Dobson (4-4) defeated Agapova (9-2) via TKO at 1:38 of the second round to cash in as an 8-to-1 betting underdog on the undercard of UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Munhoz in Las Vegas. It was the third-biggest upset in UFC history, behind Holly Holm's famous win against Ronda Rousey in 2015 and Matt Serra's upset of Georges St-Pierre in 2007.
The 31-year-old Dobson entered the night with just a 1-3 record in the UFC, including a 40-second knockout loss in her most recent appearance in February. Perhaps Dobson's lack of success in the UFC led to Agapova overlooking her, as she came sprinting out of her corner with reckless abandon. Agapova threw caution to the wind from the opening bell, and she looked gassed by the second round.
Fighting out of American Top Team in Florida, Agapova started the night off with multiple head kicks, and she dropped some nasty ground-and-pound after getting Dobson on her back in a scramble. Dobson weathered that storm, however, and decked Agapova with two right hands in the opening exchange of the second round.
Agapova immediately looked for a takedown after those two shots, but Dobson easily swept her to the bottom and moved into side mount. Dobson, who was born in Floriday and fights out of Colorado, landed a string of unanswered punches that forced Agapova to cover up and wait for the referee.
"I've been doubted my whole career, and this fight I was doubted a huge amount," said Dobson, who earned a $50,000 performance-of-the-night bonus. "I didn't know what the betting odds were until I stumbled upon them on accident when I was betting myself. I was confident. Like my coach says, 'We're excited, but we're not surprised. We already knew.'
"She had a lot of hype behind her coming in and, I don't know, we have been doing this way too long. Y'all doubted me way too hard, but it's all good. I'm glad I was able to put on a great performance for the fans and get it done tonight."
It was only the second finish of Dobson's professional career, and it was the first time Agapova had been knocked out.
-- Brett Okamoto
Frankie Edgar is shopworn. He has been in too many wars, and he's too old. Moving down to bantamweight 15 years into his career? A last-gasp move.
Those were some of the storylines coming into the UFC Fight Night main event Saturday night in Las Vegas. Like he has so many times before, Edgar silenced the doubters.
The finish came just 2:17 into the bout, moments after Rodriguez floored Prachnio with an elbow strike in the clinch. Prachnio went down hard from the shot, and Rodriguez followed with a punch before Prachnio's body even had a chance to bounce off the canvas. Referee Jason Herzog moved in immediately, but Rodriguez was so fast that he landed two follow-up shots on the ground.
When he didn't break out of the clinch after a few elbows I was immediately worried and I was right to be. Damn! #UFCVegas7— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) August 23, 2020
Rodriguez, of Massachusetts, is no stranger to the knockout. He has now recorded nine of them in his professional career, as well as nine first-round stoppages overall. He has never gone the distance in a victory, having finished all 11 of his pro wins -- nine by knockout, two by submission.
It's a rough result for Prachnio, who has now suffered three consecutive first-round losses. Prachnio, who was born in Poland but fights out of the Netherlands, has been knocked out in all three of his UFC appearances. The longest he has survived in the Octagon was his UFC debut against Sam Alvey, in which he was knocked out at the 4:23 mark.
Solecki stops Hubbard with rear-naked choke
Joe Solecki climbs the back of Austin Hubbard and stuns him early with a rear-naked choke.
There must be something in the water at Salty Dog Jiu-Jitsu in North Carolina.
One day after his coach, John Salter, took home a submission win at Bellator 244, Solecki finished Hubbard by rear-naked choke submission at 3:51 of the first round.
The stoppage came unexpectedly. Solecki got onto Hubbard's back while Hubbard was standing and managed to snake his arm underneath Hubbard's chin for the choke. Hubbard remained standing, but Hubbard put the squeeze on -- and Hubbard tapped.
Worst backpack in history. It punches and chokes you. #UFCVegas7— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) August 23, 2020
"My legs burn out too," Solecki said in his postfight interview. "I either had to get it done or reset and start wrestling again."
Solecki (10-2) has won five straight, including a two-fight winning streak in the UFC. The 26-year-old North Carolina resident has seven submission finishes in 10 pro wins. Hubbard (12-5), a 28-year-old Illinois native, has alternated wins and losses in his past five fights, all in the UFC.
-- Marc Raimondi
Rodriguez turns the tables on Grant
After getting knocked down early in his bout, Daniel Rodriguez weathers the storm against Dwight Grant and wins the fight later in Round 1.
After being dropped and rocked early, Rodriguez rallied somehow to stop Grant via TKO at 2:24 of the first round to open the UFC Fight Night main card.
Grant landed a looping right hand that put Rodriguez in big trouble at the start of the first. But Rodriguez survived, got up and put it on an exhausted Grant, who might have had too much output in trying to finish Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a left hand that dropped Grant and then another that forced referee Chris Tognoni to step in and stop the bout.
"That was intense, brother," Rodriguez said in his postfight interview. "We were slinging them. That's how I do, you know?"
Rodriguez (13-1) has won nine straight fights. The 33-year-old Los Angeles native is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC this year, his first in the promotion.
"I always had a feeling I'd get here," Rodriguez said. "I always believed in myself. I always worked hard. I've got three wins this year, and the way things went, I'm ready for another before the end of the year, maybe two."
Grant (10-3) had a two-fight winning streak snapped. The 35-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York, had not fought since beating Alan Jouban at UFC 236 in April 2019 due to injuries.
It's only been two fights, but Amanda Lemos has looked the part of a potential strawweight title challenger.
Lemos (8-1-1) defeated Japanese prospect Mizuki Inoue (14-6) by decision, via unanimous scores of 30-27. It was an intriguing fight in that Inoue out-landed Lemos in total strikes by more than a 2-to-1 ratio, but Lemos' offense caused far, far more damage.
The majority of Inoue's strikes came up against the fence, as she held Lemos in place in a standing position. Lemos appeared comfortable allowing Inoue to keep her there for long periods of time and would occasionally explode with knees to the body and elbows on the break. Inoue answered with short punches to Lemos' midsection.
We win or we learn. Mizuki hung in there tough after the knockdown in the 1st round. Very proud of her and her heart— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) August 23, 2020
Any time the fight was at range, Lemos, who made her UFC debut in the 135-pound bantamweight division in 2017, dominated the action. She dropped Inoue with a wicked right hand down the middle in the opening round and continued to piece her up with front kicks and punches at a distance whenever Inoue did not have her against the fence.
Lemos is now 2-1 overall in the UFC. Inoue, who was a slight betting favorite in the contest, falls to 1-1 in the Octagon.
Wright lands multiple big knees against Villanueva
Jordan Wright opens the fight with consecutive big knees to the head of Ike Villanueva that open up a massive cut on his head.
Wright opened a huge cut near Villanueva's right eye in the first round. Referee Jason Herzog paused the action for the ringside physician to come into the Octagon and look at the cut. The doctor recommended Herzog stop the bout due to the location and severity of the cut, and the ref did. Wright was awarded the TKO (doctor's stoppage) victory at 1:31 of the first round.
To open the first round, Wright landed a spinning back kick that dropped Villanueva. With Villanueva rocked, Wright closed the distance and got him in a Thai clinch, leading to the knee that opened up Villanueva's eye. The cut was on the inside of Villanueva's right eyebrow, which would have led to blood dripping into his eye.
Jordan Wright aka The Beverly Hills Ninja aka my part-time roommate just had a beautiful @ufc debut, dropping his opponent with a spinning hook kick with his first strike. 🔥🔥🔥— Lando Vannata (@GroovyLando) August 22, 2020
Wright (11-0, 1 NC) took this fight -- his UFC debut -- on six days' notice. The 28-year-old California native, who also trains at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has won two straight after a loss to Anthony Hernandez at Dana White's Contender Series in 2018. That result was overturned to a no contest due to Hernandez's drug-test failure for marijuana.
Villanueva (16-11), a 36-year-old Texas resident, has dropped two straight and is still seeking his first UFC win.
Welterweight Matthew Semelsberger (7-2) picked up his first win in the UFC in a fun, high-pace decision victory over Carlton Minus (10-2). All three judges scored the 15-minute bout for Semelsbeger: 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28.
A former collegiate football player at Marist, Semelsberger went right at Minus the entire fight. Semelsberger walked him down with left hooks to the body and combinations to the head. He knocked Minus down with a right hand in the second round, after catching a leg kick attempt. Semelsberger eventually took Minus' back that round and looked for a choke but couldn't secure the finish.
Minus, of Anchorage, Alaska, was game for Semelsberger's pace and countered well throughout the fight. Minus stood his ground, fired back counter hooks and found a consistent home for his jab. The weight of his punches was simply not as much as Semelsberger's, as Minus typically was forced backward in the majority of the exchanges.
Semelsberger has now won four in a row. Both fighters were making their UFC debut.
Trevin Jones stuns Timur Valiev with massive right hook
Down early in his bout, Trevin Jones lands a huge right hook that sends Timur Valiev to the floor leading the ref to later stop the fight.
On Wednesday, Jones wasn't even in the UFC. In the first round on Saturday, he was being throttled by Valiev, holding on for dear life as Valiev used him as a punching bag. It was a legitimate question at the moment if Jones even belonged in there, he was getting so outclassed.
Then the second round came. And Jones pulled off one of the biggest comebacks of the year.
Trevin Jones has earned the biggest statistical comeback finish of 2020, finishing his opponent with a -40 significant strike differential (26 to 66). #UFCVegas7— UFC News (@UFCNews) August 22, 2020
Results: https://t.co/GJJzaXE4va pic.twitter.com/tnL3863NP3
Jones stopped Valiev by TKO at 1:59 of the second round to open the UFC Fight Night prelims. Jones, who who earned a $50,000 performance-of-the-night bonus. landed a big right hook that dropped Valiev and then pounced with a huge flurry of punches on the ground.
"That was just no quit," Jones said.
Valiev threw a steady diet of kicks in the first round with a ton of success. A front kick to the midsection put Jones in danger. Valiev snapped the kick and his toes dug into Jones' body, causing him to double over in pain. Valiev let loose with more kicks and whipping hooks to the body. Somehow, Jones survived the onslaught and landed a takedown near the end of the round to survive.
Jones, 30, has won three straight, all by finish. The Guam resident filled in for Mark Striegl, who was scheduled to fight Valiev before testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Valiev, a 30-year-old Dagestan native by way of New Jersey, had a six-fight winning streak snapped. Both men were making their UFC debuts.