Brian Ortega will try to remain undefeated later tonight (Sat., Dec. 8, 2018) at UFC 231 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when he takes on reigning UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, who has won his last 12 Octagon appearances.
In addition to the 145-pound main event, former women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko will meet former women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant women’s flyweight title, streaking Brazilian finisher Thiago Santos will test his luck against perennial light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa, and the always entertaining Alex Oliveira will try to ward off a returning Gunnar Nelson.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 231’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:00 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 231 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff
Gadelha came out swinging and landed some good combinations. That was before she landed a takedown and ended up in top control. Ansaroff got back to her feet and landed a beautiful side kick to Gadelha’s face. In Round 2, Ansaroff’s jab really started to lead the way, as well as her leg kicks. Gadelha kept trying to sneak in for a takedown, but Ansaroff’s defense remained on point. The Brazilian then connected with a short left hook. Ansaroff came back with more jabs that started to bloody Gadelha’s nose and eyes. A takedown by Gadelha slowed the fight again. Gadelha followed up with some short ground-and-pound before Ansaroff started to kick her off. The third frame saw Ansaroff land more offense on her feet, including front kicks to the stomach and sticking jabs. Gadelha kept coming forward but ate a ton of punishment. In the end it was Ansaroff who did enough to earn the unanimous decision win.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns
After a brief feeling out period Aubin-Mercier caught Burns with a left hand along the cage. Burns shook it off and shot in for a takedown. Despite Burns’ accolades on the ground, Aubin-Mercier defended his position nicely. Aubin-Mercier separated and Burns leveled him with a big left hook. Aubin-Mercier dropped to the canvas and Burns worked to back control. Aubin-Mercier worked the hands well and prevented any sort of submission finish. In the second round, Aubin-Mercier tried regain momentum and rushed in with combinations. Burns came back with a slick counter elbow before Aubin-Mercier landed a quick upper cut. Aubin-Mercier then found a home for a big body kick, but Burns came back with a right hand that buckled the Canadian. Burns landed a nice takedown before the round came to an end. The third round saw Burns land good strikes down the middle before landing another takedown. Burns rolled Aubin-Mercier over and took his back. The Brazilian kept looking for a rear-naked choke but Aubin-Mercier wouldn’t give in. In the end, it was Burns who walked away with the unanimous decision win.
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jessica Eye
Chookagian scored during the early exchanges with straight punches down the pipe. Eye responded with forward pressure and leg kicks, but Chookagian’s length and dexterity helped her put a stop to most advancements. Eye tried to load up and get inside. Chookagian waited for it and countered nicely. In Round 2, Eye kept trying to throw punches over the top to make up for a lack of length, but Chookagian slid out of the way and created separation. Eye was able to land her right hand here and there. Chookagian responded with a few leg kicks. The third and final frame saw Eye push the pressure and get inside. Chookagian reversed position and started to blast Eye as “Evil” fell to a knee. Eye recovered, got back to her feet, and kept moving forward. Chookagian countered well with side kicks and front kicks that temporarily kept Eye at bay. At the end of three, it was Eye who escaped with the split-decision victory.
Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders
Anders tried to load up early but Theodorou was able to secure clinch and land good knees inside. Theodorou followed his efforts up with a few crisp leg kicks as Anders struggled to find his own range and score some offense. Anders finally opened up with a knee inside that briefly slowed his Canadian counterpart. Theodorou gained the upper hand when he grabbed a hold of Anders’ back along the cage and scored more knees in the clinch. In Round 2, Theodorou kept busy with short leg kicks and constant movement. Anders finally found his window of opportunity and leveled Theodorou with a left hand. The Canadian stumbled around the Octagon but somehow survived, even after more punishment from Anders. In the third and final frame, Anders took his time not to exhaust himself trying to finish Theodorou. Theodorou remained difficult to hit with dipping movement and escapes, but he still looked out of it. A right hand by Anders temporarily lifted Theodorou off his feet. Theodorou remained calm and responded with his own shots before trying to take Anders down. That didn’t work and the round eventually came to an end. When the scores were tallied, it was Theodorou who walked away with the split-decision win.
Brad Katona vs. Matthew Lopez
Lopez landed some really good punches in the early going as Katona tried to utilize movement to make up for a reach disadvantage. Lopez followed his efforts up with a crisp combination minutes into the first round that whipped Katona’s head back. Katona responded with a brutal hook to the body. Lopez then changed level and secured his first takedown of the fight. In the second round, Lopez caught a Katona kick and again ended up in top position. However, Katona was quickly able to get back to his feet. Once there, Katona was able to find his range and landed some good strikes inside to the body and head. Lopez responded with another takedown off a Katona leg kick. Katona got back to his feet again and started to stick Lopez with straight punches and high kicks. In the third and final frame, an energetic Katona bounced around the Octagon and picked his shots at will. Lopez remained dangerous with heavy counters, but his attacks looked visually labored. Lopez never went away, but Katona was too precise and too sharp with his hands to let the tides turn. In the final moments of the fight, Katona was able to secure a rear-naked choke during a transition to the ground and started to squeeze. Lopez didn’t tap, but seemed to go out as timed expired. It could have been ruled a submission finish for the Canadian, but the referee sent it to the scorecards and Katona earned the unanimous decision win.
Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima
Laprise pressed the action early and pushed Lima’s back against the cage. After a few back-and-forth exchanges Lima came out of nowhere and blasted Laprise with a nasty left hook inside that instantly put “Disciple” out. The Brazilian walks away with the memorable first-round knockout finish.
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Kyle Nelson
Nelson threw the harder punches in the early going, catching Ferreira with a plethora of counter shots. Ferreira was in trouble and fell to the ground. Nelson let him up. Ferreira regained some momentum with combinations to the body and right hands before landing a takedown. The Brazilian then worked for a kimura but Nelson defended nicely. In Round 2, Ferreira quickly gained top control and worked into full mount. Nelson defended the best he could but Ferreira was relentless with punches in bunches. The referee had no choice but to step in for the TKO stoppage.
Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic
It took Clark two seconds to land a huge punch that put Rakic on his butt. Rakic regrouped and started to score with whipping leg kicks. Clark found another home for a powerful left hook that dropped Rakic again. Clark followed his efforts up with countless knees in the clinch. Some were illegal, though, as both of Rakic’s hand were on the ground but the referee issued no warning. Rakic once again weathered the storm and ended up catching Clark with a flush back fist that sent the Jon Jones training partner to the canvas. Rakic capitalized with ferocious ground-and-pound before the referee stepped in for the first-round TKO stoppage.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 231 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.