What was a lackluster pay-per-view on paper turned out to be an incredible 10-fight card. Kamaru Usman retained his welterweight title by knocking out former teammate Gilbert Burns in the third round. A clearly emotional Gilbert Burns was consoled by Usman after the fight as the Nigerian Nightmare showed again why he has excelled in the UFC. He moves to 13-0 in the promotion with three title defenses.
In the co-main event, Alexa Grasso earned a highly technical victory in. a battle of flyweight prospects. Further down the card, Julian Marquez earned a come-from-behind submission win and Anthony Hernandez shocked Rodolfo Vieira with a second-round submission victory.
Matt and Craig each went 5-5 on the night. Matt maintains his 5-pick advantage in the season total. Check back next week for coverage of UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Blaydes.
Gabe Green (-138) def. Philip Rowe by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+264); over 2.5 (+113)
Matt’s pick: Green; Craig’s pick: Green
Now you know why Matt and Craig saw this a sneaky contender for Fight of the Night. Philip Rowe was plenty game in his UFC debut, as he came out firing, piecing up Gabe Green on the feet and transitioning to mount when he was taken down. But Green came rallying back in the second round with some powerful bombs while chopping down Rowe’s lead leg. A back-and-forth third round followed. Rowe controlled top position for two minutes but the round ended with Green stunning Rowe for the umpteenth time in the fight to earn a close decision win.
Catchweight: 140 pounds
Chris Gutierrez (-133) def. Andre Ewell by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)
Props: by decision (+167); over 2.5 (-216)
Matt’s pick: Ewell; Craig’s pick: Ewell
Chris Gutierrez became known for a TKO by calf kick, and lived up to his reputation Saturday. He continuously peppered Andre Ewell with calf kicks, occasionally going high to stun Ewell, as he did to end the first round. By the end, Ewell could barely stand and Gutierrez earned his fourth win in the UFC.
Polyana Viana (-108) def. Mallory Martin by armbar (R1, 3:18)
Props: by submission (+337); under 1.5 (+278)
Matt’s pick: Martin; Craig’s pick: Martin
Polyana Viana wasted no time in getting to where she’s most comfortable. She jumped guard as soon as she could and then worked through a variety of submission attempts stemming from a triangle. Mallory Martin tried for almost 2 minutes to escape but eventually tapped to the armbar.
Belal Muhammed (-466) def. Dhiego Lima by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Props: by decision (-151); over 2.5 (-236)
Matt’s pick: Muhammed; Craig’s pick: Muhammed
Belal Muhammed put on a great performance in piecing Dhiego Lima from opening to final bell. He pressured Lima up against the cage, and while he only registered one takedown (in the final minute), he peppered Lima with shots, mixing it up to body and head. Lima had success in chopping down Muhammed’s lead leg and he showed improved takedown defense, but Muhammed was the big favorite for a reason and it showed.
Anthony Hernandez (+366) def. Rodolfo Vieira by guillotine (R2, 1:53)
Props: by submission (+2200); under 1.5 (-154)
Matt’s pick: Vieira; Craig’s pick: Vieira
Undefeated Rodolfo Vieira appeared to be on his path to a submission victory just moments into the fight. He had the back of Anthony Hernandez and he is a dangerous grappler. Hernandez escaped, though, and then proceeded to use Vieira as a punching bag for almost a round. As Vieira fatigued, Hernandez took him to the canvas and choked him out. Fluffy takes the zero!
Julian Marquez (-166) def. Maki Pitolo by anaconda (R3, 4:17)
Props: by submission (+564); over 2.5 (+105)
Matt’s pick: Pitolo; Craig’s pick: Marquez
After getting dominated in the grappling exchanges for two rounds, Julian Marquez rallied and earned a third-round submission by anaconda choke. A clearly fatigued Maki Pitolo continuously searched for takedowns and was clearly the better grappler. But Marquez caught Pitolo with some heavy hands in the third round and pressured him, forcing a lazy takedown attempt. Marquez took advantage by catching a neck and picking up his second UFC win and first since 2017.
Ricky Simon (-256) def. Brian Kelleher by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Props: by decision (-127); over 2.5 (-243)
Matt’s pick: Simon; Craig’s pick: Simon
In his best performance to date, Ricky Simon dominated Brian Kelleher from start to finish. Using his trademark wrestling, Simon double-legged Kelleher early and then used a short elbow to open a cut on Kelleher’s eye. It was a hint at what was to come as Simon dominated every grappling exchange and showed an improved striking game to earn his sixth win in the UFC and third in a row.
Kelvin Gastelum (-204) def. Ian Heinisch by 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+108); over 2.5 (-244)
Matt’s pick: Gastelum; Craig’s pick: Gastelum
Kelvin Gastelum used a more wrestling-heavy approach than we’re used to on his way to a decision victory over Ian Heinisch. “The Hurricane” had a few moments where he looked dangerous, including a couple flying knees and some submission attempts, but Gastelum was the stronger wrestler. He managed several takedowns in the center of the Octagon — his six takedowns are a UFC career-high — to end a three-fight skid.
Alexa Grasso showed technique is better than power in a clinical effort to earn a decision victory in a high profile matchup of flyweight prospects. Maycee Barber had moments when she connected with power punches. The one takedown Barber earned, though, Grasso reversed it with a submission sweep and almost earned a submission of her own. Overall, a marquee win on the big stage for the Mexican.
Make it 13 in a row! Kamaru Usman overcame a big first round from Gilbert Burns and gained steam as he went along. Burns knocked Usman down in the first round; Usman returned the favor in the second. But Burns was clearly out on the feet in the second round and couldn’t recover on the stool. Usman’s jab sent Burns back to the canvas where Usman peppered with him shots until referee Herb Dean called an end to the fight. An emotional Burns was consoled by his former teammate after Bruce Buffer announced the final result. Usman still hasn’t lost in the UFC and remains the welterweight champ. “Any one of these fools can get it,” a hyped up Usman said in his postfight interview with Joe Rogan.