Stay up to date with what’s happening tonight with the UFC Orlando: Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland main card, which is happening from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
This post is designated to cover the first-five bouts of the main card, including the welterweight co-main event between former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, and a consummate tough out in Bryan Barberena. With back to back victories over Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler, Barberena has another chance to add another big name OG to his mantle.
Top-five heavyweights will also grace the UFC Orlando main card when the #4 rated, Tai Tuivasa, collides with the #5 rated, Sergei Pavlovich. Watch any Tuivasa fight and you’ll instantly realize why he’s must-see TV. You can just look at a picture of Pavlovich and understand why he is currently the owner of a wicked four-fight kill streak.
The UFC Orlando: Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland main card is scheduled for 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT, and can be seen on ESPN+.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Bryan Barberena by submission (RNC) at 3:20 of round 2: Welterweight
Barberena took the center of the Octagon, forcing RDA to play the outside. RDA ended up crashing into the pocket, and was able to clinch up and work his way into a takedown. It wasn’t long before RDA had an arm triangle locked up from the full mount. The only thing that seemed to be saving Barberena was the fence. Barberena escaped the bad position, and had to spend some time stuck on the bottom of RDA, before finally standing up just before the bell.
Barberena punched his way into the clinch to begin the second round. He pressed RDA against the cage, but the former champion quickly reversed the situation and snagged a takedown. Barberena tried to stand up, but RDA scrambled to his back and immediately started to attack with an RNC. The squeeze of RDA proved to be too much for Barberena, and he decided to restfully tap out.
Matheus Nicolau def. Matt Schnell by KO at 1:44 of round 2: Flyweight
There was a large feeling out process going on to get this one going. After about three minutes of measuring, Nicolau dropped Schnell with a nasty punch. Nicolau allowed Schnell to stand up, but then the fighters went right back to measuring one another from a safe distance.
Schnell came out more aggressive to start the second round, and was able to back up Nicolau to the fence. Nicolau responded by knocking over Schnell to get on top, but ultimately decided to stand back up. Then, as Schnell stepped in Nicolau delivered a heavy right hand that dropped Matt. The ground and pound came flying in after that as Nicolau did not give Schnell an opportunity to recover.
Sergei Pavlovich def. Tai Tuivasa by KO at :54 of round 1: Heavyweight
Pavlovich went right after Tuivasa with a swarm of punches. Several of his strikes landed flush, including a jab that dropped Tuivasa. Pavlovich kept landing his leather, and Tuivasa was attempting Hail Marys but was swinging at air. Pavlovich knocked Tuivasa to the ground again, and then finished him off with ferocious ground and pound. Well then!
Roman Dolidze def. Jack Hermansson by TKO at 4:06 of round 2: Middleweight
Hermansson came out launching his range weapons. He was throwing a lot of front kicks and leg kicks from the outside, staying far away from the power of Dolidze. Hermansson then snagged a takedown, but Dolidze hit a beautiful sweep to get up to his feet. Hermansson went back to throwing strikes from the outside, scoring again with kicks to the body and legs.
Hermansson returned to picking away at Dolidze from the outside in the second round. Things got a bit sticky out there, and the crowd started to wave their lit cell hones back and forth. Hermansson then hit a smooth takedown, but Dolidze started to threaten with various subs. Dolidze ended up locking up a calf slicer, and then started to pound away on a flattened out Hermansson. The referee warned Jack to move, but there was nothing he could do about it. WOW!
Eryk Anders def. Kyle Daukaus by TKO at 2:45 of round 2: Middleweight
Anders was pressing forward in the opening round, trying to back up Daukaus. Eryk caught one of Kyle’s kicks and threw him to the ground, but elected to not follow him down there. In an exchange, Anders dropped Daukaus with a nasty right hand. Again, Anders chose to allow Daukaus to stand back up. As the fighters both stepped into the pocket, an accidental clash of heads occurred that dropped Daukaus again. The ref was on top of it, and after a brief recovery, the fight resumed. A big left hand from Anders rocked Daukaus yet again with little time left, but Kyle was able to escape the round.
Daukaus went right to his wrestling to begin the second stanza, but Anders made him work extremely hard without ever conceding the takedown. Daukaus ended up flopping to his back, and after Eryk punched the body a few times, he allowed the fight to return to the feet. Anders dropped Daukaus again, and then got on top and pounded away until the referee intervened.
Philip Rowe def. Niko Price by TKO at 3:26 of round 3: Welterweight
Price was looking to take the fight to Rowe right away by applying pressure and throwing volume. Rowe managed the pressure rather well, and started to return some slick counters. As Price started to blitz in with combos, he got caught with a right hand from Rowe that staggered him. Price recovered quickly, but that was one of the better strikes of the round.
Price came out aggressive in the second round. He was looking to push the pace, but Rowe responded with a clean takedown. Rowe actually stood back up to allow the striking exchanges to continue, and Price went right back to throwing volume. Rowe then locked up a standing guillotine that forced Price to roll to the ground. Price exposed his back, and Rowe started to work for a face crank/RNC. Price escaped the hold and stood back to his feet to unload a little bit of volume before the bell.
Price went right back to swinging away with volume to begin the final round. A big right hand got through for Price that wobbled Rowe. Price pounced with a flurry, unloading punches and ultimately dropping Rowe to the ground. Niko got on top and emptied the tank dropping hammer after hammer, but somehow Rowe found a way to get back to his feet. Price was gassing out, and Rowe had his turn to rock Price. Rowe smelled good in the water and went in for the kill, peppering Price over and over with unobstructed punches. Price was getting worked over, and although he didn’t go down, the referee mercifully jumped in and stopped the contest.