Light heavyweights will be in the spotlight on Saturday night, as Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira will fight in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card.
Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the fights, which are set to happen at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Preliminary Card (7:30PM EST / 4:30PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 10: Thiago Santos (21-7) vs. Glover Teixeira (31-7) (Light Heavyweight)
Teixeira Evades Trouble, Finishes Santos In The Third To Continue Streak
Glover Teixeira avoided explosive moments from Thiago Santos in the main event, working his way to a rear naked choke victory in the third round. The finish came as Teixeira took the back of Santos, working out of a position Santos controlled before.
The win for Teixeira, the 41-year-old light heavyweight, was his fifth-straight in a 2019 and 2020 run of fights.
Teixeira asked for a light heavyweight title shot against Jan Blachowicz afterwards.
“I’m an old man. You’re going to give the shot to [Israel] Adesanya and make me wait? … Give me the shot,” said Teixeira, jokingly in his post-fight interview.
Santos had a hot start to the third round, knocking Teixeira down with a left hook after stopping a takedown attempt. After consuming some strikes, Teixeira was able to move out of the position and work towards the finish.
Santos had an explosive start to the fight, stunning Teixeira in the opening minute with punches. Teixeira stopped the momentum of Santos by scoring a takedown.
Teixeira had success in the first and second rounds, using ground and pound to control Santos.
Teixeira took his second-straight main event win on Saturday. His previous fight was a win over Anthony Smith, stopping him in the fifth round with ground and pound.
The fight was Santos’ first since a 2019 loss to Jon Jones, who was the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion at the time. Santos had a good performance in the fight but was hurt by a torn ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus.
Bout 9: Andrei Arlovski (29-19) vs. Tanner Boser (19-6-1) (Heavyweight)
Arlovski Stops Boser’s 2020 Momentum, Wins Decision
Andrei Arlovski won a slow-paced striking battle over Tanner Boser in the co-main event. The fight saw Arlovski land the larger punches in a battle that had quick and sporadic exchanges.
Arlovski’s previous fight was also a win, defeating Philipe Lins via decision.
The best strikes from Boser were leg kicks, which he landed throughout the fight.
Bout 8: Raoni Barcelos (15-1) vs. Khalid Taha (13-2) (Bantamweight)
Barcelos Puts Together Strong Performance on Taha, Continues UFC Win Streak
Raoni Barcelos earned his fifth UFC victory on the main card, defeating Khalid Taha via unanimous decision in a high-tempo battle.
While it was a strong performance that showed Barcelos’ striking, it also showed the resilience of Taha, who stayed in the fight. Barcelos hurt Taha often with punches, but also clearly did some damage with leg kicks.
The best moment for Barcelos was the end of the second round, where a knee to the head stunned Taha.
“I think I did enough top get a top five contender,” said Barcelos via a translator in his post-fight interview.
The fight was Taha’s return to action after serving a one-year USADA suspension. His previous fight, a win over Bruno Silva at UFC 243, was overturned due to the suspension.
Bout 7: Giga Chikadze (11-2) vs. Jamey Simmons (7-2) (Featherweight)
Chikadze Earns Fourth Win In 2020, First Stoppage In UFC Career
Giga Chikadze earned his first stoppage victory in the UFC on Saturday, stopping Jamey Simmons in the first round with a head kick.
Chikadze called for a co-main or main event fight in December after his win, mentioning he wants to face Jeremy Stephens.
The win was Chikadze’s fifth in the UFC, which includes previous decision victories over Jamall Emmers, Irwin Rivera and Omar Morales.
With the win, Chikadze became only the second fighter on the UFC roster to have four wins in 2020 (the other is Kevin Holland).
The fight was the UFC debut for Jamey Simmons. He had picked up a win on the regional scene in the month before, defeating Shawn West via rear naked choke.
Chikadze spent a large portion of the round fighting off clinch attempts from Simmons.
Bout 6: Claudia Gadelha (18-4) vs. Yan Xiaonan (12-1) (Strawweight)
Yan Continues Undefeated UFC Run, Defeats Gadelha
Yan Xiaonan continued her undefeated UFC run to kick off the main card, fighting to a unanimous decision win over Claudia Gadelha.
Yan had the sharper striking on the feet through the three rounds, out-striking Gadelha and causing a visible amount of damage to her face. Gadelha looked to stop the striking with clinching.
After the fight, Yan sounded game for a strawweight title shot.
“Anytime, it depends on Dana White. He can arrange the fight any time,” said Yan in her post-fight interview.
Yan has now won six-straight in the UFC. Her previous fight, a decision win as well, was against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Gadelha’s previous fight was a win, defeating Angela Hill via split decision in May.
Bout 5: Trevin Giles (12-2) vs. Bevon Lewis (7-2) (Middleweight)
Giles Closes Out Prelims With Stoppage Win Against Lewis
Trevin Giles closed out a strong striking performance on the prelims with a stoppage in the third round, dropping Bevon Lewis with a series of punches.
The win was Giles’ second-straight win, with the previous being over James Krause in February.
Giles mentioned his last fight was a decision victory, saying he was pushing for a finish near the end.
“When the third round came … I had a mission to go out there and finish him,” said Giles in his post-fight interview.
Giles pieced together good striking earlier in the fight as well.
Giles had trouble finding a fight earlier in the year, as complications took him out of a booking against Jun Yong Park and Kevin Holland.
Lewis won his previous battle, winning a decision over Dequan Townsend.
Bout 4: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (17-6-1) vs. Alexander Romanov (12-0) (Heavyweight)
Romanov Stays Undefeated After Rare Forearm Choke Win
Alexander Romanov continued his undefeated pro record of finishes, putting Marcos Rogerio de Lima unconscious with a forearm choke in the first round of action.
Romanov used his forearm for a choke while in half guard, using it until the referee intervened. The finish came shortly after Romanov landed a takedown.
The win is Romanov’s second in the UFC. He made his UFC debut in September, defeating Roque Martinez.
De Lima had won his previous fight, defeating Ben Sosoli with punches back in February.
Bout 3: Darren Elkins (24-9) vs. Eduardo Garagorri (13-1) (Featherweight)
Elkins Catches Garagorri With Rear Naked Choke
Darren Elkins put an end to a close fight against Eduardo Garagorri in the third round, catching him with a rear naked choke to cause a tap out.
Elkins was able to mount the back of Garagorri on the feet in the second round to apply the choke. He moved into the position after being rocked by punches. Elkins grabbed a knee of Garagorri to move into the clinching distance.
Earlier in the fight, Elkins’ gameplan included a high volume of takedowns. As Garagorri started to block the takedowns in the second round, he was able to put together strikes that rocked Elkins on the feet.
The fight snapped a four-fight skid of Elkins which spanned from 2018 to 2020. His most recent fight was in May, losing via decision to Nate Landwehr.
The loss was the second-straight for Garagorri.
Bout 2: Max Griffin (15-8) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (8-2) (Welterweight)
Graphic Ear Cut Ends Fight Between Griffin and Brahimaj
Max Griffin claimed a victory on the prelims after a graphic finish to a fight against Ramiz Brahimaj. Griffin landed elbows in a clinch in the third round, cutting the left ear open of Brahimaj, ending the fight.
“I think his ear fell out of his head. I’m sorry for that. It was bad, bro,” said Griffin in his post-fight interview.
The finish came after a dominating striking performance from Griffin in the earlier rounds, connecting with jabs throughout.
The loss for Griffin snapped a two-fight skid.
The fight was the UFC debut for Brahimaj after a six-fight stint in LFA.
Bout 1: Gustavo Lopez (11-5) vs. Anthony Birchak (15-6) (Bantamweight)
Lopez Stops Short-Notice Opponent Birchak For First UFC Win
Gustavo Lopez earned his first UFC victory to open the evening, catching Anthony Birchak in the first round with a rear naked choke. The finish came after a strong round that saw him score a knockdown with punches and two takedowns.
Birchak took the fight on short notice, replacing Felipe Colares, who withdrew from the fight due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The fight kicked off the second UFC run for Birchak. His previous UFC run was in 2014 to 2016, where he won two bouts and lost two.
Lopez lost his UFC debut, stepping in for Ray Borg to face Merab Dvalishvili.
Allen and Heinisch Taken Off of Card
Brendan Allen announced on Saturday that his fight with Ian Heinisch was called off of Saturday’s card. Per Instagram, Allen claims a positive COVID-19 test to Heinisch caused the fight to be cancelled.
The preliminary card start time was bumped ahead by 30 minutes due to the cancelled fight. A fight between Giga Chikadze and Jamey Simmons was bumped up to the main card.