The action unfolds later tonight (Sat., Nov. 18, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 121 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, as rising Polish contender Marcin Tybura attempts to shock the heavyweight division when he takes on former divisional champion Fabricio Werdum.
In addition to the main event, welterweight veteran Tim Means will exchange leather with willing striker Belal Muhammad, Canadian middleweight Elias Theodorou will try to overthrow 40-year-old Australian journeymen Dan Kelly, and rising featherweight prospect Alexander Volkanovski will look to remain undefeated in his UFC career when he takes on Octagon newcomer Shane Young.
But, before the premier bouts get underway on FS1 starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Night 121′s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and then FS1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Find out what happened right here as the UFC Fight Night 121 undercard recaps roll in real-time:
Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
In the FS1 preliminary headliner, flyweight contender Benoit (10-5) locked horns with top-flight Australian finisher Mokhtarian (13-3). The first big shot of the fight was a titanic overhand left by Mokhtarian that buckled Benoit. Mokhtarian followed it up with another left hand but Benoit regained his composure with a sharp body kick and short right hand. In Round 2, Benoit started to tag Mokhtarian during any and all inside exchanges. He was better at putting his shots together, but Mokhtarian did continue to press forward and initiate the action. Benoit landed a disguised high kick before eating a nasty low kick inside by Mokhtarian. Mokhtarian followed that up with a nice left hook counter to the temple. Benoit chased Mokhtarian around the cage trying to save some face. The third round saw Mokhtarian land even more lefts as Benoit stood in the pocket and responded with leg kicks and right hands. Out of nowhere, Benoit launched up a right head kick that landed flush on Mokhtarian. Mokhtarian dropped to the canvas like a sack of potatoes and Benoit walked off with the sensational knockout victory.
Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
In a rescheduled lightweight tilt, former Bellator MMA champion Brooks (19-4) aimed to end a two-fight losing skid when he took on 18-fight UFC veteran Lentz (28-8-2). Lentz opened up with a nice knee to the sternum. Brooks looked to fight long and strike from distance. After just a few punches, Lentz’s face started to bloody. Brooks shot in for a nice takedown, but Lentz nearly locked in a guillotine choke. Brooks started to score more on the feet, using a lunging jab to put Lentz on his heels. Lentz came back with a flush right hand. In Round 2, Lentz started to sit down on his punches and kicks, while Brooks continued to pick his shots and use his hand speed. Lentz tried to land some combinations over the top, but Brooks’ head movement and defense looked tremendous. Brooks kept the pressure on with another takedown, but Lentz went right back to the guillotine. This time, it was too tight for Brooks to sneak his head out. In the end, Lentz earned the second-round submission victory.
Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
The second of three heavyweight matchups on the card saw former professional boxer Tuivasa (6-0) make his Octagon debut against fellow knockout artist Coulter (8-3). Coulter immediately pinned Tuivasa up against the fence in the early going. The Australian shook him off and landed a huge left hand that briefly buckled Coulter. Tuivasa kept the pressure on before Coulter secured a timely takedown. When the action went back to the feet, Tuivasa changed level with kicks to the legs and body before loading up his shots upstairs. Tuivasa hurt Coulter bad with an elbow inside and a powerful right hand on the go. After knocking Coulter off balance with a slick leg kick, Tuivasa leaped in for a flying knee that instantly put Coulter out. The Australian prospect impressively walked away with the first-round knockout finish.
Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho
In the opening bout on FS1, Australian veteran Brown (17-11) hoped to rebound from a knockout loss this past June when he took on proven finisher Camacho (21-5). Both men came out firing heavy shots before Camacho took control against the cage. Brown regrouped and secured a brief takedown. Camacho returned to his feet and scored some pretty wild shoulder bumps. Camacho followed his efforts up with a hard uppercut before Brown took him down, transitioned to his back, and nearly sunk in a rear-naked choke. In Round 2, Camacho started to find a home for his lead jab and short kicks to the body. Brown waited to counter with a smashing elbow as Camacho pressed forward and welcomed the exchanges. Camacho landed a huge elbow over the top after a clinch along the cage. Brown responded with his own power shots, but Camacho was able to duck and dodge out of anything seriously damaging. The third frame saw Brown land a glancing elbow as Camacho seemingly started to tire, as well as lose some power off his shots. Camacho kept busy, though, landing a hard right hand that bent Brown back at the waist. Brown came back with a towering head kick that cut Camacho up. With one minute remaining, Camacho began to batter a bloodied Brown along the cage. Brown recovered and both men proceeded to launch winging combinations for the rest of the round. In the end, it was Camacho’s early dominance and consistent offense that ultimately won him the split decision.
Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
The Fight Pass preliminary headliner offered a 120-pound catchweight battle between women’s strawweight veteran Chambers (5-4) and highly-touted Australian prospect Kassem (5-0), who came into the fight having finished all four of her professional bouts under 87 seconds. Both women opened up with quick leg kicks. Chambers pushed the action up against the cage before eating a hard right. Chambers responded with a huge counter right hand before securing a timely takedown. Kassem looked good off her back and nearly sunk in a nasty heel hook. She even added in some strikes off her back. Chambers escaped and rode out top control until the round concluded. In Round 2, Kassem caught Chambers with a nasty combination before Chambers secured another brief takedown. Kassem started to find a home for her kicks and knees in open space, but Chambers again closed the gap and brought the action to the ground. Kassem struck out of nowhere and threw up a tight arm triangle choke. Chambers fought it off as much as possible as Kassem hit her with punches off her back. Kassem switched it up and started to stretch out Chambers’ arm. Chambers survived and the finish dissipated. In the final round, Kassem landed more knees to the midsection and whipping leg kicks. Chambers came back to life and secured another takedown. Kassem threatened again with her second heel hook, but Chambers escaped. Kassem then stepped over for a reverse triangle before Chambers returned to her feet. Kassem then landed a brutal head kick followed by another body kick before the final bell. In the end, it was Kassem who walked away with the unanimous decision win.
Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
In the lone flyweight matchup on the card, former Ultimate Fighter standout Shelton (11-4) aimed to shake off consecutive split-decision losses when he challenged Filipino striker Lausa (7-4). It was Lausa who landed the first meaningful strike with a head kick in the center of the Octagon. Lausa then quickly secured a takedown and put Shelton on his back. The boxer looked strong in top position, but Shelton used his explosiveness to transition to Lausa’s back. Shelton then responded with his own takedown, and then another before the round came to an end. In Round 2, Lausa came out strong with a nice overhand right. Shelton started to press forward, but Lausa showed good head movement along the cage. That was until Shelton exploded in and landed yet another takedown. Lausa threatened with a kimura attempt, but Shelton postured up, landed heavy elbows, and really started to take control. The third round saw Shelton land a crushing right hand during an exchange along the cage. He then shot in for another important takedown. Lausa looked tired off his back as Shelton continued his ground assault with elbows and punches to the body. Shelton wound up catching Lausa on the feet right before the final bell. After out-striking Lausa 186-11, Shelton walked away with the unanimous decision and his first UFC win.
Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
The opening bout of the evening saw heavyweight knockout artist Hamilton (15-9) look to end a three-fight losing streak when he took on Polish newcomer Wieczorek (9-1). Hamilton looked to tie the action up early, dragging Wieczorek to the ground and scoring some solid shots from half guard. Wieczorek didn’t do much to get “Freight Train” off of him, as Hamilton spent nearly the entire first round in top control. In Round 2, Wieczorek caught Hamilton with a nasty head kick that sent the UFC veteran to the canvas. Wieczorek wasn’t able to do much damage in half guard and Hamilton wiggled his way back to his feet. Both fighters exchanged leg kicks before Hamilton dragged the Polish heavyweight back to the ground. The third and final frame saw Wieczorek open up on the feet with two flush right hands. Hamilton responded with more pressure along the cage. Wieczorek defended nicely and crashed another strong right hand into Hamilton’s chin. Hamilton didn’t do much with his hands to keep Wieczorek at bay. Instead, Wieczorek pushed forward, found a home for most of his punches, and started to take control. In the end, it was the activity on the feet, and knockdown in the second round, that earned Wieczorek the unanimous decision nod.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 121 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
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