Kyler Phillips had a potential 10-8 round in round one, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Raulian Paiva on the scorecards.
The card is to be headlined by former five-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who makes his long awaited return in the main event. He’s been out two-and-a-half years, but he looks to get that belt back he never lost in a fight, and it starts here tonight.
Opposing him is No. 2 ranked bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen, who is on a two-fight win streak after knocking out former six-time WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes and former four-time UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, both in devastating fashion.
Does Dillashaw get back on track, where he left off in the bantamweight division, or does Sandhagen add another multi-time world champion to his highlight reel?
Co-headlining the event comes another bantamweight clash, this one between Kyler Phillips and Raulian Paiva, following the scrapped booking between Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson.
Phillips has looked incredible thus far into his UFC career, as he’s looking to make it four-straight inside the promotion, while Paiva comes up from 125 lbs on a two-fight win streak himself.
Continue reading to see how this bantamweight co-main event went down:
Official Result: Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Phillips comes out incredibly aggressive and hurts Paiva with a hard right hand about a minute into round one.
His kicks are coming very heavy as well, as he partially lands a couple on Paiva. The Brazilian then shoots on a takedown while Phillips throws a wheel kick and puts Phillips on his back.
Phillips is able to work his way on top with his opportunism and reigns down some ground-and-pound until Paiva gets up. Phillips then throws and lands a thunderous elbow that has Paiva hurt badly, and he throws him to the mat immediately afterward.
The remaining 15 seconds of the round is spent with Phillips pounding away looking for the finish.
Phillips comes out in round two noticeably slower than he was in round one.
The two both trade right hands, Paiva’s of which drops Phillips and has him hurt. Phillips gets up, but stays on his bike and tries to recover, as Paiva chases him down and lands a barrage of punches.
Phillips is able to secure a takedown momentarily, before Paiva works his way back up and gets back to work.
It was a big round one for Phillips, and it was a big round two for Paiva. It appears Phillips may have pulled a Michel Pereira and blown his wad in round one with all the excessive energy expended.
Both fighters are fatigued going into round three, but Paiva appears to be the fresher party. He’s still controlling the center, and he’s still landing more often than Phillips, though Phillips is certainly firing back with his own strikes.
Phillips secures another momentary double leg takedown, but Paiva is right back to his feet.
Not long after, Paiva shoots on Phillips’ legs. Phillips tries to hit the switch again, but is unsuccessful and is forced to settle on bottom. The remaining couple minutes of the fight were spent with Paiva on top, up until the last five seconds where the two threw down until the end.
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.