LAS VEGAS – One of the most interesting fighting weeks of 2021 comes to a close tonight, as Paulo Costa takes on Marvin Vettori in a light heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night inside the Apex.
This fight, of course, was meant to take place at 185 pounds and have a major impact on the middleweight division. Instead, it turned into a confusing chain of events, as Costa (13-1) essentially said he had no intention of reducing weight.
Vettori (17-4-1) eventually accepted a light heavyweight game – and 20% of Costa’s purse.
Regardless of the changes, this main event looks like an entertaining event on paper. And that’s important for both fighters, as each just lost to defending middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in these fighters’ most recent performances.
Follow Brett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim as they provide bout-by-fight recaps and analysis, and / or watch the fights on ESPN +.
Lightweight: Worthy Khama (16-8, 2-2 UFC; +155) against Jai Herbert (10-3, 0-2 UFC; -180)
Flyweight men: Jeff Molina (10-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Daniel de Silva (11-2, 0-1 UFC; +140) by TKO in the second round (punches)
Molina defended several submission attempts throughout the first round while using the first position to punish da Silva with punches and elbows, then came out in the second round and immediately crushed da Silva with a right hand followed by ‘a burst on the mat for the TKO at 46 seconds.
Molina, who is 24 and is from St. Louis, won her ninth in a row and second in a row to start her UFC career. Da Silva, a 25-year-old Brazilian, saw a three-game winning streak come to an end on his Octagon debut.
Straw weight: Randa markos (11-12-1, 7-10-1 UFC; +110) def. Livinha Souza (14-4, 3-3 UFC; -130) by unanimous decision | Watch this fight on ESPN +
Markos, who fights in Ontario, Canada, earned his first victory in five fights – and likely saved his place on the UFC roster – by pointing Souza via judges’ scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
The victory was not without adversity, as Markos was forced to fight a dangerous stranglehold attempt at Souza’s rear in the first round. Markos managed to dodge a slap, however, and won the fight with ground and pound strikes and aggressive strikes in the last round.
The victory ends a four-fight slippage for Markos, who has fought exclusively in the UFC since 2014.
Bantamweight men: Jonathan martinez (14-4, 5-3 UFC) def. Zviad Lazishvili (13-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision | Watch this fight on ESPN +
Martinez welcomed previously undefeated Georgian fighter Lazishvili to the UFC with his first career loss – taking control of a close fight in Round 3 to get the green light from the judges on all three scorecards ( 30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Martinez, who is 27 and fights in Plainview, TX, is back on track after being knocked out by Davey Grant in May.
Still to come:
Lightweight: Paulo Costa (13-1, 5-1 UFC; +150) vs. Marvin Vettori (17-5-1, 7-3-1 UFC; -175)
Lightweight: Grant Dawson (17-1, 5-0 UFC; -470) vs. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1, 4-3 UFC; +360)
Female bantamweight: Jessica-Rose Clark (10-6, 3-2 UFC; -160) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-3, 1-1 UFC; +135)
Men’s Featherweight: Alex Caceres (18-12, 12-10 1 NC; +230) vs. Seungwoo Choi (10-3, 3-2 UFC; -280)
Welterweight: Dwight Grant (11-3, 3-2 UFC; +115) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (26-8, 16-7 UFC; -135)
Light heavyweight: Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1, 1-1 UFC; -230) vs. Ike Villanueva (18-12, 1-3 UFC; +190)
Middleweight: Junyong Park (13-4, 3-1 UFC; +100) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (10-3, 1-0 UFC; -120)
Lightweight: David Onama (8-0, 0-0 UFC; +340) vs. Mason Jones (10-1.1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC UFC; -440)
Strawweight: Tabatha Ricci (5-1, 0-1 UFC; -240) vs. Maria Oliveira (12-4, 0-0 UFC; +200)
Middleweight: Jamie Pickett (11-6, 0-2 UFC; +200) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-4, 2-3 UFC; -240)