UFC 267 Blachowicz vs. Teixeira: Live results and analysis

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ABU DHABI — The UFC has two title fights on tap as it returns to Abu Dhabi for a second event in 2021.

Light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz (28-8), of Poland, will seek to defend his belt against Brazil’s Glover Teixeira (32-7). Blachowicz won the title in September 2020 with a knockout victory over Dominick Reyes, then defended the belt against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya earlier this year. He has won nine of his past 10 fights.

Teixeira is arguably turning in the best performances of his career at age 42. This is his second shot at the UFC light heavyweight title, with a loss to Jon Jones in 2014 well in his past. It will be 2,744 days in between title shots for Teixeira, who is determined not to let this opportunity slip away.

In the co-main event, former champion Petr Yan (15-2) faces Cory Sandhagen (14-3) for the interim bantamweight championship. Yan lost the bantamweight title to Aljamain Sterling and was expecting a rematch at UFC 267, but Sterling was removed from the card due to injury. Sandhagen is coming off a loss to former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw but had made his name as a top challenger in the division since 2019.

Also on the card, lightweight title contender Islam Makhachev (20-1) will face Dan Hooker (21-10) and welterweight Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) will make his first appearance of 2021, against Li Jingliang (18-6).

Follow along with Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim as they recap all the action and/or watch the fights on ESPN+.


Fight in progress: Light heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev (15-1, 6-1 UFC, -310) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (17-5, 5-4 UFC, +250)


Results:

Strawweight: Amanda Ribas (11-2, 5-1 UFC) def. Virna Jandiroba (17-3, 3-3 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Ribas overcame some early adversity and scored a significant decision win against Jandiroba.

Ribas, 28, surrendered a takedown to Jandiroba in the opening round and struggled to get back to her feet. The referee elected to stand the action up just before the end of the round, and Jandiroba dropped Ribas with a right hand in the final 10 seconds.

The Brazilian contender regrouped after that initial round, however, and went on to outclass Jandiroba on the feet. She found Jandiroba’s timing and distance and started to land basically at will with long punches and kicks. Her takedown defense forced Jandiroba to keep it standing, and she nearly earned a knockout with a left head kick in the third.

It’s a big win for Ribas, who had two fights against Angela Hill canceled earlier this year and was coming off the first loss of her UFC career to Marina Rodriguez in January.


Men’s featherweight: Zubaira Tukhugov (20-5-1, 5-2-1 UFC) def. Ricardo Ramos (15-4, 6-3 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team from the Caucasus region of Russia is known mostly for its dominant wrestling. At UFC 267, Tukhugov showed that team could win with striking as well.

Tukhugov hurt and bloodied Ramos in the first round and landed throughout en route to a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) victory. Ramos wobbled Tukhugov late in the first with a spinning back elbow and had solid moments in the second round, but Tukhugov mixed in his excellent wrestling late and hung on for the win.

Tukhugov landed big combinations earlyin the first round and opened up a cut on the left side of Ramos’ face. He continued to do damage with his boxing as the fight wore on. Ramos landed his big right hand fairly regularly as well in what was an entertaining fight. But it was a fight Tukhugov clearly won.

Tukhugov, 30, has just one loss in his last four fights. The Chechen fighter has a 5-2-1 UFC record. Ramos, a 26-year-old Brazilian training out of Team Alpha Male in California, has dropped two of his last three fights.


Middleweight: Albert Duraev (15-3, 1-0 UFC) def. Roman Kopylov (8-2, 1-2 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Duraev remained undefeated in a bout that by the third round was playing out in slow motion, with one fighter’s face a mask of blood and the other wearing a purple, swollen bruise closing his left eye.

That damaged slowdown was brought about by the draining action in the first two rounds, during which Duraev seized control on his way to earning a decision (30-27, 29-27, 29-27) in his UFC debut, his 10th straight victory.

A key moment in this meeting of Russian fighters came midway through Round 2 when Kopylov, who had just absorbed some damage, was stuck against the cage and avoided a takedown by grabbing the cage. Referee Jason Herzog saw this, stopped the action, and put the fighters back in the clinch, whereupon Duraev, 32, completed his takedown. It was all downhill from there for Kopylov, 30, who has lost two in a row in the UFC, his only career losses. His debut came in 2019.


Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (23-7, 9-3 UFC) def. Benoit Saint-Denis (8-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Zaleski picked up his first win of 2021 via judges scores of 29-26, 29-26 and 29-26 — but unfortunately, referee Vyacheslav Kiselev emerged as the main story of the fight.

Zaleski, of Brazil, should have earned a TKO win in the second round, as he battered Saint Denis around the Octagon for nearly the entire five minutes. He wobbled him with two right hands and followed him to the fence, where he unloaded punches and knees to the body.

At one point, Saint Denis did nothing else but cover up and lean weakly on the fence, but Kiselev refused to call the fight. Eventually Saint Denis did manage to slow Zaleski down a bit with a takedown attempt and defend himself slightly better, but it was one-way traffic for the final two rounds.

According to unofficial UFC Stats, Zaleski out-landed him in total strikes 110 to 51. It was Saint Denis’ first career loss.


Light heavyweight: Michal Oleksiejczuk (16-4 1 NC, 4-2 1 NC UFC) def. Shamil Gamzatov (14-1, 1-1 UFC) by first-round TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

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Michal Oleksiejczuk drops Shamil Gamzatov with a uppercut and then finishes him off for a TKO victory in the first round.

Oleksiejczuk never took a step backward. He ate a few punches as he advanced but dished out a lot more, and the punishment and pressure soon began to show on Gamzatov’s face as he was stalked and hounded until a left uppercut dropped him and led to a ground-and-pound finish at 3:31. It was Gamzatov’s first loss.

Oleksiejczuk, a 26-year-old from Poland, scored his 11th career knockout, the eighth in the first round. He has won two in a row after suffering through a two-fight losing streak.

Gamzatov, 31, from Russia, had not fought since making his UFC debut in 2019. He was on his back foot the whole way, trading punches while trying to get out of the way of Oleksiejczuk’s aggression. He could not do it and eventually got caught.


Middleweight: Men’s featherweight: Lerone Murphy (11-0-1, 3-0-1 UFC) def. Makwan Amirkhani (16-7, 6-5 UFC) by second-round knockout (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Murphy knew Amirkhani was going to shoot for a takedown. And boy, he did not miss.

Amirkhani ducked in for a double-leg takedown and Murphy absolutely blasted him with a right knee to the head. Amirkhani was knocked out on contact. The finish of the bout came at 14 seconds of the second round. Amirkhani was down for a significant amount of time after the KO, but was able to sit up on the stool after coming to.

“After that first left hand, I seen him dip, dip and I knew that knee was going to be there,” Murphy said in his postfight interview.

In the first round, Amirkhani completely dominated with his wrestling and grappling. He took Murphy down right off the bat and stuck to him the rest of the round. At the beginning of the second, Murphy was clearly aware a takedown was coming and he timed the knee perfectly.

The undefeated Murphy, 30, is 3-0-1 in the UFC. The England native looks to have potential in the featherweight division. Amirkhani, a 32-year-old Iran native fighting out of Finland, has lost three in a row and four of five.


Middleweight: Andre Petroski (7-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Hu Yaozong (3-2, 0-3 UFC) by third-round submission (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Petroski spent 14 minutes and 46 seconds in full control, landing hard punches, landing takedowns and seizing dominant positions to threaten with submission attempts. Hu hung in there through it all, until finally, with 14 seconds left in the final round, an arm triangle choke got the job done for Petroski.

For Petroski, 30, from Philadelphia, it was his second third-round finish in two UFC fights. All seven of his victories have come by finish. This one was the tied for third-latest finish ever in a three-round UFC middleweight bout.

Hu has lost all three fights in the Octagon after entering the UFC with a 2-0 record. The 26-year-old from China had not competed since 2018, and that most recent fight was at light heavyweight. The fight before that, Hu’s UFC debut, was at heavyweight.


Men’s flyweight: Tagir Ulanbekov (14-1, 2-0 UFC) def. Allan Nascimento (17-6, 0-1 UFC) by split decision (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

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Allan Nascimento escapes a guillotine choke in the first round while Tagir Ulanbekov escapes a Kimora lock in the second of their three-round fight.

Ulanbekov’s takedowns and top game outweighed Nascimento’s submission attempts and aggressive guard in the eyes of the judges.

Ulanbekov squeaked out a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) win with relentless takedowns and grappling. Nascimento had moments, including kimura and armbar attempts in the second round with elbows mixed in from the bottom. But the judges seemed to prefer Ulanbekov’s ability to change the location of the fight most.

The best moments of the fight for Ulanbekov came in the first round when he nearly submitted Nascimento with a guillotine in mount. Nascimento was able to escape somehow.

Ulanbekov, 30, has won five straight, including his first two in the UFC. The Dagestan native has established as someone to watch at flyweight. Nascimento, a 30-year-old Brazilian, was making his UFC debut here.


Still to come:

Light heavyweight championship: Jan Blachowicz (c) (28-8, 11-5 UFC, -300) vs. Glover Teixeira (32-7. 15-5 UFC, +240)
Men’s bantamweight interim championship: Petr Yan (15-2, 7-1 UFC, -220) vs. Cory Sandhagen (14-3, 7-2 UFC, +180)
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (20-1, 9-1 UFC, -625) vs. Dan Hooker (21-10, 11-6 UFC, +450)
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov (33-9, 7-3 UFC, -300) vs. Marcin Tybura (22-6, 9-5 UFC, +240)
Welterweight: Li Jingliang (18-6, 10-4 UFC, +425) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0, 3-0 UFC, -575)

(c) = defending champion





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