MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK — The theme of UFC 295 was expected to be pure violence. It came to be and then some. Everyone, from the fans inside Madison Square Garden to those in media row, are still trying to pick their jaw up from the floor after UFC 295 delivered on its promise of knockouts and epic endings.
Alex Pereira and Tom Aspinall can now call themselves champions following quick knockout wins.
Pereira, the former UFC middleweight champion, beat Jiri Prochazka to become the UFC light heavyweight champion. It was a tense fight right from the start, with both staring the other down. The Brazilian used his leg kicks to chop down Prochazka, the former light heavyweight champion who had to relinquish the belt because of injury. Prochazka attempted to fight back, landing vicious shots to the face of Pereira.
A guillotine choke almost took Prochazka out, but he turned the tables and landed on top of Pereira. Round two saw them trade blows, with Prochazka smothering Pereira by the cage. Pereira countered a shot and landed a left that took Prochazka down. He landed hammerfists to the side of the head, and the referee saw enough. The fans thought it was an early stoppage, but Prochazka did look out of it.
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Pereira wins his second fight at light heavyweight, his third in MSG, and his sixth contest in the UFC. He becomes the fastest fighter to become a multi-division champion. Prochazka had his thirteen-fight win streak come to an end.
“In the end, I think it was right. I was out,” Prochazka said.
In the co-main event, Tom Aspinall fulfilled his destiny by knocking out Sergei Pavlovich to become the interim UFC heavyweight champion. Aspinall used leg kicks to push the Russian back. He then landed double combinations to drop him and landed a few more blows for good. It only took one round for Aspinall to go from a questionable injured fighter to on top of the world.
Aspinall is on a two-fight win streak and now awaits to face the eventual winner of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic. Jones injured himself before this fight and was unable to defend the UFC heavyweight title in New York.
“If you’ve ever had the chance to do something, and you’re scared to do it, f—— do it,” Aspinall said.”
Outside the top two fights, several fights ended painfully. Opening the main card, Benoit Saint-Denis knocked out Matt Frevola while Diego Lopes took care of Pat Sabatini. Saint-Denis called out Justin Gaethje, perhaps at a future UFC Paris show. Jessica Andrade won her second fight in her fifth contest of 2023, shockingly beating Mackenzie Dern.
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The Sporting News provided results and highlights from UFC 295. Check it out!
Round two: Prochazka marched forward and tried for a front kick tot he chest. Kick to the chest by Pereira, and another. Both traded shots, with Prochazka landing by the cage. He landed combinations and smothered Pereira. Leg kicks by Pereira connected and a hook. They traded leg kicks, and Prochazka went for a big shot, but Pereira countered and landed the big knockout blow. He’s now a two-division champion and Mr. MSG.
Round one: At the stroke of midnight, the fight began, as the two stared one another down like a Final Boss battle. They traded leg kicks to start. Prochazka went for the uppercut, but missed. Pereira chopped him down with a leg kick, and landed another. Prochazka tried chasing him down, but Pereira continued to kick away. Jiri’s hands were down. By the cage, Pereira avoided a takedown. He put in a guillotine choke, and had him on the floor. Prochazka is on top guard now. He tried to smother Pereira, who wasn’t having it. The former landed elbows to the head.
SN unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Pereira
The main event is up next, right before midnight. Thank you, MMA Gods, for a night of violence. Out comes Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira, two of the most intense fighters in MMA today.
Round one: The hugged before trying to beat the other up. Leg kick by Aspinall to start, while Pavlovich went for a huge strike. Leg kick to the face by Aspinall. Aspinall dropped Pavlovich with combinations and started pounding away at him. The fight is over! Wow! We have an interim heavyweight champion.
11:30 p.m. ET: The co-main event is up next for the interim UFC heavyweight title. Tom Aspinall is making his way to the octagon. From a bad injury to fighting for gold, the English fighter is ready for this moment. Sergei Pavlovich out next, looking determined. Will this fight last long? Let us find out.
11:15 p.m. ET: Dern used her jab right away and took Andrade down, only for the Brazilian to get back up. They then tried to go shot for shot. Dern landed several shots, fell, and ended up fighting within the clinch. Andrade dropped Dern before the final bell of the first. Round two had both exchange blows, with Dern using jabs. She tried reaching for shots, with Andrade avoided. Dern got dropped again and tried to be cute with her shots. They both landed head shots. Finally, Andrade landed the finishing shot that dropped Dern for good. A much-needed win for Andrade.
11 p.m. ET: This next fight is interesting. Mackenzie Dern is looking to go 2-0 in 2023, while is competing in her fifth fight in 2023. She is 1-3.
10:45 p.m. ET: Frevola came out swinging right away, juiced up by the MSG energy. Saint-Denis kicked him down, but Frevola ended up on top. He landed a big takedown when they were back up. Saint-Denis with a head kick from hell and it is all over.
10:30 p.m. ET: Long Island’s Matt Frevola is about to make his way to the octagon, facing Benoit Saint-Denis. Frevola comes out to “Narco,” famously played for Edwin Diaz of the New York Mets.
10:20 p.m. ET: The first fight of the night is a featherweight fight between Diego Lopes and Pat Sabatini. The crowd chanted “USA, USA” but Lopes, fighting out of Mexico, got the win via knockout. The violence on the main card has already started.
10 p.m. ET: The UFC 295 main card has started. The crowd is ready for some violence.
9:55 p.m. ET: Before the main card started, the UFC brought out Donald Trump.
9:45 p.m. ET: Adding to an entertaining prelims, Steve Erceg faces Alessandro Costa. On the last prelim fight, Steve Erceg def. Alessandro Costa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
9:30 p.m. ET: After a back and forth affair, Lupita Godinez def. Tabatha Ricci via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28). The 30-27 score for Ricci shocked the MSG crowd, as referee Bryan Miner was apparently watching another fight.
9 p.m. ET: Rising strawweights collide as Tabatha Ricci and Loopy Godinez face off.
8:40 p.m. ET: Roosevelt Roberts, a replacement opponent who returned following a stint on The Ultimate Fighter, quickly tapped out against Mateusz Rębecki. Rębecki used an armbar submission and got a verbal tap from Roberts.
8:10 p.m. ET: The prelims have started. Nazim Sadykhov and Viacheslav Borshchev competed in a hard-hitting affair, possibly the true Fight of the Night. They went back and forth, with the second round a potential 10-8 round. The fight was scored a draw.
7 p.m. ET: In the opening bout of the early prelims, Jamall Emmers needed less than a minute to knock out Dennis Buzukja. Meanwhile, Joshua Van and Kevin Borjas had an early contender for Fight of the Night, with Van winning via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28). John Castaneda defeated Kang Kyung-ho via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3), and New York’s Jared Gordon knocked out Mark Madsen in the first round.
Hello everyone, and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of UFC 295! The crowd is starting to come in droves in MSG.