In progress is the UFC Vegas 21 main card, and we’ve gotten all finishes so far, albeit one by way of disqualification. The co-main event took place in the light heavyweight division, with the #13 ranked, Ryan Spann, finishing the #11 ranked, Misha Cirkunov, in the first round. Spann dropped Cirkunov twice on the feet before pounding him out on the ground. Spann has won nine of his last ten fights, which is no easy task, especially at 205-pounds.
Before that, the UFC’s #9 ranked featherweight, Dan Ige, hit a wicked walk-off knockout on Gavin Tucker in just 22-seconds into the fight. It was a short right hand that put Tucker out, and no followup was necessary. What a way to bounce back from a loss and prove your ranking as a top-10 145-pounder. In his post-fight interview, Ige called for a fight with “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, who is ranked #4 at this time.
Earlier on the main card, Davey Grant overcame being dropped in the first round to rally in the second act and put away Jonathan Martinez with strikes. It was a hefty right hook tot he body followed by a left hook to the face that put Martinez down. The stakes back to back left handed finishes for Davey, and three wins in a row in the UFC. What fun!
We got another questionable decision on the night when Matheus Nicolau took a split decision over Manel Kape, despite being out-struck. Damage is supposed to be the primary judging criteria to score a fight, but insert that old cliche about leaving it to the judges. On a brighter note, Nicolau is 1-0 in his second stint with the UFC.
Opening up the main card, Eryk Anders totally poo’d the bed when he had Darren Stewart hurt badly in the opening round, but opted to throw a Petr fan style illegal knee that resulted in the bout being declared a no contest. Yan was disqualified for the exact same move, however, Marc Rather proclaimed that this particular match didn’t go two full rounds and the illegal blow was deemed not intentional. So it’s a no contest because MMA. This is back to back weeks with an illegal knee stopping a fight, but with two very different results. Is it time to revisit this rule about knees to a grounded opponent? Yes!
**See complete results below
Ryan Spann def. Misha Cirkunov by TKO at 1:11 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
The light heavyweights started exchanging leather right away, until an accidental cup kick from Cirkunov paused the action. Upon the restart, Spann dropped Cirkunov, and then elected to allow him to stand up. Spann dropped his foe again, but this time jumped in with fight-ending ground strikes.
Dan Ige def. Gavin Tucker by KO at :22 of round 1: Featherweight
Welp, Ige came out and knocked out Tucker with one right hand. That’s it.
Davey Grant def. Jonathan Martinez by TKO at 3:03 of round 2: Bantamweight
Martinez got to work with low calf kicks that buckled the stance of Grant. In responded, Grant threw spinning kicks, but was missing badly. This was a bit of a chess match, with both men staying technical. Then, a crisp left hand dropped Davey, and Martinez pounced with ground strikes. The round would end before a finish was realized.
Grant was swinging wild hooks to open the second round, but Martinez was able to dodge the bulk of them. Martinez was staying in his shell and wasn’t really puling the trigger. Then KABOOM! Grant threw a right hook to the body and then a left hook to the face that knocked Martinez out! Grant attacked right away with ground strikes as the referee was already pulling him off. WOW!
Matheus Nicolau def. Manel Kape by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Flyweight
Some hesitant back and forth kicked off this one, until Nicolau blasted a takedown. When Kape did work back to his feet, Nicolau was able to get him back down. Kape didn’t offer up much from his back. He threw up his legs for an armbar a few times, but Nicolau effortlessly controlled his foe.
Kape got aggressive in the second act. He went right at Nicolau with heavy punches, connecting and backing up his opponent. Kape was bombing away, but Nicolau was hanging in there and was returning fire. When Nicolau did hit a takedown, Kape was right back up. Nicolau just couldn’t get himself back in control.
Nicolau was finding success early in the final round with solo strikes. Kape was sitting back waiting, and getting clocked. Nicolau then shot in for the takedown, but Kape was having none of it. Back on the feet, Nicolau got back to landing his solo strikes, while Kape was connecting less frequently. Kape kept stuffing the takedown attempts, and even rocked Nicolau with a set of knees stinging to the body.
Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart was ruled a no contest at 4:37: Middleweight
The middleweights met in the middle of the cage and started throwing. Once Stewart started connecting, Anders then shifted to the takedown attempts. Anders clinched up, pressing his foe against the fence, but was struggling to get the fight down to the ground. Once he broke free, both men started swinging away. Then, a left cross from Anders dropped Stewart. Anders pounced with a barrage of strikes, but just as he was approaching a finish, he blasted a downed Stewart with an illegal knee. Time was called and the doctor came in to check on Stewart. Despite the fighter saying he could continue, the doctor made the right call and recommended that the fight be stopped.