Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will be back in full force later tonight (Sat., Mar. 2, 2019) at UFC 235 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as he defends his title against red hot contender Anthony Smith.
In addition to the light heavyweight main event, Tyron Woodley will put his UFC welterweight title on the line against streaking wrestler Kamaru Usman, undefeated welterweight contender Ben Askren will make his long-awaited UFC debut against Robbie Lawler, and former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt will try to end a two-fight losing skid when he matches up with veteran Pedro Munhoz.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 235’s “Prelims” action will go down on ESPN starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC 235 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Magomedsharipov landed a nice leg kick early. Stephens responded with his own kicking attacks. Magomedsharipov waved him on before landing a short left counter hook. The Russian came back with two slicing calf kicks. Stephens came back with his first power punch of the contest. Magomedsharipov narrowly missed a “Showtime” Pettis kick off the cage. In Round 2, Magomedsharipov went back to the leg kicks as Stephens loaded up and countered with heavy hooks, including a vicious right along the cage. Magomedsharipov ripped a nice left to the body and then worked for his first takedown of the fight. From there, Magomedsharipov worked to back control and started to threaten with a rear-naked choke. The featherweight contender mixed in some hard elbows along the way but Stephens survived until the bell. The third frame saw Stephens come out with a heavy inside leg kick. Magomedsharipov responded with a nasty body kick. Stephens ended up chasing Zabit down and landed some good punches down the pipe. Magomedsharipov started to back up and narrowly avoided a monster right hand from “Lil Heaten.” Stephens landed a nice right hand but Magomedsharipov countered with his own punched and eventual flying knee. Both featherweights landed some unnecessary shots after the bell but cooler heads prevailed. In the end, it was Zabit who walked away with the unanimous decision win.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Johnny Walker
Cirkunov came out firing first. Walker kept moving around trying to confuse Cirkunov. It worked. Out of nowhere, Walker leveled the light heavyweight contender with a massive flying knee. Cirkunov fell to the canvas and Walker piled on some punches to the head for the quick first-round finish.
Cody Stamann vs. Alejandro Perez
Stamann struck the first major blows with a big combination that snapped Perez’s head back. Perez came back with a few counter strikes of his own. Stamann repsonded with a big right hand along the cage. An exchange later in the round saw Perez land a flush left hand counter that seemed to sting Stamann. In Round 2, both bantamweights exchanged leg kicks in the early going. Stamann tried to score a few takedowns, but Perez showed great defense. Stamann came back with a flush counter. Perez missed on a spinning back fist attempt. The third frame saw Perez rush in for a takedown, lift Stamann up, and slam him on his head. Stamann would return to his feet. Both fighters exchanged some short shots in close but nothing of significance. Stamann kept busy with his takedown pursuit and got Perez to one knee along the cage. Perez defended well and landed a nice body kick as the fight came to a close. In the end, it was Stamann who escaped with the unanimous decision win.
Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall
Gall quickly closed the gap and tied the action up along the cage. Gall separated and launched heavy shots on a retreating Sanchez. Sanchez tried to return favor but the length and movement of Gall made it difficult to land on the feet, so the veteran ended up taking the youngster down. Gall landed some good elbows off his back, but Sanchez kept busy from top control. In Round 2, Sanchez came out without more energy and started to land first. Gall threw some bombs on the feet and ended up connecting on a few good ones, but Sanchez responded with a huge knee in the clinch and got the action back to the canvas. From there, Sanchez would work hard to land short elbows, punches to the body, and eventually move into full mount. Gall tried to take as much punishment as possible, but Sanchez was persistent with his offense en route to earning a TKO stoppage.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 235 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.