings a high kick and tags Cruz right in the head, and his opponent is forced to shoot in for a takedown but ends in the clinch. With his back against the fence, Carlyle nails him with an elbow to the side of the head, and Cruz’ knees buckle. Carlyle keeps throwing strikes, including an elbow that looks to possibly land on the back of the head, as well as double fist strikes from the Kazushi Sakuraba playbook, and his opponent falls over to his back. Carlyle continues his barrage of heavy punches, and Cruz is done as his head repeatedly bounces off the canvas. Howard stops the action, and Carlyle has burst on to the scene in a huge way by treating Cruz as if he were insubordinate and churlish.
The Official ResultSpike Carlyle def. Aalon Cruz R1 1:25 via TKO (Punches)
Round 1We keep to the featherweight division, between two men in Griffin (17-7, 0-2 UFC) and Brown (14-6, 0-0 UFC) that are both looking for their first UFC victory. Referee Mike King will serve as the Octagon steward, and Griffin’s corner needs to come in and remove some excess Vaseline. The fight starts, and Brown immediately cracks him with a right hand. Griffin stumbles but recovers, and is immediately taken down by “Downtown.” Griffin springs back to his feet, and Brown lands a few short punches, knees and elbows in the clinch. Brown drops down low to hit a double, and Griffin is immediately searching for ways to walk up the cage. As Griffin tries to wall walk, Brown circles to try to take his back, but is thwarted so he opts to take half guard where he slams down elbows. Slowly, Griffin makes his way back up as he takes a few punches, but Brown is relentless and rips his legs out from beneath him as soon as he pops up. From his back, Griffin is flirting with a choke, but Brown practically ignores it as he pulls the legs out from his opponent. Griffin fights his way back up, but it is for naught as he goes for a ride right back down. Brown works a few punches, but in the meantime Griffin stands to his feet and eats a knee to the jaw. Brown drops low for a single, but gives up his neck as Griffin wrenches on for an unorthodox choke with all his might. They break away and start banging, but Brown leans forward in consideration of a takedown and puts his neck in danger once more. Griffin pulls guard to hunt for a guillotine choke, and it is very tight. Seconds left on the clock, Brown wrests himself free as the round concludes.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Brown
Round 2The second frame begins with both men swinging wildly, as they trade head kicks that rock both of them. Brown recovers better of the two and wings a right hand, and swings everything he has into his punches and nearly throws himself off balance. Griffin is staggering backward to compose himself, so Brown shoots in low to pursue the path of least resistance. Griffin falls over him, nearly takes his back, and then falls to his own back, where Brown starts to quickly try to advance position. Griffin is throwing heavy elbows, and lands not one but two significant strikes in the form of slaps, and somewhere if the Diaz brothers are watching this fight card, they are smiling. From his back, Griffin tries to pull for an armbar, but Brown pushes past it. In the ensuing scramble, Griffin gives up side control but explodes out to get to his feet. Brown is on him like glue, and clinches up before trying to take him down. As Brown lowers his head to go after a takedown, Griffin tags him with a knee on the chin. Brown does not show any ill effect, as he doggedly pursues the takedown. Like the previous round, Brown surrenders his neck. Griffin wrenches with all his might with a guillotine choke, but he is not in a good position with his opponent on top in side control. Griffin holds on tight, and while possibly in danger of a Von Preux choke, squeezes mightily. King comes in to check on the fighter, and Brown is out cold! Wow! What an unusual submission from a traditionally bad angle, and a massive comeback for a fighter that would have very likely been down big on the scorecards had this gone to the third. In victory, Griffin earns his first win inside the Octagon, and does so in shocking fashion.
The Official ResultJordan Griffin def. T.J. Brown R2 3:38 via Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Round 1In a lightweight contest, the man with one of the best nicknames of the sport in “Violent Bob Ross” Pena (7-2, 3-2 UFC) will try to make “Mean Machine” Garcia (11-3, 0-0 UFC) feel unwelcome in his promotional debut. The third man inside the Octagon is referee Mike King once again. The two clash legs right out of the gate, and Garcia is kicking low. Pena opens up with a right jab, and stings Garcia as the debuting fighter whiffs with a huge right hand. Garcia starts to work him over with punches, and Pena clinches up. As Pena walks him towards the cage, Pena lifts up a big knee, and Garcia catches it. When he gets leverage, he lifts Pena up and slams him down, but “Violent Bob Ross” is not down for long. He springs to his feet, and pressures Garcia until Garcia gives up his back. Pena sets up a body triangle and starts to throw long punches and elbows to try to open up Garcia’s neck for a choke. Pena lands an elbow that appears borderline legal, in both the angle and the location, and then starts landing punches until Garcia gives up the neck. Pena hunts for the rear-naked choke, and Garcia is defending it as he fights off a hook, and frees himself from the choke attempt. The punches that continue to follow from Pena have opened up the nose of Garcia, and Pena keeps his full body weight on his opponent as he tries to flatten him out. Garcia rolls around, and lands a heavy elbow from behind that makes Pena turn away. Pena goes after the neck once more, and is searching for a neck crank instead of a rear-naked choke. Pena goes palm-to-palm, but Garcia wrenches the hands free and fights up to get back to a knee. Pena slams a few elbows down, and Garcia rolls out to give his back up again. While Pena is in back control the two surprisingly trade elbows, and the round ends.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pena
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pena
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Pena
Round 2Garcia charges out of his corner like his hair is on fire, landing a superman punch and chasing after him with punches and kicks. In the flurry, Garcia puts himself in danger, and Pena is quick to circle out and take his opponent’s back quickly. Pena tries to jump on Garcia’s back to bully him down, but instead lets go and just drags him down while maintaining the back position. Pena sets up a body lock, and Pena is aiming for the choke while Garcia fights it off by controlling one wrist with both hands. Garcia turns around for a moment, lands an unexpectedly powerful elbow, and turns back while he fights free. “Mean Machine” starts elbowing the thighs of his adversary to break the lock, all while Pena is punching him in the head. Garcia lands some effective strikes again from behind his head, but “Violent Bob Ross” ignores them as he goes after the choke. He cinches up a rear-naked choke that is not under the chin, and Garcia grits it out and lets Pena try to burn his arms out. Garcia continues to throw blind punches behind him, and most of them land, but he is unable to escape from danger as Pena holds tight. Garcia continues to slug it out without seeing his target, and he appears to mark up the eye of his foe. Garcia is throwing double hammer fists and swinging at him while the two start screaming at each other. Garcia is a madman as he keeps throwing and shouts "Let's go," and earns Pena’s respect as the two embrace when we hear the horn.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pena
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pena
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pena
Round 3This time, Pena leaps in the air to start the round, and bowls Garcia over. As Garcia goes down, Pena falls face down into a triangle choke attempt, and Garcia tightens his legs up from around Pena’s neck. Pena is in the danger zone now, and Garcia nearly wraps up a triangle armbar, until Pena stands upright and Garcia falls off. “Violent Bob Ross” uses the moment of confusion to grab the back of Garcia again, and we return to the position where we spent the majority of the last frame. Pena tries to go after another rear-naked choke from a different angle, and Garcia is able to defend it by not pulling on the wrists but instead punching Pena in the head. Pena readjusts, and squeezes for more of a palm-to-palm neck crank, and lets go but sinks in the body triangle. “Mean Machine” twists and turns to end up on top, but Pena is just able to fight him off and stay with back control. Garcia elects to land punches and elbows with his adversary behind him, and some of these elbows are doing damage as Pena’s nose has started to bleed. Pena again snatches up a rear-naked choke, but only briefly, as Garcia squirms and fights it off once more. Garcia throws a barrage of strikes including more double hammer fists, and Pena opts to throw right back at him. The “slugfest” from an unusual position ends with the horn, and a valiant but largely nullified Garcia bellows as he is upset by his performance.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pena (30-27 Pena)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pena (30-27 Pena)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pena (30-26 Pena)
The Official ResultLuis Pena def. Steve Garcia via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1The lone heavyweight rumble on the card is on deck, as Tybura (17-6, 4-5 UFC) tries to lift his UFC record to .500 when he takes on pure finisher Spivak (10-1, 1-1 UFC). The latter has never reached the 10th minute in a fight, and referee Bill Bookwalter will need to keep a close eye on this one. The two touch gloves, and Tybura opens up with a big overhand right that falls short. Tybura then doubles up on a jab, and Spivak returns fire with a one-two that partially gets in. The two crash together, possibly clash heads, and Spivak tags him with a few punches. He backs off, and takes a right hand for his effort. Spivak chains three punches together as he chases after him, and Tybura blocks then and responds with a head kick that is also blocked. The jab comes from Spivak, and he follows it with a right. A huge two-hook combination from Tybura gets around the guard, but Spivak absorbs it without issue as he goes right back at him. The two are taking turns with punches, and Tybura barely blocks a high knee coming at him. The Pole times a takedown, and Spivak nearly tosses him to reverse position, but ends up on his back. “Tybur” opens up with a loud elbow, and then a few punches before slamming down a few more short elbows. The Moldovan throws his legs up to flirt with a submission attempt, but Tybura shrugs it off and starts to work more elbows. Spivak holds on tight form on bottom as he keeps getting elbows, and Tybura is getting off some emphatic ground-and-pound. Tybura keeps busy with punches to the body and elbows up top, and is putting his body weight behind these elbows. Tybura starts to rain down hammerfists, and stands up to fire down some bigger punches, but does not land anything of import as the round ends.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Round 2The pace has slowed in the first round, while Tybura goes up top with a head kick as they try to set up strikes. They come together, but Tybura throws a knee up the middle instead of a takedown, and separate. When they close in again, this time, Tybura wants that takedown, and although he nearly lands a body lock takedown, Spivak is able to defend himself up against the cage. Bookwalter advises that the two work, so Tybura aims for a trip as he leans heavily on his opponent. Tybura changes levels to pursue a double, but Spivak stuffs him and takes knee on the face for good measure. Bookwalter breaks the two up, and Spivak opens up with a one-two. Spivak stings him with a combination, but Tybura throws right back and ends his own with a blocked head kick. As Spivak overcommits with a big strike, Tybura changes levels and aims for a takedown. He is briefly stuffed, but as Spivak trips, Tybura tries to circle around and take his back. Tybura is in an unusual position at the moment, while Spivak rolls through and inadvertently gives up his back. The Pole looks to fish for a submission, and the crowd grows restless. As Spivak returns to his knees, Tybura yanks him back down and takes his back where he lands a few heel strikes and punches. Tybura keeps throwing punches, and with seconds left, locks up a rear-naked choke. There is not enough time to get the choke, and we are on to round 3.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Round 3The two touch gloves to begin the final round, and Spivak commits to a punch combination while Tybura lands a right and has another head kick blocked. Spivak again chases him with a three-punch salvo, and then follows it with more punches but Tybura wants nothing to do with it. He changes levels and shoots for a takedown from nearly across the cage, and although he cannot land it, he bullies Spivak against the fence. Spivak fights him off, lands a solid elbow, and shoves him away. As Spivak tries to land some punches, Tybura again changes it up for a takedown, but is stood up and just avoids a huge right hand. Spivak comes in with punches, and Tybura complains about an eye poke, but action does not halt. “Tybur” pursues the takedown once more, but Spivak pushes him off to stay at striking range. Spivak leaps in with punches that do not land flush, and takes a left hand before eating a right to the body and a left to the head. The two trade jabs, and Tybura drops down low for a double, and this time he lands it with about 2 minutes left on the clock. From half guard, Tybura goes right back to short elbows and punches. Spivak tries to turn, but Tybura is on him like a cheap suit, as he keeps working those elbows. For the first time in the night, the “woo” birds have come out, and Tybura ignores the crowd’s disapproval as he works slow, methodical and overwhelming ground-and-pound. The elbows are thudding, and the punches effective, but Spivak is largely undamaged but outworked. The third round ends, and this grinding heavyweight skirmish is now over.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)
The Official ResultMarcin Tybura def. Sergey Spivak via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Round 1A pair of submission-minded fighters will square off now at middleweight, when Allen (13-3, 1-0 UFC) looks to go “All In” against the returning Breese (11-1, 4-1 UFC). Our Octagon ranger is referee Bill Bookwalter, and the commission is keeping refs busy with back-to-back assignments. This fight starts furiously, as they swing with reckless abandon at one another. Breese goes to the body, and Allen clinches up to hit a trip. Breese defends it well, and nearly lifts up a knee to take him down, so Allen stomps his feet. The two jockey for position against the cage and trade knees, and both fight off trip attempts as Breese goes for one and falls to his back. Allen is in a precarious position, and spins out of danger from back control to take half guard. Allen decides not to land many punches, and instead goes after a kimura on the far side while he pops over to side control. He torques the kimura more, and Breese puts his arm behind his back so he escapes the submission, but in the process eats several heavy punches on the chin. Allen goes after the same arm with another kimura, and then bails on it when he slams down elbows. As he works over Breese with these elbows, the Brit smiles and laughs at him while on his back. Allen, comfortable in side control while landing some powerful strikes, fights off a sweep attempt by walking over the cage. Breese circles around and guns for an armbar, but falls to his back and ends in north-south position briefly. Breese throws his legs up to go after a triangle, but his right leg his trapped beneath his opponent so Allen walks past it and cracks him with some nasty elbows. The punches and elbows rain down from Allen, and Bookwalter is calling for Breese to get out of it. Allen pours it on, and Bookwalter has no choice but to stop the fight. This is a massive win for “All In,” as he becomes the first fighter to finish the durable Breese.
The Official ResultBrendan Allen def. Tom Breese R1 4:47 via TKO (Elbows and Punches)
Round 1We now move on to a bantamweight scrap, as Silva (8-1, 0-1 UFC) looks for his first win with the organization as he greets the debuting Arizonan Phillips (6-1, 0-0 UFC). Both men sport exactly one defeat, and they both have dropped their lone bout by decision, so referee Dan Miragliotta is on top of the action. The two men touch gloves, and Phillips opens with a kick and gets countered with a right. Silva throws one more, and catches Phillips right on the jaw. The next few seconds are furious and something out of crazy Andy Capp cartoon with a flying knee, a spinning wheel kick, and even some shoulder strikes in the clinch until they separate. Phillips backs off and tries to time a right hand, and Silva whiffs on one that blows the hair back from those not named Dana White and Jeff Novitzky sitting in the front row. Silva clinches up and considers a takedown, but Phillips stuffs it and defends it well. Phillips loads up on two elbows and a huge right hand, but Silva ducks the final strike. Phillips tags him with a spinning back kick to the midsection, and Silva recovers with a right hand. Phillips leaps through the air with a knee and clips the Brazilian, but “Gabito” wears it well. On the outside, the American lands the jab and tries to stay away while Silva wings punches at him. Phillips whips a few leg kicks and aims to the body, all while avoiding the looping right hand. Another calf kick lands, and Silva is putting everything he has into counter right hands that are narrowly missing the target. Phillips bites down on his mouthpiece by launching a huge right hand that staggers his opponent, and he chases after him with a flurry of punches that are mostly blocked. As the two continue to trade, Phillips drops down to aim for a takedown, and Silva spins with an elbow that is just a little too high. Silva tries to connect with a monster right hook, and Phillips avoids it and fires back at him in the form of another spinning wheel kick, flying strike and some big punches. Silva eats it all, and presses the pace to clinch up and trip the legs out from beneath the American. Phillips pops back up, and Silva tries to kick him but falls over in the process. Phillips dives after him, and the horn sounds, with this insane round coming to an end.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Round 2The two keep their feet on the gas to start the second frame, as Phillips tags him with a few punches, but Silva fires right back. Silva stings him with a looping right, and then changes levels to pursue a takedown. In the scramble, Silva nearly takes his back, but Phillips spins free as the two both go down to the canvas. A long string from Phillips’ cup is hanging down from beneath his shorts as the tie has broken, but Miragliotta does not halt the action because Silva is continuing to pursue the takedown. The two keep circling around one another, and Silva goes after a single while Phillips hacks at him with elbows. Silva somehow gets him down by muscling him down with a body lock, and Phillips forces his way back up, if only for a moment. Silva applies his body weight to drag him down, but unfortunately for him, he falls down. The Brazilian scrambles, and gives up his back for a moment, but rolls out. Phillips quickly takes mount, and Silva rolls around to get back to half guard. Phillips drops down to hit a guillotine choke, but Silva is wise to it and avoids it. Silva tries to lock up the arm, and then transitions to a kneebar, before Phillips jumps past his guard to start thumping down punches. Silva continues to go after a kneebar, and rolls over to it. Phillips defends it by pushing off with his leg, and he frees himself from danger while he smashes him with some heavy hammerfists. The round concludes, and Silva falls to his back.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Phillips
Round 3The last round clocks in, and the cup appears to be retied. Phillips jabs his way in and avoids a counter right, while going low with a sweeping calf kick. The big right hands from Silva are more telegraphed now, and have slowed. Phillips opens up with a head kick that is blocked, and then chains several punches together before spinning with a kick and then flying with a knee. Phillips keeps the pedal to the metal and hits a takedown that practically pushes the Brazilian over. In full guard, Phillips looks to set up some punches but is more aware of the submission attempts that will inevitably be flying his way, including a triangle choke and a leg lock. Phillips rolls over to tie up the neck, and pulls for a brabo choke, but it’s nothing doing. Phillips pushes off and lands a thunderous elbow, and Silva is stunned but shakes off the cobwebs. When he regathers his thoughts, he comes at Phillips with a fury, but the American times the double leg takedown and gets his man down. Advancing quickly to half guard, Silva is active off his back but takes strikes, including one to the back of the head. Phillips slowly works him with elbows, including some to the body, and gets a little overzealous and nearly falls off from a high mount. Silva scrambles and almost gets back up, but Phillips stays on him and hops over to half guard before taking mount. Phillips throws some undercuts (uppercuts from behind, underneath the arm of his opponent) and keeps punching until the bitter end. Silva gets up, but has been roughed up. “The Matrix” celebrates with his corner, confident that he will come out with the win.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Phillips (30-27 Phillips)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Phillips (30-27 Phillips)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Phillips (30-27 Phillips)
The Official ResultKyler Phillips def. Gabriel Silva via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1Kicking off the five-fight main card also on ESPN+ is an all-Nebraska bout between a rising prospect Dawson (14-1, 2-0 UFC) against longtime veteran Minner (24-10, 0-0 UFC). The referee for this 149.5-pound catchweight affair as Dawson missed weight and has subsequently forfeited 30 percent of his purse, is Kevin MacDonald. Minner opens up with a heavy leg kick, and then another as he kicks the leg out from beneath his opponent as Dawson flies in the air. Minner pulls guard to set up a guillotine choke, but the submission is not tight, and Dawson is now on top in guard. Minner throws his legs up to keep a high guard and possibly go after a triangle choke, but eats some punches in the process. He snatches up an armbar, but Dawson is crafty to get out of it. The two scramble, and Minner hops on top to pull guard for another guillotine. Dawson survives, but falls victim to the same submission again. Minner hops on top and mounts him with the choke, but Dawson swings his body around to get his neck out. Again, Dawson escapes, and ends up on top in half guard, while Minner throws elbow strikes off his back. Minner the more active fighter of the two, he wraps up the neck and thwarts a guard pass, but Dawson hops over to the other side. Minner tries to keep the neck tight, but Dawson steps over to mount and rain down punches. He throws several that might land to the back of the head, and Minner gives up his back. “KGD” keeps punching, until he fishes for a rear-naked choke and the round ends.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Minner
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Minner
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Minner
Round 2A touch of gloves checks in the second round, and Minner throws up a high kick as Dawson comes back with a similar strike. Neither land flush, and Dawson drops down for a takedown. Minner jumps guard to pursue the guillotine choke once more, and Dawson pops his head out and quickly mounts his opponent. Dawson keeps tight pressure before posturing up to land some punches, leading Minner to spin and give up his back. Dawson latches on quickly to a submission, which looks to be a rear-naked choke on top of the chin. Due to the powerful squeeze, and likely from how little is left in his gas tank, Minner immediately taps. With the victory, Dawson has now notched his 11th submission across his 15 career wins.
The Official ResultGrant Dawson def. Darrick Minner R2 1:38 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Round 1In the first of two significant women’s featherweight matchups, former Invicta FC champ Anderson (10-4, 2-2 UFC) takes on undefeated newcomer Dumont Viana (4-0, 0-0 UFC). The winner of this bout or the victor of the other bout in this division later may get a crack at Amanda Nunes in May, and referee Kevin MacDonald will make this contest official. There is no glove touch, and Dumont opens up with a low kick that is well shy of the mark. They come together, and Anderson cracks her with an elbow. Backing off, Dumont loads up on a right, and misses the mark. Dumont crashes in and clinches up with her, while she lands a heavy knee and nearly hits a trip. The Brazilian lands another solid few knees to each thigh, brings an elbow over the top while Anderson tries to push her face away. Dumont is hanging on tight, and nearly lands another trip, but the long legs of the Aussie keep her upright. Anderson spins her around and fires a knee up the middle, but Dumont eats it like a sandwich and stays glued to her adversary. Dumont brings up a few knees to the torso, and drops down low for a single that she lands. Anderson reverses the position, so Dumont gets out of the bad spot and pushes Anderson back against the cage. The Aussie pushes free, and Dumont whiffs on a low kick while Anderson comes up top with a jab. Out of nowhere, Anderson unloads a ferocious right hand that lands right on the button and plants Dumont on her posterior. The Brazilian’s eyes roll around, and any follow-up is unnecessary as MacDonald races in to save the doomed fighter. With that one-hitter quitter, has Anderson done enough to win a title shot? That remains to be seen, but she persevered after being put in a tough spot to deliver a devastating knockout and remove Dumont from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Official ResultMegan Anderson def. Norma Dumont Viana R1 3:31 via KO (Punch)
Round 1We will now be treated to what should be a light heavyweight slugfest between two men that vastly prefer the knockout, as Cutelaba (15-4, 1 NC; 4-3 UFC) and Ankalaev (12-1, 3-1 UFC) combine for 19 knockout victories but only two tapouts to their credit. Referee Kevin MacDonald will be holding on tight, as before the fight begins, Cutelaba walks right over past Bruce Buffer and shoves his opponent. Buckle up. The Moldovan opens up with a leg kick, and fights off a low kick as the two trade and exchange furiously. This is insane. Ankalaev drills him with a head kick, one to the body, and then two more up top. Cutelaba might be out on his feet but could be messing with him by wobbling around, as he continues to throw bombs and land some of them. Following a wild exchange, MacDonald inexplicably stops the fight, and Cutelaba screams at him because he is not done fighting yet nor is he unconscious or hurt badly. Total mayhem ensues, as security rushes in to prevent something from going awry while "The Hulk" rages around the cage. Order is eventually restored, but no one appears happy. In his post-fight interview, Ankalaev welcomes a rematch, and we will almost certainly have to see this one again. On the replay, none of the big kicks directly land, as they are blocked. This was an atrocious stoppage, and we will see how the result plays out if it is reviewed or appealed later.
The Official ResultMagomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba R1 0:38 via TKO (Head Kicks and Punches)
Round 1Our co-main event sees the other significant women’s featherweight match as Spencer (7-1, 1-1 UFC) tries to bounce back from her first career defeat against Fairn dos Santos (6-3, 0-1 UFC). With Spencer largest favorite on the card at around -750, referee Dan Miragliotta will make certain things do not get out of hand -- although they can’t get much worse than the previous bout. There is no glove touch, as Spencer throws out two jabs and then a high kick. Fairn catches her with a right hand coming in, and tries to get her left jab going with a substantial reach advantage in her favor. She lands a few, and Spencer kicks her in the chest. She rushes in to close the distance, but gets shoved away, and lands a heavy right hand. Fairn stalks her down, and Spencer tries to close in and clinch. She again is shoved off and tagged a few times to little effect, but manages to rush in and get that clinch while targeting a single leg takedown. The Frenchwoman stands tall and keeps her balance, but this is not for long, as Spencer tries a trip on the other side. The former Invicta FC champ lands in mount, and Fairn tries to tie her up to but Spencer easily breaks free. Spencer starts to rain down punches and heavy elbows, while Fairn takes them all flush. Spencer blasts her with several more elbows, and swarms her with punches as Fairn rolls over. Fairn survives the assault to return to her back, and Spencer pours it on with more hammerfists. The punches continue to mount and Miragliotta takes a close look at the action, but Spencer busts up her eye with some vicious elbows until he’s seen enough. This was largely one-way traffic for Spencer, and she bulldozed her opponent while becoming the first fighter to ever knock out the kickboxer from France. Who do you think should get the next title shot? Both Spencer and Anderson picked up first-round knockouts tonight.
The Official ResultFelicia Spencer def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos R1 3:37 via TKO (Elbows and Punches)
UFC Flyweight Title Fight:
Editor's note: Only Joseph
Benavidez can win the title Saturday, as Deiveson
Figueiredo (127.5) missed weight on Friday.
Benavidez vs. Deiveson
Round 1At last, we have reached the main event of the evening, in a potential flyweight title fight between Benavidez (28-5, 15-3 UFC) and Figueiredo (17-1, 6-1 UFC). The editor’s note above has already explained the proceedings, so keeping with the evening, something crazy could happen. Referee Dan Miragliotta is in charge of this 127.5-pound catchweight affair, and after a respectful touch of gloves, the action begins. Figueiredo takes the center of the cage and employs a wider stance that he switches a few times, while Benavidez tries to find his range. He throws a leg kick, but does not land with it, although he races in to connect with a solid left hand. Figueiredo shakes it off, and catches a leg kick to take down the former WEC fighter. Figueiredo pulls for an inverted triangle, and then an armbar, but Benavidez rolls all around to get out of the position. The arm nearly hyperextends, but Benavidez pulls it free and blasts up to his feet. He catches Figueiredo on the end of a right hand, and then loads up with another that makes the Brazilian's knees look a little wobbly. Benavidez chains together a few punches, and darts away in time to avoid the right hand coming his direction. Landing a body kick, Benavidez swings wildly with a right hand that catches Figueiredo on the chin, and the Brazilian is not concerned. Figueiredo evades a right hand and tries to counter, but walks Benavidez down. The two clash together with a flurry, and Benavidez shoots very low for a takedown that gets stuffed. Figueiredo scores a solid right hand that gives Benavidez pause, and just narrowly misses a heavy uppercut as Benavidez comes up short on another takedown. Benavidez sticks him with a left, and backs off to unload a big left hand, but is feet shy of the mark. He catches Figueiredo on the end of a combination, and then lands another, and these shots are bombs. The Brazilian is wearing it well, but is taking some heavy strikes that are backing him off and making his knees a little weak. Benavidez crashes forward and lands a heavy calf kick, and the two swing and land on one another as Figueiredo clips him with a looping right hand. They both land heavy rights, and Benavidez falls over in a flurry by what appears to be an overswing. He gets back to his feet, and the two swing recklessly until the horn sounds.
Sherdog ScoresJay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Benavidez
Round 2A glove touch checks in the second, and Figueiredo aims with a spinning back kick to the body. Benavidez races in as per usual with a combination, and then dances out of harm’s way in rapid succession. Benavidez scores two leg kicks, and absorbs a massive right hand on the chin but shrugs it off. The response combination from Benavidez dislodges the mouthpiece, but the Brazilian resets it and throws right back at him. He stings Benavidez with another right, but does not keep him at bay for long, as the Californian comes back at him with a storm of punches. He throws few single shots, and a clash of heads opens up a huge cut on top of Benavidez’ head. They both trade a few times, and Figueiredo goes to the body while blood pours out of the forehead of Benavidez. With all his might, Figueiredo unloads a piston-like right hand that sends Benavidez flying against the cage. “Deus da Guerra” chases him down and swarms him with a few hammerfists until Miragliotta calls the fight. This incredible performance is marred by him missing weight, but it is still a major victory and easily the biggest win of his career. There is now no flyweight champion, and by smashing the rightful top contender in Benavidez, it is unclear who the next opponent would be for the victorious Brazilian. A typically energetic Wallid Ismail apologizes on behalf of his fighter for missing weight, and Figueiredo thanks the crowd and guarantees that he will be the future flyweight king.
The Official ResultDeiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez R2 1:54 via TKO (Punches)