Take a look back at the key moments on the main card — sans main event — from UFC Norfolk, including big first-round finishes from Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson, and a controversial referee stoppage.
Women’s featherweight contenders Spencer and Anderson each turned in strong performances. Spencer mashed Zarah Fairn dos Santos from en route to a first-round TKO. Anderson, meanwhile, was tested in the grappling department by Norma Dumont Viana before drilling her with a right-hand. Amanda Nunes was impressed with both womens’ performances, but Spencer is likely the front-runner having beaten Anderson in May 2019.
Arguably the biggest story coming out of the card is the short-lived fight between Ion Cuțelaba and Magomed Ankalaev. The two picked up right where they left off after a heated weigh-ins stare down. Cutelaba walked across the cage during Bruce Buffer’s introduction and made physical contact with Ankalaev. The Russian fighter grabbed double underhooks on Cutelaba as security separated the two. The fight itself was even more bizarre. Ankalaev had Cutelaba rocked with consecutive head-kicks and follow-up punches, but referee Kevin MacDonald called the fight as Cutelaba was firing back on his feet. For now the fight goes down as a quick first-round finish for Ankalaev. On the way out, Ankalev responded to the booing Norfolk crowd by flipping more birds than a migrating flock.
**See complete results below
Felicia Spencer def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos via TKO at 3:37 of round 1: Women’s Featherweight
Spencer and Fairn dos Santos kickboxed for a while until Spencer secured the body lock and a takedown. The Canadian landed in mouth. “Feenom” went high and landed some nice elbows. One of those elbows had a visible effect on Fairn dos Santos. Spencer had an armbar in the back pocket but opted to throw the hammerfists instead. Game over.
Felicia @FeeNom479 Spencer makes her claim to a featherweight title shot with another first-round finish at #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/p8xgQePn5i— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 1, 2020
Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cuțelaba via KO at 0:38 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Wow! Cutelaba made physical contact with Ankalaev during his introduction. Security forced to separate the two. He paid for it as Ankalaev landed with at least one of four consecutive head-kicks thrown. Cutelaba was wobbled but still firing back. Referee Kevin MacDonald stopped it?! Cutelaba immediately protested. He was standing and still firing back. That was a bad stoppage. Surprisingly, the two fighters hugged afterwards.
Woah! Controversial finish at #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/5rDDr9lMVV— UFC (@ufc) March 1, 2020
Megan Anderson def. Norma Dumont Viana via KO at 3:31 of round 1: Women’s Featherweight
Anderson the much taller fighter but Dumont has tree trunks for legs. Dumont held Anderson against the fence with strong double underhooks. Dumont briefly took Anderson down but Anderson ended up in top turtle. It did not last long though. A little separation and Anderson floored Dumont with a right hand. The referee clocked out and the fight was done.
OH MY! @MeganA_mma finishes it w/ the right hand! #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/QPC02CqsJ2— UFC (@ufc) March 1, 2020
Grant Dawson def. Darrick Minner via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:38 of round 2: Catchweight (149.5 lbs)
Wow, Minner tripped Dawson with a great leg-kick and slaps on a lightning fast guillotine. Dawson scrambled hard to get out of the choke but does so successfully. A decent armbar attempt from Minner on the bottom. A second armbar attempt looked good but Dawson wiggled free. Another guillotine attempt and Dawson shrugged him off. A THIRD guillotine attempt and this is by far the best one. They scrambled into all sorts of positions and Minner was intent on taking that head off. Dawson landed on top and tried for a brief Von Flue choke. Dawson applied a head-and-arm choke with 25-seconds left. Dawson abandoned it for mount and reigned LOTS of heads to the back of the head to close the round.
Minner kicked off round one by grabbing the head and jumping for a guillotine. It was all for naught as Dawson freed himself and settled in on top. Dawson took the back, slapped on a rear-naked choke and got a quick tap on his head.
Submission finish for @DawsonGrant20y1! #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/sLaCSvgXek— UFC (@ufc) March 1, 2020