Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results and play by play as the UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Saint Preux preliminary card transpires from the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. The four-fight undercard begins at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 and will lead in to the main card, which is headlined by Ryan Bader vs. Ovince St. Preux and goes live on Fox Sports 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The preliminary card's featured bout is a flyweight clash with potential title ramifications as Jussier Formiga meets the resurgent Zach Makovsky. Also slated: fresh off an unsuccessful title bid, Olympian Sara McMann draws UFC newcomer Lauren Murphy, middleweights Sam Alvey vs. Tom Watson and debutantes Frankie Saenz vs. Nolan Ticman.
Feel free to peruse this week's Vivisection with predictions and analysis for the entire lineup.
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET)
Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
R1: Makovsky throws a straight kick but it's countered by a Formiga flurry. The Brazilian's high kick misses but he explodes for a takedown and teleports into back control. Makovsky tries to shake him off and even somersaults to escape but Formiga's glued on and goes for a ride with him. Makovsky starts to spin out but Formiga threatens with an armbar -- Makovsky patiently works out and falls into Formiga's guard. Formiga gets enough room to stand.
Makovsky with a few probing jabs, looking to set up his left cross. Side-stepping salvo of lefts from Makovsky. Formiga ducks under Makovsky's left and finishes a body lock takedown. Formiga in a high half guard, punching to set up his pass attempt. Makovsky stays calm and almost regains full guard but Formiga flattens him out. Formiga postures up but can only manage an elbow and a few sporadic punches in the last half minute. 10-9 Formiga.
R2: Left body kick from Makovsky. They both exchange with neither differentiating themselves. Makovsky snatches a single and finishes it but Formiga scrambles right back up to his feet. Short right lands for Formiga but Makovsky answers with a harder left. Formiga can't time his takedown attempt but he is able to vanish and reappear in back control. Formiga gets one hook in and hangs out on Makovsky's back, then slips in the second.
Formiga goes two-on-one to drive Makovsky to the canvas, then he cinches on the body triangle and rolls Makovsky on top of him. Formiga with a few punches from back control as Makovsky seeks an escape route. Formiga with a chop to the ribs betwixt punches to the face. Formiga closes the frame in back control. 10-9 Formiga.
R3: Makovsky bobs under and fires an uppercut, then steps back and loosens a one-two. Side-stepping left grazes to the body for Makovsky, who's upping his striking output. Formiga connects in pursuit of the body lock and Makovsky reverses at the last moment to fall into top position. Short left elbow lands for Makovsky, who then dives into Formiga's guard with a big left. Left to the body for Makovsky but he can't pass Formiga's guard.
Makovsky dives into Formiga's full guard with two minutes left, going to the body and head. More head shots from Makovsky, who's putting in work this round. Makovsky allows Formiga to get wrist control and then swivels an elbow down to the head. Formiga blocks the next few attacks. Makovsky tries to stack but can't mount anything monumental in the closing seconds. 10-9 Makovsky -- I have it 29-28 Formiga.
- Jussier Formiga defeats Zach Makovsky by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
R1: McMann throws a quick combo and then shoots, switching to a powerful single to inish. Murphy surprisingly tees off on McMann's head with a volley of elbows -- McMann doesn't posture up to avoid trouble and keeps her position despite the striking barrage. Two minutes in, McMann sits up and throws a quick combo but buries her head back in Murphy's chest.
McMann, having put Murphy's head on the cage, lands a short right elbow. Then a short left elbow. McMann goes body/head, finally starting to increase her output. McMann focuses on control for another spell and Murphy lands more strikes off her back. Two short elbows from Murphy and the third is interrupted by a McMann punch. 10-9 Murphy: she clearly outstruck McMann from her back.
R2: Murphy gets off first with a punch that gets through. They exchange briefly and McMann changes levels and hits a double leg just over a minute in. McMann starts off more aggressive with wrist control and posturing up for some meaningful punches. Murphy catches her with a short but hard elbow to answer back.
McMann gets to half guard and looks to pass further, which stifles Murphy's ability to strike. Two hard rights to the face land for McMann as Murphy's corner complains about "back of the head" strikes. Murphy recomposes her guard and the ref stands them up with a minute left. McMann closes her combo with a glancing low kick and shoots, but Murphy retracts her hips and stays upright. McMann keeps her on the fence with a body lock and throws knees downstairs, then hits the takedown with 25 seconds left. McMann lands in side control, which enables Murphy to get off a few elbows before the horn. 10-9 McMann.
R3: McMann is willing to stand up to start the final frame but neither combatant can make a statement. McMann slips a straight right through. McMann shoots and keeps working on a takedown but Murphy is feisty against the fence and breaks free. Murphy lands a jab but McMann hits a duck-under takedown, and gets it this time.
McMann can't do anything with it and Murphy gets the kimura grip to break the waist lock, then lands a long series of short downward elbows to the temple of the turtled McMann, who's still forcing a single. Murphy goes two-on-one to wrench the kimura and McMann elevates her with the single, and they separate after Murphy defends. 10-9 Murphy for the higher volume of more effective striking. I have it 29-28 her way.
- Sara McMann defeats Lauren Murphy by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x 2)
R1: Watson immediately walks Alvey into a corner and loos to form up combinations. Inside low kick from Watson but his follow-up high kick is blocked. Watson using a wide range of kicks from outside and firing them off at an exhausting rate. Alvey finally backs him off with a combo 90 seconds in but Watson's gets right back in his face. Alvey attacks with a hard combo two minutes in and then clubs Watson with a right hook while moving forward.
Watson resets and continues his kicking assault, peppering Alvey with low kicks and sprinkling in the occasional high kick. Alvey leads with an uppercut it looks to sit Watson down. Alvey flurries but Watson works back to his feet and plugs a nasty left to Alvey's liver. Watson just misses with an elbow on the clinch break. Alvey keeps finding himself cornered from the ongoing stream of low kicks and can only manage a shot or two to set up his circling, and Watson plugs him with a stiff right to close the frame. 10-9 Watson.
R2: Watson opens with five straight kicks. Make it seven. Alvey throws his first legit combo 40 seconds in. Watson stays on the trigger and put Alvey on the fence but Alvey circles off and pressures with punches. Watson resets and dings Alvey in response. Watson stalks Alvey behind a wall of front, low and high kicks. Linear kick to the knee from Watson, who's landing to Alvey's legs at will.
Watson changes levels to counter Alvey's incoming combo and it stops his forward momentum. Watson stays after him and swings a sharp elbow that connects and may have wobbled Alvey. After a neutral clinch, Watson steps back and connects with three consecutive kicks. More kicks from Watson until Alvey bursts forward with both hands blazing, landing his fair share as Watson retreats. The surge is ephemeral and Watson goes back to work. 10-9 Watson (would've gone 10-8 were it not for Alvey's late flurry).
R3: Watson rattles off a half-dozen kicks until Alvey times his charging barrage much better and clips Watson with a short right. Watson goes rubber legs and Alvey empties the clip in an attempt to finish. Watson is clearly out of sorts under the torrent of Alvey's punches but he manages to endure it and clinch up. When they separate, Alvey starts slow but finds the strength to hurl a few more heavy shots that find the mark.
Watson loosens a quick combo with two minutes left and it's his first in a while. Watson seems to have recovered but Alvey sneaks in a kick that lands to the face. Alvey sidesteps Watson's advance and lands a right hook. Alvey telegraphs a knee and Watson times a counter-takedown that Alvey negates with an underhook. 10-8 Alvey for the dramatic outburst and near finish. I have it a draw at 29-29.
- Tom Watson defeats Sam Alvey by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Frankie Saenz vs. Nolan Ticman
R1: Sorry, technical difficulties for the first round.
R2: Saenz shrinks the gap and gets a takedown but Ticman is back up quickly. Inside low kick is there for Saenz, who stays on the hunt and throws a flying knee. Ticman seems to block it and fights for underhooks against the cage. Saenz heaves an uppercut elbow in the clinch and can't take Ticman down despite sneaking into the rear waist cinch briefly. Saenz throws a wild combo and loses his footing, allowing Ticman to gather himself and land a few straights. Saenz blitzes with another outburst of leather and cleaves Ticman with a hard elbow that might've stunned him. 10-9 Saenz.
R3: Saenz sustains his frenzied pressure with aggressive punching combos while charging forward. He corners Ticman and swarms him in the clinch but can't fully secure a takedown. Saenz wisely steps back and heaves another nasty elbow that looks to land clean. Ticman's takedown defense is sound but he's relegated to pure defense.
Saenz keeps pursuing a body lock and then transitioning to the rear waist lock or disconnecting to throw heavy punches/elbows. Ticman works to get some space but Saenz charges him and throws a flying knee, this time seemingly landing it to the body. 10-8 Saenz.
- Frankie Saenz defeats Nolan Ticman by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)