UFC 265 ‘Lewis vs. Gane’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 7, 2021
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Johnny Munoz Jr. (135.5) vs. Jamey Simmons (136)

Round 1

Incredibly, this pay-per-view card has (mostly) stayed together, barring a lost co-main title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena. This UFC 265 event inside of a packed Toyota Center in Houston goes down with 13 fights, and we start things off in the bantamweight division. Both Munoz (10-1, 0-1 UFC) and Simmons (7-3, 0-1 UFC) dropped their UFC debuts in 2020, and should be coming back with a vengeance to get the night started right. Referee Jeff Rexroad is in charge of the cage for this card opener, and with no touch of gloves, it’s on with the show! Munoz ignores a low kick to paw out a few jabs that are well away from the target, just pushing them out to see how far he needs to go. The jabs do finally reach their mark, landing on the nose of “The Afro Samurai.” Munoz throws his opponent off with pump-fakes and kiais, and Munoz crashes forward to circle around and take Simmons’ back standing, but Simmons breaks the grip and separates without issue. Munoz doubles up on his jab, and these are the only strikes to land within the first 90 seconds of the match. Both men duck down at the same time and they fly past each other, but Munoz gathers himself and sticks the jab out a few more times. Simmons tries to bear down on him and wing a punch or two, but Munoz’ jab stops him from doing so. Simmons is unable to find his range, and Munoz sneaks in a quick overhand right and a leg kick. “Kid Kvenbo” swats away an oncoming Simmons and peppers him with jabs, and when he shoots in for a sudden takedown, Simmons cracks him with a check right hook and sets Munoz on his backside. He springs back up without much concern, and he picks up where he left off with jab after jab. Simmons slaps a leg kick and Munoz is there to greet him with inaccurate jabs, and the latter chains together a few punches into a head kick that goes wide. Munoz plants his heel on the body when he fires off a quick spinning back kick, and Simmons gathers himself but is largely playing a staring contest with his opponent. Simmons sprints forward and throws a left hand, and Munoz catches him coming in and plants him on the ground with a quick takedown. Simmons lands on his back and puts up a butterfly guard, disallowing Munoz to break through. Munoz may have gotten away with a headbutt as he pressures his foe, and Simmons explodes to stand up and finds himself in guillotine choke danger. Time expires before anything can come of it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Munoz
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Munoz
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Munoz

Round 2

Both bantamweights meet in the center of the cage to start the next round, and Munoz is eager to pick up where he left off with jabs. Simmons tries to catch a low kick and stumbles, but he is no worse for wear as he stands up and blocks a head kick. The crowd is eerily silent, much like a crowd in Japan for Pride FC events, until Munoz pressures his foe, drops down for a double leg takedown and puts him on the mat. Simmons cannot get the butterfly up quick enough before Munoz steps over to half guard, but as Munoz looks to advance, Simmons recovers this position. Munoz circles around as Simmons gets to his knees to take Simmons’ back, and he instantly fishes for a rear-naked choke. There is no neck to be found, but instead, Simmons flattens out on the floor as Munoz starts pounding on him. Simmons bursts back to his knees, and Munoz switches right back to a choke attempt. This time, it is tight, and Simmons finds himself in grave danger. A quick defensive move allows for Simmons to break the grip, but Munoz does not him off the hook. Simmons looks to scramble, and Munoz follows him through to keep his hooks in and cinch up the choke. The third time is the charm, with Simmons’ body stretched out, and the vice-like grip under the chin is lethally tight. It does not take more than a couple seconds for Simmons to realize his time is up, and he taps out. In doing so, Munoz racked up his seventh submission by earning his 11th career win, and he celebrates by telling the local crowd "it smells like freedom in here."

The Official Result

Johnny Munoz Jr. def. Jamey Simmons R2 2:35 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Melissa Gatto (124) vs. Victoria Leonardo (125)

Round 1

Two submission threads in the flyweight division square off next as Leonardo (8-3, 0-1 UFC) USA aims for her first win inside the Octagon against the unbeaten Brazilian debutant Gatto (6-0-2, 0-0 UFC). A touch of gloves in front of referee Jacob Montalvo checks in this 125-pound affair, and both women quickly get off heavy body kicks. They land leg kicks, and both turn it up with their fists. They connect on one another, until Gatto decides that she wants to change the position of the fight and pushes forward to clinch up. Gatto searches for a body lock with a trip, and when “Fury” stops it, she knees Leonardo in the chest and hits a subsequent trip. Leonardo reverses her opponent when Gatto goes fishing for a submission, and the Brazilian chains a choke attempt into an armbar to take Leonardo’s back. Leonardo rolls through but still has Gatto on her back, thanks to Gatto using a kimura to keep her locked down. As Leonardo continues to roll, she takes a few shots to the side of the head but manages to turn Gatto over and put Gatto on her back. Leonardo, in her opponent’s guard, lands a few sporadic ground strikes while fighting off the constant offensive guard of the Brazilian. Gatto throws her legs up for a high guard that she looks to turn into a triangle choke or an armbar, but the Invicta FC vet shrugs it off and stays heavy on top. Gatto tries to lock Leonardo down, and she looks for a sweep but gets punched in the face for her effort. Leonardo decides to try for another angle and stands up, allowing Gatto to get right back up as well. Leonardo scores a right hand, and they tie up and both try to take the other down. Gatto goes after a trip and is thwarted, but she does bully the American into the cage wall and works her body with knees. Leonardo gains separation and slings a head kick, but it gets blocked as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gatto
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gatto
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gatto

Round 2

The women meet in the center of the Octagon and throw kicks at the same time. When Leonardo tries for another, Gatto catches it, but she cannot do anything with it and lets it go. Leonardo is ready to slug it out with her, and Gatto steps forward to land a right hand. While the two women are trading, the commentary team relitigates Greg Hardy’s use of a banned inhaler, and Gatto in the meantime scores several sharp strikes. Leonardo is able to fire back with kicks, and she catches the Brazilian with a left hand. Gatto stings “Fury” with a few punches, and Leonardo holds her right hand up close to her face as she grimaces. The American gathers herself and throws out a front kick, but Gatto tags her with a one-two as soon as it comes down. The counter strikes and preemptive counter punches from Gatto are scoring practically at will, as Leonardo stands right before her throwing down. Leonardo gets off a kick or two, but Gatto does not let her take a breath as she is constantly pressuring her. Gatto dings her with an overhand right, and she ignores a kick to the body to land hard on her opponent. Leonardo suddenly aims to take the fight down, and Gatto pushes her off. When Leonardo scrambles back to her feet, Gatto boots her in the midsection and draws a visible reaction out of “Fury.” The flyweights clinch up briefly, and Gatto breaks free so that she can mark Leonardo up with punches. Gatto walks Leonardo down and punches her in the face and body, alternating a left to the body and right to the head a few times. Leonardo is forced to throw a kick and dives in for a desperation takedown, but Gatto blocks the former and stuffs the latter as she breaks the grip. Gatto sinks in a heavy kick to the knee, and Leonardo thinks to give her one back but is met by a one-two from the Brazilian. Leonardo plants the ball of her foot on Gatto’s body to push her back, giving her a moment to take a breath, but Gatto chases her down until the round ends. Leonardo tells her corner between rounds that her right arm does not work, but she is unsure if it is broken or just damaged. Leonardo assures the doctor and referee she can continue, but they still want to check on her condition. The doctor studies her arm, and squeezes the damaged area below her wrist, noting that it is fractured as the audience can see a clear dent in her arm from possible damage. She asks to fight through it, but the doctor does not allow her to continue, waving off the fight by a technical knockout at the end of the second round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gatto
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gatto
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gatto

The Official Result

Melissa Gatto def. Victoria Leonardo R2 5:00 via TKO (Arm Injury)

Anderson dos Santos (135.5) vs. Miles Johns (136)

Round 1

After a three-week delay due to COVID-19 protocols that scuttled the matchup ahead of UFC on ESPN 26, Johns (11-1, 2-1 UFC) and dos Santos (21-8, 1-2 UFC) will finally look to get things going in their bantamweight battle. The third man inside the Octagon is referee Kerry Hatley, who observes a grateful glove touch between the two as they have been looking forward to this match for quite some time. The bantamweights, brimming with energy, are flinching and feinting towards one another, with a jittery pace that does not allow either to get anything of merit off for about 30 seconds. Johns steps forward to break the ice with a left hand, and dos Santos fires back with a leg kick. A looping left hand from Johns lands behind the ear to make dos Santos stumble, but “Berinja” gathers himself and tries to kick Johns when he gets his balance. Johns lines up another few left hands, which ring off the side of dos Santos’ head. A pair of huge leg kicks force dos Santos to pick his leg up and try to move with them, and he forces into a clinch but cannot do anything with it. Johns kicks his leg out beneath him as he chops down the Brazilian’s lead leg, and he ignores a few punches to smack dos Santos with a massive left hand. Both men load up on shots and score on the other, sending both men off-balance. Johns pushes out several jabs to slow an advancing dos Santos down, and the latter already may have his lead leg compromised from the kicks from Johns. “Chapo” is ruthless and he slams his shin into the same spot, and dos Santos limps away and changes his stance, in clear trouble. Johns lets him switch stances and walks dos Santos down, but he does not go for broke and instead strings a trio of punches together. The punches from Johns are not reckless to allow dos Santos to take him down, and dos Santos ambles forward getting cracked from huge punches from Johns. Dos Santos chases after his opponent, hobbling towards him in big trouble, and Johns marks him up and practically lands at will while not letting dos Santos change levels. Johns plants a heavy push kick to dos Santos’ knee, and he lands a solid kick to the new lead calf of dos Santos to make dos Santos sigh heavily. The round ends, and dos Santos struggles to get back to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Johns
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Johns
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Johns

Round 2

Dos Santos looks to start the round off aggressively, albeit in a southpaw stance which is not his usual way of fighting. Johns is calm to let dos Santos flail at him, and he counters with a looping left hand that collides with dos Santos’ temple. Dos Santos waves him on to start brawling, and Johns obliges, blasting him in the face with several punches that mark the Brazilian’s face up. Dos Santos steps in with a stiff knee on the jaw, and Johns shakes it off and pays dos Santos back with a left hand. Johns whiffs on a pair of power punches, but he rips the liver with a left hand as he resets. The American blocks a kick and tags dos Santos with two right hands, forcing dos Santos to shoot in and try to take the fight down. Johns hops away to the fence, breaks the grip and knees dos Santos in the face. The Brazilian is tough and still surviving, but Johns is teeing off on him as he kicks dos Santos’ other leg out beneath him. “Berinja” starts talking to Johns to egg him on or get under his skin, and Johns does not bite, instead digging a left hand to the body and thwarting a takedown. Dos Santos dives in for a takedown but is well short of the mark, and he whiffs widely on a left hand. Johns cracks him with a retaliatory blow, and he kicks the knee and backs off before dos Santos can give anything back to him. As Johns circles around, dos Santos taunts him and puts his hands behind his waist, and Johns scowls at him but does not fall into dos Santos’ ploy. Johns stings dos Santos with another few punches, forcing dos Santos to stumble away, but dos Santos keeps his balance and eats a leg kick. Johns damages dos Santos’ lead lag with a kick, and he follows it with a few massive punches that make Hatley take a close eye on the action. Johns throws a haymaker that nearly blows Hatley’s hair back, and the round ends with dos Santos making it through the 10-minute mark.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Johns
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Johns
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Johns

Round 3

The bantamweights hug it out to start the final round, and they also clap hands before getting after it. Johns scores a single leg kick, and dos Santos comes right back with one of his own. Johns stays crisp with a pair of punches as dos Santos tries to chop the leg of “Chapo” down, and Johns stands back and blasts dos Santos in the face with a right hand. Dos Santos is ready to swing for the bleachers, and both men blast the other with hellacious punches, and neither takes so much as a bad step. The Brazilian reaches out with a left hand, and “Chapo” ducks, rips the body with a left hand and comes over the top with a lights-out right hand that puts dos Santos out before he even hits the canvas. There is no more work to be done, and Johns stands above his fallen foe but does not deliver any further punishment. What a terrific pillar-to-post performance for Johns, who scores his second spectacular third-round knockout in a row in devastating fashion.

The Official Result

Miles Johns def. Anderson dos Santos R3 1:16 via KO (Punch)

Manel Kape (129: Missed Weight) vs. Ode Osbourne (125)

Round 1

With a third chance to make a first impression, Kape (15-6, 0-2 UFC) missed weight by three pounds ahead of his flyweight tilt against fast-starting finisher Osbourne (9-3, 1 NC; 1-1 UFC). The former Rizin FF champ will be trying to get one on the board in the UFC at the expense of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 3 signee Osbourne, and referee Jeff Rexroad has his game face on and is ready for a wild one. There is a touch of gloves ahead of this early prelim headliner, and they both open up with kicks. Kape kicks low while Osbourne aims to the body, and they both reset to find their range. Kape reaches Osbourne with a right hand and a left, knocking the American’s head back, but not hurting him badly. Osbourne is able to circle out and kicks low, and he ducks a looping punch to fire off one of his own. “The Jamaican Sensation” chops down the leg and tries to pressure Kape, but Kape is hopping back and forth while light on his feet. Kape commits to a single punch to the body, and he throws a kick that gets caught. Osbourne catches it, tosses Kape to the ground and slams his fist in the side of Kape’s head. Kape scrambles back up to his feet no worse for wear, and he rolls through a looping right hand. Kape closes in and wings a few shots on the inside, and the glancing blows stifle the offense of the American briefly. “Starboy” sticks him and moves, feinting and putting Osbourne off-balance. Osbourne gets off a body kick and one to the calf, and Kape does not appear concerned. Osbourne fakes a takedown, and both men fall to their knees and then get right back up. Osbourne once more drops down to fake the ground game, and he tags Kape with a left and a right. Kape tries to counter him, but Osbourne is there to mark him up with a winging right hand. Two big punches connect flush on the chin, and Kape seems surprised by the pop on these punches. Osbourne ignores a left hand to try to wing a right hand counter, but Kape is just out of the way in time as the punch whizzes by his hair. As Kape reaches with a punch to the body, Osbourne clips him with a right hand over the top. This same exchange happens again, and Osbourne cuts Kape beneath his left eye. Osbourne gives chase, and like he was shot out of a cannon, “Starboy” switches stances and explodes with a flying knee that lands right on the button. Osbourne crashes to the ground in a heap with his legs locked up, and Kape pounds on him until Rexroad dives in to rescue Osbourne. The blows may have caused just a flash knockout, as Osbourne quickly sits up and protests, but the cries fall on deaf ears as Kape is already on top of the cage celebrating. With his knockout triumph, Kape is awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but is disappointingly informed by commentator Daniel Cormier that he is ineligible to win a post-fight bonus because he missed weight.

The Official Result

Manel Kape def. Ode Osbourne R1 4:44 via KO (Flying Knee and Punches)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz (115) vs. Jessica Penne (116)

Round 1

To the victor of this strawweight ESPN prelim opener belongs a .500 record in the UFC, when Kowalkiewicz (12-6, 5-6 UFC) and Penne (13-5, 2-3 UFC) try to make one more run at the top of the division. The line of this bout going the distance is a remarkable -410, higher than any bout on the card, and referee Mike Beltran is prepared in case this fight goes to decision. There is nothing but respect for these two women, and they touch gloves before getting down to business. Kowalkiewicz intercepts an advancing Penne early on with a leg kick, but Penne is ready to brawl and she marches the Polish fighter down and lands a few punches on her. Kowalkiewicz circles away, lands a low kick, and eats another punch. Penne pursues a takedown and gets shoved over, and Kowalkiewicz takes a moment to decide if she wants to go to the ground with the grappler. Kowalkiewicz wades forward to get into the guard, and Penne sweeps her and puts Kowalkiewicz on her back. The commentary team derails itself by arguing whether or not the sweep was actually a sweep or a body lock that led to differing position, and all the while, Penne lands punches from on top. Penne pops back up and dives down to land a few punches, and Kowalkiewicz tries to use upkicks to get Penne off of her. Penne grabs the ankles and passes over, but Kowalkiewicz defends with a crisp upkick that catches Penne right on the chin. The former Invicta champ powers through it to land some ground-and-pound, and Kowalkiewicz defends with a heel hook from her back. Penne spins through the leglock attempt and takes mount. Kowalkiewicz scrambles quickly but Penne rolls with her and isolates an arm to pursue an armbar. Kowalkiewicz rolls to her back and Penne hooks up the spiderweb position, where she pounds on Kowalkiewicz to break the grip and torque the arm. Kowalkiewicz defends with a partial inverted triangle as she hooks her own arms up to defend the submission, and Penne allows Kowalkiewicz to roll to her stomach and to her knees. Kowalkiewicz lifts her opponent in the air and slams her down, but the submission actually tightens as a result. Kowalkiewicz keeps rolling and twisting to try to free herself, and Penne turns her Polish opponent to her back and cinches up the armbar once and for all. Kowalkiewicz lets go to try to wriggle her arm out, but when her elbow hyperextends and Beltran shouts for her to not let that happen, Kowalkiewicz finally taps out. The bets for “Fight Goes to Decision” firmly get torn up and thrown in the air as Penne snatches her first stoppage victory since Invicta FC 6 in 2013, and she celebrates her first win streak since she debuted inside the Octagon.

The Official Result

Jessica Penne def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz R1 4:32 via Submission (Armbar)

Ed Herman (205.5) vs. Alonzo Menifield (204.5)

Round 1

In a sharp contrast to the expectations – and not the impressive result – of the prior bout, the overwhelming belief is that this light heavyweight clash between powerful finisher Menifield (10-2, 3-2 UFC) and savvy, streaking veteran Herman (26-14, 1 NC; 13-11, 1 NC UFC) will end quickly. The betting line for this fight ending inside the distance is the highest on the card at -285. Holding on tight will be referee Kerry Hatley, as this one could end at any minute. There is still a sign of sportsmanship as they touch gloves before trying to take the other’s head off, and Menifield quickly hammers Herman’s leg with a kick. He just misses with a right hand, and Herman dodges and misses a counter. Menifield tries again to throw a bomb of a right hand, and Herman sees it coming and evades it more smoothly this time. Menifield goes after another calf kick, and Herman tries to catch it but cannot grab it. Herman strides forward and gets caught on the way in with a short left hand, and Menifield tries to follow it up with a left hand and a nuclear missile of a right hand but the latter does not connect. Menifield gets off a jab, and he chains one to the body shortly after. Herman sneaks up a check left hook that cuts Menifield, and Menifield suddenly holds his hand high to protect his eye. Herman reaches him with a left hand and Menifield backs off, with the booming shots not coming like before. The head movement from Menifield allows him to avoid a strike over the top, and he wings a hook that blows Herman’s head back. A power jab from Menifield drills into the nose of Herman, and he lands a few more as Herman touches his nose every time one lands. Herman looks to counter him with the left hand, as he knows Menifield is suddenly cautious of these strikes. “Atomic Alonzo” kicks the lead leg and makes Herman turn about, but he does not follow it and instead backs off to absorb a kick from Herman. Menifield sits down on a leg kick and makes Herman turn again, and Herman is now preemptively picking his leg up. Herman takes another and does one more pirouette, and Herman is walking strangely on it as it begins to swell up. Menifield blasts Herman in the face with a left hand, but the Oregon native walks through everything that Menifield throws at him. Both men land single blows, and Herman gives chase but hits nothing but air. Herman tries to lift his leg up from a kick, and he turns his back and lets Menifield land a right hand on him before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Menifield

Round 2

The light heavyweights elect to touch gloves to come out for the round, and Herman rushes to attack. Menifield counters him on the way in, and stops Herman from plodding towards him in another barrage. Herman falls forward and gets clipped with a right hand, and he stumbles but keeps his wits about him. Menifield lands a one-two right on the forehead, and he snaps out a jab that Herman ignores. Herman tries to get off a kick as Menifield wings one at him, and he lifts his leg when Menifield advances and goes right into a right hand. Menifield throws so hard he falls over, and he gives up his back and is suddenly in trouble. Herman takes his back and goes after a choke, but Menifield bursts and stands back up. Herman takes a right hand and may be hurt, so Menifield attacks him and starts wailing away at him with punches. Herman falls into the cage, and he shells up as Menifield lands a long stream of punches and standing hammerfists. Herman blocks most of them but takes a few uppercuts, and he tries to throw back but is met with a looping right hand. Herman tags Menifield with an uppercut, and suddenly Menifield backs off and needs to gather his thoughts. Herman walks face-first into several jabs and right hands, and other than a cut on the bridge of his nose, he appears no worse for wear. His opponent starts to slow, throwing more telegraphed punches at odd angles. Herman charges and absorbs a thunderous leg kick, and Herman can barely stand up as it is so compromised. Herman is forced to switch stances as Menifield stands in front of him, with Herman slowly backing off and blocking when Menifield comes at him with a right hand. Menifield rushes in head-first and tries to sling a right hand over the top, and Herman just misses with an uppercut to respond. Herman whiffs on a right hand, and Menifield kicks his leg out beneath him and forces Herman down to the ground on his face. Herman gets up as the horn sounds, and he struggles as he limps back to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Menifield
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Menifield

Round 3

Herman is good to go to keep fighting, and the swelling is enormous on his shin as he can barely put weight on it. The doctor checks on it, squeezes the area, and determines that there are no broken bones. Herman nods when Hatley tells him he can’t fall victim to many more kicks, and the fight continues. Menifield comes out swinging, bullrushing Herman and tackling the longtime vet to his back. Menifield climbs into side control as he slugs Herman in the face repeatedly, and Hatley pays close attention but no stoppage materializes. Menifield backs off to let Herman stand, and although labored, Herman is able to get up. Herman keeps his distance, barely able to stand up at all, and he tries to chamber a right hand but Menifield tees off on him without concern. Herman takes an uppercut on the chin and he wobbles, and together with the busted leg and the blow, he is forced to bounce off the cage to stay upright. “Short Fuse” thinks about moving back to orthodox but he does not want to present the battered leg, and he wings a huge right hand. Menifield eats it like a steak and throws right back, with Herman shaking his head but not budging. Herman flails with a few right hands as the crowd starts to voice its disapproval with how the bout has slowed significantly, and Herman tries to stay active but hits air again and again. Menifield fires off a right hand that collides with Herman’s guard, but it is one-and-done as he is content to just chase Herman around the cage. Menifield slowly walks forward without throwing anything, and he suddenly ducks down and snaps Herman’s head back with a right hand. Herman’s chin cannot be questioned as he takes it without so much as a flinch, and he takes two punches on the chin as he walks forward. Menifield leans forward to throw bombs, and Herman closes in to counter, with the range not allowing either to land flush. Herman dodges a huge right hand to counter Menifield with a right hand, and he sits down on a pair of punches that Menifield shrugs off. Menifield attacks the other leg, allowing Herman to sting him with a punch. Herman walks through a jab to give chase, and the bout shockingly ends from the horn when a full 15 minutes have elapsed. It may be fitting in a night like tonight that the fight most expected to end by decision saw a first-round finish, and the fight most expected to end violently went the distance.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (30-27 Menifield)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (30-27 Menifield)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Menifield (30-27 Menifield)

The Official Result

Alonzo Menifield def. Ed Herman via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Vince Morales (136) vs. Drako Rodriguez (136)

Round 1

Up next at bantamweight, it’s a battle between the unusually nicknamed when “Vandetta” Morales (9-5, 1-3 UFC) tries to run over 1930s vaudevillian “The Great Drakolini” Rodriguez (7-2, 0-1 UFC). With both coming off losses, they have something to prove and look to make a big splash in front of this raucous crowd. They do not touch gloves, and referee Jeff Rexroad looks on in what could be a fun one. Morales looks for right hands and leg kicks, and Rodriguez is content to just watch Morales throw at him. Morales scores a left hand, and Rodriguez paws back at him while standing there. Rodriguez catches Morales coming in at him with a straight left hand, shaking Morales up and forcing him reset. Morales charges and whiffs, but Rodriguez is not as inaccurate as he clips Morales with a short right hand and a leg kick to follow. A few jabs from Rodriguez have marked Morales up early, and Morales tries to swing a body kick but Rodriguez closes the distance on him to break it up. Both men trade leg kicks, and Morales ducks down but ends up headbutting Rodriguez in the chest. Morales swings and misses with punches while Rodriguez is light on his feet flicking his jab out there to dramatic effect. The jab from Rodriguez and the leg kicks have reddened Morales considerably, and he celebrates his work after scoring a left hand. Morales comes back at him over the top with a looping right hand, and it collides with the temple as Rodriguez rolls with it. The one-and-done striking exchanges are not exciting the Houston crowd, which starts to rain boos down as they pick and poke at one another. Morales crashes forward to duck a blow and aims for a takedown, and even though he does not land it, he presses Rodriguez into the fencing. “The Great Drakolini” escapes with relative ease and breaks free, before landing a solid body kick as the two get back after it. Both men land big punches, and Morales scores the better one as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 2

The bantamweights come out to the center of the cage, and Morales looks to set up a left hand but cannot quote score it. As Rodriguez throws a naked low kick, Morales connects with a picture-perfect right hand that sends Rodriguez flying to the ground. Although Morales considers diving after him and doing some damage, he elects to instead let Rodriguez up so they can keep striking. Both men start up with wide exchanges, and they trade big single blows and both nearly fall over. Rodriguez changes levels and looks to take his foe down, but “Vandetta” stuffs the double. Rodriguez chains the attempt into a single, and he puts Morales on his back for a moment. Morales springs back up, and Rodriguez is there to hit a quick mat return. Once more, Morales stands up, and he absorbs a sharp strike to the body. Rodriguez lifts Morales up and slams him down, and this time Morales needs to get to his knees a little slower before exploding back to his feet. He does this, and the two separate. Morales stings Rodriguez with a one-two, even walking through a counterpunch to get there. Morales targets the body and the head, and he walks Rodriguez down right into a right hand that splits his guard. A short but ferocious brawl ensues, with each fighter landing flush and giving it right back, before Rodriguez backs off to score a leg kick. Rodriguez gets his jab going again, and Morales finds a right hand that clatters off the side of Rodriguez’ head. Rodriguez sits down on a two-punch combination, and Morales pays him back with a heavier right hand. They come together in the pocket and trade, with Rodriguez clipping his foe with a solid left hand. The round ends as they both swing wildly.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morales

Round 3

The close fight enters its third round, and Morales leads the dance as he follows Rodriguez around the cage. Morales partially connects with a left hand, and the right that comes after gets blocked. Rodriguez tries to keep his advancing foe at bay with a few jabs, and they land blows at the same moment. Both men dodge and weave as they throw heavily at the other, with counters missing as they try to trade. Rodriguez stretches out with a left hand, and Morales swarms him with a short salvo of punches that largely do not get in. Rodriguez parries a few shots to land a solid right hand, and Morales is right in front of him ready to string a few more punches together. “The Great Drakolini” lands a few punches as they clinch up, and right at the break, he clips Morales with a stern right hand. Morales wheels out of the way and puts on the gas, landing a solid right hand that surprises Rodriguez momentarily. Rodriguez looks to land a takedown, and Morales hops out of the way and stops the advancing effort. The bantamweights go punch-for-punch, with one landing and the other responding nearly in sequential order. Morales tries to break up this rhythm with a few punches and a takedown attempt, and when he does not get, he rips the body with a left hand and brings a right over the top. Rodriguez chains a one-two that misses the mark, and Morales stings him back with a right hand. Morales keeps after his retreating foe, scoring a few left hands while Rodriguez is slowly and throwing less. Both men start throwing heavy leather, and Morales slaps away the oncoming fire so he can pin his right hand on Rodriguez’ chin. They both flurry briefly, and Morales gets the better of the exchange as Rodriguez is forced to back off and throw a body kick. Morales gives him chase and lands to the head and body, with Rodriguez bouncing off the cage wall. Morales rips the body, and Rodriguez counters him with a sharp right hand that makes Morales wave him on. With seconds to spare, both men throw caution to the wind and swing wildly, connecting practically at will and not budging until the final horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales (29-28 Morales)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Morales (29-28 Rodriguez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morales (29-28 Morales)

The Official Result

Vince Morales def. Drako Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Rafael Fiziev (155.5) vs. Bobby Green (156)

Round 1

For the preliminary headliner, fans will be treated to a potential lightweight banger as fast-rising Kyrgyzstani striker Fiziev (9-1, 3-1 UFC) takes on unflappable vet Green (27-11-1, 8-6-1 UFC). The only man to finish Green with strikes is Dustin Poirier, and “Ataman” will almost certainly try to become the second. Referee Jacob Montalvo oversees the 155ers throwing down, and there is a touch of gloves to seal the cage around them. Green comes out with his hands low as he walks Fiziev down, hopping forward and blocking a body kick. Fiziev too drops his hands and kicks the body, and he misses a few leg kicks as Green is able to evade them in time. Fiziev reaches at Green with kicks with Green stalking after him, and Green bursts forward to land two left hands on the jaw that make Fiziev laugh at him. The lightweights go kick-for-kick to the body, and they throw punches and roll with them. Fiziev unleashes a big left hand, and Green shakes his head at him and goes to the body with a left hook. Green starts talking to Fiziev, sprinting forward with a few punches and ignoring the kicks that soar at his legs. Fiziev answers Green with the trash talk, and they feint and fake at one another as Fiziev lands a few kicks. Green ducks a few punches, lands one, and leans back to avoid a few more. Green does absorb a few when Fiziev comes forward, but the leg kicks are more effective. Green jabs the body a few times, and he ducks back to sneak in a left hand. Green plants his fist on Fiziev’s face, and he ducks and dodges to avoid the brunt of the blows. Fiziev follows him as Green turns his back, and even runs away to reset. Green shucks a punch and gives one back, keeping Fiziev guessing and the two go strike for strike. Fiziev gets off a body kick, and Green signals at that it landed on his shoulder. Green lands a right hand that make Fiziev shout and readjust his mouthpiece, and “Ataman” attacks him with a few kicks as Green just shakes his head at him. Green dodges a blow, lands a right hand and scores a thumping body kick. Fiziev replies with an elbow, and Green signals that it was a grazing blow. The tense exchanges, where Green laughs off every blow that even slightly lands, lead to the end of the close first round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev

Round 2

The round begins with a wild barrage of punches from both men, with each lightweight landing effectively on the other. Fiziev tries to recover and land a spinning back fist, and Green laughs in his face. Fiziev looks to tie him up and land a knee, but Green is out of the way. Green avoids a few strikes but takes a firm body kick, and he slips a one-two as he backs off. Fiziev charges with a few leaping punches, and Green takes them flush and does not showboat this time, instead backing away to find a better angle. Fiziev walks Green down and starts chopping at his leg, and Green checks one and starts talking again. Green eats a leg kick that makes him wince, but he maintains a stiff upper lip as Fiziev is starting to find his range to the head and body. Fiziev connects with a leg kick, and he shouts as he succeeds. Fiziev eats a huge body kick, and Green tries to follow it up but gets countered with an overhand right. Fiziev finally has him hurt, and he swarms him with a long chain of punches as Green still keeps good head movement and survives the assault. Green ignores a head kick that slaps him in the face to reach Fiziev with a right hand, and he gets off a few follow-up punches to make Fiziev smile. Fiziev circles out and attacks the body with a few more kicks, and he tattoos Green’s face with a few right hands as Green looks to set kicks up. Green reaches the body with several punches, and he ties his foe up and dodges an elbow when Fiziev is ready for that. Green marches Fiziev down as chants of “Bobby” rain down in the Toyota Center, and he starts pouring it on and lighting Fiziev up with a long string of punches. He ducks the counters and gets off on Fiziev, until the Kyrgyzstan native pushes forward and smashes Green in the face with an elbow. The elbow opens up a cut but Green is not fazed, as he continues to land punches as Fiziev scores right back. Fiziev keeps things mixed up as he kicks to the body and legs, while Green’s sharp boxing lands more often than it misses. The round ends when Green steps in with a knee, concluding yet another close and exciting frame.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Fiziev

Round 3

The lightweights are ready to roll out for the last round, on a fast-track for “Fight of the Night” honors, and they pick up where they left off. Green lands several punches to the head, and he hops back when Fiziev aims counters. Green stabs his foe’s torso with his toes, and he lands a left hand and stares at Fiziev and points at him when Fiziev lands to the body. Fiziev wings a right hand that shakes up Green, but Green laughs it off and keeps taking shots. Green gives back as much as he takes, chasing Fiziev down and trash talking him as they both keep laying into one another. Green lands to the head and body as Fiziev kicks his legs out from beneath him, and Green keeps ignoring and shaking off leg kicks while landing quick right hands. The combinations from Green may finally be paying off for him, as Fiziev is slowing to a degree with more telegraphed strikes that Green can easily dodge. Green swats away a body kick and switches stances several times before trying to catch a leg kick. Green lands two punches, but Fiziev completely ignores them and advances. Green keeps popping “Ataman” with crisp strikes, and he rocks Fiziev with a one-two. Fiziev gets his wits about him and starts to land kicks, and the punches from Green have bloodied the Kyrgyzstan native’s nose. A huge right hand from Green makes Fiziev take a funny step, so much so that Fiziev falls forward to clinch up but Green is well out of the way. Green takes a head kick flush on the dome, and he marks Fiziev up with combinations. Fiziev scores a body kick with an audible thud, and the two continue to trade recklessly much to the delight of the partisan crowd. Fiziev digs the body and goes up high with a kick, and Green wobbles and pursues a takedown. When Fiziev stuffs it, Green knees him in the chest and backs away. Green lances his foe with long punches, and he lands several kicks as Fiziev fires them at him. Green rocks Fiziev with a huge right hand, and a left, and the blows keep coming as Green lays it on him. Fiziev is hurt badly and still throwing back with everything he has, as Green lands one final solid combination. Fiziev keeps his bearings, and knowing time is about to expire, Green walks off and raises his arms. The horn sounds a second after, signaling the end to a thriller that could go either way.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Green (29-28 Fiziev)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Green (29-28 Fiziev)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Green (29-28 Fiziev)

The Official Result

Rafael Fiziev def. Bobby Green via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Casey Kenney (136) vs. Yadong Song (135.5)

Round 1

To kick off the main card, bantamweights throw down when Tachi Palace Fights staple Kenney (16-3-1, 5-2 UFC) meets China’s Song (16-5-1, 1 NC; 5-1-1 UFC). Even though Kenney (30) comes in seven years older than his opponent, he actually started his pro career a year after Song (23) did. Referee Dan Miragliotta was not aware of that age discrepancy, but he pays it no mind when the two touch gloves and prepare to fight. Song advances, and Kenney is there to kick him in the body. Song gives him one right back, and Kenney measures him with a few front kicks as “USA” chants already rain down to support Kenney. Song thumps Kenney with a couple solid right hands, and Kenney retreats and gathers himself. Kenney lands with a right hand behind the ear that makes Song stumble, but the Chinese fighter shakes it off and is ready to fire back. Kenney walks forward and slings a left hand, and Song replies in kind. Both men land heavy body kicks, and Kenney marches on to keep attacking. The American ducks back in time to avoid a quick combination, and he gets kicked in the leg. Kenney sticks his tongue out at him and comes out firing, and the two men exchange and connect on one another. A right hand counter from Kenney surprises Song, who measures another stiff leg kick as Kenney plods forward. Both men are marked up to the body after landing shots, and Kenney walks into another kick to the body. Song gets off a right hand that marks up the nose, and Kenney tries to pounce and even goes for a spinning wheel kick, but Song sees it coming and dances out of the way. Kenney goes up high with a kick, and Song dodges and weaves before slamming his shin into Kenney’s leg. A head kick from Song is blocked, and he bullies Song to the ground. The “Kung Fu Monkey” gets to his knees and finds himself in guillotine choke danger, but he stays patient and pops his head out. Song manages to wriggle himself back up to his feet, and Kenney chases him down and keeps throwing hands. Both men trade punches, with Song headhunting while Kenney goes to the body, and the two clap hands as the first round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kenney
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kenney
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Kenney

Round 2

Kenney runs out of his corner and touches gloves, and he is quick to throw his foot up at Song’s face. Kenney takes a kick to the body as he advances, and he winds up on a huge right hand that Song narrowly dodges. Kenney chops at his foe’s leg, and Song loads up on a few punches to the body. Kenney counters, and the two separate, trading successive blows one after the other. Song kicks the body, Kenney kicks the leg, and Kenney walks through it to land a looping left hand. A fighter is warned for outstretched fingers, and Kenney goes right back to targeting the head and body of his opponent. Song is forced to fight off his back foot, and as he retreats, Kenney lands a few strikes high and low. Kenney fakes an ankle pick and absorbs a few shots to the body, and the American lands a leg kick followed by a right hand. Song has a trio of punches blocked, and when he comes in, Kenney eats one on the chin and fires right back. A loud, slapping kick from Song echoes through the arena, but Kenney pays it no mind as he careens off his leg. Song floats up a few body kicks as Kenney pushes the pace on him, and like a bantamweight Terminator, Kenney shows no reaction any time he is struck and keeps moving forward. Kenney looks to the take the fight down, and Song blocks it but eats a left hand over the top. When Kenney advances, Song is able to time strikes to his body and legs, but he lands with his hands as Song tries to skirt out of the way. Kenney comes up short on an uppercut as he walks his opponent down, while Song picks at him with kicks. Kenney returns fire after kicks land with low kicks, and he stings Song with a solid right hand. Song bites down on his mouthpiece and lets Kenney have it, scoring a left hand and one to the body. Kenney grits through it and tags his foe right back with a left, forcing Song to shoot in and try for a takedown. The American turns him around, where he clings to him against the fence until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kenney
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kenney
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Song

Round 3

Scorecards will likely be understandably close going into this last round, with the volume of Song against the power and forward movement of Kenney. Din Thomas giggles as he says the Chinese fighter’s name, and the fight resumes practically where the last round ended, with quick exchanges from both fighters. Kenney ignores kicks to score a right hand that shakes Song up, and he scores a body kick to prompt Song to throw back at him. Song lands a few punches and a kick as Kenney advances, and he sits down on a right hand and it splits the guard. Kenney backs off as Song picks up volume, landing jabs and kicks as Kenney tries to give him one back every time. Song scores a right hand on the chin, and Kenney times a sharp body kick as Song ducks down. Kenney clips Song with a head kick where the knee may have bounced off Song’s head, and Song smiles keeps going strong. A one-two and a body kick from Song surprise his opponent, who whiffs as Song chains another punch combination to the body. Kenney lands a few punches at range, with a left hand that sends Song back a step. Song comes right back, and he scores a few strikes before he is forced to defend a takedown in the center of the cage. The Chinese fighter stands him up and holds his hands out to tell him to brawl with him, and Kenney steps in with a left hand as Song jabs at him. Kenney kicks and falls over while trying to recover from it, and Song is there before him scoring to the body. Kenney again shoots for a takedown, and Song sprawls and lands flush. Kenney is forced to shell up as Song strides forward, landing big punches as Kenney tries to wind up on bombs. Song meets every Kenney punch with two of his own, connecting to the body and head as Kenney wings shots. When Song puts together a combination, Kenney shoots in for a takedown and finally hits it – but he last less than 10 seconds to spare. In top position, Kenney drops down a few elbows, and time expires to conclude this close matchup. The scorecards could go either way.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Song (29-28 Kenney)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Song (29-28 Kenney)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Song (29-28 Song)

The Official Result

Yadong Song def. Casey Kenney via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Angela Hill (115) vs. Tecia Torres (115)

Round 1

A rematch over six years in the making comes in the strawweight division, when “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (12-5, 8-5 UFC) and “Overkill” Hill (13-9, 8-9 UFC) start Round 4 of their unexpected grudge match. Torres won their first meeting, and although both have made marked improvements in that time, she suddenly swells to a -160 betting favorite on fight night. Referee Mike Beltran is on call for this high-energy showdown, and there is no touch of gloves and a whiff of bad blood between them. Both women come out jabbing, and when Hill tries to put on the pressure, Torres kicks her away with a push kick. Torres lands a kick to the body when Hill tries to swarm her with punches, and does this again to give Hill pause. “The Tiny Tornado” leaps in the air with a superwoman punch, and she continually lands kick to the body while Hill is trying to find her range. Torres scores a right hand that shakes Hill up, and she chains a combination together that makes Hill have to adjust. Torres lands a leg kick, and Hill catches it and trips Torres down to the ground. Torres uses upkicks off her back when Hill lords over her, until Hill dives in to drag Torres down when Torres stands up. “Overkill” keeps her full body weight on her foe as she hits a trip in the clinch, and Torres springs back up and takes a few knees up the middle. Hill holds tight in the clinch until Torres knees her to back her off, and she scores a right hand that forces Torres to take a quick count of her teeth. Hill just avoid a high kick that soars at her, and Torres counters Hill on the way in with a fierce right hand. Torres once more kicks low, and Hill grabs it again but cannot put Torres down this time. Torres instead stays on her bike, avoids a right hand and head kick, and pops Hill with a few right hands. Hill walks forward into a takedown attempt from Torres, and the latter lands it for a second. Hill powers back up, and as soon as she stands, Torres kicks her in the side and cracks her with a right hand. Torres just misses with a spinning back fist, and they clash shins at the same time. Torres ducks a looping shot from Hill, and Hill successful evades another spinning back fist. Torres starts to brawl with her opponent, and Hill has to back off and takes a kick to the body. Torres crashes forward to land a few punches, and her constant activity is getting to Hill. Hill spins with an elbow and thumps her opponent right on the chin, and her shin connects with the ribcage as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Torres
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Torres
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Torres

Round 2

Torres targets the body as she did in the previous round, and both women start twirling with spinning strikes. Hill pushes the pace and reaches out a front kick, but Torres avoids it and gets off a hook kick. Torres stays on the outside, playing the matador to Hill’s bull, and she even throws an axe kick that Hill sees coming. Hill bites down on her mouthpiece and throws heavily, connecting squarely on the chin. Torres backs off and dings Hill with a check right hook, forcing Hill to shake it off. Torres uses both legs to keep Hill at bay, with body kicks and slapping head kicks measuring her distance. Torres has a side kick caught, and Hill snags it, spins around to take her back, and drags Torres to the ground. “The Tiny Tornado” spins her way back up to her feet, and she hops towards the cage wall as Hill is glommed on to her. Hill knees Torres a few times in the close proximity, and when she lets go, she misses on a break strike. Torres reaches her foe with a right hand, and a head kick that follows gets blocked. Hill plods forward, and Torres grabs her and throws her into the fence. The two exchange heavy clinch strikes, and Torres drills her with a knee and an elbow to get her to back off. Torres catches Hill on the way in with a body kick, and she paws a front kick out of the way. Torres slings a pair of looping punches, and the leg kick after it is more effective as Hill is forced to bend a knee for a moment. Hill gets up and Torres greets her with a few punches, and Torres stays constantly busy throwing offense with punches and kicks. The targets vary, with high kicks and low kicks coming in rapid succession as Hill comes forward. Hill scores a single left hand, and she spins with an elbow and clocks Torres on the jaw. A wild scramble allows Hill to somehow climb on top into full mount when the fight suddenly falls to the ground, and the round ends before she can do anything with it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Torres
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Torres
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Torres

Round 3

The strawweights meet in the center of the cage, and Torres sees kicks coming and evades most of them. Torres scores a left and a right as Hill barrels towards her, and Torres smacks her in the body with a kick as Hill tries to close in and clinch. Torres uses the momentum to turn around and push off, where she subsequently wings a right hand that bounces off Hill’s hair. The two women swing wildly for a moment, and Torres thinks better of it and backs off so she can score with kicks. Hill eats a punch coming in, and Torres scores a few more after it as Hill tries to tie her up. Torres again breaks the grip and lands a strike on the separation, and Hill thanks her for this with a solid body shot. Both women miss on high kicks, and Torres spins with a back fist that is blocked in time. Torres kicks high and is countered with an overhand right, and she comes right back to “Overkill” with one of her own. Torres lets loose a body kick, and Hill clings to it and looks to pursue a trip but Torres hops on one leg and nails Hill with a right hand. Hill lets it go and releases her own right hand, but Torres is no worse for wear as the two hit each other with everything they have. The two women clash together as they are both throwing wildly, clinching up for a moment before letting their hands go again. Hill lands one, but takes two as she backs off. Torres advances and gets popped in the nose, causing a little blood to trickle from her nostrils. The two women both land one after the other in rapid succession, until Hill changes things up and tries to pursue a takedown. “The Tiny Tornado” sees it coming and blows it away, but not before Hill can land to the body. Torres charges forward and misses, allowing Hill to return with a few blows. Torres ducks a punch to drop down and hit a takedown, and when Hill climbs back to her feet, Torres drags her back down. The fun back-and-forth fight ends as Torres appears to be setting up an armbar.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)

The Official Result

Tecia Torres def. Angela Hill via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Michael Chiesa (170.5) vs. Vicente Luque (170)

Round 1

The victorious welterweight between Chiesa (18-4, 11-4 UFC) and Luque (20-7-1, 13-3 UFC) may line himself up for a title eliminator matchup, if not a shot at the belt itself, depending on the result and timing. In this deceiving striker vs. grappler battle, both men have a little more to offer than the one-dimensional reputations they have acquired. Referee Kerry Hatley will serve as the Octagon ranger for what remains a pick ‘em fight, and the respect is through the roof as they happily touch glove before looking to eliminate the other. Luque takes the center of the cage as Chiesa is far on the outside, well out of striking range. Luque tries to set up a right hand as Chiesa looks to close the distance, but there is a stalemate for the first minute. Luque finally lands a low calf kick, and Chiesa reacts to it but stays on his bike. Chiesa reaches out with a big left hand, and Luque completely ignores it and continues chasing “Maverick.” The Brazilian is still following Chiesa around, and Chiesa marks his foe up with a solid one-two and opens up a cut. Luque scores a solid right hand and makes Chiesa fall off-balance to the ground, but he powers back up and closes in. Luque looks to counter him on the way in, but Chiesa grabs him and drags him to the ground. “Maverick” takes his foe’s back and gets a hook in, and he instantly sets up a rear-naked choke. The pressure is tight as it is on the chin, and he squeezes with all his might but cannot get a tap. Luque grits it out, and he survives the choke and falls straight into an armbar setup. When Luque turns through, he takes top position. Chiesa gets to his knees, and in an instant, “The Silent Assassin” snatches up the neck with a brabo choke. The choke is tight immediately, as he rolls to his back and gets it set. Chiesa, in turn, rolls to his own back to try to escape, but there is no way out. Chiesa thinks about going out on his shield, but before consciousness fades from his body, he surrenders. Luque, knowing he just did the incredible by submitting Chiesa, ends his opponent's win streak in his new division. Luque uses his opportunity on the microphone to call out the champion, doing so respectfully by saying they have never met and that it would be a fun battle after Kamaru Usman beats Colby Covington again.

The Official Result

Vicente Luque def. Michael Chiesa R1 3:25 via Submission (Brabo Choke)

Jose Aldo (136) vs. Pedro Munhoz (135)

Round 1

A striker’s delight comes in the new co-main event of UFC 265, as former featherweight king Aldo (29-7, 11-6 UFC) plans another trip up the ladder of this bantamweight division. He will meet Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC; 9-5, 1 NC UFC), who will happily greet him in the center of the cage and throw hands, feet, elbows and anything else he can muster up. Referee Mike Beltran will have his hands full for what many are expecting would be the “Fight of the Night” were it not for the incredible Green-Fiziev battle earlier, and they touch gloves before coming out swinging. Munhoz opens up with a spinning back kick in the first strike of the night, and he gets blocked and spins back around to kick Aldo in the lead leg. Aldo dodges a strike salvo that comes towards him, and he puts out a single jab to the face. Aldo avoids a leg kick and a spinning wheel kick, using his left hand to keep range. Munhoz tries to paw his way towards him, and the former champ swats his hand away. Aldo targets the body, and he catches Munhoz on the way in with a left hand. Munhoz kicks the body, and Aldo pumps his jab out time after time. Munhoz spins with a back kick, and the blow collides with Aldo’s guard. Aldo tries to time a counter, and Munhoz lands a few kicks as Aldo tries to check them quickly but cannot get his leg up in time. Aldo tags Munhoz with a perfect knee as Munhoz comes at him, and Munhoz walks through it and throws hands. Both men land clean right hands, and Munhoz scores a few jabs and tries to follow it with a looping punch but Aldo is feet away from him. Munhoz reaches out with a swiping left hand, and Aldo greets him with a harder strike. Munhoz comes over the top with a right hand as Aldo circles away, and Aldo fires off a few short punches to the body. Aldo wings a right hand that Munhoz eats without batting an eye, and he targets the body a few times with reaching punches. Munhoz peppers Aldo with kicks, and the ex-champ swings with bad intentions to the torso. Munhoz gets off an inside leg kick and has his midsection punched for his effort, and the two throw huge shots at the other but both miss. Aldo clocks Munhoz with an uppercut, and Munhoz completely ignores it to score a couple right hands and a few front kicks.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 2

The Brazilian bantamweights touch gloves, and Munhoz swarms his foe with a left hand and a leg kick. Aldo stumbles and recovers, catching Munhoz on the way in. A heavy Aldo leg kick lands, and Munhoz tries to pay him back but the power differential is vast. Munhoz targets the body as Aldo jabs at him, and he lets his hands go and works the body. Munhoz chases after Aldo, as Aldo circles away and eats a few strikes on the way out. Munhoz comes forward and takes a solid combination to the body, but he pays it no mind as he clips the former champ with a left hand. Aldo tries to counter the forward movement of his foe with a knee, but this time Munhoz is guarded and ready for it. Munhoz steps forward with a jab into an uppercut, and Aldo fires one back and checks a leg kick. Munhoz rings home a right hand and Aldo is not fazed, ready to return fire with a right hand. Aldo keeps his range with a piston-like jab, and Munhoz breaks it up by landing an inside leg kick. A snapping jab from Munhoz forces Aldo to reset, and the latter gathers his thoughts and unleashes a flurry to the body. Munhoz blocks the brunt of the damage, and he protects his mug against a looping right hand that comes at him. These two brawlers are evenly matched as they are both landing at about the same clip, with one landing on the other and the other responding in kind. Aldo reaches out with a few more jabs as Munhoz angles and makes his way in. Aldo swipes a left hand but uses it to set up a trap, as Munhoz kicks his leg and finds his way in. “The Young Punisher” punishes Aldo’s legs with a few kicks, and as Aldo rips his body, Munhoz greets him with a pair of punches up high. The strikers battle it out one after the other, and Aldo fakes a knee so that he can lure Munhoz in to clip him with a right hand. The round ends in a tense exchange.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 3

There is an embrace to start off the final round – some wish that it would go five rounds and be a main event – and they get after it. Munhoz comes out firing, worried he might be down on the scorecards, and Aldo is there to meet him and blasts him with a long string of punches. Munhoz scores a few of his own, but he slides his way forward so he can clinch up. Aldo pushes him off and ducks a tornado kick from the high-flying Munhoz so he can kick his lead leg. The former champ uses his jab to mark up Munhoz, alternating the strikes to the nose with body shots. Munhoz tries to walk his way in but Aldo keeps him at bay with a thudding leg kick and a tripled-up jab. Munhoz tries to kick the leg, only for it to be checked. Aldo strings together a combination punctuated by a huge right hand, and Munhoz eats it and keeps going forward. Aldo scores a loud leg kick, and Munhoz grits his teeth and winds up a right hand that makes Aldo bounce off the cage. Munhoz has his lead leg kicked out beneath him, and when Munhoz scrambles back to his feet, he dings up Munhoz with a right hand that opens a cut on Munhoz’ left eye. The two trade leg kicks, and Munhoz goes for broke with a few kicks and swarming punches. The former champ is too slick to get trapped against the fence, and he hops away from a spinning kick from his opponent. Aldo reaches with a straight right hand to the body, and when Munhoz scores a quick hook, Aldo lands one much harder. A trio of punches turn into a leg kick, and Munhoz is no worse for wear and ready to keep trading. Aldo hammers his foe with a one-two, and he keeps his distance so Munhoz cannot get off on him. Aldo scores a left hand and avoids a wheel kick without concern, and plants three punches and a ferocious leg kick on his opponent. Munhoz is tough as nails as he plods forward, but Aldo retreats on the outside and cruises to a likely win.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo (30-27 Aldo)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Aldo (30-26 Aldo)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo (30-27 Aldo)

The Official Result

Jose Aldo def. Pedro Munhoz via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC Interim Heavyweight Title Fight:
Derrick Lewis (264.5) vs. Ciryl Gane (247)

Round 1

At long last, we have reached our main event. Lewis (25-7, 1 NC; 16-5 UFC), in front of a home crowd, will vie for the interim heavyweight strap against unbeaten Frenchman Gane (9-0, 6-0 UFC). No matter one’s thoughts on whether this bout should have a belt on the line, or how the promotion is handling champ Francis Ngannou, this should be a very interesting matchup where one wrong move spells the end of the night. The fighters do touch gloves to set the stage for the big fight, and referee Dan Miragliotta draws the final assignment of the evening and braces himself for impact. The crowd is practically exploding as they chant “USA” that shakes the rafters of the Toyota Center. The heavyweights are tense as they measure the other up, with the only strikes a few low kicks from Gane. Lewis fires off a sudden head kick and falls to his back, and Gane pounces but Lewis is up before anything comes of it. Lewis eats a jab and backs off, where he kicks Gane in the side. Gane stomp kicks his foe’s knee as he feints and fakes his way in, lunging out with a jab and another kick to the knee. Gane slaps at his foe’s leg with a few kicks, and Lewis stands in front of him just staring. Lewis comes forward and pushes away a front kick that comes his direction as Gane tries to keep him at bay, and he draws a reaction out of Gane and makes Gane run away across the fence. The Frenchman gets back to the center of the cage and peppers his opponent with push kicks and jabs. Gane sits down on a leg kick, and another follows as Lewis cocks back his right hand. Gane continues to work the knee as Lewis is stuck playing the waiting game, with a body shot that comes as Gane plods forward. A sweeping body kick from Lewis comes up and clanks off the cup, and Gane grimaces as we have our first called foul of the night. Gane signals he is ready after 30 seconds, and Lewis offers an apology of a glove touch. Lewis has his thigh kicked as he tries to work his way in, and Gane catches him with a swift left hand and avoids a strike from “The Black Beast.” Gane slings up a high kick, and his speed is the difference as Lewis charges at him like a rampaging bull. Gane turns tail and runs away, and the crowd erupts in laughter. Gane gathers himself and calms himself down to kick Lewis with a series of body kicks, and Lewis comes up high with a kick that glances off the shoulder. Gane connects with a jab and a right hand that hurts Lewis, and they both wind up with big shots and might have poked the other the eye. Miragliotta tells them to fight on, and Lewis protests as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gane
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gane
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gane

Round 2

The heavyweights touch gloves as Gane may have been the recipient of an eye poke in the last round, while Lewis took a punch to the eye socket. He wipes his eye out, and he strides out ready for battle. Lewis slings a jumping switch kick, and when he misses, he sits down on a leg kick that makes Gane change stances. Gane reaches out with a knee as Lewis comes at him, and Lewis sits back while Gane keeps changing stances back and forth – the kick may have done more damage than it looked. Lewis extends his arm and may have poked Gane again, but when it is not called, he crashes forward and tries to pursue a sudden takedown. Gane pushes him away, and when they break, Lewis comes up high with a kick that is blocked. Gane kicks the body, and Lewis counters with a flying knee that bounces off the torso. Gane swings with a low kick, and he jumps forward with a knee to the breadbasket as they clinch up. Gane holds tight and knees Lewis in the thigh repeatedly, and Lewis can do nothing but absorb them one after the other to both legs. The crowd grows restless, and Gane shoves his opponent over but Lewis stays upright by grabbing the top of the cage. Lewis eats a left hand so that he can jump forward with a looping right hook, and it brunches off the target as Gane does not appear concerned. The Frenchman chops at his foe’s lead leg, and he suddenly advances with a straight right hand until they clinch up. Gane holds tight and knees “The Black Beast” in the body, and he clips Gane with a right hand. Gane is ready with an overhand right, and Lewis rolls with it but ate it well. Lewis tries to jump in to attack, but Gane is too elusive and dodges another jumping switch kick. Gane comes up short with a head kick, and the second frame comes to a close.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gane
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gane
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Gane

Round 3

The heavyweights touch gloves, and Lewis begins the round throwing first with a front kick. Gane ignores it and lands a leg kick, and another one nearly buckles Lewis’ leg. Gane goes after the same spot again, and the sound of these blows are significant as Gane turns his hips into them. Gane avoids a right hand, and he pushes his hand out and then chops down the leg of “The Black Beast.” Gane keeps hacking at that leg, and Lewis is not checking or moving with them. Lewis plays chase, but all he can do is walk into battering leg kicks. Lewis tries to close in, but he gets too close and initiates a brief clinch. When they break free, Lewis throws a head kick that is easily blocked. Lewis bails on a body kick halfway through, realizing that Gane is well out of the way. Gane just misses with a step-in elbow, and Lewis tries to trip his man down but Gane grabs the fence to stay upright. Gane keeps his balance, and he gets well out of the way when Lewis throws with bad intentions. Gane smashes Lewis with a leg kick, and Lewis falls back against the fence in clear trouble. Gane attacks with everything he has, laying into his adversary with punches and knees. Lewis does not play possum and is in big trouble, as Gane continues to clobber him with punches and knees. In a flurry, Gane makes Lewis turtle up leaning on the wire, and Lewis spits out his mouthpiece. In a brief break after Lewis gets tagged a few more times but survives, Miragliotta pauses the action to replace his mouthpiece. Although Lewis tries to lob a few desperation bombs, Gane strikes again with another kick and a few punches, and Lewis crumbles to his knees. Lewis protects his face as the onslaught continues, with the Frenchman pounding away while Miragliotta asks Lewis to defend himself. Gane shells his fallen opponent with hammerfists until Miragliotta intervenes, and Gane is now the interim heavyweight champion. Nothing but class, Gane gives love to Lewis and Lewis’ home crowd, his team and everyone that helped him along the way. When asked about his future matchup against former training partner and current champion Francis Ngannou, Gane has a simple message: “Let’s go.” Fight fans and media will get a week off from the UFC next week, although PFL and Bellator will be on tap. When it comes to the next UFC event, the show will be an ESPN offering with an interesting middleweight rumble in the main event. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

The Official Result

Ciryl Gane def. Derrick Lewis R3 4:11 via TKO (Punches)
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