UFC Phoenix results - Velasquez vs. Ngannou

UFC Phoenix results – Velasquez vs. Ngannou

Tonight, a rare Sunday night UFC fight card takes place from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez returned to action to take on former title contender Francis Ngannou.  Velasquez stated earlier in the week that if he is not happy with his performance tonight he would consider walking away and retiring from the sport.  It was a short-lived contest as Velasquez was immediately injured and the fight was ruled a knockout victory for Ngannou.  What was initially thought to be a knee injury ended up being the result of a right uppercut from Ngannou.

Earlier today a preliminary bout between Jodie Esquibel and Jessica Penne was removed from the card.  Penne missed weight yesterday but it was an ankle injury that happened this morning while the fighter was taking part in a light workout that forced her from the card.  Doctors have labeled the injury as a sprain.

WOW!!! Did Emily Whitmire make a statement in the opening bout of the night.  She took Aleksandra Albu down right out of the gate and immediately submitted her with a deep, deep rear-naked choke.  With the win comes the fastest submission in UFC strawweight history at 1:01.

Luke Sanders was having a hard time figuring out the leg kicks from former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao in the opening round of their scheduled three round affair. Then, just like that, Sanders comes to life in the second round and delivers a brutal technical knockout stoppage over the Brazilian.

Nik Lentz picked up his 14th win in the UFC with a unanimous decision over the hometown favorite Scott Holtzman.  The story of the fight…. the takedowns from Lentz.  He was battered and bloodied but used his wrestling to keep him from picking up a loss.

Flyweights Ashlee Evans-Smith and Andrea Lee stood toe-to-toe next.  It appears that Evans-Smith has a small cut early on.  She’s standing and trading with the Muay Thai artist but the striking seems to be favoring Lee early on.  Same with in round two, Lee is finding success with her shots and making Evans-Smith pay for it.  Ashlee stays in the fight, not getting deterred and eventually gets a takedown.  Lee works her way back to the feet, Ashlee shoots in again but it is too far out and stuffed.  This fight works to a third round but just like the first two rounds, Evans-Smith is having issues.  Lee wins a unanimous decision.

Manny Bermudez who missed weight yesterday didn’t need very long tonight to pick up a win over Benito Lopez with a first round D’Arce choke.

A pair of top bantamweights met in the main bout on the preliminary card when former CFFC standouts Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera finally met in the center of the cage.  Rivera has some sort of issue with his mouthpiece which fell out three times during the contest.  Sterling landed more strikes in each of the three rounds, big fight for him.  He wins this fight unanimously.

Andre Fili and Myles Jury put on an absolute back and forth war for three full rounds.  Each fighter found successes throughout the contest, each landing strikes that would open their open opponents up.  Jury landed a beautiful spinning backfist that floored Fili, but in the end the judges would ultimately side with “Touchy” Fili.

Vicente Luque and Bryan Barberena put on one of the most exciting fights you will ever see, definitely a fight of the year contender.  Back and forth brawl.  Both fighters bloodied; a ton of significant strikes thrown by both competitors.  This fight is one to remember.  With just six seconds left in the fight, Barberena is finished by way of strikes.  Luque gets the job done and states that this was his toughest fight to date.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu royalty entered the octagon tonight at Kron Gracie made his UFC debut and finished Alex Caceres in the very first round by way of rear-naked choke.

Two extremely exciting contests would follow as Cynthia Calvillo worked in a unanimous decision over Cortney Casey and lightweights James Vick and Paul Felder finally met face to face. Calvillo called for a title eliminator bout with Tatiana Suarez following her win.  Felder wins a unanimous decision in another super hard fought fight after he returned from a broken arm.

Complete UFC Phoenix results below:

Main card (ESPN at 9 p.m. ET)
Francis Ngannou defeated Cain Velasquez via KO – Round 1, 0:26
Paul Felder defeated James Vick via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Cynthia Calvillo defeated Cortney Casey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Kron Gracie defeated Alex Caceres via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:06
Vicente Luque defeated Bryan Barberena via TKO – Round 3, 4:54
Andre Fili defeated Myles Jury via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (ESPN at 7 p.m. ET)
Aljamain Sterling defeated Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Manny Bermudez defeated Benito Lopez via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 3:09
Andrea Lee defeated Ashlee Evans-Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nik Lentz defeated Scott Holtzman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (ESPN+ at 6:00 p.m. ET)
Luke Sanders defeated Renan Barao via TKO – Round 2, 1:01
Emily Whitmire defeated Aleksandra Albu via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:01