The anticipated Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight came and went on Saturday night, and after eight rounds, the exhibition boxing match inside Staples Center in Los Angeles ended in a split draw.
Onward to tonight’s focus:
UFC Vegas 15:
UFC Vegas 15 took place on Saturday night as the lone MMA show over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Fights Called Off:
Originally slated to be an 11-fight UFC card, UFC Vegas 15 lost two of its scheduled bouts over the course of the final days leading up to fight night.
The originally-scheduled Heavyweight main event between No. 2 contender Curtis Blaydes and No. 4 contender Derrick Lewis was scrapped on Friday morning, about 36 hours before the main card due to Blaydes returning a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
Also gone from the card was a Flyweight bout between No. 15 contender Amir Albazi and Zhalgas Zhumagulov—but this one was scrubbed due to visa issues with Zhumagulov.
The UFC is currently efforting reschedules for both of these contests.
So, this left UFC Vegas 15 with 10 fights on Saturday night.
Of those 10 fights, seven ended in stoppages, making for a stoppage rate of 70 percent.
Since the UFC returned to live action on May 9 with the rescheduled UFC 249, the promotion has held 328 individual bouts, with 171 having ended in stoppages, resulting in a rate of 52.1 percent all told.
The Fights Themselves:
Luke Sanders vs. Nate Maness:
UFC Vegas 15 began on Saturday night with this contracted catchweight affair between Luke Sanders (12-4) and Nate Maness (13-1) at 140 lbs.
Early on, Luke Sanders proved to be the aggressor, landing solid punches against Maness and wobbling him against the cage at times.
Statistically, he landed north of 40 total strikes on Maness, with most of them landing from a distance, in the first period.
Round two brought more of the same from Luke Sanders, who teed off on Maness, stunning him again and nearly knocking him out.
Maness returned fire, scoring with a right-handed punch, and the script was flipped from here.
He took back mount and secured a rear-naked choke midway through the round for the first stoppage on the night.
Su Mudaerji vs. Malcolm Gordon:
The second of four undercard bouts to begin UFC Vegas 15 saw Flyweight action between Su Mudaerji (11-4), who moved down from Bantamweight (135 lbs.) and Malcom Gordon (12-4).
Folks, this one was over almost as quickly as it began—as Mudaerji quickly pounced on Gordon and unloaded with vicious ground and pound shots to score the opening-round knockout for the card’s second stoppage in a row to begin the proceedings.
In just 44 seconds, Mudaerji scored the third-fastest stoppage win by a Flyweight.
Co-Featured Prelim: Gina Mazany vs. Rachael Ostovich:
Women’s Flyweight action took place in UFC Vegas 15’s co-featured undercard fight when Gina Mazany (7-4) fought Rachael Ostovich (4-6).
This was the first appearance at Flyweight for Mazany.
Round one saw Mazany be the aggressor, landing a variety of strikes.
By round two, Mazany had landed four total takedowns, accumulating some ground control time and landing some ground and pound strikes from the back mount.
In the fight’s last round, fatigue set in on Ostovich and Mazany continued to land strikes—transitioning to full mount with some serious ground and pound strikes to hurt Ostovich—before getting back to the feet.
Late in the round, Mazany landed the final blows in the form of two front kicks to Ostovich’s liver, resulting in Ostovich going down—and out—in a heap for the TKO and the third stoppage in a row.
Featured Prelim: Martin Day vs. Anderson dos Santos:
UFC Vegas 15’s undercard culminated with this Bantamweight showcase between Martin Day (8-5) and Anderson dos Santos (21-8).
dos Santos had an early edge with strikes in the opening round, besting Day by a 14-9 margin and landing a takedown.
Late in the round, Martin Day flipped the script and landed his own takedown, but dos Santos flipped the script right back and scored a guillotine after the reversal for the fourth stoppage in a row.
This was dos Santos’ 12th career submission victory.
Jonathan Pearce vs. Kai Kamaka:
This Featherweight bout between Jonathan Pearce (10-4) and Kai Kamaka (8-3) to begin UFC Vegas 15’s main card was a late addition to that portion of the event to compensate for fights that were withdrawn from the show.
Viewers who were watching the main card on TV were redirected to ESPNEWS due to an earlier LSU vs. Texas A&M SEC football game running past its allotted three-hour time on ESPN.
The fight was nearly a dead heat in the opening round in terms of strikes landed, with each man landing a takedown.
Pearce took a clear advantage in the second round of this bout, completing three takedowns in that period alone—with the third takedown being the most effective—as Pearce landed some serious ground and pound strikes and attempted to secure a triangle choke.
More ground and pound followed from Pearce late in the round—scoring the second-round TKO—the fifth stoppage in a row to begin the card.
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Norma Dumont Viana:
Originally slated to be the featured fight on the undercard of UFC Vegas 15, this Women’s Bantamweight fixture matching Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-5) with Norma Dumont Viana (5-1) was elevated to the main card to compensate for lost bouts from the show.
Dumont Viana was the more aggressive fighter, landing 18 strikes to Evans-Smith’s 15, along with one takedown over the opening five minutes.
This advantage continued in the fight’s second round, where she landed a second takedown and accumulated ground control time.
Round three was fought exclusively on the feet, but Dumont Viana was still the aggressor—and for the first time on Saturday night, the scorecards factored into the final decision.
Norma Dumont Viana took this fight by unanimous decision.
Spike Carlyle vs. Bill Algeo:
Featherweights took to the famed UFC Octagon at the midpoint of UFC Vegas 15 on Saturday night as Spike Carlyle (9-3) battled Bill Algeo (14-5).
Late in the first round, Carlyle attempted to land a submission, but Algeo fought out of it to see a second round.
Another submission attempt followed from Carlyle in round two— again, it proved to be an unsuccessful one.
All told, Carlyle was the dominant fighter in terms of takedowns, with Algeo being the better fighter in strikes landed.
Part of the third round was fought in the clinch, but again, Algeo scored with punches out of the clinch.
Late in the same round, the fight returned to the clinch—and after 15 minutes, this fight went to the scorecards—with Bill Algeo, who postponed a vacation commemorating his first wedding anniversary with his wife, winning by unanimous decision.
Josh Parisian vs. Parker Porter:
In the last bout prior to UFC Vegas 15’s co-main attraction, Heavyweight action took place as Josh Parisian (11-6) fought Parker Porter (13-4) in the former’s UFC debut.
Midway through the opening round, the action was momentarily halted after Porter’s mouth guard fell out.
The two traded strikes during the round, but Parisian was the more active fighter.
In all, 100 strikes were landed during the opening five minutes, with Parisian landing 60 of them.
Porter flipped the script in the second round, scoring with 41 strikes landed, compared to just 18 for Josh Parisian.
Although Josh Parisian continued to land strikes in the final round, Parker Porter was the better fighter on this night, winning by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Co-Main Event: Miguel Baeza vs. Takashi Soto:
UFC Vegas 15’s co-headliner saw the Welterweights go at it as Miguel Baeza (10-0) fought Takashi Soto (16-4).
Midway through the opening round, Baeza landed an illegal blow (groin strike) on Soto, pausing the fight temporarily.
Despite the illegal blow, Baeza was the more active fighter in the first five minutes.
This pace continued during the second round—with Baeza taking back mount late in the period—cashing in with a submission for the sixth stoppage of the night.
Main Event: No. 6 contender Anthony Smith vs. Devin Clark:
The UFC Vegas 15 main event was also the card’s only fight to feature a ranked fighter as No. 6 contender Anthony Smith (34-16) fought unranked Devin Clark (12-5) at 205 lbs. to close the show.
Although Anthony Smith landed a takedown, Devin Clark was the more aggressive fighter in the early going, taking top position and full guard from Smith after the takedown—but it didn’t last long, as Anthony Smith secured the triangle choke submission from the bottom position on the ground for the seventh and last stoppage of the evening.