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UFC on ESPN 58 ‘Perez vs. Taira’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live UFC on ESPN 58 coverage will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

Josefine Lindgren Knutsson (114.5) vs. Julia Polastri (116)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Knutsson (-225), Polastri (+185)

Round 1

It has been a wild week leading up to UFC on ESPN 58, and this along with the next two UFC events have taken serious hits. With 11 bouts left for this show at this, the 100th card held at the UFC Apex, it will serve as an appetizer for the high drama to come within the next 14 days. The action kicks off in the women’s strawweight division, as Knutsson (7-0, 1-0 UFC) looks to remain in the ranks of the unbeaten at the expense of debuting Brazilian Polastri (12-3, 0-0 UFC). Both women earned their places on the roster during the 2023 season of Dana White’s Contender Series, and win streaks of seven and four are on the line. Referee Chris Tognoni will draw the charge for the first fight of the night, and there is no glove touch to get things started. Knutsson paws out a front kick to find her early range, and Polastri responds with one up high and narrowly misses. Knutsson takes a right hand on the nose, frowns and throws a long string of punches and kicks together. Polastri smiles and looks for a counter, but Knutsson pushes her back to the wall and knees her a few times. Polastri pushes her away with a front kick and a devilish grin creeps across her face. Any time Knutsson throws something at her, Polastri just enjoys it and takes it, but is not landing much of her own in response. Knutsson beats her to the proverbial punch with low kicks and a right hand over the top, and her knee finds the nose effectively. Knutsson pushes out a front kick, and she follows it with a head kick that slips around the guard. Knutsson stays busy with a jumping stomp kick, and she rings “Psycho” up with four punches after walking through a jab. Knutsson just misses with an overhand right, and she chases the Brazilian around the cage and lays into her with punches and jump knees. Knutsson smacks Polastri in the face with a front kick, and the expression on the Brazilian has changed. Knutsson lines up a knee up the middle, a left hand and a push kick to get Polastri away and out of counter range. Knutsson use her front kick as a jab, and she gets off another one to the nose before lunging in with two hooks. Knutsson prods with a push kick, and when Polastri looks for something on her own end, Knutsson digs another to the body. Polastri tries to push in and strike, and Knutsson tags her with punches and a few knees. Polastri scores her own punches, and she hits a quick trip and dumps Knutsson on the floor. Polastri jumps into full mount and immediately begins bombarding Knutsson with ground-and-pound. Knutsson defends herself well enough, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

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Round 2

Knutsson scores first to begin the second round, using her longer legs to attack targets high and low. Polastri begins to start smiling again as strikes continue to find her unblocked, and she throws one back to Knutsson’s handful. Knutsson splits the guard with a one-two and shoves Polastri away with a solid front kick, and Polastri rolls her eyes as she rebounds off the fence. Knutsson jabs away with her legs, continuing to fluster the Brazilian, and she makes Polastri spin around as Polastri blocks a high kick. Knutsson steps in with a front kick to the belly, and she keeps moving forward and lands one with her other foot. While Knutsson pecks and pokes with irritating kicks, Polastri surges forward and completes a takedown to dump Knutsson on her back. Polastri jams down elbows, and a precarious cut opens on the Swede’s right eyelid. Knutsson closes her guard to try to slow down offense raining down on her, and she kicks off briefly to get some space but finds Polastri still smothering her. As Polastri sits back, Knutsson blasts her with a number of illegal upkicks, and Tognoni calls time and allows Polastri to recover from the three illegal blows. Polastri says that she is fine, and Tognoni warns Knutsson and also brings in the doctor to check out Knutsson’s eye. The physician clears her to continue and Tognoni issues a hard warning, and Tognoni resets them in the position they left off before the upkicks. Knutsson almost lands another illegal upkick as soon as they start up again, and Polastri is lucky to avoid it and hops over to the side. Knutsson sees Polastri crawl over her, and she sets up an inverted triangle that is not choking the Brazilian. Polastri signals a thumbs-up, and she gets warned for kneeing the spine when she tries to break out of it. The round concludes in this position.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two women start trading almost immediately, with Polastri looking to get her own hands going while Knutsson is content to chip away from a safe distance. Knutsson puts two punches together and slips back before the leg kick counter can reach her. Polastri keeps her guard up, and Knutsson strings six punches together including a few that get through. Knutsson steps in with an elbow, and Polastri parries it and gets drawn into a brief brawl. The Swede lands the fiercer of the strikes in the exchanges, but she is the one who backpedals to reset. Polastri strides after her, digging a punch and a right hand in response. Polastri works the body with a few kicks, and she wings power strikes to keep Knutsson honest. Knutsson reaches a right hand over the top, and Polastri pushes her back with her own front kick. Knutsson connects with a couple more powerful punches, and she starts feeling herself and even lashes out with an axe kick. In the midst of a Knutsson punch salvo, Polastri rushes at her and changes levels to get the takedown. The strawweights scramble, and Polastri rolls her over to wind up on top. Polastri opens up with strikes as she meanders to half guard, and she leans herself down to clamp down with an arm-triangle choke. Polastri steps over to the side and into mount, and she squeezes with the position even tighter than before. Due to sheer force of will, Knutsson flips Polastri over and yanks her head out of the submission danger. Polastri hangs on to the arms to protect herself rom some final blows, and she explodes back to her feet and eats a knee. The two trade a few more punches, and the close bout comes to an end.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Knutsson (29-28 Knutsson)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Knutsson (29-28 Knutsson)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Knutsson (29-28 Knutsson)

The Official Result

Josefine Lindgren Knutsson def. Julia Polastri via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Melquizael Costa (145) vs. Nuerdanbieke Shayilan (145.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Costa (-170), Shayilan (+142)

Round 1

The prelims continue with a featherweight contest featuring two men with plenty of experience despite their young ages. At 27, Costa (20-7, 1-2 UFC) is attempting to even his UFC record to .500, while the 30-year-old Shayilan (39-11, 3-2 UFC) aims to make his 51st pro outing a successful one. The third man in the Octagon will be referee Mike Beltran, and the fight kicks off with no plan of a glove touch. Costa jabs his way forward and tosses out a low kick, and Shayilan hops out of the way. Costa kicks low a second time, and Shayilan counters him with a long right hand. Costa lazily reaches out with a right hand, and Shayilan ducks it and hits an easy double-leg takedown to put the vibrantly haired featherweight on his back. Costa turns to his side and looks for a kimura sweep, and he cranks on the submission from his back. “Wolverine” is calm, cool and collected, and he shrugs off the two-on-one wrist lock to keep his arm in good position. Before he burns his arms out, Costa lets go, and he explodes back to his knees and to his feet. Shayilan hits a quick mat return and loops as hook in to take Costa’s back standing. Costa leans himself against the cage wall, so Shayilan snags the body lock and hurls Costa to the floor. Costa climbs back up, and Shayilan uses sheer muscle to toss Costa down once more. Costa turns quickly to swirl around and take the Chinese fighter’s back, and Shayilan counters with a kneebar out of nowhere. Costa defends the leglock by pulling on Shayilan’s knee to try to free his limb, and he stands up and punches down to force the submission apart. Shayilan sits up and attacks a double, and he presses Costa against the cage when he cannot ground him. Using a trip, Shayilan chucks Costa to the mat, and Costa rolls through and even threatens briefly with his own leglock before Shayilan turns through it. Shayilan climbs on top, and Costa responds with short elbows. As Costa is warned for striking the back of the head, the round comes to a close.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Costa moves right to the center of the cage to start the round, and he walks down Shayilan and pushes out a front kick that is just short of the intended target. Shayilan pursues a level change while Costa kicks at him, and he succeeds in dumping the Brazilian to the floor. Shayilan steps into the guard and thumps his man with an elbow, and Costa replies with a few off his back before rolling to try to get hold of an armlock using his legs. Costa bursts out of the position flat on his back to turn to the side, and he grabs hold of an ankle and trips Shayilan up to put him on his seat. Costa drags Shayilan away from the cage, and Shayilan times this explosion to flip around and get on Costa’s back. Costa stands up and turns to shed the Chinese fighter from his back, and they settle for a clinch. Shayilan shoots deep for a single, and Costa turns the corner to stuff it and somehow get hold of Shayilan. Costa ends up dragging Shayilan down from behind, and he wriggle his left arm around the chin for a moment. Shayilan defends the submission and turns all the way through to reestablish top position. Costa considers a triangle choke setup, but Shayilan tosses it aside. Costa uses this moment to power back to his feet, and Shayilan remains stuck on him like fly paper. Costa works the body with a few knees, and he is forced to stop a sudden level change. Shayilan fails on a second takedown try, and he takes a high kick upside the head that draws an immediate lump by the side of his eye. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The last round kicks off with Costa throwing single kicks one after the other. Shayilan parries them and circles away from the power, and he ducks a head kick that zips past him. Costa scores a body kick and eats a two-punch combo for his effort, and attacks the body a second time. Shayilan drops all the way down to the ankle to try to trip Costa up, but Costa turns him over and bowls the Chinese fighter to the floor. Shayilan explodes back to his knees, and Costa hangs on from behind before dragging Shayilan down and getting both hooks in. “Melk” uses a fierce rear-naked choke grip, squeezing it on top of the chin, but it is extremely tight and quite dangerous. Shayilan’s eyes go wide, as he is surprised at just how powerful the face crank is from the Brazilian. Using palm-to-palm grip, he crushes the submission with every remaining bit of his energy. Rather than grit it out, Shayilan decides to tap with his fist a few times. This is a huge win for Costa, who now celebrates a perfectly even distribution of victory: seven knockouts, seven submissions and seven decisions. This also marks the seventh time that Shayilan has been submitted.

The Official Result

Melquizael Costa def. Nuerdanbieke Shayilan R3 1:50 via Submission (Face Crank)

Jeka Saragih (145) vs. Westin Wilson (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Saragih (-345), Wilson (+275)

Round 1

A pair of finishers take center stage, with two 145s that combine for one decision victory across their 30 pro triumphs. Of the two, Saragih (14-3, 1-1 UFC) is the one that has heard the final bell to earn a win, albeit once back in 2022. His opponent Wilson (16-9, 0-2 UFC) has seen his last 13 appearances end in the first round, win or lose. This blink-and-you-miss-it matchup will be overseen by referee Mark Smith, who is on his toes ready to step in at a moment’s notice. Before they try to bludgeon one another, Wilson offers a glove touch. Saragih partially accepts it and cocks back to fire an overhand right, catching Wilson off-balance right out of the gate. Saragih rushes forward to grapple his foe, and he ends up tripping him to the floor. Wilson climbs back up and absorbs a fierce leg kick that spins him around. Wilson settles himself and lifts Saragih up to slam him on the ground, and he jumps guard in pursuit of a guillotine choke. Saragih does not appear concerned even as he is turned to the side, and he calmly pops his head out and resides on top. Wilson transitions to an armbar, and he gets lifted in the air and slammed down on his back. Wilson hangs on tight with the armbar while having the triangle grip locked down, and he rolls Saragih to his side. Westin sits up while cranking on the limb, and Saragih has no choice but to tap out before he is simultaneously put to sleep and has a bone snap. Wilson immediately lets go when Smith steps in, and he walks off to celebrate his first UFC win with his corner. Wilson retains his 100% finish rate, and he will forever remain in the record books as a fighter who won in the UFC. When commentator Michael Bisping begins the post-fight interview, Wilson tries to jump into his arms and clatters on the floor while laughing, in reference to Vanessa Demopoulos' winning celebration.

The Official Result

Westin Wilson def. Jeka Saragih R1 1:49 via Submission (Triangle Armbar)

Carli Judice (126) vs. Gabriella Fernandes (125.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Fernandes (-205), Judice (+170)

Round 1

A must-win contest at 125 pounds plays out as the prelims press on, with the debuting Judice (3-1, 0-0 UFC) one of a growing number of fighters getting signed off of losses on the Contender Series. The Louisiana native will try to justify her signing, and so will Fernandes (8-3, 0-2 UFC), who might be on the verge of a pink slip should she suffer her third defeat in a row. Referee Chris Tognoni takes charge of this next match. The women come together and tap their hands together, and Judice starts first with a side kick and a jab. Fernandes steps through them both to plant a left hand on the chin, and Judice wears it well and flicks her jab out a few more times. Fernandes digs body shots into punches up top, and she leans back when the American aims strikes at her. Judice gets in a body kick, and the punches from the Brazilian have reddened her nose up in one minute flat. Judice keeps fighting behind her jab, with short punches and a kick to follow. Fernandes lines her up with two punches and a body kick, and Judice nods at her. When Judice paws out a kick to the ribs, Fernandes grabs her leg and hams her to the wall. Fernandes lets the limb go so she can smack Judice with punches, and she chases Judice around the cage landing punches. Fernandes comes up short on two power punches, and Judice backs away and slams a kick to her midsection. Judice goes to the same spot with her right hand, and she lets Fernandes spin past her so she can stick her with jabs. Judice goes to the body again, and she peppers the lead leg with kicks. Fernandes loads up on power punches, and she keeps her guard up to block a spinning kick. They go back-and-forth at one another with one-twos, and Fernandes ducks down to mix things up with a takedown shot. Judice stands her up and knees her clean on the chin, and Fernandes continues pressing towards her and absorbs another knee. Fernandes kicks the body and parries a string of punches, but Judice gets through with a few. Judice spins with a back kick that plans on the side, and she smacks Judice with a pair of punches. As Judice reels, Fernandes catcher her again. Judice stands her up with two knees and long punches, and she reaches Fernandes backing up with long reaching punches. Judice hops away from a one-two and gives it right back, and she lines up a right left hand down the pipe. Fernandes gets her body kicked as she meanders forward, and her power strikes have an impact at backing Judice up. Judice works the body before she is grappled against the fence, and Fernandes leans on her heavily in the clinch while looking for a trip. A few more punches from the Brazilian find their home until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

They enjoy a glove touch to begin the second round, and Fernandes strikes first with a leg kick that spins the Louisiana native around. When Judice gets her footing, Fernandes charges after her, slugging her in the face with a long series of punches. Judice has her head batted around, and she wobbles a few times, but she otherwise stays on her feet when bouncing off the cage. Fernandes surges towards her, swinging with bad intentions, and Judice is stung a few times again. Judice escapes from a near tie-up and gets to the center of the cage to plant a left to the liver. Fernandes throws a body shot back, and she pushes off with her right hand as a finger scrapes the eyeball. Fernandes apologizes as Tognoni calls time, and Judice takes 30 seconds to clear her eye out. Fernandes makes sure there is no bad blood, and she then starts off swinging for the bleachers. Judice takes them all on the chin and ducks down for a double. Fernandes leans against the fence, and she gets dragged off her feet. Fernandes climbs back to her knees and upright again, and Judice trips her up for a mat return but is unable to ground her again. Fernandes knees her foe in the belly, and Judice drills her with three elbows to break off. Judice goes to the body, and Fernandes walks through everything while loading up on single strikes. Judice puts a one-two on the chin and follows with a leg kick, and Fernandes is right in front of her throwing slower strikes that are easier to dodge than before. Fernandes ends up glommed onto her opponent, and she considers a level change and slithers her leg between Judice’s. Fernandes does not get the takedown on the first try, but the second effort grounds Judice for just a second. Judice bounces off her knee to get up, and Fernandes clings to her from behind. Fernandes leans on her and looks for a trip or two, and she sells out for a body lock takedown try but ends up falling to her own knees in the process. Fernandes lands two short shots from up close, and Judice counters her and pushes her back. Judice hits a takedown with seconds to spare, and she connects with one heavy right hand before the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Glove are touched to start the final frame, and Fernandes is energized and forces out a few punches and a high kick. Judice comes back at her with a body kick, and the Brazilian grabs out of the air and pushes Judice back. Judice wriggles her leg out, and she walks down Fernandes and rips shots to the body while chaining strikes up top after them. Judice jabs her way back, and Fernandes gives chase and kicks her before mashing her against the fencing. Fernandes sells out for a takedown so much that she hits the ground on her backside, and she trips Judice up but cannot engage in a successful ground entry. She pops back up, and Judice retreats to kickboxing range, where she spins with a back kick to the ribs. Judice measures her foe with a head kick after stick out jabs, and she digs a left to the liver as well. Judice has a body kick land, slowing “Gabi” for a moment. Judice pops her with shots from her preferred range, putting volume on the slowing Fernandes and touching her rather than winding up on anything. Judice clips Fernandes with a left and a right, and she stands still and ends up eating several more punches in the process. Fernandes kicks the front leg, and Judice walks through it and swings a right hand at her. Fernandes goes to the body, and Judice responds with an overhand right. Judice goes body-head, and her head kick slaps Fernandes right in the face. Fernandes swings hard with a right hand, and Judice shakes it off and keeps the jab in her face. Fernandes scores another low kick, and she has several punches miss the mark as Judice uses head movement to dodge them. Judice sits down on one solid right hand, and Fernandes smiles and comes back at her with a vengeance. Fernandes backs Judice up to the fence and loads up, hitting the Louisiana-based fighter with fists to the head and body. Judice peppers her with effective jabs and body kicks, and she shoots in for a double that pushes the Brazilian to the wall. Fernandes spins her around after stopping the attempt, and they dirty box wildly until the final horn concludes the back-and-forth striking affair.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Judice (29-28 Fernandes)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Judice (29-28 Judice)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Judice (29-28 Fernandes)

The Official Result

Gabriella Fernandes def. Carli Judice via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jimmy Flick (126) vs. Nathan Maness (125.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Maness (-455), Flick (+350)

Round 1

The shortened prelims wrap up with a flyweight fight between two men with significantly different approaches. The formerly retired Flick (17-7, 2-2 UFC) is typically a submission-or-bust attacker, to the point that most of his losses are by knockout. Maness (15-3, 4-2 UFC) likes to stand and bang, and he has only succumbed to one submission to date. The Octagon Ranger for this fun stylistic clash will be referee Mike Beltran, who clocks the fighters in as they bump fists. Maness introduces himself with a pair of jabs, and Flick flicks out a low kick in response. Maness finds the target with another few jabs, and he dances out of the way of a kick. Maness checks a kick, and Flick recoils it quickly. Maness uses his jab to turn Flick’s nose red, and his high guard blocks a head kick reply. Maness stabs out of his jab, and once more he protects himself from a high kick. Flick kicks his foe’s front leg, and he slams his shin on Maness’ abdomen. Flick shoots for a single-leg takedown, and Maness hops to one side and defends with a power guillotine choke. Maness turns him around with the submission and does not jump guard to complete it, instead working on Flick with short shots on the inside. Flick bursts out of the grip to reset, and he scores two low kicks on the outside. Flick splits the guard with a front kick, and Maness pays it no mind as he walks Flick down and slugs him in the chops with three punches. Maness digs a left under the guard of his foe, and Flick fires two body kicks off. When Maness counters, Flick smiles at him, and Maness punches the smile with a quick jab. Flick comes up just short of the finish line with a haymaker of a right hand, and Maness chews him up with jabs and the occasional low kick. Maness parries a body kick, absorbs a leg kick and fights off a diving takedown try from “The Brick.” Flick isolates one leg and succeeds in depositing Maness on the floor, and Maness hangs on with a guillotine choke off his back. This is a trap set by Flick, who springs his Von Preux choke as he lowers his shoulder down to put Maness in jeopardy. Before the lights go out, time expires in the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The flyweights tap hands to get going again, and Maness walks his man down and looks for a mean overhand right. Maness fights behind his jab again, disrupting Flick from getting any serious offense going on his own front. Maness jabs and dodges a front kick, and he sends a right hand down the pipe to draw a bit of blood around Flick’s nose. Flick tosses out a body kick and then one to the calf, and Maness backs him up with a straight right hand. Maness doubles up on a jab and loops a left around the guard, and he blasts the liver with a stern kick. Maness has three punches ricochet off the raised guard of his foe, and he blocks a body kick coming his direction. Maness plants a left on the ribs, and he prods out his jab much to the distaste of “The Brick.” Maness scores a solid calf kick, and he prepares a counter uppercut as he expects Flick will change levels. Flick does just that, and into the waiting sprawl from “Mayhem.” Maness sets up a brabo choke to counter, and Flick scrambles his way out of the choke and looks for a body lock takedown. Maness drives a knee to the chin of his opponent who is ducked over, and he thwarts a single-leg takedown transition by hopping around on the other foot. Maness makes him pay with several short unanswered punches on the inside, and Flick tries to stop him from doing this by kneeing him in response. Flick jumps guard for a guillotine choke, and he closes the guard and squeezes the submission tight. Maness sits up and wrenches his neck out of the Danger Zone, and he stacks Flick up to stop any additional submission setups from coming together. Maness gets off a few short strikes including a pair of elbows, and he swims through a potential armbar to conclude the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The flyweights reach the final stanza, and they open it up with a bump of fists. Maness leans back to watch a head kick buzz past his hair, and he slams a shin into the ribcage of his foe. Two leg kicks from “Mayhem” land with audible thuds, and he skirts away from one coming his direction. Maness does not slow down throwing jabs, and he has a lead-leg head kick surprise Flick but not get around his guard. Flick steps in with an overhand right, and Maness ducks away from it to shove Flick to the fencing. Flick breaks away and steps in throwing hands, but his kick is the only strike that lands in the exchange. Maness jabs him up, and Flick smiles and gets clipped with an uppercut. They both decide to abandon their defense, and they trade hands in the pocket wildly. Flick gets the worst of the situation and shoots for a takedown, where he ends up shoving Maness towards the wall but is unable to hold him there. Maness backs off and jabs, and he times an uppercut only to get caught with an overhand right. Flick follows the right hand with a single, and Maness sprawls and hops to the side to stop the takedown. Maness holds on while keeping Flick stuck, and he ignores a knee to strike Flick with his left fist repeatedly. Flick ducks down, and Maness cracks him with a knee that stands up right back up. Maness tries to take the back of his opponent, and Flick flips him over and stands to wing an elbow. Maness no-sells it and turns his man about, and his strikes drawn additional blood. Flick goes after one final desperation takedown, and Maness stands up out of it and lowers himself down into the guard. The fight ends, and Flick grimaces due to the blood flowing into his eyes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Maness (30-27 Maness)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Maness (30-27 Maness)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Maness (30-27 Maness)

The Official Result

Nathan Maness def. Jimmy Flick via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Tagir Ulanbekov (129.5: Missed Weight) vs. Joshua Van (125.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Ulanbekov (-230), Van (+190)

Saturday's bout was canceled on Friday after Ulanbekov missed weight by 3.5 pounds.

Josh Quinlan (169.5) vs. Adam Fugitt (170)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Quinlan (-120), Fugitt (+100)

Round 1

It’s knock out or get knocked out in this main card opener, with Quinlan (6-2, 1 NC; 1-2 UFC) and Fugitt (9-4, 1-2 UFC) combining for nine knockout wins and three strike-stoppage losses in their young careers. When the cage door closes, it will be up to referee Mark Smith to keep things clean and on the up-and-up. The welterweights, both in need of a win, meet in the middle without a glove touch in sight. Fugitt lands a body kick, and Quinlan responds with a low kick that trips him up. Fugitt climbs back to his feet and throws a few more peppering kicks, and Quinlan keeps himself composed and kicks back. Quinlan charges in with a Superman punch, and he scores two punches behind it before backing off to reset. Quinlan is backed off with a low kick, and he comes up short on another Superman punch. Fugitt chops at his foe’s lead leg with kicks, and he kicks with both legs and keeps a safe distance from Quinlan’s punches. Quinlan bears down on him, but he has to block high and eats a flush body kick. Fugitt kicks the same spot a second time, and he jumps forward with a switch kick that glances off the chest. Quinlan settles down with a low kick, and they aim heavy kicks at one another. Quinlan digs a few punches to the body before escaping, and he has a right hand come over the top to surprise Fugitt. Quinlan hammers the knee with a kick, and he aims one lower on the calf as Fugitt sweeps his leg away. Quinlan guards a head kick try, but the two low from Fugitt connect well. Quinlan darts in with a series of punches, and they largely whiff as Fugitt times him advancing. Quinlan lunges with a head kick and a Superman punch, and Fugitt smacks him with a head kick back. Quinlan misses the mark with a leaping punch, and he sits down with a right hand that sneaks through the guard. Quinlan connects with a calf kick, and the two welterweights trade punches and kicks to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The round picks up just where it left off, with both men trading kicks one after the other. They take turns with their offense, and they largely sling single strikes. Fugitt lands one body kick, then another, and his third is countered with a right hand. Fugitt sneaks a question-mark kick up around the guard to slap “Bushido” in the face, and when Quinlan bears down on him, Fugitt ties him up for a moment. Quinlan pushes away and get back to kickfighting, and he mixes things up with the occasional telegraphed Superman punch that cannot find its home. Fugitt catches him when Quinlan resets, and he plants a right hand on the side of the head. Both men land right hands, and cuts open on each of the corners of their right eyes. Quinlan starts kiaiing when throwing kicks, and Fugitt backs him off with a stern body kick. Fugitt claims another body kick, and then kicks Quinlan’s back when Quinlan turns. Quinlan sprints forward and misses, and he leans back as a head kick flies past him. Fugitt plants as kick to the chest, leaning back to watch a left hand soar past him. Quinlan continues to load up on his left, and Fugitt shoots from a distance and is sprawled on to stop it. Quinlan snaps the head back with a jab, and he is away from another head kick. Fugitt uses front kicks to push his man back, and he doubles up on it while Quinlan kicks his lead leg. They both connect with short right hooks at the same time, and Fugitt is able to keep Quinlan at bay with another front kick as Quinlan leaps at him. Fugitt has a head kick bounce off the raised guard, and he tries a kick on the other side and is caught with a short right hand. The second round ends, just as close as the one before it.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The fists are bumped to start the last round, and Fugitt gets off first with a front kick and a body kick. Quinlan counters the second with a right hook, and he walks into a right hand in response. Quinlan darts in and out to attack, and Fugitt sees those tries coming and tosses a slowing head kick at him a few times. Quinlan blocks or dodges them all, and he is away from a double jab and a front kick as well. Fugitt reaches him with a jumping front kick, and he lands to reach with a piston-like jab. Fugitt digs a few body kicks, and Quinlan grits his teeth and throws one back to the same spot on his opponent. Fugitt catches a kick and drives his left in the solar plexus, and his mouthpiece falls out. Smith has him pick it up, and he gets just enough time to catch his wind and spam a few more kicks. Fugitt catches a strafing Quinlan with a solid right hand, forcing Quinlan to take a quick count of his teeth. Fugitt smashes the body with a kick that lands with a thump and not a slap, and he ducks as two swarming punches soar over him. Fugitt jabs and breaks to not get caught by the counter, and he kicks Quinlan in the hand and spins with an elbow that is an inch short. Fugitt goes shin to chin with one effective leg, and he rushes after Quinlan, throwing kicks all the while. Fugitt smacks his foe with a kick, and Quinlan loads up with one final power strike that connects flush before razor-close contest ends. This one could go either way.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fugitt (29-28 Fugitt)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Fugitt (29-28 Fugitt)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Fugitt (29-28 Fugitt)

The Official Result

Adam Fugitt def. Josh Quinlan via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Asu Almabaev (125.5) vs. Jose Johnson (126)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Almabaev (-470), Johnson (+360)

Round 1

There will be a fairly radical size discrepancy in this next flyweight tilt. At 5-foot-4, the not-undersized Almabaev (19-2, 2-0 UFC) aims to keep his mighty 15-fight win streak intact. As for his opponent, “No Way Jose” Johnson (16-8, 1-1 UFC) heard the critics saying “No Way” to his cut down to 125 pounds. At an even six feet, Johnson will become the tallest fighter in UFC flyweight history when he steps in the cage. Referee Herb Dean checks the two in as they bump fists, and they both try to find their range early. After about 20 seconds, Almabaev aims a leg kick, and when he is a few inches short, Johnson stands back and watches it zoom by as he showboats. Johnson uses his distance to jab with the ball of his foot and his fists, and he plants a heavy low kick on the lead wheel. When Johnson strikes with another kick, Almabaev decides he is sick of playing on the outside and grabs the kick out of mid-air and slings Johnson down to the mat with gravitas. Almabaev moves into the guard of his opponent, and Johnson is busy off his back slugging away with anything he can find. Johnson tries to kick off the hips in search of a sweep or escape, and when that fails, he lifts his legs up high for a possible triangle choke. Almabaev shrugs it off and stays as tight as he can on the six-footer, landing short shots to the body and the occasional right hand to the head. Johnson hacks with elbows off his back before hitting a sweep that allows him to stand back up. Almabaev clings to him from behind before dragging the taller man down, and when Johnson stands once more, Almabaev leaps to take his back. Almabaev gets one hook in and isolates the neck, and he slithers his right arm under the chin. Johnson hand-fights to break up the submission, and he claws Almabaev off of him. Almabaev drags him down to the floor for a second, and he hits a quick mat return and then one more. Johnson pops up every time he is grounded from this position, and Almabaev looks for a trip or some knees to the thigh to stay busy. Almabaev pulls Johnson down from behind, and Johnson spins around and works his way up. The positional exchange in the clinch is where the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

There is no glove touch to start the round, as Almabaev instead wants to measure a perfect wheel kick that smashes into the side of the American’s head. Johnson takes it like a champ and does not so much as wobble, although he takes time to reset. This allows Almabaev to spin for a kick to the ribs, and he plants his feet and shoots for a double. Johnson bowls him over and lands in full mount, but Almabaev keeps moving and turns the taller man over. Johnson locks his legs around the head of his opponent with a triangle choke, but his left leg is beneath the armpit so Almabaev is not overly concerned. Johnson tries to move the submission around and regather his leg grip, and the Kazakh fighter stacks Johnson up until he breaks out of it. Johnson is a little lax when they split, allowing Almabaev to circle around, get both hooks in and start hunting for a rear-naked choke. Almabaev moves over to full mount rather than going for the choke, and this lets Johnson recover his butterfly hooks to push Almabaev back a smidge. Almabaev sits up and elbows him in the chops a few times, and Johnson closes his guard but is still getting worked. Almabaev keeps control from above, stifling the lanky striker and getting off ground-and-pound. Almabaev steps over to half guard while raining down right hands, and he disallows Johnson from any escape attempt. Johnson turns over to give his back up, and Almabaev welcomes this and takes it while getting a hook in from behind. Almabaev softens his man up with strikes until he latches on with a rear-naked choke, and the grip is not right so he lets it go. A few more punches get around the guard before the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Gloves get touched to begin the last round, and Almabaev introduces himself with a thudding leg kick and a spinning kick to the ribs. As he plants his feet after the second, Almabaev races forward and tackles Johnson to the floor. Johnson wall-walks to get upright, but Almabaev has his grip around the waist and ragdolls the taller man around the cage wall. Johnson remains on his feet, and he rides out the takedown try of the man from Kazakhstan to wind up in the top position. Almabaev scrambles and inadvertently gives his back up, and Johnson sneaks one hook in. Almabaev is warned for grabbing the inside of the gloves to turn himself about, and Johnson clings to him with a body triangle and keep the back. Almabaev keeps turning until he manages to get enough space in the body lock to spin and move into the guard. Johnson spams short, meaningless punches to the ear, and he slides his leg up for a high guard setup. Almabaev tosses the limb to the side and smacks him in the face with his right hand twice before jamming an elbow into Johnson’s mug. Almabaev steps over to half guard and thinks about setting up an arm-triangle choke, and he sits up to whack Johnson with wide-arcing hammerfists. Johnson appears irritated but in no danger, and Almabaev traps his right arm beneath his body. Almabaev releases it so he can line up a heavy right hand, and he shifts over to half guard on the other side. Johnson turns to get away, and Almabaev secures his back and locks down a body triangle. Almabaev sneaks in a few right hands around the guard to give Johnson something to think about, and he slides one arm around the chin and does not secure it on the other side. Johnson turns to try to break up the choke again, and Almabaev squeezes with every bit of his remaining energy on what looks to be a face crank. The forearm again slips beneath the jaw, and it is tight. Almabaev eats a surprisingly fierce elbow from Johnson, and he continues to crush with his submission arm. The choke does not succeed, and Johnson reaches the final bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Almabaev (30-27 Almabaev)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Almabaev (30-27 Almabaev)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Almabaev (30-27 Almabaev)

The Official Result

Asu Almabaev def. Jose Johnson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Brady Hiestand (135) vs. Garrett Armfield (135.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Armfield (-185), Hiestand (+154)

Round 1

In an era where frequent fliers tend to get preferential treatment, Hiestand (7-2, 2-1 UFC) has done himself zero favors by averaging just one fight a year dating back to 2020. This match against Armfield (10-3, 2-1 UFC) will be his first of 2024, and it remains to be seen if he takes another before the calendar flips. Referee Chris Tognoni will take charge of the cage ahead of the bantamweight clash, one that opens up with Hiestand offering a glove but Armfield shutting him down. Hiestand comes out aggressively, keeping an extremely low stands in the first two engagements. The third results in a takedown try, and Armfield shuts it down and forces him to keep swinging. Hiestand fakes with low level changes, and Armfield smacks him upside the head with a big right hand. Hiestand continues surging forth for the takedown, and Armfield stifles it and turns to the right angle to set up an armbar. Hiestand calmly steps over to the side to break up the limb lock, and counters with a guillotine choke. Hiestand rolls his man over, but the choke loses its potency as Armfield gets enough space on his neck to keep the blood and air flowing. Armfield scrambles wildly and pulls himself to top position, and Hiestand gets away with a blatant fence grab to pull himself to a more advantageous position. Tognoni admonishes him with a warning, but it is just a warning. Hiestand manages to turn himself around, and he puts Armfield on his back. Armfield wall-walks to get up, and Hiestand slams him back down. Armfield once more returns to his knees, and he powers his way to his feet. Hiestand hangs on from behind, leaning on Armfield until he decides he wants to approach from a different angle. Hiestand splits off, and he comes out firing with a step-in knee, a right hand and a low kick. Armfield counters with a right, and he still gets wrested down to the mat when Hiestand tries to take him down. Hiestand climbs on to take his foe’s back, and he isolates the rear-naked choke in a hurry. The submission is deep and under the chin, but Armfield somehow survives that and the second face crank effort to sit up. Hiestand bops him on the sides of the head until the round comes to a close.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Hiestand starts off the round with several level changes, and he gets Armfield to bite on a few so he can catch him with an overhand right. Armfield responds with his own right hand, and he plays the matador to Hiestand’s bull by clipping him with a short right hand. Hiestand climbs back upright without issue, and Armfield walks him down and slugs him in the face with another blazing fast right hand. Hiestand goes down again, and Armfield looks to finish the job with some ground-and-pound. When Hiestand gathers himself, he throws a high guard up for a potential triangle choke, and Armfield shucks the legs aside and delivers a number of standing-to-ground punches on the target one after the other. Armfield works his way into full mount, but Hiestand scrambles like a maniac and manages to not only get back up but actually elevate Armfield and slam him to the floor. Hiestand sets up the body triangle to turn the tides on his opponent, and he pummels Armfield with his right hand. Hiestand crushes his arm on the jaw of his foe for a face crank, and he lets it go and tries to torque the neck with a brief neck crank. The tough Armfield survives the submission tries and grabs hold of Hiestand’s ankle to turn him over. Armfield stands to his feet with a minute to go, and Hiestand comes out swinging at him. Hiestand lands a body kick and shoots, and Armfield stands him up and knees him. Hiestand knees him right back, and they continue to trade body shots until Hiestand pursues another double. Armfield shuts it down and walks through a right hand so he can measure an uppercut when Hiestand changes levels. Hiestand meets his man in the pocket to throw hands, which they do right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Hiestand moves to the center of the cage to begin the last round, and he prods out several jabs. When Armfield backs off, he has a few toes slap him in the face from Hiestand’s head kick. Armfield backs away and absorbs the end of another high kick, and the two engage in a clinch that lets them both land knees. Hiestand dives deep for a double, and he succeeds in lifting Armfield’s legs off the ground to gingerly deposit him to the canvas. Armfield wall-walks despite Hiestand hanging on his back, and Hiestand tosses him to the ground again like a sack of potatoes. Hiestand climbs onto the back to get his hooks in, and he hunts for a rear-naked choke and has Armfield in a bad way. The choke is already under the chin as Armfield falls to his back, with the body triangle is fasted tight against his waist. Hiestand squeezes with his remaining energy reserves in hopes of completing the submission, and it is only a matter of time at this point. Armfield hand-fights and tries his best to escape, but he has nothing left to do so. Armfield taps out, and Hiestand’s corner including fellow UFC fighter Michael Chiesa floods the cage to celebrate with him.

The Official Result

Brady Hiestand def. Garrett Armfield R3 1:52 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Timothy Cuamba (145) vs. Lucas Almeida (146)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Cuamba (-205), Almeida (+170)

Round 1

When he punted Michael Stack at the beginning of February, “Twilight Timmy” Cuamba (8-2, 0-1 UFC) could have scarcely predicted his UFC debut would come one week later. While it did not go his way against Bolaji Oki, Cuamba gets a second chance to make a first impression. He takes on aggressive Almeida (14-3, 1-2 UFC) and his 100% finish rate. Referee Mike Beltran dons his hard hat, and he tells the fighter’s it’s time to fight. The 145ers do not bother bumping fists, as Almeida wants to start something. He does that with a low kick, and he jabs the body shortly thereafter. Almeida cuts Cuamba off around the cage, walking him down and throwing a low kick. Cuamba pays him back with a speedy one-two, and he gets off a jab on the outside. Another one-two from “Twilight Timmy” finds its home on the chin, and Almeida shakes it off and continues pressuring. The Brazilian swipes out with a left hand, and he chips at the front leg with kicks. Cuamba stands his man up with a left hand, but the right misses. On the way back, Cuamba plants a stern kick on the lead leg of his adversary. Almeida jabs with the fall of his foot, and a ferocious one-two stuns Cuamba and sits him down. Almeida tries to pound him out with ground strikes while leaning on Cuamba, but Cuamba does not go all the way down and instead muscles his way back upright. Almeida keeps firing the right hand, drawing a shot in response from the Las Vegas native. Almeida stands his foe up and knees him once before splitting off, and he returns to stalking mode. Two punches get around the guard, and Cuamba takes them flush and keeps retreating. Almeida tags him with another right hand to set him down, and Cuamba scrambles and gets up. To take some of the venom out of his foe’s shots, Cuamba presses Almeida against the cage wall for a time. Almeida escapes and starts potshotting Cuamba, until Cuamba is tired of the one-sided exchanges and starts brawling. Cuamba dislodges the mouthpiece of his foe, but Almeida puts on the pace with punches and a high kick that wraps up around the guard. Almeida ducks back to dodge a head kick, and he eats a right hand while plodding forward. Cuamba strikes the body a few times, and he makes it to the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Almeida
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Almeida
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Almeida

Round 2

Almeida is loaded for bear to start off the second round, as he gets right back to cutting Cuamba off while throwing hands. Cuamba sits down on single strikes, thumping a left to the body and one to the head. Almeida lunges forward, and Cuamba counters him with a sharp left. Cuamba checks a low kick and tosses one back, and they trade jabs shortly thereafter. The jabs are landed again at the same time, and Cuamba again targets the liver with a left. Almeida steps through a punch to wing three of his own, and he scores a solid low kick. They both start swinging bungalows, and Almeida catches Cuamba with a clean left hand that drops “Twilight Timmy” to a knee. Cuamba sits up and rushes after a single-leg takedown, but Almeida is able to shove him away without much concern. Cuamba gets his sea legs with the successful dilatory tactic, but he is not slowing Almeida’s momentum. Almeida chops at his leg and walks through a jab to rifle off a right hand, and he slips a counter jab. Almeida sinks in a left hand and laughs off a leg kick, and a one-two along with two hooks at least partially connect. Almeida surges into a left hand, and he clips Cuamba once more as he lines up punches to the head and then body. Cuamba strafes away, and Almeida is on him with a left to the body and right to the head. Cuamba’s legs wobble, but Almeida is buttering his bread as he seems to find that right hand any time he wants. Cuamba scrambles to the side, and Almeida plants two fists and a head kick up top right before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The fighters reach the last round and share a brief glove touch, and Almeida returns quickly to his predatory best. Walking Cuamba down, throwing jabs, follow-up punches, leg kicks and the occasional power strike, Almeida beats Cuamba to the punch while not getting answered by anything overly concerning. Cuamba slams a kick to the ribs, but it is one-and-done as Almeida walks him down. Cuamba shoots for a single, and he drags the Brazilian to his seat but does not establish control. Almeida turns the corner and pushes down on the back of Cuamba’s head to stop him from going anywhere until he moves enough to escape and reset. Almeida jabs the head and body without fear of reprisal, and he shrugs off a front kick to pump out more jabs. Cuamba lands at the end of a right hand, drawing a wide counter from his foe. They both jab at one another, and Almeida’s range gives up the upper hand. Cuamba lands once, but Almeida rings him up for four in the same flurry. Almeida just misses with a high kick, and they double jab at one another. Almeida hacks at the front leg and absorbs a body kick, and the two start swinging recklessly. Cuamba catches his adversary with a left hook, and he moves to take the brunt out of the overhand right counter. Almeida collides his fist on the dome and spins with a wheel kick that buzzes the tower, and Cuamba decides two can spin and lands his own back kick on the belly. Cuamba closes in to strike, and although Almeida lands two on the inside, Cuamba uses the momentum and a trip to put the Brazilian on the canvas. Cuamba sits up and drops down a few punches and some fierce elbows, and he looks for a finish with seconds to go and rains down blows until time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Almeida (30-27 Almeida)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Almeida (30-27 Almeida)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Cuamba (29-27 Almeida)

The Official Result

Lucas Almeida def. Timothy Cuamba via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Douglas Silva de Andrade (136) vs. Miles Johns (135)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Johns (-122), Silva de Andrade (+102)

Round 1

Finding themselves in the unlikely co-main event slot, two of the most experienced UFC fighters on the card will compete second-to-last. Aiming to make UFC fight no. 13 a lucky one, Silva de Andrade (29-5, 1 NC; 7-5 UFC) has his hands full with Johns (14-2, 1 NC; 5-2, 1 NC UFC) for the next 15 minutes or less. The Brazilian celebrates more knockouts (20) than his foe does in total fights (17), and he will almost certainly be hunting for his 21st. The referee for this bantamweight battle will be Mark Smith. There is a glove touch, and Silva de Andrade moves to the middle of the cage and pump-fakes a few times. It takes about 30 seconds for the first strike to be thrown, when the Brazilian sticks out a leg kick. Johns returns with a much heavier calf kick, and he wings a right hand over the top. Johns fakes and lets out a yellow to draw out a greater reaction, but Silva de Andrade does not bite and is doing plenty of faking on his own side. Silva de Andrade sneaks in a front kick up the middle, and Johns clubs him with a left hook in response. Silva de Andrade chases after Johns despite getting tagged twice, and he whips a low kick at the target. Johns just misses with a right hook, and he hops away from a leg kick. Johns sticks out a jab and lands a leg kick from an awkward angle, and he keeps his guard up to block the Brazilian’s counter hook. Silva de Andrade lunges with an uppercut and a left hand that finds the mark, and Johns bounces off the cage wall to tag the Brazilian with a right hand. Johns blasts the front leg with a kick, and the knees of “D’Silva” buckle until he gets his footing and jumps forward with a strike. Both fighters are throwing everything they have into their single power strikes, and Johns is landing much more frequently when he swings them. Silva de Andrade swarms forward to throw hands, and Johns drives him back with a solid left hook. Silva de Andrade retreats and evades a haymaker of a right hand to gather his thoughts. Silva de Andrade spins with a wheel kick that bounces off the side of the head, and Johns shakes his head dismissively. Silva de Andrade lands two punches and a stomping kick, and when Johns responds, Silva de Andrade times a level change. Johns backs him away with a knee up the middle, and the tense round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The bantamweights bump fists before getting after it, and the round kicks off with Johns trying to relocate his distance. Silva de Andrade lands a pair of punches, and Johns no-sells them and kicks the front leg of his foe. Silva de Andrade runs at his opponent, and Johns stands him up with a check right hook. Silva de Andrade backs away to avoid a second blow, and both fighters are warned for having their fingers outstretched. Johns clips the Brazilian with a right hand, and he jumps forward to land two punches that make “D’Silva” ricochet off the fencing. Johns loads up with a massive overhand right, and he stings the front leg with a kick as Silva de Andrade does not budge. Both fighters land alternating hooks at the same time, knocking them both back, but it is Johns who takes it better and plods forward. Johns lands a body shot, and Silva de Andrade times a jump knee that rebounds off the forehead. Johns loads up on a right hand, and Silva de Andrade is out of range and tries to pay him back with a spin kick to the ribs. Johns parries a front kick and reaches his man with a jab, but it is a power jab. Johns lands his own front kick and has his hands up to block a spinning back fist. Johns pounds the front leg with another kick, and Silva de Andrade tries to shrug it off but is smarting. Johns connects with two right hands, walks straight into an uppercut and lands his own right hook. Silva de Andrade whiffs on a spinning wheel kick, and Johns backs him off with a stern jab. “D’Silva” does not reach his foe with a kick, and he gets knocked off-balance with a ferocious right hand. Johns keeps loading up and firing the huge right hand, and Silva de Andrade spins with a kick that glances off his head. Johns screams at him and says to fight him, but they do not brawl wildly. Instead, Johns spins with a back fist, and Silva de Andrade catches him and lets him go before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Reaching the last round, the fighters share a fist bump and a confident nod. They do not get to action for the first 30 seconds, until Johns breaks the silence with a lunging jab. He ducks away and avoids the Brazilian’s swarming, inaccurately flailed punches, and he measures a perfect overhand right as Silva de Andrade is turning. Silva de Andrade stumbles around and regains his footing, and he slugs Johns right back in his best shot thus far. Johns considers a level change to keep things interesting, and he bails on it and pump-fakes a few times to draw reactions. Silva de Andrade swings recklessly with a right, and Johns knocks him down to his hands with a counter. Silva de Andrade is no worse for wear, and he keeps on throwing power punches. Silva de Andrade is warned for pointing his fingers out, and he spins with a back kick that misses the mark. Johns stays right in front of him, looking for a way in. The Brazilian evades the power strikes that come at him, and he ducks down and loads up on a right. Silva de Andrade times a crisp uppercut when Johns is ducking, and he counters Johns throwing a naked leg kick to sting him. Johns digs a left to the body and a right to the head, and Silva de Andrade frowns and has to back off. “Chapo” ignores a right hook and nearly knocks Silva de Andrade off his feet, and Silva de Andrade explodes at him with a jump knee that knocks Johns’ mouthguard out. Smith allows him to replace it, and the two high-five after their aggressive exchange. Johns swipes out with a left hook, backpedaling as Silva de Andrade wants to do some damage, and he walks backwards straight into a spinning wheel kick. Johns gets his bell run with the kick, and his legs are not completely beneath him. Johns is right there in front of him throwing caution to the wind, and they point at the ground and start screaming and flexing. With about seven seconds to spare, they finally engage, swinging everything they have into ridiculous hooks that blast one another, and neither man goes down before the final bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Johns (30-27 Johns)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Johns (30-27 Johns)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Johns (30-27 Johns)

The Official Result

Miles Johns def. Douglas Silva de Andrade via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Alex Perez (126) vs. Tatsuro Taira (126)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Taira (-185), Perez (+154)

Round 1

The final fight of the evening comes in a rare non-title flyweight tilt, with former title challenger Perez (25-8, 7-4 UFC) coming in on short notice. He will try to hand high-flying unbeaten Japanese contender Taira (15-0, 5-0 UFC) his first pro loss. Action is sure to come from these two fighters, but before it does, they come together in front of referee Herb Dean to hear their final instructions and bump fists. It’s on with the show. While Taira is in the center of the cage, he steps back when a leg kick flies by. He throws one back, and Perez targets his front leg once more. The former title challenger goes after one more kick, and the two end up closed in on one another. Taira tries to set up the Thai clinch, and Perez dirty boxes and fights off level changes until he can break away. Perez sneaks in a knee on the break, and he digs several punches to the body. Taira pushes him away and lines up a power right hand, and Perez ducks and thwacks his front leg wither another two kicks. Taira splits the guard with two punches, and Perez darts at him with three punches, landing the third of them. Taira sticks out a jab and a head kick, and Perez rings his bell with two compact hooks. Perez again crowds him throwing bombs, and Taira gets his head knocked around briefly before disengaging. Taira settles down and jabs a few times, but Perez blasts with a number of uppercuts. Taira aims a knee to the head to break off the clinch, and he keeps his jab flowing. Taira follows one jab with a right hand, and he dodges the counter one-two. Taira rails his man with a sharp uppercut, and he finds another as Perez backpedals. Taira slaps the front leg with a kick, and Perez returns fire with one before charging in to tie him up. Taira cannot hold on, and Perez escapes and darts forward with his hands flying. Taira pushes off and swipes his fingers into the Californian’s eye, and Dean calls time. Perez uses a cloth brought in from the doctor to wipe his eye clean, and Dean goes over to warn Taira. After about a minute, Perez is good to go. Perez swings hard with punches to the body and scoops the Japanese fighter up to dump him on the floor. Taira attempts to sweep, but he settles for standing up and getting away. Perez pushes out a front kick and dodges a head kick as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Perez rushes out of his corner to invite a glove touch, and it is accepted as Dean warns Taira for outstretched fingers. Perez swings wildly with wide punches, and Taira spins him around with a leg kick. Taira snipes him on the way in with a right hand, and he appears to push off and poke the eye again. Perez complains it was a foul, and Dean calls time and asks for replay to check it. The replay shows the eye poke, and Dean goes over to Taira to give him a hard warning. They start up after around 45 seconds, and Perez re-measures his jab. Taira holds his left hand out and blasts the former title challenger with an uppercut, but Perez pays it no mind and unleashes a series of haymakers to knock Taira back. Taira scores a low kick and lands with his own heavy blows, but Perez lands the heavier of the two and it shows by Taira’s face changing shade. Perez works on the front leg with kicks on the inside and out, and Perez gets stood up on the way back with one coming back his direction. Perez shrugs off an uppercut to lob bombs, and he catches Taira flush and lets the counters graze his cheeks. Taira rushes at him and takes the fight down, and as soon as Perez turns, Taira takes his back while standing. Taira leans to one side in hopes of wrenching Perez down, and he keeps the body triangle tight while softening Perez up. Taira keeps leaning to one side to tug Perez off-balance, and Perez falls awkwardly when leaning back. As he does, Perez’ right knee figuratively explodes, and Perez lets out a screech of pain as Taira is on top of him. Perez taps the canvas to make sure that Dean is getting involved, and Taira dismounts him and looks on with concern. Perez rolls to his back and writhes in agony, clutching his damaged limb as medical professionals swarm him. This is an unusual situation because it is not simply a freak occurrence from a strange landing, but rather something Taira set up to target one leg and drag him down in that specific angle. Whether he was intending on causing fight-ending injury or simply moving to a more dominant position, it worked, and Taira moves his stellar undefeated record to 16-0 while passing the largest test of his career. The victorious youngster from Japan shouts on the interview that he is very happy, and he asks for a title shot. He confidently declares that he wants everyone in the flyweight division to line up in front of him, and he will mow them down. When Taira gets back into the cage again, it will likely be in a huge fight at 125 pounds. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

The Official Result

Tatsuro Taira def. Alex Perez R2 2:59 via TKO (Knee Injury)
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