Two of the most explosive knockout artists in the UFC light heavyweight division go to battle this Saturday.
Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker square off in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, and it would be shocking if the fight between the two Brazilians comes to a decision. This main event has significant significance in the 205-pound division.
ESPN has Santos ranked No. 10 in the world at light heavyweight and Walker is trying to move up the list. Both men were born in Rio de Janeiro but train elsewhere: Santos at Florida’s American Top Team and Walker at SBG Ireland, Conor McGregor’s local gym.
Santos (21-9) is tied for the second most KO / TKOs in UFC history with 11. “Marreta” has lost three matches in a row after four straight wins, but one of those losses was against then-champion Jon. Jones in a 2019 light heavyweight title fight in which Santos hurt both knees. Santos, 37, is still looking for his first win since surgery. He is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 259 in March.
Walker (18-5) is coming off a major first-round knockout of Ryan Spann in September 2020. He has only had two decisions in his professional career, but has won all four of his UFC bouts by stoppage. Walker, 29, was considered a brilliant prospect before back-to-back losses to Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov in 2019 and 2020.
Follow the action live with recaps and analysis from Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim or watch the fights on ESPN +.
Fight in progress:
Women’s Flyweight: Antonina Shevchenko (9-3, 3-3 UFC, +180) vs. Casey O’Neill (7-0, 2-0 UFC, -220)
Women’s bantamweight: Karol Rosa (15-3, 4-0 UFC) defeats Bethe Correia (11-6-1, 5-6-1 UFC) by unanimous decision
Rosa did not give Correia the happiest of goodbyes from the Octagon.
In Correia’s final fight in the UFC, her Brazilian compatriot ended up being the winner by unanimous decision; the judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 in a dominant performance. Correia was excited as she walked to the cage, tears in her eyes. Afterward, he sported a bruised left eye, courtesy of Rosa’s fists, elbows, and knees.
Rosa, 26, has won six fights in a row, including her first four UFC fights. Rosa’s four-fight winning streak is the second-longest active winning streak in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, behind champion Amanda Nunes (9).
Correia, 38, had just two wins in his last nine fights, dating back to his title fight in the UFC 190 PPV main event against Ronda Rousey.
“It’s a very emotional moment for me,” Correia said in his post-fight interview.
Lightweight: Jamie Mullarkey (14-4, 2-2 UFC) defeats Devonte Smith (11-3, 3-2 UFC) by TKO in the second round (punches)
Despite getting hit over and over by his faster opponent in the first round, Mullarkey kept moving forward and bringing his power. It paid off in the second round, when he overwhelmed Smith with volume and finished the fight at 2:51.
Mullarkey, a 27-year-old Australian, has won two fights in a row, both by stoppage. Smith, 28, from Ohio, has lost two of his last three bouts.
Men’s featherweight: Douglas Silva de Andrade (27-4, 5-4 UFC) defeats Gaetano Pirrello (15-7-1, 0-2 UFC) by KO in the first round (punches)
Silva de Andrade got his first final since 2016, and what a final it was. The 36-year-old Brazilian countered a kick with a strong left hook that sent Pirrello crashing to the canvas for a knockout after 2:04 of the fight.
Silva de Andrade has won two of his last three bouts, while Pirrello, 29, of Belgium, has lost both of his UFC bouts.
Women’s Bantamweight: Stephanie Egger (6-2, 1-1 UFC) defeats Shanna Young (8-5, 0-2 UFC) by TKO in the second round (punches)
Egger used takedowns in both rounds to control the fight, landing a ground-and-pound in the second round to get the stoppage and his first UFC win.
The 33-year-old Swiss, who had lost her Octagon debut a year ago, had to fend off Young’s submission attempt in the first round. But in the second, Egger’s offense was too much for Young, and shortly after Egger dropped a big elbow to Young’s face, referee Mark Smith jumped at 2:22 to put an end to it.
Young, 30, has lost both of his UFC fights.
Men’s bantamweight: Alejandro Pérez (23-8-1, 8-3-1 UFC) defeats Johnny Eduardo (28-13, 3-5 UFC) by submission in the second round (armbar)
Mexico’s Pérez hadn’t fought since July 2019, so it took him a while to get going. But after being knocked down early in the second round and having to fight to get back on his feet, he quickly turned things around. Pérez took Eduardo to the canvas and managed an armbar to get the stoppage at 4:13.
Pérez, 32, who fights from San Jose, California, ended a two-game losing streak.
Eduardo, a 43-year-old Brazilian who had not competed since June 2018, lost his third fight in a row.
Read the full story here.
Light Heavyweight: Thiago Santos (21-9, 13-8 UFC, -155) vs. Johnny Walker (18-5, 4-2 UFC, +130)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (21-7, 8-4 UFC -165) vs. Kyle Daukaus (10-2, 1-2 UFC, +140)
Welterweight: Alex Oliveira (22-10-1 1 NC, 11-8 1 NC UFC, +160) vs. Niko Price (14-5 2 NC, 6-5 2 NC UFC, -190)
Middleweight: Misha Cirkunov (15-6, 6-4 UFC, +125) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (22-5, 9-5 UFC, -150)
Lightweight: Alexander Hernandez (12-4, 4-3 UFC, -550) vs. Mike Breeden (10-3, 0-0 UFC, +400)
Lightweight: Joe Solecki (11-2, 3-0 UFC, -135) vs. Jared Gordon (17-4, 5-3 UFC, +115)