Top UFC prospect Burgos continues rise, defeats Swanson by decision

Shane Burgos used his sharp striking ability to defeat Cub Swanson on Saturday night. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Rising featherweight prospect Shane Burgos (12-1) picked up a signature victory over veteran Cub Swanson (25-11) in a razor-thin split decision in Ottawa, Ontario, on Saturday night.

Burgos, of New York, out-landed Swanson in total strikes 147 to 132, according to ESPN Stats & Information data, and caused visible swelling on Swanson's face with his jab and boxing combinations. Swanson, 35, enjoyed his share of success, as well, bloodying Burgos' mouth in the final round.

The hodgepodge of judges decisions reflected how close each individual round was. Burgos won 30-27 and 29-28, according to two judges, while a third saw it 30-27 for Swanson.

For Burgos, 28, it improved his UFC record to 5-1. He answered Swanson's barrage of leg kicks with kicks of his own and thwarted a late takedown attempt that might have proved to be the difference had Swanson taken him down. Swanson fell to 0-4 in his last four appearances, which is the longest skid of his career.

Brunson beats Theodorou in awkward stand-up bout

Middleweight Derek Brunson (19-7) outpointed the always unorthodox Elias Theodorou (16-3) via unanimous decision, in a bout the Canadian crowd booed throughout.

Brunson, 35, didn't appear bothered by the crowd's reaction, and it's easy to understand why. If Theodorou is one thing, it's awkward. Opponents have always struggled to find their rhythm against Theodorou, but Brunson was able to secure the win with timely takedowns and a couple of submission attempts.

"I was doubting myself," said Brunson, who came in on a two-fight skid. "I never lack confidence, but there is just doubt there. Am I getting older? To get it done against a cardio machine, it felt good."

Brunson scored takedowns in all three rounds and threatened to submit Theodorou with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Theodorou proved hard to keep down, however, and always managed to work back to his feet after a Brunson takedown -- including a violent, Octagon-shaking slam in the third.

Brunson picked up his first win since October 2017. Theodorou, of Ontario, suffered his first loss in four bouts.


Brunson slams Theodorou with authority

Derek Brunson picks up Elias Theodorou and heavily slams him down in the 3rd. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Dvalishvili dominates Katona over three rounds

Georgian bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili (9-4) turned in an impressive performance on Saturday, as he handed Brad Katona (8-1) his first professional loss via unanimous decision.

Originally from the country Georgia, now fighting out of New York under Ray Longo and Matt Serra, Dvalishvili took Katona down at will and landed some hard shots from top position, particularly in the opening round. All three judges scored it in his favor, 30-27 -- and improved his UFC record to 2-2.

"To be honest, it was a very difficult fight for me," Dvalishvili said. "It was fourth fight on my contract. My first two fights, judges take from me. If I lose this fight, maybe I go home to smaller organization. I don't want to. I want to stay in UFC. I want to fight with best guys, and I have best team behind me."

According to ESPN Stats & Information data, Dvalishvili converted 5 of 9 takedown attempts. He took Katona down in each of the three rounds, which allowed him to cruise to the clear-cut win.


Dvalishvili lands strong left hook on Katona

Merab Dvalishvili connects on a left hook to Brad Katona's face in the 1st. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Harris blows past Spivak in quick KO

Heavyweight Walt Harris (12-7) added to his résumé a 50-second knockout over the formerly undefeated Sergey Spivak (9-1).

Harris, 35, has had an up-and-down career since he debuted with the UFC in 2013. He briefly lost his spot with the promotion in 2014 and has never enjoyed a winning streak longer than two.

Saturday's performance was a welcome one for the boxing-heavy martial artist. He immediately put Spivak on the defensive with a lead left hand and followed it with a flurry along the fence that had the Ukrainian heavyweight covering up. It was Harris' fifth win in the UFC -- and when he has won, he's had no trouble putting opponents away. All five of his wins are via TKO.

"I know my hand speed is the best in the division," Harris said. "When I let them go, they don't know what's happening."

Sanchez survives second round, secures decision

Middleweight Andrew Sanchez (11-4) managed to survive a terrible second round, en route to a unanimous decision win over UFC newcomer Marc-André Barriault (11-2). All three judges awarded Sanchez the first and third rounds -- but he was nearly finished in the second.

Barriault, of Quebec, found his range midway through the middle frame and proceeded to light Sanchez up on the feet. He snapped his head back with multiple uppercuts in tight and bloodied him with a left hook and right cross. Sanchez appeared badly hurt after the round but recovered well before the third.

He turned to his wrestling heavy in the final five minutes, and although he never really appeared to hurt Barriault with any offense, he slowed and controlled the rest of the bout.

"He hurt me, buzzed me, I really had to dig deep," Sanchez admitted. "I had to take him down. It may not be exciting, nobody likes wrestling, but you can't get away from me."

For Sanchez, it is his second win in a row and fourth victory overall in the UFC.


Barriault lands haymakers on Sanchez

Marc-Andre Barriault lands strong punches on Andrew Sanchez in the second round. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Unbeaten prospect Chiasson earns TKO win

Macy Chiasson continued her unbeaten ways, defeating Sarah Moras by second-round TKO. Chiasson, who spent much of the first round on her back after Moras took her to the ground seconds into the fight, couldn't afford more of the same. On another takedown attempt by Moras to open the second, Chiasson stuffed it and got into full mount. She rained down punches until the referee stepped in to call the bout early. Chiasson is now 5-0 as a professional; Moras drops to 5-5.


Chiasson rains down blows on Moras

Macy Chiasson lays down the hammer on Sarah Moras by staying on top of her and keeping her on the mat. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Morales edges Zahabi on scorecards

Vince Morales defeated Aiemann Zahabi by unanimous decision, as all three judges scored the contest 29-28. Zahabi, the brother of esteemed MMA trainer Firas Zahabi, never seemed to get in a true rhythm against Morales and was successful on only one of his five takedown attempts. Morales (10-3) landed more significant strikes (59-28) and actually won that stat in all three rounds. He has split his past four matchups. Zahabi has lost two in a row.


Morales hangs on to win by decision

Vince Morales lands a couple good blows on Aiemann Zahabi and takes it by decision. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ ESPNplus.com/PPV.

Taleb stops two-fight skid with unanimous decision victory against Prepolec

UFC lightweight Nordine Taleb cruised to a unanimous decision victory against Kyle Prepolec (30-27 on all three judges' scorecards). He controlled the pace throughout all three rounds and landed a multitude of low kicks that kept Prepolec at bay. Taleb ended a two-fight skid with the win. Prepolec suffered his first loss since 2017.


Taleb lands multiple kicks to the body

Nordine Taleb blasts Kyle Prepolec with several blows to the body and legs to take the fight. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.

Sayles chokes out Nelson in third round

Matt Sayles picked up his first UFC win, defeating Kyle Nelson by third-round submission. Sayles stuffed a takedown attempt, immediately went into full mount and then transitioned that into a head-and-arm choke that Nelson tapped officially at 3:16 of the third round. He overcame adversity for the win. Nelson took Sayles' back in the second round and nearly got the rear-naked choke. Sayles somehow survived and one round later finished his opponent. Sayles has won three of four, and Nelson has dropped two in a row.


Sayles throws Nelson into the cage then hammers him

Matt Sayles tosses Kyle Nelson into the cage then processed to unleash a fury of blows to his head. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc

Bhullar hands Adams first UFC loss

Arjan Bhullar, despite being the shorter and lighter heavyweight, was able to score a big unanimous decision win against Juan Adams in Ottawa. The Canadian fighter -- who trains out of American Kickboxing Academy with Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov and others in California -- utilized his elite wrestling skills to take Adams down on multiple occasions for ground-and-pound. His jab was also effective throughout the three rounds. Bhullar improved to 9-1 while Adams suffered his first loss in five professional fights.


Bhullar takes Adams down in the third

Arjan Bhullar lands a series of nice right hands and eventually takes Juan Adams down in the third. For more UFC action, sign up for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc

Smith earns first UFC win in decision against Gagnon

Cole Smith picked up his first UFC win on Saturday, defeating Mitch Gagnon by unanimous decision to remain undefeated as a professional (7-0). Smith used his clear size advantage to stay out of harm's way throughout, and when he did take Gagnon down, he nearly submitted him on multiple occasions. Smith took Gagnon's back midway through the second round and almost got a neck crank, but his opponent was able to get out at the last minute. Smith was caught with a hard left hook in the third round and dropped, however he was able to recover and ended the fight on top. Gagnon is now 12-5.


Smith flawlessly survives takedown in UFC debut

Cole Smith defeats Mitch Gagnon via unanimous decision in his first Octagon appearance. For more UFC action, go to plus.espn.com/ufc.