UFC Fight Night 171 ‘Smith vs. Teixeira’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
May 13, 2020
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Chase Sherman (253) vs. Isaac Villanueva (232)

Round 1

Welcome everyone, we have arrived to the second of three events scheduled in the course of a week. With this Fight Night card that will be airing exclusively stateside on ESPN+, we kick things off in the heavyweight division. In this card opener, Sherman (14-6, 2-5 UFC) will make his return to the promotion after a stint in bare knuckle fighting against short-notice newcomer Villanueva (16-9, 0-0 UFC). Referee Michael Cardoso will oversee the action in this early potential slobberknocker, and the two big men touch gloves. Sherman takes the center of the cage immediately, where he pumps out the jab while dodging a short left hook coming his direction. Villanueva comes up short with a left hook, and takes a huge leg kick that nearly turns him around. A three-punch salvo comes up short from the Texan, and the two men swing heavy leather at the same time. As Sherman kicks the lead leg again, Villanueva comes back at him with a few punches that miss the mark. He follows them up and tags Sherman, surprising “The Vanilla Gorilla.” Sherman regains his composure and scores a few stern leg kicks on the inside and out. The two men trade jabs, and Sherman fires a right straight to the body before working the lead leg again. Villanueva’s best shots are coming in the form of a short hook combinations, while Sherman’s leg kicks are drawing reactions almost every time. Villanueva sticks out a jab, and the two pop them out at the same time to both stumble backwards. Sherman digs the body with a loud kick that elicits a grunt from his debuting opponent, and chains together a combination ending with a leg kick. The front kick from Sherman incites Villanueva to charge at him, and manages to connect at the end of a left hand. The leg kicks from Sherman are adding up quickly, and Villanueva might be struggling to plant on his lead leg less than four minutes into the fight. They come together to slug it out for a moment, and neither connect with anything flush but Sherman backs him off. Sherman unloads with a few punches, and cracks the Texan with some nasty shots and a jumping knee, all while taking a few looping hooks on the chin. Sherman gets a little wild for a moment, and when the two clash legs, some swelling quickly appears beneath the left knee of the newcomer. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sherman
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Sherman
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Sherman

Round 2

The swelling and welting has continued to develop between rounds for Villanueva, but he does not take it into consideration as he starts off with a blitz. Sherman stands tall and counters him on the way in, launching into a combination that is punctuated with a knee. A big right hand from Sherman forces Villanueva to do a quick check of his teeth, and Sherman unloads with a fury in the form of some massive swarming punches. As Villanueva backs up to the fence, Sherman unleashes a monster elbow that sends “Hurricane Ike” crashing down to the canvas. A few additional punches from Sherman are academic as Cardoso leaps in to stop the fight. Welcome back to the UFC, “Vanilla Gorilla.”

The Official Result

Chase Sherman def. Isaac Villanueva R2 0:49 via TKO (Elbow and Punches)

Hunter Azure (145) vs. Brian Kelleher (145.5)

Round 1

Moving to featherweight, an undefeated fighter in Azure (8-0, 1-0 UFC) will look to keep that “0” intact against the hard-charging Kelleher (20-10, 4-3 UFC). The third man inside the Octagon is referee Jason Herzog, and the two opt not to greet one another with a glove touch before the action begins. Both men start off with quick jabs, and Azure catches him on the bow with one and then follows it with a clapping leg kick. Kelleher returns with a body kick that scores, and then another that falls short. Both men whiff with kicks at one another, before Azure steps in and blasts him with a leg kick. Kelleher responds in kind with one of his own, and these two are putting their hips into these kicks. Kelleher rushes in with a punch combination but gets rebuffed by Azure, who matches aggression with aggression. Azure dings him a few times before Kelleher backs off, only to come back and land a solid shot to the body. Azure opens up with a combination that rings his bell, but Kelleher shakes it off by backing off and peppering him with a few leg kicks. Advised by his corner, Kelleher changes levels to go for a takedown, but Azure is ready for it. Azure makes him pay with a few hooks, and then digs to the body with a left. Kelleher just misses with an overhand left, comes in with another that cracks Azure on the jaw. Kelleher races forward to throw a spinning back fist, and Azure catches him on the way in with a short left hand that sends “Boom” spinning across the canvas. He regathers himself and the two begin to slug it out in the center of the cage. Azure largely sticks to headhunting, while Kelleher breaks it up with body shots and low kicks. The New Yorker crashes forward to try to hit a double leg takedown, and Azure stands him up and gets away. The unbeaten fighter unloads with two crazy hooks, and Kelleher just barely ducks out of the way in time. Kelleher comes back at him with some powerful punches, and the two are clashing together with strikes. They separate, and both miss with kicks, including a high kick from Azure that makes him fall to the ground. He gets back up to try to set something up, but the round ends before he gets there.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Azure

Round 2

Kelleher opens the second with a few low kicks. A right hook clips Azure right behind the ear, but the unbeaten fighter wears it well and throws right back. As Kelleher comes at him, Azure absorbs a few shots but throws back with heavier punches. Azure goes to the body with some thumping shots, and Kelleher begins to react just a tiny bit by lowering his elbows. Kelleher manages to get something back with a double jab followed by a stiff right hand, and Azure shakes it out. Kelleher fakes with a spin, and Azure rushes in but cannot capitalize as he partially lands with a short right on the break. Kelleher hops forward to engage, and lands a couple effective leg kicks. A low kick lands to the peninsula south of the equator, but Azure waves it off and they keep going strong. Azure loads up with some big shots, and finishes a solid combination with a body kick. The two come together in a clinch, and Azure leans heavily on Kelleher until he breaks free to swing wildly. Azure goes for a low kick, but Kelleher cracks him with a left hand and follows it up with another big left. Azure might be hurt, and “Boom” uncorks a bomb of a left hook to send Azure careening to the ground. Azure is likely out before he hits the ground, but for good measure Kelleher swings a few hammerfists until Herzog dives in to save the doomed fighter. In doing so, Kelleher ejects Azure from the ranks of the unbeaten in dramatic fashion, and what a performance for the New Yorker.

The Official Result

Brian Kelleher def. Hunter Azure R2 3:40 via KO (Punch)

Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer (155.5) vs. Gabriel Benitez (155.5)

Round 1

Shifting to the lightweight division, Venezuela’s Morales (9-0, 1-0 UFC) puts his undefeated record on the line against “Moggly” Benitez (21-7, 5-3 UFC) from Mexico. The referee is Dan Miragliotta, and the two men touch gloves before throwing down. Morales opens up with a heavy kick, and Benitez tries to come back at him with one. Benitez sticks out his jab, but Morales is not interested in playing tit-for-tat as he fires a big looping set of punches in rapid succession. Benitez evades the brunt of the damage, and backs off to dodge a wild left. Benitez nails the body with a kick, and Morales comes back at him with a head kick that makes “Moggly” smile. Morales utilizes a stomp kick to the knee a few times, and checks a leg kick. Morales whips his right leg up after a jab and glances off the top of his opponent’s head, with no major damage inflicted. Morales rips another one, and this one is blocked but Benitez takes it. Benitez sneaks in a short left hand as Morales closes the distance, but the man named “Venezuelan Fighter” ignores it and walks through to try to set up that high kick again. One of those kicks may have cut “Moggly” open at the top of his head, and Morales is excited by this and celebrates by throwing another. A right hand from Benitez comes in response, which reddens up the nose of his adversary, but Morales walks him down. As he comes in, it is actually Benitez who catches him with a head kick, and enjoys the fruit of his labor by wiping the top of his head and licking the blood -- it is his own blood, at least. Benitez digs in with a few heavy punches, ripping a right to the body and left to the head. Both men use head movement and footwork to evade the other’s combinations, and to end the round, Morales crashes in to throw a knee up the middle.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Morales
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Morales

Round 2

The round begins for “Moggly” throwing a hard leg kick that gets checked. The check causes a cut to open up on Benitez’ shin. Morales goes up with a head kick, and an inadvertent eye poke from Morales pauses the action for a couple seconds. Miragliotta allows them to continue, and the two slug it out for a moment until another eye rake makes them stop. We get back to it, and they both decide to trade body kicks like Frank Dux vs. Paco in “Bloodsport,” one after the other repeatedly. Morales is looking to load up with head kicks again, and Benitez relies on leg kicks to keep his distance as he circles away on the outside. Morales jabs his way in, and eats a left hook for his work. Benitez goes to the body, but Morales stings him with a straight right and a body kick that gives Benitez pause. Benitez starts smiling, and these shots are adding up. Not to be outdone though, Benitez fires to the body with a resounding kick, and Morales eats it to throw right back at him. Morales sits down on a body kick, and ducks out of the way of the counters while proceeding to walk his man down. Morales goes up top with another kick, and Benitez is grinning at him but is getting tagged at least partially. They clash together, but Morales is unable to do some damage while they separate. Benitez leaps in with a knee, and Morales catches him on the way in. The action halts, possibly due to a groin shot, but it is actually Benitez who lost his hair tie. When they start again, Morales whiffs on a high-risk, low-reward strike and Benitez grabs hold of his back and shoves him to the ground. The round ends before he can do anything with the position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Morales
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Morales

Round 3

To start the round, we learn that Benitez’ shin is bleeding heavily, but the Mexican fighter pays it no mind as he loads up with big shots to start the round. Morales’ power punches appear to be slightly more labored, and Benitez is able to walk him down in the early going. Both men swing wildly and are unable to connect, but Benitez does score a pair of effective leg kicks on the inside and outside. Morales comes right back at him with a few jabs and right hands, before sitting down on two big body kicks. Benitez smiles at him, but does not successfully land as he takes a combination to the chin. A few jabs from “Moggly” have opened up a cut under the eye of his opponent, and the momentum in this round keeps changing. They both trade body kicks, but Morales’ are audibly louder and more impactful. Benitez takes a body shot and tries to throw back at him, but Morales is ready for him and fires a high kick his direction. Benitez goes after another leg kick, but the check is crisp and likely painful as Benitez needs to take a moment to recover. Morales races forward and flies in the air to land a knee, but he soars wide of the mark. Both commit again to the body kicks, and resort to brawling briefly. Blood starts to appear on the other side of Morales’ face, and Benitez cannot stop smiling. Benitez digs a right to the body and left to the head, and Morales does not like this. The Venezuelan fighter unloads everything he has left into a barrage of body kicks and wide-arced punches. Benitez attempts to respond, and lands a few body shots of his own, but it is Morales who pours it on right until the final bell. What a battle that was.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales (30-27 Morales)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Benitez (29-28 Morales)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Morales (30-27 Morales)

The Official Result

Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer def. Gabriel Benitez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Sijara Eubanks (136) vs. Sarah Moras (136)

Round 1

In the lone women’s bout tonight, we move to the bantamweight division as TUF Season 26 near-finalist Eubanks (4-4, 2-2 UFC) USA NJ, takes on TUF Season 18 semifinalist Moras (6-5, 3-4 UFC). Keeping a watchful eye on this preliminary headliner is referee Michael Cardoso, and the two women do not touch ‘em up as Eubanks elects to throw a leg kick. Moras responds with one of her own, and the two come together to swing hooks. Eubanks lands with a solid left, and the two comes together and a right hand clips Moras on the chin. “SarJ” follows it up with a head kick, and Moras’ legs are a little wobbly. Eubanks decides not to rush in, and instead keeps her distance and lands a heavy right. Moras gets her legs back beneath her, and tries to stick a few jabs out there while Eubanks is winging hooks at her. Eubanks digs to the body with a kick, and evades the counter hooks that come her direction. Moras throws a windmill of an overhand right, and Eubanks is well out of the way before it reaches her. The Canadian continues to stick to the jab, and as she comes in, Eubanks works the body and scores an uppercut. Moras strings part of a combination together, but it is interrupted by Eubanks, who rings a left hook off the side of her head. This exact same situation happens one more time, with a stiff check hook coming from Eubanks to back her opponent away. “Cheesecake” paws out with jabs, and scores a body kick while narrowly avoiding the left hook counter. Comfortable to play counter, Eubanks eats another body kick and tries to throw a few bombs but comes up short. A head kick from Eubanks is blocked, and Moras cannot get in on her as she blocks another before taking a left up top. A quick combination flips out from Eubanks, who scores effectively as Moras cannot. A right hook from Eubanks comes flying as Moras walks her down to land a body kick. A few more punches from both women conclude the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks

Round 2

Moras comes out from her corner like her hair is on fire, racing towards Eubanks and throwing with reckless abandon. The two quickly come together, and Moras looks to pursue a takedown but gets stuffed and nearly reversed along the way. Eubanks almost lands a trip, but when she finds she won’t get it, she backs off and nearly catches Moras with a sweeping right hook on the break. Moras sits down to trade in the pocket with Eubanks, before she backs away to come in at a different angle. The two go jab for jab, and Moras is coming in aggressively while she walks through counters. Lead jabs from Moras come again and again, to the body and the head, and Moras finally lands flush with a right hand in a combination. Eubanks is not amused, and blasts her back with a heavy left hook. The looping punches coming from both fighters, Eubanks’ arcing shots are scoring intermittently. They clinch up again, and Moras tries to bully her opponent against the fence but Eubanks does not let her do this as she works a knee to the body. “SarJ” lands a few uppercuts but takes a heavy elbow up top, leading her to rip a few knees to the body. Moras overcommits to a single leg takedown and she nearly goes down, before Eubanks counters it to hit a body lock takedown. From her back, Moras throws up a high guard and flirts with a triangle choke as she transitions into an armbar. Eubanks rolls free from the submission attempt, and steps over to half guard. The American stands up to land some heavy punches, and Moras rolls over to avoid the damage and the two end back up in half guard after a scramble. Big left hands from Eubanks are raining down, and she hops over to full guard before “Cheesecake” rolls over to give up her back. Eubanks lands a few short punches as the second round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks

Round 3

Moras all-but runs out of her corner to come at Eubanks, where she connects with a left-right to start things off. Moras flicks out a jab, and follows it with a right hand but gets clipped by hooks from Eubanks. A jab from Eubanks snaps the head back, and Moras recovers and fires a leg kick. A big body kick lands from Moras, who successful avoids absorbing a right hook in response. Another leg kick from Moras forces Eubanks to lift her leg up, possibly as a delayed check reaction or because that leg is hurt. As Moras chambers a kick, Eubanks reflexively lifts her leg to stop the kick, so Moras goes up high and rings Eubanks’ bell for a moment. Eubanks gathers her bearings and throws a few wild punches that blood up the nose of the Canadian, and she uses the time to bully Moras against the fence. They separate, and Eubanks nails her with a left hand. Moras eats it, and takes a superman punch right on the same spot that hurts her. Eubanks bowls over Moras, landing in full guard while Moras throws her legs up again. Moras kicks off the fence and sets up an armbar, and Eubanks stays heavy on top while trying to inch her arm out. Eubanks calls out to her corner to tell them that she is not in danger, while she shifts her way out of harm’s way. “SarJ” continues to shake and shimmy, and breaks free where she hops over into side control. Eubanks looks to set up a crucifix while Moras kicks off the cage, and Eubanks unloads some heavy ground-and-pound with seconds to go. A few more thudding punches land, and when we hear the horn, Moras is not happy. It is not clear what the Canadian is so incensed about, but she is halted by Cardoso before she can go after Eubanks. Cooler heads prevail, and the issue blows over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks (30-27 Eubanks)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks (30-27 Eubanks)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks (30-27 Eubanks)

The Official Result

Sijara Eubanks def. Sarah Moras via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Michael Johnson (156) vs. Thiago Moises (155.5)

Round 1

In a bout that was promoted to the main card because Roberson vs. Vettori was unfortunately scratched, Johnson (19-15, 11-11 UFC) will be looking to raise his UFC record above .500 against American Top Team product Moises (12-4, 1-2 UFC). Refereeing this lightweight affair is Keith Peterson, and the nonsense level in the arena just dropped to zero. They race out of their corners to meet in the middle, and the Brazilian opens up with a head kick that gets blocked. Johnson is stalking his man down, and double jabs his way into a right hand. Moises tries to get him to back off with another high kick, but Johnson isn’t interested. Moises dives in to hit a takedown, and Johnson quickly sprawls and we get back to the feet. A low kick from Moises slaps on the lead leg of his opponent, and Johnson replies with a body kick. Moises goes in for another takedown attempt, and Johnson shoves him away and blocks a head kick that flies at him right after. Johnson sneaks in a left hook, and lands another as he dodges the counter right hand from the Brazilian. Moises slaps high another head kick, and Johnson is able to defend it and one subsequent kick like that as well. Johnson kicks low and then to the body, but his best strike in the combination is a straight left hand that makes Moises bounce off the fence. Johnson connects with one more, and Moises again eats it flush. Moises’ nose has started to redden from those shots, so Johnson goes right back to it. Johnson rips to the body, and avoids the counter response, before bearing down on him with a few punches that Moises is able to defend. Johnson is coming at him with heavy but measured aggression, and scores several lefts in combinations that make Moises ricochet off the cage wall. One strike draws some blood from the nose of the Brazilian, who is taking shots and not able to successfully counter while Johnson all-but tees off on him. Johnson is cutting him off around the cage, working him over with long punches while protecting himself from counters. To conclude the round, Johnson shoots in for a takedown, but runs out of time before anything comes of it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Johnson
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Johnson
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-8 Johnson

Round 2

Again they run at one another when Peterson clocks them in, but this time Moises goes to pursue a single leg takedown. Johnson defends it well, and Moises decides to pull guard and throw up a submission attempt. “The Menace” grabs the cage repeatedly as he tries to spin out, but he is trapped. Turning over to his belly, Moises snatches up something that looks like an Achilles lock and Johnson taps instantly. Peterson does not see the tap, so Johnson wriggles for a moment and then taps several more times while wincing in serious pain. What a shocking turn of events!

The Official Result

Thiago Moises def. Michael Johnson R2 0:25 via Submission (Heel Hook)

Andrei Arlovski (238) vs. Philipe Lins (236)

Round 1

We return to the heavyweight division, as the legendary Arlovski (28-19, 2 NC; 17-13, 1 NC UFC) tries to make newcomer and 2018 PFL heavyweight champ Lins (14-3, 0-0 UFC) feel quite unwelcome in the Octagon. Hanging on tight will be referee Herb Dean. The two start out cautiously, with single jabs or leg kicks. Lins is slowly trying to work his way in as he switches stances, and goes after Arlovski’s lead leg with a few more kicks. Arlovski rushes forward with a few jabs as he decided to switch stances as well, but Lins backs him off. They clash together and start winging hooks, and both land to an extent but not flush. Arlovski sits down on a right hand, but Lins counters with a huge right hook that makes Arlovski take several steps back. Arlovski tries to kick out the lead leg of the Brazilian, and Lins continues to walk him down but is not landing to great effect. They rush at one another again, and Lins tags Arlovski with a right. The offense comes in dramatic waves, and as the meet in the middle, Lins cracks him with a left hand as Arlovski lands a few glancing blows. “The Pit Bull” jabs to the body and tries to follow it with a kick, but the damage is much more effective when they come together, bite down on their mouthpieces and throw. In these brief flurries, Lins appears to get the better of those exchanges but Arlovski is landing as well. The Belarussian scores a perfect spinning back fist that lands square on the nose of the newcomer, who eats it like a sandwich. Without missing a beat, Lins throws a right hand and then a leg kick, all while changing stances frequently to chain combinations together. Arlovski misses with a front kick, but a solid kick to the knee concludes the first round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lins
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Lins
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Lins

Round 2

A one-two from Arlovski sets the stage for the second round, and Lins replies with a body kick that lands with an audible thud. Arlovski commits with a small punch salvo, and Lins cocks back and releases a right hand that stuns “The Pit Bull” for a second. The Brazilian defends another string of punches with effective counters, and clangs a right hand off the side of Arlovski’s head. They clinch up, and Arlovski lifts up a knee and barely lands an elbow on the break. Lins throws a single leg kick, and backs away from a punch from Arlovski to land a kick with the opposite leg. Arlovski throws caution to the wind momentarily, and ducks after scoring a few punches to avoid a looping right hand. Lins is stalking Arlovski down, but does not commit to much until cracking a right hand off the dome. Arlovski comes forward to land a few punches, and Lins rolls with them. Lins throws up an inside leg kick, and it drills Arlovski in the groin, leading to several bellows from the former UFC champ. Arlovski is in a bad way as the action halts, in clear pain as the slow-motion replays show the accidental foul again and again. Dean advises Arlovski to take all the time he needs, and perhaps due to the absence of a booing audience, he takes it. Dean goes over to warn Lins to give Arlovski a little more time, and we get back to it. Both swing and miss, but Arlovski is finding a home with a short left hook. Arlovski digs to the body with a kick, and Lins is fired up and rushes at him to throw bombs. “The Pit Bull” avoids the brunt of the impact while circling away and picking at the Brazilian with leg kicks. One last loud leg kick from Arlovski wraps Round 2.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski

Round 3

Arlovski commences with a bevy of kicks, to the lead leg, body and head. Lins ignores or blocks most of them, and counters with a heavy overhand right that catches Arlovski unaware. The former champ sits down on a body kick, and Lins comes back with one of his own. Lins walks Arlovski down and looks to set up a powerful right hand, and Arlovski comes at him and ducks instinctively but still takes part of the punch. Arlovski rushes forward and is caught on the way in with a short check hook, and Lins walks him down to throw bombs. They come together and cracks Arlovski, but “The Pit Bull” is unafraid to throw right back at him. With a slight pause in the offense of the Brazilian fighter, Arlovski takes the time to land a few leg kicks and jabs from a distance. Lins coils up a big right hand, and Arlovski closes in to take that away from him before landing flush on the break. Lins loops a pair of massive hooks, and Arlovski just gets out of the way in time before his head was knocked into the third row. They come together again, allowing Arlovski to sneak up a knee while nullifying the big shots. Lins throws an inside leg kick again, and Arlovski shakes his finger at him as if to mention the kick went low. As Lins ducks his head down throw a bomb, Arlovski has the timing now and catches him on the way in. A right hook from Lins nails Arlovski on the beard, but the former champ wears it well as he scores a few leg kicks on the outside. Arlovski chips away at the lead leg, and Lins is loading up on shots but not able to land them while Arlovski keeps kicking. The round ends, and we could be in for a close decision.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (29-28 Arlovski)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (29-28 Arlovski)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (29-28 Arlovski)

The Official Result

Andrei Arlovski def. Philipe Lins via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Karl Roberson (*187.5: Missed Weight) vs. Marvin Vettori (186)

Round 1

The bout was canceled Wednesday morning after Roberson was hospitalized due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19 following his weight cut. The news was first reported by ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

Ray Borg (135.5) vs. Ricky Simon (135)

Round 1

The next bout comes to us at bantamweight, when former flyweight title challenger Borg (13-4, 7-4 UFC) comes to blows with the shockingly mullet-free Simon (15-3, 3-2 UFC). The Octagon ranger is the nonsense-absent Keith Peterson, and there is no touch of gloves as they get right after it. Borg walks forward slowly, while Borg is feinting and faking, changing levels and bouncing around while jabbing his way in. A big leg kick from Simon lands square on Borg’s lead leg, and he does not like that. Simon unloads a short combination, and Borg scores a big right hand quickly. Simon changes levels quickly, and hits the takedown as Borg is sitting against the fence. Simon steps into half guard, but Borg recovers position and eats a few heavy punches. Simon lifts Borg up and nearly hits a suplex, but instead turns around and pushes him down. Borg reverses position and gets Simon against the fence for a moment, but Simon spins out and drags him down. Borg stands up against the fence and avoids a big punch on the way up, before landing a heavy right hand of his own. A mark above Borg’s right eye has formed, and Borg grins while landing a leg kick. Simon scores a few punches, and Borg smiles at him and rips right back. Simon fakes with a jump knee, and Borg catches him on the way in and stops the move. Both men flurry with punches, and Simon shoots in for a takedown, where he lifts Simon and slams him down. Borg pops back up but takes some knees to this legs, and Simon scoops up a single and sets him down again. Out of position, Simon flirts with an arm-triangle choke, but uses the uncomfortable position to take side control. The two men scramble wildly to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Simon
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Simon
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Simon

Round 2

Simon opens up with a bouquet of jabs, all while Borg tries to evade them and fire back a big left hook. As Simon moves around to find an angle, Borg scores a big left hand, and races forward to try to pursue a takedown. Simon shucks him and gets Borg against the fence, where he leaps up to score a knee. As Borg keeps a high guard, Simon pulls his legs out from beneath him and takes Borg down. “The Taxmexican Devil” is not grounded for long, as he bounces back up and sticks Simon with a right hand. Simon responds with a left-right, while Borg is more interested in throwing single shots. Borg spins with an elbow, and it does not appear to land as Simon stands up, makes a silly face and looks away. Borg bites down on his mouthpiece and wings heavy punches, but Simon blocks most of them and throws quicker shots back at him to the head and body. Simon strings a few punches up top before ending it with a thumping shot to the body, and Borg reacts. They start talking to each other in the cage, and Simon throws a flying knee but ops to pursue a single. Borg pulls his leg free and sticks out a jab or two, but Simon’s volume is far higher. Simon targets the head and body indiscriminately, and both sit down on some heavy punches before Simon goes after a double. Borg defends it well but Simon doggedly pursues it until he gets Borg down and takes his back. Borg walks his way back up the fence, where Simon holds him there. Borg manages to get some distance and gets free, where he rocks Simon with a vicious right hand. Simon maintains an excellent poker face while faking that his legs are wobbled, so Borg follows up with a vicious left to the body that gets Simon’s attention. The round ends with both men trading fast punches.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Simon
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Simon
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Simon

Round 3

Simon starts out with the jabs, but Borg is in his face ready to sling leather back at him. Borg is sitting on a left hook counter when Simon closes the distance, so Simon waits patiently and allows Borg to let loose a few snapping jabs. Simon walks forward with a knee, but Borg evades it and scores another nasty left hand to the liver. Commentator Daniel Cormier may be having flashbacks to his rematch with Stipe Miocic, as Borg has found a home with that same punch to the liver several times. Simon does not appear thrilled as he takes those shots, so he rushes in to swing heavily at Borg but ends up eating a shot on the way in. Simon ignores it, and times a double to bulldoze Borg to his back, where Simon takes side control in the middle of the cage where Borg can’t walk up the wall. Borg twists to try to get out of position, and reverses position to end up on top. Simon tries to stand up, and nearly gives up his neck. This does not bother him, as he calmly works his way out of the choke attempt, where he lifts Borg up and slams him down. Borg pops back up, and Simon mashes him against the fence before dropping down for a speedy single. Simon stands up and wings an elbow, and Borg takes it flush but sticks his tongue out at him. When they separate, Borg pursues that same liver shot, and nails Simon with a head kick up top. Simon’s chin holds up, and he keeps sticking and moving with jabs and low kicks. Borg spins and misses with an elbow, but does not lose position and backs off before Simon can take advantage of his move. Simon keeps after it by going for a single, but this time Borg rebuffs the attempt and responds with a superman punch. Both men throw flying knees at each other, and Simon’s land harder so they start jawing at each other. They stand right in front of each other for the remainder of the round and wing leather, with Borg landing the heavier shots but both men having a blast. The horn sounds, and the two men embrace; they couldn’t be happier by how their close, exciting fight went.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Borg (29-28 Simon)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Borg (29-28 Simon)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Simon (30-27 Simon)

The Official Result

Ricky Simon def. Ray Borg via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Alexander Hernandez (155) vs. Drew Dober (156)

Round 1

In the lightweight division, Hernandez (11-2, 3-1 UFC) and Dober (22-9, 1 NC; 8-5, 1 NC UFC) ready to throw down. The bout many consider to be a “Fight of the Night” candidate will be checked in by referee Herb Dean, and there is no consideration of a glove touch as Hernandez comes out firing. A few body kicks are followed by jabs from “The Great,” but Dober sits down on a left counter and nails Hernandez on the chin. A big body kick from Hernandez scores, and he slings a few more while Dober looks to land bombs. Hernandez quickly changes levels to go for a single, and after they spin around for a moment, he finishes the takedown to land briefly in guard. As fast as he can, Dober walks up the cage but takes a few knees in the process. On the break, both land heavy shots, but neither are fazed and they keep swinging. Dober loads up on a big left, and Hernandez backs off to try to set up kicks but Dober is targeting that one-hitter quitter. Dober fakes changing levels, and scores a right hand as he gets Hernandez to bite on the move. Circling around the outside, Hernandez works long kicks and jabs, while Dober’s power punches keep coming at him. One left hand from Dober cuts the side of Hernandez’ head, but he does not appear to even notice. Dober works the lead leg before popping in with a jab, and Hernandez tries to reply with a few short punches but they fall short. As Dober walks him down, Hernandez pursues a takedown but this time, Dober stuffs it. Hernandez stings him with a left hand, but after a very brief pause, Dober returns to his aggressive ways to cut his opponent off. Hernandez picks away at him with a few body kicks, but Dober has found his mark in a few big hooks. The Texan circles away, and loads up on a big right hand. The two are swinging heavily, and although there is an inadvertent eye poke and Dean calls time, the clock does not stop so the round confusingly ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dober
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dober
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Dober

Round 2

The doctor comes in between rounds to check Hernandez’ eye, but he is cleared and we begin. Just a couple seconds tick by until Hernandez lands an eye poke of his own and we halt the action briefly. Dober starts out charging forward, and lands a few glancing blows but Hernandez cracks him with a right hand on the way out. Both exchange hard shots, and Dober is wincing still from the eye poke, but is more committing to huge shots. Hernandez tries to take the fight down, but Dober sprawls and slams a knee into his chest to stop the advancement. Hernandez sticks him with the jabs a few times, and follows jabs with solid right hands that Dober absorbs without issue. Dober is keeping Hernandez backing away, and his big punches are giving Hernandez some pause as “The Great” backpedals rapidly. Dober catches him on the end of a right hand, and Hernandez nearly turns his back to run away around the cage. Dober does not let him get away, and instead keeps on Hernandez with long jabs to just touch him on the way in before winging bombs. Dober lands a stinging inside leg kick that nearly makes Hernandez falls over, and he just misses a big left hand that follows. Dober ignores the punches that come his direction to try to put together a few hooks, and he just avoids a few heavy punches. Dober stays on him and drops Hernandez, but “The Great” smartly gets out of the way of danger before he circles away and hits a takedown at the perfect moment. Dober is trying to throw elbows off his back, but Hernandez is simultaneously shaking off the cobwebs while landing a few shots on top. Dober powers out and chases Hernandez down. He starts unloading some crazy punches, and Hernandez is in the danger zone. Dober cracks him with left after right, and Hernandez is rocked badly and stumbling across the cage. In desperation, Hernandez pursues another quick takedown, but Dober is a man on a mission and he stuffs it and shoves Hernandez away. While Hernandez is trying to find his footing again, Dober races after him like his hair is on fire and blasts him with some monster hooks. Dober lets loose a thunderous array of punches as Hernandez is bloodied and badly damaged, and Dean has no choice but to stop the fight as Hernandez is almost out on his feet against the fence. What a win for Drew Dober, who notched his third knockout in a row over arguably the biggest name in his career.

The Official Result

Drew Dober def. Alexander Hernandez R2 4:25 via TKO (Punches)

Ben Rothwell (265) vs. Ovince St. Preux (240.5)

Round 1

On the heels of a controversial win over Stefan Struve, Rothwell (37-12, 7-6 UFC) will be greeting former light heavyweight St. Preux (24-13, 12-8 UFC) into the heavyweight pool. At 240.5 pounds, “OSP” hit the scales heavier than three other heavyweights competing at this event. Referee Dan Miragliotta is on top of the action in this co-headliner, and the two touch gloves to begin. Rothwell trudges forward and switches stances several times while trying to take a swipe at St. Preux. “OSP” paws his outstretched hands out there to find his range, and also uses a few long front kicks to establish his distance. Rothwell has made it clear what he wants to do -- he is marching “OSP” down and trying to set up a big right hand. He lands it, and lands it again, and St. Preux does not like it but he is unhurt. “OSP” kicks with his back to the fence, and Rothwell catches it and nearly counters with a right hand over the top. They separate, and Rothwell throws out a lazy kick to back St. Preux to the fence. As Rothwell stalks him down, St. Preux tries to circle around the fence but gets caught with a right hand. “OSP” scores a left hand and circles out of danger, but Rothwell does land a body kick while the Tennessee native is running across the cage. The pace wanes, and the two clash leg kicks while Rothwell is trying to find the angle to start his assault. “OSP” nails him with a big head kick, but he loses balance and Rothwell snatches up the 10-finger guillotine choke that he tapped Josh Barnett with, and “OSP” is trying to fight out of it. St. Preux breaks the grip, so Rothwell elects to throw a few punches while he leans heavy on St. Preux’s head. Rothwell pursues the modified guillotine choke again, and St. Preux is staying calm on his knee against the fence. Rothwell starts to throw some short punches when Miragliotta calls for action, and “OSP” uses the lull in activity to spring to his feet. St. Preux goes for a few high kicks but he is nowhere near the target, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell

Round 2

The second round begins with the fighter formerly known as “Big Ben” walking his man down, and he eats another head kick on the way towards his foe. Rothwell does not even register he has been struck, and instead slowly and methodically stalks his man down. “OSP” gets off a body kick and a few long straight punches, while Rothwell is content to absorb them without throwing much of his own. Rothwell sneak in with a few big punches, and a right hand scores that makes “OSP” flinch so he follows it with a stiff uppercut. St. Preux backs off to get out of harm’s way, and Rothwell rushes in and slams another uppercut home. Rothwell stays heavy until “OSP” bursts out of position, although Rothwell chases after him with looping punches. That one body kick has welted up the midsection of Rothwell, so St. Preux targets it with another kick and a punch. Rothwell shrugs it off while kicking back at him, and “OSP” cannot quite shake him. Rothwell rings a right hand home, and then scores another to close the distance. They tie up, and St. Preux scores a few solid uppercuts but Rothwell grabs a Thai clinch and lifts a few knees up for good measure. One knee has drawn blood from the former Tennessee Volunteer, and the pace appears to be getting to “OSP” as his mouth is wide open while trying to escape. Rothwell grabs hold of him and works him with some more short uppercuts, and the blood continues to flow. Rothwell changes levels to go after a double leg takedown, but “OSP” stands tall and stops it. Rothwell pushes all his weight on St. Preux against the cage wall, and throws a few short knees to the leg and connects with an uppercut on the break. St. Preux hits another head kick, and as Rothwell comes in, a counter left from “OSP” surprisingly drops Rothwell. The Wisconsin native recovers well and considers a single, but stands back up. They tie up against the cage until the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 St. Preux

Round 3

Like the last two rounds, Rothwell is singularly focused as he walks St. Preux down. Although “OSP” lands a few shots while Rothwell comes in, the bigger strikes land for Rothwell, who ties up and scores a few stern uppercuts. A right-left from Rothwell lands, and that left hand makes “OSP” back off rapidly. A body shot from Rothwell makes St. Preux double over, and Rothwell fires a salvo of strikes that are short but damaging. St. Preux is hurt but still able to defend himself, and both of them start slinging leather in close range. Rothwell lands the cleaner blows, and instead of emptying his gas tank, he clinches up and leans hard on St. Preux. Rothwell uses a few short knees to keep the position while he may catch his breath, and a few body shots extend that time further while Miragliotta implores them to stay busy. “OSP” nearly gets out of the position, but the wrist control from Rothwell keeps them stuck together. Rothwell flirts with a single leg takedown, but “OSP” backs off and lands a big left hand that hurts Rothwell. The man that walked out to the “Dracula” theme song -- Rothwell, for those curious -- shakes it off and keeps swinging wildly, where he lands some fierce body shots. The pressure from Rothwell is exhausting, and he ends pushing his full weight on his man with less than a minute left. “OSP” tries to spin out and his corner is shouting for him to get out, but Rothwell won’t let him go. St. Preux turns about and breaks free, where he scores with some big punches that hurt Rothwell again. The two come together and start fighting in a phone booth, where they go crazy into and beyond the final bell. A few hellacious punches from “OSP” send Rothwell tumbling to the cage floor, but the round was already over and those strikes were late. Rothwell does not take them personally, and with time expired, this tough, gritty fight is now over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell (30-27 Rothwell)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell (30-27 Rothwell)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Rothwell (29-28 Rothwell)

The Official Result

Ben Rothwell def. Ovince St. Preux via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Anthony Smith (205) vs. Glover Teixeira (205.5)

Round 1

We have reached the main event of the evening and survived a litany of repetitive ESPN+ commercials, as a pair of ex-light heavyweight title challengers square off when Smith (33-14, 9-2 UFC) meets Teixeira (30-7, 13-5 UFC). The two men have combined for about 55 finishes across their 63 wins -- Smith posts an early win where the method of victory was unreported -- and referee Jason Herzog will do his best to keep a lid on this marquee matchup. Smith starts off with a big right hand to get Teixeira’s respect, and the Brazilian takes a leg kick as well while not capitalizing with a right hand counter. A few jabs from Smith keep Teixeira at bay, and Teixeira is unable to find his range or timing yet. Teixeira rushes in with a few punches that miss, and takes a few more jabs on the nose. One of those jabs is followed by a crisp right hand, and Teixeira’s nose is already marked up less than 80 seconds in. Smith scores a one-two, and fires a leg kick that is partially checked, but Teixeira is still unable to land. Teixeira storms in and lands a few hard punches, but is more interested in taking the fight down as he grabs hold of a single. Smith easily pulls his leg free, and evades some heavy shots from Teixeira. With his back against the fence, Smith takes a few heavy punches, and one of those punches blasts him straight on the cup. Smith needs a minute or two, so Herzog stops the clock. Again, with no pressure from the crowd, Smith is comfortable to take all the time he needs to recover. We reset in the center of the cage, and Smith cracks Teixeira with a thumping right hand after setting it up with a few jabs. The jabs continue to come from Smith, who is very content to touch instead of load up, and the nose of the Brazilian is bloody now. Teixeira scores a few leg kicks, leading to Smith returning fire by putting a little more mustard on his punches. Teixeira closes the distance while taking jabs and low kicks, and scores a good left to the liver. Smith switches stances and fires a head kick, but Teixeira is able to block it and transitions into a potential single leg takedown. Although it was not a full-throated attempt, it could be used to keep Smith honest. Teixeira chases after him, and Smith picks at him with more jabs and front kicks. Teixeira is loading up on right hands, and keeping Smith with his back against the fence. A failed spinning back kick attempt from Teixeira ends the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Smith
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Smith
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Smith

Round 2

Between rounds, the commission takes extra time to wipe down a sweaty Smith. Capitalizing on the success of the first round, the jabs come out early and often for Smith again. “Lionheart” takes several leg kicks while he tries to keep his distance with jabs followed by straight rights. Smith starts jabbing with long front kicks with his toes extended, and he quickly closes the distance with a spinning back elbow that gets blocked. Smith keeps his arm extended and almost rests his hand on his opponent’s head to keep him away, but he is increasingly marking up Teixeira’s face with jabs and punches. None are having an individually high impact, but they add up and keep Teixeira from implementing his game. Throughout these jab attempts, Herzog repeatedly warns Smith to keep his fingers extended. Smith obliges by throwing two ferocious right hands back-to-back, and Teixeira’s eye has blown up already. Teixeira is outraged by those strikes, and he unloads a blistering barrage of shots on Smith. He does some damage and gets Smith to turtle up against the fence, but wisely pulls back before gassing. Teixeira fires up a few high kicks that Smith is just able to block, and Smith comes back with more long right hands. Teixeira blasts him on the liver with a kick that makes Smith double over, but Smith recovers and keeps his high pace going. Smith appears to be somewhat tired, or could be playing possum as he nearly clips Teixeira with an up-elbow a-la Anderson Silva-Tony Fryklund. Smith pushes Teixeira back with a slew of jabs, and knocks his mouthpiece out with the last one on the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Teixeira
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Teixeira
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Smith

Round 3

Smith commences his offense with a short left hook, and his corner has advised him to take some sting off his punches lest he run out of energy. Teixeira fires out a body kick, and Smith catches it and bowls the Brazilian down. Smith has no interest in keeping the fight on the ground, so he lets Teixeira stand back up. They stand before and swing on each other, and a huge right hand from Teixeira hurts Smith badly. The nose is badly damaged, and Smith is in obvious pain. Herzog rules that it was a punch, so Teixeira swarms him with more punches. As Smith gets himself free, Teixeira rumbles after him with a big left that drops Smith. “Lionheart” crumples to the canvas, and Teixeira takes his back. Instead of pursuing a submission, Teixeira allows Smith to return to mount position so he can rain down punches while Herzog urges Smith to defend himself. Smith kicks off the cage to get out of bad position, and is on a knee against the fence while eating punches. Teixeira is putting his full weight on his opponent, and Smith is taking a moment to catch his breath but Teixeira interrupts that with some heavy knees to the side. Smith turns out again and surrenders his back, but this is where Teixeira wants him as he fishes for hooks and a choke attempt. Meanwhile, Teixeira is also landing punches that make Herzog again call out for Smith to intelligently defend himself. A few punches from Teixeira on top have busted open the ear of Smith, and he lands a few more to nearly sink the arm under Smith’s chin. Smith is still able to survive while on his knees, and although he is not mounting one lick of offense, he is getting out of the round. A few big elbows from Teixeira wrap the round for him, and incredibly, "Lionheart" embodies his nickname to make it to the end. A bloodied and battered Smith wobbles back to his corner, but he has reached Round 4.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira

Round 4

The doctor checks Smith’s eye between rounds, and he is cleared to go forward but Teixeira is the much fresher fighter. One uppercut is all it takes for Smith to get his bell rung, and Smith falls back to the cage. Teixeira intelligently does not rush towards him, as Smith tries to set up elbows while Teixeira is coming in. Although Teixeira has him on the ropes, Smith keeps his elbows going despite taking uppercuts and knees up the middle. A nearly zombified Smith lands a flush elbow, but Teixeira does not show any ill effect from it as he cracks Smith with some brutal uppercuts. A desperation single from Smith nearly lands, but the Brazilian defends it and takes Smith’s back. Smith occasionally defends the choke attempt, but Teixeira lets him stand back up. Smith’s jabs have nothing on them, but a one-two surprises Teixeira. Any strike from Teixeira is drawing a response from Smith, who is totally fatigued and falling to the cage. Teixeira nails him with a few looping punches, but perhaps surprisingly, pursues and hits an easy takedown. Teixeira easily gets to half guard, where he can start hammering down elbows. The commentators are nearly beside themselves as to why Teixeira took the fight down when he had so much success on the feet, but Teixeira validates his decision with several more punishing elbows. Teixeira keeps his full body weight on top of his spent opponent, but he cannot quite pass to full mount. After some strikes to break up posture, Teixeira snatches mount for a few seconds, but the round time expires before he can take advantage of it. If this fight were stopped between rounds, it would not be a tragedy.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-8 Teixeira

Round 5

Between rounds, Smith expresses concerns that he may have lost a tooth or multiple teeth in this prolonged beating. A couple quick jabs from Teixeira cause a pained Smith to turtle up against the fence, and Teixeira bullies him down to the ground. Smith looks to employ a rubber guard, but his posture only allows him to get elbowed in the face repeatedly. Teixeira easily passes to mount, and he unleashes one final bombardment of punches to force Herzog to mercifully stop the bout. What an incredible performance for Teixeira, who is on an unexpected and impressive four-fight win streak now north of 40. Not bad for an old man -- his words, not ours.

The Official Result

Glover Teixeira def. Anthony Smith R5 1:04 via TKO (Punches)
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