Rising heavyweight contender Chris Daukaus will attempt to bounce back from his sole UFC loss on Saturday night when facing experienced fighter Curtis Blaydes. Their five-round bout is set to headline a “Fight Night” card from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the event.
A full preview of the card can be read here.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Direct)
Bout 1: Luis Saldana def. Bruno Souza via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Matheus Nicolau def. David Dvorak via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Manon Fiorot def. Jennifer Maia via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Aliaskhab Khizriev def. Denis Tiuliulin via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:58)
Bout 5: Chris Gutierrez def. Danaa Batgerel via TKO, Strikes (RD 2. 2:34)
Bout 6: Sara McMann def. Karol Rosa via Decision, Unanimous
Main Card (7:00PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 7: Marc Diakiese def. Viacheslav Borshchev via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 8: Neil Magny def. Max Griffin via Decision, Split
Bout 9: Kai Kara-France def. Askar Askarov via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Bryan Barberena def. Matt Brown via Decision, Split
Bout 11: Alexa Grasso def. Joanne Wood via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 3:57)
Bout 12: Curtis Blaydes def. Chris Daukaus via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 0:17)
Bout 12: Curtis Blaydes (15-3) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-4) (Heavyweight)
Blaydes Stops Daukaus With Punches, Calls For Interim Title Fight
Curtis Blaydes scored a sudden stoppage win in Saturday’s main event, finishing Chris Daukaus just moments into the second round of their fight.
Blaydes caught Daukaus clean with a right cross during an exchange that started the second round. Daukaus then shelled up on the ground and was later knocked out by follow-up shots by Blaydes.
Blaydes, a fighter that currently sits fourth in UFC’s heavyweight rankings, called for an interim title fight against Ciryl Gane during his post-fight interview.
“I’m thinking I deserve an interim title shot against Gane,” said Blaydes. He later also expressed interest in facing former titleholder Stipe Miocic, who was in attendance.
Blaydes’ previous fight was a decision victory against Jairzinho Rozenstruick last year. The veteran heavyweight has won four of his last five against some of the top names in the division.
Daukaus was attempting to bounce back from his first UFC loss, which came late last year against Derrick Lewis. Before then, he had four wins in the promotion.
Bout 11: Joanne Wood (15-7) vs. Alexa Grasso (13-3) (Flyweight)
Grasso Submits Wood Early For Third Consecutive Win
Alexa Grasso scored her third consecutive win in Saturday’s co-main event, submitting Joanne Wood in the first round.
Grasso caught Wood in the fourth round with a rear naked choke, getting the submission under the chin for a tap. She set up for this position by scoring a trip takedown from a body lock after avoiding a spinning backfist from Wood.
Previous wins in Grasso’s current run came against Kim Ji-yeon and Maycee Barber.
Wood has now lost three consecutive fights. Prior defeats came against Lauren Murphy and Taila Santos.
Bout 10: Matt Brown (23-18) vs. Bryan Barberena (16-8) (Welterweight)
Barberena Prevails In Brawl Against Brown
Bryan Barberena prevailed in a back-and-forth brawl against Matt Brown, defeating him in a close split decision outcome (29-28 Barberena, 29-28 Brown & 29-28 Barberena).
The fight was a close battle that ended with a hectic exchange of punches.
Barberena seemed to have the edge in striking exchanges, putting together combinations that cut Brown open and had him visibly hurt at times. Brown looked to get the fight to the ground at times, scoring with trip takedowns from clinch positions frequently.
Fatigue played a major factor in the fight late as both welterweights seemed to be emptying their tanks in the closing moments. The welterweights powered through their tiredness in the closing moments, swinging wild blows before the round ran out of time.
Brown had the crowd on his side Saturday, as Ohio is his home state. As expected, the crowd reacted negatively to the scorecards going in favor of Barberena.
Brown was coming off a finish win that he earned against Dhiego Lima last year.
Barberena scored a win against short-notice opponent Darian Weeks in his previous bout.
Bout 9: Askar Askarov (14-0-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (23-9) (Flyweight)
Kara-France Hands Askarov First Pro Loss, Solidifies Status In Division
High-ranked flyweight Kai Kara-France secured his status as one of the top names in the division Saturday, handing Askar Askarov his first pro loss via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Kara-France had a close win against the then-undefeated Askarov, battling past early adversity before he saw more success.
Askarov secured the first round, using his wrestling to get Kara-France down and take his back.
Kara-France tagged Askarov with punches numerous times in the second round, coming forward with combinations of straight punches.
Kara-France continued to defend takedowns from Askarov in the final round but his output had also slowed, making the closing minutes a close battle that determined the outcome of the match.
Kara-France scored two big finish wins last year, stopping Cody Garbrandt and Rogerio Bontorin within a round each.
Askarov’s UFC record before Saturday included three wins and one draw.
Bout 8: Neil Magny (25-8) vs. Max Griffin (18-8) (Welterweight)
Magny Battles Back To Defeat Griffin
Neil Magny scored a comeback win against Max Griffin, battling past a tough opening round to secure a split decision victory in the end (29-28 Magny, 29-28 Griffin & 29-28 Magny).
Griffin scored a knockdown in the opening round, scoring a right cross to drop him. Magny was quick to recover from this strike and return to his feet.
Magny’s striking was showcased better in the second round, and work on the ground in the final frame from him secured the decision result.
Magny made history with the fight, tying George St-Pierre for most wins in UFC’s welterweight division.
Magny’s previous win was last year against Geoff Neal.
Griffin had a three-fight winning streak broken with his appearance Saturday.
Bout 7: Marc Diakiese (14-5) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (6-1) (Lightweight)
Diakiese Uses Wrestling To Beat Borshchev
Marc Diakese returned to the win column on Saturday night, using his wrestling to beat Viacheslav Borshchev on scorecards (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Diakiese took Borshchev down in every round to control him. Borshchev put up some resistance with grappling in the first round, although he fought back less later on as fatigue set in.
The victory was potentially necessary for Diakiese, as he entered the weekend on a two-fight skid. He called for a fight against Drew Dober after his win.
Borshchev won his UFC debut two months ago, stopping Dakota Bush within a round with strikes.
Bout 6: Sara McMann (12-6) vs. Karol Rosa (15-3) (Bantamweight)
McMann Hands Rosa First UFC Loss
Veteran Sara McMann handed Karol Rosa her first UFC loss on Saturday night, working toward a unanimous decision victory after three rounds (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
McMann used her wrestling skills to control the fight, getting Rosa down and controlling her for most of the first and second rounds.
Rosa entered this weekend with a flawless UFC record of four wins. Her most recent victory was in October 2021 against Bethe Correira.
McMann was making her first appearance in over a year. Her previous fight was a loss to now-UFC Bantamweight Champion Julianna Pena.
Bout 5: Danaa Batgerel (12-2) vs. Chris Gutierrez (17-3-2) (Bantamweight)
Gutierrez Lands Spinning Backfist To Keep Streak Alive
Chris Gutierrez scored a finish win to keep his winning streak alive, dropping Danaa Batgerel with a spinning backfist to end their fight in the second round.
Gutierrez’s strike dropped Batgerel hard halfway through second round. He landed a few hammerfist strikes on the ground before the fight was stopped by referee Herb Dean.
Batgerel saw much more success in the first round, staying active on the feet and putting together ground and pound strikes at one point.
Gutierrez has now scored six wins and one draw since the start of 2019. He earned two wins last year, defeating Andre Ewell and Felipe Colares.
Batgerel entered this weekend on a long run as well, having scored three consecutive first-round finish wins between 2020 and 2021.
Bout 4: Aliaskhab Khizriev (13-0) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (10-5) (Middleweight)
Khizriev Wins UFC Debut With Submission
Undefeated middleweight Aliaskhab Khizriev won his long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday night, submitting short-notice opponent Denis Tiuliulin in the second round with a rear naked choke.
Khizriev got a choke under the chin of Tiuliulin in the second round, causing a tap eventually. This came after a dominant opening round where he maintained ground control for numerous minutes.
Khizriev’s UFC debut was a long time coming. The undefeated prospect joined the UFC roster in 2020 but didn’t fight for over a year due to numerous fights falling through.
Tiuliulin stepped in for this fight just a few weeks ago to replace Abusupiyan Magomedov.
Bout 3: Jennifer Maia (19-8-1) vs. Manon Fiorot (8-1) (Flyweight)
Fiorot Continues Undefeated UFC Run With Win Over Maia
Rising flyweight Manon Fiorot took a big step in her climb up the rankings on Saturday night, clearing scorecards against former title challenger Jennifer Maia (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
The three-round bout saw the striking of Fiorot lead her to a win. She utilized her reach advantage over Maia to keep a distance and score with kicks at range. She also succeeded on the ground at points as well.
Fiorot has now scored four wins since joining the UFC roster earlier this year. She called out Katlyn Chookagian in her post-fight interview.
Maia’s previous bout was a decision loss to Chookagian in January last year.
Bout 2: David Dvorak (20-3) vs. Matheus Nicolau (17-2-1) (Flyweight)
Nicolau Defeats Dvorak, Keeps Run Going
Matheus Nicolau kept his winning streak alive at flyweight on Saturday night, defeating David Dvorak on scorecards (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Nicolau took over on the feet in the second and third rounds, securing him a win after a somewhat inactive opening frame.
Nicolau’s best moment came in the second round, as a left hook from him knocked Dvorak down.
Both fighters entered Saturday on long winning streaks.
Dvorak has yet to lose since entering the UFC roster in early 2020. He scored his third win in the promotion last year, stopping short-notice opponent Juancamilo Ronderos in the first round via rear naked choke.
Nicolau has earned two wins since re-joining the UFC roster in 2021, defeating Manel Kape and Tim Elliott.
Bout 1: Luis Saldana (15-7) vs. Bruno Souza (10-2) (Featherweight)
Saldana Bounces Back Against Souza
Luis Saldana returned to the win column in the opening bout of the card, defeating former LFA Featherweight Champion Bruno Souza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Saldana started the fight strong and then finished with a successful third round to secure a victory on scorecards.
Souza was frequently marching forward with shots, but Saldana worked off his back foot with a variety of strikes to the head and legs. Souza’s best round was the second, as he out-landed Saldana with a high volume of shots.
Saldana’s UFC record is now two wins and one loss. His sole UFC loss was in his previous appearance, dropping a decision to Austin Lingo.
Souza lost his short-notice UFC debut last year, dropping a unanimous decision to Melsik Baghdasaryan. That loss snapped a long winning streak that he had before.
Latifi, Oleinik Off ‘Fight Night’ Card
Heavyweights Ilir Latifi and Aleksei Oleinik were pulled from Saturday’s UFC “Fight Night” event just hours before they were scheduled to compete.
A social media post from the UFC indicated that Latifi has been pulled from the card due to an illness that is not COVID-19 related.
The fight was scheduled to take place on the main card on Saturday’s event. Latifi was riding the momentum of his first win at heavyweight, and Oleinik was fighting to snap a losing streak.
It is not known at the moment if this fight will get rebooked for a later date.