Former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo will attempt to end the winning streak of rising bantamweight Rob Font on Saturday night, facing him in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The card on Saturday night is set to have 13 fights in total. Follow along throughout the night for updates on the action.
A full preview of the card can be read here.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 1: Vince Morales def. Louis Smolka via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:02)
Bout 2: Claudio Puelles def. Chris Gruetzemacher via Submission, Kneebar (RD 3, 3:25)
Bout 3: William Knight def. Alonzo Menifield via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Cheyanne Vlismas def. Mallory Martin via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 5: Bryan Barberena def. Darian Weeks via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Manel Kape def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:02)
Bout 7: Dusko Todorovic def. Maki Pitolo via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:34)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 8: Alex Morono def. Mickey Gall via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Chris Curtis def. Brendan Allen via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:58)
Bout 10: Clay Guida def. Leonardo Santos via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:21)
Bout 11: Jamahal Hill def. Jimmy Crute via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:48)
Bout 12: Rafael Fiziev def. Brad Riddell via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 2:20)
Bout 13: Jose Aldo def. Rob Font via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 13: Rob Font (19-4) vs. Jose Aldo (30-7) (Bantamweight)
Former Champ Aldo Pulls Off Win In Battle Against Font
Former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo had a hard-fought win against rising bantamweight Rob Font on Saturday night, defeating him via unanimous decision after five rounds (50-45, 50-45 & 49-46).
The fight saw Aldo have the better performance against a tough Font who refused to be put away.
Font was the more active fighter for a large portion of the fight, although the power of Aldo allowed him to have many flashy moments that inflicted significant damage.
Font had an aggressive start to the fight, charging forward on Aldo and showing a high tempo of striking that wasn’t matched. However, Aldo had the highlight of the round, dropping Font in the closing minute with a two-punch combination.
Font seemingly recovered in-between rounds, continuing his high striking output early in the second round. Aldo hurt Font again in the second minute of the second round, cracking him with a right cross punch.
Aldo was able to control most of the third round by taking Font down. The fight eventually got back to the feet, where Aldo was able to sweep Font with a leg kick. Font continued to land with punches to the head and body.
The right eye of Aldo started to swell significantly in the third round.
A two-punch combination hurt Font to open the fourth round. Aldo was able to drop Font moments later with a knee to the head in a clinch. Aldo then took half guard on the ground.
Aldo was seemingly fatigued in the final round, slowing down his output and allowing Font to control the pace of the fight. The former champ suddenly showed some life halfway through the round, hurting Font with strikes yet again.
Font dropped to the canvas halfway through the final round after a series of punches from Aldo visibly hurt him. Aldo took the back of Font late in the fight, attempting a rear naked choke before the round ran out of time.
Aldo has picked up three wins since losing a title fight to Petr Yan last year. His prior bout this year saw him put on a striking clinic against Pedro Munhoz for a decision victory.
Font entered Saturday on a strong four-fight winning streak that dated back to 2018. This included recent wins over big names in the bantamweight division like Marlon Moraes and former champion Cody Garbrandt.
Bout 12: Rafael Fiziev (10-1) vs. Brad Riddell (10-1) (Lightweight)
Fiziev Stops Riddell Late With Wheel Kick, Continues Winning Streak
Rafael Fiziev put an end to his close striking battle in the co-main event against Brad Riddell in the third round, freezing him on the feet with a clean spinning back kick to the head.
The shot visibly wobbled Riddell, making him drop moments later. The referee was quick to step in and end the fight before follow-up shots landed.
The fight was close in the prior rounds, as both fighters would explode forward with combinations of strikes. Riddell had more visible damage in the fight, wearing cuts above his left eyebrow and on his right cheek.
Fiziev is now on an impressive five-fight winning streak. His prior bout saw him beat veteran Bobby Green via unanimous decision in August.
The fight on Saturday was Riddell’s first loss since joining the UFC roster in 2019. He had previously attained four wins in the promotion, including a June victory over Drew Dober.
Bout 11: Jimmy Crute (12-2) vs. Jamahal Hill (8-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Hill Stops Crute Within A Minute, Bounces Back From Sole Loss
Jamahal Hill bounced back from his sole pro loss in impressive fashion on Saturday night, finishing Jimmy Crute within a minute with strikes.
Hill earned two knockdowns in the round, causing the fight to end the second time around.
Hill first dropped Crute with a right hook. A shorter right hook floored Crute again moments later, causing the referee to end the fight.
Hill took his first loss in June, as a first-round arm injury took him out of a bout against Paul Craig. Before then, he had two wins in the UFC.
Crute was also coming off a loss, as a leg injury gave him a loss to Anthony Smith in April.
Bout 10: Clay Guida (36-21) vs. Leonardo Santos (18-4-1) (Lightweight)
Guida Makes Comeback To Stop Fellow Veteran Santos
Clay Guida had an impressive comeback in a battle of veterans, submitting Leonardo Santos just a round after nearly being finished by strikes.
Guida submitted Santos early in the second round, taking his back and applying a rear naked choke to receive a tap.
Guida was in huge trouble early in the fight, as strikes from Santos had him in trouble. Guida consumed dozens of shots in the opening round – among them a kick to the body that visibly hurt him and a knee to the head that scored a knockdown.
Guida regained control of the fight later in the round, using his wrestling to take Santos down.
Guida took a split decision loss in his previous appearance, getting beat by Mark O. Madsen in August.
Santos is now on a two-fight losing streak. He took his first UFC loss in March, getting stopped late in the third round by Grant Dawson.
Bout 9: Brendan Allen (17-4) vs. Chris Curtis (27-8) (Middleweight)
Curtis Scores Sixth Win of the Year
Chris Curtis scored his sixth win of the year on Saturday night, hurting Brendan Allen in the second round with strikes to earn a stoppage victory.
Curtis visibly wobbled Allen with strikes in the second round. After hurting him with punches in a clinch position, Allen was dropped with a knee to the head to finish the fight.
The victory wrapped up an incredibly successful year in and outside the UFC. While his win Saturday likely ends his year, he offered to fight at next weekend’s UFC 269 pay-per-view card.
Curtis won his promotional debut just last month, earning a first-round stoppage win against Phil Hawes. He had four wins on the regional scene earlier in the year, meaning he is ending his 2021 with six victories in total.
Allen entered the weekend on a two-fight winning streak, having beat Karl Roberson and Punahele Soriano earlier in the year.
Bout 8: Alex Morono (20-7) vs. Mickey Gall (7-3) (Welterweight)
Morono Out-Lands Gall, Secures Third Win of 2021
Alex Morono earned his third consecutive win on Saturday, out-striking Mickey Gall for a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Morono had the sharper striking in a fight that was completely on the feet. While he had a higher volume of strikes throughout, he was specifically able to score a knockdown in the first round with punches.
Morono wraps up the year with three consecutive wins. Earlier in the year, he picked up victories over Donald Cerrone and David Zawada.
Morono shouted out his father during his post-fight interview, who was in attendance to watch the fight.
Gall was coming off a first-round submission win that he earned over Jordan Williams in July.
Bout 7: Maki Pitolo (13-8) vs. Dusko Todorovic (10-2) (Middleweight)
Todorovic Stops Pitolo, Ends Skid
Dusko Todorovic picked up a potentially necessary win on Saturday’s prelims, stopping Maki Pitolo in the first round with strikes.
Todorovic was able to finish Pitolo with punches while in a dominant position on the ground. He flattened Pitolo out while on his back, using the position to land a series of shots that eventually made the referee stop the fight.
Todorovic entered the cage on a two-fight losing streak, having lost to Gregory Rodrigues and Punahele Soriano earlier in the year.
Pitolo has now lost four consecutive fights. This includes a loss he took in February against Julian Marquez.
Bout 6: Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-5) vs. Manel Kape (16-6) (Flyweight)
Kape Picks Up Second Consecutive First-Round Win
Former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape scored another quick win in the UFC, stopping Zhalgas Zhumagulov with punches in the first round.
Kape dropped Zhumagulov in the first round with a two-punch combination. He continued to put the pressure on Zhumagulov afterward, landing shots that sat him down again and forced the referee to end the fight.
Before the finish, Kape was in a back-and-forth striking battle that saw him eat hard shots as well.
Kape earned his first UFC win earlier this year, scoring a flying knee knockout against Ode Osbourne. That bout snapped a two-fight losing streak for him.
Zhumagulov was also coming off a win, having submitted Jerome Rivera in July.
Bout 5: Bryan Barberena (15-8) vs. Darian Weeks (5-0) (Welterweight)
Barberena Defeats Short-Notice Opponent Weeks
Bryan Barberena picked up a win on Saturday’s prelims, defeating short-notice UFC newcomer Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Barberena was in close striking exchanges with Weeks throughout, having his best moments late against a tired Weeks.
Weeks was able to use his wrestling skills in the opening two rounds of the bout, a part of the fight that Barberena did not pay much attention to.
The fight put Barberena back into the win column after losing a majority decision to Jason Witt in July.
Weeks took the fight on just a week’s notice, replacing veteran Matt Brown who withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19. He entered the UFC roster with an undefeated record of five wins since turning pro in 2019.
Bout 4: Mallory Martin (7-4) vs. Cheyanne Vlismas (6-2) (Strawweight)
Vlismas Puts On Striking Clinic Against Martin
Cheyanne Vlismas put on a solid striking performance against Mallory Martin on Saturday night, winning in a unanimous decision result after three rounds (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Vlismas out-landed Martin significantly through all three rounds, showcasing faster and more accurate striking than her opponent. Martin was able to slow her momentum at times with clinch positions, but she never did enough to take enough rounds on scorecards.
Vlismas took the fight on just a few weeks’ notice, replacing strawweight Montserrat Conejo.
Vlismas earned her first UFC win last time around, showing slick striking against Gloria de Paula for a quick win in July.
Martin suffered a submission loss early in the year, tapping out to an armbar by Polyana Viana in February.
Bout 3: Alonzo Menifield (11-2) vs. William Knight (10-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Knight Takes Decision Win Over Menifield
William Knight prevailed in a tiring battle against Alonzo Menifield, defeating him via unanimous decision after three rounds of action (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Menifield started the fight well, using his wrestling to keep Knight on the ground.
Menifield got hurt late in the first round, as he was dropped in the final minute of the round by a left hand while coming forward.
Despite finishing the first round strong, Knight found himself hurt early in the second round due to punches from Menifield. Most of the round saw the light heavyweights battle at a slow speed, but Knight finished the round with a flurry of shots.
Menifield was able to stall out a large portion of the final round with clinch positions on the feet.
Menifield earned two wins earlier in the year, submitting Fabio Cherant and defeating veteran Ed Herman on scorecards.
Knight also beat former LFA Light Heavyweight Champion Cherant this year, stopping him within a round with strikes. He has now won three of his four UFC bouts.
A fight between Menifield and Knight was attempted by the promotion twice earlier this year, although it fell through both times due to COVID-19 protocols.
Bout 2: Claudio Puelles (10-2) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (15-4) (Lightweight)
Puelles Dominates, Submits Gruetzemacher For Fourth UFC Win
The strong run at lightweight from Claudio Puelles continued on Saturday night, as he wrapped up a fight against Chris Gruetzemacher with a third-round kneebar submission.
Puelles was able to catch Gruetzemacher late in the fight with a kneebar as part of a grappling exchange. The submission came after a near one-sided performance from Puelles in previous rounds.
Puelles dominated Gruetzemacher in the first round, taking him down early and then controlling him on the ground for numerous minutes.
Puelles started to land hard shots on the feet against Gruetzemacher in the second round. He continued to succeed on the ground, landing another takedown in the round.
The fight on Saturday was Puelles’ fourth consecutive win in the UFC. He handed Jordan Leavitt his first pro loss earlier this year, defeating him via unanimous decision.
Gruetzemacher had a win earlier this year, defeating former Combate Americas Lightweight Champion Rafa Garcia on scorecards.
Bout 1: Louis Smolka (17-7) vs. Vince Morales (10-5) (Bantamweight)
Morales Stops Smolka Early With Punches
Vince Morales earned his first UFC stoppage win on Saturday night, stopping Louis Smolka in the first round with an overhand right.
The strike from Morales came while exiting a clinch position. The shot dropped Smolka, allowing Morales to land a few shots on the ground before the fight was stopped.
Morales snapped a two-fight skid earlier this year, going three rounds against Drako Rodriguez for a decision win.
Smolka was competing for the first time in nearly an entire year. His last fight was a second-round stoppage win against Jose Alberto Quinonez in late 2020.
COVID-19 Protocol Forces Wells vs. Barberena Off Card
Saturday night’s card lost a bout in the morning, as COVID-19 protocols took a fight between Jeremiah Wells and Bryan Barberena off the lineup.
Wells announced the news via social media, claiming that a cornerman of his tested positive for COVID-19.