LIVE! UFC Mexico City Results & Play-By-Play!
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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is locked and loaded for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 159 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on ESPN+ that takes place TONIGHT (Sat., Sept. 21, 2019) inside Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. That’s where featherweight striking dynamo, Yair Rodriguez, hopes to graduate to the next level of 145-pound contendership at the expense of veteran power-puncher Jeremy Stephens. In UFC Fight Night 159’s co-main event, former women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, looks to work her way back to a 115-pound title shot by disposing of local product Alexa Grasso. In addition, Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov hook ‘em up for flyweight bragging rights.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 159 fight card below, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time of 8 p.m. ET.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps, and post-fight analysis following “Rodriguez vs. Stephens.” Without further delay, see below for the updated UFC Fight Night 159 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 159 QUICK RESULTS:
Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens — No Contest (eye poke) at 0:15 of Round One — SEE IT HERE!
Carla Esparza vs. Alexa Grasso — Esparza def. Grasso by majority decision (28-28, 29-28 x2)
Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov — Split draw (28-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Irene Aldana vs. Vanessa Melo — Aldana def. Melo by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Martin Bravo vs. Steven Peterson — Peterson def. Bravo by KO (spinning back fist) at 1:31 of Round Two — WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
Jose Quinonez vs. Carlos Huachin — Quinonez def. Huachin by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Kyle Nelson vs. Marco Polo Reyes — Nelson def. Reyes by TKO (elbow and punches) at 1:36 of Round One — WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
Angela Hill vs. Ariane Carnelossi — Hill def. Carnelossi by TKO (cut) at 1:56 of Round Three
Sergio Pettis vs. Tyson Nam — Pettis def. Nam by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Paul Craig vs. Vinicius Moreira — Craig def. Moreira by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:19 of Round One — WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
Sijara Eubanks vs. Bethe Correia — Correia def. Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Marcos Mariano vs. Claudio Puelles — Puelles def. Mariano by unanimous decision (30-25 x3)
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 159 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
145 lbs.: Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens
Round 1: Stephens takes a finger in the eye in the opening seconds. Stephens is in real pain. He takes the full five minutes to recover but it’s not enough. Fight’s over. Crowd’s throwing crap in the cage.
Final result: No Contest (eye poke)
115 lbs.: Carla Esparza vs. Alexa Grasso
Round 1: They trade, left hook lands for Grasso. Double jab. Esparza lands a body shot and right hand upstairs. Body kick lands for her. One minute in. Good 1-2 from Esparza. They exchange in the center. Another trade. Esparza 1-2. Two minutes in. Esparza low kick, Grasso right cross. Esparza completes a double-leg into guard, avoiding a near-sweep. Grasso holding onto her. Short GnP. Two minutes to go.
Grasso gets a bit of space and stands, shrugging off a shot and looking for a head kick. Lead right by Esparza. Left hook. She shoots and they jockey for position in the clinch. One minute to go. Head-and-arm throw gets her into top position, but Grasso threatens to take the back. She slips out the back door, lands a 1-2 and stuffs a takedown. Heavy right at the bell. 10-9 Esparza.
Round 2: Counters from Grasso as Esparza steps in. Grasso steps in with an uppercut and gets taken down for it. Grasso holding onto her in guard. Short little slam by Esparza a minute in. She stacks to avoid a triangle setup. Short body blows. Two minutes in. Esparza still chipping away from guard. Good elbows. Two minutes to go.
Grasso tries to stand, gives up her back, sweeps into top position, scramble continues until they stand. 1-2 stings Esparza. Grasso doesn’t pounce. One minute to go. Overhand lands for Esparza. Esparza shoots under a left hand and takes her down into guard again. Grasso makes a solid bid at an armbar right at the bell. 10-9 Esparza.
Round 3: Counter right lands for Grasso. Jab lands. Lead right from Esparza. Left hook badly hurts Esparza and Grasso rushes after her, slipping on a head kick after landing some good shots. One minute in. Grasso not pouring it it on. Esparza shoots, stuffed, stuffed again. Shoots, stuffed. Two minutes in. Right hand stings Esparza and she shoots again. Grasso tries to fall back for something from the rear crucifix, ends up on the bottom in guard. Grasso converts it into an armbar attempt and she puts massive torque on it, only for Esparza to somehow escape. Two mintues to go.
Grasso tries to set up a triangle, lands elbows. Still stuck on the bottom in guard. One minute to go. Grasso tries a sweep, can’t get it. Now she gets to her feet. Left hook cracks Esparza, hard combination. Grasso swinging for the finish, can’t get it. 10-9 Grasso.
Final result: Esparza def. Grasso by majority decision
125 lbs.: Brandon Moreno vs. Askar Askarov
Round 1: Low kick from Askarov connects. He fires a left and looks for a single-leg, moving to a rear waist lock and looking for the back. One minute in. He takes Moreno down and wins the scramble to end up in half guard. Now to the back; he’s a little low but he has the body triangle. Looking to soften Moreno up. Two minutes in. Hard elbows. Moreno spins into guard, has to fight off a triangle. Both throwing strikes. Hard elbows from the bottom by Askarov. Moreno postures up for some nice punches. Two minutes to go.
More good punches by Moreno. Askarov gets a bit of space, eats a hard left hook as he stands. Moreano going after him with punches wit ha minute to go. Counter right from Askarov, hooks from Moreno. Askarov chases him with punches at the end of the round. 10-9 Moreno.
Round 2: Overhand right and counter left land for Moreno. Moreno swinging big and Askarov takes him down for it. Moreno avoids a back take, still on the bottom. One minute in. Moreno stands, good scramble and they separate. Askarov tries a single-leg, eats a hard uppercut before tying up again. Rear waist lock. High-amplitude takedown into side control. Two minutes in. Moreno regains guard, then sweeps to his feet after Askarov postures up for some big shots. They trade and Askarov shoots. Foot sweep gets Moreno down with two minutes to go.
Moreno avoids a front headlock and stands. Askarov looks for a spinning back fist. Short uppercut by Moreno. Askarov ties up, then they trade punches. One minute to go. Moreno digs in a couple of body shots and right hands upstairs. Moreno catches him ducking with a head kick and forces him to shoot. Moreno over top of his back. 10-9 Moreno.
Round 3: Overhand right lands for Moreno, who hits a takedown into guard. One minute in. Omoplata from Askarov, eats a left hand from Moreno as the latter pulls his leg out. Ground-and-pound from Moreno. He avoids an upkick. Two minutes in. Askarov trying to get something going off of his back without success. He tries an armbar, loses it. Moreno continues to work his GnP. Two minutes to go.
Diving left by Moreno and he takes the back as Askarov tries to stand. It’s nearly locked in but Askarov is fighting the hands well. No dice on the initial choke attempt. Full body triangle with a minute to go. Askarov trying to turn into his guard, manages to do so in the waning seconds. 10-9 Moreno.
Final result: Split draw
140 lbs.: Irene Aldana vs. Vanessa Melo
Round 1: Melo advancing, Aldana circling. Aldana lands a counter 1-2 as they trade jabs. Another 1-2, counter right. Hard low kick connects. One minute in. Aldana leg kick as Melo falls short with punches. Good left hand by Melo as she presses forward. Combination lands. Aldana bangs the body, lands a calf kick. Counter right by Melo. Aldana 1-2 downstairs. Left hook afterwards. Right hands landing. Melo leg kick, jabs from Aldana. Two minutes to go.
Aldana digs another hook downstairs. Right hand exchange. Nasty body shot. Leg kicks. Counter 1-2 with a minute to go. Low kick. Melo unable to cut off the cage, falling short with most of her shots as Aldana circles. More Aldana jabs. Leg kicks, more body shots, right cross. Superman punch. 10-9 Aldana.
Round 2: Aldana opens with a hard left hook. Low kick. Body shot. Melo with a nice flurry. Aldana landing jabs. Low kicks. One minute in. Double left hook. Jab downstairs. Head kick attempt, 1-2 lands clean. Melo with a body shot in combination. Aldana lands a hard 1-3. Another hook two minutes in. Spinning back kick, leg kick. Melo shoots after taking a right hand, eats more on the way up. Aldana combination. Melo still game, but getting pieced up. Melo low kick. Aldana jabs the body. Two minutes to go.
Double right by Aldana. Still working behind her jab. Melo with a double left, eats a leg kick. Melo with a combination. Left hook. Aldana lands a 1-2 with a minute to go. Head kick just misses. Superman punch doesn’t. Low-high goes Melo. Aldana knocks her back with a jab, lands another right cross. Feint to right hand. Left hook. Aldana showing great boxing. Melo with a right hand. 10-9 Aldana.
Round 3: Side kick, Brazilian kick attempt from Aldana. Melo ties up, eats a knee on the break. Aldana sticks a right downstairs, eats a leg kick. Melo counter left. One minute in. Melo tries to punch her way in. Aldana 1-2, trading jabs. She just misses with a wheel kick. Leg kick lands. Counter right two minutes in. Aldana boxing her up, staying patient and out of range. More good shots to the head and body. Leg kick exchange. Two minutes to go.
Right cross by Aldana. Wheel kick attempt. Low kick connects. Melo lands a left hook as she presses forward, takes a right downstairs. Good exchange. Big right cross by Aldana. Jabs, another cross. Melo counter right. One minute to go. 2-3 from Aldana, more stiff jabs and right hands. Shots to the head, body, and leg piling up. Continuing to piece Melo up. Nasty right hands have Melo retreating. Melo survives. 10-9 Aldana.
Final result: Aldana def. Melo by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Martin Bravo vs. Steven Peterson
Round 1: Trading kicks early. Counter 1-2 from Bravo. Peterson body kick. Bravo ducks in for a double-leg into guard, avoiding a guillotine attempt. Peterson stands, eats some punches a minute in. Right hand from Bravo. Combination lands. hard body shots and a spinning back kick. Uppercut downstairs, left hook upstairs. Body kick, hard right hand. He’s walking Peterson down and landing most of what he throws. Leg kick knocks Peterson over, Bravo lands on the way up. Two minutes in. Counter right from Peterson as Bravo continues to patiently piece him up. Hard overhands and leg kicks. Right hand downstairs. Bravo catches a kick with two minutes to go.
He can’t get it. Body kick and right hook. More punches. Peterson with a counter right. Good 1-2 from Bravo. Good exchange. One minute to go. Bravo landing at all heights. Peterson landing a good jab but not much else. Now a good exchange. Bravo bangs the body. Counters land for him. Peterson body kick, BRavo shoots at the bell. 10-9 Bravo.
Round 2: Peterson looks busier early, gets taken down for it. He stands before long. Back to trading. Hard rights from Bravo a minute in. Body kick. Peterson right hand in return. Another body kick and combination by Bravo. Both spin at the same time and it’s Peterson who comes out on top. avoiding an elbow and absolutely poleaxing Bravo with a back fist. That’s a KO of the Year candidate right there.
Final result: Peterson def. Bravo by KO (spinning back fist)
135 lbs.: Jose Quinonez vs. Carlos Huachin
Round 1: Huachin falls short with a right hook. Quinonez right hand also comes up short. Next one lands. They swing at the same time and Quinonez crushes him with a right hand. Huachin gets his wits back and looks for a leg before returning to his feet a minute in. Overhand left from Huachin. He denies a takedown. Quinonez low kick. Huachin still looking for the overhand left. Two minutes in. Huachin two-piece falls short. Overhand left connects. Body shot. Leg kick. Two minutes to go.
Glancing counter right from Quinonez. Huachin right hook, Quinonez leg kick. More inside low kicks. They trade, right hand from Huachin. Quinonez body kick. Huachin trying to chase him down with a minute to go. Counter two-piece. Quinonez body kick, Huachin counter right. They trade rights in the center, then Quinonez puts one to the body before landing a head kick. Leg kick lands. 10-9 Quinonez.
Round 2: Huachin continues to advance, lands a left as Quinonez ducks in. Counter right. Looking for lefts downstairs. Right cross and low kick land for Quinonez. One minute in. Quinonez circling, Huachin advancing. Counter rights from Huachin after Quinonez lands a leg kick. Quinonez takes him down into side control, Huachin regains half guard. Huachin gets an underhook, gets guard, eats a diving punch as Quinonez returns to half guard. Guard again. Elbow from Quinonez. Two minutes to go.
Huachin gets a bit of space and stands. Low kicks from Quinonez, Huachin counter right. Quinonez body shot, low kick exchange. Huachin steps in with a right hook. One minute to go. They trade near the center. Two-piece by Huachin. Huachin just can’t cut off the cage. Quinonez head kick blocked, Superman punch lands. Huachin lands a right hook as he pursues. 10-9 Quinonez.
Round 3: Quinonez hits a well-timed takedown into guard. Short shots. One minute in. Elbows from half guard. More elbows. Two minutes in. Quinonez continuing to stay heavy and chip away with some nice elbows. Huachin makes it up to his feet and goes back to chasing. Head kick attempt. Quinonez low kick and counter right with two minutes to go.
Hard counter right again. Huachin finds the mark with a right hook, continues to pursue. Quinonez jab, Huachin glancing hook. Huachin denies a level change and claims an eye poke. One minute to go. Quinonez shoots, tries a knee. They trade rights. Huachin tries a head kick. They trade rights. 10-9 Quinonez.
Final result: Quinonez def. Huachin by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Kyle Nelson vs. Marco Polo Reyes
Round 1: Body kick lands for Nelson, Reyes answers in kind and tries a flurry. Nelson shoots after taking a body kick and puts him on the fence. Outside trip gets him to a knee. One minute in. Reyes gets to his feet. Knees from Nelson, hurts him with an elbow and follows up with a massive overhand right. Reyes looks out on his feet and the ref stops it under the resulting onslaught for a standing TKO.
Final result: Nelson def. Reyes by TKO (elbow and punches)
115 lbs.: Angela Hill vs. Ariane Carnelossi
Round 1: Carnelossi marching forward, trades punches until Hill clinches up. Knees from Hill, nice elbow on the break. Carnelossi continues to chase, puts her on the fence a minute in. Hill tries to muscle her away, can’t do so. Carnelossi looks for a high-crotch. Hill avoids it and separates. They trade on the fence. Two minutes in. Jab lands for Hill. Right cross met by a Carnelossi combo. Hard right from Hill and they trade knees inside. More knees. Hard shots to the body from Hill. They separate with two minutes to go.
They trade in the center. Good exchange, knee from Hill in the clinch. Low kicks from Carnelossi. She continues to pressure. Hill steps in with a knee with a minute to go. More low kicks from Carnelossi, knee and elbow by Hill. Combination by Carnelossi and they trade inside. Heavy uppercut by Hill. 10-9 Hill.
Round 2: Carnelossi continues to advance as Hill tries counters. Good knee from Hill and she puts her on the fence. Right elbow on the break, tries the uppercut again. Low kicks from Carnelossi. One minute in. Left hook connects for her. Right cross by Hill. Carnelossi lands one of her own. Carnelossi leg kick met by a body kick. Two minutes in. Carnelossi uppercut and low kick. Body kick. Hill digs a left hook downstairs, takes a knee, eats a left hook. Carnelossi right hand. Left hook from Hill, right hand to the body, they trade. Hill body kick. Two minutes to go.
Carnelossi still pressuring, lands a leg kick as Hill comes back with an elbow. Good exchange, Hill body shot. Nice counters by Hill. Right hand around the guard. Carnelossi lands a couple of lefts after taking a right. Hill with some body knees in return. Counter right. Carnelossi to the body, lands a body kick. She puts Hill on the fence, eats knees to the body. 10-9 Hill.
Round 3: More Carnelossi pressure, more Hill counters. Hill still getting the better of it. Flurry from Carnelossi, Hill with some knees upstairs and a right hook behind them. One minute in. Counter right and elbow by Hill. Carnelossi leg kick. 2-3, body kick. Hill digs a left hook downstairs. She ties up on the fence, good elbow on the break. Ref pauses the fight to check out the cut that elbow opened and it’s bad. He waves it off.
Final result: Hill def. Carnelossi by TKO (cut)
125 lbs.: Sergio Pettis vs. Tyson Nam
Round 1: Tentative start. Right cross from Pettis. One minute in. Nam tries a right hand. Pettis lands a jab. Side kick attempt. Nam briefly ties up. Two minutes in. Pettis looks for a wheel kick. Low kick lands. Pettis threatens a Superman punch off the fence and follows it up with a body kick. Nam right hand falls short. Low kick connects. Two minutes to go.
Nam advancing. Both men hesitant to commit. Nam hauls him to the fence. Pettis separates before long. One minute to go. Glancing head kick from Pettis. Nam front kick, Pettis low kick. Wheel kick attempt. Nam opens up before the bell. 10-9 Pettis?
Round 2: This is a sparring much, and not a particularly stirring one. Pettis just misses with a spinning back fist. Nam with a glancing right, starting to open up a bit more. One minute in. Pettis catches a leg kick, can’t use it. Pettis tries a head kick. Jab lands. Crowd wants more action. 3-2 from Nam. two minutes in. Pettis firing his jab off the back foot, lands a cross. Jabs landing for him. Step-in knee. Two minutes to go.
Nam combination blocked. He lands a counter right after avoiding a Superman punch. He puts Pettis on the fence. Pettis tries a spinning back kick, Nam comes back with a right. One minute to go. Body kick and left hook. Pettis avoids hard shots, lands a 3-2. He tries a cartwheel kick. 10-9 Pettis.
Round 3: More pressure from Nam, more counters from Pettis. Pettis elbow on the break. One minute in. Double right from Nam. Pettis body shot in combination. Combination upstairs. Hard counter right and looks for a head kick behind it. Nam with a hard three-piece. Two minutes in. Pettis landing jabs. Counter uppercut and left land for Pettis. Nam struggling to get into the pocket. He takes Pettis to the fence briefly. Right cross from Nam, Pettis jabs with two minutes to go.
Another brief trip to the fence. Overhand right lands for Nam, who eats a counter right after throwing a left hook. Both land their power hands. Nam to the body. Pettis lands a front kick with a minute to go. Counter right. Nam swinging, falling short. Pettis fakes a shot. Nam puts him on the fence again, eats a knee and right hand on the break. Nam again puts him on the fence. 10-9 Pettis.
Final result: Pettis def. Nam by unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Paul Craig vs. Vinicius Moreira
Round 1: Moreira advancing, throws a leg kick and ties up. Body lock for Moreira. Craig gets an underhook and Moreira pulls guard. Moreira trying to set up a triangle a minute in, loses his grip. Craig lands some short shots as Moreira tries to bring his guard up. Moreira looks for a sweep, then gets in on a single-leg. Hip toss from Craig in return, blasts him with knees on the way up. Two minutes to go.
Craig unloads on him, then hops onto his back and locks up the RNC for the finish.
Final result: Craig def. Moreira by submission (rear naked choke)
135 lbs.: Sijara Eubanks vs. Bethe Correia
Round 1: Right hand and body kick land for Eubanks early. Counter right lands for Correia, who eats counters in return soon after. One minute in. Correia leg kick met by a right hand. Left hook from Eubanks. Correia right cross. Two minutes in. It lands for her again. Low kick, body shot to right hand. Eubanks lands a takedowninto half guard near the fence. Two minutes to go.
Correia has an underhook, trying to stand. Good punches from Eubanks with a minute to go. She locks up Correia’s right hand and lands a long series of hard lefts. Looking for the back. 10-9 Eubanks.
Round 2: Trading early. Straight right from Correia. Eubanks looking for kicks, eats more rights a minute in. Correia stuffs a takedown and they exchange in the clinch. Overhand right by Eubanks met by a cross. Eubanks shoots in behind a Superman punch. Correia gets double unders and reverses before separating. Two minutes in. Correia on the advance, lands a right hand and body shot. Correia answers a low kick with a combination. Two minutes to go.
Body shot to right hand, left hook. Another hard cross. Eubanks uppercut falls just short. Correia digs a hook to the body and stuffs a takedown before looking for a body lock trip of her own. Body shot as they separate with a minute to go. Left hook from Eubanks. Eubanks 1-2, Correia body shots. Correia answers a knee with a right hand. She puts Eubanks on the fence and chips away at the body. 10-9 Correia.
Round 3: Eubanks right hook, Correia jabs. Low kick lands for Correia. One minute in. Trading jabs. Body shot combination lands for Correia. Eubanks lands a right behind a missed knee. Eubanks’ eye seems to be bothering her and she shoots after taking a series of jabs. Correia defends and puts her on the fence two minutes in. They trade on the exit. Good right hands by Eubanks inside. Lead right lands for her with two minutes to go.
Correia lands a right cross and body shot, then they taunt each other. Low kick from Correia. Both land in the center. Correia digs a right to the body. One minute to go. Correia leg kick. Both land right hands inside. 2-3 from Eubanks. Counter right. This looks like a split decision to me. 10-9 Correia.
Final result: Correia def. Eubanks by unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Marcos Mariano vs. Claudio Puelles
Round 1: Mariano opens with a head kick, Puelles answers with a single-leg to bodylock takedown. Near the fence a minute in. Mariano gets to his seat, trying to stand. Puelles wraps up a kimura and pulls guard on it. He tries to sweep with it, cannot do so. Mariano on top. Ref stands them up super quickly. Mariano goes for a wheel kick and Puelles ties up with two minutes to go.
Puelles locks his hands, pulls him away from the fence, and takes him down into guard. One minute to go. Short body punches from Puelles. 10-9 Puelles.
Round 2: Puelles hits a quick double-leg into side control. He gets to mount, Mariano regains half guard a minute in. Back to guard, Mariano closes it. Ground-and-pound from Puelles. Mariano unable to do anything off of his back. Two minutes to go.
Puelles continuing to chip away. One minute to go. This continues. 10-8 Puelles just based on Mariano doing literally nothing.
Round 3: Puelles with another easy takedown into side control. Mariano regains half guard. One minute in. Puelles looking for a kimura. He steps over Mariano’s head and tries to crank. Mariano grabbing his own shorts to defend as Puelles continues to try to wrench it. Two minutes in. Loses the grip. Two minutes to go.
Puelles stands over him, drops a left, goes to side control and then half guard. He passes to mount with a minute to go and starts dropping elbows. Looking for an arm triangle after getting caught in half guard again, loses it. Back to mount, landing punches. 10-8 Puelles.
Final result: Puelles def. Mariano by unanimous decision