UFC will present a busy 14-fight card on Saturday night from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The hectic event will be headlined by light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann. For Spann, the fight will be his first main event appearance since joining the UFC roster a few years back.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the event.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 14: Anthony Smith (35-16) vs. Ryan Spann (19-6) (Light Heavyweight)
Smith Continues Pattern of Quick Wins, Submits Spann In The First Round
UFC veteran Anthony Smith had a quick performance in Saturday’s main event, putting away Ryan Spann in the first round with a rear naked choke submission.
Smith was piecing Spann up on the feet early in the fight, eventually using that power to set up a submission.
Smith got the fight to the ground by dropping Spann with a right cross. He then took the back of Spann, where he secured a submission to end the fight.
Tensions were high after the stoppage as both fighters got into an argument. However, things diffused shortly after, and the main event fighters embrace each other by the end.
Smith called out Aleksandar Rakic in his post-fight interview.
“He’s just sitting around, he’s not fighting for the title … I want somebody ahead of me and I earned that,” said a fired-up Smith in his post-fight interview.
Rakic has already responded via Twitter, stating that he would like to fight in December.
Smith is now on a three-fight streak of first-round finish wins. That includes a fight in April against Jimmy Crute and a main event bout against Devin Clark late last year.
Spann was competing in his first-ever UFC main event fight. He was put in the fight after scoring five wins through six UFC appearances, including a first-round victory over Misha Cirkunov from March.
Bout 13: Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1) vs. Devin Clark (12-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Cutelaba Nearly Finishes Clark, Settles With Decision Win
Ion Cutelaba had a near one-sided performance against Devin Clark in the co-main event to earn a long-awaited victory via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-26 & 29-27).
Cutelaba had Clark in trouble for more than half of the first round, coming close to finishing the fight with strikes. Clark was dropped in the round with strikes, then endured hard elbows and punches on the ground. Warnings that he would have to remain active caused Clark to answer back with punches on the ground or move positions frequently.
Cutelaba was quick to take control early in the second round, scoring a takedown and moving into full mount on top, where he was able to unleash with elbows.
The final round was less damaging for Clark, as Cutelaba focused on wrestling for most of the frame.
Cutelaba is now back into the win column for the first time in nearly two years. His past three bouts, including a two-fight rivalry with Magomed Ankalaev, have resulted in two losses and one draw.
Clark was returning for the first time since November 2020, where Anthony Smith submitted him in the first round with a triangle choke.
Bout 12: Mandy Bohm (7-0) vs. Ariane Lipski (13-7) (Flyweight)
Lipski Hands UFC Debutant Bohm First Pro Loss
Ariane Lipski handed UFC newcomer Mandy Bohm her first pro loss on Saturday, fighting to a unanimous decision win after three rounds (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Lipski had the better striking throughout the fight and used the third round to put Bohm on her back.
The best moment on the feet for Lipski was late in the second round, as she was able to score with a knockdown on Bohm.
Bohm was making her UFC debut with an undefeated pro record of seven wins, which included a win last year in Bellator.
Bout 11: Christos Giagos (19-8) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (16-2) (Lightweight)
Tsarukyan Continues Lightweight Climb With First-Round Stoppage Against Giagos
A hard punch and an incredibly quick flurry of ground and pound shots earned Arman Tsarukyan a first-round stoppage win over Christos Giagos on Saturday’s main card.
Tsarukyan first hurt Giagos with a left hook, taking the fight to the ground where the bout would later be finished just moments after.
Tsarukyan is one of the rising lightweights currently. He has won his previous three bouts, including a unanimous decision win he took over Matt Frevola in January.
The loss snapped a two-fight win streak that Giagos walked into the cage with. He scored a darce choke earlier this year, defeating Sean Soriano at UFC 262.
Bout 10: Nate Maness (13-1) vs. Tony Gravely (21-6) (Bantamweight)
Maness Avoids Being Finished, Makes Comeback For Second Round Win
Nate Maness made an impressive comeback against Tony Gravely, going from nearly being finished to scoring a second-round stoppage win.
Gravely hurt Maness late in the first round, folding him with a right hook just before the round expired.
Gravely pounced on Maness to start the second round, attempting to capitalize on what seemed to be a still hurt opponent.
After avoiding an early flurry, Maness made a comeback in the third minute of the round. Maness dropped Gravely with a right hook, and after landing some ground and pound from the back, the referee stepped in and finished the bout.
Maness has gone unbeaten through three UFC appearances. His rookie year in the promotion saw him pick up two wins, defeating Johnny Munoz and Luke Sanders.
Gravely entered the weekend on a two-fight winning streak that included a recent finish victory against Anthony Birchak.
Bout 9: Joaquin Buckley (12-4) vs. Antonio Arroyo (9-4) (Middleweight)
Buckley Ends Close Striking Battle With Third-Round TKO
Heavy finisher Joaquin Buckley stopped Antonio Arroyo late in the third round of their close battle, putting him away with a combo of punches.
Buckley dropped Arroyo in the final round with a right hook and right uppercut combination. Following up to a downed Arroyo, Buckley landed some shots on the ground before the referee stepped in.
Both Buckley and Arroyo were in a close back-and-forth stand-up battle before the finish halfway through the third round.
Buckley is now back into the win column after being on the losing side of a head kick knockout from Alessio Di Chirico in January. Before then, he had finish wins over Jordan Wright and Impa Kasanganay.
The fight was Arroyo’s third consecutive loss in the UFC. Buckley mentioned after that he hopes Arroyo stays on the roster despite this skid.
“UFC, keep this man in here,” said Buckley about Arroyo in his post-fight interview. Buckley also mentioned that he thought Arroyo was ahead in the fight before the finish.
Bout 8: Tafon Nchukwi (5-1) vs. Mike Rodriguez (11-6) (Light Heavyweight)
Nchuwki Out-Lands Rodriguez, Returns To Win Column
Tafon Nchukwi bounced back from his sole pro loss to finish the prelims, getting the best of a three-round striking battle against Mike Rodriguez to win via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Nchukwi stopped Rodriguez from utilizing his significant reach advantage, charging forward frequently and landing with combinations on the feet.
Nchukwi suffered his first pro loss in May, losing a majority decision to Park Jun-yong. He now has a promotional record of two wins and one loss.
Bout 7: Pannie Kianzad (15-5) vs. Raquel Pennington (11-8) (Bantamweight)
Pennington Wins In Return, Stops Win Streak of Kianzad
Raquel Pennington had a strong return to the octagon on Saturday’s prelims, defeating Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
The entire three-fight battle was a scrapping striking battle that was often contested in the clinch. The fighters would often go blow-for-blow with punches while in close exchanges.
Pennington, a former UFC title challenger, was making her first appearance in over a year. She had previously fought in June 2020, defeating Marion Reneau via unanimous decision.
It was noted on the broadcast that Pennington was hospitalized with COVID-19 during her time out of the cage.
After her win, Pennington shouted out UFC makeup artist Suzy Friton, who passed away after a year-long battle with cancer.
The loss for Kianzad concluded a four-fight win streak that she had developed over the past few years.
Bout 6: Rongzhu (17-4) vs. Brandon Jenkins (15-7) (Lightweight)
Rongzhu Controls Short-Notice Opponent For First UFC Win
Rongzhu had a controlling first UFC win on Saturday, putting away short-notice opponent Brandon Jenkins in the final minute of action with ground and pound.
A steady pace of ground and pound punches from Rongzhu caused the referee to end the bout late. The finish was much like the entire fight, which saw Rongzhu smother Jenkins on the ground with striking and choke attempts.
The win made Rongzhu, the youngest fighter on the UFC roster, the first fighter born in the year 2000 to score a win in the promotion.
Rongzhu lost his UFC debut earlier this year, losing a decision to Rodrigo Vargas.
Jenkins was entering the UFC roster in just a week’s notice. He was replacing Dakota Bush, who had to withdraw from the card due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Jenkins was riding the momentum of a flying knee knockout that he earned in a non-tournament PFL fight against Jacob Kilburn last month.
Bout 5: Montel Jackson (10-2) vs. JP Buys (9-3) (Bantamweight)
Jackson Displays Punching Power
Sharp striking from Montel Jackson lead him to a unanimous decision victory over JP Buys on Saturday night (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
The win saw Jackson’s punching power drop Buys many times.
Jackson dropped Buys to start the second round, knocking him down with a combination of punches. He hurt him again in the fourth minute of the round.
Jackson used his punches to score with two more knockdowns in the final round.
Buys started the fight strong, taking Jackson down and hunting for submissions.
Jackson, a UFC vet of three years, now has a two-fight win streak. He spoiled the debut of Jesse Strader in March, finishing him within a round with strikes.
Buys has lost both of his UFC appearances. He was finished in his debut, getting stopped by Bruno Silva in March.
Bout 4: Erin Blanchfield (6-1) vs. Sarah Alpar (9-5) (Flyweight)
Blanchfield Takes Lopsided Decision In UFC Debut
Erin Blanchfield had a dominant UFC debut on Saturday, clearing scorecards with a comfortable unanimous decision win over Sarah Alpar (30-25, 30-25 & 30-26).
Blanchfield was able to be better than Alpar in all parts of the fight. Blanchfield had significantly better stand-up, out-landing Alpar.
She took Alpar down numerous times and connected with ground and pound. UFC statistics recorded nine minutes of total control time for Blanchfield in the fight.
Blanchfield was getting the UFC call-up after a seven-fight run in notable promotions CFFC and Invicta FC.
Alpar is now on a two-fight losing streak. She lost her UFC debut last year, getting stopped by Jessica-Rose Clark.
Bout 3: Impa Kasanganay (9-1) vs. Carlston Harris (16-4) (Welterweight)
Harris Continues Strong Run, Earns First-Round Win
Carlston Harris continued his streak of finish wins on Saturday’s prelims, stopping Impa Kasanganay in the first round with punches.
Harris first hurt Kasanganay with a right hook during a flurry on the feet.
Charging forward and engaging in another flurry, Harris landed a left hook that dropped Kasanganay. The fight was stopped shortly after some ground and pound shots were landed.
Harris, UFC’s first Guyanese fighter, won his UFC debut earlier this year with a first-round submission against Christian Aguilera. When counting his fights outside of the promotion, he is now on a five-fight winning streak.
Kasanganay was entering the fight with the momentum of a rear naked choke submission he scored against Sasha Palatnikov in April.
Bout 2: Gustavo Lopez (12-6) vs. Alantengheili (14-8-1) (Bantamweight)
Close Battle, Point Deduction Cause Bantamweight Draw
A close fight that included a point deduction resulted in a unanimous draw between Gustavo Lopez and Alatengheili (28-28, 28-28 & 28-28).
Lopez and Alatengheili competed in a close, fast-paced striking exchange for the first two rounds. Alatengheili had some of the better shots of the fight, landing one near the right eye of Lopez that caused swelling.
Lopez started to utilize his wrestling in the third round, taking Alatengheili down for choke attempts and ground and pound.
Alatengheili was deducted a point in the third round for repeated cage grabs to resist takedown attempts.
Lopez was fighting to bounce back from a stoppage loss he took against Adrian Yanez in March.
Alatengheili took his first UFC loss in his previous bout, losing a unanimous decision to Casey Kenney in 2020.
Bout 1: Emily Whitmire (4-4) vs. Hannah Goldy (5-2) (Flyweight)
Goldy Ends Losing Streak, Earns First UFC Win With Armbar
Hannah Goldy picked up her first UFC victory to open the prelims, working for an armbar submission on Emily Whitmire in the first round.
Goldy showed her grappling skills on her back, putting in the submission white Whitmire had full guard on top. Whitmire was successful prior to the stoppage, earning two takedowns on Goldy.
The fight snapped a two-fight losing streak that Goldy had developed in the UFC. Her previous appearance was in July, where she lost a unanimous decision against Diana Belbita.
Whitmire is now on a three-fight losing streak that all came via submission. She was coming back after a year outside of the cage, having lost a year ago to Polyana Viana in her prior fight.