The UFC held their first card in the city of Rochester, New York on Saturday night to see Kevin Lee move up in weight and meet former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at their new adopted home at welterweight.
In front of 8,132 fans at the Blue Cross Arena, Rafael dos Anjos appeared to better conditioned for the in the later rounds and submitting the converted lightweight in the fourth round. The fight was a grueling wrestling contest at times, with each securing multiple takedowns and positional control that went tit-for-tat.
Lee won the first round with an early takedown and control against the cage. In the second round, Lee shot for takedowns, but it was dos Anjos landing the defining strikes of the round towards the end. In Round 3, it was one takedown after the other and the pace was such that one was going to break from the intensity of the wrestling. In the fourth round, Lee shot for a single leg unsuccessfully and found himself underneath dos Anjos, who moved to mount and locked in the arm-triangle submission and tapped out Lee.
Dos Anjos earned a necessary victory following demoralizing losses to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman last year, improving his UFC welterweight record to 4-2 since moving up in 2017.
In a middleweight bout, Ian Heinisch earned a unanimous decision over Antonio Carlos Junior in a hard-fought affair. Carlos Junior dominated Heinisch in the first round through body control and blocking Heinisch’s attempts to escape with somersaults. Heinisch got a reprieve in the second round when he escaped Carlos Junior’s grip and opened his striking near the end of the round to steal it. It came down to the final round where Heinisch was fresher, shook off Carlos Junior from his back and used ground and pound. The three judges scored it 29-28.
Canadian featherweight Felicia Spencer upset Megan Anderson with a first-round rear-naked choke submission. After eating a right hand, Spencer took down the larger opponent and transitioned to her back and applied her hooks. Spencer was relentless with her control, flattening Anderson and forcing the tap at the 3:24 mark. With the depth at featherweight, it’s anyone’s title shot and Spencer took her shot in her post-fight interview.
Earlier in the week, Neil Magny withdrew from his fight with Vicente Luque due to a USADA violation and led to late replacement Derrick Krantz stepping in. While Luque was a minus 1200 favorite, Krantz started with a ferocious pace, landing a right hand and going for a guillotine immediately. Krantz was winning the round when he was caught with a knee to the body and a left hand. Luque was on top of Krantz and delivering numerous right hands when referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight. It was Luque’s fifth straight victory and improved to 16-6-1.
The streaking Charles Oliveira added to the list with a TKO victory over Nik Lentz. This was their third meeting following a no contest in June 2011 due to an illegal knee followed by Oliveira submitting Lentz in May 2015. Oliveira’s striking was excellent in the first round, landing a leaping elbow and what is best described as a Brogue kick. Lentz was cut over the left eye and it was re-opened in the second round. After an illegal up kick from Oliveira, the fight resumed and Oliveira tagged him with a straight right, sending Lentz to the canvas and “The Carny” was finished with hammer fists. Oliveira has won his last five fights.
The main card opened with a lightweight fight as Davi Ramos defeated Austin Hubbard by unanimous decision. Ramos won the first round with a takedown and threatening with a choke. In the second, they had their most competitive round, including Hubbard nailing him with a flying knee. Ramos secured the takedown in the final minute. Ramos landed his best strike of the fight in the third when he wobbled Hubbard and followed up with more strikes. Ramos won the fight on scores of 30-27 from all three judges and said he wants to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, which is not going to be his next opponent.
The Fight of the Night bonus was awarded to Aspen Ladd and Sijara Eubanks for their fight on the preliminary card. The Performance of the Night bonuses went to Michel Pereira and Grant Dawson.
Here are the full results from the card:
*Julio Arce def. Julian Erosa by KO at 1:49 of Round 3
*Zak Cummings def. Trevin Giles by guillotine at 4:01 of Round 3
*Ed Herman def. Patrick Cummins by TKO at 3:39 of Round 1
*Grant Dawson def. Michael Trizano by rear-naked choke at 2:27 of Round 2
*Michel Pereira def. Danny Roberts by KO at 1:47 of Round 1
*Desmond Green def. Charles Jourdain by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Aspen Ladd def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
*Davi Ramos def. Austin Hubbard by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz by TKO at 2:11 of Round 2
*Vicente Luque def. Derrick Krantz by TKO at 3:52 of Round 1
*Felicia Spencer def. Megan Anderson by rear-naked choke at 3:24 of Round 1
*Ian Heinisch def. Antonio Carlos Junior by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Rafael dos Anjos def. Kevin Lee by arm-triangle at 3:47 of Round 4