Ranked middleweights Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum will get the spotlight on Saturday night, as they will headline a UFC “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The bout sits atop a 12-fight card in total. Follow along throughout the evening for live updates of the event.
A preview of the card can be read here.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 1: Ramiz Brahimaj def. Sasha Palatnikov via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 2:33)
Bout 2: Ignacio Bahamondes def. Roosevelt Roberts via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 4:55)
Bout 3: William Knight def. Fabio Cherant via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:58)
Bout 4: Josiane Nunes def. Bea Malecki via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:54)
Bout 5: Brian Kelleher def. Domingo Pilarte via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Austin Lingo def. Luis Saldana via Decision, Unanimous
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 7:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 7: Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 1:46)
Bout 8: Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 3, 4:39)
Bout 10: Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 11: Mark O. Madsen def. Clay Guida via Decision, Split
Bout 12: Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 12: Jared Cannonier (13-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (17-7) (Middleweight)
Cannonier Goes Five Rounds For First Time, Earns Decision Win Against Gastelum
Jared Cannonier went five rounds for the first time in his career on Saturday, defeating Kelvin Gastelum in a close unanimous decision in the main event (48-47, 48-47 & 48-47).
Cannonier’s win over Gastelum came after a 25-minute striking battle that saw both fighters have their moments.
The fight had a close first and second round, as Cannonier and Gastelum engaged in quick exchanges.
Gastelum had an especially successful second round, teeing off with punches to Cannonier that scored but didn’t do significant damage.
The best moment for Cannonier was early in the third round when he dropped Gastelum with a right hook. Displaying his toughness, Gastelum was quick to get up and get back into the fight.
The striking from Cannonier continued to give Gastelum troubles in the fourth round, as he clearly hurt him at moments with punches.
Gastelum closed the fight out strong, coming forward with strikes towards a coasting Cannonier in the fifth round.
“I’m happy I got to drop him. I’m not too happy I didn’t get the finish,” said Cannonier in his post-fight interview.
The victory puts Cannonier back into the win column following a loss he took against former champ Robert Whittaker last year. He was originally scheduled to meet Paulo Costa at this card but was later given Gastelum after Costa withdrew.
Cannonier mentioned afterward that he wants to fight soon, claiming he is “broke.”
The loss continues struggles for Gastelum against the top names in the division. He has lost five of his last six bouts since 2019, although many have come against high-profile fighters like Israel Adesanya, Darren Till and Jack Hermansson.
He lost a five-round fight to Robert Whittaker just four months before Saturday.
Bout 11: Clay Guida (36-20) vs. Mark O. Madsen (10-0) (Lightweight)
Undefeated Madsen Defeats Veteran Guida In Return
Mark O. Madsen was successful in his return to the octagon on Saturday, taking a close split decision victory over Clay Guida in the co-main event (29-28 Madsen, 29-28 Guida & 30-27 Madsen).
The victory was Madsen’s first appearance in over a year.
Madsen and Guida were in an incredibly close stand-up battle through all three rounds. They would both unload with combinations and would connect with shots.
They engaged in many clinches early in the fight, where Madsen landed knees to the body.
Madsen now has an 11-fight undefeated record that includes three wins in the UFC. His previous UFC wins were in 2019 and early 2020, defeating Danilo Belluardo and Austin Hubbard.
Madsen called out Gregor Gillespie after his win.
Guida is the most experienced opponent Madsen has ever faced. The UFC veteran of over 30 fights was coming back after a decision win he took over Michael Johnson in February.
Bout 10: Chase Sherman (15-7) vs. Parker Porter (11-6) (Heavyweight)
Porter Gets Decision Nod Over Sherman
Parker Porter had a grinding performance against Chase Sherman result in a unanimous decision win on Saturday night (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Porter had the better striking than Sherman through all three rounds. The pace slowed down early as both fighters became tired, although Porter continued to push the pace.
Porter now has two consecutive wins. He last appeared in November, defeating Josh Parisian.
Sherman lost his prior bout to veteran Andrei Arlovski.
Bout 9: Trevin Jones (13-6) vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (8-2) (Bantamweight)
Kakhramonov Submits Jones Late In Short-Notice UFC Call-Up
Saidyokub Kakhramonov made a statement in his UFC debut, putting rising bantamweight Trevin Jones to sleep in the final minute of a three-round fight with a guillotine choke.
Kakhramonov was able to catch Jones late in the fight with a choke after stopping a takedown attempt.
Kakhramonov was in a close battle against Jones before the finish.
Kakhramonov started the fight well, taking the contest to the ground and attempting a guillotine choke. Jones escaped this choke eventually and went to a clinch position on the feet where the rest of the round would take place.
Kakhramonov seemingly hurt Jones early in the second round with strikes. Jones slowed the momentum of Kakhramonov by landing some clean shots of his own and securing a takedown. He advanced into full mount before the round concluded.
Like the first round, a large amount of the final round was in a clinch position before the finishing sequence.
Kakhramonov, a former CFFC Bantamweight Champion, was joining the UFC on just a few days notice to replace Mana Martinez. He missed weight for the fight on Friday, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the limit.
Jones was coming back after his first UFC win, which was a stoppage victory over Mario Bautista in March. He was returning to the cage after bad luck with finding a fight, as three different matchups fell through.
Kakhramonov’s last fight was earlier this year, where he defeated Tycen Lynn to become a CFFC champion.
Bout 8: Vinc Pichel (13-2) vs. Austin Hubbard (13-5) (Lightweight)
Pichel Out-Lasts Hubbard, Continues Win Streak
Veteran Vinc Pichel prevailed in a tough contest against Austin Hubbard on Saturday, fighting three rounds for a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Pichel’s striking ability brought him to his win against Hubbard. He had a much higher volume of strikes than Hubbard throughout the fight. He was able to land clean with punches, but also wobbled him at moments with leg kicks.
Hubbard had a strong start to the fight, though it was Pichel who took control as cardio became more of a factor.
The fight became a back-and-forth brawl in the closing seconds of the third round, as both fighters unloaded with wailing punches.
Pichel is on a three-fight winning streak over the past three years. He scored his last win about a year ago, defeating Jim Miller in August 2020.
Hubbard defeated short-notice opponent Dakota Bush in April.
Bout 7: Alexandre Pantoja (23-5) vs. Brandon Royval (12-5) (Flyweight)
Pantoja Submits Royval, Calls For Title Fight
Alexandre Pantoja scored a big win in the flyweight division to open the main card, securing a second-round submission win over Brandon Royval.
Pantoja was able to submit Royval with a rear naked choke in the second round, shortly after scoring a takedown.
Pantoja secured a takedown in the previous round as well. The fight was close on the ground early on, with Royval attempting submissions,
Pantoja has won three of his past five fights. He spoiled the UFC debut of former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape in February, defeating him on scorecards.
It was mentioned earlier this week by UFC President Dana White that the winner of this flyweight bout would be up next for a match against current UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno.
Moreno was in the building for Saturday’s contest. A respectful Pantoja proposed a title fight in December during his post-fight interview.
Royval was returning after losing a title eliminator to Moreno last year. His UFC record is now an even two wins and two losses.
Bout 6: Luis Saldana (15-6) vs. Austin Lingo (8-1) (Featherweight)
Lingo Gets Decision Nod After Back-And-Forth Battle
Austin Lingo walked away with a decision win over Luis Saldana after a three-round stand-up battle in the final prelim of the card (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Lingo had out-landed Saldana with punches during the three-round fight. He was able to significantly hurt Saldana at moments, dropping him with a straight punch to the body and wobbling him with leg kicks.
Lingo noted after the fight that he thinks he injured a leg of Saldana during the fight.
The 27-year-old has won his past two fights. He picked up his first UFC win in his prior appearance, defeating Jacob Kilburn in a tough three-round battle early this year.
Saldana, a “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum, was coming back after winning his UFC debut against Jordan Griffin earlier this year.
Bout 5: Brian Kelleher (22-12) vs. Domingo Pilarte (8-2) (Bantamweight)
Kelleher Puts On Controlling Three-Round Performance
Brian Kelleher had a dominant win on Saturday, using his wrestling skills to earn a unanimous decision win over Domingo Pilarte (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Kelleher took Pilarte down early in each round. He used these positions to then land punches on the ground and attempt submissions. Pilarte was never in great trouble while on the ground, but the accumulative attacks from Kelleher made it a one-sided contest.
Kelleher is now back into the win column. His previous bout was in February, where he lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Simon up at featherweight.
Kelleher called out rising bantamweight Sean O’Malley after the fight. He mentioned he wants to fight at UFC’s November 6th pay-per-view card, which is scheduled to take place in his home state of New York, USA.
Pilarte has yet to take a win since joining the UFC roster in 2019. He has now lost two of his three appearances, with the third bout being a no contest result.
Bout 4: Bea Malecki (2-0) vs. Josiane Nunes (7-1) (Bantamweight)
Punch-Heavy Brawler Nunes Stops Malecki In UFC Debut
UFC newcomer Josiane Nunes had a strong debut on Saturday, stopping Bea Malecki late in the first round with a left hook.
Nunes stormed Malecki throughout the first round with quick combinations of punches. After out-landing Malecki for numerous minutes, Nunes was able to score a knockdown in the closing seconds of the frame with a left hook to the head.
Nunes was making her UFC debut after attaining six fights on the regional scene in Brazil. Her win on Saturday continued a recent streak of TKO/stoppage wins.
Malecki had an undefeated pro record of two wins before Saturday. Both of her pro wins came in the UFC cage, where she defeated Duda Santana and Veronica Macedo.
Saturday was Malecki’s first appearance in over a year.
Bout 3: William Knight (9-2) vs. Fabio Cherant (7-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Knight Lands Counter Left Hook For Sudden Stoppage Win
William Knight earned his first stoppage UFC win on Saturday’s prelims, catching Fabio Cherant during a punching exchange in the first round.
Knight landed a left hook while Cherant was coming forward with his own punch. The loud, audible strike caused Cherant to fall forward and made the referee intervene and stop the fight shortly after.
Knight was successful earlier in the fight as well, landing leg kicks that Cherant wasn’t checking.
Knight is now back in the win column after taking a loss to Da Un Jung earlier this year. He has a promotional record of two wins and one loss.
Cherant, a former LFA Light Heavyweight Champion, is now on a two-fight skid. He took his UFC debut on short notice earlier this year, getting submitted within a round by Alonzo Menifield.
Bout 2: Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) vs. Ignacio Bahamondes (11-4) (Lightweight)
Bahamondes Scores Flashy Spinning KO For First UFC Win
Ignacio Bahamondes scored a highlight-reel knockout for his first UFC win, catching Roosevelt Roberts with a spinning back kick in the final seconds of a three-round fight.
While Bahamondes was already fairly ahead in his fight against Roberts, he was able to unwind a kick on Roberts in the final seconds, flooring him and causing a walk-off finish.
Bahamondes used striking to keep Roberts on his back foot throughout the fight. He consistently pushed forward with punches while on the feet, landing clean to the head and body of Roberts.
Roberts struggled to get the fight to the ground, with numerous takedown attempts stuffed by Bahamondes.
Bahamondes now has a win in the UFC cage. He lost his promotional debut earlier this year, losing a split decision to John Makdessi in April.
Roberts has now lost two of his past three, with the other bout being a no contest.
Bout 1: Ramiz Brahimaj (8-3) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (6-3) (Welterweight)
Brahimaj Shows Grappling Dominance For First UFC Win
Ramiz Brahimaj scored his first UFC win to open the main card, submitting Sasha Palatnikov within a round with a rear naked choke.
Brahimaj showed his dominant grappling skills, dictating the fight from the start to end.
Brahimaj earned a takedown in the opening minute of the fight. He quickly went to the back of Palatnikov, where he searched for a rear naked choke. Brahimaj kept with the choke for a long time, eventually letting go once the referee noticed that Palatnikov went unconscious.
Brahimaj lost his promotional debut last year, as a gruesome ear injury forced him out of a bout against Max Griffin in the third round.
He mentioned afterward that he is happy to get to his first win.
“It’s been so hard man, these past two years,” said Brahimaj in his post-fight interview.
Palantikov has now been submitted in his past two appearances. He previously competed four months ago, tapping to Impa Kasanganay.
Palatnikov, a fighter from Hong Kong, was represented on the UFC broadcast graphics by a neutral flag of no country. This has been done twice since he joined the UFC roster in late 2020.