UFC on ESPN 17 ‘Santos vs. Teixeira’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Nov 7, 2020
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Gustavo Lopez (135.75) vs. Anthony Birchak (136)

Round 1

Welcome to UFC on ESPN 17, also known as UFC Vegas 13. The first fight of the night comes in the bantamweight division, as Lopez (11-5, 0-1 UFC) welcomes Birchak (16-6, 2-2 UFC) back to the cage in the latter’s second stint. Drawing the inaugural assignment this evening is referee Chris Tognoni, and with a touch of gloves, we get down to business. Birchak opens with a calf kick, and Lopez swings his leg away to avoid the brunt of it. When “El Toro” goes after another, Lopez counters him with an overhand right. Birchak leaves his chin exposed with a jump knee and he gets blasted hard with a left hook. Lopez bites down on his mouthpiece and cracks Birchak on the chin with a bomb of a right hook, sending the returning fighter down hard to the canvas. Lopez swarms him with punches on the ground, before pursuing a choke attempt as Birchak scrambles to his feet. Lopez falls off the back and works the body in the clinch, but Birchak returns to the center of the cage to fire off a one-two. Lopez is on him with heavy punches, and he does some damage and pressures Birchak to the fence before taking Birchak down. Lopez takes mount, rains down some punches, and allows Birchak to turn over so he can give up his back. Lopez latches on to a rear-naked choke, and Birchak fights it off but Lopez is quick to pursue another that is far tighter. As Birchak sits up, the choke is already under the neck and there is no way out. Birchak thinks about going out on his shield but inevitably taps out on his chest, and before Tognoni can jump in, Birchak drifts off to dreamland. Lopez, who has now finished 11 opponents across his 12 wins, is quick to embrace his friend and former training partner when Birchak comes to, and earns his promotional debut in impressive fashion.

The Official Result

Gustavo Lopez def. Anthony Birchak R1 2:43 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Max Griffin (170) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (170)

Round 1

Shifting gears to the welterweight division, Griffin (15-8, 3-6 UFC) greets LFA prospect and newcomer Brahimaj (8-2, 0-0 UFC). The Octagon ranger for this contest is referee Mark Smith, and there is no touch of gloves to clock in the fight. Griffin starts off with a few strikes, and Brahimaj blocks them and circles away. Brahimaj takes a heavy leg kick and is not getting his offense going, absorbing another on the inside of his lead leg. Both men flick out jabs at the same time, and Brahimaj steps in with a left and followed by a heavy right hand that staggers Griffin for a second. “Pain” works through the pain of that blow and takes the center of the cage, where he avoids a one-two that zooms past his head. Brahimaj jabs to the body and pushes in for a potential takedown attempt, but Griffin shoves him away. Griffin dances around the outside with his jab, and darts out of the way when Brahimaj tries to return fire. Griffin keeps his jab going, and Brahimaj attacks with the heavy left-right that does not show the same success as before. Griffin slips this combination and scores a short check left hook, and Brahimaj commits to this same two-punch flurry again. Both welterweights trade jabs again, but strikes are relatively few and far between. Brahimaj hops in the air with a knee but he is several feet away from his target, and Griffin attempts to counter him but falls short as well. Brahimaj stings him with a left hook, and then a long left hand as Griffin crashes forward. Brahimaj swings with a spinning back kick and Griffin closes the distance to push past it and pops Brahimaj on the side of the head. The UFC newcomer gathers himself and rushes into clinch, and the horn ends the round before either man can do anything with it.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Both men start off the round with body kicks, and Brahimaj tries to swing a left hand at him but comes up shy of the mark. Griffin catches him square with a groin kick, and Brahimaj falls to the ground and screams. The newcomer nearly vomits, but he gathers himself in a minute or so. The action resumes, and Brahimaj comes out firing with a looping left hand. Griffin replies with one of his own, and Brahimaj sticks him with a leg kick. Griffin lands a right hand, but the follow-up strike is blocked. Griffin changes it up by targeting the body with a few sturdy punches, and he jabs as Brahimaj advances to catch the newcomer on the way forward. Griffin races forward and scores a right hand, but Brahimaj knocks him backwards with his own thudding right. Both land jabs at the same moment, and then do so again as Griffin circles on the outside. Brahimaj commits to a left hand that sends Griffin backpedaling, but “Pain” returns with a painful right hand that reddens the nose up. These two welterweights are going strike-for-strike with single shots, as Brahimaj scores one and Griffin returns fire. Griffin lands a leg kick and jabs his way out, forcing Brahimaj to reset. Griffin follows his jab with a right hand, and he retreats from the counter strikes before they reach him. Griffin keeps his jab flowing, and Griffin kicks in the body for good measure. Brahimaj targets an overhand right a few times, and Griffin is narrowly able to avoid the full impact of the shot. Griffin’s jab has bloodied up the face of his opponent, and Brahimaj considers taking the fight down but Griffin stops him in his tracks with a knee to the sternum. Brahimaj takes a deep breath, and Griffin keeps his distance and jabs away. Brahimaj spins and misses with another kick, and like before, Griffin closes the distance and opts not to grapple with his foe. Brahimaj tries to attack with a flying strike, but Griffin stops it with a left hand in the air. The clinch ends the second round, much like the first.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two men touch gloves, and Brahimaj races out to land strikes. Griffin jabs like before, and throws a head kick that gets blocked. Brahimaj lands a left hand, and likely because he is off-balance and not because the power of the strike, he falls over and climbs up the cage. Taking the center of the cage again, Griffin flicks out a jab and avoids the winging punches. Griffin kicks him in the body, and when Brahimaj stings him with a pair of jabs, Griffin’s front kick grazes the cup. The action halts, and Smith admonishes Griffin but does not take a point. Less than a minute of recovery is all Brahimaj needs, and the fight resumes with a leg kick from Griffin. Brahimaj closes the distance and clips him with a right hand to open up a cut, and the two start throwing down. Both land heavy strikes and are wearing it, until Griffin backs away and blocks a head kick. Griffin clips his man behind the ear, hurting Brahimaj, but the newcomer gathers himself and allows his opponent to clinch him up instead of looking for a finish. Griffin rips an elbow in the clinch that clanks off the side of Brahimaj’s head, and little does he know, there is massive damage from it. Brahimaj’s ear has nearly detached itself from his head, and Smith shouts for the fight to stop and calls in the doctor as soon as humanly possible. This is the second brutal ear injury in recent memory, as a championship bout in Taura MMA towards the end of October concluded when Johnny Campbell’s ear practically came off. This fight is over, and viewer discretion is strongly advised if you have not seen this.

The Official Result

Max Griffin def. Ramiz Brahimaj R3 2:03 via TKO (Doctor Stoppage)

Darren Elkins (145.5) vs. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri (145.5)

Round 1

Damage is back on the menu – although judging by the last fight result, it was already there – for this featherweight fight, as “The Damage” Elkins (24-9, 14-8 UFC) tries to snap an unexpected four-fight skid against Uruguay’s Garagorri (13-1, 1-1 UFC). Holding on tight for this one is referee Chris Tognoni, although the two men do touch gloves to begin. Both men look for distant jabs from far out, and Garagorri is the first one to land as he sneaks in a left hook. Elkins eats it like a sandwich and charges in to take the fight down. “The Damage” takes no more damage as he lifts Garagorri in the air and slams him down to the canvas. Elkins hook in the fabled “Dagestani handcuff” as he locks down the Uruguayan fighter with a triangle with his legs, but Garagorri powers his legs out and his way back to his feet. Elkins is on him like Saran wrap, grabbing Garagorri and dragging him back down. Garagorri once more turns to a standing position, but Elkins secures a mat return with his body lock, where he tries to pull the legs out once more. Garagorri muscles his way back to his knee and feet, and when Garagorri considers something, Elkins reverses the position and slams him back down. Garagorri gains a slight amount of distance to land a few punches, but Elkins does not even notice them as he slams Garagorri on his back. Elkins takes mount position and hunts for a guillotine choke. Elkins stands up and pushes his weight into the choke, but he bails on it when Garagorri sits up to his knees. The fighter from Uruguay attempts to stand, and grabs the fence to get there. Elkins is relentless with another, and when Elkins has hold of one leg, Garagorri tries to do a spin kick with the other, but it comes up short. Elkins presses forward, knees Garagorri in the face, and circles around to try to take Garagorri’s back. Garagorri gains successful separation with a minute left, and he fires off a head kick that gets blocked with ease. Elkins loops a windmilling left hand, and it catches Garagorri and sends him back a step. Garagorri slings another head kick, and Elkins takes it on the chin, grabs the leg and forces Garagorri down one more time. Elkins is in full guard, and rides out the round with some punches and elbows.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Garagorri starts off the round with a left hand, and Elkins wades forward and takes an uppercut before charging for a takedown. Garagorri staves him off and kicks him to the body. Elkins lets loose a right hand that nearly makes him stumble over, and sticks Elkins with a left hand to hurt him. Elkins takes another on the chin, and he appears dazed but still manages to land a takedown. Garagorri tries to defend it as he falls to his back with strikes to the side of the head, but they are landing illegally so Tognoni warns him to find the angle. Garagorri gets off a 12-6 elbow that lands directly on Elkins’ neck, but “The Damage” does not even register it and neither does Tognoni. Instead, Elkins attacks the hands and hooks Garagorri’s legs like before to keep Garagorri grounded, all the while sporadically landing punches. When Garagorri tries to burst out of the position, Elkins hops over to the side, but Garagorri still manages to stand and free himself while avoiding a knee on the break. Garagorri lands a left hand, and follows it with another left and an uppercut. Elkins sings and misses, and his face is showing some damage as he dives in for a takedown. Garagorri jumps out of the way, and he allows Elkins to clinch up with him. Elkins lands a few resounding knees to the breadbasket the two jockey for position, but the fighter out of Uruguay is able to shove him away and try to land strikes. Elkins fails on a takedown, and he takes a one-two flush on the brow. Garagorri lands a kick, and when he tries to follow it with a head kick, he falls over. Elkins hops on him, and he falls over Garagorri’s back and nearly gets clipped with the kind of uppercut that knocked out Michael “Venom” Page. Elkins is hurt and he takes a few shots while standing, but he walks through the punishment to scoop up his foe and smash him down to the ground. Elkins lands in half guard in the center of the cage, and gets off a few strikes on top but also takes a few elbows on the dome. The horn ends the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Both men start trading to start off the round, and Garagorri kicks him in the gut. Elkins partially deflects a spinning back kick, and when he charges forward, Garagorri clips him with a left hand to make Elkins stumble. Garagorri targets the uppercut when Elkins sells out for a takedown, and Elkins grits his teeth and grabs hold of Garagorri’s ankle. Garagorri hops around on one foot, tries a spinning kick again, and frees himself. He smashes an elbow off of Elkins’ face, and both men trade body kicks. Garagorri nails him with a left hand and a few more strikes as Elkins closes the distance, and Elkins is hurt badly as he falls backwards to the cage. “The Damage” weathers some damage and shakes out the cobwebs to grab a knee, circle around and hop on Garagorri’s back like a backpack. Elkins sets up the body lock, and he fishes for a standing rear-naked choke. Garagorri flails and falls to his face, breaking the grip for a moment. Elkins regathers himself and sinks in the rear-naked choke, and a defeated and exasperated Garagorri taps out immediately. Elkins is celebrating while the referee pulls him off, and he may have saved his place on the roster in classic “The Damage” fashion. The win snaps a four-fight losing skid for Elkins with a wild performance over a once-beaten adversary.

The Official Result

Darren Elkins def. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri R3 2:22 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Marcos Rogerio de Lima (258) vs. Alexander Romanov (260)

Round 1

In what should be a wild heavyweight clash, Romanov (12-0, 1-0 UFC) tries to keep his 100 percent finish rate intact against former middleweight Rogerio de Lima (17-6-1, 6-4 UFC). Keeping tabs on this 518-pound rumble is referee Herb Dean, who is up to the task as the two big men touch ‘em up. Rogerio de Lima opens up with a thudding leg kick, and he lands a second as Romanov charges in at him and tackles him down to the ground with a double leg takedown. Romanov steps over to side control as Rogerio de Lima tries to grab the fence, and Romanov is already setting up an arm-triangle choke. “Pezao” powers out of the position and starts letting loose some shots. The Brazilian clips Romanov with a left hand and then a right, but Romanov closes the distance with a takedown. Rogerio de Lima fights it off and nails the lead leg with an inside leg kick, but the subsequent kick is nearly checked. Rogerio de Lima digs a punch to the body, and he rips a few punches to the body and head while Romanov bullies him against the fence. Romanov hang his hands over the top of the fence, and when he is warned against this, he pursues a body lock but elects to smash a knee to Rogerio de Lima’s midsection. Rogerio de Lima defends himself with and thwarts a trip attempt, but Romanov is pressing his full body weight into his foe as they trade knees. They both swing and miss on strikes, and Romanov shoots in from a distance for a single but cannot secure it. When Rogerio de Lima stays on his feet, he leverages a knee to the body while holding on tight from the clinch. He lands another, and Romanov stays pressed on tight. Romanov hits a trip takedown in the center of the cage, and he is already in side control as he squeezes his forearm down. He lands one single elbow before Rogerio de Lima attempts to power out, and Romanov sits up to rain down punches. Romanov again attacks with a forearm choke, simply pressing his full weight into his left forearm, and Rogerio de Lima does not realize the extent of the danger he is in. Romanov keeps the forearm pressed tightly, and Rogerio de Lima’s arms go limp as he is unconscious with his eyes open. Dean recognizes that Rogerio de Lima is out cold, and he rescues the snoozing fighter from oblivion. “King Kong” is now 13-0 with 13 finishes, and this is far from his first forearm choke.

The Official Result

Alexander Romanov def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima R1 4:48 via Technical Submission (Forearm Choke)

Trevin Giles (185.5) vs. Bevon Lewis (185)

Round 1

Headlining the ESPN+ preliminary portion of the card is a middleweight collision between LFA vets as Giles (12-2, 3-2 UFC) takes on Lewis (7-2, 1-2 UFC). The commentary booth may struggle with the distinction of Trevin against Bevon, but referee Mark Smith seems to have no issues differentiating the two 185-ers, who do not touch gloves to precede the action. Lewis lets loose a leg kick quickly, and Giles charges after him with a barrage of punches. Giles presses him to the fence, and he drags Lewis down to start unloading with ground-and-pound. Lewis powers his way back up and catches a knee that flies at his face, but he cannot put his foe on his back. Lewis lands a knee to the cup, and the action does not halt as Smith warns them. Giles separates and starts landing a few punches, with a quick left hook that catches Lewis unaware. Giles locks him up on the fence as he tries to take the fight down, but Lewis pushes off and clips Giles with a sharp combination. Lewis backpedals, and re-engages with a quick jab. Lewis lets off a right hand as Giles shakes out his arms, and Giles tries to swing an uppercut out of “Mortal Kombat” to prevent Lewis from taking the fight down or otherwise changing levels. The uppercut glances off the chest, and Giles bullies his way back into the clinch to take away Lewis’ reach. Lewis turns him around and starts working the body with right hands and knees. Lewis clacks a knee off the cup, and again there is a warning but no pause. Lewis keeps Giles trapped on the fence until he decides to break, when he lifts up a knee to the body. Lewis kicks the lead leg and wades in, but Giles snaps out a jab and drops Lewis. Giles climbs into his downed opponent’s guard to try to elbow him in the face, and he steps over to trap the arm with his knee but the round ends before he can get to it.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Lewis starts off the round again with a leg kick, and Giles stalks him with while measuring his lethal jab. Lewis tries to implement his own, and when he whiffs, he comes up short on the follow-up right hand. Giles kicks the body, and he spins out when Lewis tries to grab the leg and counter. Giles stalks Lewis down and he pops out a jab, and immediately after it, he stifles a Lewis takedown attempt. Both men stomp down with landing jabs, and both land them square. Lewis misses with a jab, but he does dig the body with a left and a right. Lewis tries to go over the top with a head kick, but Giles ducks it and attempts to counter. Giles sticks him with the jab to send Lewis backpedaling to the fence, and “The Problem” absorbs a front kick to the torso as he presses forward. Giles continues to press Lewis back to the fence, and he slips a right hand to land one of his own. Giles hops forward with a jab, and he darts out of the way to avoid the counter. His head movement pays off as Lewis lets loose several punches that all zip by his head. When Giles comes forward, Lewis sneaks in a counter left hand to back him off. A stomp kick from Giles makes Lewis think about a takedown, and Giles yanks his leg free to attack with a pair of punches. Giles fires off a right hand and an uppercut that gets blocked, and Lewis is ready with a right hook counter. Giles stings him with a step-in jab, but he does not throw anything after it. Lewis charges down for a takedown, and Giles stuffs it but does not make him pay with strikes. Both men are primarily throwing single strikes to this point, and Lewis goes after the body with a right hand. Giles clips his man with a right hook at the bell, and Lewis eats it and strides back to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

An energized Lewis races out of his corner, and he starts throwing punches but Giles sees him coming and slaps at him with a left hook. When Lewis swings and misses again, Giles claps a left hand on the side of his opponent’s head. Lewis puts together a double jab, and Giles evades a subsequent punch with a counter right. Lewis shoots in from afar for a takedown, and Giles staves it off and bowls Lewis over. Lewis blasts out of the position to not get put on his back for long, and Giles is on him with clubbing punches. “The Problem” walks his man down and nails him with a one-two, and Lewis is in trouble. Giles cracks him with a heavy right hand, and then another big right to wobble the legs. One more booming left hand sends Lewis falling face-down to the ground, and Smith dives in to save the smashed-up fighter. Giles walks off to shout in victory, knowing there is nothing more he needs to do tonight but celebrate.

The Official Result

Trevin Giles def. Bevon Lewis R3 1:26 via TKO (Punches)

Claudia Gadelha (115.5) vs. Xiaonan Yan (115.5)

Round 1

Opening the ESPN main card – technically ESPNews as a college football game is going long -- is the lone women’s match of the evening, with Gadelha (18-4, 7-4 UFC) on a path back to a title shot against the surging Chinese contender “Fury” Yan (12-1, 1 NC; 5-0 UFC). Keeping a lid on this 115-pound tilt is referee Jason Herzog, and the two women have no interest in touching gloves to get to the action. Yan marches forward with punches buoyed by kiais, and Gadelha throws right back at her. Gadelha lands a right hand of the temple, and Yan throws back. Gadelha scores a big right hand to make Yan bounce off the fence, and both women engage in a wild brawl until the Brazilian takes the fight down with a body lock. In full guard, Gadelha attempts to get off some elbows and punches from on top, and Yan scoots her way to the fence while avoiding the brunt of the damage. Gadelha elevates one leg to keep Yan on her backside, and the Chinese fighter scores a few punches to the body before powering her way back up. Gadelha squeezes her against the cage before trying to pull her off and toss her down, but Yan stays upright. Gadelha is unsuccessful with a trip attempt, and she transitions to a single leg takedown as Yan knees her in the body. “Claudinha” lifts with all her might but cannot get Yan off the ground, as Yan continues to stay active with her back mashed against the wall. Gadelha keeps her trapped and lifts up a knee, and Yan stops a trip attempt while delivering a knee back. Both women knee each other in the close clinch, and Herzog looks to separate them but backs away when they keep the knees going. Herzog intervenes after a period of inaction, and both women score jabs at the same time. Yan clips Gadelha with a left hand, and when she attacks with a body kick, Gadelha catches it and takes her down. Gadelha drops down heavy leather while in guard, but Yan is content to get in a brawl as she hacks at the Brazilian with elbows. Gadelha scores one final elbow to end the round on top.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Yan comes out of her corner working the jab, and when Gadelha tries to counter, Yan pulls back and lets fly a head kick that just misses. Yan lands a three-punch salvo, and loads up on a right hand that careens off the guard. Yan lands a one-two, and she avoids the counter as she sneaks in a right hand after it. Yan lands a jab, and both fire off right hands that connect flush. Gadelha changes levels for a potential takedown, but Yan pulls her leg away and gets out of harm’s way. Yan flings her leg up for a high kick, and Gadelha blocks it. Yan scores a one-two, backs off to draw out a counter and pops Gadelha with a right hand. Yan walks through a body kick to land a one-two, and Gadelha appears frustrated as she throws single strikes. Yan evades a big left hook and slides in to land a pair of punches. Both score left hands, and Yan backs away to keep her jab going. Yan follows the jab with a few punches, and she irritates Gadelha enough to try to counter, but the Brazilian hits nothing but air. Gadelha stings Yan with a right hand, but the Chinese fighter appears no worse for wear as she gathers herself and puts the jab out again. Gadelha walks through a few punches to ring a left hand off the jaw of her foe, and Yan wears it well. Yan responds with a right hand, and Gadelha’s nose has been busted up and is leaking. Yan scores a jab and darts away when Gadelha considers a takedown, only to jab Gadelha from a distance. Yan continues to time Gadelha’s counters with quicker shots, and she slings a spinning back first that gets blocked. When Gadelha defends it, she lets loose a right hand that grazes her target. The Brazilian grabs hold of Yan and goes after a body lock takedown, but the round ends while the two are clinched up.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Although Gadelha is the one advancing at the start of the round, Yan is swinging hard. Gadelha drops down to grab a leg, and Yan backs away to land a few punches. Gadelha re-commits to a takedown, pressing Yan to the fence. Yan defends herself while squeezed to the fence with knees to the body, but Gadelha keeps her otherwise stuck against her back. Gadelha looks to set up a throw, but Yan stops it and pushes off. Yan scores a few punches from a distance, and she is light on her feet loosing kiais with every strike. Yan flicks out a jab a few times, and her follow-up right hands are making up the face of her opponent. In a possible flow state while Gadelha appears to be plodding towards her, Yan cracks Gadelha with an elbow and backs away to deliver a crisp combination on the nose. Gadelha has had enough of these strikes, and she bull-rushes her way into the clinch to hunt for a takedown. Yan keeps her balance and eventually turns Gadelha to the fence, where she begins to land knees and short elbows. Gadelha fails on another takedown attempt, and Yan tries to frame her off by pushing on her face. Gadelha is latched on like a proverbial Alabama tick, and she will not give Yan any space but is not getting off any offense of her own besides control time. Herzog sees that is not enough, and he separates the two with about 45 seconds left in the match. Yan lands a stiff right hand that backs away Gadelha, but the former title challenger bites down on her mouthpiece to wing looping punches. Yan is well out of the way, and lands one, two, three punches for every one that Gadelha even attempts. Yan strings together barrages of punches, all while continuously dodging what Gadelha has to offer. Yan keeps this up until the end of the fight, and we have reached the scorecards for the first time of the night.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Xiaonan Yan def. Claudia Gadelha via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Giga Chikadze (145) vs. James Krause-Simmons (146)

Round 1

Suddenly finding itself on the main card after an unexpected COVID-19-related shakeup is a featherweight bout, as Chikadze (11-2, 4-0 UFC) looks to stay unbeaten inside the Octagon against late-notice replacement and excellently nicknamed “The Afro Samurai” Krause-Simmons (7-2, 0-0 UFC) – not to be confused with UFC welterweight James Krause. Chikadze greets his massive underdog opponent with an attempted flying knee, and referee Herb Dean is ready to take control if need be. Krause-Simmons circles on the outside to try to jab, and it is Chikadze that lands one first before winging a head kick just past his opponent’s bouncing hair. Krause-Simmons ties Chikadze up and tries to take the fight down, but the Georgia fights his way free and swipes at his man with a left hand. Both men stare at one another for a protracted period, before Chikadze launches a head kick that whiffs and a body kick that does not. Chikadze keeps his hands low as he feints and fakes his way in, and pops Krause-Simmons with a left hand, forcing Krause-Simmons to rush in for a clinch. Krause-Simmons nearly hits a body lock takedown, but Chikadze is too tall to take off balance for the five-foot-six newcomer. Krause-Simmons almost gets a trip off, but Chikadze stays on his knees, pops back up and fights his way free. Krause-Simmons punches his way in with a right hand, and a knee that follows comes up short. Chikadze pounds his opponent in the liver with his patented “Giga kick”, and immediately slings a head kick that cracks “The Afro Samurai” and sends him crashing to the canvas. Dean is already racing in to stop the fight, but Chikadze unloads some heavy punches from on high until Dean can intervene. This was an important performance for the Georgian, who had won his first four UFC bouts by decision leading up to this short-notice clash.

The Official Result

Giga Chikadze def. James Krause-Simmons R1 3:51 via TKO (Head Kick and Punches)

Ian Heinisch (185.5) vs. Brendan Allen (185)

Round 1

The bout was canceled Saturday afternoon after Heinisch tested positive for COVID-19. Allen first posted about this news on Saturday.

Raoni Barcelos (135.5) vs. Khalid Taha (135.5)

Round 1

Placed high on this ESPN show is a bantamweight brawl between rising contender Barcelos (15-1, 4-0 UFC) and proud German Taha (13-2, 1 NC; 1-1, 1 NC UFC). The third man inside the Octagon is referee Jason Herzog, and the touch of gloves starts the clock. After a tense 25 seconds, Barcelos kicks Taha in the face with a front kick. The German fighter ignores it and tries to jab from a distance, but he only paws off the gloves of his opponent. Taha slings a right hook, but Barcelos kicks him in the head again. The Brazilian chops the lead leg down with one kick, putting Taha down for a second with a single sweep of the leg. Taha springs back up and is already favoring his lead leg, but the two men come before one another and swing it out. Barcelos again jabs with his foot, and the calf kick once more puts Taha down to the ground. Taha springs back up, and Barcelos is in his face charging him and unloading a furious barrage of punches. As Barcelos pushes Taha into the fence, he rips a few knees on the jaw. They both slug it out a little longer, and Taha clips Barcelos on the side of the head to send the Brazilian reeling. Barcelos rushes in for a desperation takedown, and he hits it against the cage and takes top position. Taha circles around, and as he scrambles, Barcelos takes his back and fishes for a rear-naked choke. Taha fights off the choke as he gets to his knees, and crawls his way to the fence briefly. Barcelos is clinging to him like a bad penny, and he pulls Taha down as he maintains back control. Taha pushes off the hooks and blasts through to reverse the position and wind up on top. As Taha slings a few elbows from above, Barcelos throws his legs up and attacks an armbar. Using the submission to sweep position, Taha rolls through it and defends his limb before standing up. Taha continues to push through and as he stands up, he presses Barcelos to the fence and elbows his man on the temple. A wild scramble puts Barcelos on the offensive, and Taha pushes him away and swings heavy leather. Barcelos hacks at the calf once more, and when Taha charges at him, Barcelos snaps his head back with a flying knee. The two bantamweights trade punches right to the bell, ending this furiously paced opening round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Barcelos jogs out of his corner but touches gloves, and he proceeds to kick Taha in the calf with both legs. Taha absorbs a left hand and fires one back, and he hops forward to deliver a left hook that bounces off the guard. Barcelos attempts to pre-counter with a few check hooks, and Taha ignores them and strides forward with a big right hand. Barcelos leaps up with a flying knee and clips Taha again, but the German’s chin is made of German steel as he bites down on his mouthpiece to swing at his opponent. Barcelos takes a few punches on the chin before he steps in with a knee, and Taha paws at him with a right hook. Three punches from Taha very nearly land on then mark, and Barcelos blocks them to stick his man with a left hand and a blocked head kick. Barcelos stabs at the midsection with his toes, and he throws another kick that lands at the peninsula south of the Equator. Herzog pauses the fight and tells Taha to take all the time he needs, as the kick hit him square. Taha is ready to resume after minute break, and Barcelos offers an apology glove touch as they resume. Barcelos walks him down with a few jabs, and Taha swings hard and comes up short. Barcelos tries to time a knee, but Taha sees it coming and scores a right hand. Barcelos clubs the lead leg, and this time, Taha fires one back at him. Barcelos jabs out with both feet, and he gets off a low leg kick and nearly lands another before Taha is on him. Taha tries to make him pay with punches, and Barcelos is quick to counter. The two to tit-for-tat with strikes one after the other, and both men decide to start ripping the body with punches in their combinations. Barcelos misses with a check knee, and Taha steps forward with a one-two that Barcelos avoids. Barcelos clicks off a few punches on the head, and the calf kick from the Brazilian lands flush once more. Barcelos slaps away punches that come at him and rolls with strikes, and he slams his shin into Taha’s leg to force the German to change stances. Barcelos clubs him with punches, and delivers a knee up the middle that hurts Taha badly. Barcelos puts his foot on the gas as he cracks Taha with another knee, and he is trying to finish the fight as few seconds are left in the round. He chases and batters Taha around the cage, but he cannot get the stoppage he seeks as Herzog takes a close look at the action. Taha may be saved by the bell as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

These two bantamweights clap hands to start off the final frame, and they pick up right where they left off. Barcelos flicks out a few kicks high and low, and Taha slaps his fists into the side of Barcelos’s head. Barcelos drills a knee on the jaw, and Taha eats it as he bounces off the cage. Taha tries to respond with strikes of his own, but Barcelos takes him down and starts unloading ground-and-pound from in guard. “The Warrior” scrambles his way to the fence and gets to one knee, but in the process, Barcelos takes his back and gets one hook in. As Taha sits up, the Brazilian wrenches a palm-to-palm neck crank to squeeze a vice grip on his opponent’s chin. Taha grits it out, survives the choke as it slides under the chin, and falls to his back. Barcelos drops down some thudding punches from above, and Taha keeps a rubber guard with his right leg before threatening with a leglock. The submission attempt allows him to force a scramble that gets him back to his feet, where Taha pursues a double leg takedown. Barcelos shrugs it off and breaks up, and Taha chases after him with winging punches. Barcelos snaps a left and a right off while Taha is marching forward, but Taha wades forward with an overhand right and an uppercut. The two trade overhand rights, and Taha blocks the strikes that come his way as he sneaks up an uppercut. Taha kicks the lead leg, but he eats several punches from over the top. Taha clubs him with a left hand, and Barcelos stands in front of him and knees him on the chin. Both men slug it out with everything they have, and Barcelos tries to knee him again but comes up short. Taha stands right in front of his man throwing punches, and Barcelos ducks and kicks the leg. Taha overextends on a right hand and Barcelos tries to take him down, but he cannot get it there. Barcelos scores a big knee on the jaw, and Taha wears it well and presses into a takedown. When Barcelos breaks out of the position, the two have one final slugfest right to the bell. What a fight!

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Raoni Barcelos def. Khalid Taha via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Andrei Arlovski (244.5) vs. Tanner Boser (232.5)

Round 1

Our co-main event comes in the form of a heavyweight battle between two smaller men in the division in former champ Arlovski (29-19, 2 NC; 18-13, 1 NC UFC) and majestically mulleted Boser (19-6-1, 3-1 UFC). The chief in the cage is referee Mark Smith, who will keep things above board for this respectful matchup – judging by the fact that the two touched gloves before coming out swinging. As Boser feints and fakes around the outside, his Canadian passport bounces beautifully behind him, but neither man commit to a strike for the first 40 seconds of the fight until Boser kicks the lead leg. Arlovski checks it, and the action again pauses. Boser throws out a leg kick, and this time Arlovski is unable to check it. Boser attempts to kick with the other foot, and it clacks off the knee, prompting Arlovski to throw a big right hand at him. As soon as Arlovski switches stances, Boser kicks the other leg. Arlovski throws a head kick at the Canadian, but Boser is able to block it in time. Another leg kick from Boser glances off the knee, and Arlovski blocks a head kick with relative ease. Arlovski returns with a leg kick, and he fakes a superman punch to make Boser rush backwards. Boser steps back in and lands a left hand as Arlovski slings a hard left hand at him, interrupting the strike and getting out of danger in time. A pair of leg kicks from Arlovski fall short of the mark, and he checks a leg kick as both men do not commit to many blows. Arlovski guards against a right hand and has his own leg kick checked. Boser chips away at him with his lead leg kick, and Arlovski steps through it to swing a head kick that is well away from his intended target. Boser hops in with a pair of punches, but they cannot land so he instead scores a leg kick from each foot. The round ends as Arlovski drills Boser on the jaw with a right hand, landing the most consequential strike in the first five minutes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The two heavyweights touch gloves to begin the round, and Arlovski misses first with a leg kick. Boser returns fire with a leg kick, so Arlovski sits down on one of his own. Boser jabs his way forward but nothing lands, so Boser peppers the lead leg with another kick. Arlovski drops his arm to block a kick, and this interrupts a left hand he was about to throw. Inactivity begins to plague this round like much of the last, until Arlovski throws an unexpected hook kick that brushes past the hair. Boser tries to make him pay but misses, and Arlovski comes back at him with a right hand. Arlovski partially lands a one-two, and as Boser pushes out a front kick, the former champ scores a right hand on the chest that pushes Boser back. The Canadian gathers himself and re-introduces Arlovski to his leg kick, which is starting to mark up Arlovski’s knee. Arlovski flicks out a few front kicks to get Boser to guess, and when Boser walks his way forward, Arlovski stings him with a power right hand. Boser stalks Arlovski down and lands a leg kick, but Arlovski chambers a right hand that just misses. Arlovski steps in with a hard inside leg kick, and Boser fires an outside kick back at Arlovski’s leg. The heavyweights crash together and land a few strikes on the inside before pushing off to gain separation. Arlovski stalks Boser down and slings a head kick, but it slaps off the arm as Boser trips against the cage. Boser lands a punch to the body, and Arlovski stuns him with a right hand. One brief final exchange concludes the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two big men touch gloves to check in the last round, and Boser bails on a leg kick right before it lands. Arlovski’s front kick is similarly inaccurate, but the ex-champ does land a kick with either leg. Boser tags Arlovski and may have hurt him with a right hand, but instead of chasing him down and falling into a counter, he opts to step back and chop away at Arlovski’s left leg. Arlovski sees on coming and checks it, and he scores to the body after Boser lands an overhand left. Boser is inches away from getting off a one-two, but he sits down on twin leg kicks to make Arlovski simply look at them. Arlovski walks forward and hammers the inside thigh, and his head kick goes way off the mark. The Canadian tries a spinning back fist, but Arlovski ignores it as he blocks it and steps forward to clock Boser with a right hand. Boser shrugs it off to stride forward, and he sneaks a left hand around the guard. Arlovski charges in with a short surge of punches, and he catches Boser at the end of one. Boser gets a kick off to the lead leg, but Arlovski again blitzes forward and sends the mullet flying with a short punch salvo. Boser eats them like poutine and keeps attacking the lead leg, and Arlovski has started to change his stances as he cannot check all of them and his knee is starting to turn purple. Arlovski double jabs his way forward, and he blocks a telegraphed right hand to press forward. Boser comes up short with a head kick, and Arlovski stings him at the end of a long string of punches with a right hand. Boser bounces off the cage and reapplies himself to attack, and when he wades forward, Arlovski counters him with an overhand right. As Arlovski advances, a right hand clanks off the jaw and the former champ appears unfazed. Boser carries on with leg kick after leg kick, but Arlovski chases after him with punches. The round ends in the midst of an exchange, and scorecards could be all over the map in this one.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (30-28 Arlovski)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (30-28 Arlovski)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Arlovski (29-28 Arlovski)

The Official Result

Andrei Arlovski def. Tanner Boser via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Thiago Santos (205.5) vs. Glover Teixeira (205.5)

Round 1

Our headliner and what was once considered to be a light heavyweight title eliminator is an all-Brazil battle royale between top contenders, as Santos (21-7, 13-6 UFC) hunts for the all-time UFC knockout record of 12 against the streaking 41-year-old Teixeira (31-7, 14-5 UFC). Keeping his head on a swivel is referee Herb Dean, who will watch out for errant blows as the two finishers get down to business. The glove touch between them shows there is no bad blood as we begin the hostilities, and it’s time to throw down! The action is tense and light early, but Santos starts things off after a 15-second lull with a front kick up the middle. He paws out a few jabs, and swings and misses with a spinning wheel kick. Santos whiffs on a right hand, but he clips Teixeira with a right hand to hurt him badly. Teixeira stands up and stays upright, only to take another two punches that put him on rubber legs. Teixeira attacks for a takedown, and Santos pushes him over, but Teixeira scrambles out and puts Santos against the fence. Although Santos lands a few punches while defending himself, Teixeira lifts Santos up in the air and slams him down, where he immediately hops into mount position to rain down punches. Santos fights his way back to half guard, but Teixeira is still on him landing elbow and punches from above. Santos scrambles, nearly gets Teixeira out of mount, and continues to take punishment from his foe on top. Teixeira keeps heavy as he grinds out Santos with strikes, and his left hands are doing some damage while Santos squirms his way to the fence. Teixeira pops him with several right hands in the face, but Santos returns to full guard as he tries to lock down Teixeira. Teixeira avoids a few strikes that pound the canvas, and he hacks at a couple elbows from below. Teixeira stays active while delivering punches to the body and head, all while spurning any concern from Dean to stand the fight up. Santos throws his legs up but he gets elbowed hard in the head for his effort. A few ground strikes from Teixeira conclude the round that swung both ways.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The two heavy hitters touch gloves, and Santos draws first figurative blood with a leg kick and a front kick to the body. Santos goes up high with a kick, and Teixeira scores a right hand on the way in before hitting a takedown and putting Santos on his back. Teixeira slams down a pair of hard hammerfists, and Santos considers throwing his legs up but Teixeira passes to half guard without much issue. Santos is stuck on his back as Teixeira nearly wrests his leg free to take a dominant position, but Teixeira elects to blast him in the face with multiple elbows and a few punches. Teixeira takes a few minor punches on the chin to sit up and smash down elbows that are far more impactful, bouncing Santos’ head off the ground. Teixeira steps into three-quarter mount before sliding back into half guard, where continues his slow, methodical and painful bombardment of ground strikes. Teixeira sits up to club Santos with a hard right hand, and Santos can do nothing but eat them as his face begins to swell. Teixeira slices over into side control, and Teixeira stays heavy as he rains down elbows. Santos knees him in the ribcage from beneath, but Teixeira’s elbows are marking up the face. Teixeira hacks at Santos with more elbows, and “Marreta” kicks out to get Teixeira back to half guard. Teixeira easily passes back to side control, and he steps over to full mount with seconds to go. Teixeira circles around to the back when Santos turns over, and he instantly latches on to a rear-naked choke. The grip is tight under the chin and this appears to be over. The only thing that will save Santos is the horn, and he survives this lethal position mere seconds before going unconscious, as the horn does blare.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Within 10 seconds, Teixeira shoots in for a single leg takedown. Santos springs out of the way and clocks Santos with a massive left hand, sending Teixeira tumbling to the canvas. Santos leaps on top and starts pounding on Teixeira with hellacious ground-and-pound from above, and Teixeira rolls to his side while Santos is on top of him in half guard. Santos patiently waits for openings to sit up and elbow Teixeira in the face, and the sound they make is frightening. After a few add up, Teixeira has had enough of these, and he miraculously reverses the position to sit up and push Santos against the fence. Santos tries to stand up and stop the takedown, but Teixeira clings to him and pushes him over to gain top position. When Santos turns his back, Teixeira gladly takes it and sinks in a rear-naked choke. Teixeira is flattened out face-down on the ground, and there is no way out. A deflated “Marreta” taps out, as he does not have the clock on his side to ride out the remaining few minutes. What a terrific win for the top UFC light heavyweight finisher Teixeira, who should have easily punched his ticket for the number one contender status in his division. With that wild one in the books, we will see you next week with a Fight Night card capped off by a former champ against a rising star.

The Official Result

Glover Teixeira def. Thiago Santos R3 1:49 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
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