UFC Fight Night Report: Volkov stops Overeem, Sandhagen KOs Edgar

Eric Marcotte reviews Saturday's UFC Fight Night with Alexander Volkov stopping Alistair Overeem, and a big contender for KO of the Year.

Photo Courtesy: UFC

UFC Fight Night Report: Alexander Volkov Stops Alistair Overeem in Round 2

On Saturday evening, the UFC returned to the Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, to host their first event of the month. This was a very solid Fight Night card on paper, headlined by a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. Going into this fight, Overeem had won four of his last five bouts, and a win over Volkov would likely reinsert Overeem into the crowded heavyweight title picture. Alexander Volkov was coming off of a stoppage win over Walt Harris and was looking to recapture the momentum that was on his side before his knockout loss to Derrick Lewis in 2018. In the co-main event, the former UFC Lightweight Champion, Frankie Edgar, continued his bantamweight run, meeting Cory Sandhagen, who finished Marlon Moraes in spectacular fashion in his last bout.

A featherweight fight between Cody Stamann and Askar Askar, which was originally scheduled for the main card of this event, was canceled hours prior to the card after Askar was not medically cleared to compete.

Brendan Fitzgerald provided commentary for this card, alongside Dominick Cruz and Daniel Cormier. Performance bonuses were awarded to Cory Sandhagen and Alexander Volkov. Fight of the Night bonuses went out to Beneil Dariush and Carlos Diego Ferreira.


*Ode Osbourne def. Jerome Rivera by KO at 0:26 of Round 1

*Timur Valiev def. Martin Day by unanimous decision (30-25, 20-25, 30-36)

*Seung Woo Choi def. Youssef Zalal by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

*Lara Procopio def. Molly McCann by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)

*Karol Rosa def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Devonte Smith def. Justin Jaynes by TKO at 3:38 of Round 2

*Danilo Marques def. Mike Rodriguez by rear-naked choke at 4:52 of Round 2

*Beneil Dariush def. Carlos Diego Ferreira by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

*Alexandre Pantoja def. Manel Kape by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

*Clay Guida def. Michael Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Cory Sandhagen def. Frankie Edgar by KO at 0:28 of Round 1

*Alexander Volkov def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 2:06 of Round 2


In the opening seconds of the fight, Rivera went for a high kick, and he got nailed by a brutal straight left hand from Osbourne that floored him. Osborne followed Rivera down to the ground and rained down strikes until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Ode Osbourne by KO at 0:26 of Round 1

This was a spectacular highlight finish for Ode Osbourne, and he picked up his first UFC win here with this knockout. While this bout took place at featherweight, Osbourne typically competes at flyweight, and it will be interesting to see what he looks like at 125lbs in the future.


Valiev began the fight with some solid leg kicks. They were adding up quickly, but Day still managed to defend Valiev’s first takedown attempt of the fight. Valiev continued to pursue the takedown against the cage, and while Day did an admirable job of staying on his feet, Valiev was eventually successful and began to work from Day’s guard. He spent the remainder of the round on top and certainly won this first round.

Valiev continued to attack the lead leg of Day as the second round began. He took Day down with a single leg and quickly moved into a half guard in the center of the cage. He spent the majority of this round in top position, and Valiev racked up a lot of control time throughout the second. Day managed to sweep his way on top before time expired, but it wasn’t enough to win him back the round. 20-18 Valiev.

Once again, Valiev threw a few kicks and proceeded to bring Day right back to the ground. Day tried to work his way up against the cage, but found himself back on the ground before long. Valiev controlled the remainder of the round, and this was another easy round to score in his favour. 30-27 Valiev.

WINNER: Timur Valiev by unanimous decision (30-25, 20-25, 30-36)

Valiev dominated almost every second of this fight. Personally, I didn’t see any 10-8 rounds, but I wouldn’t argue with someone who scored this fight 30-24 either. Day didn’t have anything for Valiev on the feet or on the ground, and Valiev cruised to his first UFC victory here. In his post-fight interview, Valiev called for a fight against Julio Arce at 135lbs.


Zalal was working his jab as he circled the cage early. Choi was throwing some heavy shots, but Zalal was doing a good job of avoiding most of them. Zalal proceeded to attempt a takedown, and Choi defended it but found himself pressed against the cage. They were eventually separated, and both fighters landed some big shots in the ensuing flurry. Choi ended the round strongly, with a solid combination and a takedown. I gave the edge to Choi, but it was close.

They spent the opening minutes wrestling against the cage, in somewhat of a stalemate. They were separated halfway through the round, and Choi landed a few solid hooks. Choi flurried forward and re-engaged Zalal in the clinch against the cage. They separated yet again with a minute remaining, and ultimately, I thought Choi took the second round as well, although these five minutes were hardly action-packed.

Zalal finally succeeded on a takedown attempt about a minute and a half into the third round, and he went for a guillotine choke, but Choi escaped and began to work from top position. They returned to their feet momentarily, but Zalal tried to bring the fight right back to the ground. Despite being dragged to the ground a couple of times, Choi did a good job of getting back to his feet and staying out of danger. 29-28 Choi.

WINNER: Seung Woo Choi by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

While the first round was solid enough, the following two rounds of this fight were pretty dull. Choi’s striking looked solid, but I’m not sure how much there was to analyze from his performance here (or Zalal’s). Choi is now 2-2 in the UFC.


McCann wasted no time in closing the distance and going on the attack early. McCann landed a combination of strikes, and Procopio began to search for a takedown. They wrestled against the cage for about a minute, and Procopio managed to take McCann down with a slick trip. She worked her way into half guard and was smothering McCann with pressure. Procopio took McCann’s back late in the round, and while time expired before she could do much with it, this was a clear round for Procopio.

McCann started the second much like she did the first, but found herself back on the ground about a minute into the round. McCann went for an armbar from her back, and it looked deep, but she lost it momentarily, and Procopio stacked her against the cage in an attempt to escape the move. Procopio was ultimately successful, but McCann was able to pick herself up against the cage. Procopio racked up another takedown towards the end of the round. I found this particular round difficult to score on account of McCann’s armbar attempt, which was far and away the most significant moment of the fight thus far, and ultimately, I gave her the round by the narrowest of margins.

Procopio was successful in bringing the fight back to the ground, once again about a minute into it. She rolled for a heel hook, and McCann managed to spin out of it. Procopio soon recorded her sixth takedown of the fight and continued to control the grappling exchanges from top position. 29-28 Procopio.

WINNER: Lara Procopio by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Procopio managed to control the majority of this fight with her wrestling, although there was certainly a scare for her in the second round in the form of McCann’s armbar attempt. Procopio is now 1-1 in the UFC with this win. Notably, McCann left her gloves in the cage after the fight, which is often a sign of retirement in Mixed Martial Arts, but she later clarified it was in tribute to her father, who recently passed away.


Rosa took Edwards down with ease, seconds into the fight. While she didn’t do a ton of damage from top positon, she racked up a ton of control time. Edwards eventually escaped to her feet, and they exchanged some big strikes, that left both of them looking stunned momentarily. 10-9 Rosa.

Rosa buckled Edwards’ lead leg twice with heavy low kicks. She brought Edwards into the clinch, and by the time they separated, Edwards was looking a bit hurt. Rosa looked like she was taking over as she teed off on Edwards against the cage, but Edwards charged forward with a nonstop combination of punches to get Rosa off of her. Rosa proceeded to take Edwards back to the ground. Rosa was bleeding heavily from her mouth, and she took a moment to spit out some blood before she got back to pressing Edwards into the ground. 20-18 Rosa.

Rosa took Edwards right back down seconds into the third. The octagon (as well as Rosa and Edwards) was just covered in Rosa’s blood at this point. Rosa was able to control pretty much the entirety of this round with her grappling, and I scored the fight 30-27 in her favour.

WINNER: Karol Rosa by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

Edwards certainly had her moments in this fight, and she possesses genuine power, but by and large, she did not appear to be ready for a fight against someone on the level of Karol Rosa here. Rosa’s performance was very impressive here, and the massive amount of blood that she spilt throughout the last two rounds didn’t seem to phase her at all. Rosa is now 3-0 in the UFC.


Both fighters were aware of the other man’s power, and the fight started slowly as they felt each other out. Smith kept Jaynes at bay with his jab, but was eventually caught by an overhand that hurt him momentarily. Smith eventually let his hands go as he blitzed late in the round, and I thought he stole this round back. 10-9 Smith.

Jaynes appeared to have switched strategies coming out of his corner, as he aggressively pursued the takedown, but Smith reversed it and put himself into side control. He moved into full mount and began to rain down ground and pound strikes, before moving to the back of Jaynes and attempting a rear-naked choke. Jaynes escaped the submission attempt, but his right eye was so swollen from Smith’s attack that the doctor was brought in, and he was rendered unable to continue.

WINNER: Devonte Smith by TKO at 3:38 of Round 2

The left eye of Jaynes looked brutal, and it was definitely the right call to stop the fight when they did. I thought once Smith got comfortable, he looked great, and despite losing his last fight in dramatic fashion, Devonte Smith remains someone to keep an eye on as he continues his UFC run. He is now 3-1 in the promotion.


This fight kicked off the main card.

Marques brought Rodriguez down about thirty seconds into the first round. Rodriguez managed to work his way back to his feet against the cage, but he was promptly taken right back down. Marques controlled almost the entirety of the round, but an exhausted Rodriguez did manage to make his way back to his feet once more before time expired. 10-9 Marques.

Rodriguez defended an early takedown attempt from Marques in the second round and responded with a short uppercut. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, his takedown defense didn’t hold up on Marques’s second attempt, and Marques brought the fight back to the ground. Marques landed some strong ground and pound shots this time around, and Rodriguez was stuck in a rough position, flat on his back, with his head against the cage. He took the back of Rodriguez late in the round, he locked in a rear-naked choke, and he proceeded to choke Rodriguez unconscious.

WINNER: Danilo Marques by rear-naked choke at 4:52 of Round 2

There was a clear discrepancy in the grappling ability between these two, and Marques played to his strengths, keeping the fight on the ground unit he ultimately pulled off the submission. Rodriguez seemed a bit lost on the ground here, and this was not one of his better performances. Marques is now 2-0 in the UFC.


Dariush went for the single leg early, and Ferreira attempted an omoplata before scrambling back to his feet. Dariush went for another takedown, to no real success, but both men landed some strong hooks when they reset on the feet. Following a wild striking exchange, a knee to the body from Dariush hurt Ferreira, and he took Ferreira to the ground. Ferreira wrapped up the leg of Dariush, but Dariush did a great job of retaining top position, and he landed some strong ground and pound strikes as Ferreira attempted to scramble to his feet. Ferreira was successful, and he landed a one-two that hurt Dariush before time in the round expired. 10-9 Dariush on my scorecard.

They immediately resumed their violent exchanges on the feet when the second round began. Dariush brought Ferreira back down to the ground about a minute into the round, and he racked up about two minutes of control time before Ferreira got back to his feet. They exchanged right hands, and Dariush took Ferreira right back down to the ground, as his advantage in the wrestling department seemed evident by this point. 20-18 Dariush.

Ferreira tagged Dariush with a few left hands to begin the third round, and he defended Dariush’s first two takedown attempts of the round. Dariush threw a kick that landed low, and the action was paused momentarily. Dariush landed a big left hand as the fight resumed, and attempted another takedown that Ferreira defended. There was a heavy exchange in the pocket and a brief scramble on the ground before they reset. Dariush shot one more takedown, and this time he was successful, bringing Ferreira to the ground with a minute remaining. Ferreira got back to his feet before time expired, and I thought he won the round, but I scored the fight 29-28 for Beneil Dariush.

WINNER: Beneil Dariush by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was an excellent fight, between two of the lightweight division’s most exciting fighters. They were very evenly matched, but Dariush seemed to have the wrestling advantage, which allowed him to rack up the takedowns and control time throughout the fight. Dariush is now on a six-fight win streak, and he’ll likely find himself back in the top ten following this win. Conversely, this snaps Ferreira’s six-fight win streak and definitely marks a significant setback for him.


Pantoja came out swinging and was giving Kape a lot to think about early in this one, with a multifaceted attack. Kape was rather inactive throughout the first round, and Pantoja was landing some hard shots when he managed to work his way in through Kape’s defense. Kape went for a cartwheel kick late in the round, which allowed Pantoja to land a knee as he picked himself up. 10-9 Pantoja.

They exchanged heavy leg kicks to begin the second round. Pantoja landed a number of body kicks and caught Kape with a counter right hand. He connected with another hard right hand, as well as follow up kick to the body. Kape’s output continued to be rather low, and he was allowing Pantoja to run away with this fight on activity alone. He shot for a takedown near the end of the round, but Pantoja did a good job of scrambling to his feet. 20-18 Pantoja.

Kape landed a pair of left hands to begin the third round. Kapa was throwing up a ton of feints throughout the fight, but Pantoja wasn’t biting on anything, which led to some slow moments throughout the round. Kape landed a head kick at one point and taunted. They started trading some heavy shots in the final minute of the round, but both men had impressive chins, and this one went the distance. 29-28 Pantoja.

WINNER: Alexandre Pantoja by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Output was Kape’s enemy here. He clearly disagreed with the decision, but I would have a tough time trying to score one of the first two rounds for Kape here. That being said, he clearly has a lot of talent, and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here. As for Pantoja, this was a very solid performance for him, and he is now an impressive 7-3 in the UFC.


Johnson landed a one-two early in the first round, and Guida responded with a right cross. Furious pace to begin this fight. Guida continued to throw that right hand, and Johnson was having trouble with his right eye. Guida seemed to be getting the better of their early striking exchange, and he took Johnson down near the cage, although he was cut open on his forehead beforehand. Johnson worked his way up, and they continued to trade heavy hands. Guida’s overhand right continued to find it home, but Johnson was landing with his lighting quick combinations as well. I scored the opening round 10-9 for Clay Guida.

Guida began the second round with a takedown and sat Johnson down against the cage. Johnson picked himself up, and ultimately escaped with two and half minutes remaining. Guida was content to stick to the wrestling and shot for another takedown, but Johnson defended Guida’s next attempts and pressed him against the cage before separating. Guida landed a right hand, which may have been his first significant strike of the round before he shot for another takedown in which Johnson defended. 19-19 heading into the third round.

We had another fun exchange on the feet to begin the third round, and after he got caught by a solid right hand from Johnson, Guida shot for another takedown. They ended up in an odd position, stuck in a bit of a stalemate against the cage. Guida however, was the one who capitalized, taking Johnson’s back. Guida attempted a rear-naked choke, but he couldn’t get it under the chin. Still, the round was close beforehand, and this more or less secured the round, and the win, for Clay Guida. 29-28 Guida.

WINNER: Clay Guida by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

The striking exchanges between these two were wild and entertaining, but the wrestling from Guida was the difference-maker, as is often the case in Michael Johnson fights. Neither of these fighters is going to be ascending the rankings to make a title shot run at this point in their respective careers, but if you’re a fan of either man, this was a fun fight. Guida is 2-5 in his last five fights, and Johnson has gone 1-4 in that same span.


Less than thirty seconds into the first round, Sandhagen connected with a brutal flying knee, and Edgar faceplanted to the ground, unconscious.

WINNER: Cory Sandhagen by KO at 0:28 of Round 1

Wow. This was one of the most brutal knockouts you’ll ever see in the sport. Sandhagen was emotional after the win, taking little joy in knocking out Frankie Edgar in the fashion he did, but these last two wins have been spectacular, and if Petr Yan defeats Aljamain Sterling, it will be hard to deny Sandhagen a title shot. As for Edgar, this was a brutal loss for the future Hall of Famer. Frankie Edgar was always a fighter known for his resiliency, but he has been stopped in the first round three times throughout his last six fights, and one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank at this point. There are still some fun fights available for him at bantamweight, and he has only lost to the best of the best, but there are certainly some questions regarding the former UFC Lightweight Champions’ future.


Volkov began the fight with a powerful low kick. Overeem stepped in with a powerful left hand. He landed another strong one when Volkov stepped in, and he slowed Volkov’s output momentarily. A counter left hand from Volkov sent Overeem to the ground, but it seemed to be more of a slip than a knockdown. Volkov landed a knee to the head of Overeem and caught him with a solid jab. Volkov swarmed Overeem with strikes late in the round, and cut him open. 10-9 Volkov.

Overeem was having a lot of trouble with Volkov’s jab. Volkov caught Overeem with a hard 1-2, and Overeem was hurt badly. He tried to effectively run away, but Volkov chased him down and continued to tee off on him. Overeem was a mess, and Volkov was giving him no time to recover. He eventually landed one last left hand that send Overeem to the ground, and referee Jason Herzog stepped in and stopped the fight.

WINNER: Alexander Volkov by TKO at 2:06 of Round 2

Overeem was having a lot of trouble dealing with Volkov’s size, and Volkov did a good job of giving Overeem no time nor space to recover when he was hurt. More often than not, I’ve been impressed with Alexander Volkov in the UFC, but I think he’s really looked spectacular in his last two fights. While I think some overstate the impressiveness of beating Overeem on the feet, it’s still no easy thing to, and Volkov really did make it look easy here. He’s in an interesting position now given the logjam that is the top of the heavyweight division, but I think a rematch against Derrick Lewis or Curtis Blaydes should be what he aims for, or perhaps the winner of Ciryl Gane versus Jairzinho Rozenstruik. As for Alistair Overeem, he remains a top-ranked heavyweight, and while this loss has likely dashed any hope for a title run, he is still a formidable opponent for the vast majority of the division.

About Eric Marcotte 189 Articles
A graduate of Laurentian University, Eric reports on Mixed Martial Arts at POST Wrestling.