UFC will broadcast their final pay-per-view event of the year on Saturday night, presenting a 14-fight card from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The lightweight division will be showcased in the main event, as UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira will attempt to defend his belt against Dustin Poirier.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates.
Early Prelims (6:00PM EST / 3:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 14: Charles Oliveira (31-8) vs. Dustin Poirier (28-6) (UFC Lightweight Championship)
Oliveira Uses Grappling To Submit Poirier, Retain UFC Lightweight Belt For First Time
The grappling skills of Charles Oliveira scored him a high-profile win on Saturday night, submitting Dustin Poirier in the third round to defend his UFC Lightweight Championship for the first time.
Oliveira tapped out Poirier with a rear naked choke while mounted on his back in the third round.
Poirier caused trouble for Oliviera on the feet, hurting him with punches early on. But Oliviera eventually shifted his focus towards grappling, allowing him to do damage with strikes and eventually find the opening for a finish.
The lightweights wasted no time making it a fast-paced fight in the opening round. Poirier’s accuracy with boxing was shown in the first round, stunning Oliveira many times and dropping him to a knee at times.
Oliveira connected with his own blows, including knees in clinch positions and his own punches. He was also the only fighter to attempt a takedown in the round, getting Poirier down for just a few moments.
Oliveira searched for a takedown again early in the second round. After a scramble position that at one point looked like it would end with Poirier on top, Oliveira secured the dominant position from full guard.
Oliveira did damage on the ground, scoring with short elbows and punches from full guard. Poirier seemed satisfied to remain in this position until the round ran out of time.
Riding the success of the second round, Oliveira immediately returned to grappling in the third round. He mounted the back of Poirier on the feet, attempting a rear naked choke from the position. The choke went under the chin of Poirier eventually, causing a tap to end the fight.
“They can hit me a lot … But I can walk forward,” said Oliveira about his performance during his post-fight interview.
Oliveira gained the vacant lightweight belt in May, stopping former Bellator Champion Michael Chandler in May with strikes in the second round.
Oliveira had earned eight consecutive wins between 2018 and 2020 before getting a title fight earlier this year.
Poirier was challenging for a belt for the second time in his UFC career. He succumbed to a rear naked choke in his previous championship bout, getting submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.
Poirier was placed in the title fight position on Saturday night after scoring three consecutive main event wins. After defeating Dan Hooker via unanimous decision in 2020, Poirier picked up two high-profile victories against Conor McGregor earlier this year.
Bout 13: Amanda Nunes (21-4) vs. Julianna Pena (10-4) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
Pena Pulls Off Historic Upset Against Nunes
Julianna Pena scored one of the largest upsets in UFC title fight history on Saturday night, securing a late second-round submission win against Amanda Nunes to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion.
Pena’s victory came from a strong second-round against Nunes that saw her get the best of a striking war on the feet.
Pena made it a brawl to start the second round, engaging in a punching combination against Nunes. Pena connected with a fair amount of blows in what eventually turned into a back-and-forth exchange that lasted most of the round.
Nunes got significantly stunned in the fourth minute, as fatigue and clean shots from Pena added up. Eventually in full control of the fight, Pena secured a takedown and took the back of Nunes. Just seconds after Pena applied a rear naked choke, Nunes tapped, and a new champion was born.
Nunes had succeeded in a slow-paced first round that was mostly grappling.
“I definitely expected a win. The world is my oyster. You have the ability to do literally whatever you want in life, and I proved that in this fight,” said a confident, but also overjoyed Pena in her post-fight interview.
Pena was given a title shot after submitting Sara McMann earlier this year. Her promotional record is now seven wins and two losses.
Oddsmakers had Pena as a massive underdog, listing her around +600, depending on the site.
Nunes was coming back to bantamweight after defending her featherweight belt twice over the past two years. A win on Saturday would have tied the record of Ronda Rousey for most title defences in the division.
Nunes’ previous fight at bantamweight was a win against Germaine de Randamie in 2019.
Bout 12: Geoff Neal (13-4) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4) (Welterweight)
Neal Edges Split Decision Win Against Ponzinibbio
Geoff Neal showed his striking skills on Saturday’s main card, picking up a split decision win against Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-28 Ponzinibbio, 30-27 Neal & 29-28 Neal).
Neal used his sharp boxing abilities through three rounds, often out-landing Ponzinibbio with combinations. The final round was the best for Neal, as he clearly pulled ahead of Ponzinibbio in the stand-up battle.
Ponzinibbio was coming off a win, having defeated Miguel Baeza via unanimous decision win June.
Much of the buildup to the fight this week was clouded by pending misdemeanor charges on Neal in the state of Texas. It was first reported last week that Neal was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful carrying of a weapon.
Bout 11: Kai Kara-France (22-9) vs. Cody Garbrandt (12-4) (Flyweight)
Kara-France Spoils Flyweight Debut of Garbrandt
Kai Kara-France finished former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt in a flyweight bout, stopping him in the first round with punches.
Garbrandt first found himself in trouble halfway through the round, as an overhand right from Kara-France floored him.
Garbrandt was able to buy himself time with a takedown that slowed the momentum of the fight. But Kara-France was able to close out the show shortly after, returning to his feet and piecing together another combination of shots to drop Garbrandt again and end the fight.
Garbrandt was making his debut at flyweight. He had lost four of his previous five fights up at bantamweight.
Kara-France now has some momentum behind him, having won two big bouts in the division within a round. His prior fight, an appearance in March, was a first-round stoppage win over Rogerio Bontorin.
Kara-France asked to be the next challenger for the UFC Flyweight Championship in his post-fight interview.
He also dedicated his fight to Fau Vake, a City Kickboxing member who passed away earlier this year following an attack.
Bout 10: Sean O’Malley (14-1) vs. Raulian Paiva (21-3) (Bantamweight)
O’Malley Puts Away Paiva In The First, Continues Finish Streak
Sean O’Malley ended the winning streak of Raulian Paiva to open the main card, stopping him late in the first round with punches.
The finishing sequence for the fight started with a right cross that dropped Paiva to a knee. A previously conservative O’Malley then unloaded with punches to an overwhelmed Paiva, eventually dropping him due to a series of hooks.
O’Malley had was in a close fight against Paiva before the finish. His jabs and straight punches were getting through to Paiva earlier on, but his kicks were often caught and used for counters.
O’Malley has now picked up three consecutive finish wins. Previous performances in this year from him came against veteran Thomas Almeida and short-notice promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho.
Paiva was easily the biggest test for O’Malley yet, as he is in his prime and on a strong run in the promotion. He entered Saturday on a three-fight winning streak. This includes his bantamweight debut, which came against Kyler Phillips in July.
Bout 9: Josh Emmett (16-2) vs. Dan Ige (15-4) (Featherweight)
Emmett Gets Scorecard Nod In Return
Josh Emmett had a successful performance in his return, defeating Dan Ige on scorecards to finish the prelims (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).
Emmett’s best round was the first, as he was able to hurt Ige in the opening minute with a right cross.
Ige started to take over the fight in the second round, landing the better strikes and hurting Emmett at times with strikes.
The final round was the hardest to score, but ultimately went the way of Emmett, earning him the win in the end.
Emmett entered the weekend on a three-fight winning streak. He was making his return, as his prior win dated back to June 2020.
Ige lost a five-round main event in his prior bout, dropping a decision to The Korean Zombie in June. He also scored a stoppage win earlier in the year, finishing Gavin Tucker in just 22 seconds.
Bout 8: Pedro Munhoz (19-6) vs. Dominick Cruz (23-3) (Bantamweight)
Former Champ Cruz Takes Decision Over Munhoz
Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz wrapped up his year with another win on Saturday, taking two-rounds-to-one against Pedro Munhoz following a pure striking battle (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Cruz came back from a rough first round, showing a composed and controlling gameplan in later rounds to get the scorecard nod.
Munhoz hurt Cruz halfway through the first round, getting dropped by a left cross in the round. He was dropped again only moments later as follow-up punches from Munhoz connected.
Cruz had a significantly better second round, pouring on a high value of punches on Munhoz during the five-minute frame. Cruz would often throw long combinations of shots that Munhoz didn’t have an answer for.
Munhoz seemed to settle back into the fight in the final round, although Cruz continued to out-work him with strike output and accuracy.
Cruz scored a win in his previous fight, defeating Casey Kenney earlier this year. The victory was his first successful performance since he dropped his belt in 2016.
Munhoz faced a former champ in his previous fight, dropping a decision to Jose Aldo in August.
Bout 7: Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) vs. Tai Tuivasa (13-3) (Heavyweight)
Tuivasa Knocks Out Sakai, Adds To Long Winning Streak
Tai Tuivasa added another knockout to his record on Saturday, stopping Augusto Sakai early in the second round due to strikes.
Tuivasa stormed Sakai with shots early in the second round, putting him against the cage with a fast combination of hooks. He eventually connected with a right hook that flattened Sakai, knocking him out.
Sakai was hurt for an extended period of time after the finish, not getting up in time for the official decision to be read.
The sudden finish win came after a close striking battle in the opening round.
Tuivasa has now scored four finish wins. He needed just over a win in his prior bout, stopping Greg Hardy in July.
Bout 6: Bruno Silva (21-6) vs. Jordan Wright (12-1) (Middleweight)
Silva Scores Third Stoppage Win In Six Months
Bruno Silva’s explosive rookie year in the UFC continued on Saturday, as he stopped Jordan Wright in the first round with punches.
Silva dropped Wright in the first round with a combination of hooks to the head. He stayed on Wright after, landing with ground and pound shots before referee Herb Dean decided to end the bout.
The fight was a wild back-and-forth striking battle before the finishing exchange.
The fight on Saturday is Wright’s second pro loss. He took his first loss roughly a year ago, getting stopped by Joaquin Buckley.
Wright entered Saturday following a quick finish win against Jamie Pickett in May.
Bout 5: Andre Muniz (21-4) vs. Eryk Anders (14-5) (Middleweight)
Muniz Secures Third Consecutive Armbar Win
The quick rise of Andre Muniz continued on Saturday night, as he submitted Eryk Anders in the first round with an armbar.
Muniz got Anders to the ground halfway through the opening round while on his back. Muniz got off the back of Anders in the fourth minute, sliding into an armbar attempt that caused a tap.
Muniz now has an impressive four-fight winning streak since joining the UFC in 2019. He beat a veteran in his prior bout, submitting Jacare Souza in May.
Muniz has finished three consecutive fights with an armbar now.
Anders was coming off a decision win he earned over Darren Stewart in June.
Bout 4: Erin Blanchfield (7-1) vs. Miranda Maverick (9-3) (Flyweight)
Blanchfield Earns Second UFC Win
Erin Blanchfield earned her second UFC win on the prelims, fighting to a unanimous decision victory over Miranda Maverick (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Blanchfield used control time to win all three rounds, taking Maverick down in every frame and keeping her down for numerous minutes after.
Blanchfield won her UFC debut earlier this year, defeating Sarah Alpar via unanimous decision.
Maverick is now on a two-fight losing streak. Her previous bout was a loss to Maycee Barber in July.
Bout 3: Ryan Hall (8-2) vs. Darrick Minner (26-12) (Featherweight)
Hall Bounces Back From Sole UFC Loss Against Minner
Ryan Hall bounced back from a loss on the prelims, fighting to a unanimous decision victory over veteran Darrick Minner (30-27, 30-27 & 29-27).
Hall’s grappling skills took him to the win on Saturday.
Hall was active off his back when on the ground, often searching for submissions on Minner. He was able to unload with a combination of elbows while on his back in the second round, trapping the head of Minner in the position.
Hall had control of the fight for most of the final round, advancing into full mount at one point.
Hall took his first UFC loss earlier this year, getting stopped by undefeated prospect Ilia Topuria in July. Before then, he earned four wins from 2015 to 2019.
Minner entered Saturday on a two-fight winning streak, including a win earlier this year over Charles Rosa.
Bout 2: Randy Costa (6-2) vs. Tony Kelley (7-2) (Bantamweight)
Kelley Stops Costa In The Second Round, Wins In Return
Tony Kelley was successful in his return, stopping Randy Costa in the second round with ground and pound shots.
Kelley dropped Costa in the second round after landing a knee to the body. He then moved into a half guard position, where a flurry of strikes made the referee eventually end the fight.
Earlier minutes of the contest saw the bantamweights compete in a clinch-heavy battle.
Kelly was appearing for the first time since October 2020. He earned his first UFC win in his previous appearance, defeating Ali AliQaisi on scorecards.
Costa is now on a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his career. He was stopped in his previous fight as well, getting stopped by Adrian Yanez in July.
The fight on Saturday was the longest pro fight of Costa’s nine-fight career.
Bout 1: Priscila Cachoeira (10-3) vs. Gillian Robertson (9-6) (Catchweight 129 lbs)
Veteran Robertson Ends Losing Streak With Submission Against Cachoeira
Gillian Robertson showed her veteran skills in the opening bout of the card, submitting Priscila Cachoeira late in the first round with a rear naked choke.
Cachoeira succeeded early in the first round by out-landing Robertson on the feet. Robertson was able to gain control of the fight halfway through the opening round, securing a takedown and taking side control.
Robertson moved into full mount, using the position to land elbows and punches. She later transitioned to the back of Cachoeira, where an rear naked choke went under the chin for the tap.
Cachoeira had a two-fight winning streak snapped with the loss.
The fight was moved to a catchweight of 129 pounds on Friday after Cachoeira missed the non-championship flyweight limit by three pounds.