UFC on ESPN 15 went down last night (Sat., Aug. 22, 2020) from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a thrilling Bantamweight bout between former Lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, and top contender, Pedro Munhoz. After 25 minutes of action “The Answer” narrowly pulled out the razor-thin split-decision win (highlights). In the co-main event, Mike Rodriguez knocked out Marcin Prachnio in the very first round (see it here).
Biggest Winner: Frankie Edgar
After years of contemplating a move down to Bantamweight, “The Answer” finally pulled the trigger on dropping down another weight class. And his debut in the 135-pound division was a memorable one as he and Pedro Munhoz went to war for 25 minutes, giving fight fans across the world one of the best bouts of the year. In the end, Edgar escaped with a split-decision victory. And it was a much-needed win, too, as Frankie was on a two-fight skid and a third straight defeat would have left him in No Man’s Land. While his win over Munhoz was great, it will only get harder for “The Answer” moving forward since the 135-pound division is extremely stacked at the moment. So if Edgar wants to fight for his third separate division title, he’s going to have to take on — and defeat — bigger challenges moving forward. For now, “The Answer”can enjoy the fact that he didn’t move to 0-3 in his last three outings.
Runner Up: Trevin Jones
Trevin Jones showed exactly why you always answer the door when UFC comes calling on short notice. Jones stepped in to face top Bantamweight prospect Timur Valiev after Mark Striegl tested positive for COVID-19. After getting worked over for the better part of 1.5 rounds, Jones tagged Valiev with a perfectly-placed shot on the chin, sending him crashing to the canvas. After piling on the ground-and-pound, Jones found himself the owner of a huge come-from-behind win in his Octagon debut. Not a bad way to make your entrance into the world’s biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization on the planet. Not to mention the extra $50,000 post-fight bonus he won for his spectacular finish.
Biggest Loser: Timur Valiev
After having his Octagon debut postponed several weeks, Valiev finally made his first walk into the UFC cage to face off against Trevin Jones. And while it started off as well as Timur could’ve imagined, it ended in a nightmare for him after getting stopped via technical knockout (TKO). The loss snapped his six-fight win streak and marked a huge step backward for the promising prospect, which means he will have to work overtime if he wants to garner some of that hype back. Clearly, it was not the best start to “The Lucky’s” Octagon career. And while many will still be eager to see just what kind of (if any) damage Valiev can do inside the Octagon, his TKO loss in his debut took a lot of wind out of his sails from the jump.
For complete UFC on ESPN 15 results and coverage click here.