Taking a fight on a week’s notice, Marvin Vettori stepped in to fight Jack Hermansson in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the event.
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 8: Jack Hermansson (21-5) vs. Marvin Vettori (15-3-1) (Middleweight)
Vettori Wins Five-Round Striking Battle on Hermansson
Marvin Vettori earned his first five-round UFC win on Saturday night, defeating Jack Hermansson after a high-tempo striking battle that went to scorecards.
While out-striking Hermansson throughout, Vettori consumed his fair amount of shots as well. Numerous exchanges on the feet saw both fighters land strikes.
The best moment for Vettori was in the first round when he dropped Hermansson with a left cross.
Despite the win being a landmark performance in Vettori’s career, he was critical of his performance.
“I don’t feel great. I don’t feel like I did a great job,” said Vettori in his post-fight interview.
Vettori took the fight on a week’s notice, replacing Kevin Holland, who was pulled from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19.
Before taking the fight, Vettori was scheduled to fight Jacare Souza in a three-round bout at UFC 256.
Vettori’s previous wins came against Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez and Karl Roberson.
Hermansson’s last fight saw him pick up a quick win, defeating Kelvin Gastelum in July.
Bout 7: Ovince St. Preux (25-14) vs. Jamahal Hill (7-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Hill Continues Undefeated Run With Stoppage Win Over St. Preux
Jamahal Hill continued his UFC campaign in the co-main event, stopping veteran Ovince St. Preux with strikes in the second round.
Keeping St. Preux up against the cage, Hill landed a series of punches and knees that continued until the referee intervened.
Hill credited St. Preux for his performance afterwards.
“OSP is a legend … He pushed me to a limit I haven’t been pushed to before,” said Hill in his post-fight interview.
The first round of the fight was a relatively close battle.
The win was Hill’s second since joining the UFC. His last fight, a win in May over Klidson Abreu, was overturned into a no-contest after the Nevada Athletic Commission found marijuana in his system.
St. Preux entered the fight after an explosive win in September that saw him stop Alonzo Menifield with a left hook.
Hill used his post-fight interview to talk against drunk driving, saying he lost a close friend because of it.
“His mother is in pain … The decisions you make affect the people you love,” said Hill.
Bout 6: Gabriel Benitez (21-8) vs. Justin Jaynes (16-5) (Lightweight)
Benitez Returns To Win Column, Stops Jaynes With Knee
Gabriel Benitez landed a clean knee to the body that dropped Justin Jaynes in the first round, ending the fight on Saturday. The win for Benitez snapped a two-fight skid that developed over two years.
The finishing blow collapsed Jaynes immediately, causing the referee to intervene. Prior to the finish, the fight was a close back-and-forth striking battle.
Benitez was emotional after the fight, mentioning how the fight was his first since his boxing coach passed away.
Benitez’s previous fights were losses to Omar Morales and Sodiq Yusuff.
Bout 5: Roman Dolidze (7-0) vs. John Allan (13-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Dolidze Takes Decision Win, Remains Undefeated
Roman Dolidze continued his undefeated run on Saturday, winning a split decision over John Allan. Dolidze’s performance saw him control with numerous takedowns throughout all three rounds.
Despite winning 30-27 on two scorecards, Dolidze considered it a challenge.
“I was thinking that [the] fight would be easier,” said Dolidze in his post-fight interview
The fight was Allan’s first back since serving a one-year USADA suspension. While he won his UFC debut in 2019 over Mike Rodriguez, it was later overturned to a no-contest due to the test.
Dolidze won his UFC debut in July, defeating Khadis Ibragimov within a round.
Bout 4: Matt Wiman (16-9) vs. Jordan Leavitt (7-0) (Lightweight)
Leavitt Earns Quick Slam Knockout In UFC Debut
Jordan Leavitt picked up a quick slam knockout victory over Matt Wiman to win his UFC debut and remain undefeated. The fight was fast, as it started and finished with Leavitt picking Wiman up and slamming him down.
Wiman was down for numerous minutes after the fight, still being on his back as the ruling for the fight was announced.
“That’s pretty brutal … I just wish I didn’t hurt somebody, I guess,” said Leavitt, reacting to his powerful knockout during his post-fight interview.
The win for Leavitt continued a successful year which saw him pick up a win in LFA, earn his UFC contract on “Dana White’s Contender Series” and now win his UFC debut.
Wiman is now on a three-fight losing streak. Wiman’s previous two fights were losses to Luis Pena and Joe Solecki in 2019.
The slam victory was the second to happen this weekend, as Mo Miller picked up a slam victory on Friday’s LFA card.
Bout 3: Louis Smolka (16-7) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (8-4) (Bantamweight)
Smolka Returns To The Win Column, Finishes Quinonez In The Second
Louis Smolka had a ground and pound win to finish the prelims, stopping Jose Alberto Quinonez in the second round.
Smolka was able to finish the fight shortly after getting a takedown in the second round. Moving into full mount immediately, Smolka started to throw a quick tempo of punches. The fight finished with Smolka throwing punches from the back of Quinonez.
Smolka bounced back from a loss with the fight. His previous bout was a loss to Casey Kenney in May.
Quinonez’s previous fight was a stoppage loss as well, losing to Sean O’Malley.
The fight was first scheduled for a November 14th card, although it was bumped ahead after weight cut issues removed Smolka from its first iteration.
Bout 2: Damon Jackson (18-3-1) vs. Ilia Topuria (9-0) (Featherweight)
Topuria Stops Jackson Early With Slick Punch Combination
Ilia Topuria defended his undefeated record on the prelims, stopping Damon Jackson in the first round after a slick combination of punches.
After hurting Jackson with a punch to the body, Topuria landed two hooks to the head that dropped him and stopped the fight in the third minute.
“I was expecting the first-round knockout,” said Topuria in his post-fight interview.
The win was Topuria’s second in the UFC. His promotional debut was a decision victory over Youssef Zalal.
Jackson was also heading into the fight after his first UFC win, which was a victory over Mirsad Bektic.
Bout 1: Gian Villante (17-12) vs. Jake Collier (11-5) (Heavyweight)
Collier Earns First Win At Heavyweight
Jake Collier earned his first win as a heavyweight on the prelims, defeating Gian Villante via unanimous decision after a three-round striking battle.
The bout was Collier’s second at heavyweight after the majority of his career happening at middleweight and light heavyweight.
Villante landed a high volume in the first round, although Collier was able to stun him twice in the frame with punches. Collier backed Villante up with a jab in the round and wobbled him with a left hook later in the fight.
Collier pushed the pace of the fight in the second and third round, out-striking Villante.
Collier lost his heavyweight debut in July, being stopped within a minute by Tom Aspinall. The bout was Collier’s first since 2017.
Villante is now on a three-fight losing streak. His previous losses came against Michal Oleksiejczuk and Maurice Greene.
‘Fight Night’ Card Loses Three Bouts Hours Before Start
Just hours before the event was scheduled to start, three fights were removed from the lineup. Positive COVID-19 tests took fights between Nate Landwehr and Movsar Evloev as well as Taila Santos and Montana De La Rosa off the card.
A fight between Cody Durden and Jimmy Flick was also scrapped from the lineup for non-COVID-19 reasons.
The cancelled bouts were first reported by MagicM MMA.
The preliminary card has been moved ahead to 8:00PM EST due to the cancelled bouts, per Ryan Frederick.
The preliminary card will now be three fights in total.