February 23, 2019
Prague, Czech Republic from O2 Arena
Live on ESPN 2 (11 AM ET) and ESPN + (2 PM ET)
ESPN 2 Prelims
Damir Ismagulov def. Joel Alvarez via Unanimous Decision
Rustam Khabilov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (Lightweight/155)
Round 1: Ferreira is looking to back Khabilov up early with forward pressure and hooks. Khabilov changes levels for a takedown and completes it. Ferreira is right back on his feet though. Ferreira is doing a good job of mixing up his strikes. Khabilov shoots for a double leg and completes it but Ferreira rolls with him into a sort of crucifix position. Ferreira appeared to attack the neck of Rustam Khabilov in the final seconds of the round, but the show cut to commercial break… (10-9 Ferreira)
Round 2: Khabilov connects with a short right hook to start the round. Ferreira is backing him up with jabs but he’s avoiding the big shots. Ferreira is controlling the pace of the fight but Khabilov is landing as he backs up. Khabilov shoots for a single and gets it but Ferreira pops right back to his feet. Ferreira connects with a jab and follows it up with a straight right. Khabilov changes levels and takes Ferreira down again! He just can’t seem to keep him there though as Ferreira just pops right back to his feet. (10-9 Khabilov)
Round 3: Khabilov looks for a takedown early but Ferreira shakes him. Right straight lands for Khabilov! Ferreira is keeping up the pressure though and Khabilov can’t seem to get out of the way. Front kick to the chest lands for Ferreira! Ferreira connects with a stiff jab just as Khabilov shoots for a double leg! Ferreira defends though with just under a minute left in the round. Khabilov shoot again but Ferreira easily shakes it. He shoots again and this time he gets it but Ferreira pops right back to his feet. (10-9 Ferreira) (29-28 Ferreira)
Result: Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Rustam Khabilov via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Not a bad fight to wake up for. Khabilov seemed to get stuck in a rut and he just never pulled out if it. What he was doing wasn’t working but he just kept going back to the same well. Ferreira looked better than he ever has, and he should get a step up in the future. Post-fight, Ferreira mentioned that he can hopefully afford a house now… I don’t mean to be this guy… But can you imagine an athlete saying that in any other professional, televised sport?
Michel Prazeres vs. Ismail Naurdiev (Welterweight/170)
Favorite: Michel Prazeres -375
Round 1: Prazeres grabs a leg early and he is looking to take this fight to the mat. Naurdiev is defending but Prazeres is staying on him. Prazeres lands a looping left hook and manages to avoid any of the return fire from Naurdiev. Prazeres is looking to get this fight down again but Naurdiev is staying up with some help from the fence. Prazeres completes a takedown but Naurdiev sweeps him! Naurdiev is controlling from top position. Prazeres manages to reverse the position but he isn’t able to do anything with it before the round ends. (10-9 Naurdiev)
Round 2: Prazeres looks for a takedown early but Naurdiev defends. He does secure a body lock though and he uses it to force the fight against the fence. Prazeres is really working for a takedown and he finally gets it. Naurdiev sweeps him almost immediately though he is now working from the guard of Michel Prazeres. The ref stands them up for lack of action and we are back on the feet. Prazeres forces the fight against the fence but we see another separation there due to lack of action. Both guys are clearly exhausted going into the third round. (10-9 Naurdiev)
Round 3: Prazeres forces the fight against the fence right out of the gate… we see a separation after a few moments of inaction. Prazeres shoots for a takedown but Naurdiev defends it well. Prazeres keeps pushing though and manages to get his opponent down. Prazeres is now working from half guard and looking to pass. Naurdiev works out of it though and he’s back on his feet. He lands a high kick and a couple of hooks before Prazeres takes him down again! Naurdiev winds up in the better position though and he is starting to land some hard shots from the top! Both guys are exhausted but Naurdiev is still working with half a minute left in the round. (10-9 Naurdiev) (30-27 Naurdiev)
Result: Ismail Naurdiev def. Michel Prazeres via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Not a very good fight but it was a nice debut for Naurdiev on short notice.
Damir Hadzovic vs. Polo Reyes (Lightweight/155)
Favorite: Damir Hadzovic -130
Round 1: They’re exchanging in the early part of the round. Hadzovic connects with a short-left hook and follows it up with a well-placed low kick. Reyes returns a left hook that lands, and he follows it up with a low kick of his own. Hadzovic closes the distance and forces the fight against the fence. He can’t do much with it, but he does land a left hook as they separate. Hadzovic scores with a takedown! Reyes is back on his feet but Hadzovic is staying with him. (10-9 Hadzovic)
Round 2: Hadzovic scores with a takedown to start the round. He falls right into mount with plenty of time to work. He is starting to land some strikes from the top position! Reyes is doing his best to defend himself from the strikes! He gives up his back and Hadzovic is pouring on the shots! And its all over!
Result: Damir Hadzovic def. Polo Reyes via TKO (Punches) Round 2, 2:03
Analysis: It was a very good performance for Hadzovic, especially in the second round. Reyes never seemed to get much going and it took him a long time to get up off the mat once he was stopped. Hopefully he is okay.
Gillian Robertson vs. Veronica Macedo (Flyweight/125)
Favorite: Gillian Robertson -190
Round 1: Gillian Robertson is looking to get this fight down quickly. She does just that with a takedown and from there she moves right into half guard. Macedo reverses the position but Robertson eats a few shots in order to take back the dominant position. Robertson takes the back with over two minutes left in the round. Macedo reverses the position again and this time she stands up and we are back on the feet. Macedo is looking to land a few strikes but she can’t seem to find a way to deal with the pressure. Robertson pressures her and takes the fight back down to the ground. (10-9 Robertson)
Round 2: Macedo opens up with a heavy high kick and a couple of well-placed punches. She throws another kick, but this time Robertson catches it and brings the fight to the ground. Robertson was fishing for an arm triangle but Macedo seemed to realize that and change position. Robertson is now attacking with an armbar but Macedo is defending so far. Robertson gives up the armbar and takes the mount. Macedo gives up her back in an effort to get back to her feet but Robertson takes the neck! She sinks in a rear naked choke and Macedo taps!
Result: Gillian Robertson def. Veronica Macedo via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2, 3:27
Analysis: Gillian Robertson clearly had a game plan and she did not stray from it. She only landed a few strikes in total and preferred to constantly attack with her grappling. Macedo had her moments but she made a big mistake giving up her back in such a way.
Daniel Teymur vs. Chris Fishgold (Featherweight/145)
Favorite: Chris Fishgold -230
Round 1: Fishgold shoots right as the fight starts. He would have scored a takedown but Teymur grabbed the fence. Herb Dean stopped the fight and took a point from Teymur for the grab… No games tonight. Back to the action and Fishgold scores with a body lock takedown. Fishgold attacks with a guillotine but Teymur pulls out of it. Fishgold scores with a takedown and takes the back in the process. Teymur shakes him though and he is now in top side control position. Teymur is landing some big shots on the ground. Fishgold is looking to create some space, likely so that he can get a base but Teymur is sticking to him and peppering him with shots. Fishgold is starting to show signs of fatigue. Fishgold drops for a takedown and completes it with just under a minute left in the round. He’s looking to take the back but takes the mount instead. Fishgold attacks with an armbar in the final seconds! Its fully extended but Teymur pops out of it! That was a close one. The round ends with Fishgold on Teymur’s back. (10-8 Fishgold) That lost point for Teymur is really going to hurt.
Round 2: Fishgold completes a takedown to start the round. He is in half guard and appears to be working towards an arm triangle. Teymur rolls though and gives up his back! Fishgold sinks in a tight rear naked choke and Teymur taps!
Result: Chris Fishgold def. Daniel Teymur via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2, 1:10
Analysis: Chris Fishgold appeared to run into some fatigue issues during the fight, but he still managed to get things done. As for Teymur, he has his moments, but it was clear that his only chance to win would be on the feet and he just couldn’t keep the fight there.
Dwight Clark vs. Carlo Pedersoli (Welterweight/170)
Favorite: Carlo Pedersoli -165
Round 1: Grant lands a left hand to start the fight. Pedersoli tries taking the fight to the ground but Clark defends it. Pedersoli shoots for a single leg but can’t get it. Pedersoli connects with a clean left hand and then a right hook! Pedersoli shoots for a takedown but Clark sprawls. Pedersoli ends up with his back but they separate before he can do anything with it. Overhand left lands for Pedersoli. He follows it up with several hard knees. Pedersoli throws a high kick but misses and Grant cracks him with a huge right hand! Pedersoli is down and Clark is looking for the finish and this fight is over! Wow! Dwight Clark seemed to be sleeping through out the entire first round and then BAM! Carlo Pedersoli was upset with the stoppage, but the replay showed that he got leveled.
Result: Dwight Clark def. Carlo Pedersoli via KO (Punches) Round 1, 4:59
Analysis: It was a slow fight for Clark until he landed that big punch. Pedersoli just never saw the punch coming. He kept throwing that high kick and Clark eventually timed it correctly.
ESPN+ Main Card
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Klidson Abreu (Light-heavyweight/205)
Favorite: Magomed Ankalaev -235
Round 1: Abreu connects with a short-left hand early in the round. Abreu moves in for a takedown but eats an absolutely devastating uppercut from Ankalaev! He survives but his nose is definitely broken. It’s pointing in a totally different direction than it was before… Ankalaev takes the fight down and he is now working from top half guard. Ankalaev landed a few strikes in the final moments of the round but he mostly just controlled Abreu. (10-9 Ankalaev)
Round 2: Abreu eats an uppercut to start the round. They briefly clinch and Abreu eats a knee as they separate. Abreu attacks the body with a jab. Slow round… Ankalaev seems content to counter and its been effective so far. Abreu seems a bit hesitant to throw and when he does, he usually gets countered. Abreu changes levels and secures a body lock. Its Ankalaev though that competes a takedown and he is now working from Abreu’s guard. (10-9 Ankalaev)
Round 3: Abreu eats a left hand to land one. He goes to the body with a hook. Ankalaev forces the fight against the fence and lands a hard elbow over the top! He grabs a leg for a takedown, but Abreu defends it. The ref just stepped in for a separation. They trade a few strikes in the final seconds of the round. (10-9 Ankalaev)
Result: Magomed Ankalaev def. Klidson Abreu via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Not my kind of fight but it was an effective performance by Ankalaev, and he has now won two straight fights. Klidson Abreu suffered a broken nose early in the fight but aside from that he put on a valiant performance on short notice.
John Dodson vs. Petr Yan (Bantamweight/135)
Favorite: Petr Yan -270
Round 1: They are exchanging early! Yan attacks with some big shots! Dodson is covering up and he manages to avoid most of the big ones. Dodson needs to take this fight down or really just do anything aside from box with Yan. They clinch and Yan lands a big left hand as they separate. Yan connects with another big left hand. He’s controlling the center and Dodson can’t find any room against the fence. He does connect with a quick left hook in the final seconds of the round though. Dodson is trying to use his movement, but Yan is cutting him off and landing some big shots. (10-9 Yan)
Round 2: Dodson tries to secure a clinch early, but Yan shakes him off. Right straight lands for Yan but Dodson eats it and grabs a single. Yan shakes it though. Dodson rushes forward with a right hook and an uppercut to the body. Yan returns a straight right. Dodson connects with a big left hand and Yan is down! Wow! Dodson moves in for the kill, but Yan is defending himself! Yan is up and they are trading! Yan returns a strong combination ending with a hard-right hand. Yan connects with another hard-left hand! Dodson is not using nearly as much movement as we are used to seeing. Yan connects with a left hand to the body. Yan is starting to land lots of shots here and Dodson is mostly just covering up! Dodson secures an under hook to buy himself some time, but he eats a knee in the final seconds of the round anyway. (10-9 Yan) Petr Yan is looking like a very real title challenger right now. His boxing is very good, and we are now seeing it against a high-level opponent. Dodson showed in this round though that he absolutely still how power.
Round 3: Petr Yan is doing an incredible job of making John Dodson look slow. Dodson is allowing Yan to control him with pressure. Big straight right lands for Yan. Dodson returns a couple of his own. Yan jumps for a flying knee and Dodson barely avoids it! Dodson briefly takes the fight down, but Yan gets back to his feet and secures a body lock against the fence. Dodson escapes but Yan is staying on him. Dodson drops for a takedown but Yan sprawls and takes his back. Dodson briefly gets up, but Yan slams him back down with a body lock takedown… Just an absolutely dominant performance for Petr Yan. It wasn’t even close. (10-9 Yan) (30-27 Yan)
Result: Petr Yan def. John Dodson via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Petr Yan battered John Dodson from start to finish. Yan was quicker, more technical, and more powerful and that’s usually all that you need. Yan is absolutely a contender going forward and I would love to see him fight TJ Dillashaw. Bantamweight has a very exciting contender in Marlon Moraes, Henry Cejudo is always lurking, and now Petr Yan isn’t far behind.
Liz Carmouche vs. Lucie Pudilova (Bantamweight/135)
Favorite: Liz Carmouche -140
Round 1: Carmouche closes the distance early and forces the fight against the cage. She is looking for a takedown but Pudilova is making her pay with some elbows. Liz Carmouche is bleeding everywhere… must be from one of these elbows. Carmouche is just maintaining position against the fence and killing time. Pudilova is on her feet and she has her opponents’ neck but she’s going to run out of time. (10-9 Carmouche) I guess… weird round though. Carmouche didn’t really do much aside from that takedown and she was busted open badly. She mostly just maintained her position against the fence.
Round 2: Pudilova is opening up to start the round. She is targeting the lead leg of Liz Carmouche. Carmouche connects with a grazing front kick to the body. You have to assume that Carmouche wants to get this fight down, but she hasn’t tried so far in this round. Carmouche moves in for a takedown and completes it! Pudilova has the neck but Carmouche escapes and moves into mount. Pudilova reverses the position though and she is now working from top position. (10-9 Pudilova) Very close and competitive round. I would have scored it for Carmouche until that final reversal by Pudilova. We are probably even going into the final frame.
Round 3: Liz Carmouche lands with a front kick and a right hook to start the round. Pudilova is throwing some big high kicks but Carmouche is doing a great job of avoiding them and then moving inside. Pudilova has shown a lot of out put but not much accuracy. Carmouche has a leg and she takes her opponent down with two minutes left in the round. She moves into side control and she is threatening with a kimura! She has the arm isolated but Pudilova is aware of it. Pudilova recovers a half guard. Carmouche drops back for a heel hook but Pudilova escapes and takes top control. Pudilova lands some big hammer fists to end the round! I don’t think it will be enough though. Carmouche should get the win here. (10-9 Carmouche) (29-28 Carmouche)
Result: Liz Carmouche def. Lucie Pudilova via Split Decision
Analysis: Well there was nothing Split about it… Not sure who would have scored that fight for Pudilova but what can you do? You know what you get with Liz Carmouche. She is a solid vet, and a grinder and that’s what she did tonight. Its been a rough night of fights so far but the home stretch should provide some quality entertainment.
Gian Villante vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (Light-heavyweight/205)
Favorite: Michal Oleksiejczuk -190
Round 1: They’re exchanging early. Oleksiejczuk is pressuring and keeping Villante on his heels. Oleksiejczuk lands a nice right hand. They’re circling and Oleksiejczuk moves in and lands a big left hand to the body and Villante is down! This fight is over! Wow! What a shot by Michal Oleksiejczuk in his return to the octagon!
Result: Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gian Villante via TKO (Punch to body) Round 1, 1:34
Analysis: The fight started slowly but once Oleksiejczuk connected it was over. Villante had a bit of a delayed reaction but after a moment you could see the pain on his face. Good stoppage for the polish prospect.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Stefan Struve
Favorite: Marcos Rogerio de Lima -190
Round 1: De Lima lands a big right hand right out of the gate and puts Struve down! Struve recovers guard but de Lima quickly passes into half. Struve has been looking for an under hook for quite some time now. The ref is giving both guys plenty of time to work. Struve recovers guard but de Lima is landing some big shots to the head and body. De Lima has out landed Struve 44-0 up to this point in the fight. They’ve mostly been short shots on the ground but still this is heavyweight. De Lima has completely controlled Struve and he’s softened him up quite a bit as well. De Lima moves into mount with thirty seconds left in the round. Struve will hold on and survive… (10-8 de Lima)
Round 2: de Lima moves in with some heavy strikes to kick things off. Struve avoids the big shots and trips de Lima down to the mat. Struve is looking to break the half guard to pass into side control. De Lima won’t allow it though, so Struve has attempted an arm-triangle from half guard and de Lima taps! What a comeback by Struve!
Result: Stefan Struve def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) Round 2, 2:02
Analysis: Stefan Struve weathered an early storm but came back and earned what may end up being the final victory of his career. Struve announced post fight that he has enjoyed his career but that he intends to retire. A bit of an unexpected development there but if Struve does in fact retire he will surely be remembered for what he has done through out his career.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Thiago Santos (Light-heavyweight/205)
Round 1: Blachowicz connects with a nice jab to start the round. Both guys are looking to connect with kicks to the body but so far, no dice. Low kick lands for Blachowicz and he follows it up with a well-placed kick to the body. Hard low kick lands for Santos. He certainly is the more powerful of the two fighters. Santos lands a nice 1-2! Blachowicz is taking a very measured approach to this fight, he’s not taking ask risks. Santos connects with a big left hook! Blachowicz catches a kick and he’s looking to get this fight down. Santos spins off the cage though and lands a big left hand. (10-9 Santos)
Round 2: Santos is opening up early. Blachowicz lands a hard kick to the body but Santos fires off several shots in response. We are seeing good defense by Blachowicz but not a lot of offense. He is allowing Santos to dictate the fight. Blachowicz connects with a kick to the body. Santos throws a cartwheel kick to end the round and nearly connects. Santos is the aggressor through two rounds but considering how inactive Blachowicz has been you have to wonder if its all part of his plan. Can Santos stay aggressive for five rounds? (10-9 Santos)
Round 3: Santos opens up the round with a low kick. Blachowicz charges forward with a flurry and he eats a left and then a right hook from Thiago Santos! Blachowicz is down and Santos is nailing him with hammer fists! This fight is over! Wow! Thiago Santos might just be the number one contender for the light-heavyweight championship.
Result: Thiago Santos def. Jan Blachowicz via KO (Punches) Round 3, 0:39
Analysis: That finishing sequence was epic… Blachowicz rushed in and ate some serious leather for his efforts. How weird is it that the two top contenders at light-heavyweight were ranked in the bottom half of the top 15 at middleweight just a year or so ago? I don’t even know if Smith was ranked… Just crazy how this sport can change.
Thanks for joining us for coverage of UFC Fight Night Blachowicz vs. Santos and as always come back throughout the week for follow up coverage, thoughts and opinions as we process the fallout. Also remember that Bellator 217 is tonight and live on DAZN.