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UFC Fight Night Results: ‘Thug’ Rose Stuns VanZant

Rose Namajunas, Paige VanZant
Photo Courtesy of AP

The first of three UFC cards is among us. Headlined by the first-ever non-title fight between two female fighters, former strawweight title contender Rose Namajunas takes on fast-rising UFC star Paige VanZant, as both fighters look to inch their way closer to current 115-pound titleholder, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Featured in the co-headlining slot is a matchup between two staples of the UFC’s lightweight division, as Jim Miller takes on Michael Chiesa in what is expected to be a gritty affair.

Also on the main card are a pair of could-be UFC stars, as 19-year-old Sage Northcutt faces off against Cody Pfister and former TUF Nations winner Elias Theodorou takes on Thiago Santos.

Results for the card will be updated routinely, with live round-by-round recaps available once the main card begins at 10 p.m. ET.

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass at 6:45 p.m. ET)

  • Kailin Curran def. Emily Kagan via submission (Round 2, 4:13)
  • Zubaira Tukhugov def. Phillipe Nover via split decision (28-29, 30-27 x 2)
  • Danny Roberts def. Nathan Coy via submission (Round 1, 2:46)
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Andreas Stahl via TKO (Round 1, 4:25)
  • Aljamain Sterling def. Johnny Eduardo via submission (Round 2, 4:18)
  • Antonio Carlos Junior and Kevin Casey fight to no contest via accidental eye poke (Round 1, 0:11)
  • Sergio Moraes def. Omari Akhmedov via TKO (Round 3, 2:18)
  • Tim Means def. John Howard via KO (Round 2, 0:21)

Main card (UFC Fight Pass at 10 p.m. ET)

Elias Theodorou vs. Thiago Santos

Round 1: Theodorou opens the fight throwing a handful of kicks to the body. He offered no attempts to take the fight to the canvas in the opening three minutes, content with being the more active fighter on the feet. Santos begins throwing more kicks to the leg, but Theodorou opts in clinching A solid round for the Canadian fighter.

Round 2: Santos lands some good leg kicks, but Theodorou takes him down for a moment. Santos gets up, but is then pressed up against the cage by the former TUF Nations winner. Theodorou seemed to be stalling, according to referee Marc Goddard. Pressed up against the cage, Santos lands several damaging elbows and knees, potentially scoring points in the judges’ eyes. Theodorou lands a late takedown, but Santos may have done enough damage to earn the close round.

Round 3: Theodorou continues his clinch against the cage, eating whatever strikes Santos was throwing for the more dominant position. A gash seems to open up on Theodorou, dripping in blood with a wide opening right above his right eye. Goddard calls for a doctor to check him out before deeming Theodorou capable of continuing. Santos catches Theodorou with a damaging blow to the head that seemingly staggered him. Theodorou responded by pressing Santos up against the cage, though Santos continued to land damaging blows. Scoring all depends on how the judges compare Theodorou’s control over Santos’ damage.

Result: Santos def. Theodorou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x 2)


Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister

Round 1: Pfister closes the distance early and gets the takedown. Rather than try to get up, Northcutt opted in holding on to prompt the referee to stand them up. About three minutes into the round, the referee tells the fights to get on their feet. Shortly after, Northcutt shoots and secures a takedown of his own. Northcutt lands some heavy elbows that obviously damaged Pfister. He attempts an arm triangle from the top, which potentially could have stolen the round.

Round 2: Northcutt opts in going for a takedown immediately into Round 2, which was surprising given how dominant he would otherwise be on the feet. Pfister eventually switches positions, giving Northcutt the  opportunity to secure a guillotine choke before defying physics again with those flips of his.

Result: Northcutt def. Pfister via submission (Round 2, 0:41)


Jim Miller vs. Michael Chiesa 

Round 1: Chiesa looks to tie things up quickly, getting the body-lock takedown less than a minute into the round. Chiesa, the larger, man, stood tight in half guard. He gave Miller little space to counter anything here. Chiesa wasn’t doing much damage though. The two scrambled a few times before Miller found himself in top position. It wouldn’t be long before Chiesa tried to scramble out and gave up his back. Chiesa struggled to do much but defend for the remainder of the round.

Round 2: Chiesa ducks under a punch to start the round to secure a single-leg takedown. He takes top control from a high posture to land some stiff punches. Chiesa did a good job of controlling his position, but wasn’t doing much more damage. Miller manages to scramble out and grab hold of Chiesa’s knee in a kneebar attempt. Chiesa escaped and follows up with some punches on the ground. Miller is hurt, gives up his back and taps to a rear-naked choke. Great win for Chiesa.

Result: Chiesa def. Miller via submission (Round 2, 2:57)


Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant 

Round 1: Namajunas opened up the contest by landing several sharp combinations on the feet. She takes VanZant down early, landing several heavy elbows onto VanZant’s face. Namajunas opens up a big cut onto VanZant’s face. VanZant attempts to get a takedown, but Namajunas counters and ends up on VanZant’s back, dominating most of the grappling exchanges in Round 1. Just an outstanding round for Namajunas. Previous fighters had earned a 10-8 scoring in certain rounds, this round potentially warrants one too.

Round 2: Namajunas opens up with more stiff striking, showing VanZant had nothing to offer just yet. VanZant attempts a head-in-arm toss, but Namajunas counters again, eventually taking PVZ’s back. VanZant manages to get a takedown, but fails to get top position. Namajunas follows up with several submission attempts but falls short. VanZant gives up her back numerous times, but Namajunas can’t sink anything in. Namajunas ends the round on top, securing another absolutely dominant round.

Round 3: VanZant opens up the round with a flying knee but gets taken down shortly after. Namajunas continues to dominate from top position. VanZant gets back to her feet, but gets tagged a few times while striking. Namajunas lands an overhand right, followed up by several combinations. As far as cardio is concerned, Namajunas looks fine thus far. She lands another takedown here, re-opening a cut on VanZant’s cheek. Namajunas nearly sinks in a rear-naked choke, but VanZant fights throught it. Easily Namajunas’ most dominant round, which says a lot.

Round 4: Namajunas gets another takedown and continues to dominate from top position. Both fighters are breathing relatively fine considering they’ve just gone three rounds. Namajunas nearly sinks in an armbar submission, but VanZant once again sneaks out. Namajunas refuses to give PVZ any space here, placing on her back midway through the round. “Thug” Rose nearly sinks in an armbar, hyperextending PVZ’s elbow but VanZant fights through it. Again. She retained top position, though, continuing to dominate the bout.

Round 5: Namajunas opens up by tagging VanZant some more before taking her down. Likely up on every scorecard, Namajunas sinks in a rear-naked choke in the final frame. A stunning performance from “Thug” Rose Namajunas.

Result: Namajunas def. VanZant via submission (Round 5, 2:25)

 

 

 

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