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UFC Fight Night Live Updates and Results: Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad

UFC featherweight Dan Ige threw a punch. Ige landed a punch.

And that got the job done. What an efficient workflow on Saturday night at the Apex in Las Vegas on the Fight Night undercard of the Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad Main event.

The fight started with Ige and Gavin Tucker circle in the middle of the cage and measure each other for about 20 seconds. Then Ige released a single right hand that landed flush on Tucker’s chin, and Tucker fell stiffly backward. He had barely hit the canvas before referee Mike Beltran stepped in to knock out the fight after 22 seconds.

“Boom goes the dynamite,” said Ige. “Fifty K.”

“Dynamite” is Ig’s nickname, and now we know why. This was only his fourth knockout in 15 career wins, but it was one that could get him the $ 50,000 he was referring to – like a postfight bonus.

For Ige, a 29-year-old Hawaiian who fought in his adopted hometown, it was a brief but satisfying night job. He competed for the first time since July when he fought him in a major event Calvin Kattar and saw his winning streak end in six fights. Now he is back on the right track and has called Chan Sung Jung later.

Tucker, who is 34 years old and fights from Nova Scotia, Canada, had brought a three-fight winning streak to a powerful conclusion.

– Jeff Wagenheim

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You can Watch UFC Fight Night on ESPN +.


Fight in progress:

Welterweight: Leon Edwards (18-3, 10-2 UFC, -270) vs. Belal Muhammad (18-3, 9-3 UFC, +220)


Results:

Light heavyweight: Ryan Spann (19-6, 5-1 UFC) losses Mischa Cirkunov (15-6, 6-4 UFC) from TKO in the first round

It was a short night in the office for the 29-year-old Spann who demonstrated his knockout powers.

Spann fought Fortis MMA in Dallas and dropped Cirkunov with his right hand at the start of the fight. Moments later, he dropped Cirkunov again with a left hook to finish the job. It was a wonderful rebound for Spann, who suffered his first UFC loss in his last fight against UFC Johnny Walker.

Spann is known for his strength and that was very evident on Saturday. It was his 14th victory by knockout in 19 career victories. He has now won nine of his last 10 fights in total.

Toronto’s Cirkunov suffered the fourth knockout loss of his career. A uniquely hot prospect at 205 pounds, Cirkunov has struggled to beat the hump to take a light heavyweight title shot. He’s 2-4 now in his last six, with losses to instep, Walker, Glover Teixeira and Volkan Oezdemir.

– Brett Okamoto

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Men’s bantamweight: Davey Grant (13-4, 4-3 UFC) losses Jonathan Martinez (13-4, 4-3 UFC) by knockout of the second round

Grant doesn’t fight that often. But lately when he gets there he leaves his mark.

The veteran Ultimate Fighter crushed Martinez with a combo and knocked him out at 3:03 a.m. of the second round in a bantamweight bout. Grant yanked a right hook on the body and then followed up with a left hook that was flush with the head. Martinez fell to the ground and that was it. Referee Chris Tognoni stepped in and Grant had won a one-stop victory.

Martinez actually looked very good on his feet on the first lap. He pounded Grant with low kicks – hard kicks. Grant actually hobbled the octagon off those kicks. But Grant came out extremely aggressive in the second round and didn’t let Martinez get back into that pedaling rhythm. As he pushed forward, Grant let go of that two-punch combo and put Martinez down for good.

“I think my foot is definitely broken, but it’s definitely worth it,” said Grant.

The 35-year-old Grant has won three times in a row, including two times in a row. The Englishman’s problem was activity. Due to an injury, he has fought only three times since 2018 and only six times since 2013. Martinez, a 26-year-old Texas native, had a one-on-one winning streak.

– – Marc Raimondi

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Flyweight men: Matheus Nicolau (16-3-1, 4-1 UFC) losses Manel cape (15-6, 0-2 UFC) by separate decision

A fun flyweight matchup on paper that delivered as promised.

The fight was close and that was reflected on the scorecards. Two judges awarded the bout to Nicolau, 29-28. The third judge scored a 29-28 in Kape’s favor. It all came down to the third round, when Kape started slowly in the first frame and then dominated the second on his feet.

At the beginning of the third round, Kape defended a Nicolau takedown and ended up in a standing position over his guard. Kape wondered if he should go into the top position, but finally let Nicolau get up. It was a critical decision as Nicolau landed some good punches after getting back on his feet, but then Kape responded with two heavy knee kicks in the final 30 seconds.

The Brazilian Nicolau used the inactivity of Kape at times and was still busy trying to shut down. Kape, who was born in Angola, showed devastating speed and strength when we let go of his hands. He rocked Nicolau in the second round with uppercuts and short left hooks, but could probably have been a little more aggressive – especially at the beginning of the fight.

Kape falls on a surprising 2-0 start in the UFC. The 27-year-old joined the promotion in 2020 with a certain fanfare as a highly qualified prospect. Nicolau took his first win in over a year when he was inactive in 2020.

– Brett Okamoto

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Medium weight: Eryk Anders (13-5, 1 NC, 5-5 1 NC UFC) fights Darren Stewart (12-6 2 NC, 5-5 2 NC UFC) to a no-contest

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Eryk Anders kneels Darren Stewart with Stewart’s knee down, making comparisons to Aljamain Sterling’s controversial UFC 259 win.

Déjà vu, someone?

For the second straight week, an illegal knee ended a UFC fight. In contrast to last Saturday’s fight in which Petr Yan was disqualified and lost the fight and his bantamweight championship at Aljamain SterlingThis time the perpetrator paid a lower price.

Anders was on his way to a goal – a legitimate target – late on the first round when he hit a severely compromised Stewart against the cage. Stewart was on one knee, barely defending the blows that got in his way, when Anders inexplicably threw a knee that landed on the right side of the head and told Referee Herb Dean to step in, stop the action, and call in the cage doctor.

The doctor recommended stopping the fight and Dean waved him off at 4:37 a.m. on Round 1. But instead of giving Stewart, a 30-year-old from Great Britain, a DQ win, the referee decided the fight as no. Decision.

It was an enigmatic ending for Anders and Dean.

Anders, a 33-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama, was well on his way to his third win in the last four fights. All he had to do was keep beating Stewart, whom Dean implored to fight back so he wouldn’t stop it.

After Anders got his knee, it’s strange why the referee didn’t disqualify him. It was a deliberate blow. So in the end, Anders didn’t have the victory he had shortly before the victory, but he could have paid a more severe price.

– –

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Straw weight: Angela Hill (13-9, 8-9 UFC) losses Ashley Yoder (8-7, 3-6 UFC) by unanimous decision

Hill was only 1-0 as a pro MMA fighter when she made her UFC debut in 2014. Seven years later, “Overkill” might have had the best performance of its run on the world’s largest MMA promotion.

In a critical women’s strawweight matchup, Hill defeated Yoder by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) on the UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad. Hill consistently beat Yoder and had some of her best hits in Yoder’s body. This was a rematch of a 2017 bout that Hill also won.

In the first round, Hill took the fight straight to Yoder with her muay thai punch. She kept finding a home with her right hand and adding a few elbows and knees to the body in the clinch. Eventually Hill snapped Yoder’s head back with three straight right hands. Hill supported Yoder in the second round with blows to the body. Yoder landed a late takedown, but Hill was the attacker, landing his elbows from below.

Hill hit Yoder in the body on the third round with five straight, hard left knees, but then Yoder landed a takedown. That was Yoder’s chance, but Hill held out and Yoder couldn’t do much damage to the ground. It was a clear win for Hill.

Hill, 36, lost two fights. Both losses were very close decisions that many thought Hill actually won. Hill, a San Diego resident, said she wanted to make sure the judges knew she was the winner.

“I felt like it was dominant,” Hill said in her post-fight interview. “I got the feeling that there was no question of who was the winner in this fight.”

Yoder, a 33-year-old Indiana native fighting out of California, has lost three out of four.

– Raimondi

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Men’s featherweight: Charles Jourdain (11-3-1, 2-2-1 UFC) losses Marcelo Rojo (16-8, 0-1 UFC) by filing in the third round

A hard-fought battle turned into a runaway win for Jourdain as he secured a TKO finish at 4:31 a.m. in the third round.

Argentinian Rojo was tough on his UFC debut and he certainly had his moments – but it was Jourdain who took over violently late in the fight. He dropped Rojo with punches twice, scoring vicious ground and pounds from the topmost position. At some point he allowed the battered Rojo to get back on his feet, only to drop him again with one left hand up and a shot with his right hand, which brought in referee Mark Smith.

Rojo took up the fight on short notice after Jourdain’s original opponent withdrew. For the first 10 minutes he held on with Jourdain by the feet, hit with knees and punches in the clinch and walked Jourdain along the fence. However, Jourdain seemed to find his rhythm and distance in the third and added the late exclamation mark before the time ran out.

Quebec’s Jourdain has had an ups and downs career in the UFC to date. He now has spectacular wins against Rojo and Dooho Choi, but also dropped two decisions and fought Josh Culibao to a tie in 2020.

– Okamoto

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Men’s bantamweight: Rani Yahya (27-10-1 1 NC UFC, 12-4-1 1 NC UFC) defeats Ray Rodriguez (16-8, 0-2 UFC) by filing in the second round

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Rani Yahya submits Ray Rodriguez on head and arm throttle on the 21st submission of his career to the UFC Fight Night.

Yahya is good and he is smart. He’s good at subjugating his opponents, and he’s smart enough to stick to this game plan.

The 36-year-old Brazilian fighter celebrated his first win since 2018 by sticking to a tried and tested formula. He took Rodriguez into the fight for a minute, immediately winning the half-watch position and working for a head-arm-choke. With this maneuver, he almost ended the fight towards the end of the first round, but Rodriguez survived.

Not for long. Yahya did exactly the same thing on Round 2 – shut down early, half watch, head-arm choke. And this time he got his opponent to bet 3:09 in the round for his 21st entry in his 27th career win. He didn’t end a fight any other way.

Yahya only competed once in 2020 and once in 2019, losing one and battling the other for a draw. Previously, he had won three times in a row – all entries.

Rodriguez, 33, from San Antonio, Texas defended the filing attempt well early on, but since he couldn’t stand out from his opponent it was only a matter of time. He lost both UFC fights.

– Wagenheim

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Light: Nasrat Haqparast (13-3, 5-2 UFC) losses Rafa Garcia (12-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

Haqparast is considered to be one of the best prospects in the UFC and did nothing on Saturday to dispel that notion.

The Southpaw Slugger showed a very solid performance, beating the previously undefeated Garcia unanimously (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Garcia showed tremendous toughness and durability. He got off to a strong start and landed a hard right hand on the first lap, which Haqparast wiggled briefly. But from then on, Haqparast was the more effective fighter. Even when Garcia put pressure on, Haqparast was able to tear combination after combination, land at will with his straight left hand, and mix hard elbows and kicks forward into the body.

In the third round, Garcia was bleeding from a cut near his right eye. Haqparast tried two hard head butts in the third, which Garcia blocked, but they still did damage. There was no doubt when the bell rang to end the fight that had emerged victorious.

The 25-year-old Haqparast has won two times in a row and five times in a row. The native Afghan of Afghan descent is a legitimate offspring in the UFC’s stacked lightweights division. Garcia, a 26-year-old native Mexican, is the former Combate Americas lightweight champion and takes an 8-0 lead in this promotion.

– Raimondi

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Women’s flyweight: JJ Aldrich (9-4, 5-3 UFC) losses Cortney Casey (9-9, 5-8 UFC) by separate decision

It was a disappointing result for Casey, who looked superb in the opening round. She injured Aldrich with an elbow in a clinch, found a home for her right hand and interfered with effective kicks. She also defended Aldrich’s attempts to bring her to the ground, which was obviously a big part of Aldrich’s game plan. The only defeat she gave up came towards the end of the round and she attacked Aldrich from below with an attempt at handpole.

Aldrich from Denver had success at grappling in the second and third rounds. She took Casey down early on the fourth lap and spent most of the lap on the lead landing an attack. Round three was close, but it was Aldrich’s wrestling again that could make the difference.

Casey struggles out of Phoenix, falling to 3-6 in her last nine competitions. Three of these losses resulted from a separate decision.

– Okamoto

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Straw weight: Jinh Yu Frey (10-6, 1-2 UFC) losses Gloria de Paula (5-3, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

Every woman showed what she can do best. Frey won the fight by doing it for two rounds and limiting de Paula to only one.

Frey, a 35-year-old former Invicta FC atomic weight champion from Arlington, Texas, spent most of Rounds 1 and 3 controlling positions on the canvas. So she was able to secure her first UFC win and end a defeat in two fights.

Losing a minute into the fight, Frey used a de Paula muay thai clinch to bring the Brazilian fighter to the big screen. Frey then used the skill of a veteran to keep control to the horn.

But de Paula, a 25-year-old who was making her UFC debut, took control in the second round, using crisp, straight punches and skillful footwork to keep the fight going.

It was everyone’s fight going to the finals and Frey used it 30 seconds later to get the takedown and threaten submissions for the remainder of the fight.

All three judges scored the bout between 29 and 28 for Frey, ending de Paula’s winning streak in two bouts.

– Wagenheim

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Welterweight: Matthew Semelsberger (8-2, 2-0 UFC) defeats Jason Witt (18-7, 1-2 UFC) by KO in the first round

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Matthew Semelsberger knocks Jason Witt out with a heavy blow 16 seconds after their fight.

Semelsberger’s nickname is “Semi the Jedi” because of his surname. Maybe it should just be “semi” because it hits like a truck.

Semelsberger hit Witt in the first few seconds with a monstrous right hand and countered a Witt kick. The blow landed in Witt’s jaw and Witt fell in a heap. Referee Chris Tognoni came in to end the fight and gave Semelsberger a knockout win in just 16 seconds of the first round.

“I have a lot of thunder in my hand,” said Semelsberger in his interview after the fight.

Semelsberger’s quick knockout was the fastest in the UFC since then Walt Harris knocked out Aleksei Oleinik in 16 seconds in July 2019. The 16-second knockout was the seventh fastest target in the history of the UFC welterweight.

The 28-year-old Semelsberger won both UFC fights and had a total of five victories. The beat from Maryland Carlton Minus via unanimous decision last August on his UFC debut. He seems like someone to watch out for at welterweight. Witt, a 34-year-old Missouri-American native, has lost two out of three in the UFC.

– Raimondi

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