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UFC on ESPN 31 ‘Aldo vs. Font’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL, Dana White’s Contender Series and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

Sherdog's live UFC on ESPN 31 ​coverage will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.

Vince Morales (135.5) vs. Louis Smolka (135.5)

Round 1

The UFC is back for three more weeks to end the year, and the first of three comes on the main ESPN network. UFC on ESPN 31, which now has 13 fights after losing a pair of matches in the last 24 hours, will commence in the bantamweight division. Flyweight-turned-135er Smolka (17-7, 8-6 UFC) will try to win his second in a row at the expense of Morales (10-5, 2-3 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni draws the first charge of the night, and with a touch of gloves, we are underway! Smolka leads the dance with two jabs and a right hand, and follows it with a low calf kick to frustrate Morales right out of the gate. Smolka walks his foe down, reaching out with push kicks and avoiding a swiping left hand coming his way. Morales settles down and snaps out a few jabs to find his range, and the punches have already marked Smolka up. “Vandetta” chains together a lengthy combination ending with several body shots, doing some decent work and making Smolka shell up. Morales backs off so he can flick out his jab a few times. Smolka continues to march forward but walks straight into jabs, and he is still able to push a kick out. Morales paws out a left hook a few times to solid effect, and Smolka comes right back at him but is not landing nearly as flush. Smolka rips a left hand to the body, and he latches on to a Thai clinch to blast Morales in the body with knees. Not remotely concerned by the strikes, Morales gathers himself, lands to the body and wings a huge right hand over the top that sends Smolka crashing face-first on the canvas. Morales surprised himself with the strike, as he takes a second before pouncing to deliver some ground-and-pound. The blows are merely academic, as Tognoni rushes in to pull him off and stop the fight. What a way to start the night, as Morales becomes the first fighter to ever knock out the durable Smolka!

The Official Result

Vince Morales def. Louis Smolka R1 2:02 via KO (Punches)

Chris Gruetzemacher (156) vs. Claudio Puelles (155)

Round 1

Moving right along to the lightweights, two alums of “The Ultimate Fighter” seasons will meet in the center of the cage as TUF Latin America 3 finalist Puelles (10-2, 3-1 UFC) takes on Season 22 quarterfinalist Gruetzemacher (15-4, 3-3 UFC). The betting lines are close, and this pairing is practically a pick ‘em. The third man inside the Octagon will be referee Mark Smith, and the two 155-pounders come together to touch gloves before getting after it. Gruetzemacher walks forward to engage, but it is Puelles who lands first with a heavy body kick. Gruetzemacher returns fire, and after a brief exchange, the Peruvian fighter changes levels suddenly to hit a takedown in the middle of the cage. Puelles ends up in his foe’s full guard, and “Gritz” keeps it tight to prevent much in the way of offense coming. Puelles lands a few shots from above, and he stacks Gruetzemacher up briefly to land a right hand, before lowering himself back down into the tightly closed guard of the American. Puelles tries to burst out of it, and he evades a few upkicks so that he can climb around to gain an advantageous position. As Puelles hooks his opponent’s legs beneath his own, Gruetzemacher scoots his way to the wall in hopes of walking his way up. Puelles keeps Gruetzemacher on his seat at the corner between the fence and the floor, and he lands a few left hands while Gruetzemacher is solely focused on standing. When he does, Puelles sneaks around to try to take his back, but when Gruetzemacher turns, Puelles jumps on to a guillotine while claiming mount. “El Nino” abandons that so that he can move from mount to three-quarter mount to keep Gruetzemacher flat on the ground, and then returns to mount so that he can deliver a storm of offense from above. The elbows come fast and hard from Puelles, who then open up with punches when he sits up high to keep bashing his American adversary. In a moment of panic, Gruetzemacher explodes to buck Puelles off of him, and he manages to make Puelles stand up. Puelles cannot get back down or land anything of note before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Puelles
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Puelles
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Puelles

Round 2

Puelles begins the round by kicking Gruetzemacher in the head, and he lands this same strike again. After scoring with the strikes, Puelles dives down low for a takedown, but the American stops him in his tracks. Gruetzemacher then pushes Puelles over on his back and climbs into the Peruvian’s guard, all while commentator Michael Bisping shouts the words “Step away” repeatedly. Gruetzemacher maintains top control, and Bisping on the broadcast continues his awkward cheering-cornering mantra of “step away.” After “Gritz” scores a few strikes from on top until Puelles throws his legs up for a triangle choke setup. Gruetzemacher ignores the triangle so that he can land a few more punches. After a stalemate, Gruetzemacher lets go and finds himself struggling to fight off a sweep from Puelles. They both stand up, and Puelles lets loose with a few kicks and a left hand that staggers his opponent for a moment. Gruetzemacher gathers himself and wades forward back into the fire, only to find himself absorbing another head kick. Puelles continues to spam kicks high and low before darting in low for a takedown entry that Gruetzemacher easily stuffs. Gruetzemacher sees another attempt coming, and he snatches hold of Puelles so that he can knee him in the belly. Puelles presses into the clinch to mash Gruetzemacher into the cage wall, and he tries to pay Gruetzemacher back by kneeing him a few times and stomping his feet. When in close range, Puelles zings a few elbows that clatter off of Gruetzemacher’s head, and he ends the round trying to go after a single that he cannot secure in time.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Puelles
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Puelles
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Puelles

Round 3

Gruetzemacher comes out of his corner aggressively, and he plants the ball of his foot on Puelles’ sternum. Puelles closes in on him to clinch up, and he slashes at his opponent with an elbow. Gruetzemacher returns fire with a knee that splits the uprights and slams square into the cup. Puelles falls to his knees, and Smith pauses the fight while giving Gruetzemacher a warning. The Peruvian checks back in after around a minute of recovery time, and he starts back off with a few head kicks. Gruetzemacher ignores them so he can rush forward and punch, and he finds himself defending an oncoming takedown try. They both stand up and then tie up, where they elbow one another repeatedly. They separate, and Gruetzemacher is the clear aggressor, and he lands a few punches before Puelles ducks for a telegraphed takedown entry. Gruetzemacher sees it coming a mile away and hits a slick spin so that he can take Puelles’ back. “El Nino” pops back up without much concern, and he presses the American into the wire while stomping his toes. After one successful foot stomp, Gruetzemacher hits a trip and plants Puelles on his back. As Gruetzemacher moves his way down into the guard, Puelles secures a leg lock and puts Gruetzemacher’ ankle beneath his armpit. Gruetzemacher fights it off and flattens his opponent out by smacking him with a few shoulder strikes. Puelles scrambles to get to his knees, and Gruetzemacher is glad to take his back before Puelles rolls and goes after another leglock. Instead of torquing the ankle like before, “El Nino” grabs hold of the heel and cranks it up for a kneebar. Gruetzemacher grits it out for as long as he can, and his calm expression transforms into one of pain as he taps out on Puelles’ backside. That’s two kneebars in the burgeoning UFC career of Puelles, who puts a stamp on his performance with about 90 seconds left in the match.

The Official Result

Claudio Puelles def. Chris Gruetzemacher R3 3:25 via Submission (Kneebar)

William Knight (206) vs. Alonzo Menifield (205.5)

Round 1

Hold on tight, because two light heavyweight bangers are about to toe the line in what might not last very long. Rescheduled several times this year, Menifield (11-2, 4-2 UFC) and Knight (10-2, 2-1 UFC) will finally get to slug it out all while referee Herb Dean watches on. Finish rates for each above 90% likely mean that chins will be tested soon, but they do extend their gloves to touch before swinging for the bleachers. Buckle up. Two big punches immediately come for Menifield, with a one-two that Knight rolls with. Knight suddenly changes things up for a single, and he hits it but does not secure it as Menifield rolls through to reverse him and land in side control on top. The action stalls out from this position as Menifield does not want to commit to any strikes, and would rather use his body weight to crush Knight down and keep him flat on his back. Menifield sits up to set up a crucifix, and when he does, Knight bursts out of the position to force a scramble. They go back and forth, and Knight takes his foe’s back. Menifield explodes right back to turn and stand up, and when he pushes Knight into the wall, he thinks about going for a single of his own. Instead of this, “Atomic Alonzo” just uses his weight to press. Knight defends with a knee that glances off the cup, and Menifield waves it off to let them continue. Menifield pursues a single, and Knight grabs hold of a guillotine choke with his massive biceps to squeeze as tight as he can. Menifield cannot ground his opponent but does not appear to be in submission danger, and Knight knees him again and gets warned for close proximity to the cup since he cannot see where he is aiming. After a grueling clinch exchange, Menifield scores a big right hand that staggers Knight for a moment. The imbalance for Knight may also be from fatigue, as his footing is not quite right. They both throw bombs, and Knight cracks Menifield in a flurry to hurt Menifield badly. Menifield tumbles to the ground, and Knight follows him to throw his bowling ball fists into the head. Knight continues to pour it on to end the round, and when the horn sounds, both men appear spent. Menifield needs to be helped to his corner, as he is hurt and tired. He makes his way back to his stool.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Knight
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Knight
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Knight

Round 2

The big men come out to begin the second round with a frenzy, and Menifield stings his opponent with a few punches that make Knight sprint around the cage to gather himself. Menifield sits down on a huge right hand, measuring it and nearly knocking Knight off of his feet. He does not follow it up, instead measuring with a low kick and staying away of the potential counter from “Knightmare.” Menifield catches Knight coming in with a takedown try, and Knight lets it go to sling a head kick. Menifield eats it like Texas barbeque so that he can wing power punches, and Knight wears them well. Knight spins with a wheel kick that glances off the shoulder, and Menifield bears down on him to land a clean left hand. Both light heavyweights measure one another and catch their breath, largely throwing single swiping strikes. Menifield snaps his foe’s head back with a punch, and Knight flails back and manages to connect. Knight spins with a kick, dives in for a takedown, and backs off when Menifield slings heavy leather at him. Menifield paws out a jab, drawing a grin from Knight, and he reaches out another when it connects. Knight wings a left hand that just misses the mark, and he plods forward to set up a right. Menifield interrupts him with a few more jabs, breaking up the power punches that try to come at him. “Atomic” just misses with an explosive one-two, and he continues to work his jab to stop the looping shots ahead of time. Knight gets the memo and sneaks out his own jab, but Menifield’s is more effective and more active. Knight walks through them without concern, and he slings a right hand that collides off the head. “Knightmare” lets loose with a head kick that shakes Menifield up, and he tries to finish the job in the waning seconds with booming seconds but cannot get the job done before the round ends. Knight does land a punch after the bell, and promptly apologizes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Menifield

Round 3

The fighters hug it out to start off the third round, and get right back to throwing hammers at one another. Knight has a bomb of a right hand glance off Menifield’s mohawk, but it does not get the job done as Menifield counters him effectively to knock him back. Knight leaps ahead with a superman punch, and he pulls back with an elbow when Menifield bears down on him to tie him up. Using his full body weight to his advantage, Menifield pushes Knight heavily into the wall before transitioning into a double-leg takedown attempt. Menifield tries to pick Knight up, but he might not have enough gas in the tank to lift up the mammoth man that is “Knightmare.” Knight tries to fight his way out of the clinch, but Menifield pins him back even though Knight knees him in the body a few times. Menifield continues to grind Knight out on the wall, as if he were trying to mash him straight through the links themselves. Dean implores them to do more than lean on one another, and this prompts Menifield into action to attempt a takedown on the other side, but there is nothing there either. Dean once more tells them to work, and Menifield squeezes his opponent tightly but does little else besides pop him in the thigh with a few short shots. Right before Dean is going to intervene, Knight explodes to get out of the position, and a jump knee glances off Menifield’s head. Knight kicks high and low as he charges like a bull, and Menifield backs up and evades the brunt of the damage. Menifield jabs out a few times, and he rolls when a few huge right hands come at him. Try as he might, Knight cannot land the knockout blow he seeks, and we unexpectedly see the scorecards for the first time tonight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (29-28 Menifield)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (29-28 Menifield)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (29-28 Menifield)

The Official Result

William Knight def. Alonzo Menifield via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Mallory Martin (115) vs. Cheyanne Vlismas (115.5)

Round 1

The sole women’s bout on the fight card comes between Vlismas (6-2, 1-1 UFC) – according to the promotion and her social media accounts, she now goes by Vlismas and not Buys – and Elevation Fight Team’s Martin (7-4, 1-2 UFC) at 115 pounds. All three of Martin’s UFC fights have ended by submission, win or lose, while Vlismas has neither recorded nor succumbed to a submission in her career, so something’s gotta give. Keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings will be referee Chris Tognoni, who oversees the matchup. There is no glove touch, and Vlismas starts off with a few punches at range. The punches may not connect, but the head kicks that follow do. Martin shrugs them off to come forward, and eats a right hand on the way in. Vlismas dings her up with a pair of punches, and Martin throws right back at her. They both exchange briefly, and Vlismas resets when she eats a stiff body shot. The right hands from Vlismas have already marked Martin’s face up, but Martin pays it no mind as she scores a big left hand. Vlismas charges at her with a front kick, and Martin backs away so that she can find her range with a one-two. Martin catches Vlismas on the way in with a left hand, but she does not slow Vlismas, who chains together a quick combination punctuated with a kick. Both women land cleanly, and Vlismas scores an emphatic right hand to give Martin pause. “The Warrior Princess” connects on a few punches as Martin tries to respond, but Martin’s shots collide off the guard. Vlismas scores a leg kick and a clean right hand, but Martin is not fazed as she attacks with her own salvo of punches. Martin shows no fear as she continues to come forward, but Vlismas is quick to counter and snap jabs out. When Martin reaches out with a left hand, Vlismas intercepts her with a body kick. Martin’s aggression works against her as Vlismas snipes her with accurate strikes, until she is able to grab hold of her opponent to try to take her down. Vlismas keeps her balance, separates and flicks several jabs out. She sticks and moves, mixing in head kicks and right hands and forcing Martin to chase her. The round ends with a slick exchange from the new Xtreme Couture trainee.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas

Round 2

The ladies come out to touch gloves to start off the second frame, and Vlismas leads the dance with a high kick that gets blocked. A right hand from Vlismas, and then a left, get through for her. When Vlismas scores, Martin signals at her as if to say it did not hurt, so Vlismas targets her with a few more punches and a kick. Martin’s continuous forward movement is making Vlismas retreat or circle out constantly, but Vlismas appears to be the more accurate striker landing the more powerful blows. Martin comes in with a two-punch combo, but Vlismas swats it away and counters effectively. Martin sneaks in a quick combination, and Vlismas sits down on a right hand and a boot to the head. Martin steels herself and throws back, ripping the body and coming over the top with a left hook. Vlismas skips around the outside with long strikes, keeping out of range and tagging Martin effectively. After eating a short barrage of punches, Martin shoots in for a single, only to pressure Vlismas into the wall instead. Martin can do little more than grind on “The Warrior Princess,” and land sporadic light knees to the thigh. Martin keeps tightly pressed to her adversary, hanging on tight and not letting Vlismas score on her. Vlismas sets up a knee to force Martin to break off, and she backs away from a swarming series of punches from Martin. Vlismas jabs and slings a head kick, and Martin blocks it and continues to advance. Vlismas ends the round with a speedy chain of punches, and as soon as the horn blares, she hugs Martin. Martin wants nothing to do with it, and would rather go back to her corner to prepare for the final round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas

Round 3

The last round starts off with more of what came in the first two rounds, with combinations from both women. Martin wades forward and eats a few punches right on the chin so that she can tie Vlismas up, and she succeeds to get her to the wall so she can attempt a takedown. Vlismas threatens with a trip of her own to counter, forcing Martin to regain her balance and back off. When she does, Vlismas is there to greet her with sharp jabs. Martin punches her way into a takedown, and she trips Vlismas’ leg but cannot put her on her back. Vlismas remains upright against the fence, and she shouts for Martin to “let go and fight” when Martin squeezes her into the wire. Vlismas is the one to separate, pushing off of Martin’s face, and she scores with a few punches on the way out. Vlismas is active, far more than her opponent, but Martin is resolute and will not take a step back. Practically ignoring punches square on the cheek, Martin shoots for a takedown but is stood up with ease. Vlismas pushes off so she can get back to boxing range, and she proceeds to catch Martin with an uppercut when they both trade. Vlismas slips a punch to tag Martin with a left hand, and she snaps the head back with a right that follows. Vlismas continues to box Martin up, landing at rough a two-to-one clip while rolling with the most dangerous strikes that come at her. Martin continues to come forward, her face swelling and red, all while Vlismas peppers her from range. Vlismas gets off a one-two, Martin fires right back, and they proceed to brawl it out right to the end of the match.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas (30-27 Vlismas)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas (30-27 Vlismas)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vlismas (30-27 Vlismas)

The Official Result

Cheyanne Vlismas def. Mallory Martin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Matthews (170) vs. Jeremiah Wells (170.5)

Round 1

The match was canceled on Saturday afternoon of a member of Weeks' corner tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Wells on his Instagram.

Bryan Barberena (170.5) vs. Darian Weeks (170)

Round 1

We stay in the welterweight division for this next fight between another vet and a newcomer, as Barberena (15-8, 6-6 UFC) aims to lift his UFC record above .500 in his 13th appearances against Octagon newcomer Weeks (5-0, 0-0 UFC). While all five of the unbeaten Weeks’ career wins have come within two rounds, Barberena has never before suffered a loss earlier than Round 3. Stepping up on short notice, Weeks will certainly try to be the first, and he will do so under the watchful eye of referee Herb Dean. Barberena thanks his opponent for taking the fight as a late replacement with a glove touch offer, and Weeks replies right after with a kick to the body. Weeks kicks the same spot, and then goes up high with his foot. Barberena kicks low and goes after a right hand over the top. Barberena tries to check a leg kick, and then he catches one that comes at him and throws it out of the way dismissively. Weeks just misses with a front kick to the face, and Barberena pursues another leg kick-to-right hand in the vein of Dan Henderson. Weeks walks his opponent down, and Barberena hops forward only to get snagged midair and shoved into the wall. Weeks wrenches “Bam Bam” down to the ground, but he cannot keep him there as Barberena springs back up and ignores a few punches on the way up. Barberena shoves off and turns away to reset, and he gets tagged with a left hand that irritates him. Weeks targets his front kick to the diaphragm, and then goes low to the knee. Barberena chips at the lead leg of his opponent, marking Weeks up and making Weeks lift his leg in anticipation. Barberena continues to batter the inside left of his opponent, and Weeks keeps picking his leg up which may signal that the strikes hurt. Weeks ducks down after avoiding a punch so he can level change, and Barberena stops this one from succeeding. “Bam Bam” spins his opponent around and thinks about a single of his own, but bails on it and gets turned back around. They trade knees to the gut, and Weeks tries to blast Barberena with a left hand but comes up short. Weeks kicks the knee and pushes the ball of his foot out, prompting Barberena to charge at him with his hands by his waist. When a Weeks takedown fails, he slugs away with Barberena and connects cleanly with a right hand. Barberena returns with an inside leg kick, and he nearly sweeps him down with it. When the horn sounds, they clap hands.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Weeks
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Weeks
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Weeks

Round 2

The welterweights touch ‘em up to start off the second round, and Weeks uses the close proximity to tie Barberena up and dump him to the mat. Weeks puts Barberena flat on his back, and Barberena suddenly sets up an armbar and locks it up tight. Weeks calmly stacks his foe up to break the grip, but in the process, Barberena reverse somersaults so that he can stand back up. Both get back up, and Weeks aims a low kick, a body kick and an axe kick that partially connect. Barberena steps forward to elbow Weeks in the face, but it is one-and-done. Weeks lets loose with a low kick, and Barberena chops at his leg in response from the other side that nearly buckles it. They tie up, and Barberena slings his foe down to the mat as if he were Tim Boetsch. Barberena lets him get back up after that emphatic toss, and he rushes ahead to throw punches. Weeks slips and rips with a left hand, and Barberena catches him with a right hand across the bow. They both start trading, until Weeks gets back to his preferred kicking range, which allows him to land a front kick up the middle. Barberena lunges forward and gets countered, but he pays it no mind. They swing and miss, and Barberena just barely ducks a huge punch in time. Weeks stands right in front of him and slugs him in the jaw, but Barberena’s chin holds up and he gives it right back to Weeks. The newcomer changes levels and hits a takedown in the center of the cage, only for Barberena to scoot his way back to the wall and walk up without batting an eye. Barberena plods forward once they separate, ignoring incoming fire as he wobbles his way in with his hands low. Weeks lands cleanly, and Barberena gives it right back to him to the body. They both slug it out, and Barberena tags his foe with a few solid right hands, before the horn breaks them apart. That could be a closely scored round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Barberena
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Barberena
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Barberena

Round 3

When the last round commences, Barberena offers a glove touch and Weeks instead asks for a hug, so they hug it out. When they break away, they begin trading. Barberena ambles ahead, landing a few punches but eating a few on his way in. Weeks gloms on to Barberena to go for some sort of takedown, but Barberena stays on his feet and knees Weeks in the midsection. They both trip to the ground in an exchange, and they pop back up as Barberena elbows his man in the face. Weeks dusks down low for a single, and Barberena stuffs it and marks him up with a deceptively quick combination. A strike knocks Barberena off of his feet, but it might have been due to balance and not from damage, as he springs back up without worry. Barberena comes forward, punches out, and he hammers the body a few times. Weeks throws back, but he grimaces when the body shots land. Fighting in the proverbial phone booth, Barberena lets it rip with punches high and low. Weeks slings right back at him, but it is Barberena’s body work that appears to give him an advantage. Barberena sits down on a left hand, and he evades a looping right that buzzes his dome. Barberena swats away a front kick to the body, and Weeks lays into him with a few looping hooks. Barberena does not even register, and instead bites down on his gumshield and slings punches with bad intentions. Barberena’s hands may be by his waist and he looks loose on his feet, but he scores effectively as he comes forward. Weeks sticks out a right hand, and Barberena laughs it off as he comes forward without fear. Barberena digs to the body and up top, and Weeks is right there to give it back to him until he hits a takedown. Barberena pushes off the back of the head to stand up, and when he does, he slugs Weeks in the face and hurts him badly. The newcomer wobbles back to the other side of the cage, and Barberena gives chase to try to finish the job. Barberena lets loose with everything he has, but he cannot reach the target fully and land flush, so the round ends and this close battle will be left in the hands of the judges.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Barberena (29-28 Barberena)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Barberena (29-28 Barberena)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Barberena (29-28 Barberena)

The Official Result

Bryan Barberena def. Darian Weeks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Manel Kape (125.5) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (125.5)

Round 1

When this flyweight fight ends, one of the two competitors between Kape (16-6, 1-2 UFC) and Zhumagulov (14-5, 1-2 UFC) will likely lift their UFC record to .500 and earn their second victory under the organization’s banner. In this classic battle of Angola vs. Kazakhstan, referee Keith Peterson may have his hands full overseeing what could be a fast-paced contest, but there will be no nonsense allowed while it takes place. Kape is amped up, and Peterson backs him off several times, and there is no sign of respect with a glove touch. Kape leaps out of his corner when the round begins in an attempt to beat Jorge Masvidal’s record, but Zhumagulov sees it come and pushes it away. Kape pops him with a right hand on the way out, but Zhumagulov is not fazed and pressures Kape with a few big punches. As Kape goes low with a kick, Zhumagulov tags him with an overhand right that knocks Kape back to the wall and draws a huge smile on his face. Zhumagulov does not get too aggressive, instead finding his range with an uppercut and a right hand. Zhumagulov trips, but he gathers himself before Kape can take advantage of it. The Kazakh marches Kape down, but he does not do so recklessly into a counter that Kape sets up in the form of a huge right hand. Zhumagulov steps forward with a knee, and he snaps a jab out that surprises Kape. They trade quick punches, and Zhumagulov follows up an exchange with a leg kick. When Kape lands with another kick to the calf, Zhumagulov jumps forward to drill him in the face. Zhumagulov checks one such kick, and he evades the leaping knee that soars at his chin. Kape tries to stick and move, only for Zhumagulov to follow him with a pair of punches that land flush. Zhumagulov swings a kick that collides into the thigh, and he rushes in with a punch salvo that Kape cannot escape in time. Kape lands with a left and a right, only for him to get countered on the way out. Kape continues to connect with leg kicks, and he sits down on a right hand that knocks Zhumagulov to his seat. Kape cannot keep Zhumagulov down, so when Zhumagulov stands, he busts him up with a few big right hands that send him careening to the wall. Seeing he has his man hurt, Kape opens up with a brutal series of punches to the head and body and tees off on Zhumagulov. Zhumagulov tries to shell up and protect himself from the onslaught, but lightning-quick strikes get through and drop Zhumagulov down to the ground. Peterson intervenes as soon as Zhumagulov slumps over, and Kape may very well have saved himself from a pink slip with an emphatic knockout over an opponent that had only been finished once in his career, back in 2015.

The Official Result

Manel Kape def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov R1 4:02 via TKO (Punches)

Maki Pitolo (184.5) vs. Dusko Todorovic (185.5)

Round 1

Finish rates above 75% for each fighter in this preliminary headliner make it one to watch at 185 pounds, even if the stakes are not as high as some other matchups on the card. Pitolo (13-8, 1-4 UFC) will try to throw his patented “Coconut Bombz” at Serbian striker Todorovic (10-2, 1-2 UFC), and referee Mark Smith will need to keep his head on a swivel for as long as these two trade leather. The gloves do get touched before the bombs drop, and Pitolo is the immediate aggressor coming forward but not the first to throw a strike. That comes as a front kick for Todorovic, and Pitolo sticks his hand out in response only to get warned for extended fingers. When Pitolo closes his fists and winds them up, Todorovic shoots in low for a takedown. The attempt is stuffed, and Todorovic backs off to let fly a pair of head kicks that get blocked. The Serbian fighter leaps forward with a punch, and Pitolo lands at the same time. Pitolo bears down on him and connects with a few punches and a knee. Pitolo nails his man with a right hand and a few leg kicks that make Todorovic spin around, and he has already marked Todorovic up in just 90 seconds. As Pitolo continues to attack the lead leg, Todorovic pursues a takedown. Todorovic gets it on the second attempt, only for him to fall into guillotine choke danger. Pitolo grabs hold of the choke and keeps it tight, keeping Todorovic stuck in this position without being able to pass guard. Todorovic escapes the submission danger but elects to go into Pitolo’s guard, which closes around him. Todorovic clubs Pitolo with a left hand, and he grinds down with an elbow to try to get some ground-and-pound going. When Todorovic elbows his foe a few times, the guard opens up, until Pitolo can close it back again to stifle the offense coming. “Thunder” strikes as he steps over to half guard, and he isolates an arm for a moment so he can distract Pitolo and continue to pass. Todorovic manages to turn the half guard position into a partial crucifix, which allows him to belt Pitolo a few more times before slicing over to full mount. Todorovic sits up and nails Pitolo with ferocious ground-and-pound, and Smith asks Pitolo to keep moving only for the Hawaiian to get flattened out on his stomach. “Thunder” unleashes the thunder and lightning as he persistently pounds on Pitolo with powerful punches, until Smith has no choice but to stop the fight, thus saving “Coconut Bombz” from any further harm. Todorovic successfully snaps a two-fight skid with a dominant win over a dangerous opponent.

The Official Result

Dusko Todorovic def. Maki Pitolo R1 4:34 via TKO (Punches)

Mickey Gall (170.5) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)

Round 1

Two welterweights in the “action fighter” category of the division will open up the main card, as Fortis MMA product Morono (20-7, 1 NC; 9-4, 1 NC UFC) comes to blows with opportunistic grappler Gall (7-3, 6-3 UFC). In this fight, Gall will attempt to become the first man to submit the Gracie-Barra black belt. Referee Chris Tognoni will keep tabs on a fight that could take place anywhere, and they do not bother touching gloves as they would rather get straight to business. Morono takes the center of the cage, pawing out a jab while Gall feints and fakes from the outside. Neither man lands a strike for the first 45 seconds, until Morono connects with a right hand over the top. Gall jabs out and gets the inside of his leg kicked, and he backs off to kick Morono in the side. Gall leaps forward with a stabbing right hand, and he sits down on a kick to Morono’s knee. Morono tags his man again with an overhand right, and he slaps out with a left. They trade jabs until Morono connects with yet another right, and Gall pays him back with a long body kick. Morono lines up a right hand, and Gall’s forehead is turning red fast. “The Great White” gets off a one-two, and he ignores a jab and a kick that come at him so he can target his right heat-seeking missile. Gall escapes with a body kick, and he reaches out with a jab only to get clubbed with the forearm of his opponent. Morono sticks out a crisp jab, and Gall walks into it and it knocks him clear off his feet. Gall falls to his back and Morono jumps on top to land some ground-and-pound and finish the job. Gall pursues a few submissions, including a leglock, and Morono escapes from harm partially thanks to a fence grab. Morono pounds on Gall with hammerfists all while escaping submission danger, and Gall elects to close his guard as Morono pushes him into the fence on his seat. Gall fights his way back up and swings wildly, and they both flail with punches right before the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Morono

Round 2

The welterweights meet in the middle, and Gall lands first with a lunging jab to the midsection. Morono jabs out a few times, and Gall’s longer reach allows him to hit the target first. Morono stays light on his feet, bouncing around, and scoring from range. When Gall winds up on a left hand, Morono comes back with a looping right that seems to land cleaner. A stalemate ensues as they try to find their range again, until Morono jumps forward with pair of sweeping hooks. Gall manages to avoid the brunt of the damage, and he connects hard with a left and a right that stuns Morono for a moment. The Texan shakes it off and escapes, and he breaks free when Gall initiates a clinch in the center of the cage. Gall wings a left hand, and another while Morono bears down on him with his effective right hand. Gall flicks out a jab, Morono replies in kind, and they both swing for the fences. Morono stumbles, but it appears that it was from throwing so hard that he swung himself off-balance. Gall takes a funny step as he backs away, but he appears no worse for wear as they extend their jabs at one another. Morono looks to time a right hand when Gall ducks out of the way, and it slides past the New Jersey native’s hair. Morono continues to jab, and he darts out of the way when Gall winds up on shots. Morono looks to counter but misses, and he tries to swing everything he has into a right hand but Gall rolls with it. Gall does the same, with a windmilling right hand that Morono does not fall victim to. Gall kicks the midsection, and he ducks down for a takedown only to be stuffed completely. Morono pushes him back and tries to blast Gall with a right hook, but it is the subsequent left that catches Gall flush. The round ends after Morono’s strike connects.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morono
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Morono

Round 3

They touch gloves to commence the final frame, and they begin with effective jabs from range. Both land at the same time, and Morono follows one with a huge right hand that Gall cannot completely avoid. Gall manages to keep Morono at bay with jabs, interrupting the power punches that are soon to come. Morono walks forward without a concern so that he can throw bombs, and Gall remains composed and sticks out a jab and a right hand down the pipe. Gall thumps the leg with a kick, and he swats with a right hand after a few jabs. A leaping knee from Gall misses the mark, and Morono continues to give chase and cocks back his right hand in anticipation of a counter. He jabs and throws the right, and Gall eats it and takes another such two-punch combination as his face is turning red all over and may have been busted up a little. Morono keeps pushing out a jab to decent effect, snapping the head back when Gall rushes at him. Gall tags Morono with a solid right hand, only for Morono to give one right back to him. Gall begins to press the action, backing Morono to the wall as he lays into Morono with punches. Morono winds up recklessly and wildly with big punches, and Gall ducks them and clinches up to push the Texan into the wire. Morono breaks free and continues to spam power punches, and Gall’s head movement keeps him safe from harm after an exchange. Both men continue to throw caution to the wind and throw hands, mostly relying on a jab followed by a monstrous right hook. One such strike makes Gall make a face after eating it, and they continue to slug it out. Gall races ahead and ducks the ridiculous strikes from “The Great White,” and they both bang it out right to the final bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morono (30-27 Morono)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morono (30-27 Morono)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Morono (30-27 Morono)

The Official Result

Alex Morono def. Mickey Gall via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Brendan Allen (185.5) vs. Chris Curtis (185)

Round 1

Fresh off the biggest win of his career by prevailing in his UFC debut, “The Action Man” Curtis (27-8, 1-0 UFC) will try to notch his sixth victory in 2021 against dangerous finisher Allen (17-4, 5-1 UFC). Curtis will be competing for the second time in a month, but he will face a tough test as the biggest betting underdog of the night. Referee Herb Dean receives the assignment for this middleweight scrap, and the two fighters are happy to get things started and do not even touch gloves before engaging. Instead, Allen comes out with a smile, gets tagged with a few punches and kicks up high. Allen grabs hold of Curtis’ leg, lifts it way up in the air to take Curtis down, but Curtis scrambles beautifully to recover and get back to his feet. Allen gives chase, and leaps on to his back like a backpack. Curtis is able to scrape him off without much concern, and when they separate, Curtis scores a solid left hand and then one to the body. Allen gets off a chopping leg kick, and he smiles even when Curtis punches him in the face a few times. Allen walks through a right hand to land two punches of his own, and he chains the punches into a stern knee to the midsection. Allen gets off a right hand around Curtis’ guard, and he starts to pepper Curtis with jabs and a leg kick. They both connect with simultaneous jabs, and Allen goes right up top with a kick. Curtis runs after him with a short punch salvo, and when they are blocked, a kick to the body goes unblocked. Allen’s face is marked up after taking some strikes, and when he boots Curtis in the body, he grins and points at him. Curtis kicks his foe in the calf, and Allen checks it so Curtis kicks the same spot two more times. They begin to start talking to one another as they throw hands, and Allen delivers a few more body kicks to the same spot as before. Curtis lands on the chin with a right, and then drops down with one to the torso. When Allen lands a leg kick, Curtis punches him in the face. Allen has a head kick blocked, but he goes right back to it as he tries to wrap the kick around the side of the guard. Allen suddenly drops down for a leglock attempt, and he lines up a heel hook as he puts the foot beneath his armpit. Curtis scrambles his way out of the bad spot and winds up taking half guard to ride the round out on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Allen
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Allen

Round 2

Curtis claims the center of the cage immediately to start the round, only to back off when Allen kicks at him. Allen gathers himself to kick Curtis in the leg, dropping Curtis down to the ground. Allen chips away at the lead leg of his opponent, and Curtis suddenly gets tired of absorbing these kicks and surges forward with a few power punches. Allen continues to batter the body with kicks, and Curtis marches ahead without a care in the world so he can nail Allen with a left hand on the chin and a right to the body. Allen kicks the side, only to get punched in the face for his effort. “All In” goes all-in for a takedown entry, and Curtis sees it coming and stops it. They both connect with clean punches, and Curtis blasts Allen with a left to the body and a huge right hand that has a delayed effect. Allen is hurt badly as he takes a weird step, like a baby deer on an icy pond, and he is barely able to stay on his feet. Curtis smells blood and wants to finish the job, but he settles for pushing a damaged Allen against the fence so he can lay into him with ferocious punches. When Allen bends over to defend himself from punishment, Curtis cracks him in the face with a pair of knees that put Allen down for the count. Smith sprints in to stop the fight, and Curtis has done it, springing the biggest upset of the night by knocking Allen out! “The Action Man” is now 2-0 as a UFC fighter since making his debut less than a month ago, while earning his sixth win of the year and very possibly earning himself a place in the rankings. The Cinderella story of Chris Curtis rages on, who gladly tells the UFC he would love to fight at UFC 269 next week if they need someone.

The Official Result

Chris Curtis def. Brendan Allen R2 1:58 via TKO (Punches and Knees)

Clay Guida (155) vs. Leonardo Santos (156)

Round 1

With over 80 combined years of age in the cage between them, grizzled vet and ex-Strikeforce champ Guida (36-21, 16-15 UFC) turning 40 on Wednesday will encounter Nova Uniao’s Santos (18-4-1, 7-1-1 UFC). This appearance will mark the first time since 2015 that Santos has fought twice in the UFC in one year, while Guida has averaged two fights a year since his UFC debut in 2006. The sign of respect is high between these two venerable lightweights, and but they do not touch gloves before nonsense-averse referee Keith Peterson. Unsurprisingly, Guida bounces around the cage to find his way in to engage, and Santos is trying to measure him and gets off a single heavy leg kick. Guida responds with one far lighter, and he swings and misses with a big right hand. The smaller Guida takes another chopping leg kick, and he sprints ahead to punch only to get countered by the lengthier Brazilian. Santos stabs Guida in the body with a kick that forces him to double over, and Santos attacks with a fury as he lays into Guida with Guida against the fence. Guida tries to swing back, and the body shots from Santos are doing massive damage that force Guida into a desperation takedown attempt. Santos stuffs it with ease and lets Guida back up, so that he can knee Guida in the face and drop him down to the mat. Guida again attempts a takedown, but he is barely staying in the fight as Santos continues to hammer him. Santos continues his unanswered assault of strikes, and Peterson is giving Guida every possible opportunity to survive. Santos’ offense slows, as he appears to have thrown everything he can, and Guida manages to get back up and spring around the cage. Peterson pauses the fight, but only to replace Guida’s mouthpiece. Santos appears to be totally spent from his barrage of blows, and Guida stalks him around the cage while trying to throw right hands. Santos backs away and his output falls to zero, so Guida grabs hold of him and takes him down to a knee. Santos escapes this position, kicks Guida in the body once, and then backs off as Guida rushes at him. Emphatically, “The Carpenter” lifts Santos in the air and slams him down to the mat, where he starts to get off some ground-and-pound. In Santos’ guard, Guida begins to hack at his grounded opponent with elbows, and continues to do so until the horn sounds. What a comeback from Guida, who ends the round in half guard after taking a massive beating and might have swung the scorecards back away from 10-8 territory against him.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Santos
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Santos

Round 2

Round 2 Guida comes out of his corner like a man possessed, charging like a bull and punching his way into a takedown entry. His second attempt, where he takes Santos’ back, is more successful, although Santos stays upright by grabbing the fence with both hands. Peterson slaps the hand away, and Guida takes him down successfully and puts Santos flat on the ground. The punches add up for Guida, who also elects to knee Santos on the shoulder a few times as well to make him move. Guida takes his back, and as soon as he gets his hooks in, he starts fishing for a rear-naked choke. Gripping the neck as tight as he possibly can, Guida sinks in the choke and there is nothing the Brazilian can do. After a few seconds of struggle, Santos taps out, surrendering by submission for the first time in his career. The comeback for Guida is now complete, who shocks the world by tapping out a 4th degree BJJ black belt after surviving a hellacious beating.

The Official Result

Clay Guida def. Leonardo Santos R2 1:21 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Jimmy Crute (205.5) vs. Jamahal Hill (205)

Round 1

In this featured light heavyweight tilt, Crute (12-2, 4-2 UFC) and Hill (8-1, 1 NC; 2-1, 1 NC UFC) would both like to rid the taste of their first knockout losses – albeit both during exceptionally unusual circumstances – by finishing the other. Referee Mark Smith will hope to stay out of it until absolutely necessary, and he takes note of the sign of respect when they touch gloves. The light heavyweights both start off with kicks from a distance. Hill kicks up high, and a huge right hand behind the ear rocks Crute and drops him to the ground. Hill jumps on to finish the job, and Crute is able to survive and get back up to his feet. Crute shakes out the cobwebs, and he lunges out with a big hook. “Sweet Dreams” is faster, connecting with a vicious right hook on the button that completely shuts Crute’s lights out. While Smith darts in to rescue the downed Aussie with his arms wide, Hill gets off a jackhammering right hand for good measure that might give commentator Michael Bisping flashbacks. That’s one way to get back in the win column, obliterating a top-15 foe in less than a minute.

The Official Result

Jamahal Hill def. Jimmy Crute R1 0:48 via KO (Punch)

Rafael Fiziev (155.5) vs. Brad Riddell (155.5)

Round 1

A veritable striker’s delight is on tap for the co-headliner, when 10-1 lightweights looking to claw their way towards top-10 consideration meet. Both Riddell (10-1, 4-0 UFC) and Fiziev (10-1, 4-1 UFC) are riding impressive win streaks, and for one, that stretch will come to an end within the next 15 minutes. Referee Herb Dean has already laced up his running shoes as he is ready for wherever the fight takes place. The two friends touch gloves to seal the cage around them, and away we go with what many call the potential “Fight of the Night.” Riddell leads the dance with a few jabs, more to find his distance than to connect with them. Riddell scores an inside leg kick, and he hops out of the way when a low kick flies back at him. Neither man engages with anything of note for the first minute, and the most emphatic strike to that point is a body kick from the Kiwi. Fiziev just misses with a high kick and a spinning kick that follows, and Riddell acknowledges the strikes that buzz by him. Fiziev gets off a left hand on the temple, and Riddell dances back and kicks out in response. Riddell kicks low and punches high, and Fiziev backs him up to the wall but does not engage like normal. Fiziev sits down on a body kick, and he pulls back on a right hand but does not throw it. Both lightweights start trading furiously, right in front of one another as if a switch was just flipped, and they both crack each other and then slow down to get their bearings. Riddell appears to get the better of the exchange as he comes forward to follow up. While the fighters continue to commit to heavy strikes, the commentary booth drifts off into a discussion about first-person shooter video games, even while fistic violence plays out before them. Riddell lands, Fiziev responds, and Riddell follows up as they show no fear and little interest in defense while they just blast each other one after the next. Fiziev calmly walks forward to back Riddell into the wall, and he boots the liver only for Riddell to kick him back in the same spot. They go tit-for-tat, but Fiziev lands a few more kicks. Riddell ends the round with a sharp combination, and a few punches get around the guard to punctuate the close first frame.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Riddell
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev

Round 2

Gloves get touched to begin the second round, and Riddell strikes first with a leg kick that makes Fiziev turn around. Fiziev catches a kick, and they sling heavy leather. A Fiziev body kick lands cleanly, and Fiziev beats him his man to the punch with a right hand to follow. Riddell blocks a few strikes, but an elbow gets through his guard to cut him open on the corner of his left eye. “Quake” pays it no mind as he throws two punches that land about as flush as they possibly could. Fiziev plants a left hand square on the cheek, and they both throw bombs and clip one another. Riddell jabs his way into throwing a right hand over the top, and Fiziev rolls with it and continues his forward pressure to keep Riddell trapped on the outskirts of the Octagon. Riddell swings with bad intentions, and he ducks back when Fiziev zooms a kick past his head. Fiziev slips a punch and nails Riddell in the face with a right hand, and he follows this up with a leaping knee right on the chin. “Ataman” pushes his foe up to the wall so he can knee him in the midsection, and he lands one more knee on the separation before kicking the body. Riddell darts forward to attack, only for Fiziev to greet him and not budge an inch. Fiziev continues to batter his opponent’s body, and Riddell throws hands that miss the mark. Riddell tries to stutter-step his way in, and he pops Fiziev with a left hook but comes up short on a subsequent right over the top. The round ends before Riddell can reach his man with any additional strikes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev

Round 3

The doctor comes in to check Riddell’s cut, which splits across the outer half of his eyebrow, but it is not gushing blood into his eye so the doctor clears him to continue. When the last round opens, they hug it out as they are having a blast together. Fiziev counters Riddell on the way in, and he throws a leg kick that gets caught. “Quake” times a level change perfectly to put Fiziev down to the mat, but he can only keep him there for a few seconds before Fiziev springs back up. When they both stand up, they trade powerful blows, and the impact of these strikes echoes through the arena. Riddell targets the body and head to set up strikes, and Fiziev has a cut opened up above his own left eye. When Fiziev overcommits to a punch, Riddell attempts to take him down, but this time, Fiziev stops it from succeeding. They trade punches and leg kicks, trading vicious shots and not backing down. When Riddell circles to the right, Fiziev spins a wheel kick that clocks Riddell square on the side of the head. “Quake” is stunned as his eyes go wide, and he falls to the ground while trying to snatch hold of a leg, very possibly out on the way down. Dean is quick to stop the fight, seeing that the lights are on but no one’s home for Riddell. When Riddell comes to, he is still very wobbly and has a hard time standing, after suffering the first knockout loss of his career. Meanwhile, Fiziev puts himself on the map with an ultra-rare, spectacular spinning wheel kick knockout.

The Official Result

Rafael Fiziev def. Brad Riddell R3 2:20 via KO (Spinning Wheel Kick)

Rob Font (134) vs. Jose Aldo (136)

Round 1

At long last, we have reached the main event of the evening. In what could be a possible bantamweight title eliminator match, Boston’s own Font (19-4, 9-3 UFC) will look to earn the biggest win of his career as he stands across the cage from former featherweight kingpin Aldo (30-7, 12-6 UFC). Fists and feet are sure to fly for this five-round fight, should it go that far. If it does, referee Keith Peterson will be there every step of the way to make sure no nonsense is ever allowed, ever. Without a whiff of bad blood between them, the two ranked 135-pounders touch gloves to make this marquee matchup official. Font is quick to engage, lancing the former champ with long left hands. Font charges ahead, tagging Aldo with an uppercut and a one-two, forcing Aldo to ricochet off the cage wall. Aldo doubles up on body kicks, and Font is there to already redden Aldo’s face with right hands. Font goes for kicks on both sides, before charging ahead to suddenly trip Aldo down to the mat and take his back. Aldo climbs back to his feet while Font holds on to his back, and he spins around to pursue a double and elevates Aldo but cannot ground him again. Aldo protests that Font is grabbing something illegally, and Font adjusts his grip and tries to sweep Aldo’s legs out. When this does not succeed, Font is right in Aldo’s face with a long string of punches. The uppercuts of Font have busted his nose up a little, constantly pressuring the former champ and putting hands in his face. Aldo looks to rest, and go for a kick and a right hand over the top. Font switches stances a few times before pushing a few jabs out in front of him. Font whiffs with an uppercut, but in short range, an elbow connects cleanly on the face of the ex-champ. Aldo eats a leg kick as he appears a bit flustered by Font’s aggression, but Aldo shows his power by landing a right hand that surprises Font for a moment. The Boston native comes right back out firing, with a looping right hand and a left that Aldo evades with ease. Aldo sits down on a heavy punch to the liver, and snappy jab stuns Font momentarily. Font shakes it off so that he can chase Aldo around and score a right hand, before putting a combination together that Aldo partially defends. Aldo goes to the body while Font jabs up high, and Font sits down on a right hand that Aldo is able to roll with. Aldo clubs the America with a blistering one-two, wobbling Font’s legs and forcing Font to suddenly retreat. Font falls to the ground, and Aldo leaps on top to try to finish the job. He cannot, as the round ends before the stoppage materializes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Font
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 2

Font appears to have regained his composure to start off the second round, as he sticks out a few jabs and keeps Aldo busy. Font has a kick checked as he comes out firing, and Aldo begins to advance and follow Font with strikes. Aldo puts everything he has into another venomous one-two, and Font is rocked again and he stumbles back to the wall. The Bostonian is able to steel himself, circle away and gets right back in front of Aldo, sticking his hands in his face. The power differential is stark, as Font’s nose is bloodied after the far fewer but much fiercer blows. Font flicks out the jab several more times, and he follows one with a right hand that Aldo breezes past. Aldo chambers his right hand, and ignores a few more punches so that he can target the body. Font ducks out of the way of a high kick, and he paws at his nose although both men have bloody noses at this point. Aldo gets off a body kick right before Font reaches him with a punch, and he intercepts Font with a stiff jab right down the pipe. Aldo backs off and absorbs a few leg kicks without delivering some back as many would expect. Font punches his way into a trip attempt, but Aldo tosses him out of the way and lets Font get back up. Font eats a nasty body shot as the Brazilian is confident and ready to keep throwing. Font lands a few more punches right before the round concludes, and Aldo nods at him.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 3

Between rounds, Aldo’s corner implores him to throw leg kicks. Right after they touch gloves, Aldo obliges his corner by landing two. Font comes forward jabbing, and he scores an uppercut only for his rear leg to get pounded with a kick. They come together and trade, and as soon as they back off, Aldo displays vintage form with another ferocious leg kick. Font stays elusive on the outside with jabs, trying to not take any of the worst shots, and he quickly pursues a takedown that fails him. Aldo bowls his opponent over, and he steps over to claim half guard all while looking to advance to mount. Font scrambles but winds up giving up side control to the Brazilian, who opens up with a short elbow. Font manages to get Aldo back to his full guard while Aldo is looking to pass, and Font sets up an armbar off of his back that Aldo completely shrugs off. Font scrambles his way towards the wall, but Aldo stands up and gets back down into Font’s half guard. Font is able to defend himself from any significant ground strikes, and he manages to drag Aldo back to his guard. Font scoots his way back up and lands a few punches, so Aldo gives him a big shove to back him away. Whether from a few strikes on the feet from Font after getting up or an accumulation of damage in the last few rounds, Aldo’s right eye is swelling up fast. Font continues to target it, and when he lets his hands go, Aldo kicks Font so hard that Font falls to the canvas. Font springs back up to his feet and goes right where he left off with jabs and power punches right after them. Font aims a few to the body, and he kicks at Aldo’s leg only to prompt Aldo to throw back much, much harder. The third round ends and the doctor is already in the cage to take a look at Aldo’s eye.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 4

Aldo’s eye is good to go for the fourth round, although it continues to swell and may soon close. The round begins with Aldo attacking as if he wants to prohibit this from happening, and he blasts Font in the face with a right hand to shake him up badly. Font backs off, only for Aldo to leap in the air and smash him with a flying knee. Aldo continues to beat on Font as they hit the ground, and Aldo easily goes from guard to half guard to side control. All the while, Font’s left eye is damaged as well, and he blinks it out and may be struggling to see out of it. Aldo prefers position over submission or attack, and he manages to work his way to three-quarter mount before Font bucks him back to full guard. Aldo’s top control adds up as Font wriggles but cannot find himself back up, and Aldo sneaks past to get to the side momentarily until Font once more pulls him back into his guard. Font off of his back hacks at Aldo’s forehead with elbows, with effective short strikes while Aldo is unable to land anything of his own from above. Font looks to set up any sort of submission to force a scramble, but the Brazilian stays tightly pressed to his foe and thwarting escapes. The half guard is where Aldo stays, absorbing a few more Font elbows but remaining in this posture for the remainder of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 5

Font’s corner does not mince words between rounds, telling their fighter he needs a finish and giving him a few strategies on how to achieve it. Both men are busted up and tired, but they meet in the middle to start off the last round. Font advances and throws everything he has into several looping punches, with some big uppercuts and a right hand that makes Aldo bounce off the wall. Aldo takes a punch to the body and one to the head as he tries to time a knee, and Font gives one back up high. Aldo walks his foe down, and Font lays into him with a right hand but Aldo barely flinches. Font comes up with an elbow, and he manages to push the former champ into the wall. Font keeps him pressed tightly, backing off every so often to land a punch, and then changing levels to the threaten with a takedown. When nothing comes of this, Font wings an elbow before they break, and it pounds into Aldo’s face but has no appreciable effect. Font again ties Aldo up, allowing him to catch his breath before loosing another flurry of strikes. Font keeps Aldo pinned to the wire, and he goes after an elbow behind the ear that does not register for Aldo. Font breaks free and tags him with an uppercut, but the former champ winds up with a right hand that staggers and rocks Font again. Font wobbles but stays upright, until Aldo lays into him with body shots and tackles Font to the mat. Font scrambles, and in the process, he gives up his mount and rolls to his stomach to surrender his back. Aldo threatens with an arm-triangle choke before Font turns back over, and he is stuck on his side while Aldo has him mounted. Aldo flattens Font out and forces Font to turn, which allows Aldo to take his back and get the hooks in. The ex-champ grips his forearm around the chin with a sudden rear-naked choke, and Font grits it out and turns his head to stop the choke from snaring him. Font tries with all his might to sweep his opponent, but Aldo remains on top until the final bell, likely securing him the victory after a thrilling hard-fought battle. The former featherweight kingpin now has his sights set on the bantamweight throne again, and he has now amassed an impressive three-fight win streak over a trio of top-tier names. In his post-fight interview, he tells people this is the “New Aldo,” and that if he cannot fight for the belt, he wants T.J. Dillashaw. If that happens, we will be here for it, and we hope you are too. As Aldo leaves the cage, he finds former WEC head Reed Harris and the two embrace. With a Jose Aldo victory announced by Joe Martinez, it feels like WEC earned one more win tonight. WEC never die. Meanwhile, get ready for next week, because UFC 269 is right around the corner, and it promises to be wild just like tonight was.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo (49-46 Aldo)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo (50-45 Aldo)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Aldo (50-45 Aldo)

The Official Result

Jose Aldo def. Rob Font via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
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