UFC Fight Night 183 ‘Thompson vs. Neal’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 19, 2020
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Christos Giagos (159.5) vs. Carlton Minus (159)

Round 1

Tonight’s the night. And it’s going to happen again, and again. The final UFC card of the year is upon us, with a stacked Fight Night event with 12 fights from start to finish. We begin with a 160-pound catchweight contest, as huge favorite Giagos (17-8, 3-4 UFC) steps in on extremely short notice to take on Minus (10-2, 1 NC; 0-1 UFC) in a bout between two men looking to even their UFC record to .500. A touch of gloves in front of referee Chris Tognoni checks in the contest, and away we go! The two come out tentatively, and both trade leg kicks early. Giagos walks forward to land one on the calf, and he steps in with an overhand right to shake up Minus. As soon as he lands the shot, he changes levels to hit a takedown, where he hops on top as Minus scrambles. “Clutch” stands back up and shucks off the brief back control from Giagos, but Giagos manages to hit a double while Minus is up against the fence. Giagos slices over to mount with ease as he attacks an arm-triangle choke, and he bails on it to land a few shots. “The Spartan” sits up a few times to drop down short elbows, forcing Minus to scramble and give up his back. Giagos keeps a body triangle and forces Minus to turn around, where he starts pounding on Minus from above. Minus twists and surrenders his back again, but as soon as Giagos pursues a choke, Minus turns to his back. Giagos maintains this top position with much concern about getting bucked off, as he swings a few hammerfists so hard that he actually falls off of his opponent. Minus uses this momentary lapse to spring back to his feet, and as he throws a leg kick, Giagos charges into him and lands another takedown. Giagos steps over into mount as if Minus did not even offer a defense of the position, and he stays heavy to get off a few sporadic shots before aiming an arm-triangle choke from above. He gives it up to land a few strikes, and Minus cannot do anything but survive to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Minus comes out of his corner motivated, stepping forward with a one-two and getting his leg kicked hard. Giagos steps back and stings him with a right hand, and Minus retreats to start sticking out his jab. Giagos wings a big hook, and Minus is able to defend it but cannot make him answer for it. When Giagos swings wildly, Minus catches him with a head kick, but “The Spartan” eats it like a gyro and hits a takedown to put Minus firmly on his back. Giagos climbs over to mount with practically no struggle, and he abandons it to pursue side control for a submission attempt. Before he can secure anything, Minus scrambles and gets guard back, but it does not take long for Giagos to step over back to mount. Minus bucks and kicks, and he gets to his knees but Giagos takes his back and drags him back down. Minus maintains half guard and blocks most of the ground strikes that come at his head, but he cannot offer any offense of his own. Instead, it is Giagos who sits up every so often to smack Minus in the face with a hammerfist. Giagos reaches high to drop one down, and Minus sits up but is easily shoved back down. Minus shakes him off and stands up, but he allows Giagos to cling to him like Saran wrap and take his back. Hanging on like a high backpack, Giagos searches for a choke until Minus slams him down, only to give up his back. Giagos sinks in a rear-naked choke, but Minus’ scrambles allow him to survive, push off and stand back up. An energized Minus starts swinging punches, but few connect as the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Giagos throws wildly as the two engage in the opening seconds, with Giagos aiming an uppercut in the middle of a flurry. “The Spartan” attempts a takedown, but this time, Minus shakes him off. Giagos steps back and attempts a takedown from a distance, and Minus able to get to his knees to stand back up for a moment. Giagos does not let him off the hook, and he doubles down for a double leg takedown and plants Minus on his back. Giagos resides in side control as he considers a submission, but Minus kicks and returns to his knees, only to get his back taken. Minus stands back up while Giagos has him, and he defends a takedown by hopping across the cage. Minus gains the separation he is looking for, and both men trade punches. Giagos comes in from afar with a low takedown, and Minus staves it as he appears the fresher fighter. Minus lands a left hand, and he pushes away another takedown while avoiding a knee up the middle. Minus reaches with a left, and once more he stops a tackle from putting him down. Minus walks forward with punches, and he gets kicked on the inside of his knee to knock him off-balance. Minus tags his opponent with a left hand, and he times an uppercut at the predictable telegraphed takedown that comes his way. Minus lands a stiff one-two, and he wings a right hand but does not get taken down. Minus stuffs another attempt and counters Giagos with an uppercut, and throws a few more punches. Both land a single big overhand right at the bell, and this fight is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Minus (29-27 Giagos)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Minus (29-27 Giagos)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Minus (29-27 Giagos)

The Official Result

Christos Giagos def. Carlton Minus via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)

Cody Durden (126) vs. Jimmy Flick (125)

Round 1

Dropping to the flyweight division, two men looking to get their first win inside the Octagon come to blows as submission-minded Flick (15-5, 0-0 UFC) makes his promotional debut against fellow finisher Durden (11-2-1, 0-0-1 UFC). The third man inside the cage for this rescheduled bout – the two were previously slated to compete two weeks ago, but Durden contracted conjunctivitis – is referee Jerin Valel, who observes the two touching gloves to precede the action. Flick fires off a leg kick, and it sails past his opponent. Durden aims a counter, and steps forward to land with a stern uppercut. Flick throws a left hand into a leg kick, and Durden grabs hold of him and tosses him down. Durden sits on top and flattens out a face-down Flick, and he starts hammering his foe with punches. “The Brick” is marked up but he scrambles to get back up to his feet thanks to the fence, although Durden is aiming for a mat return. Flick manages to avoid the trip attempts, and Durden pushes off but snaps out a stiff jab. Durden ducks down to loop an overhand right around Flick’s guard, and he stings Flick with a left hand to follow. Flick targets the leg with a few picks, but Durden marks him up with his hands. Flick throws a head kick and misses, and when he fails to hit a takedown, Durden capitalizes by wailing on Flick. Flick defends himself by shelling up against the fence. Flick breaks free and scores a front kick up the middle, and he slings a head kick that gets caught. With his left leg in the air, Flick pulls guard with a flying triangle, and Durden is instantly in the danger zone as soon as he hits the ground. Flick locks up the triangle choke around the neck, Durden is trapped and cannot break himself free. As Flick transitions into a triangle armbar, Durden pulls his arm out while allowing Flick to tighten his grip. A few seconds elapse before Durden has to tap out, as his only other choice was to fall asleep. What a comeback for Flick, who was likely down in the early going until landing that miraculous submission.

The Official Result

Jimmy Flick def. Cody Durden R1 3:18 via Submission (Flying Triangle Choke)

Tafon Nchukwi (186) vs. Jamie Pickett (184.5)

Round 1

Shifting gears to middleweight, a pair of knockout-friendly newcomers out of Dana White’s Contender Series lock horns when “Cameroon Express” Nchukwi (4-0, 0-0 UFC) tries to keep rolling over “The Nightwolf” Pickett (11-4, 0-0 UFC). Holding on tight is referee Chris Tognoni, who observes a sporting glove touch between fighters that combine for 12 knockouts in their combined 15 victories. Nchukwi comes out firing, landing punches and a kick. Pickett bounces on the outside and slings a head kick, but Nchukwi ignores it completely. Nchukwi steps forward to land a heavy left hand, and Pickett circles out to avoid the follow-up shots. Nchukwi again charges forward, and he may have landed a knee to the groin as Pickett grimaces, but he continues to fighting. Nchukwi tries to toss him down, but the American powers back up and clinches up. Nchukwi fires off a piston-like jab and follows it with a knee to the chest, and Pickett breaks out of the clinch and lands a right hand. Nchukwi loads up with lethal punches, and Pickett visibly reacts to the strikes that come his way, before “The Nightwolf” shoots in for a takedown. Pickett lifts one leg up and slams Nchukwi down, but Nchukwi walks up the fence and starts firing off knees in the clinch. Pickett does not like these strikes, so he backs away, and Nchukwi charges towards him like a bull and slings several powerful punches and follows it with a head kick. Pickett’s mouth has started bleeding from these strikes, and Nchukwi pursues this same combination punctuated by a head kick. Pickett considers a takedown, but Nchukwi stops him with a front choke attempt. As Pickett muscles his way up, he blocks a head kick that zooms at his head. Both men trade jabs, and Nchukwi rushes in to throw a left hand and then a spinning back elbow. Nchukwi bites down on his mouthpiece and starts swinging, but Pickett catches him with a left hand and a body kick. Pickett gets backed up into the fence, and Nchukwi elbows him in the face and lands some body shots to follow. Pickett breaks away and targets the body, where he absorbs a body kick to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

These two sluggers start out with a glove touch, and Nchukwi rushes at him with a barrage of punches. Pickett backs off and picks at his man with a few punches and leg kicks, until Nchukwi charges in to clinch up. Pickett greets him with a knee up the middle, and he breaks free before Nchukwi can get him back. Pickett lets loose a kick that lands under the armpit of his opponent, and he sees the head kick coming at him and is able to dance out of the way in time. Nchukwi again targets the head kick, and he jabs the body as Pickett backpedals. Pickett backs away and flings up his own head kick, and Nchukwi blocks it and presses forward to clinch. The Cameroon native works the body with punches and knees, and Pickett starts smiling as he gets elbowed in the face. Nchukwi keeps tagging the body on the inside until Pickett pushes off, and Pickett scores a left hand but gets countered with a left from Nchukwi. Both men trade straight punches, and crash forward into a clinch as Nchukwi tries and fails to toss his opponent over. Pickett lands a step-in knee to the body, and Nchukwi bears down on his foe with big punches. Pickett snaps Nchukwi’s head back with a one-two, and he backs away to avoid the counterstrike. Nchukwi again pushes the pace on him as he initiates a clinch, before hammering the body with a stern knee. Pickett absorbs to more punches and backs away, but Nchukwi is on him landing punches high and low. Pickett stumbles as his back is against the fence, but he is not likely hurt and instead off-balance. Pickett lands in an exchange, and Nchukwi is hurt and falls back into the cage. He may not realize that Nchukwi is rocked, as he breaks away after a solid combination. Nchukwi clashes heads as he advances, and Pickett is hurt badly, as he grasps his head and winces until the horn sounds and beyond.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Pickett needs time to recover between rounds and into the third frame, and Tognoni calls in the doctor. Pickett is clearly compromised, and he is unable to clear his vision and head but he calls for the fight to continue so it is not waved off. Nchukwi lands a few punches and Pickett is struggling to find his balance, blinking repeatedly while circling on the outside. As he evades to his left, he barely ducks a head kick that flies at him. Pickett lunges forward with a few punches, and Nchukwi greets him with three vicious punches that rock Pickett. Nchukwi works the body with knees and tries to aim an elbow over the top, but it is Pickett that gets off the elbow to break them up. Nchukwi wings a right hand that clips Pickett at the end of it, and he rushes in with a knee to the body and a few more strikes. Nchukwi powers Pickett over with a throw, but Pickett scrambles and manages to roll through to get back to his feet. As Nchukwi puts the pace on him, he finally lands the head kick flush. Pickett is in trouble, and Nchukwi blasts him in the torso with a knee. Pickett crumples to the ground, and Nchukwi follows him to rain down labored but heavy punches. While Nchukwi takes his opponent’s back, he has no interest in going after a submission and would prefer to pound his man out. Pickett manages to go after a single leg takedown to force Nchukwi to defend, allowing him to get back up. Nchukwi spams knees to the body, and Pickett pushes off with a minute to go and appears to have his feet beneath him again. “The Nightwolf” stays sharp on the outside with jabs, until Nchukwi crashes the pocket to land knees and thudding punches. Nchukwi zings a head kick that Pickett blocks, and Pickett walks face-first into a jab but pushes Nchukwi back and ducks a spinning back elbow. Both men land serious punches right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Nchukwi (30-26 Nchukwi)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Nchukwi (30-26 Nchukwi)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-8 Nchukwi (30-26 Nchukwi)

The Official Result

Tafon Nchukwi def. Jamie Pickett via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)

Taila Santos (126) vs. Gillian Robertson (125)

Round 1

The first of two women’s bouts takes place next, when Robertson (9-4, 6-2 UFC) aims to cement her place as the top finisher in UFC women’s flyweight history against Aspera FC product Santos (16-1, 1-1 UFC). Drawing the assignment is referee Mark Smith, and there is no touch of gloves as Robertson would prefer to land a few left hands early. Santos throws so hard in response that she falls to a knee, but she springs back up to push the Canadian into the fence. Robertson switches position and jumps guard with a flying armbar. Santos keeps heavy top pressure to keep herself out of harm’s way, and she slides her arm free to take top position. Robertson throws her legs up to pursue an armbar off her back, and Santos pushes away and grinds her elbow into her opponent’s face. Santos keeps Robertson presses with her neck to the cage, keeping an angle that will disallow Robertson from pursuing something. Santos defends a sweep, but she starts taking elbows in the face eating more strikes than she is landing. Santos drills her in the face with her forearm, and Robertson scoots her way to the cage wall until Santos pulls her back down. Robertson pulls on the fence with her toes to turn about, but Smith warns her and stops Robertson from reversing position like this. Santos stands up to pass guard, and Robertson keeps her in position with a single leg takedown attempt. The Brazilian yanks her leg free, but she is not maintaining a steady offense, prompting a warning from Smith. Robertson pulls her back to full guard, and she keeps throwing elbows from her back but eats a few for good measure. Santos slashes down a few elbows until the horn, interrupting a submission roll from Robertson

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Robertson steps in with a few punches to open the second frame, and Santos is on her like glue before attempting a body lock takedown. She lands it, and she is in side control before stepping back into half guard. Robertson kicks off the cage and ties up an armbar, and Santos stacks her up and holds on tight to stop it. The Brazilian presses her knee on Robertson’s face, and when Robertson bails on it, she rolls over to attack an inverted triangle choke. Robertson manages to sweep position and pop her head out, so Santos pursues an omoplata and is also rebuffed. Robertson circles around to take Santos’ back, but Santos sneaks out the back door and leaves her arm exposed. Robertson attacks a straight armbar, and Santos roll through it to break up the attempt and wind up on top again. All throughout this exchange, a cut opened up in the previous round starts to bleed into Robertson’s eyes, and Robertson is stuck on her back while Santos tries to lock down a crucifix. Robertson rolls over and gets to her knees, and she takes several punches while trying to stand up. Santos bullies her down again, and Robertson can do little but sneak in an elbow or two from below. Santos lands a few punches to the body, and she keeps her full body weight while trapping Robertson in a difficult position to stall out the round. The Canadian wall-walks off the fence, but Santos pulls her leg down and elbows her in the face to conclude the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Santos comes out firing this round, and she lands a few stiff punches to make Robertson take a step back. Robertson drops down for a low takedown, and when it is stuffed, she pops up to jump guard for a guillotine choke. Santos remains calm and does not take any risks, until she pulls her neck out of the tough spot and sits comfortably in her opponent’s guard. Santos sits up and nails Robertson with a few elbows, once more opening the cut up on her face. Robertson throws her legs up to attack a triangle choke, but Santos uses a few elbow strikes to break it up. Santos sporadically works elbows from above while Robertson is trapped once more on the corner between the floor and the fence. Santos drops down elbows while Robertson switches her guard around to go for something, anything off her back, but there is nothing to be found. Smith chides Santos to keep working, as her activity has waned to something akin to “lay and pray” while precious seconds tick off the clock. Robertson puts a leg up over Santos’ shoulder, and she puts her other leg around to tie up a triangle. As soon as Santos twists, Robertson locks down an armbar, and she torques it but it may not be enough to finish the fight. Santos keeps rolling and manages to slide her arm free, where she pops over and hops into side control. The Brazilian starts hacking at Robertson with elbows until Robertson scrambles, and Robertson gives up her back trying to stand up. Santos holds on to her back and pursues a rear-naked choke until time expires.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Taila Santos def. Gillian Robertson via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)

Deron Winn (194.5) vs. Antonio Arroyo (194)

Round 1

Two fighters in desperate need of a win come to blows in a 195-pound catchweight affair, with Winn (6-2, 1-2 UFC) representing American Kickboxing Academy against Marajo Brothers Team prospect Arroyo (9-3, 0-1 UFC). The third man inside the Octagon is referee Dan Miragliotta, and the glove touch precedes the action. Arroyo comes out bouncing around, and he gets off a kick that Winn checks, but it hurts both men. He lands another, and Winn changes levels for a takedown. Arroyo pushes him back, but Winn redoubles his effort and puts Arroyo down, where he lands in side control. Arroyo scrambles and kicks off, and he is able to get back up. Winn lands a leg kick, and he fakes a takedown while narrowly missing a counter knee that zooms at his chin. Winn waits for Arroyo to chamber a knee to land a takedown, and Arroyo once more pops back. Winn punches his way in and lands a double leg takedown, and Arroyo is pressed against the fence while Winn looks to hold him down. When Arroyo gets to his knees, Winn drags him down away from the cage wall. Arroyo throws up a high guard, and Winn stands over him and falls into a triangle choke. Winn pops out and Arroyo takes advantage of it, landing a few punches and a kick to rock Winn. Arroyo strides forward to nail Winn with an uppercut, and Winn is hurt as he falls back to the cage. The Brazilian allows his opponent to regain his composure, and he gets off a quick one-two. When Winn tries to sling a right hand at him, Arroyo holds out his left hand as if he were trying to “big brother” an oncoming opponent, allowing his reach to keep Winn away. Winn ducks down and hits a takedown, but Arroyo scrambles and stands back up. As Winn ducks down, Arroyo front kicks him in the face. Winn crashes forward to land a takedown, and he keeps the position to the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Arroyo begins the round with a front kick, and he hurts Winn with it. Winn gathers himself and rushes forward, until Arroyo spins around for a strike but gets interrupted by a Winn takedown. Winn holds on from on top, but he does not land any offense of merit and allows Arroyo to stand back up. Winn wings a few punches from a distance, and Arroyo cracks him with a check knee as Winn charges forward. Winn plods forward directly into Arroyo counterpunches, and the Brazilian steps in with an elbow but misses when Winn ducks and hits a takedown. Arroyo gets to his knees against the fence, and Winn tries to keep him down while kneeing Arroyo in the thigh. Arroyo gets upright again, and Winn keeps his full body weight pressing on his man in the clinch. Arroyo pursues a sneaky trip takedown, but Winn reverses the position and they wind up practically right where they left off, with Arroyo on a knee trying to stand up using the fence. Arroyo pops up again, and he simply pushes Winn back. The Brazilian boots Winn in the face, and his hands are down by his waist as he looks gassed. Arroyo leans on a right hook, and Winn easily ducks it and lands a takedown. Arroyo looks frustrated off his back, as he does not show the same explosive escape game to get back up as he did earlier in the fight. Winn keeps him flat on his back, and he puts together a couple punches to the body but is more content to rack up control time. Arroyo cannot get a submission off from his back, and Winn holds on to ride out the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Arroyo sticks out a jab in the first seconds, and when he follows it, Winn pushes in and takes the fight down. Arroyo pushes off the cage with his foot, but Winn just sits on top and throws a trio of punches while the clock keeps ticking. When Winn tries to go after more offense, Arroyo kicks off, but Winn stands up. As Winn re-enters the position, Arroyo attacks a rolling kneebar, forcing Winn to defend himself long enough to allow him to get upright. Winn gathers his thoughts, wades forward and easily scores a takedown. Arroyo pushes Winn back with his feet on Winn’s hips, and he puts his hands behind his head while winging a few inaccurate upkicks. Winn jumps over to climb into the guard, and a few ground punches show little effect as Arroyo again kicks Winn off. Winn stands bored as Arroyo stares at him, until Arroyo stands back up and boots Winn in the head. Winn eats it and wobbles for a moment, but he pushes the pace and takes a left hand on the way forward. Arroyo rips the body with a left hand, but Winn walks through it and slices through Arroyo’s takedown defense like a hot knife through butter. As Winn backs off, Arroyo stands back up, until Winn takes the fight back down to notch what should be about a dozen takedowns to this point. Winn is unable to land ground strikes, and the same situation continues of Arroyo pushes him away to stand up. Arroyo swings wildly as the fight ends, and this grueling fight is mercifully over.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Deron Winn def. Antonio Arroyo via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Pannie Kianzad (135.5) vs. Sijara Eubanks (136)

Round 1

The last UFC women’s bout of the year is up next at bantamweight, when near-title challenger Eubanks (6-5, 4-3 UFC) squares off against fellow TUF vet Kianzad (13-5, 2-2 UFC). Fourteen decisions across 19 career victories combine for the two, who do not touch gloves in front of referee Mark Smith to check in their match. Kianzad sticks out a jab to begin the match, and she doubles and triples it up. Eubanks greets her with a triple jab of her own, until she changes levels and lands a double leg takedown, where she lands in half guard. Kianzad walks up the cage, but Eubanks authors a mat return to put Kianzad back down. The Swede defends herself with an elbow to the side of the head, so Eubanks simply lifts her up and places her down in the open cage. Eubanks, in side control, presses her elbow on Kianzad’s face. Eubanks gets pulled back to half guard, and she initiates an arm-triangle choke but cannot get it going as Kianzad pulls her head out. Eubanks keeps heavy top control, and Kianzad looks to tie up a knee for some sort of leglock, and Eubanks steps through it to return to guard. Kianzad throws her legs up to set up an armbar, and Eubanks breaks it up with a few punches. “Banzai” eats a few more strikes as she lines up an armbar, but Eubanks tells her corner she is fine. Eubanks pulls her arm out and punches Kianzad in the face one time, passing guard while shucking off a potential triangle choke. “SarJ” postures up in half guard to slash down with a single elbow, and Kianzad pushes off as Eubanks stacks her up. Eubanks nearly takes mount, forcing Kianzad to twist and turn, but the Swede gave up her back. Eubanks scrapes her opponent’s eyes from behind and Smith is on top of it to warn Eubanks, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Kianzad marches out of her corner with three strikes, and as she looks to continue her flurry, Eubanks closes the distance to clinch up. Eubanks lands a solid knee to the body, and Kianzad gives her one back as the two jockey for position up against the cage. Kianzad attempts an outside trip, but Eubanks keeps her footing. Kianzad attempts this trip again, and although she puts Eubanks on her back, Eubanks springs back up with ease. Kianzad lines up a clinch to knee the body and whip an elbow across the forward bow, and she backs away to land a few shots. Eubanks forces her foe to take a step back with a thudding left hand, and she walks forward to press Kianzad into the fence on the other side. Kianzad turns her around and knees Eubanks in the body, drawing a visible reaction from “SarJ.” Kianzad smacks the thigh several times with unorthodox clinch strikes, and she sets up a Thai plum to knee Eubanks repeatedly. Eubanks is the one that is able to land the face with a knee, and she pushes forward to bowl over the Swede in a takedown. Kianzad swings for an armbar, and she changes position to lock it up. Eubanks calmly edges her arm out of position, and Kianzad bails on it. When Kianzad attempts it again, Eubanks stands up and lands a stern punch from on high. Kianzad defends herself by pursuing a single leg takedown, and she pulls guard but falls off. Both women stand up, and Kianzad presses Eubanks into the wire. Kianzad lands an overhand right and an oblique kick to the knee, backing Eubanks up with her strikes. Eubanks sits down on a left hand and gets Kianzad’s attention, and she ducks down to shoot in for a takedown that takes Kianzad across the cage. Kianzad defends it with elbows to the side of the head right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Kianzad look to implement her jab as the final round opens, sneaking in a leg kick and avoiding a pair of counterpunches. Kianzad gets off a one-two that forces Eubanks to change levels, but she is able to stave off the takedown approach before it goes too far. Both bantamweights spin the other about, and they each get off some knees up the middle. Eubanks attempts to throw Kianzad down, but “Banzai” stays on her feet and narrowly misses a right hand on the break. Kianzad sticks out a few jabs and gets kicked in the chest for her effort. Eubanks swings and misses with a few looping punches, and Kianzad gets off three good left hands. Kianzad sticks her foe with a solid combination that ends with a leg kick, and both land left hands at the same time. Eubanks clubs Kianzad with a left hand, and Kianzad stumbles but throws back hard. Both women start brawling, and then back off to land alternating blows one after the other. Kianzad rips the body and comes over the top, and she steps back to evade an overhand right. The Swede stings Eubanks with a left hand, following suit with a slapping left hook and stuffing a takedown for good measure. Eubanks crashes forward to throw three winging hooks, and Kianzad is ready for her with crisper, straighter strikes that land quicker and intercept the others that come at her. Eubanks is ready in the pocket to trade with her, but Kianzad pops in and out. Eubanks scores a superman punch and a left hand, and a cut has opened up on the bridge of Kianzad’s nose. Eubanks sits down on a big left hand, and this strike stings her opponent momentarily. Eubanks chomps down on her gumshield and slugs with reckless intent, nailing her adversary with heavy strikes. Several knee strikes to the torso from each fighter conclude the fight, and the scorecards could be very close on this one.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Pannie Kianzad def. Sijara Eubanks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Anthony Pettis (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)

Round 1

Rounding out the preliminary card is a welterweight slugfest pitting former lightweight champ Pettis (23-10, 10-9 UFC) against Fortis MMA mainstay “The Great White” Morono (18-6, 1 NC; 7-3, 1 NC UFC). Referee Marc Goddard will need to keep his head on a swivel as these two go at it, and they do not touch gloves before swinging for the bleachers. Morono throws wildly, and when Pettis avoids a few of the strikes and spins for one of his own, he falls over and Morono jumps on top to takes his back. Morono starts laying into Pettis with huge punches, and he secures the body lock but opts to keep his hooks in. Pettis starts leaking blood from his nose, which must have come from an early strike. Morono holds on tight to back position, and once more ties up the body triangle as he lands heavy shots before aiming at a rear-naked choke attempt. Morono switches the body lock to the other leg, and Pettis spins around to break the grip. Morono keeps his legs high and pursues a triangle choke, but the former champ pushes through, frames up and stands tall. Pettis knees Morono in the head flush, and the two separate. Morono gets off a left hand, and Pettis drills him in the liver with a kick. Morono lets go a one-two and stumbles, but he gathers himself before Pettis can take advantage of the position. Pettis sneaks in a left hand, and Morono races after him to score a right. Pettis ducks a strike to tag Morono with a short check hook, and he fires off a head kick that gets blocked and low kick that is not. Pettis backs his man away with a spinning back kick, but Morono practically sprints at his opponent to clinch up. Pettis pushes off, throws a high kick and falls over, allowing Morono to clinch up with him again. Morono drags Pettis down, but Pettis twists and takes top position in the exchange. The round ends with Pettis on top.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Pettis jabs the body and slaps a leg kick to begin the second, and when Morono rumbles towards him, Pettis nails him with a right hand. Morono walks through it, but he takes two more on the way in. Morono fires off a head kick that gets blocked, and he checks a Pettis leg kick as he backs away. Morono gets clipped with a right hand behind the ear, but he does not appear worse for wear as he pushes forward to make Pettis retreat. Pettis lands a body kick, and although Morono catches it, Pettis recoils it and avoids a potential takedown. Both land left hand, and Morono wings a hook but gets sniped with a check left hook. “The Great White” eats it like chum and plods forward, although Pettis is timing him and landing effective strikes as he advances. Pettis spins and whiffs with an elbow, and he circles away while Morono is walking straight towards him throwing singular strikes. Morono scores a right hand, but it is one-and-done as Pettis picks away at him with leg kicks from afar. Morono steps in with a right hand, and Pettis dances out of the way to get off an axe kick that slaps off the chest of his adversary. Pettis kicks the knee and hops away from the winging shots that sail past him, although Morono does land an overhand right. Pettis knees the body and kicks the knee, and then drifts backwards while Morono rushes at him with a salvo of punches. Pettis swings hard and misses with a right hand, and he gets his cup checked with a Morono front kick. Goddard checks on Pettis’ condition, but we proceed as Pettis wings a left hand. When he lands it, he pushes hard to toss Morono to his back, but he does not jump on top. Instead, when Morono rushes at him, he dings him with a left hook. Both men spin wildly at the same time, and then touch gloves and smirk at one another when they both miss.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two clap hands to begin the final frame, and Morono walks him down but gets blasted in the head with a kick. “The Great White” shrugs it off and throws a kick of his own, and Pettis crashes towards him to take the fight down. A wild exchange ensues, as both men reverse the position, until Pettis finally winds up on top in guard. Pettis keeps a heavy top pressure while landing a strike or two on top, but more importantly pulls Morono’s legs out to put him flat on his back. Morono is the more active striker of the two in this position, punching off his back while Pettis looks to keep him trapped. Pettis pulls his right arm free and drops down several punches, and Morono has his neck up against the cage while stuck in this place. Morono scrambles and tries to kick off, but Pettis pushes him back over as top control time adds up. Morono times a position change for Pettis to power back to his feet, and Pettis clings to him like a bad penny as he grinds his forehead on Morono’s chin. Morono pushes off, and he charges at Pettis with four punches. Pettis circles away, takes a step back, and cracks Morono with an uppercut. Morono checks a leg kick, and Pettis nails Morono with a spinning wheel kick that puts Morono on rubber legs. Morono finally appears hurt, and Pettis surges after him to land several punches to try to finish the job. “The Great White” drops down to pursue a desperation takedown, and Pettis hunts for a guillotine choke but cannot lock it up. As Morono contorts himself to get back up after falling over, Pettis steps into his guard and rides out the round on top landing punches.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Anthony Pettis def. Alex Morono via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Marcin Tybura (255) vs. Greg Hardy (266)

Round 1

There will be a lot of meat in the cage for this main card opener, as heavyweights Tybura (20-6, 7-5 UFC) and Hardy (7-2, 1 NC; 4-2, 1 NC UFC) collide. Officiating this 521-pound battle is referee Dan Miragliotta, who notes that there is no glove touch to check in this one. Hardy lands a leg kick as Tybura reaches with a left hand, and this happens again. Hardy stays far away with a kick, and Tybura crashes in to clinch up and pursue a takedown. Hardy spins him around, and he lets loose a head kick that gets blocked. “Tybur” lands two punches, and both men get off a couple kicks. The Polish fighter absorbs a solid punch to the stomach, and he gets popped with a right hand that marks his face up. Hardy chips away with leg kicks from afar, and Tybura rushes in to throw leather but gets pushed away by the former football player. Hardy sticks out a jab, and he is light on his feet as he wings a left hook that clatters off Tybura’s head. Hardy counters an advancing Tybura with a right hand, and he gets off a leg kick for good measure. Tybura walks through a leg kick to sling a left hand, and Hardy gets off a left hand while Tybura kicks his leg. “Tybur” kicks the body, and he narrowly evades a hook that blows his hair back. Hardy rips the body with a left, and he backs off Tybura with a right hand. Tybura counters him, and when he follows it, Hardy sneaks in a left hook. Tybura swings and hits nothing but air, while Hardy stays on the outside light on his feet. Hardy sticks two punches in the face of his opponent, and he pushes Tybura back with a stern right hand. He gets off another, and Tybura wears it well but is taking shots. Tybura shoots in for a low single leg, and Hardy stands him up and makes him pay with several fierce punches. Hardy snaps Tybura’s head back with a right hand, and he chains together several more after that along with a few slashing elbows. Tybura’s nose is busted up and bloodied after these strikes, but Hardy backs off instead of forcing a finish. The round ends as Hardy observes his work.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Hardy’s first strike is to the body, and he gets kicked in the body on the way back. Tybura strides forward with a leg kick, ignoring a jab on the way in. Tybura punches his way in to close the distance, but Hardy is out of the way before the Polish fighter can go after a takedown. Hardy misses with a right hand and gets tagged with two counter shots. When Hardy throws another body kick, Hardy catches it, so Tybura spins wildly with a back fist but is several feet away from his intended target. Tybura backs off Hardy with a left hand, and he ducks a Hardy punch to go after a takedown. Hardy slides out of the way, and he just avoids an overhand left that comes after it. Both heavyweights trade jabs, and he lands a leg kick while Hardy resets. Tybura crashes the pocket to land a few punches, and both men land powerful shots that ring one another’s bell. Tybura keeps the pace as he chases down Hardy, mixing it up with kicks and jabs to keep Hardy guessing. Hardy swipes with a left hook, and Tybura ducks down to fire off a Mortal Kombat-esque uppercut that comes up short. Tybura shoots in low for a takedown, snatching up a double and lifting Hardy in the air to plant him on his backside. Tybura complains that Hardy is grabbing his glove, and when Miragliotta comes to check on it, Tybura wriggles his hand free and pushes Hardy flat over, where Hardy appears like a tortoise laying on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun. Tybura sits up to hammer Hardy with elbows and hammerfists, and Hardy turtles up but is just taking punishment. Tybura pours it on with punches, slamming his fists into Hardy’s head while Hardy can do nothing but shell up and block his face. A few punches land to the back of the head, and Tybura apologizes and starts blasting Hardy again. Sensing the finish is right around the corner, “Tybur” keeps wailing on Hardy until Miragliotta says that is enough. In victory, Tybura extends his win streak to four – impressive for any heavyweight and all in 2020 – while becoming the first man to finish Hardy.

The Official Result

Marcin Tybura def. Greg Hardy R2 4:31 via TKO (Punches)

Marlon Moraes (135.5) vs. Rob Font (136)

Round 1

Hold on to your hats for this bantamweight scrap, as Moraes (23-7-1, 5-3 UFC) and Font (17-4, 7-3 UFC) are about to let loose. Referee Marc Goddard should watch out as these two get down to business, but they respectfully touch gloves before trying to take the other’s head off. Moraes starts with a kick, and one to the other leg leads to a big overhand right from Font. Moraes eats it and dives forward to land a takedown, emphatically putting Font on his back early. Font sits up and reverses the position, but Moraes snatches on to a guillotine choke when his neck is outstretched. Font pushes him over and knees him in the chest to break up the position, and the two stand up and both attempt takedowns. Moraes elevates Font and slams him down again with his hands clasped around Font’s waist, and Font looks surprised about this sudden takedown attack by a striker like Moraes. Font holds Moraes tight to keep the Brazilian from mounting much offense, but he is similarly unable to attack off his back. Moraes stands up to hammer down a pair of punches, before leaping down into the guard. Moraes steps over to half guard, while Font pushes off the fence to sweep Moraes – he cannot reverse it. He does manage to climbs to his knees, and when he stands up, Moraes punts him in the head. Font lands a few punches over the top, and both men land stiff. Font blasts Moraes with three punches, and Moraes spins with a wheel kick. Font blocks it, and he drills Moraes with a crisp jab to send the Brazilian stumbling backwards. Font sits down on an uppercut, and Moraes is hurt badly and falls to the ground. Font leaps on top to blast away with hellacious ground-and-pound, lumping up Moraes with shots and nearly separating “Magic” from his consciousness a few times. Moraes rolls while taking shots, and briefly gets to his knees, but Font knocks him back down and slugs away at him until Moraes’ lights go out for a moment. The fight should be over, but Font is still nailing Moraes with vicious shots, including a thudding elbow, while Goddard stands idly by. Finally, Goddard intervenes to rescue the doomed fighter, and Font has easily notched the most impressive win of his career by putting away a former title challenger in incredible fashion.

The Official Result

Rob Font def. Marlon Moraes R1 3:47 via TKO (Elbow and Punches)

Kalinn Williams (169.5) vs. Michel Pereira (170)

Round 1

From one wild battle to another we go, as welterweights Pereira (24-11, 2 NC; 2-2 UFC) and Williams (11-1, 2-0 UFC) can almost do no wrong when they lock horns. Keeping a lid on this almost sure-fire brawl is referee Mark Smith, and despite Williams’ murderous stare towards his breakdancing opponent, the two do touch gloves. Williams reaches out with a left hand, and Pereira swats it away while keeping a very wide stance. Williams misses with a leg kick, and he has already passed his longest time in the Octagon in just 30 seconds. Pereira scores a one-two and a body kick, and Williams takes it flush without batting an eye. Pereira lets loose a front kick, and Williams catches it and crashes in with a barrage of punches. Pereira pushes him away and dances away on the outside. The Brazilian takes a heavy leg kick that interrupts his one-two, and he fires off a head kick that gets blocked. Williams again targets the calf with a kick, and he is far enough away to avoid the springing punch from Pereira off the fence. Williams digs the leg a few more times, before stepping out of the way of a front kick to crash in and unload a right hand, but he is too close. Williams wings a right hand, and Pereira is well out of the way. Williams catches a kick and cracks Pereira with a pair of thudding punches, and Pereira may be a little rocked but he wears it well. Williams spins and gets off a kick to the body, and he stalks Pereira down but does not get too close to fall into a trap. Pereira throws another front kick with his hands down, and Williams catches it and nails him with a right hand. “Demolidor” smiles and hops away from a leg kick, before waiting for another to come so that he can counter it with an overhand right. Pereira just misses with a booming head kick, and the tense round ends with Pereira leaping in the air with a knee while jumping over a leg kick.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The two welterweights touch gloves to check in the second round, and both men swing and miss early. Williams gives his man chase, but he only connects with a calf kick. Pereira comes up shy with a one-two, and Williams blows Pereira’s hair back with a right hand. When Williams throws a naked leg kick, Pereira tags him with a straight right. Williams charges in to assault his opponent with a few punches, and the Brazilian grabs hold of him to clinch up and deliver a knee to the breadbasket. Williams turns him about and gets off his own knee, but Pereira pushes off to break free. Williams chops down the leg on the inside, knocking Pereira far enough off-balance to disrupt the latter’s attack. Williams ducks down to counter a strike with a huge right hand, and he hacks at the leg a few more times. Williams lands one more, and Pereira gets off a right hand that just reaches Williams’ chin. Both men throw jabs at the same time, and then they score harder shots simultaneously. Williams charges like a bull with looping punches, and Pereira escapes and stabs his foot into Williams’ torso. Pereira goes to the well with that kick again, and Williams does not approve so he sprints forward to land three powerful shots that sting Pereira. The Brazilian grabs Williams and hammers the body with several stern knees, but Williams is able to back away. The two swing wildly and Williams nearly falls over. With just seconds left in the round, Pereira jumps on to take Williams’ back, where he snatches up a choke from a strange angle. Williams may be saved by the bell, as the choke could have been tight but time expired before it was finished.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

A touch of gloves is offered and accepted to start off the last round, and Pereira backs away to fire off a big kick. When Pereira puts up a kick, Williams just misses a counter right hand. Pereira clubs Williams with a left hand, and Williams replies with a leg kick that makes Pereira’s knee buckle briefly. Williams keeps marking up that leg with his kicks, and he sticks Pereira with a left hand. The Brazilian starts to dance around with unusual footwork, but Williams stands in front of him and chops down the lead leg again. Pereira throws a head kick, and then turns around, drops to his knees and misses with a back kick. Pereira loosens up and starts having fun with it, getting off some unorthodox strikes while Williams stands in the pocket and lands a few right hands. Pereira stabs his toes to the midsection to back off Williams, and when Williams tries to kick him in the face, Pereira is nowhere to be found. The Brazilian suddenly changes levels and lands a takedown, where he instantly takes side control while putting his full weight on his elbow. Williams scrambles and walks up the fence, but takes a knee up the middle for his effort. A springing superman punch comes up short, but it places him in range for Williams to throw leather at him. Pereira boots Williams in the face with a kick, but “Khaos” shrugs it off and fires off a right hand. Pereira ducks down to secure another takedown, where he sits on top pounding on Williams with punches and elbows from above. The final horn blares – perhaps to the surprise of some – and the scorecards could be all over the map.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Michel Pereira def. Kalinn Williams via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jose Aldo (136) vs. Marlon Vera (135)

Round 1

This embarrassment of riches continues tonight, as all-time great Aldo (28-7, 10-6 UFC) faces rising star “Chito” Vera (29-8, 1 NC; 17-8, 1 NC UFC) at bantamweight. Aldo will attempt to earn his first win at 135 pounds in his third try, and he will do so under the watchful eye of referee Dan Miragliotta. The two strikers touch gloves, and it’s time to throw down. Vera starts off with a front kick, and Aldo slaps it out of the way but gets kicked in the leg. The former champ jabs the body, and Vera steps back to kick Aldo’s leg a few times. Aldo slings an overhand right, and he gets off a heavy leg kick like the days of old. Aldo checks a kick, and he absorbs a strike that makes him slip. Vera takes advantage of this to charge in and take the fight down, but Aldo keeps his balance and stands tall against the fence. “Chito” knees Aldo’s thigh a few times as he clings to Aldo, and the two trade short clinch strikes while Vera embraces the grind. Miragliotta calls on Vera to work, so Aldo reverses the position and pushes off, but gets slapped in the face by Vera. Vera lets loose a head kick that gets blocked, and Aldo stalks him down with a few jabs. Aldo digs to the body with a left hand at the end of a short combination, and Vera backpedals against the fence as he eats another liver shot. “Chito” hacks at Aldo’s leg with another kick, but Aldo completely ignores it and blocks a head kick. Aldo slams his right hand on Vera’s stomach, and a thudding leg kick follows suit. Aldo drills Vera with another leg kick, and Vera is already switching stances to avoid these strikes. Aldo fakes a leg kick to draw out a reaction, and he comes up short with a punch to the body. Vera crashes in to clinch, and Aldo spins him out and takes the center of the cage again. Aldo tattoos Vera’s midsection with another punch, and Vera responds with a head kick. Aldo replies in kind, and comes after it with a pounding leg kick that gives WEC fans something to cheer about. The round ends as Vera goes for a spinning kick to the head.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

A confident Vera comes out of his corner striking, but Vera is there to greet him with a few leg kicks. The former champ lets loose a right hand, and he picks away at his opponent with kicks. Aldo pierces the midsection with a right hand, and a kick makes Vera retreat and bounce off the fence. Aldo jabs and absorbs a body kick, but he wades through it to swing a hook from each hand. When Vera crashes in, Aldo is easily out of the way and shoves his man back. Vera scores a stern leg kick, and Aldo sits down on a body shot and a looping uppercut. When Vera commits to another low kick, Aldo is there to meet him with a few crushing body shots. Vera wears them well, but Aldo is back for more and even absorbs the end of a spinning back fist without issue. Vera pushes into a clinch to pursue a trip takedown, but the Brazilian keeps his footing as he knees the body repeatedly. Vera very nearly lands a takedown, but Aldo not only stays standing, but he knees Vera to the liver and the head on the way up. Aldo’s right to the body gets countered by a quick hook from Vera, and Vera presses forward to tie up Aldo again. Aldo is content to pepper away at the body with short shots, and Vera pays him back with a stern knee while keeping the ex-champ pinned to the fence. Vera lands a few body shots and an elbow over the top to break up the clinch and conclude the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The touch of gloves opens the round, but Vera is ready to throw leather. Aldo ducks a strike, and when “Chito” tries to clinch up, Aldo circles around and takes his back. Vera defends himself from a takedown with a no-look elbow, but Aldo drags him down and then hops on like a Brazilian backpack. Vera leans down while trying to shake off Aldo, but the Ecuadorian falls to his knees. Aldo sinks in the body lock as he fishes for a choke, and Vera fights the grip and keeps his neck clear. The former champ confers with his corner as he holds on to Vera’s back, switching arms for the choke but not finding anything. “Chito” grabs the gloves to stop Aldo from getting a choke locked up, until Miragliotta notices and tells Vera to knock it off. Aldo softens him up with a few punches, but Vera powers up to his knees. Aldo is still firmly in back control with a body triangle locked tightly, and Vera bounces Aldo into the cage to try to scrape him off. Vera walks across the cage to take Aldo away from his corner and into Vera’s, and he slams down to get the ex-champ off but Aldo does not loosen up. Aldo sticks to Vera’s back as Vera stands back up again, and he cannot break the grip no matter how hard he tries. Vera signals a thumbs-down to show his displeasure with the position, but the round ends with Aldo on him like a cheap suit. Barring some strange judging antics, Jose Aldo should finally have earned his first win in the bantamweight division, while snapping a lengthy win streak at 135 pounds for Vera.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Jose Aldo def. Marlon Vera via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Stephen Thompson (170) vs. Geoff Neal (171)

Round 1

The final UFC fight of the year will take place in the welterweight division between two spectacular strikers Thompson (15-4-1, 10-4-1 UFC) and Neal (13-2, 5-0 UFC). This standup showcase will be officiated by referee Marc Goddard, and there is nothing but respect as these two contenders touch gloves to start things off. Thompson starts off with a roundhouse kick, and Neal slaps it away. “Wonderboy” misses with a head kick that comes after, and he scores a heavy leg kick and an overhand right. When Thompson kicks Neal in the body, he strafes away to avoid a counter. He slings a head kick that gets blocked, and a few jabs to the body are not. Neal walks down Thompson, but he cannot score flush as Thompson blitzes him and circles away. Neal stings Thompson with a left hand in a combination, and they come together again with a barrage of strikes. Neal’s right hand just misses his intended target, and when Thompson counters with a head kick, he falls over. He pops back up with out issue, and he sticks out a jab that snaps Neal’s head back. Neal cannot quite find the reach and get in on the movement of his opponent, as “Wonderboy” drills a spinning back kick to the midsection. Neal tries to pin Thompson to the fence with a head kick and some punches, but he cannot land flush as Thompson moves. Thompson plants a side kick on Neal’s gut, and Neal gives him back a leg kick. Thompson plays matador to an advancing Neal, and he is well out of harm’s way when Neal tries to throw. Neal absorbs a head kicks even though he blocks it, and he glances a huge left hand off Thompson’s chin. Thompson sticks and moves with jabs, and he hops out of the way to land a spinning hook kick that partially lands. Thompson lands a right hand when Neal is swinging it, and cuts have opened up on both faces. The cut on Thompson is on his eyebrow, and blood trickles into his eye. On the other side, the center of Neal’s right eyebrow is also opened up. It was a purely accidental clash of heads, and Goddard recognizes it. The two touch gloves as they know it was not intentional, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Thompson bows to his opponent to start off the round, and he circles away and introduces his foot to Neal’s side. Neal lowers his hands and shrugs at Thompson, so “Wonderboy” fires off a head kick and a hook kick, but both are blocked. Neal sprints towards his opponent and ties up Thompson, landing a few short strikes until they separate. Both men land hard right hands, and Thompson digs his toes into Neal’s midsection. Both men are starting to bleed again, but it is not affecting their performance. Thompson chains a side kick into a spinning wheel kick, and although the shot to the body connects, the spinning strike does not. Neal gathers himself and marches down his opponent, but Thompson gets off a few head kicks while Neal hits nothing but air. Thompson works the body to change it up, and then throws a leg kick. As Neal is about to step in and strike, Thompson sees it coming and dings a right hand off Neal’s face. Thompson zings a head kick up that gets blocked, and he follows it with a few punches that are mostly defended. Neal tries to push the pace and back up Thompson, but Thompson circles out and works the body with a few thudding shots. When Thompson lets loose a side kick to the torso, he swirls out of danger right before Neal tags him. “Wonderboy” sticks out several jabs to back off Neal, but Neal walks through them all and thumps a kick off Thompson’s ribcage. Thompson gets off kicks high and low, and Neal tries to respond but is struggling to see as blood is streaming into his eye. Thompson connects with a few sharp, quick strikes, and Neal nods at him in appreciation. Neal pins Thompson to the fence and lands a few hard punches, and the bell interrupts a combination from “Handz of Steel.”

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two strikers touch gloves to start off, and Thompson is waiting for him with a side kick to the head. Thompson circles around with several sneaking jabs and a head kick that pounds into Neal’s guard. Thompson keeps jabbing as he switches stances, and he lands an uppercut, a right hand and a head kick in a rapid combination. Neal bites down on his mouthpiece and throws some heavy punches, but Thompson leans and sways to avoid the brunt of the damage. Neal boxes the ears when they clinch up, and Thompson knees him in the chest. Neal lands several short knees to the thigh until “Wonderboy” had had enough, and he pushes off. Thompson throws out several jabs that get Neal’s attention, and he follows one with a solid right hand. Neal goes after a big right hand, and he boxes Thompson into the fence but cannot land much flush. Thompson hops out and disrupts Neal’s attack with jabs and quick, lunging shots. Neal doubles up on his jab, and he lands a right hand when Thompson is circling away. Neal fires a head kick that cannot reach the head and instead lands on the side, and when they clinch up, Neal loses his mouthpiece. Thompson allows him to stop and pick it up, before letting him clinch back up. Thompson backs away, and he strings together several punches and kicks while Neal rushes at him. Thompson stumbles and may have rolled his ankle, and Neal walks forward and kicks him to the liver. Neal cracks him with a left hand, and Thompson responds with a head kick. Even though the kick is blocked, Neal reacts to it. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

A greeting of a glove touch re-introduces the two to one another, and Thompson steps back to connect with a right hand. His head kick is not successful, and Neal stalks him down but cannot quite find his target. Neal scores a stern jab and tries to follow it, but Thompson is nowhere to be found. Thompson digs to the body with a side kick, and he carries on the combination with a few punches. Neal eats another as he crashes in to the clinch, but Thompson pushes him away and blocks a spinning back fist. Both men get off a few jabs, and Thompson rings his bell with a stiff right hand. He finds success with another, and he splits the guard with a few more. Standing right in front of one another, Neal lands a right hand while Thompson elbows him back. From close range, Thompson somehow scores a spinning back fist to the body. Neal throws a head kick and falls over, and instead of capitalizing on it, Thompson allows him to stand up. This happens to Thompson shortly after – the fighters seem to struggle with their balance in this fun fight – and Neal allows him up. Thompson rocks him with a right hand and a head kick, and he digs the body with a kick and asks Neal if he is alright. Neal responds by coming at him with punches, and Thompson backs off and quickly lands a liver kick. Neal pushes in on him to clinch, and Thompson responds by kneeing him in the body. Neal holds on tight and knees Thompson a few times to the horn. As soon as Neal turns his back, Thompson signals that his right foot or leg is damaged.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 5

Thompson limps out of his corner, and his leg is clearly compromised, but he tells the doctor and Goddard that he can still continue. Neal lands a left hand, and he rushes in and slugs it out with Thompson. Thompson throws his injured leg and he grimaces while landing it, but he escapes without getting hurt. Neal paws out several jabs, and Thompson falls backwards and is struggling to stay upright. He signals to Neal that he is good to go, and he ducks a few punches to land another kick with that leg. Thompson stands and works on Neal’s body and head with strikes, but Neal lights up and starts swinging for the fences and landing. Thompson smiles at him, and he fires right back. Neal covers up as Thompson attacks relentlessly with a long punch combination. Neal swings and misses with a huge right hand, and Thompson lands six strikes for every one that Neal can score. “Wonderboy” steps in with a sharp left hand, and he chains together a few more punches until Neal pushes in and clinches. Neal and his opponent trade close shots to the body, and when Thompson separates, Neal burps like Clay Guida. Thompson spins with a back kick, and Neal answers him with a spinning back fist. Neal comes forward with a spinning back elbow, and he lands a left hand to hurt Thompson but backs off instead of taking advantage of it. Neal slips a few punches to land a clubbing left hand, and Neal walks forward with his hands down. Neal and Thompson finish the round with one thrilling brawl, and they swing right to the break. These two welterweights put on one heck of a show to end 2020, as this is the final UFC bout of the year. It has been an emotional year to say the least, and we at Sherdog.com would like to thank you all for joining us on this roller coaster that was 2020. The next UFC card will go down on Jan. 16, and we will be here for it. We hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Stephen Thompson def. Geoff Neal via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
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