UFC 303 Results: Alex Pereira stops Jiri Prochazka with head kick to defend belt

Image Credit: UFC

Quick results

Main Card (10 p.m. ET)

  • Alex Pereira def. Jiri Prochazka via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 0:13) (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
  • Diego Lopes def. Dan Ige via Decision, Unanimous
  • Roman Dolidze def. Anthony Smith via Decision, Unanimous
  • Macy Chiasson def. Mayra Bueno Silva via TKO, Doctor Stoppage (RD 2, 1:58)
  • Ian Machado Garry def. Michael Page via Decision, Unanimous

Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET)

  • Joe Pyfer def. Marc-Andre Barriault via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:25)
  • Andre Fili def. Cub Swanson via Decision, Split
  • Jean Silva def. Charles Jourdain via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:22)
  • Payton Talbott def. Yanis Ghemmouri via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:19)

Early Prelims (6 p.m. ET) 

  • Gillian Robertson def. Michelle Waterson-Gomez via Decision, Unanimous
  • Martin Buday def. Andrei Arlovski via Decision, Split
  • Rei Tsuruya def. Carlos Hernandez via Decision, Unanimous
  • Vinicius Oliveira def. Ricky Simon via Decision, Unanimous

Alex Pereira defends light heavyweight title with second-round head kick finish

Alex Pereira defeated Jiri Prochazka in a rematch, scoring a dazzling second-round head kick stoppage to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for the second time.

Pereira’s victory headlined UFC 303, which took place from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

Just moments into the second round, Pereira scored a clean head kick that immediately floored Prochazka. Even though Prochazka seemed out of the fight following the shot, a late stoppage meant that Pereira had to land ground and pound strikes before referee Herb Dean ended the bout. After 13 seconds of the round, the fight had come to an end and the belt was placed back around the waist of Brazil’s light heavyweight champ.

Just a few moments before the finish, Pereira came close to closing the show with punches. A clean left hook from Pereira dropped Prochazka in the last seconds of the opening stanza, although the clock expiring just moments afterward prevented the champ from following up.

The dominant win made Pereira the first light heavyweight champion since Jon Jones to defend his title two times or more. He initially earned the 205-pound division belt in November when he first met Prochazka at the promotion’s prolific annual Madison Square Garden show. That fight went just a little bit longer than their meeting this weekend, with a combination of strikes from Pereira causing an end to that fight late in the second round.

Pereira first defended his title at UFC 300 earlier this year, putting away former champ Jamahal Hill with his patented left hook in just over three minutes.

UFC wasn’t originally planning to have Pereira in the main event this weekend. However, after the departure of a fight between returning top star Conor McGregor and former Bellator champ Michael Chandler, the promotion booked a title fight at light heavyweight with a little over two weeks to prepare.

Prochazka came into this weekend following a bounce-back win in April, putting away contender Aleksandar Rakic with strikes. The former champ is now one-for-three in UFC title appearances.

Diego Lopes wins unprecedented short-notice fight

Diego Lopes emerged with a win following a hectic fight week that included weight changes, a shuffling of opponents, and an unprecedented short-notice matchup.

In a moment that has never been seen before in modern UFC history, the matchup in Saturday’s co-main event was finalized after the show had already begun.

Lopes and Ige were first matched up during the preliminary portion of Saturday’s card, just a little over two hours before they threw down inside the UFC cage. Ige stepped up to fight following the departure of Brian Ortega, who suffered an illness that forced him off the card on Saturday afternoon.

While Lopes and Ige mainly compete in the featherweight division, the duo agreed to a catchweight up at 165 pounds to make the bout happen on Saturday night. Lopes had already expected to move up to the lightweight limit following a request from Ortega on Friday.

Grappling was a crucial part of Lopes’ gameplan, getting control of Ige in the first and second rounds to attempt submissions. Ige started to gain some momentum late as Lopes seemingly started to tire out, but wasn’t able to pick him apart in a meaningful way to earn a scorecard win or get a finish.

Despite losing, Ige was not disappointed with his performance due to the unusual circumstances that he faced head-on.

“To show up on four hours’ notice on International Fight Week, on one of the biggest cards of the year? Man, I couldn’t be happier with my performance,” he said.

Lopes has now put together four consecutive victories in the UFC over the past year. His previous fights all came within two minutes each, beating quality contenders like Sodiq Yusuff and Pat Sabatini.

Ige was returning to the cage after scoring a first-round finish against Andre Fili earlier this year. Heading into Saturday he was booked to face Chepe Mariscal at UFC’s July 20 card, although it seems unlikely that the fight will end up happening now.

Up Next: It’s main event time. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira will look to become the first man since Jon Jones to defend the division’s belt twice or more. He faces Jiri Prochazka, a fellow fan-friendly striker who will be aiming to avenge a loss he took against the incumbent champ last November.

Roman Dolidze wins unexpected return to light heavyweight

Roman Dolidze prevailed in his short-notice move up to light heavyweight, cruising to a unanimous decision against Anthony Smith in a unanimous decision result.

Dolidze out-landed Smith throughout the fight, including a second round where he got Smith to the canvas and started wailing away with ground and pound shots. While Smith worked a somewhat slow pace to start, he seemingly became more aggressive in the final round as it became clear that he was behind on scorecards.

35-year-old Dolidze was booked for Saturday on roughly a week’s notice in the fourth iteration of a light heavyweight bout on the card. The promotion previously aimed to have Jamahl Hill, Khalil Rountree Jr., and Carlos Ulberg on UFC 303, but settled for a fight between Dolidze and Smith after the trio of other names were all unavailable.

The win for Dolidze ended a two-fight skid he had at middleweight as of late against top contenders. While his move up to light heavyweight – his first appearance in the division since 2020 – was unexpected, he mentioned afterward that he hopes to keep fighting at the weight limit.

“I’m top 10 ranked in two weight classes. I will compete in both of them,” he said during his post-fight interview.

Smith was coming off a first-round submission win from May, handing Vitor Petrino his first pro loss with a guillotine choke.

Macy Chiasson slices open Mayra Bueno Silva for doctor stoppage

A nasty cut put a sudden end to a bantamweight fight, giving Macy Chiasson one of her biggest wins yet and continuing a losing streak for Mayra Bueno Silva.

An elbow from Chiasson in a full guard position sliced open the forehead of Bueno Silva, causing the 135-pound contender to start bleeding severely. The referee eventually paused the fight to let a doctor check out the cut, which was dramatically wide on the head of the Brazilian fighter. The gruesome injury worried the physician, who made the recommendation that the fight should be stopped.

The bantamweight clash was close prior to the finish, with Bueno Silva piecing together some solid shots in the opening round. Chiasson earned a ground position with a takedown early in the second round, setting up for the finishing sequence.

Chiasson was returning after submitting Pannie Kianzad in the first round of a fight earlier this year. She’s expected to shoot up the bantamweight rankings after beating third-place Bueno Silva this weekend.

Saturday gave Bueno Silva a chance to come back from a failed title fight against Raquel Pennington from January. She’ll be trying for her first win in over a year when she next fights.

Ian Machado Garry grapples to a decision win over Michael Page

Ian Machado Garry kept his undefeated record intact in the pay-per-view main card opener, getting by Michael “Venom” Page with a unanimous decision result.

Despite being mostly known for his striking skills, Machado Garry picked up two rounds against Page in a grappling performance. The fight, while close and competitive, didn’t impress the Las Vegas card which was expecting a showdown between two explosive finishers.

Machado Garry got the fight down in the first minute by catching a kick thrown by Page. He tried for a rear naked choke for a large part of the round, never receiving a tap but coming close to ending the fight at times and dominating overall.

Page evened things up in the second round, keeping the fight on the feet for a large amount of time and connecting with strong singular punches.

While Page had a strong start to the final round with some control time, Machado Garry stole the frame by hopping on Page’s back and trying for a submission late.

Machado Garry, the seventh-ranked welterweight, now has eight wins since entering the UFC in 2021. He has previously overcome veterans like Geoff Neal and Neil Magny in recent months as well.

Page was making his second UFC appearance on Saturday night. The long-time Bellator talent won his promotional debut in March, earning a decision victory against Kevin Holland.

Strawweight veteran Michelle Waterson-Gomez announces retirement

Women’s MMA veteran Michelle Waterson-Gomez announced her retirement from MMA following a one-sided loss to Gillian Robertson on Saturday night. The appearance put an end to her 15-fight UFC career, including four main event appearances.

Waterson-Gomez joined the UFC roster in 2015 after many years on the regional scene. She was a contender in the strawweight division for years, never getting to a title shot but often climbing up to pivotal matchups.

“I wouldn’t be the person I was today if it wasn’t for the UFC, and all you fans continue to push me. Fighting runs through my veins, it has made me who I am,” said Waterson-Gomez during her post-fight interview.

The 38-year-old mentioned looking forward to supporting her husband and daughter in the future after all they have sacrificed for her: “I’m just excited to now be in their corner and cheer them on and be on the other side,” Waterson-Gomez said. UFC honored Waterson-Gomez with a video package following her fight.

Robertson used her dominant work on the ground to control Waterson-Gomez for three rounds, earning a lopsided decision. The Canadian vet now has two wins this year.

Prelim results: Joe Pyfer, Jean Silva, Payton Tablott score highlight-reel wins

Joe Pyfer came back from his sole UFC loss with an emphatic victory, putting away Marc-Andre Barriault in the first round with a clean knockout finish. A right hand from Pyfer at the end of a combination put Barriault to sleep, ending the bout in less than 90 seconds. The fight put Pyfer back to his winning ways after losing a five-round main event against Jack Hermansson in February.

Andre Fili earned the nod against Cub Swanson, getting a split decision after a close stand-up battle. The official result went against how many saw the bout play out, with 13 of the 15 media scores from MMADecisions.com going in favor of Swanson. Fili is now back in the win column following a loss to Dan Ige in February.

Jean Silva added another big win to his record on Saturday night, scoring a walk-off finish against Charles Jourdain in the second round. A clean right uppercut while exiting the clinch from Silva knocked Jourdain out, causing referee Mark Smith to immediately step in and end the bout. Silva had moments of success on the feet prior to the finish as well, notably scoring a knockdown in the first round. The Brazilian prospect has now won both of his UFC fights via finish. 

25-year-old undefeated bantamweight prospect Payton Talbott picked up his most dominant UFC performance yet, stopping Yanis Ghemmouri in just 19 seconds. A right hand from Talbott stopped Ghemmouri just moments into the bout, with ground and pound putting an end to the fight seconds later. Talbott has scored finish wins in eight of his nine pro wins, including three appearances in the UFC since November. “It feels like all my dreams are coming true,” said Talbott after his win, who called out Adrian Yanez.

Martin Buday bounced back from his first UFC loss with a slow-paced three-round performance against Andrei Arlovski to win via split decision. The heavyweight fight dragged through three rounds, with exchanges mostly taking place in low-output clinch positions. Buday was coming back after Shamil Gaziev ended his lengthy winning streak late last year via stoppage. Arlovski, a 45-year-old with more heavyweight UFC fights than anyone else, has now lost four in a row.

Rei Tsuruya had a successful UFC debut, having the better moments in a crafty three-round grappling affair against Carlos Hernandez. Tsuruya found success in the first and second rounds, fading later in the bout but doing enough early to snag a unanimous decision win. Tsuruya was coming off a successful Road To UFC run from 2022-23, scoring three victories in the bantamweight bracket. Hernandez has now lost a pair of fights since late last year, with his previous bout coming against undefeated flyweight Tatsuro Taira.

Vinicius Oliveira scored his second UFC win in the opening bout of the night, out-landing UFC vet Ricky Simon and using solid takedown defence to keep the fight on the feet. Oliveira’s solid performance hit a slight bump in the road late in the second round when a checked leg kick caused significant damage to his right shin. Oliveira, a former UAE Warriors Champion, was returning following a flying knee debut win in March that earned him $100,000 in fight bonuses.

About Jack Wannan 288 Articles
Jack Wannan is a journalist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He writes and reports on professional wrestling, along with other topics like MMA, boxing, music, local news, and more. He graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He can be reached at [email protected]