Rafael Fiziev prevailed in his first-ever UFC main event appearance, dominating Rafael dos Santos on his way to a fifth round finish victory.
Fiziev’s win headlined a UFC “Fight Night” card on Saturday night from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Fiziev dropped dos Santos just seconds into the fifth round, connecting with a clean left hook to the head. As Fiziev went to the ground to continue his attack, the referee stepped in to end the fight.
Fiziev dominated the fight prior to the finish, out-landing dos Santos with sharp striking and stopping numerous takedown attempts.
Fiziev’s output slowed as the fight went into the fourth round, although he continued to succeed in the championship rounds and scored a finish later on.
The rising lightweight now has a strong six-fight winning streak since 2019. Previous wins include a finish over Brad Riddell and a decision victory against veteran Bobby Green.
Dos Anjos provided a tough, veteran test for Fiziev this weekend. He had a dominant five-round performance in his previous win, defeating Renato Moicano in March.
This fight was previously booked before it took place this weekend. It was attempted in February and March, but those iterations of the bout didn’t happen.
Borralho Keeps Petrosyan Grounded For Decision Victory
Caio Borralho scored his second UFC win in Saturday’s co-main event, getting a unanimous decision nod over Armen Petrosyan.
Borralho stopped Petrosyan from using his sharp striking, utilizing takedowns to control a large portion of the fight. Borralho succeeded with his grappling, but Petrosyan was able to resist it more as the fight progressed.
In the first round, Borralho was able to get on the back of Petrosyan for numerous minutes. He did this again in the second round, but was not able to do it for as long as before.
Both fighters entered this bout after winning their UFC debuts. Borralho won his promotional debut against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, and Petrosyan beat former LFA champion Gregory Rodrigues.
Now with two victories under his belt, Borralho wants to face rising middleweight Dricus Du Plessis.
“You’re the guy that I want,” said Borralho in his post-fight interview. “Let’s fight, let’s see who enters the rankings in a better way.”
Nurmagomedov Adds Another Win To Campaign
Said Nurmagomedov continued his climb up the bantamweight division on Saturday night with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Douglas Silva de Andrade.
Nurmagomedov’s win came from his ability to stand with Silva de Andrade on the feet, and also score a series of takedowns throughout the fight.
The win on Saturday moved Nurmagomedov’s UFC record to five wins and just one loss. He earned a 47-second win earlier this year, submitting Cody Stamann at UFC 270.
Silva de Andrade rode the momentum of two consecutive wins this weekend. He had a “Fight of the Night” performance earlier this year, submitting Sergey Morozov at UFC 271.
Sherman Ends Skid With Late Stoppage
Chase Sherman broke an extensive losing streak on Saturday night, picking up a late finish victory over Jared Vanderaa.
A series of quick punches from Sherman hurt Vanderaa in the final round of their bout. He continued to land these shots against a visibly rocked Vanderaa until he crumbled to the canvas, causing the fight to end.
The heavyweights were in a close boxing battle before the finish.
Before his win this weekend, Sherman had a rough four-fight losing streak in the UFC.
Vanderaa is now on a four-fight skid.
Zahabi Beats ‘TUF’ Winner Turcios
Aiemann Zahabi handed Ricky Turcios his first UFC defeat, earning the victory via unanimous decision on Saturday night.
Zahabi kept his distance from Turcios in all three rounds of the fight, using this space to avoid strikes that came his way. He would respond with shots that connected and earned him rounds on scorecards.
While no strike particularly wobbled Turcios during the fight, it was Zahabi that got the best of many exchanges.
Turcios was appearing for the first time since winning “The Ultimate Fighter” last year.
Zahabi has now scored two consecutive wins in the UFC cage for the first time since joining the promotion more than five years ago. His previous victory was a first-round finish victory over Drako Rodriguez.
Mullarkey Gets Decision Nod Over Johnson Following Hectic Brawl
Jamie Mullarkey pulled off a win in the first bout on the main card, prevailing in a stand-up brawl against Michael Johnson.
The lightweight both saw both names trade with quick, wailing punches throughout all three rounds.
The first round in particular was wild, as both fighters scored a knockdown.
Johnson’s knockdown was the harder of the two. He dropped Mullarkey with a two-punch combination, scoring with a right and then left hook. Shortly thereafter, Mullarkey got Johnson down to his knees briefly with a clean left hook.
The following rounds saw the lightweights compete at a fast pace, often going back-and-forth with clean punches.
The victory put Mullarkey back into the win column after getting stopped by Jalin Turner earlier this year.
Johnson has lost four of his last five fights. His previous appearance was the sole win in that stretch, finishing Alan Patrick in May.
The Rest of the Card
Saturday’s card was originally scheduled to have 12 fights, but only 11 took place. This is due to illness forcing Nina Nunes out of her flyweight bout against Cynthia Calvillo. The fight has since been moved to UFC’s August 13th show, per Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie.
Cody Brundage scored a big win in the final prelim, dropping “The Ultimate Fighter” alum Tresean Gore with an overhand right, and then finishing the bout with ground and pound.
Antonina Shevchenko returned to the win column with a close split decision victory over Cortney Casey.
David Onama picked up a win over short-notice opponent Garrett Armfield, putting him to sleep in the second round with an arm triangle choke.
Kennedy Nzechukwu put an end to a one-sided performance against Karl Roberson in the third round, landing a series of ground and pound strikes. Roberson has now lost four consecutive fights.
Saidyokub Kakhramonov put on a dominant wrestling performance against Ronnie Lawrence for a unanimous decision victory. The former CFFC Champion has now earned two wins in the UFC.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 6:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 2)
Bout 11: Rafael Fiziev def. Rafael dos Anjos via TKO, Strikes (RD 5, 0:18)
Bout 10: Caio Borralho def. Armen Petrosyan via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Said Nurmagomedov def. Douglas Silva de Andrade via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 8: Chase Sherman def. Jared Vanderaa via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 3:10)
Bout 7: Aiemann Zahabi def. Ricky Turcios via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Jamie Mullarkey def. Michael Johnson via Decision, Split
Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT / 3:00PM PDT) (ESPN2 / TSN 2)
Bout 5: Cody Brundage def. Tresean Gore via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:50)
Bout 4: Antonina Shevchenko def. Cortney Casey via Decision, Split
Bout 3: David Onama def. Garrett Armfield via Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 2, 3:13)
Bout 2: Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Karl Roberson via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 2:19)
Bout 1: Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Ronnie Lawrence via Decision, Unanimous