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UFC Columbus live stream results, play-by-play updates | Blaydes vs Daukaus

UFC Columbus live stream results: Buckle up for the “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” mixed martial arts (MMA) event scheduled for TONIGHT (Sat., March 26, 2022) inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Headlining the ESPN/ESPN+ fight card is the heavyweight showdown between No. 4-ranked Curtis Blaydes and No. 9-ranked Chris Daukaus, two experienced veterans looking to make a name for themselves in the crowded 265-pound title chase. Elsewhere on the card, fan-favorite flyweight fighter Joanne Wood attempts to slug her way back into the win column at the expense of 125-pound rising star Alexa Grasso.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 54 On ESPN+

Top Light Heavyweight Contenders Collide! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., May 14, 2022, with a meaningful Light Heavyweight contenders’ battle that will see former champion and current No. 1-ranked Jan Blachowicz take on surging No. 3-seeded Aleksandar Rakic. In UFC Vegas 54’s co-main event, No. 13-ranked Light Heavyweight, Ryan Spann, battles dangerous striker Ion Cutelaba.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Columbus fight card below, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET. Bet on all the UFC Columbus action with our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook right here.

Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps, and post-fight analysis following “Blaydes vs. Daukaus.” Without further delay, see below for the updated UFC Columbus results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action).

UFC COLUMBUS QUICK RESULTS:

Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus — Blaydes def. Daukaus by TKO (punches) at 0:17 of Round Two — HIGHLIGHTS
Alexa Grasso vs. Joanne Wood — Grasso def. Wood by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:57 of Round One — HIGHLIGHTS
Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena — Barberena def. Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara-France — Kara-France def. Askarov by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Neil Magny vs. Max Griffin — Magny def. Griffin by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Ilir Latifi vs. Aleksei OleinikCANCELED
Marc Diakiese vs. Viacheslav Borshchev — Diakiese def. Borshchev by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Sara McMann vs. Karol Rosa — McMann def. Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Danaa Batgerel vs. Chris Gutierrez — Gutierrez def. Danaa by TKO (spinning back fist and elbows) at 2:34 of Round Two — HIGHLIGHTS
Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Denis Tiuliulin — Khizriev def. Tiuliulin by technical submission at 1:58 of Round Two — HIGHLIGHTS
Jennifer Maia vs. Manan Fiorot — Fiorot def. Maia by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
David Dvorak vs. Matheus Nicolau — Nicolau def. Dvorak by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Luis Saldana vs. Bruno Souza — Saldana def. Souza by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

UFC COLUMBUS PLAY-BY-PLAY:

265 lbs.: Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus

Round 1: Blaydes tosses out jabs, eats a right hand. Another good cross by Daukaus. Blaydes low kick, Daukaus body shot. One minute in. 1-2 briefly buckles Daukaus. Check hook by Blaydes. Two minutes in. Good exchange, right cross by Blaydes. Low kick and jab. Daukaus tries to come back with a left hook. Two minutes to go.

Jabs from Blaydes. He lands a low kick, avoids/blocks some combinations in return. Good right cross by Daukaus. One minute to go. Counter hook by Blaydes. Daukaus takes a finger in the eye. 10-9 Blaydes.

Round 2: Blaydes folds Daukaus with a murderous counter right cross 10 seconds into the round, then hammers him on the ground to force the stoppage. Damn.

Final result: Blaydes def. Daukaus by TKO (punches)


125 lbs.: Alexa Grasso vs. Joanne Wood

Round 1: Wood marching forward early, gets taken down into guard. Grasso staying heavy, lands short punches. One minute in. More short shots. Two minutes in. Grasso lets her up, lands a sharp jab. Low kick from Wood, body kick behind it. Nice combo by Wood. 1-3, knee to the body. They trade rights. Two minutes to go.

Another low kick by Wood, who avoids a combo. Teep to the midsection, spinning elbow and a scramble ensues. Grasso manages to latch onto Wood’s back and sneak her forearm under Wood’s chin, quickly forcing a tap.

Final result: Grasso def. Wood by submission (rear naked choke)


170 lbs.: Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena

Round 1: Low kicks from Barberena. Brown pushing forward. More low kicks from Barberena, good counter left. Heavy right when Brown tries to tie up. One minute in. Slick foot sweep from Brown and a knee on the way up. Some dirty boxing, Barberena reverses on the fence. Brown drags him down with a bodylock and sets up in side control. Two minutes in. Barberena gets to his knees. Trying to work his way up with the fence. He stands, lands an elbow, and they separate with two minutes to go.

Trading punches, neither landing clean. Barberena low kick, Brown body kick and right hand. Barberena catches him with a right hook on the pivot. Straight left. Brown tries a head kick. Hard two-piece by Barberena, body shot. Brown with another foot sweep, good punches and an elbow on the way up. Lead elbow by Barberena, Brown answers with a clinch knee and tight elbow. Great action so far. 10-9 Barberena.

Round 2: Brown body kick. Right hook from Barberena. Low kicks landing. Brown digs a right downstairs a minute in, then another. Nice takedown a minute in. Back to the feet, Brown pressing him against the fence two minutes in. Trading elbows in the clinch. Two-piece by Barberena, eats a counter hook. Good lead right from Brown, continuing to pressure. Brutal elbow form Barberena and Brown’s hurt. He tries a spinning elbow, eats a clubbing hook, then takes Barberena down into side control. Two minutes to go.

Barberena trying to slip out the back door as Brown threatens his arm. He ends up in top half guard and starts dropping punches and elbows. Brown makes it to his feet and they separate with a minute to go. Good lead right by Barberena. Body shot, right hook, double elbow. Brown blasts him with a pair of right crosses just as he seems to be wilting. Another elbow. Right hook and right cross from Barberena. Brown rips the body in return, weathers a heavy combo and comes back with a knee. 10-9 Barberena.

Round 3: Brown fires knees downstairs as he pushes forward. Hard body shot. Counter right to answer a low kick. Barberena lands a pair of check hooks a minute in. Brown tries a knee, lands one in the clinch. Slick foot sweep and he gets into the front headlock. Brutal elbow exchange on the way up. Brown switches to a rear waist lock. Two minutes in. Knees to the thigh. Barberena stands and they trade inside. Brown continuing to pressure forward. Barberena shoves him away, gets clinched again with two minutes to go.

Left hand by Barberena on the exit and Brown bulldozes him with a power double. Barberena stands and fires punches and elbows inside. Brutal uppercut and another. More big damage but Brown walks him into a huge counter right. Trading heat at close range. Knee and left hook from Brown, big 1-2. Trading bombs with a minute to go. Barberena rips the body . Brown tries to spin and Barberena ties up, landing short right hands. Separation. Huge punches from both men. Huge flurry by Barberena and he’s got Brown hurt in the waning seconds, but “The Immortal” survives. What an absolute scrap. 10-9 Barberena.

Final result: Barberena def. Brown by split decision


125 lbs.: Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara-France

Round 1: Tentative start. Low kick from Kara-France. One minute in. Another. Askarov shoots for a single-leg, incredible balance from Kara-France. Askarov still manages to drag him down and settle in side control, shrugging off an upkick in the process. Two minutes in. Kara-France tries to get to his knees and Askarov slips both hooks in, then locks up the body triangle. Kara-France fighting the hands. Two minutes to go.

Kara-France gets to his feet and walks to the fence, Askarov still playing backpack. Askarov threatening the RNC as Kara-France peels his hands off. One minute to go. Solid elbows from Askarov. 10-9 Askarov.

Round 2: Kara-France whiffs on an overhand right. Solid combination lands for him. Askarov pressures, backs him to the fence, and shoots. Couple of Browne elbows from Kara-France a minute in. Nice body lock takedown by Askarov and he sneaks in a hook. Kara-France dislodges it and separates. Fake shot from Askarov two minutes in. Kara-France fires jabs, tries a combo, falls short. Lead right connects. Two minutes to go.

Askarov shoots right at the two-minute mark. Kara-France defending against the fence. Nice use of underhooks to separate. Hard overhand right and a massive left hook. Another one and they’re trading heat. Askarov shoots, denied. One minute to go. Another big hook from Kara-France. Right cross to the body. Askarov shoots again, denied again, cracked with another left hook. 10-9 Kara-France.

Round 3: Askarov fires a low kick that catches Kara-France in the ghoulies. He takes a little under a minute to recover, then returns to action. Head kick attempt form Kara-France, then one from Askarov, who slips. One minute in. Counter left hook and shot from Askarov, who grabs a rear waist lock and puts in a hook. Body triangle but the angle’s not ideal. Kara-France slips free, has to fight off a single-leg. Browne elbow from Kara-France and he separates two minutes in. Askarov advancing, both men just out of range. Two minutes to go.

They trade right hands. Askarov tries an uppercut against the fence. Kara-France lands a left, eats a check hook in the process. Good lead right by Kara-France with a minute to go. Another Askarov check hook. Kara-France low kick. He shoots, denied. Both whiff on big rights. Kara-France low kick. Kara-France waves Askarov in and Askarov tries a final shot. Good right on the break. Great fight. Think Askarov just edged it. 10-9 Askarov.

Final result: Kara-France def. Askarov by unanimous decision


170 lbs.: Neil Magny vs. Max Griffin

Round 1: They trade kicks to start. Griffin targeting the lead leg. Solid punches connect. Low kick exchange a minute in. Solid right cross by Griffin, continuing to attack the calf. He’s moving well so far. Two minutes in. Magny tries to attack and walks straight into a cross that drops him hard. Griffin waves him up when he gets his wits back. Griffin stalking, hits the body and lead leg. Two minutes to go.

Magny firing his jab, Griffin sprinting out of range. Left hook, body shot, low kick all land for Griffin. Counter right from Magny, left hook from Griffin. One minute to go. More low kicks from Griffin, more jabs from Magny. Magny circles away from an apparent takedown attempt. 10-9 Griffin.

Round 2: Griffin continuing to pick away at the lead leg as he circles. Magny tries to tie up, can’t do so, continues to advance. Griffin to the body. One minute in. Magny takes a finger in the eye. He doesn’t take long to recover. Still pressuring. Good combo from Griffin two minutes in. Nasty jab. 1-1-2 from Magny, eats a cross as he leans back. There’s a hard flurry from Magny that gets Griffin’s attention. Both land heavy right hands one after the other. Two minutes to go.

Another good lead right by Griffin. Magny fires a lead right and shoots behind it. Griffin defends and separates. Another flurry from Magny. Left hook lands for Griffin after Magny slips. 2-1 by Magny. The pressure seems to be working for him later in the round. Griffin jabs the body, avoids a flying knee, gets pressed against the fence. Punches, elbows, and a knee from Magny before the bell. 10-9 Magny.

Round 3: They immediately get back to trading. Magny ties up, lands a knee, drags Griffin to a knee against the fence. Griffin back up, Magny still attached. One minute in. Magny drags him back down and puts in a hook, landing short lefts. Two minutes in. Magny still softening him up with punches. Two minutes to go.

Both hooks in after landing more punches. Griffin slips out the back door, but Magny reverses and cracks him with a knee. One minute to go. Hard elbows by Magny and a knee. Griffin comes back with big punches and shoots. Magny responds by hitting what’s almost a pile driver on Griffin. 10-8 Magny?

Final result: Magny def. Griffin by unanimous decision


155 lbs.: Marc Diakiese vs. Viacheslav Borshchev

Round 1: Diakiese shoots in the first few seconds and hauls Borshchev to the fence. Borshchev reverses with an underhook. Jockeying for position a minute in. Diakiese shoots again, rebuffed. Rear waist lock for Borshchev, who fires a knee and then unloads with punches on the exit. Diakiese shoots again, gets rolled over. He re-shoots two minutes in, puts Borshchev on his butt two minutes in. On top in half guard. Back up, back down with the rear waist lock. Two minutes to go.

Borshchev returns to the feet, gets taken down via body lock again. Borshchev rolls, gives up side control. One minute to go. Borshchev regains guard as Diakiese lands short punches. 10-9 Diakiese.

Round 2: Low kick from Borshchev. Diakiese tries to answer in kind, eats another. Diakiese feinting shots. He shoots, gets to the rear waist lock, puts Borshchev on his butt. Side control. Borshchev regains guard. Two minutes in. Diakiese just grinding, not throwing anything. Borshchev gets to his knees. Side control for Diakiese with two minutes to go.

Borshchev rolls, stands, gets dragged back down. Back up, back down with a minute to go. Diakiese tries an arm triangle, no dice. 10-9 Diakiese.

Round 3: Borshchev stalking forward. Easy double-leg for Diakiese puts him in guard. One minute in. Not sure he’s thrown a punch yet. Two minutes in. Borshchev kicks him off, stands, gets taken down again. Rear waist lock for Diakiese. High-amplitude takedown. Two minutes to go.

Diakiese keeping the rear waist lock. Knee to the thigh, drags him down again. Back up, back down. One minute to go. Diakiese tries an arm triangle, abandons it. Diakiese holds on until the bell. 10-9 Diakiese; zero damage, so no 10-8s.

Final result: Diakiese def. Borshchev by unanimous decision


135 lbs.: Sara McMann vs. Karol Rosa

Round 1: Good 1-2 from McMann. Rosa counters a low kick with a right cross. One minute in. Heavy exchange in center cage. McMann times a Rosa low kick to take her down with a double-leg. On top in half guard, trying to isolate an arm. Solid elbows. Two minutes in. McMann staying heavy, landing the occasional shot. Good body punches. Two minutes to go.

McMann still trying to threaten the far arm. One minute to go. She continues to grind until the bell. 10-9 McMann.

Round 2: They swing until McMann ties up, then eats a right on the break. McMann combination. One minute in. McMann chain-wrestles her way into a high-amplitude takedown, then takes the back on the fence. Both hooks in. Two minutes in. Some hand fighting, nothing particularly close. Two minutes to go.

Rosa doing nothing to get out of the position, just hunting for wrist control. McMann seemingly setting up an armbar. One minute to go. Slick transition into the armbar but Rosa manages to stack her. Rosa kneeing her in the butt as she defends. Round ends there. 10-9 McMann, not enough damage for a 10-8.

Round 3: Rosa opens with a flying knee and starts slugging. McMann manages to shoot and work her way into top turtle. Seatbelt grip, looking to take the back. One hook in standing a minute in. Now the other, full body triangle. Rosa shakes her off, but McMann wrenches her to the ground and latches onto her on the way up. Rear waist lock. Two minutes in. Slick hip toss puts Rosa on top in half guard and she starts bombing. She postures up and McMann cracks her with upkicks. Kicking at McMann’s legs, dives into half guard. Two minutes to go.

McMann regains guard, Rosa dropping punches. Rosa stands, kicks at her legs. One minute to go. McMann sits up into a takedown attempt and eats a flurry of Browne elbows. Another hip toss by Rosa, but McMann moves to the front headlock. 10-9 Rosa, not enough to get her the win.

Final result: McMann def. Rosa by unanimous decision


135 lbs.: Danaa Batgerel vs. Chris Gutierrez

Round 1: Gutierrez opening with kicks. Counter left hook, heavy calf kick that knocks Danaa off-balance. Another calf kick a minute in and another. Danaa whiffs on an overhand right near the fence, eats a body kick. Danaa continuing to push forward. Low kick. Jab and low kick from Gutierrez, who gets dinged by a right hand while on one leg. They tie up two minutes in, then separate. Gutierrez tries a knee, lands a jab. Body kick connects. Danaa to the body, tries to catch him with a left hook. Two minutes to go.

Solid head movement from Gutierrez as Danaa tries to walk him down. Danaa cross counter, double right hand. Gutierrez puts him on the fence. Right hand by Gutierrez on the exit. Danaa to the body. One minute to go. More low kicks from Gutierrez. Danaa checks one. Brief clinch. Gutierrez tries to spin and Danaa slams him to the mat. Heavy shots piling up and Gutierrez regains guard. 10-9 Danaa.

Round 2: Brutal low kicks from Gutierrez. Body kick. Danaa continuing to advance. 1-2 from Gutierrez, another low kick a minute in. Spinning back kick attempt. 1-2 from Danaa on the fence. Gutierrez doubles up the jab, tries a knee, lands another low kick. Lead right lands for Danaa. Two minutes in. Jabs from Gutierrez. Another low kick, tries to go high. Danaa continues to advance and walks flush into a spinning back fist. He goes down and wakes up on impact, but Gutierrez hammers him with elbows until the ref intervenes.

Final result: Gutierrez def. Danaa by TKO (spinning back fist and elbows)


185 lbs.: Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Denis Tiuliulin

Round 1: Khizriev looks for early head kicks. Tiuliulin answers a straight left with a straight right. Another lead left from Khizriev and a body kick behind it. 1-2, body kick. Low single puts Khizriev on top on the fence a minute in. Tiuliulin trying to stand, can’t do so. Low mount for Khizriev, dropping hard punches two minutes in. Heavy lefts as Tiuliulin tries to stand. Tiuliulin stuck on one knee. Two minutes to go.

Tiuliulin manages to stand and separate. Khizriev body kick after avoiding a combo, then a straight left. 1-2 comes back at him, answered with an overhand left. One minute to go. Solid body shots from Tiuliulinan and they slug it out on the fence. Knee from Khizriev, shoots, denied. Clean uppercut lands for him. Tiuliulin shoots, denied, eats an uppercut. Short elbow after eating some clinch shots. 10-9 Khizriev.

Round 2: Early exchanges, flying knee from Khizriev. Lead left upstairs, counter 2-1 from Tiuliulin. Both land crosses. Khizriev tries the knee again, lands an uppercut after eating a left hook. Tiuliulin tries a combo a minute in. Continuing to press forward. Khizriev body kick, another exchange of crosses. Khizriev shoots, then immediately latches onto Tiuliulin’s back to put him to sleep with an RNC.

Final result: Khizriev def. Tiuliulin by technical submission (rear naked choke)


125 lbs.: Jennifer Maia vs. Manan Fiorot

Round 1: Side and low kicks from Fiorot to start. Right hand in combination, side kick again. More side kicks, counter 1-2. Her usual 1-2-3. Maia looking to counter a minute in. Long jab from Fiorot. Maia body kick, Fiorot jab. Counter right lands for Maia. Quick punching exchange. Nice counter right by Maia two minutes in, then a clean left hook. Fiorot side kick, clean straight left. Check hook. Two minutes to go.

More side kicks. Maia steps in and Fiorot puts her on the fence. Elbow by Maia on the break. Body kicks from Fiorot. Maia counter right with a minute to go. Hard side kick catches her in the midsection and Fiorot follows with a knee. Another side kick, body kick from Maia in return and Fiorot shoots. Maia reverses, eats a right on the exit. 10-9 Fiorot.

Round 2: Early whizzer kick puts Fiorot on top in guard. Settled in a minute in. Maia turns for a leg, can’t get it, trips Fiorot to a knee. Maia tries to jump directly onto her back and ends up in bottom guard two minutes in. Fiorot staying tight. They trade shots before Fiorot lets her up. Two minutes to go.

Right hooks from Fiorot. Continuing to land. Another one on the counter. Side kick connects. Lead left into a body lock and she trips Maia down. Can’t keep her there, though, and Maia cracks her with a head kick on the way up. More check hooks from Fiorot. One minute to go. Side kick. Clean right hook. Head kick attempt, side kick, check hook. Maia falls short with a Superman punch. 10-9 Fiorot.

Round 3: Side kick and check hook from Fiorot. Maia ties up and puts her on the fence. Fiorot gets underhooks and separates a minute in. Hard straight left, more side kicks, check hook. They trade lefts near the center. Fiorot side kicks and check hook. Two minutes in. Hook kick blocked. Maia catches a side kick and drags her down, but Fiorot pops right back up with a whizzer. They separate. Nice counter right by Maia with two minutes to go.

Flying knee attempt from Fiorot. Check hook. Maia lands a body kick on the break. Fiorot side kick and check hook as she continues to circle. Another check hook. Glancing hook kick, but Maia puts her on the fence. Fiorot reverses with a minute to go. Continuing to land the check hook. Low kicks from Maia, who avoids a wheel kick and flying knee. Maia pressures and tries to open up at the bell. 10-9 Fiorot.

Final result:


125 lbs.: David Dvorak vs. Matheus Nicolau

Round 1: Dvorak advancing early, keeping Nicolau near the fence. One minute in, both men yet to throw. There’s a quick exchange nearly two minutes in. Lead right by Dvorak. Nicolau hurls a right and eats a counter. Two minutes to go.

Another nice counter right by Dvorak. Heavy 2-3 from Nicolau on the counter. Dvorak steps in and Nicolau clinches. Each lands a shot before they separate with a minute to go. Dvorak whiffs on a lead right. Low kick connects. Quick exchange inside. Dvorak tries a wheel kick, eats a body jab. 10-9 Dvorak.

Round 2: Good low kick from Dvorak to start. Continuing to advance. Another leg kick. Snap kick downstairs a minute in. Nicolau lands a low kick and pokes Dvorak in the eye, but Dvorak waves the ref off. Jabs from Nicolau, good low kick. Counter combo by Dvorak as Nicolau steps in. Nicolau digs to the body, lands a hard calf kick two minutes in. Head kick attempt. Cuffing right by Dvorak as Nicolau pivots off. Quick exchange in center cage. Nicolau body jab, Dvorak cross counter and lead right. Two minutes to go.

Good right from Nicolau, then another that lands clean. Body jab. Quick exchange, neither lands clean. Snap kicks from Dvorak. One minute to go. Low kick and right cross. Heavy left hook badly discombobulates Dvorak and sends him teetering to the mat, where he wraps up his guard. Short punches from Nicolau. Heavy elbows. 10-9 Nicolau.

Round 3: Two hard left hooks hurt Dvorak again. Hard leg kick. 2-3, lead right, calf kick, body shot. One minute in. Quick trades in center cage. Dvorak tries a takedown, can’t get it, lands a cross counter. Two minutes in. Clean counter right by Dvorak. Combination inside, denies a level change. Stiff jab by Nicolau. Uppercut just misses. Dvorak low kick, Nicolau lead right. Two minutes to go.

Nicolau shoots, denied, ends up on the bottom. Nothing doing on the leglock. Dvorak manages to get on top in guard with a minute to go. Dropping punches. Nicolau tries to turn for something, nothing there. Dvorak moves to half guard. 10-9 Dvorak? Nicolau had a great first minute but did very, very little for the rest of the round.

Final result: Nicolau def. Dvorak by unanimous decision


145 lbs.: Luis Saldana vs. Bruno Souza

Round 1: Souza on the front foot, sends out a lead right. Saldana low kick and jab. Souza looking for a cross counter. Saldana body kick. One minute in. 1-2 from Souza and they trade low kicks. Solid movement and jabs from Saldana so far. Nice exchange after Souza catches a kick. Two minutes in. He eats a low kick, fires a cross counter. Nice right cross. Saldana continuing to eat away at both sides of the lead leg. Sneaky left hook. Two minutes to go.

Low kicks from Souza. He lunges in with a 1-2. Saldana steps into the clinch, neither lands clean. Saldana low kick, Souza body shot. Saldana eats a right hand and converts it into a takedown, immediately looking for the back with a minute to go. Souza scrambles up, eating a knee along the way. Souza fends off another reactive shot, gets spun to the mat by the next one. He scrambles to his feet before the bell. 10-9 Saldana.

Round 2: Souza continuing to advance. Saldana comes back with a step-in knee to the body, then goes back to the leg kicks. Nice one from Souza in return, gets caught by a head kick after Saldana whiffs a spinning back fist. Souza lands a counter right, eats a left hook a minute in. Low kick lands, two-piece behind it. Body shot, low kick, right hand. Well-timed shot from Saldana gets a rear waist lock. Souza tries to roll free two minutes in, nearly gives up his back. Awkward spot, Saldana about to slip off the top. Souza drives through, gives up the waist lock again, separates. Two minutes to go.

Check hook by Saldana, avoids a two-piece. Souza counters a left hook with a right hand, then dings Saldana with a flying knee. Hard left hook and right cross. Low kick from Saldana, his first in a while. He eats a cross counter in return. One minute to go. Another right hand by Souza. Saldana lands a body kick and gets cracked by another overhand. Saldana’s output has bottomed out. Hard 1-2. Another clean cross. 10-9 Souza.

Round 3: Souza advancing, eats a low kick. Saldana lands a Superman punch off the cage. Heavy spinning back kick that Souza absorbs. One minute in. Souza still hurling right hands, lands a cross counter. Saldana low kicks. Spinning back fist whiffs. They trade rights in center cage. Souza whiffs on a 1-2 but denies the level change two minutes in. Saldana body kick. Stiff jab met by a Souza cross. Another body kick by Saldana, who’s having a better round. As I say that he nearly takes himself off his feet with a spinning back fist. Souza tries to open up and Saldana waves him on before landing more low kicks. Two minutes to go.

Double right from Souza. Saldana has a kick caught, tries a triangle, then avoids an armbar on the way up. Heavy right hands by Saldana as he waves Souza on. Wheel kick misses, 1-2 does not. Souza comes back with a pair of right hands with a minute to go. Souza lands a good lead right and ties up. Sneaky elbows by Saldana in the clinch, Souza lands a heavy one in return. 10-9 Saldana; comes down to the first round.

Final result: Saldana def. Souza by unanimous decision


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