Tonight (Sun. February 17, 2019) the UFC hosted its first-ever event on ESPN. UFC on ESPN 1 took place from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. It was headlined by an epic heavyweight match-up. Francis Ngannou welcomed back former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to the Octagon.
This was the Mexican star’s first fight in over two years. In his absence, Ngannou has struck fear into the heart of the heavyweight division with his ridiculous knockout power. Also on the main card was a thrilling lightweight match-up between Paul Felder and James Vick.
Kron Gracie made his UFC debut against stylish veteran Alex Caceres. Gracie had the experience of UFC star Nate Diaz in his corner for the fight. The UFC compiled an excellent card for fight fans to enjoy tonight. Check out MMA News’ UFC on ESPN 1 coverage below:
- Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
Head kicks from Velasquez to open up the round. Ngannou unleashes a flurry of strikes and Velasquez crumbles over. The fight is over. Velasquez is fine, his knee gave out. He’s not happy.
Official Result: Francis Ngannou def. Cain Velasquez via R1 KO (punches, 0:26)
- Lightweight: James Vick vs. Paul Felder
Right hand from Felder just lands. Felder with another hard shot and Vick follows up with a right hand and jab. Spinning elbow just lands for Felder, who follows up with a leg kick. Another right-hand lands for Vick. Felder comes inside and lands a nice right hand. Felder clinches up with Vick against the cage, but they separate quickly. Body kick lands for Vick and Felder blitzes in and catches him to end the round.
Both men are going at it inside the pocket and land some shots. Felder goes in on a shot and Vick tries for a guillotine but is unsuccessful. They clinch against the cage now. Big right-hand lands over the top for Felder. Vick clinches up with Felder against the cage now. Felder just misses on some big shots inside. Front kick to the body lands for Felder, and he follows up with a leg kick. The round comes to an end.
A beautiful spinning back kick to the body lands for Vick. An inside elbow lands for Felder, but Vick backs him up with a combination. Vick is showing some damage from Felder’s leg kicks with a limp. Felder comes inside with a nice combination. Felder cracks Vick hard with a hook and he drops to a knee for a second. Both man now exchanging big shots inside before they clinch against the cage. Vick eats a spinning elbow as he jumps inside. Felder presses up against Vick on the cage. The fight comes to an end.
Official Result: Paul Felder def. James Vick via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Women’s strawweight: Cynthia Calvillo def. Cortney Casey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Featherweight: Kron Gracie def. Alex Caceres via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 2:06)
- Welterweight: Vicente Luque def. Bryan Barberena via R3 TKO (punches, 4:54)
- Featherweight: Andre Fili def. Myles Jury via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling def. Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Catchweight (140 pounds): Manny Bermudez def. Benito Lopez via R1 submission (D’arce choke, 3:09)
- Women’s flyweight: Andrea Lee def. Ashlee Evans-Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Lightweight: Nik Lentz def. Scott Holtzman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ESPN+ Early Prelims:
- Catchweight (138 pounds): Luke Sanders def. Renan Barao via R2 TKO (punches, 1:01)
Catchweight (118 pounds): Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
- Women’s strawweight: Emily Whitmire def. Alexandra Albu via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 1:01)