Opening main card bout: Askar Askarov (12-0-1) def. Alexandre Pantoja (22-5) by (Unanimous) Decision. These two talented fighters got off to a fast start. Ending up in a scramble on the ground at the end of the first round. Pantoja stole the first round from Askarov with relentless submission attempts on the ground. Askarov was the aggressor in the second round landing cleaner shots and keeping the pressure on Pantoja. Second round was similar to the first; with both men on the ground. Askarov avoiding submissions well from Pantoja. Pantoja times a beautiful right hand and drops Askarov. Pantoja isn’t able to follow it up because Askarov recovers quickly. Both men on their feet Askarov is the fresher fighter and out paces Pantoja to a unanimous decision victory. Both men have bright futures but give Askarov his due. Askarov will threaten for the belt at some point in the near future. Pantoja will be fun to watch grow among the UFC brass.
Second main card bout: Ariane Lipski (13-5) def. Luana Carolina (6-2) by Submission (Knee Bar). Quick fight as I anticipated. Carolina gave it her all but Lipski had her number. Once the fight began Lipski did not hesitate going to work. Dropping Lipski with a nice punch, keeping her cool in the scramble. Fighting off a submission then pulling off a win with the most vicious knee bar I have ever witnessed. Expect to see Lipski keep improving from here and the competition to become tougher. We will see Carolina get another shot at someone different.
Third main card bout: Rafael Fiziev (8-1) def. Marc Diakiese (14-4) by (Unanimous) Decision. Early on it was a back and forth fight. By the end of the second round Fiziev was doing more damage. Fiziev was landing a huge body kick multiple times throughout the fight. Throwing off Diakiese for much of the fight. A valiant effort for Diakiese in the third but Fiziev didn’t slow down. Fiziev wins by a unanimous decision on the judges cards. Fiziev was spectacular in his performance and dominated the bulk of this one. Expect Diakiese to regroup and make another run toward the top of the lightweight division. As for Fiziev; he is a monster to be reckoned with moving forward.
Co-main event: Jack Hermansson (21-5) def. Kevin Gastelum (15-6) by Submission (Heel Hook). I pictured this not going the distance but I really nailed the under here! Hermansson was prepared for Gastelum’s aggression. Early on Gastelum came forward eating a few kicks. Before you knew it Hermansson cinched in a body lock attempting to take Gastelum down. Once Hermansson was on his own back Gastelum was trying pull his leg free from Hermansson’s grip. Hermansson locked in a heel hook and that was all she wrote. All in the first round! Expect to see Gastelum fight again quickly. Also expect Hermansson to get a blockbuster fight soon.
Main event: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke). Nothing changed from the last meeting aside from the fact Figueiredo became better. Benavidez is a true warrior but was no match for Figueiredo from the opening bell. Figueiredo was smooth on his feet landing clean shots on Benavidez. Then Figueiredo turned up his velocity and put Benavidez down looking to finish. Locking in a rear-naked choke and Benavidez was asleep before referee Marc Goddard could stop it. Horrendous loss for Benavidez. The sky is truly the limit for Deiveson Figueiredo.
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