UFC Fight Night Costa vs. Vettori: Live results and analysis

LAS VEGAS — One of the most interesting fight weeks of 2021 will come to its conclusion tonight, as Paulo Costa takes on Marvin Vettori in a light heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night inside the Apex.

This fight, of course, was supposed to take place at 185 pounds and have a major impact on the middleweight division. Instead, it turned into a puzzling chain of events, as Costa (13-1) essentially said he did not intend to cut the weight.

Vettori (17-4-1) eventually accepted a light heavyweight matchup — and 20% of Costa’s purse.

Regardless of the changes, this main event looks like an entertaining one on paper. And it’s important for both combatants, as each is coming off a loss to defending middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in these fighters’ most recent performances.

Follow along with Brett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim as they provide fight-by-fight recaps and analysis, and/or watch the fights on ESPN+.

Fight in progress:

Middleweight: Jamie Pickett (11-6, 0-2 UFC; +200) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-4, 2-3 UFC; -240)

Lightweight: Jai Herbert (11-3, 1-2 UFC) def. Khama Worthy (16-9, 2-3 UFC) by first-round TKO (punches) | Watch this fight on ESPN+

Former Cage Warriors champion Herbert finally got his hand raised in the UFC Octagon, and he did so in style with an early finish of Worthy. The TKO came at 2:47 of the opening round, after Herbert rocked Worthy with a right hand and head kick, before eventually putting him away with follow up strikes on the ground. Nine of Hebert’s 11 career wins have now come by knockout.

The English lightweight was 0-2 in the UFC coming into this matchup, however both losses came against veteran competition, in Francisco Trinaldo and Renato Moicano.

After rattling off seven straight wins, Worthy has lost three straight fights by KO or TKO.

Men’s flyweight: Jeff Molina (10-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Daniel da Silva (11-2, 0-1 UFC; +140) by second-round TKO (punches) | Watch this fight on ESPN+

Molina defended multiple submission attempts throughout Round 1 while using top position to punish da Silva with punches and elbows, then came out in Round 2 and immediately crushed da Silva with a right hand followed by a flurry on the mat for the TKO at 46 seconds.

Molina, who is 24 and from St. Louis, won his ninth fight in a row and second straight to start his UFC career. Da Silva, a 25-year-old Brazilian, saw a three-fight winning streak come to an end in his Octagon debut.

Strawweight: Randa Markos (11-12-1, 7-10-1 UFC; +110) def. Livinha Souza (14-4, 3-3 UFC;-130) by unanimous decision | Watch this fight on ESPN+

Markos, who fights out of Ontario, Canada, picked up her first win in five fights — and likely saved her spot on the UFC roster — by out-pointing Souza via judges’ scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

The victory was not without adversity, as Markos was forced to fight out of a dangerous rear-naked choke attempt from Souza in the opening round. Markos managed to avoid a tap, however, and won the fight with ground and pound and aggressive striking in the final round.

The win snaps a four-fight skid for Markos, who has fought exclusively in the UFC since 2014.

Men’s bantamweight: Jonathan Martinez (14-4, 5-3 UFC) def. Zviad Lazishvili (13-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision | Watch this fight on ESPN+

Martinez welcomed Lazishvili, a previously undefeated fighter from Georgia, to the UFC by handing him his first career defeat — taking control of a close fight in Round 3 to secure the judges’ nod on all three scorecards (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Martinez, who is 27 and fights out of Plainview, Texas, got back on track after being knocked out by Davey Grant in May.

Still to come:

Light heavyweight: Paulo Costa (13-1, 5-1 UFC; +150) vs. Marvin Vettori (17-5-1, 7-3-1 UFC; -175)
Lightweight: Grant Dawson (17-1, 5-0 UFC; -470) vs. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1, 4-3 UFC; +360)
Women’s bantamweight: Jessica-Rose Clark (10-6, 3-2 UFC; -160) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-3, 1-1 UFC; +135)
Men’s featherweight: Alex Caceres (18-12, 12-10 1 NC; +230) vs. Seungwoo Choi (10-3, 3-2 UFC; -280)
Welterweight: Dwight Grant (11-3, 3-2 UFC; +115) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (26-8, 16-7 UFC; -135)
Light heavyweight: Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1, 1-1 UFC; -230) vs. Ike Villanueva (18-12, 1-3 UFC; +190)
Middleweight: Junyong Park (13-4, 3-1 UFC; +100) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (10-3, 1-0 UFC; -120)
Lightweight: David Onama (8-0, 0-0 UFC; +340) vs. Mason Jones (10-1,1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC UFC; -440)
Strawweight: Tabatha Ricci (5-1, 0-1 UFC; -240) vs. Maria Oliveira (12-4, 0-0 UFC; +200)

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