Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans free fisticuffs TONIGHT (Sat., Jan. 28, 2017) by way of the UFC on FOX 23: "Shevchenko vs. Pena" combat sports event, taking place inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
That's where top women’s bantamweight contenders Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena will throw down, with the winner having a very strong argument for the next crack at the division crown, currently held by Amanda Nunes. In UFC on FOX 23’s co-main event, former lightweight title contender Donald Cerrone continues his improbable climb up the 170-pound ladder opposite grizzled welterweight veteran Jorge Masvidal.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 23 fight card below, starting with the UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised fisticuffs to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 23) before you split and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps, and post-fight analysis after "Shevchenko vs. Pena"
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC on FOX 23 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC ON FOX 23 QUICK RESULTS:
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena — Shevchenko def. Pena by submission (armbar) at 4:29 of Round Two
Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal — Masvidal def. Cerrone by TKO (punches) at 1:00 of Round Two
Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou — Ngannou def. Arlovski by TKO (punches) at 1:32 of Round One
Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight — Knight def. Caceres by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:21 of Round Two
Sam Alvey vs. Nate Marquardt — Alvey def. Marquardt by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Raphael Assuncao vs. Aljamain Sterling — Assuncao def. Sterling by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Li Jingliang vs. Bobby Nash — Jingliang def. Nash by KO (punches) at 4:45 of Round Two
Henrique da Silva vs. Jordan Johnson — Johnson def. da Silva by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Eric Spicely vs. Alessio Di Chirico — Spicely def. Di Chirico by submission (triangle choke) at 2:14 of Round One
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Jeremy Kimball — Rogerio de Lima def. Kimball by TKO (punches) at 2:27 of Round One
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Eric Shelton — Pantoja def. Shelton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
J.C. Cottrell vs. Jason Gonzalez — Gonzalez def. Cottrell by submission (d’arce choke) at 3:54 of Round One
UFC ON FOX 23 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
135 lbs.: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena
Round 1: Pena ties up early, putting Shevchenko on the fence. Knees from Pena. One minute in. More knees. Shevchenko times a knee and sweeps her way into side control. Pena makes her way back to the feet. More knees. Two minutes in. Shevchenko hits the same sweep into side control. Two minutes to go.
Nice hammerfists from Shevchenko. Pena regains guard. Pena trying to throw off her back. One minute to go. Pena turns for an armbar, Shevchenko defends until the bell. 10-9 Pena.
Round 2: Pena immediately goes back to the fence, driving for a takedown. Shevchenko denies it, still tied up. One minute in. Knees from both women. They jockey for position, knee from Pena. Shevchenko with a knee to the body and Pena changes levels. Two minutes in. Shevchenko pops back up. Pena finally gets a throw into guard with two minutes to go.
Pena with some ground-and-pound, Shevchenko throwing off her back and bringing up her legs. One minute to go. Shevchenko turns for an armbar and goes belly-down, rolling through and earning the tap.
Final result: Shevchenko def. Pena by submission (armbar)
170 lbs.: Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal
Round 1: Early body kick from Cerrone. Inside low kick lands. One minute in. Outside this time. Right to the body. Both land hard on the inside. Low kick from Masvidal. Masvidal combo just misses, Cerrone inside leg kick does not. Two minutes in. Combination lands for Masvidal, low-high as Cerrone continues to work the legs. Body kick now. Masvidal jab. Low kick. Jabs from Cerrone. Two minutes to go.
Masvidal tries a wheel kick, eats a leg kick and stuffs a takedown. Spinning back fist connects. Glancing high kick by Cerrone. Jab from Cerrone, Masvidal just misses the right hand. One minute to go. Spinning back kick from Masvidal, low kicks from Cerrone. More leg kicks. 1-2 from Masvidal. Good right hand buzzes Cerrone. Sharp right hand to the head. Cerrone lands a body kick, but gets knocked unconscious by a counter right. Herb Dean doesn’t stop it, though. 10-8 Masvidal.
Round 2: Masvidal aggressive early, blending his kicks and punches. Sharp jabs sting Cerrone. Another overhand right drops Cerrone and Masvidal pummels him standing until Herb Dean steps in.
Final result: Masvidal def. Cerrone by TKO (punches)
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou
Round 1: Ngannou misses a 1-2. Lots of feints from Arlovski. Solid right hook from Arlovski. Lead right hand from Arlovski, but Ngannou brings a wide right hook to meet him and sends Arlovski to his knees. A few more punches seal the deal.
Final result: Ngannou def. Arlovski by TKO (punches)
145 lbs.: Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight
Round 1: Early right hand lands for Knight. Caceres lands a low kick and stuff a takedown. Knight catches a body kick and ties up, They separate. Flicker jab and straight left by Caceres. Knight lands a counter left, then a counter 2-1. One minute in. Good right hand inside. Counters again. Caceres tries a head kick. Low kick exchange. Straight left lands for Caceres. Two minutes in. Knight with the right hand. Caceres low kick. He slips a combo and they trade punches. Two minutes to go.
Knight barrels into the clinch, loses underhooks and they separate. Straight left from Caceres, then one to the body. Knight lands a right as he eats a low kick. One minute to go. Both try high kicks. Knight knocks Caceres on his rear with a counter right. More pressure from Knight, who slams Caceres to the mat and takes the back before the bell. 10-9 Knight.
Round 2: Straight left from Caceres to start the round. Good low kick. Knight catches a body kick, can’t use it. Long left lands for Caceres. Knight looking for front kicks. One minute in. Body shot by Caceres, straight right by Knight. Brief clinch. Knight tries a throw, takes the back in a scramble and immediately locks up the body triangle. Solid punches from Knight, looking for the choke. Knight landing elbows and punches as he works. Two minutes to go.
Knight with a few near-misses on the choke. Elbows to the shoulders for Knight. One minute to go. Knight worms his forearm under Caceres’s chin and bears down to draw the tap.
Final result: Knight def. Caceres by submission (rear naked choke)
185 lbs.: Sam Alvey vs. Nate Marquardt
Round 1: Low kick from Alvey. Marquardt answers. Lead right lands and he ties up on the fence. One minute in. Alvey reverses position. Both try knees. Marquardt reverses in turn. Two minutes in. They jockey for position. Herb Dean separates them with two minutes to go.
Lots of feinting from Marquardt. Low kick lands and he backs away from a step in. One minute to go. Alvey whiffs on an uppercut. Another low kick from Marquardt. Now Alvey lands that uppercut before the bell. 10-9 Marquardt.
Round 2: Counter hook lands for Alvey, who appears to have woken up a bit. Hard right hand lands for Marquardt. Alvey uppercut. Good low kick by Marquardt a minute in. Heavy combination from Alvey, Marquardt lands counters and ties up. Knees from Nate. They separate two minutes in. Straight left drops Marquardt, Alvey doesn’t pounce. Another left connects. Two minutes to go.
Again, same combination. Right hook by Marquardt, another uppercut-straight left by Alvey. Counter jab dings Marquardt. On the lead this time. One minute to go. Low kick by Alvey. Counter rights from Marquardt. Hard combination stings Marquardt, who comes back with a straight right. Marquardt’s wearing it. 10-9 Alvey.
Round 3: Heavy lead right by Marquardt to start the round. Alvey with a low kick. 1-2. One minute in. Alvey lands an uppercut and Marquardt lands an inside trip. Alvey pops back up, Marquardt attached to his hips. Marquardt forces him down and hops onto his back, inserting his hooks. Two minutes in. Alvey spins and gets to his feet with a hard left hand. Two minutes to go.
Alvey cracks him with an uppercut inside after a long lull. Pressing Marquardt against the fence. He lets him off with a minute to go. Alvey low kicks. Marquardt lands some solid counters before the bell. 10-9 Marquardt.
Final result: Alvey def. Marquardt by unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Raphael Assuncao vs. Aljamain Sterling
Round 1: Low kick exchanges early. Body kick lands for Sterling, lead right from Assuncao. Sterling low kick lands. One minute in. Good 1-2 by Assuncao. Sterling goes for an axe kick, lands a low kick. Two minutes in. Counters from Assuncao. Low kick catches Sterling in the bojangles. Counter right from Assuncao when they resume. Sterling looks for a head kick, lands a leg kick. Heavy straight knocks Sterling back. Two minutes to go.
Low kick from Sterling. Assuncao catches a low kick and lands a right hand. Low kick exchange. One minute to go. Right to the body by Assuncao. Stiff jabs land for him. Sterling whiffs on an elbow and goes for a takedown before the bell. 10-9 Assuncao.
Round 2: More low kicks and a Sterling eats a low blow. The fighters argue with the ref over how legit it was. Sterling avoids a 1-2 and they trade low kicks. One minute in. Low kicks again. Right hand briefly drops Sterling. More kicking exchanges. Body shot from the Brazilian. Assuncao catches a body kick, can’t use it. Front kick from Sterling goes wide. Sterling catches a kick and shoots, sprawled on. Two minutes to go.
Assuncao to the body again. Low kick lands. Sterling lands one, caught. One minute to go. Assuncao just misses on a Superman punch, takes a left hook. Leg kick exchanges. 10-9 Assuncao.
Round 3: Assuncao catches a low kick, eats a right hand. Right hand from Sterling. One minute in. Assuncao misses a 1-2. Low kick lands for him. Sterling shoots, stuffed. Assuncao denies another attempt to tie up. 1-2 by Sterling. Two minutes in. Overhand left by Assuncao. Right hand connects. Nice straight left. Sterling lands a swatting left hook. Two minutes to go.
Both swing and miss. Assuncao body shot. Leg kick lands. One minute to go. Body kick and 1-2 by Sterling, takedown stuffed. Kicks from Sterling, right hand from Assuncao. 10-9 Sterling.
Final result: Assuncao def. Sterling by split decision
155 lbs.: Li Jingliang vs. Bobby Nash
Round 1: Low kick from Nash. Jingliang answers in kind. Same exchange again. Low kicks from Jingliang. One minute in. Nash blitzes and they trade punches. Nice punching exchanges early. Counter hook lands for Nash. Two minutes in. Both men landing low kicks. Big lead right from Jingliang and Nash shoots. Stuffed and a knee. Another right hand from Jingliang and another shot from Nash. Jingliang lands another right and eats a knee. Two minutes to go.
Counter right and a hard low kick visibly shake Nash. Nash lands a hard right cross in return. They trade and a left hook sends Jingliang to the ground. Nash looking for a no-hooks rear-naked choke. They’re handfighting. One minute to go. Nash releases it and goes to mount. Jingliang regains half guard. 10-9 Nash.
Round 2: Nash advancing and rings his bell with a left hook. Jingliang swinging back. Good clinchwork from the American. BIG right hand nearly drops Jingliang again. Nash pouring it on a minute in. Suddenly, a counter right rattles him in return. Nash shoots under a right hand and scores a takedown on the fence. Jingliang works his way up, pressed against the cage. Two minutes in. Knees from Nash. Two minutes to go.
They trade right hands inside. Left hand stings Nash again. Low kick from Jingliang. Jingliang shoots, denied with the whizzer. One minute to go. They separate. Cracking straight right from Jingliang staggers Nash, then an overhand right sends him to the ground. Two follow-up shots and Nash is unconscious.
Final result: Jingliang def. Nash by KO (punches)
205 lbs.: Henrique da Silva vs. Jordan Johnson
Round 1: Low kick from da Silva, 1-2 from Johnson. Johnson ties up, eats a knee to the chest. Jab exchange. Johnson ducks a left hook and takes da Silva down into side control. One minute in. da Silva scrambles up, directly into an anaconda choke. da Silva waits it out and scrambles up with a pair of right hands. Two minutes in. They trade some punches in the center, neither man getting the edge. Good knees by da Silva, two minutes to go.
Low kick from da Silva. More. Johnson working his jab, Nice uppercut lands for him. One minute to go. da Silva paws at his eye and gives up an easy takedown. Johnson on top in half guard. da Silva can’t scramble up. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 2: da Silva comes out swinging. Johnson catches a body kick and takes him down into half guard. Short ground-and-pound from the UFC newcomer. One minute in. da Silva tries to threaten a Kimura, nothing there. He turns into Johnson, who again looks for the anaconda choke. Silva tries to drive forward and Johnson just plows him back down. Open guard for da Silva. Two minutes to go.
The Brazilian turns for a kneebar, stymied by the fence. Short right hands from Johnson. da Silva works his way to his feet, weighed on by Johnson. Foot stomps from Johnson. One minute to go. da Silva turns to face him, lands an uppercut and a hard knee on the break. Johnson digs a right to the body before the bell. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 3: Johnson landing well early, spins him to the mat with a single-leg. da Silva on his knees, surrenders guard. he tries a slow-motion armbar, so Johnson just stands over him and shuffles a bit before taking side control. Two minutes in. Steady ground-and-pound by the wrestler. da Silva tries to use the cage to stand, but just clanks down. Two minutes to go.
Johnson staying heavy, staying busy from side control. One minute to go. da Silva just totally out of steam. 10-8 Johnson based on da Silva landing nothing.
185 lbs.: Eric Spicely vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Round 1: Spicely tries to wade into the clinch, eats a few counters. Good right hand and he shoots. Di Chirico defending on the fence. One minute in. Di Chirico counters a single-leg and winds up in his guard. Spicely already looking to set up a triangle. Di Chirico has a hand inside, but Spicely’s squeeze is too much and he draws the tap.
Final result: Spicely def. Di Chirico by submission (triangle choke)
205 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Jeremy Kimball
Round 1: Low kick from de Lima. Kimball answers in kind. Good right hand by the Brazilian. One minute in. Kimball catches a low kick and shoves de Lima to the mat. de Lima threatens a heel hook and scrambles up. Counter left connects. Kimball throws a high kick, eats a pair of sharp counters. Good inside low kick. Kimball slips and, on the way up, eats a right hand behind the ear that sends him to his knees. de Lima finishes him off with a series of brutal right hands.
Final result: Rogerio de Lima by TKO (punches)
125 lbs.: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Eric Shelton
Round 1: Shelton scores a quick takedown on the fence. Pantoja scrambles up after a few shots and lands some kicks in the center. One minute in. Groin shot briefly pauses the action. Quick exchange stings Pantoja and he waves Shelton on. Good low kick from the Brazilian. Shelton lands an uppercut, eats a low kick. Spinning back fist cracks Pantoja as he shoots. Two minutes in. Pantoja hops onto Shelton’s back with a hook in. Now both. Two minutes to go.
Pantoja whacks him with a few hammerfists, working for the choke. Shelton trying to peel the hooks away while handfighting. One minute to go. Shelton scrambles free and scores a takedown against the cage. Full guard. Pantoja kicks him free and Shelton lets him up. Shelton hits a blast double before the bell and looks for the back. 10-9 Pantoja.
Round 2: Pantoja comes out swinging and Shelton takes him down once again. He works his way up, eats a left hand as Shelton drives. They separate a minute in. Pantoja advancing, eats an elbow, shrugs off a takedown. Both land good shots near the fence. Nice uppercut from Shelton, who stuffs a takedown but eats a knee. Another hard knee by Pantoja, who jumps for a guillotine and immediately loses it. Again, Shelton lets him up. Two minutes in. Shelton shoots, gets stuffed, but scrambles through for another attempt. Pantoja goes for another guillotine, then eats a knee when he scrambles up. Two minutes to go.
Shelton lets him up again and they slug. Pantoja drags him down and takes the back. Both hooks in. Pantoja trying to flatten him out. Great positional control and he locks up the choke. Incredible defense by Shelton, who survives an armbar attempt at the end. 10-9 Pantoja.
Round 3: Both men are tired. Pantoja slowly advancing. Stiff jab. One minute in. Another good jab. Shelton cracks him with a left hook. Head kick by the Brazilian. Pantoja tries to shoot, stuffed. Two minutes in. Combination from Pantoja met by a spinning back fist. Left hook by Shelton, straight right by Pantoja, who nearly walks into a knee. Two minutes to go.
Right hand again from Pantoja. 1-2-3 lands. Shelton lands counters and throws Pantoja aside when he tries to shoot. Shelton’s accuracy is on point. One minute to go. Shelton shoots, stuffed, and they trade punches. Close round. 10-9 Shelton?
Final result: Pantoja def. Shelton by split decision
155 lbs.: J.C. Cottrell vs. Jason Gonzalez
Round 1: Gonzalez on the advance early. He flicks out a head kick. Cottrell with an uppercut-straight right combo. Good kicks early from Gonzalez, who blasts Cottrell with a counter uppercut that has him stumbling back. He pursues, but Cottrell wraps him up and slams him down. One minute in. Gonzalez regains guard and they scramble. Cottrell nearly takes the back, settles for side control. North-south on the fence. Two minutes in. Cottrell briefly tries to set up the eponymous choke. Gonzalez gets half guard and turns for a kneebar. Cottrell swats him with some right hands and he releases it. Two minutes to go.
Cottrell pulls his knee out of a heel hook attempt. Back to closed guard. Cottrell passes to side control off a failed armbar setup and takes mount, only for Gonzalez to scramble up out the back door and set up a d’arce. He snaps Cottrell down and quickly draws the tap.
Final result: Gonzalez def. Cottrell by submission (d’arce choke)