UFC on ESPN+ 27: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo Full Coverage

Last weekend, UFC travelled to Norfolk, Virginia, USA for UFC on ESPN+ 27. In the main event, Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo fought for the UFC Flyweight Championship. However, since Figueiredo missed weight, he was excluded from winning the belt in the fight. From the Chartway Arena, here’s the full report of the fight night.

Quick Results:

Prelims (ESPN+)

Bout 1: Sean Brady def. Ismail Naurdiev via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Spike Carlyle def. Aalon Cruz via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:25)

Bout 3: Jordan Griffin def. TJ Brown via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 2, 3:38)

Bout 4: Luis Pena def. Steve Garcia via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 5: Marcin Tybura def. Sergey Spivak via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 6: Brendan Allen def. Tom Breese via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:47)

Bout 7: Kyler Phillips def. Gabriel Silva via Decision, Unanimous

Main Card (ESPN+)

Bout 8: Grant Dawson def. Darrick Minner via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:38)

Bout 9: Megan Anderson def. Norma Dumont via KO, Right Cross (RD 1, 3:31)

Bout 10: Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:38)

Bout 11: Felicia Spencer def. Zarah Fairn via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:37)

Bout 12: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez via KO, Right Cross (RD 2, 1:54)

Full Coverage:

Bout 1: Ismail Naurdiev (19-3) vs. Sean Brady (11-0) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the seven-fight preliminary card, undefeated Sean Brady fought Ismail Naurdiev. Naurdiev pressed forward at the start of the fight. Brady caught a leg, trying for a takedown in the second minute, however he didn’t get it. Naurdiev was pushing the pace of the fight. Brady shot for a takedown halfway through the round but was stopped. Brady landed a good two-punch combo moments later. In the final few minutes of the round, Brady started to pop Naurdiev with punches. He failed again for a takedown in the final minute of the round.

To start the second round, both fighters were taking turns with strikes. Brady failed another takedown attempt, settling for a clinch. Still on the feet, Brady got on Naurdiev’s back. He eventually got Naurdiev to the ground. When he wasn’t fighting to keep Naurdiev on the ground, Brady was landing ground and pound from the back. He switched to the front, trying for a guillotine choke before they got back to a standing clinch. Naurdiev almost got a takedown for a moment. Brady got his second takedown with just over a minute to go in the round. He landed some strikes from half guard until the round ended.

Brady landed a good punch in the first minute of the final round. Coming in with a flying knee, Naurdiev was caught and taken down again. Naurdiev got back up halfway through the round, but was swept back to the canvas. Naurdiev was dominated, slightly getting up many times before Brady pushed him back down to the canvas. Brady picked up the strikes with a minute to go in the fight. He put in a guillotine choke before the round ran out of time. Getting the fight to the ground, Sean Brady was able to dominate his opponent and remain undefeated (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Naurdiev 10 9 8 27
Brady 9 10 10 29

Bout 2: Aalon Cruz (8-2) vs. Spike Carlyle (8-1) (Featherweight)

The second fight of the evening saw Spike Carlyle fight Aalon Cruz. Carlyle was rocking pink ankle tape, a colour which maybe hasn’t been worn in the UFC octagon for years? Cruz threw many kicks to open the first round. Carlyle landed a head kick a minute into the fight. Cruz shot for a takedown, getting clipped by an elbow in the clinch. Carlyle kept with strikes while Cruz slowly fell to the ground. The referee intervened shortly after. With a quick and powerful win, Spike Carlyle made his UFC debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 3: TJ Brown (14-6) vs. Jordan Griffin (17-7) (Featherweight)

In another featherweight fight, the card then presented TJ Brown versus Jordan Griffin. Brown threw a right hook to start the fight which hurt Griffin. He recovered quite quickly. Brown got a takedown a few seconds later. They got back up, with Brown getting another takedown a minute later. Brown kept Griffin against the cage. In the closing seconds of the round, Griffin got ahold of a rear naked choke which was in deep. Brown escaped, throwing some hard punches. Brown got caught in a guillotine before the round ended.

Both fighters scored hard kicks to start the second round. Brown shot for a takedown, getting it in a very informal manner. They got back to their feet with three minutes to go. After being in a clinch against the cage, Brown tried for another takedown. He got one upon another attempt, but got stuck in a deep guillotine choke that made him go out cold. After a rough first round, Jordan Griffin endured and capitalized on the right moment to win. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brown 10
Griffin 9

Bout 4: Luis Pena (7-2) vs. Steve Garcia (11-3) (Lightweight)

Moving on in the prelims, “Violent Bob Ross” Luis Pena faced Steve Garcia. At a glance, you could tell that Pena had a height advantage. Garcia was pumping good jabs right off the bat. They went into a clinch where Garcia got ahold of a leg for a takedown. Pena was able to get on Garcia’s back, throwing punches to the head. Halfway through the round, Pena tried for a rear naked choke. Pena even threw elbows from behind before the round ended. Garcia was slightly bleeding from his nose as the round ended.

Garcia went flying at Pena with strikes to start the second round. Pena got on his back, eventually getting him to the ground. They ended the round from this position, with both throwing strikes. Garcia was throwing hammerfist strikes backwards.

Pena started the final round the way Garcia started the second, charging forward. Pena got Garcia to the ground, however got caught in a triangle choke in the process. Pena escaped and got on the back of Garcia again. Pena stayed on Garcia’s back until the round ended. After three dominant rounds, Luis Pena got the win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pena 10 10 10 30
Garcia 9 9 9 27

Bout 5: Marcin Tybura (17-6) vs. Sergey Spivak (10-1) (Heavyweight)

In the first and only heavyweight fight of the evening, Marcin Tybura battled against Sergey Spivak. After two minutes of striking, Tybura got a takedown. He threw strikes periodically from the top.

Tybura tried for another takedown a minute into the second round. Spivak backed up against the cage, resisting the takedown. The referee separated them after they stayed in a clinch for too long. Tybura got a takedown with two minutes left in the round. Tybura tried for a rear naked choke throughout the round.

Tybura put Spivak up against the cage early in the third round. Spivak landed a good punch when exiting a clinch in the second minute. Tybura protest an eye poke, however the fight did not pause. Tybura scored a double leg takedown with two minutes to go in the final round. In the final minute, Tybura sped up his ground and pound. The fight went the distance with Marcin Tybura getting the win via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Tybura 10 10 10 30
Spivak 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Brendan Allen (13-3) vs. Tom Breese (11-1) (Middleweight)

The next fight saw Brendan Allen and Tom Breese battle. They clinched up early. Bresse tried to hop on Allen’s back, however when they landed on the ground Allen got top position in half guard. Allen started working for a kimura. Now in side control, Allen was throwing elbows and punches to the head. From the bottom, Breese tried for a triangle choke. Allen went back to throwing punches and elbows, scoring enough in a row that the referee stopped it. Getting it done in under a round, Brendan Allen extended his winning streak to six.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 7: Gabriel Silva (8-1) vs. Kyler Phillips (6-1) (Bantamweight)

Finishing off the preliminary card, bantamweights Gabriel Silva and Kyler Phillips fought. Both fighters were throwing fast strikes at the start. Phillips missed a nasty spinning back kick. Silva shot for a takedown in the second minute, never getting farther than a clinch. Philipps was landing good strikes in the first round. He landed a combination of hooks in the fourth minute that Silva didn’t have an answer for. He got another great combination in with a minute left in the round. Silva got a good takedown, holding one leg while kicking the other to trip Phillips. They got up in the final moments of the round, although Silva got tripped to go back down.

Silva tried for another takedown in the first minute of the second round. They had a back and forth exchange on the ground, jockeying for control. They got back up, where Silva got a takedown. He went into side control, trying to take the back of Phillips. He took the back, which Silva rolled out of, however Phillips took top position. This was some fast paced grappling. Silva tried for a heel hook in the final minute of the round, although he didn’t get it. Phillips landed some hammerfist strikes before the round ended.

Phillips scored two punches and then a spinning back kick to the head in the first minute of the third round. He got a takedown shortly after. They got back up with three minutes left in the round. Phillips landed a punch when leaving the clinch. With fatigue setting in, Phillips looked like the fresher fighter. Another takedown went the way of Phillips halfway through the round. Phillips landed lots of punches on the ground. Silva got to the feet before the round ended. Phillips almost landed a grounded knee to the head, but luckily missed it. Consulting the judges, it was Kyler Phillips getting the win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Silva 9 10 9 28
Phillips 10 9 10 29

Bout 8: Grant Dawson (14-1) vs. Darrick Minner (24-10) (Featherweight)

Kicking off the main card, Grant Dawson and Darrick Minner fought. It’s worth noting that Dawson missed the weight limit for featherweight. Minner landed a leg kick in the first minute, catching a kick that was going his way as well for a clinch. Dawson got the takedown, however was threatened by a guillotine for a moment. Minner tried for an armbar from the bottom, not getting it. Minner tried for a guillotine as they stood up, giving him top position on the ground. He got back on his back, trying for another guillotine. Dawson flipped onto his back then onto his knees again while still being in the choke. Minner let go after Dawson endured. Minner tried for a guillotine from the bottom. Dawson let a lot of punches fly in the final seconds, trying for a rear naked choke before the horn went.

Before the next round started, Anthony Smith and UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman were shown in attendance. Up against the cage, Minner put in a guillotine again, making the fight go to the ground. Dawson got on the back, putting in a rear naked choke which made Minner tap quite quickly. Grant Dawson gets the win after two exciting rounds of action.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Dawson 10
Minner 9

Bout 9: Megan Anderson (9-4) vs. Norma Dumont (4-0) (Featherweight)

In the next match, undefeated Norma Dumont made her UFC debut against fellow featherweight Megan Anderson. Anderson had a huge height advantage over Dumont. Dumont put Anderson against the cage in the first minute. They went to the ground with two minutes to go. They got back up seconds later in a clinch. Back in stand-up, Anderson scored a right-cross that knocked Dumont out. Explosive power made it a quick win for Megan Anderson.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 10: Ion Cutelaba (15-4) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (12-1) (Light Heavyweight)

In a light heavyweight fight, Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev fought. During the fighter introductions, Cutelaba walked towards Ankalaev until he ran into him. The commission security brought him back to his corner and the fight started without much intermission. Cutelaba landed a leg kick right off the bat. Ankalaev landed a few head kicks that had Cutelaba wobbling around. The referee stepped in amid the action, which annoyed Cutelaba quite a bit. The security was quick to get back in the octagon to make sure nothing else chaotic happened. Controversial or not, Magomed Ankalaev moved to 13-1 as a professional.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 11: Felicia Spencer (7-1) vs. Zarah Fairn (6-3) (Featherweight)

The co-main event of the evening saw featherweights Felicia Spencer and Zarah Fairn battle. Spencer’s last fight was a loss to now-Bellator Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg. Fairn was the taller fighter, with her height giving her an advantage early on. Spencer put Fairn against the fence in the second minute. With three minutes to go in the fight, Spencer got a takedown. From top position, Spencer landed a series of punches and elbows which eventually convinced the referee to step in and end the fight. Fairn fought to escape the position for a while, although she did get hit with dozens upon dozens of strikes before it ended.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 12: Joseph Benavidez (28-5) (#1) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (17-1) (#3) (Vacant UFC Flyweight Championship)


The 12th fight of the evening saw Joseph Benavidez fight Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship. As mentioned before, only Benavidez was eligible to win the flyweight belt from this fight. Figueiredo got a takedown as the first minute closed out. He got on the back of Benavidez, then trying for an armbar. Benavidez escaped and they went back to stand-up. Benavidez shot for a takedown with two minutes to go, but Figueiredo stopped it. Benavidez landed a good punch but was thrown to the ground a second later. They were starting to exchange heat as the round ran out of time.

The second round started with hard strikes from both of them. In the second minute, Benavidez started to bleed from what might have been a clash of heads. Figueiredo landed a right hook which dropped Benavidez hard. A few punches later, the fight was stopped. Deiveson Figueiredo got the win, leaving the UFC Flyweight Championship vacant. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Benavidez 9
Figueiredo 10

UFC returns this weekend with UFC 248. From the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the pay-per-view event will offer two championship fights. In the main event, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya will face Yoel Romero. The co-main will see UFC Strawweight Champ Weili Zhang face Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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