UFC Fight Night 159 ‘Rodriguez vs. Stephens’ – Play by Play Updates & LIVE Results

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Steven Peterson defeated Martin Bravo KO in Round 2

The main card kicked off with a ‘fight to secure their jobs’ as both the featherweights Steven Peterson and Martin Bravo had their backs to the wall coming off two straight losses. Without wasting any time, they both start out fast, swinging for the fences at one another. Peterson landed the first kick and sees more opportunities to time few more. Bravo quickly secured a take down but gets caught in the guillotine choke. Peterson could not capitalize on the position and Bravo escapes to stand up. What ensues is a back and forth action as they take turns to crack one another to end the first round with dynamic action. Bravo continues with his game plan; take Peterson to the ground and secured a take down. But the American got back to his feet and begins to trade with the Mexican. Just as Bravo attempts a spinning back fist, its missed the mark. Peterson does his own spinning back fist from the other side and perfectly lands the back of his fist at 1:31 into the second round. Bravo is out cold. The crowd goes silent. Peterson had just landed a highlight reel spinning back fist resulting in the biggest win of his career.

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Irene Aldana defeated Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision

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Irene Aldana is one happy bantamweight. She got a replacement when Marion Reneaua was out. Got to fight in her country and get her hand raised with a strong performance in front of a cheering crowd. The #10 ranked bantam weight fighter had lost her previous fight earlier this year and was in high spirits to get back to the win column. But her opponent Vanessa Melo had very little time to prepare, had missed weight and gave up 30 percent of her purse. With a height and reach advantage Irene began keeping Melo at bay and using her leg kicks to back her up. The Brazilian newcomer kept charging ahead but ate most of the strikes. In the second round, Irene kept landing punches & kicks for which Melo had no response. The striking volume increased in the third resulting in Melo getting battered up. When Melo changed levels and attempted a take down Irene was there to shrug her off.  With Melo going no where, Irene had to settle with the judges scorecard in her favour. Aldana picked up her fourth win in her past five fights and now looked to climb up the bantam weight ladder.

Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov is ruled a Split Draw

Flyweights Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov put on a sensational fight performance but had to settle with a split draw. Which sets up a stage for a quick rematch in 2020.

Askarov was making his UFC debut in the enemy territory and Moreno in his second UFC stint in front of his home crowd had a lot to prove. Askarov who fights out of Khabib’s team, showcased a dominant ground game. While Moreno used his Mexican boxing to do the damage in the stand up. With a close fight the judges scored the fight 30-27 for Moreno, 29-28 for Askarov and the third round a 28-28 score,resulting in a split draw. Askarov as constantly looking for a submission from all positions and strategically broke down Moreno’s defense. Once Moreno was back on his feet, he exploded and clipped Askarov with a thundering shots that wobbled the Dagestani. As much Askarov wanted to take the fight to the ground, Moreno kept scrambling back to his feet. In the final round, Moreno turned the tables and secured a choke from the back that looked like it was going to end Askarov’s night. But Askarov was able to fight off and secure a top position to fend off what seemed like the first loss of his career.

Carla Esparza defeated Alexa Grasso via Majority Decision

In the co-main both the female fighters put on a thrilling fight that kept the crowd at the edge of their seat for the entire three rounds.

The fight started with both the straw weights exchanging strikes on the feet. Esparza, the former strawweight champion found an opening to execute a powerful take down but, Grasso almost reversed the positions. Esparza  finally secured the top control but after a short tussle, Grasso got free to get back to her feet. Grasso then started making use of her improved boxing and her powerful punches began causing problem for Esparza.

Esparza continued with her ground attacks in the second round & secured a single-leg take down. Esparza almost latched onto the back of Grasso but she again scrambled back to her feet. After trading some heavy shots, Esparza took Grasso down for the fourth time. In the final round, Grasso realizing she was behind the score cards came out wild swinging that caught Esparza in the flurry. When Esparza change levels and went for a take down Grasso was ready to defend and in the process caught her in a nasty arm bar attempt that almost got her arm. Esparza managed to survive despite her hyper extended elbow. With seconds remaining both the fighter’s began landing bombs at each other as the crowd stood from the seats to cheer them up.

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens is ruled a No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke)

The much anticipated & hyped main event could not come through as a result of an unforeseen eye poke just 15 seconds into the first round.

Rodriguez landed a leg kick and just as he retreated used his left hand to push Stephens away. But the fingers pushed his eye causing it to shut down. Herb Dean and the doctors came over to check on Stephens. His eye couldn’t even open up. Even after taking full five minutes Stephens was still in pain and unable to see with his eye. Doctor and Herb Dean had no choice but to call a stop to the contest.

The crowd immediately ensued in booing the decision and started throwing bottles and other litter into the Octagon. An object from the crowd hits Rodriguez who tries to leap out of the cage. Within seconds, Stephens is being escorted out of the arena while Rodriguez gave an emotional speech as a result of this stoppage. The UFC should possibly now re-book this match up once Stephens recovers


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