UFC 245: Covington vs. Usman Live Report

UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year was a big one, with three championship fights on the card. Headlining the trio of fights was Colby Covington challenging Kamaru Usman for his UFC Welterweight Championship. Stay tuned throughout the night for live results.

Quick Results:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6PM EST)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano def. Oskar Piechota via KO (RD 1, 3:17)

Bout 2: Jessica Eye def. Viviane Araujo via Unanimous Decision

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via Unanimous Decision

Bout 4: Chase Hooper def. Daniel Teymur via TKO (RD 1, 4:34)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8PM EST)

Bout 5: Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders via TKO (RD 2, 4:55)

Bout 6: Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch via Unanimous Decision

Bout 7: Irene Aldana def. Kelten Vieira via KO (RD 1, 4:51)

Bout 8: Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry via TKO (RD 1, 1:30)

Main Card (PPV / 10PM EST)

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Results:

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

In the first bout of the evening, undefeated Punahele Soriano made his UFC debut against Oskar Piechota. There was an exchange in the second minute of the fight where both fighters threw strikes. Piechota was hit with a left hook that dropped him. Soriano couldn’t finish on the ground with strikes. He got on Piechota’s back. As they got back up, Piechota tried for a kimura. He transitioned into a guillotine, throwing one knee while holding it. Soriano got out of it and took Piechota back down. They got back up and returned to striking with just over two minutes left in the round. Soriano was coming forward with punches, cornering Piechota up against the cage. He landed another left hook which knocked out Piechota to end the fight. Proving himself to be a good prospect, Punahele Soriano made a strong UFC debut. Piechota was emotional after the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Soriano
Piechota

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

In the next fight, high ranked flyweights Jessica Eye and Viviane Araujo faced off. Since Eye came in over the 126 lb flyweight limit, she gave up some of her fight purse. Araujo landed a good hook in the first minute of the round. Araujo got a takedown off of catching a kick. They got back up with a minute left in the round. Eye was the more active fighter, including many strikes to the body. Araujo stopped a takedown, keeping it in stand-up.

The second round had more close striking. Araujo caught another kick, but this time she couldn’t get a takedown. Araujo got a well-timed double leg takedown with two minutes to go in the round. Eye got up after being down for only half a minute. Eye continued to be the more active and accurate striker.

The final round was similar to the ones before. Eye stopped numerous strikes throughout the round. This round was possibly the closest one for strikes. When going to the scorecard, Jessica Eye walked away with the win unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Eye 10 10 10 30
Araujo 9 9 9 27

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) (#5) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (#6) (Flyweight)

Staying in the flyweight division, two more ranked flyweights in Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France faced off. In the first few minutes of the fight, both fighters were swinging hard. Kara-France landed a good punch that hurt Moreno halfway through the round. Moreno connected with a solid head kick in the final minute. No doubt Moreno was in the fight this round, but getting clipped a few times put him behind on the scorecard.

Moreno had a good second round, coming forward with more strikes, putting pressure on Kara-France. Moreno was stringing together some great combinations. Kara-France started to show damage on his face.

The final round was, just like the rounds before, explosive. Moreno slipped backwards in the second minute. Both fighters took turns throwing combinations. Moreno kept taunting by throwing his arms up. Kara-France was pacing the outside of the octagon for most of the third round. They were swinging until the very last second of the fight. Both of them showed damage on their faces at the end. Heading to the scorecard, all three judges had it for Brandon Moreno (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard: 

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Moreno 9 10 10 29
Kara-France 10 9 9 28

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off Fight Pass Early Prelims, undefeated Chase Hooper fought Daniel Teymur. The small crowd that was inside the T-Mobile Arena sounded very supportive for Hooper. Hooper tried for a takedown early on, but Teymur locked in a guillotine choke. He got out of the choke, although it looked scary for him for a second. Hooper stayed on his back on the ground. He got up later and took the back of Teymur while standing up. They went to the ground, where Hooper tried for a rear naked choke when he wasn’t throwing punches. He had the choke under the chin, but Teymur did escape it eventually. Hooper got on top of Teymur and landed elbows and punches until the referee intervened. Escaping an early guillotine, Hooper went on to give a dominant performance in his UFC debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Teymur
Hooper

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

In the first ESPN prelim fight, veterans Matt Brown and Ben Saunders fought. Brown got a trip takedown in the first minute of the fight. Saunders threatened a triangle choke from the bottom. Brown endured the hold, eventually escaping the position. They stayed on the ground until the round ended.

Brown landed a good high kick in the first minute of the fight. Saunders was packing up against the cage. Saunders pulled guard, taking the fight to the ground. He was bleeding significantly from the head. The referee stood them up with 30 seconds left in the round due to inactivity. Saunders dropped to the ground in the final seconds. Brown landed strikes from top position until the referee intervened.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brown 9
Saunders 10

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) (#10) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (#14) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, up and comers Ian Heinisch and Omar Akhmedov faced off. Heinisch shot for a takedown in the first minute but didn’t get it. Akhmedov got some good punches through after that. Akhmedov secured a good double leg takedown with just over a minute left in the round. They weren’t on the ground for too long.

Akhmedov continued to succeed in the second round with his counter-puncher role. With that being said, Heinisch landed some good shots as well. Akhmedov shot for another takedown, this time not fully getting Heinisch to the ground. Heinisch had Akhmedov up against the cage as the round closed out.

A knee to the body hurt Akhmedov halfway through the final round. A hook hit Heinisch that hurt him too. Spotting Akhmedov’s momentum, Heinisch landed a takedown. They got up and stayed in a clinch up against the cage. Heinisch got another takedown, this time taking the back of Akhmedov. Heinisch landed strikes from the position. They got up for the final 30 seconds, where Heinisch got hurt by more strikes. The fight all 15 minutes, with all three judges giving the nod to Omari Akhmedov (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Heinisch 9 9 9 27
Akhmedov 10 10 10 30

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) (#2) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (#10) (Bantamweight)

Continuing on the prelims, undefeated bantamweight Ketlen Vieira faced Irene Aldana. The winner of this fight would presumably be next in line for a bantamweight shot. The first round had a very close striking battle. Aldana started to bleed on the lower lip near the end of the round. In the final seconds of the round, Aldana scored a left hook which floored Vieira. She landed a right hand on the ground which took her out cold. Irene Aldana moved to the front of the bantamweight line by ending Ketlen Vieira’s undefeated record with a thunderous knockout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Vieira
Aldana

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (#14) (Welterweight)

The final preliminary fight of the card was between Mike Perry and Geoff Neal. Perry got rocked by a head kick in the second minute of the fight. Neal dropped Perry with punches up against the cage, which was enough for the referee, stepping in and ending the fight. Perry was cut on the nose after the exchange. Handing Mike Perry his sixth loss as a pro, Geoff Neal should expect to climb up the welterweight rankings more. After the fight, Neal honestly admitted that he needs another fight or two before going for a belt.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Perry
Neal

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) (#4) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (#12) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the main card, Urijah Faber came out of retirement to face Petr Yan. Faber landed a good knee early on. It was a slow and methodical start for both fighters. Faber caught a kick and initiated a clinch, but Yan spun out of it. Yan was landing good punches every once in a while.

Faber attempted a single leg takedown halfway through the second round which Yan avoided. Right after, Yan came forward with punches which sat Faber down. Faber was hit with more strikes, but recovered and got back to his feet. He landed a punch to Yan which hurt him. Yan threw an elbow which dropped Faber again. Faber was cut open badly at this point. There was huge swelling beside his left eye. He got back up again but was thrown down by Yan. The referee stopped the fight with a minute or so left so that a doctor could check on it. Boos from the crowd ended when they realized the fight would not get called off. They resumed with Yan in top position on the ground. They got back up, but Yan secured another takedown in the final seconds of the round.

In the final round. Yan hit Faber with a head kick which dropped him again and ended the bout. With dominant striking throughout the fight, Petr Yan finally ended the fight in the third round. After the fight, Yan called out Henry Cejudo.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yan 9 10
Faber 10 8

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (#1) (Bantamweight)

The final fight of the evening that was not for a championship was between Jose Aldo and Marlon Moraes. The fight was Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. Moraes landed a head kick in the first few seconds of the fight. He opened the fight with good strikes but calmed down once Aldo started to answer back. Moraes started to work the outside, pacing to the side or backwards. Aldo landed some solid punches in the final moments of the round. Moraes went into a clinch and threw Aldo to the ground.

Just like the round before, Aldo was the fighter constantly coming forward. Aldo had a much better second round, putting together head and body combinations. Moraes was more active in this round, but his pace had slowed down quite a bit compared to the round before.

Aldo continued to walk down Moraes in the third round, not landing much but doing the better job. He stopped a takedown attempt from Moraes in the final minute, eating a combination of punches in the exit. Going to the scorecards to find a winner, we had a split decision in favour of Marlon Moraes (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd was upset with the decision it seemed.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Aldo 9 10 10 29
Moraes 10 9 9 28

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (#1) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of three championship bouts in the evening was for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Attempting to defend one of her two belts, Amanda Nunes fought Germaine de Randamie in a rematch from 2013. Nunes caught a leg kick early on but couldn’t connect on a follow-up punch. Nunes scored a double leg takedown in the second minute of the fight. They got up shortly after, where Nunes put in a guillotine. They went back to the ground, where de Randamie popped out of the choke. They stood back up and went into a clinch against the cage. Nunes got another takedown. She did ground and pound more this time. She continued with the shots for quite a while. De Randamie threw a couple good upkicks. Nunes put in an arm triangle for a while. She let go and went back to hammerfist punches. Somehow, de Randamie survived the onslaught and made it into the second round.

At the start of the second round, de Randamie was landing some good punches. Nunes got another takedown in the second minute of the round. The referee stood them up due to inactivity eventually. De Randamie landed a good question-mark kick when they got up. In a clinch, de Randamie was throwing knees. Nunes got another takedown. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes got out of it quite quickly.

Nunes got her fifth takedown in the first minute of round three. After being in a dominant position for a while, Nunes started to open up with ground and pound. When Nunes got back up, she was hit with upkicks.

Nunes got yet another takedown at the start of the fourth round. All of her takedowns were perfectly timed, right when de Randamie couldn’t stop them. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes escaped then went back to her feet. Nunes threw de Randamie back to the ground. Nunes threw strikes every once in a while from top position until the round ended.

Before the final round, we were shown a crowd shot of championship boxer Claressa Shields. Similar to the rounds before, Nunes landed a takedown at the start of the final round. They stayed on the ground for many minutes. The fight ended in this position, going all 25 minutes. When consulting the scorecards, Amanda Nunes retained her UFC Bantamweight Championship (49-44, 49-46 & 49-45). After the fight, Nunes sent her condolences to Walt Harris’ family.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Nunes 10 10 10 10 10 50
De Randamie 8 9 9 9 9 44

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (#1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

In the co-main event of the evening, Alexander Volkanovski challenged for Max Holloway’s Featherweight Championship. The first round was a game of striking chess. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the final minute of the first round, but Holloway stopped it.

Holloway’s left leg was showing quite some damage early in the second round. Volkanovski continued to chip away at it. In the fourth minute of the round, Holloway switched his lead leg to his right leg. Holloway landed a good combination of strikes in the final minute of the round. They had Holloway’s leg heavily iced in-between rounds.

Volkanovski kept coming in for a punch or two then dipping out of distance. He caught a leg from Holloway and used that to come in for a right straight. Holloway landed a good shot halfway through the round which seemingly hurt Volkanovski. Just like the left leg, Volkanovski was consistently landing kicks to the right leg. Holloway got a good knee to the body in. The fight was heating up as the round was closing out.

In the first minute of the third round, Volkanovski had some good punches. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the second minute of the round, but Holloway stopped it again. Holloway was doing good counter-punching throughout this round. They got into a good trade of strikes in the final minute of the round, their most dangerous exchange yet.

At the start of the final round, each fighter took turns swinging on eachother. In the second minute of the final round, Holloway got a body kick that was damaging. Volkanovski had a good string of punches in the fourth minute. He failed to land a takedown. Volkanovski put on a body lock in the final few seconds of the fight. They completed all three rounds, needing judges to determine who prevailed. When going to the scorecard, Alexander Volkanovski won on every judge’s card (48-47, 48-47 & 50-45).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Holloway 10 9 9 10 9 47
Volkanovski 9 10 10 9 10 48

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Main eventing the pay-per-view, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman attempted to make his first ever championship defence against Colby Covington. The first round saw Usman dominant with striking at the start. Covington started to turn the tides halfway through the round. The tempo of strikes in the first round was amazing. Covington connected with a good left hook in the fourth minute. Usman did a body shot which hurt Covington. One round in, nobody landed a takedown.

Just like the round before, the second round was a kickboxing battle. Real jabbing battle in the third minute of the fight. Really testing each other’s chins. There was a pause with two minutes to go in the round was Usman was accidentally kneed in the groin. The crowd was in uproar over this. Covington was retreating in the final minute.

While the pace did slow down in the third round, both fighters were still landing hard shots. In the final minute of the third round, both fighters had strong surges of striking. When Covington was coming forward with punches near the end of the round, fingers got in the eyes of Usman. They paused the fight and had a doctor check on him. He was able to continue the fight. In-between rounds, Covington told his corner that he broke his jaw.

Covington had a powerful charge forward in the first minute of the fourth round. This round was mostly Usman, although Covington had an amazing combination of punches in the second half of it. In the final minute of the round, the referee paused the action to warn both fighters to keep it clean.

Heading into the final round, the fight had yet to go to the ground yet. Covington got stunned by a punched in the final two minutes of the fight. He started to circle the outside of the cage sluggishly. Usman dropped Covington with just over a minute left in the round. He got dropped again seconds later. Usman kept on Covington with hammerfist strikes for a few moments until the referee stepped in to end the bout. In a close, fast and epic battle, Kamaru Usman finally silenced his most promising challenger, via stoppage at that, to retain his Welterweight Championship.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Usman 9 10 10 10
Covington 10 9 9 9

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington Full Preview

In 2019 the UFC saw lots of title changes. Some were returns to power like Stipe Miocic’s win over Daniel Cormier. Others were, of course, a continuation of past success, like Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov. And of course, there were new names added to the mix like Israel Adesanya and Weili Zhang being crowned champions. Before the year concludes, the promotion will put on one last pay-per-view event, including three championship bouts.

Live from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, UFC 245 will be headlined by Colby Covington facing Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event of the card, Featherweight Champion Max Holloway will attempt to defend his belt against Alexander Volkanovski. Also on the main card is Amanda Nunes putting her Bantamweight belt up against Germain de Randamie. Along with the three championship fights are also 10 other fights.

Full Card:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6:30 PM EST)

  1. Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)
  2. Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (Flyweight)
  3. Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)
  4. Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8:00 PM EST)

  1. Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)
  2. Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)
  3. Kelten Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)
  4. Mike Perry (13-5) vs. Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Main Card (PPV / 10:00 PM EST)

  1. Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)
  2. Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)
  3. Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
  4. Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
  5. Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

Kicking off the evening on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims at 6:30PM EST will be Punahele Soriano and Oskar Piechota. Undefeated Soriano will be making his UFC debut, as he previously earned his contract through the last season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He had previously competed in well-known regional promotions like PFL, LFA and Titan FC. Piechota is 2-2 in the UFC, losing his last two.

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

When Viviane Araujo faced Talita Bernardo back at UFC 237, it was a short-notice appearance. At the same time, however, it was an impressive performance, putting eyes on her despite it being an early prelim performance. She has since won again, prevailing over Alexis Davis at UFC 240. This time she will challenge Jessica Eye, who is her biggest challenge in the promotion so far. Eye recently got her three-fight winning streak broken by a failed challenge to Valentina Shevchenko’s Flyweight Championship. She lost in the second round via a brutal head kick knockout. Attempting to bounce back from the loss, Eye finds herself on the early prelims of this show. Eye missed weight by five pounds for this fight, and will be fined 30% of her purse for going over the 126 pound flyweight limit.

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)

Keeping it in the flyweight division, red hot Kai Kara-France faces Brandon Moreno. France has had a great run since joining the UFC a year ago, going 3-0 in his appearances. Moreno recently fought his way back into the UFC with a win in regional promotion LFA. His previous UFC run finished with a record of 3-2. His returning fight to the UFC was a draw against Askar Askarov at UFC Mexico City. Moreno will aim to break into the win column finally at UFC 245.

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off the early prelims, undefeated prospect Chase Hooper faces off against Daniel Teymur. Hooper first appeared on Dana White’s Contender series at the age of 18. He has since fought in CFFC, Island Fights and Titan FC, and finally has gotten a chance in the UFC. His opponent, Teymur, recently picked up his first win in the UFC, snapping a three-fight losing streak.

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

The preliminary card will continue on ESPN 2 (TSN 5 in Canada) at 8PM EST with four more fights. The first of four is a battle between two UFC veterans that have struggled lately. Saunders is currently on a three fight losing streak, last losing to Takashi Sato. Matt Brown will be returning from a two-year layoff, with his last fight being a win over Diego Sanchez. Before then, he had his own three-fight losing streak. Brown battled back from a torn ACL this year, which pulled him from a 2018 bout against Carlos Condit.

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, Ian Heinisch will aim to bounce back from his first lost since joining the UFC, but it won’t be easy against someone like Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch has a 2-1 record in the promotion, recently losing via decision to Derek Brunson. Akhmedov has a far more experienced of 7-3-1, but has avoided defeat in his last five in a row.

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)

Five fights into her UFC career, Ketlen Vieira has yet to be defeated. She will be tested yet again on Saturday, going up against Irene Aldana. Aldana has been very active this year, with this fight being her fourth in 12 months. Aldana recently got a win over Vanessa Melo in September. Vieira hasn’t fought since 2018, with her last win being over Cat Zingano.

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Finishing off the preliminary portion of the card will be “Platinum” Mike Perry facing Geoff Neal. Perry has been 5-5 in his last 10, which isn’t the best record ever, but his entertaining fighting style and character has kept him at a high level. Neal of the other hand has been 4-0 since joining the UFC in 2017.

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the pay-per-view main card will be up and coming Petr Yan facing Urijah Faber. Yan surpassed five-straight wins in the UFC earlier this year, defeating Jimmie Rivera. This fight is Faber’s second since his return to MMA, which started in July when he beat Ricky Simon in under a minute. Placed as a large underdog for this fight, Faber winning this fight would turn a lot of heads in MMA.

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

The final non-championship fight on the card will be a high-level bantamweight clash between Jose Aldo and Marlon “Magic” Moraes. This fight is Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. In his last fight, Aldo lost via decision to Alexander Volkanovski. Moraes is also coming off a loss, failing to capture the vacant Bantamweight Championship against Henry Cejudo.

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of the triple header of fights features Amanda Nunes attempting to defend her bantamweight belt against Germaine de Randamie. Despite being the only two-division champion on the card and a fighter which many have argued is the best female mixed martial artist of all time, Nunes is being placed halfway through this main card. Nunes last defended her belt in July, defeating Holly Holm with strikes in the first round. She became a two-division champion just under a year ago, stopping Cris Cyborg with punches in under a minute.

This fight is a rematch, as de Randamie and Nunes first met in 2013 on a fight night card. In that matchup, Nunes won with elbows in the first round. However, that was the last time de Randamie has lost. She won the Featherweight Championship in 2017 against Holly Holm, but dropped it before defending it. Two wins later, de Randamie finds herself in another championship position. Whether she can follow through with the win again will be seen.

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volaknovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

For many years now, Max Holloway has been the king of the featherweight division. Earlier this year he flew too close to the sun when trying to compete in the lightweight division as well, losing to Dustin Poirier. But, in the featherweight division, Holloway has been undefeated since 2013. His more recent wins were against Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar. In the co-main event of UFC 245, Holloway will see another challenger in Alexander Volkanovski. 

The Australian with an impressive pro record has yet to lose in the UFC, with a record of 7-0, Volkanovski has become one of the top names in the division. He most recently defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 237.

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Colby Covington gets his well overdue Welterweight Championship shot against Kamaru Usman. Covington has been known more for his character lately as opposed to his fights. Known for outwardly showing his pro-Trump politics and flaunting things like girls on Instagram, Covington has made himself either genuine or ingenuine anti-hero. But whether his character is insufferable or not, his skill is undeniable. He defeated Rafael dos Anjos in 2018 to become the interim Welterweight Champion, but had that belt taken away from him when he couldn’t compete in a June fight due to injury. After a dominant win in August against Robbie Lawler, the fight against Usman was set.

Usman has been undefeated in his UFC run thus far. He took down longtime welterweight king Tyron Woodley back in March, going five rounds with him at UFC 235. Both with very scorecards depend backgrounds in wrestling, it will be interesting to see who puts on the better performance on Saturday.

UFC 245 is UFC’s second-last show of 2019, with its season finale taking place on December 21st in Busan, Korea, with UFC on ESPN+ 23.

The October 2019 MMA P4P List

Here’s the website’s October 2019 Pound for Pound rankings. There was only two changes between both lists, although there is lots of announced fights to discuss.

Men’s Rankings:

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0)

Last month, Khabib Nurmagomedov added a 28th win to his undefeated record, defeating “Diamond” Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. The Russian fighter out-wrestled Poirier for two whole rounds before slipping in a rear naked choke in the third round to close out the show. The mostly dominant performance reminded viewers that nobody has come close to defeating Nurmagomedov yet. 

2. Jon Jones (25-1)

While Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones has for a long time been one of the best fighters, his most recent win was a close one. Unexpectedly, Jones went five rounds with Thiago Santos at UFC 239, scraping by on the scorecards. The high profile fighter hasn’t lost since 2009, hence his high ranking. Jones isn’t ranked for another fight, despite teasing the matter in September.

3. Henry Cejudo (15-2)

UFC’s only male double-champ Henry Cejudo sprung to relevance in 2019. After defeating Demetrious Johnson in the summer of 2018 to win the Flyweight Championship, Cejudo has went on defend it once and defeat Marlon Moraes to win the Bantamweight belt. While it’s a feat to be a double champ, Cejudo’s reign is still young. The 32-year-old fighter is not currently booked for a fight.

4. Robert Whittaker (20-4)

Robert Whittaker has been out of the octagon for more than a year, but that will hopefully change this weekend. On a nine-fight losing streak, “Bobby Knuckles” will match up against Interim Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya this Saturday at UFC 243. After a long absence, all eyes will be on Whittaker to perform against Adesanya, who has fought four times within the same timeframe.

5. Stipe Miocic (19-3)

Stipe Miocic reigned terror over the Heavyweight division for two years, but all that came to an end in the summer of 2018, with Daniel Cormier finishing him within one round. After a year without fighting, Miocic avenged the loss, getting a fourth round TKO victory to reclaim his belt. The win showed not only that Miocic could learn from his loss, but also that he is still relevant within the division.

6. Max Holloway (21-4)

Despite a loss earlier this year, Max Holloway is still one of the most established names within the UFC. While currently holding the UFC Featherweight Championship, defending it three times, Holloway was too ambitious when challenging for the Interim Lightweight Championship in April, losing to Dustin Poirier. He bounced back three months later with a win over Frankie Edgar. His next challenge is Alexander Volkanovski, who will aim to dethrone him in December at UFC 240.

7. Kamaru Usman (15-1)

For the longest time, Tyron Woodley was the established UFC Welterweight Champion. That was, until he ran into Kamaru Usman. The Nigerian fighter ended Woodley’s three-year reign in March of 2019, taking him to the scorecards to get the win. His next challenge comes against Colby Covington, who is currently riding an impressive seven-fight winning streak.

8. Israel Adesanya (17-0)

Interim UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has become a big name in a short amount of time. Still undefeated as a pro, Adesanya came into the UFC in early 2018, going 6-0 in the promotion since. His most recent victory gave him the “Interim Champion” title, taking Kelvin Gastelum to the decision in a fight of the year contender. Adesanya will have his biggest test yet when he faces Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.

9. Daniel Cormier (22-2)

While his future within the sport is still somewhat unknown, Daniel Cormier comes in high on this list. “DC” has stayed a big name in the light heavyweight division, even during the absences that Jon Jones would take due to suspensions. His most recent fight saw him lose his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Stipe Miocic via fourth round stoppage. Cormier is the first non-champion on the men’s list this month.

10. Colby Covington (15-1)

Colby Covington has proven more than enough that he is a relevant UFC Welterweight challenger. His work will come to fruition in December at UFC 245 when he gets a title shot against champion Kamaru Usman. The most recent win in Covington’s ongoing seven-fight winning streak was against Robbie Lawler. The frustrating and grinding wrestling style of Covington tired out Lawler and allowed the now challenger to earn a scorecard victory.

11. Paulo Costa (13-0)

While fans of the middleweight division currently have their sights set on Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, they can’t forget who’s arguably next in line: Paulo Costa. Costa’s short stint within the UFC has shown that he is a dangerous contender. This was proven more than ever in his recent bout with Yoel Romero, which could purely be described as violence.

12. Demetrious Johnson (29-3-1)

Demetrious Johnson crashes the UFC party on the men’s P4P rankings at #12, representing ONE Championship. “Mighty Mouse” has been 2-0 since his loss to Henry Cejudo in 2018. Later this month, Johnson will see the culmination of a tournament he entered back in March when he first joined the promotion. Danny Kingad will aim to spoil Johnson’s undefeated promotional run on the 13th.

13. Tony Ferguson (25-3)

It could be argued that Tony Ferguson is the most cheated fighter in the UFC. Currently on a 12-fight winning streak, the lightweight is undoubtedly the next in line to face Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ferguson’s dangerous style makes for entertaining fights, and makes him a scary opponent. His most recent wins came against high level opponents in Anthony Pettis and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone.

14. Kai Asakura (12-1)

Before August, nobody would have expected that Kai Asakura would be on a pound-for-pound list. But after his sudden win over Kyoji Horiguchi at RIZIN 18, Asakura has established himself as a big name. Will that last? We don’t know yet. While undoubtedly eligible to face Horiguchi for his belt, his next fight is booked against Ulka Sasaki at RIZIN 19.

15. Ryan Bader (27-5)

Bellator’s Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader has been undefeated since 2016, stretching back to his UFC career. His most recent fight wasn’t a satisfying one, as an eye poke to Cheick Kongo in the first round made the fight end. Nonetheless, his stubborn winning streak over big-time Bellator names makes him eligible for the always unknown #15 spot on the pound for pound list.

 

Women’s Rankings:

1. Amanda Nunes (18-4)

It’s nothing short of an uphill battle to convince most people that Amanda Nunes isn’t the best female fighter in the world. Being one of the two current “Champ Champs” in the UFC, Nunes has stayed undefeated since 2015, putting on dominant performances against high level fighters. Nunes has been the Bantamweight Champion since 2016, defending it four times since then. She’s also taken the Featherweight Championship, running over Cris Cyborg in under a minute. Her next defense is set to be against Germaine de Randamie.

2. Valentina Shevchenko (18-3)

Valentina Shevchenko has had a great past 12 months, winning the UFC Flyweight Championship and defending it twice. Her most recent win was a lopsided victory over Liz Carmouche, going all five rounds. Her most memorable title fight in this run was against Jessica Eye, closing out the fight with an explosive head kick.

3. Weili Zhang (20-1)

UFC’s newest Champion, Weili Zhang, shocked some when defeating Jessica Andrade in under a minute to claim the UFC Strawweight Championship. The win was her 20th in a row, and her fourth straight within the UFC. Having a quick rise to relevance, it’s fair to argue that Zhang has more to prove before being put above other Champions on a pound for pound list. Zhang’s next matchup is yet to be known.

4. Cris Cyborg (21-2)

This month, news broke that Cris Cyborg’s new home would be Bellator MMA. Weeks afterwards, her first fight within the promotion was announced. Wasting no time, Cyborg will go against the promotion’s Featherweight Champion Julia Budd. Cyborg left the UFC on a sour note, despite being a high-level fighter. Cyborg lost to Nunes in December, but picked up a victory over Canadian prospect Felicia Spencer before her contract expired. Cyborg will have her eyes set on gold yet again as the new year kicks off.

5. Jessica Andrade (20-7)

While Jessica Andrade is no longer Champion, there is fair justification to give her another shot. After defeating Rose Namajunas via a second round slam, Andrade became the Strawweight Champion. Then, as already mentioned, she was swarmed and crushed by Weili Zhang to lose her belt. Similar to Namajunas, Andrade is still very much in the fold and shouldn’t be counted out as a top contender.

6. Germaine de Randamie (9-3)

Throughout her career, Germaine de Randamie hasn’t been a very active fighter. Since her debut in 2008, she hasn’t once fought more than twice in a year. Although she lacks the frequency that most fighters have, she has a success rate that others don’t. Currently riding a five fight winning streak, de Randamie will face Amanda Nunes at UFC 245, attempting to claim the Bantamweight Championship. De Randamie has been champion before, having a brief stint with the Featherweight Championship before it being stripped due to her refusal to fight Cris Cyborg.

7. Rose Namajunas (8-4)

“Thug” Rose Namajunas hasn’t been booked for a fight since her loss to Jessica Andrade. There isn’t anything wrong with that since it was such a brutal loss, but it makes it easy for some to forget her relevance in the strawweight division. One loss doesn’t define Namajunas. We can’t forget her dominant fights against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2017 and 2018 which did a whole lot to legitimize her talent. The strawweight division has lots of contenders, so Namajunas might have to fight someone else before getting a title shot, but she isn’t far from getting a competition for gold.

8. Tatiana Suarez (8-0)

Up-and-coming Tatiana Suarez isn’t at title level just yet – but she’s definitely on her way. Still undefeated as a professional, Suarez has put on successful fights against other mid-level Strawweights with nobody being able to best her yet. 

9. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (10-0)

Bellator’s Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane has remained flawless throughout her professional career. She earned the belt in late 2018 by defeating Valerie Letourneau in a homecoming bout, and has since defended it against Veta Arteaga. News broke recently that her next challenge will be against Kate Jackson, headlining a December card.

10. Julia Budd (13-2)

Julia Budd has now held the Bellator Featherweight Championship for three fights. While undeniably dominant within the promotion’s biggest female division, Budd’s skill will be tested more than ever when facing newcomer Cris Cyborg in January. 

11. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in the #11 spot but should see either a climb or a drop this month after she faces Michelle Waterson. The fight is likely going to set up the next challenger for Weili Zhang’s Strawweight Championship. Jedrzejczyk recently lost to Valentina Shevchenko, failing to win the Flyweight Championship in the process. She’s been 1-3 in her last four, all against high profile opponents.

12. Michelle Waterson (17-6)

Michelle Waterson didn’t have an optimal entrance into the UFC. She went 2-2 in her first four fights. In recent times however she’s strung together three straight wins, with her most prominent win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She’s moved up the strawweight rankings, and could do it yet again when she faces Joanna Jedrzejczyk this month.

13. Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2)

The niche division of Super Atomweight is one which Ayaka Hamasaki currently reigns over. Being the RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion, Hamasaki has had a flawless 2019. On New Year’s Eve she captured the belt in a dominant performance over Kanna Asakura. She has since went on to avenge a loss over Jinh Yu Frey, and defeat up and coming Thai fighter AMP The Rocket. Hamasaki’s next clear opponent should be Ham Seo Hee, who had a dominant RIZIN debut over Tomo Maesawa. “Hamderlei” is booked to face Miyuu Yamamoto this month. Should she win that fight, a superfight for New Year’s Eve is the likely next step.

14. Viviane Araujo (8-1)

Viviane Araujo’s UFC tenure hasn’t lasted long, but she’s already made an impact. The Brazilian fighter came from JMMA promotion Pancrase, having two stoppage wins in the promotion. Since joining the UFC, Araujo has gotten two wins, one via a nasty overhand right, another through decision. Araujo isn’t a name most are familiar with right now, but if the case is the same in a year’s time, I’ll feel like a fool.

15. Joanne Calderwood (14-4)

Joanne Calderwood is the only female fighter to crash the rankings this month after defeating Andrea Lee at UFC 242. Calderwood bumped Lee out of her ranking which borders exclusion. While Calderwood had lost her fight before, she is clearly one of the rising stars of her division. 

Fight Radar:

This is the section that shows upcoming fights from fighters on the P4P lists.

10/5/19 UFC 243: Robert Whittaker (#4) vs. Israel Adesanya (#8)

10/12/19 ONE Championship: Century: Demetrious Johnson (#12) vs. Danny Kingad

10/12/19 UFC on ESPN+ 19: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (#11) vs. Michelle Waterson (#11)

10/12/19 RIZIN 19: Kai Asakura (#14) vs. Ulka Sasaki

12/14/19 UFC 245: Viviane Araujo (#14) vs. Jessica Eye

12/14/19 UFC 245: Amanda Nunes (#1) vs. Germaine de Randamie (#6)

12/14/19 UFC 245: Max Holloway (#6) vs. Alexander Volkanovski

12/14/19 UFC 245: Kamaru Usman (#7) vs. Colby Covington (#10)

12/21/19 Bellator: Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (#9) vs. Kate Jackson

1/25/20 Bellator: Cris Cyborg (#4) vs. Julia Budd (#10)

List Entrants:

Ryan Bader (#15)

Joanne Calderwood (#15)

List Exits:

Dustin Poirier

Andrea Lee

 

The September 2019 MMA P4P List

Here is the very first pound-for-pound MMA ranking list on the site. This will be updated monthly as fights change the list. Let’s start:

Men’s P4P Top 15:

1. Khabib Numagomedov (27-0)

Khabib Nurmagomedov has been a flawless fighter in his whole professional career. After getting a round four victory over Conor McGregor, Numagomedov not only became the best fighter in his weight class, but became the best in the world. In days he will be tested once again when he faces interim champion Dustin Poirier.

2. Jon Jones (25-1)

While Jon Jones has been a highly ranked fighter for quite some time, his recent nail-biting performance against Thiago Santos has knocked him down a spot on the list. On paper, Jones continues to reign terror over the light heavyweight division.
3. Henry Cejudo (15-2)

If 2019 has been a breakout year for anyone, it was for Henry Cejudo. After pulling off an upset last summer against Demetrious Johnson, Cejudo has successfully defended his belt while also climbing up to bantamweight, claiming that championship over Marlon Moraes. While being the only male double champ is a valid case to take the #1 spot, Cejudo’s championship reign has been short thus far. Nonetheless, his success in 2019 can’t be emphasized enough.

4. Robert Whittaker (20-4)

Since it’s been a year and some change before Robert Whittaker last fought, his skillset isn’t necessarily fresh in our minds. But, looking at the stats, it’s there, and nobody has proven superior to it yet. Carrying a win streak that dates back to 2014, “Bobby Knuckles” won a title fight over Yoel Romero back in 2018 to earn Middleweight gold. In October, Whittaker will face Israel Adesanya in his home country of Australia.

5. Stipe Miocic (19-3)

After a year’s absence from the MMA, Stipe Miocic came back last weekend to reclaim his Heavyweight Championship, taking Daniel Cormier four rounds deep before finishing him with punches. After having three defenses before, Miocic showed that his chapter with the championship isn’t done as he started his second reign as the champ in July.

6. Max Holloway (21-4)

If this list was created months ago, Max Holloway would be in the conversation of being one of the top fighters. Although after his loss to Dustin Poirier in April, losing his interim Lightweight belt, he lost some value. In a bounce-back bout back in July, beating Frankie Edgar and retaining his Featherweight Championship, Holloway showed that he is still a very valuable fighter in the division.

7. Kamaru Usman (15-1)

Kamaru Usman earned his long-deserving Welterweight Championship shot back in March, defeating Tyron Woodley via decision. With a fifteen win record with only one blemish, Usman has been nearly perfect in his career. People are awaiting the announcement of his next fight.

8. Israel Adesanya (17-0)

Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker’s time on the bench has given Israel Adesanya a chance to fight up the division’s rankings. Only joining the UFC in 2018, Adesanya has went 6-0 since then, defeating big names like Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva and most recently, Kelvin Gastelum. His recent win pushed him to the front of the divisions line, as Gastelum was aimed to be the next person to fight Whittaker.

9. Dustin Poirier (25-5)

“Diamond” Dustin Poirier dethroned Max Holloway back in April, and now awaits his championship fight in September against Khabib Nurmagomedov, unifying the interim and Lightweight UFC Championship. His impressive recent wins have put him on this list, but his next particular fight give him a chance to shoot even higher up the rankings.

10. Daniel Cormier (22-2)

While Daniel Cormier lost to Stipe Miocic on Saturday, the loss ended a year long stretch of high level wins. Cormier had a strong 2018, continuing to defend the light heavyweight championship and claiming the heavyweight championship. Now, despite only losing once, Cormier is now beltless. And while politics could describe the end of his light heavyweight reign, Miocic beat “DC” fair and square. Since Cormier has been public about contemplating ending his MMA career lately. So, his next move, whether it’s in or out of the octagon is yet to be seen.

11. Colby Covington (15-1)

For a year or so now, Colby Covington has been the odd man out of the Welterweight title picture. In 2018, he beat Rafael dos Anjos in an interim title match. After getting his belt taken away from him, he came back in early August to beat Robbie Lawler in a five round clash. Likely being the next person to face Usman, Covington is one of the biggest names to watch.

12. Paulo Costa (13-0)

In July, Paulo Costa defeated Yoel Romero in a three-round war, moving to the front of the Middleweight lineup. The jacked Brazilian fighter has been undefeated since his entrance into the UFC in 2017. His more notable wins came over Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks.

13. Demetrious Johnson (29-3-1)

Easily the best Flyweight outside of the UFC, Demetrious Johnson has had a graceful transition into ONE Championship, after being traded there in early 2019. Heading into the Flyweight GP finals in October, “DJ” has defeated Yuya Wakamatsu and Tatsumitsu Wada before. His exit in the UFC came after taking his first loss in a long time against Henry Cejudo via split decision.

14. Tony Ferguson (25-3)

Tony Ferguson has been chasing the Lightweight Championship for a long time. Despite his resume, Ferguson isn’t the next person to get a shot, something he’s heard before. In the meantime, he’s beat high profile names like Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis and most recently, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Showcasing his “SnapJitsu” on the big stage, “El Cucuy” is one of the many big names within the stacked 155-pound division.

15. Kai Asakura (13-1)

At RIZIN 18, Kai Asakura went from prospect to title contender, defeating Kyoji Horiguchi in over a minute, causing a huge upset in Japanese promotion RIZIN. The win makes it so that Asakura will likely get another fight with Horiguchi, but that time in a championship setting. Becoming the best in the bantamweight division overnight, Asakura is someone to watch.

Women’s P4P Top 15:

1. Amanda Nunes (18-4)

There’s no doubt, Amanda Nunes is the best female fighter on the planet. Being the Bantamweight Champion for three years, and winning the Featherweight Championship from Cris Cyborg in December, Nunes is one of the two double-champs in the UFC. Attempting to make her fifth bantamweight title defence, Nunes will face Germaine de Randamie in December.

2. Valentina Shevchenko (18-3)

Claiming the Flyweight Championship back in December, Valentina Shevchenko has kept a close hold onto her belt. After defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a five round decision, she has beat Jessica Eye with a rude head kick and Liz Carmouche in a heavily dominant bout. The Flyweight division’s biggest struggle is finding someone who can actually give the Kyrgyzstan fighter a run for her money.

 
3. Weili Zhang (20-1)

For all of 2019 so far, the UFC Strawweight Championship has been a hot potato. From Rose Namajunas, to Jessica Andrade, and now to Weili Zhang, the belt hasn’t had any real home. Zhang claimed the belt last weekend, steamrolling Andrade in a fight that could fit within an Instagram video. Being China’s first Champion, Zhang could open business doors for the UFC with her reign.

4. Cris Cyborg (21-2)

Cris Cyborg’s short run in the UFC seemingly ended back in June, when she went three rounds with featherweight prospect Felicia Spencer, getting the nod via the judges. But, although that is the case, Cyborg is still a very high level fighter. Despite a sudden loss to Amanda Nunes in 2018, Cyborg has had a nearly flawless career. Wherever she goes next in her career, she will be expected to continue her dominance.

5. Jessica Andrade (20-7)

Jessica Andrade suffered a loss to Weili Zhang last weekend via strikes. Before then, she wrapped up her four-fight winning streak with a slam KO over Rose Namajunas. Andrade’s sudden loss is one that likely won’t make her fall too far away from the title picture. While she might have to fight someone else before another title shot as many people are high level contenders currently, Andrade getting another shot in the future is not a wild prediction.

6. Germaine de Randamie (9-3)

Germaine de Randamie has been a dominant fighter in her UFC career, although she hasn’t always been in the spotlight. Many could remember her controversial win over Holly Holm back in 2017, making her the first Featherweight Champion. Since then she has only fought twice, bettering Raquel Pennington and most recently Aspen Ladd. In December, de Randamie will have the biggest challenge of her career ahead of her, facing Amanda Nunes for the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

7. Rose Namajunas (8-4)

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how fights went when the finish stealed the show. Rose Namajunas lost to Jessica Andrade back in May via a second round slam KO. While the knockout was absolutely brutal, it’s worth remembering that Namajunas was putting up a good battle before then. While seemingly being prone to takedowns, Namajunas didn’t disappoint in the striking department. It’s clear that Namajunas is a high level strawweight, and now no longer being a champion, is clearly a high level prospect.

8. Tatiana Suarez (8-0)

Despite having a short MMA career, Tatiana Suarez can say something about herself that many other fighters can’t: she’s undefeated. While the strawweight division is easily the most stacked women’s division, Suarez’s track record shows that she is likely a win or so away from a title shot. However, it looks like that can’t come immediately as the top dogs of the division have to hash out their fights.

9. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (10-0)

Bellator were either really lucky or had a great eye for talent when they signed the 1-0 Ilima-Lei MacFarlane. The Hawaiian born fighter is approaching her second full year as their flyweight champion, with three title defenses since being crowned. While all opponents have been fair matchups, her biggest win was over UFC alumni Valerie Letourneau, which took place in Honolulu.

10. Julia Budd (13-2)

Julia Budd is also an example of talent that was early in their career when Bellator discovered them. Julia Budd fought in Strikeforce and Invicta before her 2015 Bellator debut. It’s worth noting that her two losses were in Strikeforce and came to Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey. Similar to the promotion’s Flyweight Champion, Budd is riding a three-fight winning streak and is undefeated within the promotion. While not at the highest tier of MMA, Budd’s skill level is undoubtedly at a high tier.

11. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3)

For a large portion of her career now, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has competed at a high level of MMA. The Polish fighter has a record of 2-3 in her last three fights, recently losing a title fight to Valentina Shevchenko in December. She has a chance to bounce back into title contender status when she faces Michelle Waterson in October.

12. Michelle Waterson (17-6)

Michelle Waterson has been a real up-and-comer in the strawweight division recently. On a three fight winning streak, Waterson has defeated big names in Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Felice Herrig recently. Wanting to become the first “Mom Champ,” undoubtedly the biggest test for the Jackson Wink fighter will come in a five round fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in October on ESPN+.

13. Ayaka Hamasaki (19-2)

The atomweight divison has long been a (no pun intended) small division in MMA. It’s not represented in many large organizations like UFC or Bellator. But in Japan, the weight class has it’s niche, and it definately has it’s #1 fighter in Ayaka Hamasaki. The experienced fighter is on a five-fight winning streak. She punched in her title fight ticket by defeating DEEP Jewels Champion Mine Kuroba. On New Year’s Eve, she dethroned Kanna Asakura, and has won in a rematch against Jing Yu Frey and defeated Thailand prospect Suwanan Boonsorn A.K.A AMP The Rocket. Many people predict a superfight between her and Road FC Champion Seo Hee Ham on the horizon. The fight would be the biggest in the division in years.
14. Viviane Araujo (8-1)

Viviane Araujo has quickly made a name for herself in the UFC. Taking a short notice fight against Talita Bernardo in May was what got her foot through the door. She won the fight with an overhand right, which was working for her in the three rounds she competed. She has since defeated Alexis Davis via decision and landed a December fight against Jessica Eye. The fight would spring her up the rankings even more, as currently she is still not on the radar of some MMA viewers.

15. Andrea Lee (11-2)

Andrea Lee’s short UFC career has made her one to watch. Coming from Invicta FC including a couple fights within LFA, Lee has went to the scorecards three times in the UFC, all earning herself a win. In a week’s time, Lee will face arguably a similar-level fighter in Joanne Calderwood, who fell to Katlyn Chookagian in June.

Radar Fights:

This is the section that shows upcoming fights from fighters on the P4P lists.

9/7/19: Khabib Nurmagomedov (#1) vs. Dustin Poirier (#9) – UFC 242

8/7/19: Andrea Lee (#15) vs. Joanne Calderwood – UFC 242

10/5/19: Robert Whittaker (#4) vs. Israel Adesanya (#8) – UFC 243

10/12/19: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (#11) vs. Michelle Waterson (#12) – UFC on ESPN+ 19

10/13/19: Demetrious Johnson (#13) vs. Danny Kingad – ONE Championship: Century Show 1

12/14/19: Amanda Nunes (#1) vs. Germaine de Randamie (#6) – UFC 245

12/14/19: Viviane Araujo (#14) vs. Jessica Eye – UFC 245

 

UFC 239: Jones vs. Santos Full Report

UFC’s annual “International Fight Week” was headlined by two title fights this year. As usual, live from Las Vegas, the 12 fight card saw Champions Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes face their respective challengers, Thiago Santos and Holly Holm. The card also had big names like Jorge Masvidal, Ben Askren, Luke Rockhold and more. With knockouts, records broken and more, let’s look at UFC 239.

Bout 1: Pannie Kianzad (11-4) vs. Julia Avila (6-1) (Bantamweight)

The first fight of the evening was the debut of Julia Avila and the return to the UFC for Pannie Kianzad. Very early in the bout Kianzad had Avila pinned up against the cage. Avila turned it around, putting Kianzad up against the cage. She landed elbows and knees. They broke free for more stand-up, but Kianzad clinched up against the cage once again. Leaving clinch she landed a good two punch combo. Avila landed more strikes which backed Kianzad up against the cage. Early in the second round it was Avila who engaged in a clinch. Avila landed a takedown later on but got up shortly after. Kianzad landed a good flurry of strikes in the fourth minute which cut Avila. Avila had a flash of greatness seconds after, putting together punches which had Kianzad panicking. Avila landed a hard front kick in the final seconds of the round. Avila defended a takedown and took control on the ground as the round closed out. Kianzad was dropped with strikes a minute or so into the final round. Avila went into top position on the ground. She took her back after Kianzad rolled around. Avila tried for a rear naked choke but Kianzad got out of it. Avila stayed on control on the ground until the round concluded. Julia Avila was given the victory via the judges (30-27, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Kianzad99927
Avila10101030

Bout 2: Chance Rencountre (13-3) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (18-2) (Welterweight)

The next bout was a welterweight battle between Chance Rencountre and Ismail Naurdiev. Early on both fighters were landing good shots. Rencountre had Naurdiev on the ground up against the cage for a while. The round ended in this position. At the start of the second round Rencountre got control on the ground again. He was on Naurdiev’s back this time. He started to throw punches. Naurdiev flipped over, but Rencountre still had half guard. They stayed in this position until the round concluded. Rencountre shot for another takedown twice in the third round but Naurdiev defended it. Both fighters had strong punches despite being visibly fatigued. Halfway through the round, Rencountre got on Naurdiev’s back once again. He flattened out Naurdiev and started to land punches. Naurdiev landed a takedown in the final seconds. Chance Rencountre was victorious, winning via scorecards (29-27, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Rencountre101010
Naurdiev989

Bout 3: Jack Marshman (23-8) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (9-0) (Middleweight)

In the final early prelim bout, Jack Marshman faced a young and undefeated Edmen Shahbazyan. Joe Rogan pointed out that Shahbazyan was born the year he started to call UFC fights. In the first minute of the bout Shahbazyan landed a takedown. From above he landed hard punches. He put in a rear naked choke which made Marshman tap out in no time. Edmen Shahbazyan extended his undefeated record into double digits in a short bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Marshman



Shahbazyan



Bout 4: Alejandro Perez (21-7-1) (#13) vs. Yadong Song (14-4) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the preliminary card on ESPN was Alejandro Perez versus Yadong Song. The fight had close striking until Song dropped Perez cold with a right hook to end the fight.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Perez



Song



Bout 5: Claudia Gadelha (16-4) (#5) vs. Randa Markos (9-6-1) (#14) (Strawweight)

In the first matchup that had two ranked fighters, Claudia Gadelha faced Randa Markos. Throughout the first round both fighters kept a hunched over stance and were somewhat inactive. The second round was much like the first except Gadelha shot for a takedown in the final seconds which wasn’t successful. The fight went the distance to the displeasure of the audience. The judges gave the fight to Claudia Gadelha (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27). 

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Gadelha10101030
Markos99927

Bout 6: Marlon Vera (15-5-1) vs. Nohelin Hernandez (10-2) (Bantamweight)

In another bantamweight bout, Marlon Vera fought Nohelin Hernandez. Vera took Hernandez’s back early in the first round. He tried for a rear naked choke for many minutes before transitioning into an armbar. Hernandez landed punches which got him out of the armbar predicament. Hernandez put in a d’arce choke as the round concluded. In the second round Hernandez got top position on the ground. He landed some punches before leaving the position, letting Vera stand up as well. Vera connected with a knee in stand-up which put Hernandez on the ground. Vera put in a rear naked choke which made Hernandez tap out.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Vera9


Hernandez10


Bout 7: Arnold Allen (14-1) vs. Gilbert Melendez (22-7) (Featherweight)

After a near two year break, Gilbert Melendez returned in this next fight to face Arnold Allen. This match concluded the preliminary card. The first round had Allen out-striking Melendez. The second round felt like more of the same. Allen landed a takedown in the first minute of the third round. They went back to their feet shortly after. All three judges gave the fight to Arnold Allen (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Allen10101030
Melendez99927

Bout 8: Michael Chiesa (14-4) vs. Diego Sanchez (29-11) (Welterweight)

Moving to the main card, Michael Chiesa fought Diego Sanchez in a welterweight bout. A lot of the talk this weekend is from Diego Sanchez having one cornerman for this fight who doesn’t have much experience in MMA. Besides the absurdity, there is a possible health risk as a corner is supposed to look out for the health of their fighter. He sprinted out with a towel over his head during the walkout. In the first ten seconds of the fight Sanchez shot for a takedown. Chiesa was controlling on the ground, trying for a few submission holds. They stood back up where Chiesa landed some good knees. After being in a clinch for a while Chiesa threw Sanchez back to the ground. Chiesa took his back and put in a rear naked choke, but Sanchez escaped. He landed some elbows to the head and tried for it again but Sanchez escaped. They stood back up into clinch. Sanchez brought it back to the ground but Chiesa took the dominant position once again. The first round was a one-sided affair. Chiesa was the one to shoot for a takedown early in the second. He landed some punches to the head before they stood up once again. At one point Chiesa flattened out Sanchez and started to throw unanswered strikes. He put in a rear naked choke up Sanchez got out. Chiesa tried for a kimura until the second round concluded. The third round was another dominant one where Chiesa was always in control on the ground. The judges all had it in favour of Michael Chiesa (30-26, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Chiesa10101030
Sanchez98825

Bout 9: Luke Rockhold (16-4) vs. Jan Blachowicz (23-8) (#6) (Light Heavyweight)

In-between fights news broke that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz got into an incident in the crowd at the event. Security separated them before things got out of control. The next bout was Luke Rockhold versus Jan Blachowicz. After landing many kicks, Rockhold shot for a takedown. He tried for a few minutes but never secured it. As the horn went at the end of the round, Blachowicz fired off a fury of strikes including a kick after the horn which dropped Rockhold. Rockhold stepped towards Blachowicz after the bell as if he was either angry or not sure if the round ended. In the second round Rockhold was hit with punches that made him fall like a tree. Referee Herb Dean stepped in shortly after to end the bout.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Rockhold9


Blachowicz10


Bout 10: Ben Askren (19-0) (#5)  vs. Jorge Masvidal (33-13) (#4) (Welterweight)

In the next bout, two high ranked welterweights in Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal faced off in a grudge match. In the first few seconds of the bout, Masvidal landed a flying knee which immediately knocked out Askren cold. Masvidal was in his face right after the fight ended. Ending at five seconds, it was the quickest fight in UFC history. Askren was guided out of the octagon before the decision was made. 

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
Askren



Masvidal



Bout 11: Holly Holm (12-4) (#2) vs. Amanda Nunes (17-4) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

In the co-main event slot of the evening, we had Holly Holm challenge Amanda Nunes for her UFC Bantamweight Championship. The first round was close until Nunes landed a kick to the head right her right leg which ended it.

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Holm





Nunes





Bout 12: Thiago Santos (21-6) (#2) vs. Jon Jones (24-1) (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)

The main event of the evening was Thiago Santos challenging Jon Jones for his Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones had a huge reach advantage in this fight. Santos circled the outside while Jones stayed in the inside of the octagon. Jones caught a leg kick from Santos and tried a spinning back elbow when exiting the hold. Santos threw a few kicks to the leg in the opening minutes. After a combination of punches were thrown, Jones’ mouthpiece fell out. He put it back in and they continued. At the start of the second round the commentators claimed Santos hurt himself after throwing a kick. Santos fell and then was hit with a kick to the mid-section around halfway through the round. Santos landed some good combinations of kicks and punches as the round wound down. Santos kept exploding with punches in the third. Jones threw a flying knee but it either didn’t phase Santos or didn’t land. Santos slipped after throwing a leg kick, and was hit with an elbow when getting up. The elbow cut open Santos along the hairline. Jones landed a good head kick with 90 seconds in the third round. The crowd started to boo in the fourth round. Both fighters slowed their already slow pace, although Santos still exploded with punches a couple of times. Jones was often the one coming forward. Near the end of the round Santos’ injury became more apparent as he seemed to get the worst out of a kick that he threw. Santos continued with combinations in the fifth round, but it never seemed to hurt Jones. Jones threw more low kicks in this round to take advantage of the injury. The fight went all five rounds. Jon Jones got the victory via split decision (48-47, 48-47 & 48-47).

My Scorecard:

FighterRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Total
Santos101099947
Jones9910101048

UFC returns next week with a fight night from Sacramento, California. Germaine de Randamie and Aspen Ladd headline the 13 fight card. UFC veteran and Hall of Famer Urijah Faber returns in the co-main event, facing Ricky Simon. The next PPV is on July 27th, with Max Holloway defending his Featherweight Championship against Frankie Edgar.

Amanda Nunes Stops Holly Holm In One Round To Defend Bantamweight Championship

Amanda Nunes made another defense of her Bantamweight Championship, picking up her second first round finish in a row, defeating Holly Holm. At UFC 239 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Nunes landed a head kick which dropped Holm and concluded the bout in just under five minutes. 

“I told my coach I wanna knock her out the same way she knocks people out,” said Nunes in the post-fight interview. 

This became the fourth defence of the UFC Bantamweight Championship by Nunes. In between those wins was another fight where she claimed the UFC Featherweight Championship, defeating Cris Cyborg back in December.

The fight took place in the co-main event slot of UFC 239, with the main event being Jon Jones versus Thiago Santos for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.