UFC will close out their 2021 schedule with a 13-fight card on Saturday night from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Heavyweights will conclude the evening, as rising contender Chris Daukaus will meet two-time title challenger Derrick Lewis in a five-round fight.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the card.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EST / 1:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Main Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 13: Derrick Lewis (25-8) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-3) (Heavyweight)
Lewis Bounces Back, Stops Prospect Daukaus
Derrick Lewis returned to the win column in Saturday’s main event, scoring a first-round stoppage to end the rising momentum of heavyweight prospect Chris Daukaus.
Lewis unloaded with a flurry of shots while Daukaus was backed up against the cage. The combo overwhelmed Daukaus, causing him to shell up and not answer back. A right hook from Lewis dropped Daukaus eventually, causing the fight to end.
Lewis was coming back after losing an interim title fight to Ciryl Gane in August. He had a strong streak of wins before them, earning four victories from 2019 to early 2021. This included an upset he scored over Curtis Blaydes in February.
Daukaus was getting the biggest test of his career after earning four consecutive wins in the UFC. These fights all came via stoppage, including a second-round finish he earned against Shamil Abdurakhimov in September.
Bout 12: Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) vs. Belal Muhammad (19-3) (Welterweight)
Muhammad Dominates Thompson For Biggest Win Yet
Belal Muhammad made a statement in Saturday’s co-main event, defeating veteran Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 & 30-26).
Muhammad had Thompson in trouble late in the first round, taking his back and unloading with dozens upon dozens of punches to the head.
Muhammad continued to control the fight in the second and third rounds, taking down Thompson and using those positions to land with ground and pound.
Following his win, Muhammad called out Leon Edwards and UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
Muhammad has now gone undefeated since 2019, picking up six wins in that time. He beat a veteran earlier this year, defeating Demian Maia via decision in June.
Thompson is on a two-fight skid following Saturday’s result. His previous fight was in July, losing a decision to Gilbert Burns.
Bout 11: Amanda Lemos (10-1-1) vs. Angela Hill (13-10) (Strawweight)
Lemos Takes Close Win Against Hill
Amanda Lemos kept her strong strawweight run alive on Saturday night, defeating Angela Hill in a close split decision fight (29-28 Hill, 30-27 Lemos & 29-28 Lemos).
Lemos nearly finished Hill in the opening minutes, piecing together a series of shots that briefly wobbled her. Hill was quick to get back into the fight, landing hard shots later in the frame.
The pace of Lemos slowed in the second round, allowing Hill to take control of the striking battle on the feet.
The fight remained close in the final round, as Hill searched for takedowns and continued to engage in close striking battles with Lemos.
Lemos entered the fight with a strong four-fight winning streak that included three finishes. She most notably appeared in July earlier this year, stopping Montserrat Conejo in just 35 seconds with strikes.
Hill was coming off a decision loss she took to Tecia Torres in August.
Bout 10: Raphael Assuncao (27-8) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3) (Bantamweight)
Simon Continues Streak With Finish Win
Ricky Simon picked up a brutal knockout over veteran Raphael Assuncao, finishing him in the second round.
Simon capped off his dominant performance by dropping Assuncao in the second round with a right hook. He followed up with shots on the ground that seemingly knocked Assuncao out and caused the referee to end the fight.
Simon had success earlier in the fight with his striking skills as well.
Simon now has a strong four-fight winning streak that includes three wins from this year alone.
On the other hand, Assuncao has lost four consecutive fights with the promotion. The veteran fighter previously lost to big names at bantamweight like Cody Garbrandt and Cory Sandhagen.
Assuncao’s last win was in 2018.
Bout 9: Diego Ferreira (17-4) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1) (Lightweight)
Gamrot Injures Ferreira, Picks Up Third UFC Win
Mateusz Gamrot scored a stoppage win against Diego Ferreira on Saturday, as an injury caused their fight to end in the second round.
Gamrot seemingly injured Ferreira with a knee to the body while on his back and grounded. The referee picked up on his big moment, stepping in to end the fight moments later.
The matchup was a back-and-forth battle before the finish, with both fighters having their moments in a fight that was only picking up in pace.
Gamrot, a former KSW Champion, now has three wins in the UFC cage. His previous outing was a quick win, submitting Jeremy Stephens in July.
Bout 8: Darren Elkins (26-9) vs. Cub Swanson (27-12) (Featherweight)
Veteran Swanson Finishes Elkins In The First Round
Veteran Cub Swanson had an explosive win to kick off the main card, finishing fellow experienced fighter Darren Elkins in the first round with strikes.
Swanson hurt Elkins numerous times in the round with combinations of punches. The fight was stopped after Swanson connected with a spinning head kick and a left hook that dropped Elkins to the canvas.
The win put Swanson back into the win column after suffering a loss to rising prospect Giga Chikadze in May.
Swanson was passionate about his victory afterward.
“You start to question how long you wanna do it. I keep telling everyone I feel good, I feel better than ever and I just needed to show it,” said Swanson in his post-fight interview.
Elkins was coming off two recent finish wins, defeating Darrick Minner and Eduardo Garagorri.
Bout 7: Gerald Meerschaert (33-14) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3) (Middleweight)
Meerschart Taps Stoltzfus Late, Ends Year With Third Win
Gerald Meerschaert capped off a strong 2021 with a third submission win on Saturday night, catching Dustin Stoltzfus late with a rear naked choke submission.
Meerschaert was able to get the tap over Stoltzfus in the third round after sinking the choke under his chin.
Meerschaert battled adversity in the grappling-heavy battle, as Stoltzfus searched for submissions frequently on the ground.
Meerschaert earned two wins earlier in the year, submitting Bartosz Fabinski and Makhmud Muradov. The year-long run was a good turnaround from his 2020, which resulted in one win and two finish losses.
Stoltzfus is now winless through three fights in the UFC.
Meerschaert and Stoltzfus were matched earlier this month after both of their previous opponents fell out of the lineup.
Bout 6: Justin Tafa (4-3) vs. Harry Hunsucker (7-4) (Heavyweight)
Tafa Breaks Losing Streak With Head Kick Knockout
Justin Tafa pulled off a stunning knockout on the prelims, finishing Harry Hunsucker in the first round with a head kick.
Tafa dropped Hunsucker with the shot while he was backing up and leaving a clinch position.
Tafa succeeded earlier in the fight as well, hurting him with an overhand punch in the opening minute.
Tafa called for a fight against Felipe in his post-fight interview, aiming to compete at UFC 271 in February.
Tafa missed weight for the fight on Saturday, coming in one pound over the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds.
Hunsucker lost his UFC debut in his prior fight, getting stopped within a minute by Tai Tuivasa in March.
Bout 5: Sijara Eubanks (7-6) vs. Melissa Gatto (7-0-2) (Flyweight)
Gatto Stops Eubanks With Body Kick
Undefeated flyweight Melissa Gatto suddenly stopped Sijara Eubanks with a brutal body kick in the third round for another UFC win.
Gatto floored Eubanks with a front kick to the stomach, causing her to shell up on the ground. The referee was quick to stop the fight only seconds after.
The fight was arguably tied before the stoppage. Eubanks had a good first round, controlling the fight on the ground and landing strikes. Gatto then took the second round, using a sweep on the ground to then take numerous minutes of control time.
Gatto’s flawless pro record now includes eight wins. She won her UFC debut in August, as a doctor stoppage forced her fight against Victoria Leonardo to end after two rounds.
Eubanks, a former bantamweight, made her flyweight debut in July with a win over short-notice UFC newcomer Elise Reed. She missed weight for the fight on Friday, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the flyweight limit.
Bout 4: Charles Jourdain (11-4-1) vs. Andre Ewell (17-8) (Featherweight)
Jourdain Out-Lands Tough Ewell For Decision Win
Charles Jourdain showed his striking skills over Andre Ewell, landing at a high rate for three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision win (30-26, 30-27 & 29-27).
Jourdain had the sharper striking in all three rounds, at times overwhelming Ewell.
The volume of punches from Jourdain allowed him to drop Ewell in the second round. Jourdain then closed out the round on top, unloading with ground and pound until the clock expired.
Jourdain’s most dominant round was arguably the last frame, as he connected with accurate strikes throughout. After connecting with punches for most of the round, he hurt Ewell late in the round with numerous knees to the head in a clinch.
The victory put Jourdain back into the win column after suffering a submission loss to Julian Erosa in September.
Ewell was going up to featherweight after spending most of his career at bantamweight. He is now on a three-fight losing streak.
Bout 3: Raquel Pennington (12-8) vs. Macy Chiasson (7-1) (Featherweight)
Pennington Secures Sudden Choke Win Over Chiasson
Veteran fighter Raquel Pennington pulled off a submission win against Macy Chiasson, submitting her with a ten-finger choke in the second round.
The opportunity for a choke appeared in the second round, as Pennington attempted the choke while in a clinch position. She eventually pulled guard with the attempt, causing a tap later.
The featherweight bout was close before the finish, as both fighters were landing with strikes on the feet.
The fight was originally set to happen at bantamweight but was moved up to featherweight earlier this week. Chiasson missed weight for the fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the limit.
Pennington is now on a three-fight winning streak. She appeared earlier this year, defeating Pannie Kianzad in September.
Chiasson also entered the fight having won her last two fights.
Bout 2: Don’Tale Mayes (8-4) vs. Josh Parisian (14-4) (Heavyweight)
Mayes Finishes Parisian With Ground and Pound
Don’Tale Mayes closed out a dominant win over Josh Parisian with a third-round ground and pound sequence.
Mayes landed a series of elbows to the head of Parisian from a side control position to finish his fight. This came after a near one-sided performance in previous rounds, taking Parisian down numerous times for control time.
Mayes won his previous fight last year, defeating Roque Martinez via decision.
Parisian now has a negative UFC record of one win and two losses.
Bout 1: Matt Sayles (8-3) vs. Jordan Levitt (8-1) (Lightweight)
Leavitt Bounces Back With Inverted Triangle CHoke
Jordan Leavitt bounced back from his sole pro loss to open the prelims, securing a rare inverted triangle choke to submit Matt Sayles in the second round.
Leavitt, the better grappler of the two, was able to threaten Sayles with submissions throughout the fight. He attempted a guillotine choke for a large portion of the opening round, forcing Sayles to devote most of the round to defending himself.
The choke in the second round was stopped due to a tap from Sayles.
Leavitt now has two wins through three appearances in the UFC. He took his first pro loss in June, losing on scorecards to Claudio Puelles.
Sayles was competing for the first time since late 2019. His prior bout was also a submission loss, tapping to Bryce Mitchell two years ago.