UFC Fight Night 159 ‘Rodriguez vs. Stephens’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Sep 21, 2019


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Claudio Puelles vs. Marcos Mariano

Round 1

We begin the night at the lightweight division, in an all-South American affair between Puelles (8-2, 1-1 UFC) and Mariano (6-5, 0-1 UFC). The referee is Fernando Salas Navarro. The two men touch gloves and we begin the night, where Mariano starts out with a high kick that is blocked. Puelles wants nothing to do with the striking game of the Brazilian, and takes the fight right down with a quick double leg. Mariano tries to walk up the cage but Puelles pulls him right back down, and has Mariano's legs tied up. The Peruvian grabs hold of Mariano's arm and pulls for a kimura, but ends up on his back while attempting a sweep before bailing on it. With no strikes being thrown by either man, Navarro stands them up quickly and unexpectedly. Puelles uses this confusion to close the distance and go in for a deep single, and then lifts Mariano in the air and slams him down to the canvas. Puelles stays heavy on top, but does not mount much offense besides a few elbows and some minor punches to the body. The horn sounds to end the round with Puelles on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Puelles
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Puelles
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Puelles

Round 2

Like the first round, Puelles shoots for a takedown in the opening seconds, landing in side control with ease. Advancing position step-by-step, the "El Nino" moves to half guard and then briefly in mount, before Mariano brings him back to half guard again. Puelles uses this opportunity to rain down a few more elbows, while Mariano hangs tight to tie up the superior grappler and hope for a referee standup. Puelles stays busy with heavy shots while back in full guard, slamming elbow after elbow into the head of his downed opponent. "Dhalsim" is unable to do anything but eat shots while on his back, and although none are that serious, the strike totals and control time are adding up quickly. With the 10-second clapper sounding, Puelles hammers a few more elbows home until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Puelles
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Puelles
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Puelles

Round 3

Mariano opens the round up with a body kick, but when throwing another, Puelles snatches him up and took him right back down within the first 10 seconds of the final round. In half guard, Puelles returns to the strategy that found him success in the first two rounds, moving into position and dropping down some ground-and-pound. The Peruvian steps over and sets up a kimura, while Mariano defends himself by holding his own shorts. Mariano grits it out and chooses not to tap, and Puelles hops over to side control to try again. The Brazilian survives, and Puelles abandons the submission and takes three-quarter guard before gaining mount only to fall off. Puelles dives back on top and mounts "Dhalsim," and slams down several more elbows that cause Mariano to turn away and almost give up his back. Returning to mount, Puelles pulls off a Sakuraba special by striking with both hands at once, and continues to drop down punishing shots as time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Puelles (30-25 Puelles)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Puelles (30-25 Puelles)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Puelles (30-25 Puelles)

The Official Result

Claudio Puelles def. Marcos Mariano via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)

Sijara Eubanks vs. Bethe Correia

Round 1

Moving to the bantamweight division, two women look to get back in the win column as ex-flyweight Eubanks (4-3, 2-1 UFC) meets former title challenger Correia (10-4-1, 4-4-1 UFC). Keeping charge of the cage is referee Jason Herzog. Correia charges out of her corner to start the fight, but it is Eubanks that lands a big overhand right and then a body kick to start things off. As "Sarj" tries to land a few leg kicks, she gets countered over the top both times. The two trade leather in the center of the cage, with both landing on one another. As Correia tries to set up a leg kick, she gets countered as well, and Eubanks is prepared to tag the Brazilian on the way in. Correia scores a right hand over the top, but Eubanks replies with several left jabs that find their mark. "Pitbull" attempts a move from the playbook of Dan Henderson, throwing a low leg kick to set up a big right hand, but the right falls well short of the target. "Sarj" takes advantage of her adversary's aggression, and takes Correia down to the canvas. Eubanks lands a few thudding shots to Correia's midsection, and then a hard right hand to her opponent's nose for good measure. Correia attempts to pursue a submission, but Eubanks stays strong and clubs her with a slew of mean left hands that make Herzog take a close look at the action. Correia survives, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Eubanks

Round 2

Eubanks starts the round off with some crisp boxing, landing a solid combination ending with a body kick. As Correia advances, Eubanks clocks her with a left hand that sends the Brazilian staggering, but Correia regains her composure quickly. Eubanks lets fly a few kicks to the body and head, and Correia replies with a stiff right hand and chases her with a combination. Clinching up, the two crack each other with some uppercuts, and a major overhand right stings Correia, who tries to put on a brave face. Eubanks closes in and clinches up against the fence, but "Pitbull" reverses the position and breaks away. The two land on one another with identical combinations, and Eubanks follows up with a kick to the body. The Brazilian chains a few strikes together to back off Eubanks, and then lands a left to the body and right to the head. Correia blasts Eubanks with another powerful body shot, forcing Eubanks to shoot for a takedown, but Correia is wise to it and stuffs it. Eubanks stands firm with a two-punch combination, but Correia is more aggressive and working the body effectively. With 10 seconds left, Correia clinches up and gets off a few more punches to the body until the second round closes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Correia
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Correia
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Correia

Round 3

Eubanks opens up the final stanza with a head kick that misses, but a right hand does score. The American throws a lazy leg kick that is not countered, but Correia starts to work the left jab. The two women trade jabs, but are not willing to commit to anything more significant. Suddenly, Correia blitzes forward to land several more thumping shots to the body, although Eubanks throws back hard. A sharp left jab causes "Sarj" to touch her eye, who is blinking and wincing because of it. Correia charges in to clinch up, using the position to land a few more short lefts to the body. The two crash together and Eubanks tags Correia with a right-left, and backs off before getting countered. As Eubanks lands again successfully, Correia nods and grins, while Eubanks replies with by sticking her tongue out. They both land squarely on each other again, as Correia continues to nod. The Brazilian sinks in a heavy leg kick, and then misses with two winging shots. Standing right in front of one another, they both land hard right hands, and Correia is laughing now. The two swing heavily with 10 seconds to go, and as the round ends, Correia celebrates by jumping and rolling around the Octagon.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Correia (29-28 Correia)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Correia (29-28 Correia)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Eubanks (29-27 Eubanks)

The Official Result

Bethe Correia def. Sijara Eubanks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Vinicius Moreira Castro vs. Paul Craig

Round 1

The heaviest fight on the card by far takes place at light heavyweight between Castro (9-3, 0-2 UFC) and Craig (11-4, 3-4 UFC), with no other fight tonight tipping the scales above lightweight. After 27 fights in their combined careers, neither man has ever reached the scorecards. The referee for this battle of nearly identical combatants is Dan Miragliotta. Craig immediately takes the center of the cage, although Castro pushes the pace and backs Craig up. Castro shoots in for a takedown, but cannot get it so he tries for a body lock, and not landing that either he just pulls guard. On top, Craig avoids several submission attempts, including a triangle and an armbar, breaking free with loud ground-and-pound. The Brazilian continues to set up a triangle, and uses his attempt to roll out of position and get back to his feet. Aiming for a single leg, Castro lifts his opponent's leg up and tries to trip him several times, but it is Craig who briefly gets the fight down with his own trip. Craig lifts Castro up with a huge knee, and then blasts him with another to set him down. After scoring a few more punches while Castro is down against the cage, Craig dives down and snatches up a rear-naked choke, forcing the Brazilian to tap out for the first time in his career. This is a big win for Craig, who evens his UFC record to .500, while handing Castro his third consecutive loss inside the Octagon and potentially his walking papers as well.

The Official Result

Paul Craig def. Vinicius Moreira Castro R1 3:19 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 

Sergio Pettis vs. Tyson Nam

Round 1

In the first of two flyweight battles of the evening, bantamweight ex-pat Pettis (17-5, 8-5 UFC) USA drops back down to 125 pounds to greet Octagon newcomer Nam (18-9-1, 0-0 UFC). The third man in the cage is referee Herb Dean. The two men try to establish their range with a few jabs that fall short, and then they both commit with right hands that equally find their marks. Pettis throws a light kick to his opponent's knee, and Nam comes back over the top with a right hand that glances off Pettis' chin. Pettis gets off a push kick in an attempt to back off Nam, and then a leaping right side kick to Nam's head. Pettis throws a few more kicks that draw buzz from the crowd, but nothing lands flush. Taking a page out of the family playbook, Pettis jumps off the cage with a leaping right hand that is partially blocked. Nam wings a right hand, but Pettis' defense is solid, and then Pettis checks a leg kick as well. Pettis flicks out a few jabs that draw a grin from Nam, who is advancing but not landing anything significant. Nam crashes forward and leans Pettis against the fence, and on the break Nam swings wide. Pettis sneaks up a kick to the side of his opponent's head, and Nam replies with a front kick that lands on Pettis' face. Pettis gets flashy with a spinning kick that is blocked, and with the round ending, Nam charges forward and Pettis jumps up with a knee that barely misses.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pettis
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pettis
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pettis

Round 2

The second round opens with the two men trading jabs, and Nam jumps forward with a right that connects. While Nam advances, Pettis stops the forward movement of the Hawaiian with a lightning-quick spinning back fist. The two continue to jab at one another, and Pettis opens up with a kick to the legs and one to the body. Nam eats the strikes and walks through them, and the crowd is getting restless that neither are committing on their strikes. Nam sits down with a left hand that is partly blocked, and a right that tags Pettis on the chin. Pettis circles out and continues to pepper his opponent with rapid kicks and jabs. Nam triples up with a jab, and then punctuates that series with a sharp left that stings his foe. Pettis steps in with a big knee to the body, and Nam grins. The jab from Pettis continues to find its home, and he breaks it up with a superman punch that Nam tries to counter. The Hawaiian pushes forward and clinches up, but he cannot hold it for long, and Pettis makes him pay with three punches as they separate. Pettis flings a spinning back kick that clips the side of Nam's midsection, and Nam fires back with his own body kick that slaps Pettis in the stomach. Pettis catches Nam's low kick and throws a right over the top in response, and with seconds remaining Pettis breaks out a cartwheel kick that dings off the side of Nam's head. The round ends with Pettis falling to his back, no worse for wear.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pettis
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pettis
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pettis

Round 3

The third and final round begins with more jabs, as Pettis sticks his left hand out early and often to break up anything Nam tries to set up. Nam advances while swinging, and Pettis tags him with a right hand, causing Nam to stumble briefly. The two come together, and Pettis lands a sharp short elbow that leads them to separate. The jabs keep flowing from Pettis, who is keeping his adversary at bay with it. Nam jumps in with a left to the body and right to the head, so Pettis responds with the same combination. Pettis cracks Nam with a right to the head and a left head kick, causing Nam to smile like Robbie Lawler after eating a huge shot. Pettis unleashes another combination on the counter, while evading any of Nam's more significant strikes. Nam presses in to try to clinch up, and Pettis pushes him away but eats a right hand for his trouble. The Hawaiian chases his man down, engaging in the clinch before trying to set up an elbow on the break. Likely down on the scorecards, Nam starts to load up on his strikes, allowing Pettis to jab away. Nam sits down on a right hand that partially lands on Pettis, who lifts up a front kick to the chin of Nam. The crowd is not amused by Pettis choosing to pepper his debuting opponent with jabs instead of more damaging strikes, so as Nam comes in to clinch up, the crowd lets them have it. The fight ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pettis (30-27 Pettis)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pettis (30-27 Pettis)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Pettis (30-27 Pettis)

The Official Result

Sergio Pettis def. Tyson Nam via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Angela Hill vs. Ariane Carnelossi

Round 1

We continue the theme of a UFC veteran welcoming a debutant to the Octagon as Hill (9-7, 4-7 UFC) faces the surging Carnelossi (12-1, 0-0 UFC) in the strawweight division. Our referee is Fernando Salas Navarro. Carnelossi advances immediately, and gets clipped a few times on the way in by Hill. The Brazilian comes in to clinch, and Hill reverses position while landing several solid knees to the body. They break, but not before Hill cracks her opponent with a sharp right elbow. Carnelossi charges forward again, but Hill is ready on the counter. Carnelossi drops in for a single leg takedown, but Hill defends it well and separates. The Brazilian keeps the pressure coming heavy, walking Hill down and backing her against the fence. Hill circles away, and lands a right hand, but Carnelossi eats it and walks through. A two-punch combination gets through from Hill, and as her corner calls for specific strikes, Hill complies and scores every one. Hill drops in a few hard knees in the clinch, and in the exchange Carnelossi begins to bleed from her forehead. As Carnelossi pushes in, Hill brings up a knee that catches the Brazilian on the chin, but Carnelossi is unfazed. Hill steps in and lands another knee, while avoiding the counter strikes, and then lifts one more up for good measure. Carnelossi slaps in a hard leg kick, and the two women trade hands standing in front of each other. Hill catches Carnelossi with an uppercut, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hill
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Hill
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Hill

Round 2

Carnelossi opens up with a leg kick to begin the round, and seeing its success, she sinks one more. Hill swings with a left-right, and as Carnelossi pushes in, Hill is ready to respond with short knees. As they clinch, again Hill takes the advantage by scoring an elbow on the break. The Brazilian scores a few more leg kicks, and Hill switches stances briefly, and when she does, Carnelossi tags her. Hill wears it well, and circles away while picking her shots. Hill prepares to counter any of Carnelossi's offense with a check knee, and "Sorriso" cracks Hill with a loud body kick. The two trade leather, and some swelling begins to form on The Brazilian's forehead. Hill puts together a few punches, but Carnelossi throws hard and lands on Hill's chin. Carnelossi successfully gets off another low kick, and then while coming forward lands a right over the top. Hill tries for a superman punch, but Carnelossi is ready and throws another leg kick that makes Hill hop around for a second. Hill steps in for an elbow, but Carnelossi clips her with a left hand. The American leads with a knee, and Carnelossi is content to chase her down while loading up on her right hand. Clinched up once more, Hill lands several more knees to the body, and as time expires she leaps in the air and kicks Carnelossi in the midsection.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hill
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Carnelossi
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Hill

Round 3

Carnelossi charges forward to begin the final round, and Hill counters her with a right hand and left knee. The Brazilian stalks down Hill, and chains together a several-punch combination but takes a few knees to the body for her trouble. Hill waits for Carnelossi to come in, and times a powerful right elbow that Carnelossi shrugs off. Hill digs with a left to the body, and Carnelossi tags her with a few punches before clinching up. Hill spins out and slices the Brazilian with a huge elbow that splits her forehead open. The cut, which is placed directly above Carnelossi's left eyebrow and is about an inch wide, immediately begins pouring blood. Navarro calls in the doctor, who remarks the cut is too big and calls it, so the fight is over. Hill records the TKO victory, earning her first stoppage win inside the Octagon.

The Official Result

Angela Hill def. Ariane Carnelossi R3 1:56 via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 

Marco Polo Reyes vs. Kyle Nelson

Round 1

After five fights with participants representing various other countries, the remaining seven on this card will pit a Mexican fighter against one from the rest of the world. We start with a North American battle as Mexico representative Reyes (8-6, 4-3 UFC) takes on proud Canadian Nelson (12-3, 0-2 UFC). The referee keeping order for this contest is Jason Herzog. Reyes leads off with a leg kick, and Nelson tries to counter over the top. Reyes tries to dig in a straight left to the body, but Nelson responds with a body kick. The crowd has started "Mexico" chants, and as they do, Nelson clinches up in an attempt to take the fight down. The Canadian sets up an outside trip and drags Reyes down, but Reyes stands right back up and lands a few short shots to the body. "The Monster" blasts Reyes with a monstrous right elbow, staggering Reyes immediately. Nelson unloads with a left to the body and a thunderous right hand that sends Reyes falling against the fence. Sensing the finish is right around the corner, Nelson swings several times with all his might until Herzog is forced to intervene, and Reyes might be out on his feet. The crowd is silent; they are almost confused by what happened so quickly.

The Official Result

Kyle Nelson def. Marco Polo Reyes R1 1:36 via TKO (Punches)

Jose Alberto Quinonez vs. Carlos Huachin

Round 1

Shifting from "El Toro" to "El Teco," we drop down to the bantamweight division for the headliner of the prelims, as Quinonez (7-3, 4-2 UFC) clashes with Huachin (10-4-2, 0-1 UFC). Drawing the assignment is referee Dan Miragliotta. Quinonez starts off the fight with a very low leg kick, and Huachin throws one right back at him. Quinonez swings another, and this time Huachin comes over the top to keep the Mexican honest. "El Teco" leaps forward with a right hand, and then scores another to knock down the Peruvian. The crowd goes wild for a moment, but after a little unsuccessful ground work, Huachin returns to his feet. Quinonez shoots in for a takedown, but the shorter, stockier man stuffs it, and tries to counter with a huge left hand that goes wide. Huachin tries another big left hand, but the Mexican blocks it. Quinonez sinks in another low leg kick causing Huachin to stumble, but Huachin jumps in and finally scores the left hand he has been seeking. Quinonez sits on a right hand counter when Huachin comes in, but Huachin shrugs it off and throws a leg kick. Huachin ducks a right hand and walks his opponent down, landing a straight left to the body but taking a few more low leg kicks that are getting to him. The Peruvian comes forward with a leaping right hook, and Quinonez darts away while keeping his kicking game going. As Quinonez fires another low kick, Huachin is prepared for it and tags him with a right hand. The crowd chants "Teco" to energize their Mexican compatriot, who launches a head kick that is barely blocked, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez

Round 2

Touching gloves, Huachin starts to press the pace, and scores several body shots while Quinonez meets him on the way in. The Peruvian continues to lean on strikes to the body, and eats a right hand and stiff leg kick. Miragliotta warns the two men to close their hands, and as they reset, they take to the center of the Octagon. Quinonez continues to utilize the calf kick, and perfectly times a takedown to land in side control of "Perro Malo" -- Spanish for "Bad Dog" -- where he immediately takes half guard. The crowd cheers on the Mexican fighter again, and as Quinonez backs off to try to find another position, he almost gets clipped with an upkick. Quinonez drops back down, and lands a stern elbow that makes Huachin scramble and get to his feet. Back in the center of the cage, Quinonez fires a few more leg kicks, before sinking in two body kicks that Huachin tries to catch. The Peruvian tries to get off a one-two, but Quinonez is evasive and stays out of range. Quinonez pops the jab out several times to disrupt Huachin's rhythm, and then throws up a head kick that is barely blocked. Huachin chases down Quinonez, but is unable to land clean as the round comes to an end.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez

Round 3

We begin the final round with Huachin pushing forward, but Quinonez uses that aggressiveness to his advantage and takes the fight down quickly. The Mexican drops down a few short elbows and hops to half guard, where he lands several more. Huachin signals for the referee to stand the fight back up, and Miragliotta responds that he will have to try to get back to his feet. Quinonez lets fly several more elbows, and Huachin does not like this attack so he kicks off and returns to his feet. The Peruvian immediately starts chasing down Quinonez again, but Quinonez is quick to counter with a low kick and then a right hand, all while dodging Huachin's more damaging strikes. "Perro Malo" clips the Mexican with a right hand, but Quinonez is on his bike evading shots. Huachin claims that there was an eye poke, but Miragliotta did not see it so he tells Huachin to fight on. He continues to complain, but no dice, and Quinonez tries to take the fight down. Huachin stuffs it, and blitzes forward with a left-right that glance off the target. The scrap ends with Quinonez dodging and weaving any of the Peruvian's Hail Mary shots, and as the final horn sounds, "El Teco" leaps atop the cage to salute the crowd.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez (30-27 Quinonez)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez (30-27 Quinonez)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Quinonez (30-27 Quinonez)

The Official Result

Jose Alberto Quinonez def. Carlos Huachin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Martin Bravo vs. Steven Peterson

Round 1

Kicking off the main card is a featherweight collision between two men desperately seeking a win inside the Octagon as Bravo (11-2, 1-2 UFC) locks horns with Peterson (17-9, 1-3 UFC). Peterson will contending with the "Eminem Curse" as well as Bravo, as he walks to the cage with "No Apologies" playing behind him. Assigned to this one is referee Herb Dean. The two start out fast and strong, swinging hard at one another. Peterson lands a stinging leg kick, and then with the other leg scores to the body. Bravo hits a quick takedown, and Peterson tries for a guillotine choke but he cannot get it. Threatening with a triangle as well, Bravo backs off and the two get to their feet. Peterson cracks the Mexican with a right hand, but Bravo fires back with a several punch combination punctuated by a spinning back kick. The American tries to reply with one of his own, but misses the mark. Bravo trips Peterson while landing a right hand, and the face of Peterson is starting to get marked up quickly. "Ocho" cracks Bravo right a big right hand, but Bravo walks right through it and scores a combination that backs off Peterson. Bravo keeps the pressure going strong, taking a body kick and going for a single leg takedown that Peterson shucks off. The two men dig in for body shots, and Bravo grins at him. A right hand from Bravo sends something flying from Peterson's mouth -- is it a tooth? Some spit? Something else, or perhaps nothing at all? Peterson does not notice, and the two continue to trade leather, as Peterson tags Bravo with a stiff right hand. With seconds left, Peterson goes on the attack, but the bell sounds and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Bravo
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Bravo
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Bravo

Round 2

Much like the first round, the two men meet at the center of the cage and swing. As they stand and bang, Bravo takes the fight down, although Peterson pops back up quickly. Continuing to go strike-for-strike, Bravo ducks down for a takedown but this time he is stood up, so he meets Peterson with a stiff right hand. As Bravo attempts a spinning back fist and misses, Peterson spins in the other direction and blasts Bravo with a spinning back fist of his own. Bravo is out before he hits the canvas. No extra shots are necessary, and this is undoubtedly the biggest win of Peterson's career. The crowd, like when Nelson finished Reyes earlier in the night, is in shocked silence. With the victory, "Ocho" earns just the seventh spinning back fist knockout in UFC history.

The Official Result

Steven Peterson def. Martin Bravo R2 1:31 via KO (Spinning Back Fist)

Irene Aldana vs. Vanessa Melo

Round 1

A pair of fighters with identical 10-5 records but considerably different career trajectories is up next, as Aldana (10-5, 3-3 UFC) looks to snap the five-fight win streak of the debuting Melo (10-5, 0-0 UFC). As short-notice replacement Melo missed weight by four pounds, this bout is officially a 140-pound catchweight affair, and refereeing it will be Fernando Salas Navarro. Melo starts out strong, leading with a few left hooks that just miss. Aldana keeps her distance with a left jab, staying on the outside and avoiding the power punches. The Mexican counters with a right hand, and then a fierce leg kick that nearly spins Melo around. Aldana sits down on another loud leg kick, and Melo does not flinch. The Brazilian charges forward with punches, but Aldana stays away and peppers her with one-twos. Aldana digs to the body with a left, and as Melo tries to counter over the top, Aldana slips out of the way. Melo finally manages to tag Aldana with a looping right hand, but Aldana wears it well. The Mexican fighter goes again to the body a few times, and stays just out of reach of the big right hands that Melo keeps throwing. Aldana flicks out several more jabs, disrupting the movement of the debuting Brazilian before she slams another punch to Melo's body. Another couple inside leg kicks score for Aldana, who evades the winging shots and scores with a powerful one-two. The leg kicks are starting to impact the movement of Melo, who reacts a little more every time she takes one. Aldana slaps another leg kick, and then rips the body with a left before scoring a right hand, and then concludes the round with a superwoman punch.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldana
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aldana
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Aldana

Round 2

Aldana opens the round by cracking Melo with a left hook, and then ducks out of harm's way. The Brazilian blitzes forward to throw several punches, but they are all blocked or fall short. Melo swings a leg kick of her own, but Aldana responds in kind with one that sounds an audible "thud." The Mexican scores another one-two, while circling away from Melo's power punches. Melo tries another punch rush, but Aldana counters with a left to back the Brazilian away. Scoring a spinning back kick, Aldana is opening up with her striking and landing virtually at will. The Brazilian tries to take the fight down but she pays for it, as Aldana stands her up with more straight punches. Aldana doubles up with the left as Melo comes in, and dodges a counter right hook. As Melo presses forward, Aldana stings Melo with two rights, before letting another leg kick fly. Doubling up on the jab, Aldana scores but is backed up by the Brazilian, who finally lands successfully when rushing towards Aldana. The Mexican gets away, and both women whiff with high kicks. Melo closes the distance and lands a few strikes, so Aldana backs off and fakes an uppercut to land a straight right on the chin. With seconds ticking away, the two women go blow-for-blow until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldana
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aldana
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Aldana

Round 3

The two women touch gloves as the final round commences, and Aldana starts up with a head kick and a spinning back fist while Melo crashes in. Aldana spins out and throws up a high knee, and then backs away to land another punch to the body. Scoring a one-two and backing off, Aldana eats a right hand that gives Melo a brief surge of confidence. Melo charges in and lands a few more, but Aldana's boxing backs her off. The Mexican spins for a wheel kick that just misses, but she does chain several more punch combinations that each find the target. Aldana again cracks Melo in the body with a left, and slams one more leg kick home. The Brazilian attempts to go punch-for-punch with Aldana, but takes more than she dishes out. Aldana flip out a left jab and Melo comes forward, scoring a right hand. She then tags Aldana with a left hook, but Aldana aims for the body once more and follows it with several stiff right hands. The Brazilian attempts a spinning back fist that is well short of the target, and Aldana is in her groove right now, unloading strikes of all kinds to the head, body and legs indiscriminately. Aldana works over Melo with strike after strike until the horn mercifully sounds for Melo. The strike totals are bound to be massive for this contest, especially for Aldana, who has undoubtedly thrown hundreds of shots.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldana (30-27 Aldana)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aldana (30-27 Aldana)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Aldana (30-27 Aldana)

The Official Result

Irene Aldana def. Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Askar Askarov vs. Brandon Moreno

Round 1

The second of two flyweight fights of the evening features the debut of Dagestan's Askarov (10-0, 0-0 UFC), who has finished his opponent in all 10 of his wins, against the returning Moreno (15-5, 3-2 UFC). Serving as the referee is Dan Miragliotta. The two men touch gloves, and we are underway. Askarov leads off with a front kick that is just short, and Moreno leans forward with a punch to the body. Askarov nearly kicks the leg out from under the Mexican fighter, but Moreno composes himself. The Dagestani catches a leg from Moreno, and uses the position to lift Moreno in the air and slam him to the canvas. Moreno briefly ended up on top, but Askarov rolled him over, and in the scramble Moreno gets against the fence and almost stands back up. "Bullet" uses this opportunity to take the back of Moreno, who actually looked to be setting up a Twister submission -- Askarov has submitted an opponent with one -- before instead pursuing the neck. Moreno scrambles and gets out, shucking off a triangle attempt but eating some elbows in the process. Moreno ends up on top, but Askarov is busy off his back throwing up submissions and elbows. Askarov tags Moreno with a sharp elbow, and Moreno manages to land some powerful ground-and-pound after Askarov kicks off. "Bullet" fishes for a kimura briefly, but uses the position to kick off and get back to his feet. Moreno cracks Askarov with a big right hand that wobbles the legs of the Russian, although Askarov gets his legs back underneath him. Askarov scores with a leg kick while still shaking out the cobwebs, but Moreno will not let him off the hook as he tags him with a right. As Askarov presses forward, Moreno sprints away across the cage, and the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Askarov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Askarov
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Moreno

Round 2

Round 2 begins with Askarov leading with leg kicks, while Moreno sits on a big right hand, and celebrates after he lands. The Mexican lands heavily, and Askarov eats the shots and takes the fight down. As Moreno tries to stand up, Askarov tries to take the Mexican's back again, so Moreno spins out and ends up on his back. Moreno gives up his back again, and Askarov nearly lifts him up with a body lock, only for Moreno to spring to his feet and swing ferociously with a few left hands. "The Assassin Baby" cracks Askarov with an uppercut, causing Askarov to press forward and again try to take the fight down. Askarov throws Moreno down, landing the Mexican on his head, and Askarov takes side control quickly. Moreno tries to roll out, but Askarov stays heavy and lands several clubbing shots. Moreno kicks off and sweeps Askarov's legs out from underneath him, allowing Moreno the chance to stand back up. Askarov won't have it, and he dives back in for a single leg takedown. Askarov sweeps Moreno's foot out from underneath him to get him down, and the two men slip around and we get back to the center of the Octagon. Askarov commits to a spinning back fist, hoping to emulate the success from Peterson earlier in the night, but it is blocked. The Russian clinches in, and as they separate he scores a hard right hand that backs away Moreno. The two men trade leather in the center of the Octagon, landing flush and walking through it. Moreno cracks Askarov with a head kick, causing the Russian to fall forward, and Moreno leaps at the opportunity. He overshoots his man, ending up in an inverted triangle position with seconds left in the round. Askarov rides out the position as the round ends. What a battle we have through 10 minutes so far.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Moreno
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Moreno
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Moreno

Round 3

As the final round begins, the two men embrace, and Miragliotta applauds their sportsmanship, while the commentary booth disapproves. Moreno takes the fight down surprisingly, ending up in Askarov's guard while he tries to advance position and land shots. Askarov aims for a triangle choke, and transitions into an omoplata, but while setting it up, Moreno drops down with a heavy right hand that forces Askarov to bail on it. Askarov throws several sharp elbows and punches off his back, giving the Mexican some pause. Askarov almost kicks Moreno off of him, but "The Assassin Baby" is not giving him any space. As Moreno steps over, he almost falls into an armbar trap, but Moreno is wise to it and shucks it off. Moreno hammers down with another right hand and Askarov rolls over and in doing so, gives up his back. This is huge for Moreno, who immediately slaps on a rear-naked choke, although the Russian defends it with two-on-one wrist control. The Mexican keeps his body lock tight on Askarov's midsection, and Miragliotta unexpectedly asks the fighters to continue working. Moreno softens up the Russian with some punches, and Askarov spins around and ends up on top with 10 seconds to spare. The round ends, wrapping up this exciting fight. This is the first time Askarov has ever gone the distance, and he could very well be on his way to suffering his first career defeat.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Moreno (29-28 Moreno)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Moreno (29-28 Moreno)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Moreno (30-27 Moreno)

The Official Result

Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov is ruled a Split Draw (28-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Carla Esparza vs. Alexa Grasso

Round 1

Two top-10 women's strawweights go head-to-head in our co-main attraction, as former champ Esparza (14-6, 5-4 UFC) looks to remain in the title picture when she battles Mexico native Grasso (11-2, 3-2 UFC). In charge of the Octagon is referee Jason Herzog. The two women touch gloves, and then back away from one another. Grasso leads forward and jabs Esparza, who then swings wildly and gets tagged on the way in. The Mexican sits on the counter and is waiting for Esparza to come in, letting loose several short combinations any time Esparza tries to set something up. The American lands a heavy right hand that reddens up the nose of Grasso, and the two exchange again in the center of the Octagon. The two crash together and Grasso lands a one-two, while Esparza swings with a heavy right hand that falls short. From a great distance, Esparza shoots in for a takedown, but Grasso briefly reverses the position before ending up planted on her back. Grasso holds tight, so the American lifts her opponent up and slams her back down to break position and posture up. Grasso kicks off and lands an upkick, and as Esparza darts away Grasso nearly takes Esparza's head off with a kick that misses by inches. The American darts in for another takedown attempt, but Grasso powers out of it, ending up with her back against the fence. The two women jockey position, and Esparza hits a head-and-arm trip that puts Grasso down. Esparza lands a few shots on top, but Grasso gets back to her feet. The round ends with Grasso tagging Esparza with a stiff right hand.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Esparza
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-10
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Esparza

Round 2

The second round begins at distance, with two keeping far out of reach of one another. Esparza leaps in but gets countered on the way in, so she backs away. This time, Grasso jumps forward, but Esparza times the takedown perfectly and puts the Mexican on her back. Grasso looks to set up an armbar, but Esparza slams her way out of it and remains heavy on top. The American digs several short punches to the body, and Grasso fishes for various different submissions that are nowhere close to being secured. Esparza postures up and rains down some ground-and-pound, and Grasso counters with a few short elbows but is eating shots. As Grasso tries to stand up, Esparza takes her back, but Grasso spins out and ends up on top. "Cookie Monster" scrambles, and the two women return to their feet, while Grasso swings with everything she has in a right hand and whiffs. The Mexican tags Esparza with a right that bounces her off the fence, so Esparza drops down for a takedown and hits it with about 30 seconds left in the round. As Esparza rains down punches to seal the round, Grasso rolls for an armbar and the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Esparza
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Esparza
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-9 Esparza

Round 3

Before the round begins, the commentary booth notes that Grasso may have twisted her ankle, and the doctor briefly came to check on it, but Grasso was good to continue. Esparza blitzes forward with a right hand, and gets away before Grasso can counter. Grasso blasts Esparza with a left hand, and Esparza is hurt badly. Wobbling around the cage, Grasso chases her down but falls over while trying to throw a head kick. Instead of going in for the kill, Grasso stands back and lets Esparza recover. The American shoots in for a takedown that is stuffed, and then another that is also unsuccessful. Another right hand scores for Grasso, and as Esparza drops down, Grasso tries to roll for a crucifix and then an armbar. Esparza spins out and is on top, but Grasso has not let go of the armbar attempt. The submission is tight, and Grasso rolls to her back to cinch it up. Incredibly, Esparza refuses to tap, rolling over and surviving the attempt somehow, and in the process ends up on top. Grasso is active off her back, landing strikes and trying to sweep Esparza. Grasso nails the sweep and gets to her feet, and swings hard, bloodying up the nose of Esparza. The two women trade shots, and this thrilling fight comes to an end. It's anyone's guess how the judges will see this one. In fact, during tabulation, the judges request to re-score the bout.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Grasso (28-28)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Grasso (29-28 Grasso)
Mike Sloan scores the round: 10-8 Grasso (28-28)

The Official Result

Carla Esparza def. Alexa Grasso via Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens

Round 1

We have now reached the main event, which is sure to be a thriller in the featherweight division, pitting Mexico's Rodriguez (11-2, 7-1 UFC) against the American Stephens (28-16, 15-15 UFC). Perhaps tempting fate, Stephens enters to "Till I Collapse" by Eminem. Refereeing this headliner is Herb Dean. Rodriguez starts out with a hard leg kick, and as Stephens comes in, Rodriguez swipes Stephens in the eye. The action stops, and Stephens is in serious pain and tells Dean, "He got me good." Dean takes charge and does his best to follow procedure, allowing Stephens to get the full five minutes before making a decision. After the time window expires, Stephens still cannot open his eye, and the fight is over.

What happens next is not a proud moment for the promotion. The crowd is incensed, hurling objects including bottles down on the center of the arena and striking the commentary team, cornermen and anyone else in the cage. An errant item strikes Rodriguez, who leaps to the cage outraged, and the fighters get shielded as debris rains down on the Octagon. Eventually order is restored, but Stephens is ushered out of the cage as the fans throw everything they have at him. In his post-fight interview, a fired up Rodriguez expresses regret for what happened, and hopes that he can square off against Stephens or anyone else in the division in the very near future. Historically, only one UFC bout has ever been declared a no-contest quicker than this bout: Kevin Casey against Antonio Carlos Jr. at UFC Fight Night 80 in 2015, when Casey was poked in the eye in 11 seconds and was unable to continue.

The Official Result

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens is ruled a No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke) R1 0:15
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