Both coming back after losing a UFC main event in their previous fight, heavyweights Jairzinho Rozenstruick and Augusto Sakai have the chance to get back on the right track in the headlining bout of Saturday night’s “Fight Night.” Their fight sits atop a jam-packed 14-fight card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 13: Jairzinho Rozenstruick (11-2) vs. Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) (Heavyweight)
Rozenstruick Puts Away Sakai Late In The First, Returns To Win Column
Jairzinho Rozenstruick continued his career-long reputation for quick finish wins in the main event, stopping Augusto Sakai late in the first round with a combination of strikes.
Rozenstruick dropped Sakai in the final seconds of the round with a two-punch combination, connecting with a left hook and a right cross. He then followed up with hammerfist punches on the ground that further hurt Sakai, causing the referee to end the fight.
Rozenstruick had backed Sakai up for most of the first round, although he had never connected with any major strikes during the time.
The fight put Rozenstruick back into the win column after losing a main event bout to undefeated heavyweight Ciryl Gane earlier this year. The win on Saturday was his sixth since entering the UFC in 2019.
Sakai has now lost two consecutive main event fights. He went into deep waters in his 2020 main, getting stopped in the fifth round by veteran Alistair Overeem. The fight was Sakai’s first time in the headlining spot of a UFC card.
Before then, Sakai had put together four wins in the UFC.
Bout 12: Walt Harris (13-9) vs. Marcin Tybura (21-6) (Heavyweight)
Tybura Extends Win Streak To Five With First-Round Win Over Harris
Marcin Tybura continued his win streak in the co-main event, stopping Walt Harris late in the first round with punches on the ground. Overcoming a strong flurry of strikes from Harris, Tybura was able to score a takedown and finish the fight with punches while on the back of Harris in the final minute of the frame.
Harris started the fight strong, coming forward with punches and head kicks that landed clean and backed Tybura up. Tybura’s strikes on the ground proved overwhelming for Harris, who was shelled up on his stomach as the ref stopped the bout.
Tybura has now won five consecutive fights since the start of last year. Despite the momentum, Tybura humbly said after his win that he is not ready for a title shot next.
Harris is on a three-fight skid following the loss. His bouts last year saw him get stopped by experienced heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov.
Bout 11: Roman Dolidze (8-1) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-3) (Middleweight)
Dolidze Defeats Staropoli For First Middleweight Win
Roman Dolidze scored his first win at middleweight on Saturday, using wrestling to sweep scorecards against Laureano Staropoli (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27). Dolidze’s win showed him use control through all three rounds, neutralizing the skills of Staropoli.
Staropoli was frustrated at moments by how Dolidze’s wrestling stopped him from his fighting. The fighters exchanged words at moments during the fight while in clinch positions.
Dolidze lost his first pro bout in his prior fight, not being favoured on scorecards to Trevin Giles. The bout was his first at middleweight after spending his career at light heavyweight.
Staropoli is now on a three-fight losing streak, with his previous bouts coming against Tim Means and Muslim Salikhov.
Bout 10: Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-4) vs. Miguel Baeza (10-0) (Welterweight)
Ponzinibbio Makes Comeback To Earn First Win In Years
Santiago Ponzinibbio made a strong comeback to hand welterweight prospect Miguel Baeza his first pro loss via decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The three-round striking battle saw Ponzinibbio hurt early, although he was able to use punches to secure rounds later on.
Baeza did visible damage to Ponzinibbio early in the fight, connecting with over a dozen leg kicks which caused him to limp at moments in the first round. Ponzinibbio started to take over the fight in the second round, coming forward with punches that were connecting and hurting Baeza.
The fight turned into a back-and-forth brawl come the final round, as both welterweights wailed hooks at each other. Ponzinibbio scored with hard punches during the exchanges, earning him the round on scorecards.
Ponzinibbio is now back in the win column after losing a fight earlier this year to Li Jingliang. His win on Saturday was his second appearance since 2018.
Baeza entered the fight with an undefeated record of 10 wins. His record included three finish wins in the UFC.
Bout 9: Dusko Todorovic (10-1) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (9-3) (Middleweight)
Former LFA Champ Rodrigues Scores UFC Debut Win Over Todorovic
Former LFA Middleweight Champion Gregory Rodrigues had a strong UFC debut on the main card, using strikes to defeat Dusko Todorovic via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).
Rodrigues was first in many of the exchanges, connecting with punches and evading what Todorovic threw. That’s not to say Todorovic didn’t have his own moments, being able to connect with his own shots at points.
Rodrigues took the fight just weeks after he stopped Josh Fremd at LFA 108 to become the promotion’s 185-pound champ. He stepped in for this fight on short notice, replacing Maki Pitolo.
“I’ve just started … I’m here, man,” said Rodrigues in his post-fight interview.
Todorovic was looking to bounce back from his first pro loss, which came against Punahele Soriano earlier this year.
Bout 8: Montana De La Rosa (11-6-1) vs. Ariane Lipski (13-6) (Flyweight)
De La Rosa Stops Lipski With Ground and Pound
Quick and damaging ground and pound from Montana De La Rosa earned her a stoppage win in the second round against Ariane Lipski. De La Rosa closed out the fight in full mount, where she scored with a series of punches and elbows that cut Lipski open and eventually made the referee end the fight.
De La Rosa had a strong first round, taking Lipski to the ground early. She immediately scored another takedown to start the second round, setting her up for what would later be a finish win.
The fight put De La Rosa back into the win column for the first time in a year. Her last two fights went to scorecards, ending in a loss and a draw respectively.
Lipski’s last fight also saw her get finished, fighting Antonina Shevchenko late last year.
‘Medical Issues’ Force Breese Out of Bout Against Arroyo
A middleweight fight between Tom Breese and Antonio Arroyo was removed from the lineup on Saturday. The fight’s cancellation was first announced at the end of the broadcast of the preliminary card.
It was vaguely mentioned that Breese was removed from the fight due to “medical issues.”
Both fighters were looking to come back after facing a loss in their last appearance.
Bout 7: Tanner Boser (19-7-1) vs. Ilir Latifi (14-8) (Heavyweight)
Latifi Earns First Win At Heavyweight
Ilir Latifi earned his first win at heavyweight to finish the prelims, defeating Tanner Boser via split decision (29-28 Latifi, 29-27 Boser & 29-28 Latifi).
Latifi’s win came after taking a close first round on the feet and securing the final round with ground control.
Boser dropped to the ground during the second round after seemingly getting poked in the eye. Since referee Herb Dean didn’t see the eye poke, the fight was not paused following the poke. This allowed Boser to score with a series of punches to Latifi, who was grounded and worked his way back up to his feet.
Latifi put Boser on his back for the majority of the final round, scoring a takedown and staying in full guard.
Latifi’s previous fight saw him move up to heavyweight after previously fighting at light heavyweight. He went to scorecards in early 2020 against Derrick Lewis, who beat him via unanimous decision.
Boser lost his previous bout to experienced fighter Andrei Arlovski.
Bout 6: Francisco Trinaldo (26-7) vs. Muslim Salikhov (17-2) (Welterweight)
Salikhov Defeats Trinaldo To Extend Win Streak
Muslim Salikhov extended his win streak to five-in-a-row on the prelims, earning a unanimous decision win over Francisco Trinaldo (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Salikhov showed good striking and ability to score takedowns throughout the fight. His best moment came early in the fight, dropping Trinaldo with punches at one point in the first round.
Trinaldo was making his debut at welterweight after being a frequent competitor at lightweight. He scored a stoppage win in his previous fight, catching Jai Herbert in the third round of a bout with an overhand left.
Salikhov has managed to remain undefeated since 2018.
Bout 5: Makwan Amirkhani (16-5) vs. Kamuela Kirk (11-4) (Featherweight)
Short Notice Fighter Kirk Wins UFC Debut Against Amirkani
Kamuela Kirk scored an upset win in his UFC debut, defeating Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision after three rounds (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Kirk’s win came despite Amirkhani putting down numerous minutes of ground control in every round. Kirk’s best moments were on the feet, with some moments in grappling exchanges.
Kirk was able to scare Amirkhani late in the second round, attempting an armbar on his back while holding his head in a triangle choke. That moment, along with some control put down late in the fight by Kirk, was the majority of the work he did in the fight.
13 of 14 media members judging the fight for MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Amirkhani. The one who gave the fight to Kirk did not give him all three rounds.
Kirk, a former LFA fighter, stepped in on short notice to replace Nate Landwehr. He is entering the promotion after scoring two stoppage wins earlier this year, including a fight last month against Daniel Swain.
Amirkhani lost to UFC veteran Edson Barboza in his previous bout.
Bout 4: Alan Patrick (15-3) vs. Mason Jones (10-1) (Lightweight)
Dominant Performance From Jones Ends In No Contest
A dominant fight that looked to be a return to the win column for Mason Jones ended up as a no contest after he accidentally poked an eye of Alan Patrick in the second round. Patrick mentioned after the eye poke that he couldn’t see, causing the fight to be stopped.
The fight was ruled a no contest as the eye poke from Jones was ruled unintentional.
Jones had nearly finished Patrick during the first round, doing great damage with punches on the feet and ground. Patrick was warned numerous times late in the first round to stay active while strikes came his way.
Jones was looking to bounce back from his sole pro loss, which came against Mike Davis last year.
Patrick entered the bout on a two-fight losing streak.
Bout 3: Manon Fiorot (6-1) vs. Tabatha Ricci (5-0) (Flyweight)
Fiorot Uses Boxing To Stop Ricci In The Second
Manon Fiorot’s constant pressure of strikes on the feet earned her a second-round stoppage over short notice newcomer Tabatha Ricci on the prelims.
Fiorot was able to close out the fight after scoring a knockdown with punches in the second round. Continuing with strikes after Ricci returned to her feet, Fiorot had eventually landed enough shots for the referee to end the fight.
Fiorot was successful in stand-up exchanges throughout, advancing on Ricci with punches and managing the distance well. Fiorot had a large height and reach advantage over Ricci, something she used to her advantage throughout.
Ricci was making her UFC debut on short notice, stepping in for Maryna Moroz. She entered the UFC after putting together three wins in regional promotion LFA at strawweight.
Fiorot had a strong first UFC fight earlier in the year, stopping Invicta FC vet Victoria Leonardo with strikes.
Bout 2: Youssef Zalal (10-4) vs. Sean Woodson (7-1) (Featherweight)
Woodson Returns With Split Decision Win Over Zalal
Sean Woodson bounced back from his sole pro loss on the prelims, defeating Youssef Zalal in a close split decision performance (29-28 Zalal, 29-28 Woodson & Woodson).
The fight was close when on the feet, with both featherweights having a similar volume of strike output.
Woodson had Zalal in trouble late in the third round, taking him to the round with a guillotine choke attempt. Zalal was able to eventually escape and return to the feet for the final moments of the fight.
Woodson took his first pro loss in his previous appearance, getting submitted by Julian Erosa last year.
Zalal is now on a three-fight losing streak. His two previous fights were decision losses to Ilia Topuria and Seung Woo Choi. His UFC run has been quick thus far, having now competed six times since entering the promotion in early 2020.
Bout 1: Claudio Puelles (9-2) vs. Jordan Leavitt (8-0) (Lightweight)
Puelles Wins In Return, Hands Leavitt First Loss
Claudio Puelles handed Jordan Leavitt his first pro loss in the opening bout of the main card, using takedowns to earn rounds over him for a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Puelles was able to keep Leavitt on his back for a large portion of the fight, scoring takedowns in every round and keeping him down afterward. Leavitt had most control in the opening round, where he was able to earn some of his own takedowns.
Leavitt’s previous fight was his UFC debut, where he stopped veteran Matt Wiman in less than a minute with a slam knockout.
The fight was Puelles’ first fight after over a year outside of the cage. His previous bout was a win over Marcos Mariano in 2019. He is now on a three-fight win streak.