Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results and detailed play-by-play as UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant takes place from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the first of three UFC shows in as many days, culminating in Saturday night’s huge UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor pay-per-view at the MGM Grand.
On tonight’s main card, top strawweight prospects Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant compete in the five-round main event. It’s the first time a non-title women’s MMA bout has headlined a UFC show. The co-main sees veteran Jim Miller take on TUF 15 lightweight winner Michael Chiesa. Rounding out the main card is 19-year-old lightweight sensation Sage Northcutt against Cody Pfister, while TUF Nations middleweight champion Elias Theodorou battles Brazil’s Thiago Santos.
More coverage: UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant live results, play-by-play, highlights, and analysis
Live results and play-by-play (by Dallas Winston) will commence with the preliminary card, which starts at 6:45 PM ET/3:45 PM PT. The main card then kicks off, also on Fight Pass, at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for analysis and fight picks on the entire card.
Fight Pass main card (10 PM ET)
Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant
R1: Namajunas cracks her early with a right down the middle. Another sharp counter pivot to set up a blistering right that slices through VanZant’s guard. Now Namajunas hits a takedown, passing quickly to side mount, then north-south. Namajunas lands a pair of nasty elbows before VanZant can escape back to her feet. Make it a third right hand that snaps VanZant’s head back. Now four and counting, and VanZant is bloodied up.
They clinch up with both fighters attempting a throw but Namajunas transitions to back control. One hook in for “Thug Rose” and she’s working on the second. VanZant goes two-on-one to prevent the check and stays slippery enough to shake Namajunas off her back. VanZant gets to her feet but Namajunas takes her back down. Glancing up-kick lands for VanZant before Namajunas dives back into her guard. Namajunas punches her way into half guard. VanZant wearing a crimson mask. 10-8 Namajunas.
R2: Counter low kick lands for Namajunas followed by a sharp one-two. VanZant clinches up in pursuit of a throw but Namajunas is prepared with an underhook. Namajunas uses it to hit a whizzer throw, then quickly transitions to back mount. VanZant scrambles free but Namajunas keeps her down, moving to side mount. VanZant gets half guard though Namajunas is keeping leather in her face throughout these transitions.
VanZant gets back to her feet but Namajunas keeps her sandwiched on the fence. Head-and-arm throw finally comes through for VanZant but Namajunas amazingly reverses position immediately and again flows into back control. No hooks for Namajunas allows VanZant to stand and eventually separate. VanZant, looking like she’s out of options, clinches up and tries a lateral drop but it’s Namajunas, refusing to be taken down, who ends up on top. 10-9 Namajunas.
R3: VanZant vaults out her corner with something resembling a kick and Namajunas capitalizes on the bull-rush by changing levels and hitting an easy takedown. Namajunas lands in half guard and throws knees to the ribs. VanZant forces a scramble and hits a nice counter single; they separate in the scramble. VanZant manages to land a two-punch combo but whiffs on a spinning back fist.
Namajunas sails an overhand right through VanZant’s guard. VanZant forces a clinch but Namajunas steers her on the fence with an underhook. Another forced throw attempt from VanZant leads to Namajunas landing in top position. VanZant tries to power sweep Namajunas to no avail. VanZant rolls onto one hip and Namajunas again glides into back control. VanZant stands up and Namajunas jumps to back mount with both hooks in, jerking VanZant to the canvas while fishing for a rear-naked choke with both hooks in. 10-8 Namajunas.
R4: VanZant initiates another clinch only to be taken down by Namajunas, who’s putting on nearly a flawless display. VanZant rolls onto on hip and this time Namajunas postures up to isolate an arm with the kimura grip. Namajunas falls back, perhaps looking to switch to a straight armbar, and VanZant, showing a big heart, fights her way out of it. Unfortunately for her, she’s turtled with Namajunas in the half back-ride.
VanZant stands and looks to break the grip on Namajunas’s rear waist cinch. Namajunas peels her away from the fence and VanZant tries a somersault escape but ends up giving up her back. She continues to roll and Namajunas isolates an arm and falls back into an armbar. VanZant perseveres through an odd-angled arm to roll into Namajunas and break the hold, getting in top position for the first time. The victory is ephemeral as Namajunas quickly reverses her. VanZant stands up and breaks the rear waist lock but can’t shake Namajunas. They separate with a few seconds left and Namajunas takes her down again. 10-8 Namajunas.
R5: VanZant attacks valiantly but Namajunas gets in on a single, then switches to a body lock to complete the takedown. Half guard for Namajunas, cradling a leg and looking for back mount but VanZant flattens herself out to regain half guard. VanZant is staying busy with escape attempts but Namajunas has an answer for everything. She takes back control and this time is able to cinch on a rear-naked choke and force VanZant to cry uncle.
- Rose Namajunas defeats Paige VanZant by submission (rear-naked choke) R5 2:25
Michael Chiesa vs. Jim Miller
R1: Miller is the first to land clean with a counter left cross. Now Miller lands a short counter right and it prompts Chiesa to clinch up and take Miller down from the body lock. Cross-face in half guard for Chiesa with a strong, wide base. Miller tries to shrimp but Chiesa lands an elbow to the face.
Miller gets a butterfly hook and uses it to elevate Chiesa, then rolls into a leg lock. Chiesa defends but loses position and Miller goes to work from on top. Chiesa stays busy and goes for an inverted armbar but Miller moves to back control after slipping out of danger. Miller applies the body triangle and hunts for the choke, then alternates between choke attempts and short strikes. 10-9 Miller.
R2: Miller lands an inside low kick, then a hard left cross down the middle. Miller gets a heavy trigger finger and loosens a volley of punches, but it’s too many as Chiesa hits an easy duck-under double leg. Sharp elbow from Chiesa on top. It’s answered by a Miller pressure-release elbow from the bottom. Chiesa, dripping blood now from the elbow, passes to half guard, still digging his forearm into Miller’s face and throat.
Miller creates space and transitions into a kneebar, rolling into it with Chiesa following suit. In a shocking transition, Chiesa is able to take a knee, break the submission via punches to the head, then take Miller’s back. A few more punches enable him to lace up the mata leao and Miller taps.
- Michael Chiesa defeats Jim Miller by submission (rear-naked choke) R2 2:57
Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister
R1: They touch up and Pfister immediately shrinks the gap and takes Northcutt down. Northcutt gets strong posture control with a closed guard to prevent any offense from Pfister. Pfister can’t even free his arms from Northcutt’s double underhooks but he does manage a pass to half guard. Now a short left elbow to the head from Pfister. Northcutt rolls onto his right hip and goes to the knee shield, then regains full guard.
Pfister passes to half and Northcutt again goes knee shield to full guard. They’re stood up at 1:45 and Northcutt immediately puts Pfister on his back with a double. Pfister controls both arms with underhooks but Northcutt passes to half guard. Northcutt lands an elbow and jumps into arm triangle position. Pfister throws rights to the body, prompting Northcutt to posture up and lands a few hammer-fists. 10-9 Northcutt.
R2: Pfister sails a left at Northcutt, who ducks under it and takes Pfister down. Pfister turtles and Northcutt goes to the front headlock, then drops back for a sacrifice guillotine. Pfister taps.
- Sage Northcutt defeats Cody Pfister by submission (guillotine) R2 0:41
R1: ***Sorry ladies and gentlemen, but my stream keeps shutting off with a “Sorry, the UFC server isn’t available right now” error message*** The stream returns with just over a minute left and with Theodorou throwing an alternating leg double roundhouse kick. Santos attacks with a wheel kick and a low kick, the latter finding the mark inside. Theodorou forces a clinch and then lands two short uppercuts from the single collar tie on the clinch break. No score due to lack of stream for first half of round.
R2: Theodorou throws a variety of kicks but it’s the low kick of Santos that snaps home. Theodorou pushes him on the fence in pursuit of a body lock but Santos cracks him with an elbow. Theodorou, apparently undaunted, presses on and finishes a takedown. Santos gets back to his feet but eats a knee to the grill in the process, and can’t escape the clutches of Theodorou.
Theodorou switches to a single leg, then a double leg and Santos spikes a series of elbows into his head and shoulders. Santos with a short knee and … the stream cuts out again.
- Thiago Santos defeats Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)
Fight Pass preliminary card (6:45 PM ET)
R1: Means walks Howard down and keeps him centered in his cross-hairs. Means pops him with a straight left and Howard gets in on his waist and hoists him up, and Means hooks his arm over the top of the cage, for which he’s warned. Howard gets him down regardless but can’t keep him there. They trade hard inside low kicks. Howard peels off a tight combo and Means slips inside with a counter knee to the body.
Howard chases Means down and manages to land a pair of wide, sweeping hooks as Means is evading. Inside low kick lands for Howard as Means glances with a one-two. Howard lands another inside low kick, then wraps up Means’ hips and takes him down. Means gets to a knee but Howard picks the ankle to re-ground him. Means gets up and, from the body lock, Howard hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Means pops back up and bores a right into the body of Howard. Means glances with a question-mark kick and Howard forces a clinch as the round ends. 10-9 Means.
R2: Means just misses with a step-in elbow but pivots, plants and drills Howard with a clean left hook. Howard goes stiff and goes down.
- Tim Means defeats John Howard by KO (left hook) R2 0:21
Omari Akhmedov vs. Sergio Moraes
R1: Akhmedov lands a hard outside low kick, then glances with a spinning back fist, which draws a reaction from the crowd and Moraes. Akhmedov heaves a right high kick that Moraes blocks. Moraes vaults forward with a jump knee to and it looks to land upstairs. Moraes counters Akhmedov’s combo with a clubbing overhand right.
They both connect with punches in the following exchange. Counter right lands for Akhmedov, then a body kick. They both collide with their hands flashing and Akhmedov’s combo sits Moraes down. Moraes lays on his back and Akhmedov lets him back up. Moraes shoots but Akhmedov stuffs it. Moraes’ face is bloodied up but he does lands a wide counter right. 10-9 Akhmedov.
R2: Switch left kick from Akhmedov slams into the body of Moraes, who lobs another overhand right for a glancing blow. Short left hook lands for Akhmedov, then a hard jab to counter a Moraes kick. Another jumping knee attempt from Moraes but it’s dodged by Akhmedov.
Akhmedov chops away at the leg of Moraes with an outside low kick. Moraes struggling to find his range amidst the circling and fast striking of Akhmedov. Akhmedov ducks under a Moraes combo and hits a takedown. Moraes cinches on a guillotine but he’s out of time. 10-9 Akhmedov.
R3: Moraes intensifies his aggression but is still reduced to knifing into range and throwing wide rights and lefts. There’s not much cooking action-wise here. Moraes choosing between hopping into the pocket with wide loopers or chucking an overhand meatball. Lightning strikes for Moraes when he fires his first straight punch of the fight, and it finds Akhmedov’s chin. Akhmedov’s legs buckle and Moraes swarms with strikes to earn a comeback stoppage.
- Sergio Moraes defeats Omari Akhmedov by TKO (strikes) R3 2:18
R1: Carlos Junior opens with a pair of rear-leg front kicks and fires a counter, but the action is halted when Casey retreats with an injured eye. The replay shows a finger from Carlos Junior’s outstretched arm being buried in Casey’s eyeball. Casey says he can’t see and the fight is waved off.
- Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey is ruled a No Contest (accidental eye-poke)
R1: Sterling, changing stances and feinting with level changes, pulls back on a spinning kick. Eduardo loosening quick punch whenever Sterling closes the gap. Glancing inside low kick lands for Sterling after his high kick is blocked. Eduardo answers with a chopping inside low kick. Sterling wings a left switch kick and lands a blast double leg.
Sterling stabilizes on top and keeps Eduardo’s head on the cage, then passes to half guard. Eduardo squirms himself parallel to the fence and Sterling gives him a hard cross-face. Now Sterling postures up and lands short left hooks, then bases back down with a right hand. Eduardo shrimps to make space and stands back up as the horn sounds. 10-9 Sterling.
R2: Sterling continues to switch stances, fake with level changes and fling kicks while circling out in wide angles. Eduardo firing single punches and kicks but he’s one-and-done and yet to land. Sterling’s outside low kick is half-checked. Eduardo’s right high kick is blocked with a thud.
Sterling triples up on left front kicks to the body and the last two get through. Eduardo responds with a kick of his own but Sterling’s movement and defense is on point. Sterling waits for Eduardo’s next combo, ducking under it to hit another takedown. Vicious right elbows to the face from Sterling in Eduardo’s closed guard. Eduardo angles for an armbar but Sterling defends well and backs out. Eduardo postures up into the open space and Sterling pounces on his neck with a topside guillotine. Eduardo taps.
- Aljamain Sterling defeats Johnny Eduardo by submission (guillotine) R2 4:18
R1: Inside low kick lands for Stahl. And another to Ponzinibbio’s lead leg. Stahl executes a beautiful level change and takes Ponzinibbio down but Ponzinibbio is back on his feet and whirring compact combos in a flash. Stahl gets some distance to avoid the heaters and then hits another takedown. Ponzinibbio pops back up and sticks a sharp jab in Stahl’s mouth.
Another stiff jab snaps through for Ponzinibbio, who follows a double jab with a crisp right. Ponzinibbio is now walking Stahl down and assailing him with tightly-thrown boxing combinations, all set up by the snapping jab. More jabs bounce off the bloodied nose of Andreas Stahl. Ponzinibbio corners him and peels off a nasty one-two that crumples him.
- Santiago Ponzinibbio defeats Andreas Stahl by TKO (punches) R1 4:25
Nathan Coy vs. Danny Roberts
R1: Roberts lands an outside low kick. Coy leads with an uppercut, then glances with a counter hook. Roberts wings a step-in left and lands it; Coy counters with a left downstairs as they separate. Another outside low kick lands for Roberts. Coy counters the next attempt with a glancing one-two, then counters the next by attacking Roberts hips as he’s coming in and completing the takedown.
Roberts is feisty off his back, landing effective hammer-fists to keep Coy at bay and then slinging a leg over the shoulder to lock on a triangle. When Roberts also starts to tweak the trapped arm, Coy is forced to tap.
- Danny Roberts defeats Nathan Coy by technical submission (triangle/armbar) R1 2:46
R1: Nover spaces out five consecutive left high kicks from range over the first minute. Tukhugov lunges in with a combo and glances to the body. Nover is still flinging left high kicks from range though he’s yet to connect. Tukhugov has a right high kick blocked. Front-leg hook kick attempt from Nover, who lands a check hook on Tukhugov’s rushing combo. Nover glances with the left high kick, then lands a left body kick to counter Tukhugov’s flurry.
Nover sidesteps Tukhugov’s spinning kick. Tukhugov caches Nover’s next body kick and sweeps out his support leg. Nover gets back up quickly but Tukhugov catches another kick and off-balances him to the floor. He has enough room to stand up and Tukhugov lands lightly on a tight and fast combo. 10-10.
R2: Now it’s Tukhugov who leads with a left high kick. And two more; all are blocked. Nover lands a left body kick as Tukhugov’s coming in but Tukhugov answers with a sharp punch on the next exchange. Tukhugov, head hunting, grazes with a scorching right hand. Lunging left hooks are leading many of Tukhugov’s combos and he’s starting to sight it in. Nover lands another hard left kick to the ribs.
Tukhugov has a spinning heel kick half-blocked by the retreating Nover. Tukhugov sets up a clipping right hand with an inside low kick and Nover loses his footing. Nover back to his feet but he eats an uppercut in the struggle to escape. They both land in successive exchanges. Nover chops to the body with another left kick. Lead left hook is on the mark again for Tukhugov. 10-9 Tukhugov.
R3: Tukhugov’s left hook is waiting for Nover on his initial body kick attempt and it lands square. Nover is switching stances and throwing angles but generally throwing nothing but periodic kicks. Until now, as Tukhugov ducks right into a hard left kick. Tukhugov takes it like a champ and puts Nover on his back. Nover eventually escapes to his feet unscathed.
Nover lands another left body kick but Tukhugov catches it and lands a few punches. Nover shoots but only succeeds in putting Tukhugov on the fence. Tukhugov circles off. Glancing left body kick from Nover. Tukhugov ups his forward movement and heaves power shots though neither closes with a statement. 10-9 Nover. I have it a 29-29 draw.
- Zubaira Tukhugov defeats Phillipe Nover by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
R1: Kagan comes out swinging an aggressive volley of wide rights and lefts, then puts Curran on the fence with a clinch entry and underhook. Kagan looks for a body-lock throw but Curran denies it, then Curran hits a nice counter hip throw when Kagan tries to force another clinch. They’re back on the feet after a scramble and Kagan persists with effecting control with the body lock.
Not a ton of offense from Kagan until she completes an outside trip; Curran pops back up but is still pinned on the fence. Kagan with strong and ongoing clinch control but no strikes being thrown. Curran manages to separate and ding Kagan with a sharp combination and it sends her reeling backwards. Kagan secures a defensive clinch to slow the action, then hits a takedown in the waning seconds of the round. 10-9 Curran for registering the most effective offense with the striking outburst.
R2: Kagan follows a stiff jab into the clinch but Curran ops her with an uppercut before circling off the fence. Kagan wades forward, landing a decent combo, but Curran cuts another angle and puts Kagan on the fence. Glancing knee to the head from Curran. Kagan separates and again heaves wide hooks with both hands. By sheer volume and aggression, she half-lands or glances on a good amount of shots as Curran is forced to defend the barrage.
Curran breaks the momentum with a sharp right upstairs. Kagan lands a rear-leg front kick from range and continues to mix in a front-leg side kick. They tie up and Kagan loses control on a trip attempt, allowing Curran to take back control. She sinks both hooks in and threads her arm around Kagan’s neck to lace on the rear-naked choke. Kagan taps.
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