The World's Most Famous Arena welcomes the Octagon back for their traditional November stop as Madison Square Garden hosts UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira on pay-per-view.
The card features two title fights and two new champions will be crowned. In the main event, the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is on the line as Jiri Prochazka looks to regain the title he had to vacate due to injury as he takes on former UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira. Prochazka returns to action after 17 months of inactivity, mainly due to major shoulder surgery, looking to get the title that he never lost back, while Pereira looks for his second UFC title and to get revenge for his mentor, Glover Teixeira, who was the man Prochazka defeated to win the title.
In the co-main event, an Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship is on the line as Sergei Pavlovich goes against Tom Aspinall. This replaces the original main event of the show, which was supposed to be UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones defending against Stipe Miocic, but a torn pec muscle forced Jones out, and Miocic was subsequently pulled. Pavlovich and Aspinall both take this fight on less than two weeks' notice.
The rest of the main card sees former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade battle Mackenzie Dern, Matt Frevola takes on Benoit Saint-Denis in an exciting lightweight match-up, and featherweights Diego Lopes and Pat Sabatini square off in the main card opener.
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> Featherweights*- Dennis Buzukja (11-3, 0-1 UFC) vs. Jamall Emmers (19-7, 2-3 UFC)
*Emmers missed weight by one pound
Buzukja lands a leg kick. Emmers lands a pair of leg kicks. They're trading against the fence. Emmers drops Buzukja with a right hand and gets on top and starts landing before Keith Peterson steps in and stops it. Nice finish from Emmers to kick off the night.
Official Result- Jamall Emmers def. Dennis Buzukja by TKO (punches) at :49 of Round 1
> Flyweights- Joshua Van (8-1, 1-0 UFC) vs. Kevin Borjas (9-1, 0-0 UFC)
They're trading early as both are landing leg kicks and Borjas is currently landing with slightly more volume on his punches. Van lands a pair of hard calf kicks. Borjas lands a right hand after faking a switch kick. Borjas drops Van with a right hand but Van gets right up and they trade punches. Both are swinging hard and connecting. Borjas lands a leg kick. They trade leg kicks then Borjas lands a jab. Van lands a pair of left hands. They clinch late. 10-9 Borjas.
They trade jabs before Borjas lands a leg kick. Van lands a pair of jabs. They trade and Van lands a hard body kick. Borjas just misses a flying knee and Van lands a knee in a brief tie-up. Van lands a combo to the body and Borjas is starting to slow down a little. Van lands a combination against the fence. Van lands another combo. Van lands a combo to the body. Van is getting way ahead on volume as he continues to rip the body of Borjas. Borjas lands a left hand and Van is cut open. Borjas lands a left hand. Van still pressing forward and landing more. 10-9 Van, 19-19.
They're trading punches to start the third. Van gets a takedown and lands from the top before they get to their feet. Van lands a combo ending with a leg kick. Van is pressing forward and both are landing. Borjas lands a knee to the body. They're both landing some hard shots and Van gets a takedown. Borjas gets the back and is going for an arm. Van starts to scramble out and ends up on top as they go the distance.
Official Result- Joshua Van def. Kevin Borjas by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> 138-pound Catchweights- John Castaneda (20-6, 3-2 UFC) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (19-9 1 NC, 8-3 1 NC UFC)
Castaneda landing some leg kicks early on. Castaneda mixing kicks to the body as well. Kang lands a combo. Kang lands a nice right hand then a switch kick. Kang lands another right hand. Castaneda continues with the leg kicks and lands to the body. Castaneda with more calf kicks late. 10-9 Castaneda.
Kang lands some punches to start the second as Castaneda lands some leg kicks. Kang lands a right hand. They trade and Castaneda is able to get a takedown. They get back to their feet and Castaneda lands a leg kick. Castaneda lands a grazing groin strike and we have a brief timeout as it looked clean. Castaneda grabs the back of Kang against the fence. They separate and both land solid punches. Castaneda lands a left hand. Castaneda lands a pair of leg kicks. Kang lands a leg kick then Castaneda lands a high kick. Castaneda lands a combination. Kang with a knee to the body. 10-9 Castaneda, 20-18 Castaneda.
Castaneda landing some leg and body kicks to start the third after Kang lands some punches. They trade punches and Kang lands a solid right hand. Castaneda lands a nice left hand. Castaneda lands a combo as Kang lands a left hand. Kang lands a combination but Castaneda is landing bigger punches. Castaneda gets a takedown. They get to their feet and separate. Castaneda lands a combo. Kang lands a body kick. Castaneda grabs the back against the fence. Castaneda gets another takedown. They scramble to their feet. Kang grabs the neck and looks for a guillotine but Castaneda escapes and lands a body kick. Kang lands a body kick and right hand at the end. 10-9 Castaneda, 30-27 Castaneda.
Official Result- John Castaneda def. Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
> Lightweights- Jared Gordon (19-6 1 NC, 7-5 1 NC UFC) vs. Mark O. Madsen (12-1, 4-1 UFC)
Both throwing sloppy punches early as Madsen is looking for a takedown opening. They trade right hands. They clinch and Madsen lands some knees to the body. They separate and Gordon lands a leg kick. Gordon lands another. Madsen lands a right hand then some knees to the body. They separate and trade jabs. They clinch against the fence and Madsen lands a knee before they separate. Madsen landing a flurry of punches. They clinch and Gordon lands an uppercut. Gordon lands another uppercut and Madsen was hurt from it. Gordon drops Madsen with a punch and starts landing and gets the stoppage. What a finish from Gordon!
Official Result- Jared Gordon def. Mark O. Madsen by TKO (punches) at 4:42 of Round 1
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> Lightweights- Nazim Sadykhov (9-1, 2-0 UFC) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (7-3, 2-2 UFC)
They trade leg kicks to start. They clinch for a moment and Sadykhov lands a knee. He lands a left hand. Borshchev lands a leg kick. They trade inside the pocket. Borshchev lands a combination. They trade in close range. Sadykhov shoots for a takedown but Borshchev defends and lands as they separate. Borshchev lands another hard leg kick. Sadykhov with some body kicks. Borshchev lands a combo. Sadykhov lands a combo ending with a body kick. Borshchev lands another hard leg kick. Sadykhov lands a combo. 10-9 Borshchev.
They're trading to start the second and Borshchev is landing more punches. Borshchev lands a body kick then some more combinations before landing an uppercut to the body. Sadykhov lands a leg kick. Borshchev lands a pair of calf kicks. Borshchev lands a knee to the body then Sadykhov lands a left hand that hurts Borshchev. Borshchev is on wobbly legs then gets dropped from a head kick by Sadykhov. Sadykhov gets on top and is landing but Borshchev is recovering. Sadykhov with some elbows from the top. Borshchev is cut open. They get to their feet. They trade punches and Borshchev is still wobbly. Sadykhov lands a knee then gets a takedown. Sadykhov gets the mount for a moment but Borshchev retains half-guard. They get to their feet. They trade some big punches. 10-8 Sadykhov, 19-18 Sadykhov.
Sadykhov gets a takedown to start the third and is landing from the top. Borshchev trying to push kick Sadykhov off and they end up on the feet. Borshchev lands to the body and Sadykhov lands a knee to the body. Sadykhov landing some big punches but Borshchev is finding some openings to land to the body. Sadykhov lands a calf kick. Sadykhov gets a takedown. They work their way to the feet. Borshchev lands a right hand. Borshchev landing with more volume as the round is going on. Borshchev lands a right hand. Borshchev lands a combination. Sadykhov gets a late takedown. Good fight. 10-9 Borshchev, 28-28 DRAW.
Official Result- Nazim Sadykhov vs. Viacheslav Borshchev ends in a majority draw (28-29, 28-28, 28-28)
> Lightweights*- Mateusz Rebecki (18-1, 2-0 UFC) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (12-3 1 NC, 4-3 1 NC UFC)
*Roberts missed weight by two pounds
Rebecki swinging for the fences to start and gets a takedown. Rebecki landing from the top. Roberts tried to sweep but it allowed Rebecki to get into side control. They scramble to the feet but Rebecki gets it down and has the back. Rebecki lands some hammerfists to the body. Rebecki looks for an armbar and has it in and Roberts taps! Rebecki gets the submission finish in the first.
Official Result- Mateusz Rebecki def. Roosevelt Roberts by submission (armbar) at 3:08 of Round 1
> Women's Strawweights- #10 Tabatha Ricci (9-1, 4-1 UFC) vs. #13 Loopy Godinez (11-3, 6-3 UFC)
Ricci lands a right hand. They trade inside the pocket. Godinez lands a right hand. Ricci tries a takedown and pushes it against the fence as she has the body lock. They separate. Godinez lands a combo. Godinez lands a big flurry and Ricci grabs the body lock against the fence. They separate. They trade right hands. Godinez lands a left hand. Ricci hurts Godinez late with a right hand. 10-9 Godinez.
Ricci lands a combination to start. Ricci lands a combo. Ricci lands a leg kick. Godinez lands a left hook. Ricci lands a high kick. Godinez lands a combo. Ricci lands a leg kick. Ricci lands a combo ending with a high kick. Godinez lands a nice right hand. Godinez is landing with more volume. Ricci lands some punches and Godinez lands a right hand. Ricci drops Godinez with a punch late. Close round. 10-9 Ricci, 19-19.
They trade in a quick flurry to start the third. Godinez lands a right hand. They clinch against the fence and Ricci lands an elbow before they break. Ricci looking for a takedown but Godinez defends. Godinez lands a combo. Godinez pouring it on more as the round is going on. They continue to trade with Godinez landing more as it goes the distance. 10-9 Godinez, 29-28 Godinez.
Official Result- Loopy Godinez def. Tabatha Ricci by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
> Flyweights- #14 Steve Erceg (10-1, 1-0 UFC) vs. Alessandro Costa (13-3, 1-1 UFC)
Costa lands a right hand. Erceg lands a leg kick. Costa lands a right hand. Erceg lands a right hand then a leg kick. Erceg lands a leg kick then they trade leg kicks. Erceg lands a jab. Erceg lands an uppercut but eats a right hand from Costa. Erceg lands a right hand. Costa lands a combo. Erceg lands a knee and follows up with a right hand. Erceg lands a jab and uppercut. Erceg lands a big right hand and Costa shoots for a takedown but Erceg gets the mount. Erceg looking for a choke. It wasn't fully in and Erceg lets go. They scramble up. 10-9 Erceg.
Erceg lands a left hand. Costa lands a right hand. He lands another. Costa lands some big shots. Costa gets a brief takedown and has the leg as they're on the feet. Costa has the body lock. Costa gets a takedown and is in the half-guard against the fence. They get to their feet and Erceg has the back. Erceg with some body shots as he has Costa pinned against the fence. Erceg has the back and lands some right hands. Costa lands a big combo that hurts Erceg and they go to the mat. Erceg is on top and lands from there to end the round. 10-9 Costa, 19-19.
They tie up against the fence as Erceg has Costa pushed against the fence. Costa lands an elbow and they separate. Erceg lands a pair of jabs. Erceg gets a takedown and has the back as they get to their feet. Costa lands a right hand after they separate. Erceg has control in the clinch against the fence. Costa lands a pair of knees. Erceg in control as he lands a couple of knees to the body. They go the distance. Close fight. 10-9 Erceg, 29-28 Erceg.
Official Result- Steve Erceg def. Alessandro Costa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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> Featherweights- Diego Lopes (22-6, 1-1 UFC) vs. Pat Sabatini (18-4, 5-1 UFC)
They trade kicks. Sabatini lands a nice combo. Sabatini lands a leg kick. They clinch and both land. Lopes hurts Sabatini on the way up and drops Sabatini and knocks him out with some punches on the mat. What a finish from Lopes!
Official Result- Diego Lopes def. Pat Sabatini by knockout (punches) at 1:30 of Round 1
> Lightweights- #14 Matt Frevola (11-3-1, 5-3-1 UFC) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (12-1 1 NC, 4-1 UFC)
Saint-Denis lands a high kick. Saint-Denis lands some leg kicks. Saint-Denis lands a body kick. He lands another and Frevola trips to the mat, but Frevola is able to get Saint-Denis down. Saint-Denis sweeps into side control. They scramble to their feet and Frevola gets a big slam takedown. They get up and Saint-Denis drops Frevola with a head kick as they were chasing each other and it is all over!
Official Result- Benoit Saint-Denis def. Matt Frevola by knockout (head kick) at 1:31 of Round 1
> Women's Strawweights- #5 Jessica Andrade (24-12, 15-10 UFC) vs. #7 Mackenzie Dern (13-3, 8-3 UFC)
Dern leading off with some leg kicks. Dern lands a body kick and gets a takedown but Andrade is able to scramble up. Dern lands a leg kick. Andrade lands some leg kicks. Dern lands a combo ending with a knee. Dern lands a right hand. Andrade lands a leg kick. Andrade lands and Dern goes to the mat for a moment. Andrade lands a leg kick. Andrade with more leg kicks. Dern shoots for a takedown but Andrade defends. Andrade lands a combo and drops Dern and lands some hammerfists to end the round. 10-9 Andrade.
Andrade landing some big punches in the early moments of the second. Dern is landing with slightly more volume but it is a lot of looping punches while Andrade is doing more damage. Andrade drops Dern again with some punches and lets her up. Andrade is landing as Dern is throwing flailing punches and keeping her chin up. Der lands some big shots then Andrade lands a right hand that puts Dern on the mat. Andrade lets Dern get ordered up. Andrade drops Dern again and it is all over! What a finish from Andrade!
Official Result- Jessica Andrade def. Mackenzie Dern by TKO (punches) at 3:15 of Round 2
> Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship- #2 Sergei Pavlovich (18-1, 6-1 UFC) vs. #4 Tom Aspinall (13-3, 6-1 UFC)
Aspinall lands a leg kick. He lands another but eats a big combo from Pavlovich. Aspinall with a body kick then a jab. He lands a leg kick. Aspinall lands a big right hand that hurts Pavlovich and another right hand that drops Pavlovich and it is all over! What a finish from Aspinall!
Official Result- Tom Aspinall def. Sergei Pavlovich by knockout (punch) at 1:09 of Round 1 to win the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship
> UFC Light Heavyweight Championship- #1 Jiri Prochazka (29-3-1, 3-0 UFC) vs. #3 Alex Pereira (8-2, 5-1 UFC)
Prochazka lands some leg kicks. Prochazka lands an uppercut. Pereira lands a hard leg kick that trips Prochazka up. Pereira lands another leg kick. Prochazka tries for a single leg as Pereira is landing to defend. Pereira has a guillotine choke locked in. Prochazka gets a takedown. Pereira having good defense on the mat. Prochazka lands a pair of big elbows. They work to their feet and separate. Prochazka lands an uppercut. Close round. 10-9 Prochazka.
Pereira circling away to start the second. Pereira lands a body kick. Pereira lands a jab then two leg kicks. Prochazka lands a right hand and a knee to the body. Prochazka lands some big punches then Pereira counters and lands. They clinch for a moment but separate. Pereira lands a couple of leg kicks. Pereira lands a left hand then a knee as they clinch. Pereira drops Prochazka with a left hook and starts landing some elbows and it is stopped. This looked like a quick stoppage but Pereira gets the win and has now won titles in two divisions.
Official Result- Alex Pereira def. Jiri Prochazka by knockout (strikes) at 4:08 of Round 2 to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship