Knockdown Daily 10/3/21: Thiago Santos Gets Decision Win Over Johnny Walker

Fallout from Saturday night's UFC "Fight Night" card leads the MMA headlines for Sunday

Welcome to the Sunday edition of the Knockdown Daily. This issue will cover all the recent top stories in MMA, including news from last night’s UFC “Fight Night” card.

News

Thiago Santos Goes Five Rounds Against Johnny Walker, Ends Losing Streak In Main Event

Thiago Santos out-landed Johnny Walker in a five-round light heavyweight fight to break his losing streak on Saturday (48-47, 48-47 & 48-47). The win snapped an extensive skid for Santos, giving him his first win since losing a title shot two years back.

The fight headlined a UFC “Fight Night” card Saturday that took place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Santos started slowly in the 25-minute contest, losing a round before taking a lead in the score. He hit a stride after the first round, keeping that success to the end.

Walker won a slow first round to the fight, advancing on Santos and connecting with many leg kicks.

Santos had the lead in a composed striking battle for the middle chunk of rounds, having a higher output and scoring more than Walker with a leg kick-heavy offense.

The hardest punch of the fight came late, as Santos connected with a clean overhand left. Walker took the punch clean, remaining on the feet. The final round ended up being one of the harder frames to score, as Santos and Walker had a close battle beside the hard shot.

Santos had lost three consecutive bouts before Saturday. The losses came against the division’s best, including Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira.

Walker was competing in his first UFC main event bout. He scored a win in his previous fight, stopping Ryan Spann within a round with strikes.

Walker now has an even UFC record of three wins and three losses. All of his UFC victories have come in the first round.

Four Prelim Winners Walk Away With ‘Performance of the Night’ Bonuses

Fighters on the preliminary portion of Saturday’s card walked away with all of the “Performance of the Night” bonuses afterward. Casey O’Neill, Jamie Mullarkey, Douglas Silva de Andrade and Alejandro Perez were all given $50,000 awards for their wins.

O’Neill continued her undefeated run high up on the prelims, stopping Antonina Shevchenko in the second round with strikes. All three of O’Neill’s UFC wins have come via finish thus far.

Mullarkey scored a brutal stoppage win against Devonte Smith, charging forward with strikes and eventually earning a ground and pound victory. Mullarkey has turned around his short UFC run, going from losing his first couple of fights with the promotion to having two consecutive finish wins.

Silva de Andrade had a flashy knockout on the prelims, catching Gaetano Pirrello in the first round with a counter left hook.

Perez won his return to the cage early in the evening, stopping Johnny Eduardo late in the second round with an armbar. The win was Perez’s first appearance since 2019, and his first victory in three years.

A full report on UFC on ESPN+ 51 can be read here.

Here are the quick results:

Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 1: Alejandro Perez def. Johnny Eduardo via Submission, Armbar (RD 2, 4:13)
Bout 2: Stephanie Egger def. Shanna Young via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:22)
Bout 3: Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Gaetano Pirrello via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:04)
Bout 4: Jamie Mullarkey def. Devonte Smith via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:51)
Bout 5: Karol Rosa def. Bethe Correia via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Casey O’Neill def. Antonina Shevchenko via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:47)
Bout 7: Jared Gordon def. Joe Solecki via Decision, Split
Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 8: Alexander Hernandez def. Mike Breeden via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:20)
Bout 9: Krzysztof Jotko def. Misha Cirkunov via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 10: Niko Price def. Alex Oliveira via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 11: Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Daukaus via No Contest, Accidental Head Collision (RD 1, 3:43)
Bout 12: Thiago Santos def. Johnny Walker via Decision, Unanimous

Bantamweight Vet Thomas Almeida Among Four Names No Longer on UFC Roster

Four more fighters have parted ways with the UFC as of late. Thomas Almeida, Sarah Alpar, Mike Rodriguez and Antonio Arroyo have reportedly departed the roster recently.

Evy Rodrigues was the first to report that Almeida and Arroyo were no longer with the promotion. Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck of MMA Fighting broke the news of Alpar and Rodriguez leaving.

Almeida had a 10-fight run in the UFC that lasted from 2014 to 2021. He was one of the bantamweight division’s fastest rising names early in his promotional run, scoring four consecutive wins in the UFC and putting together an undefeated pro record of 21 victories.

Almeida’s UFC run comes to an end after losing four consecutive fights. He most recently competed in March, where rising prospect Sean O’Malley finished him in the third round after a dominant performance.

Arroyo’s UFC campaign is coming to an end after failing to attain a win through three fights. The 32-year-old took his third consecutive loss in September, getting stopped by Joaquin Buckley.

Rodriguez’s UFC run concludes with a record of two wins, five losses and one no contest. He has lost three straight over the past year, including a fight against Tafon Nchukwi a few weeks back.

Alpar had the shortest stint in the promotion of all fighters parting ways. She fought only twice in the promotion, losing to Jessica-Rose Clark and Erin Blanchfield.

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NOTE: Tomorrow’s newsletter will cover some of the smaller events that couldn’t be reached on Friday and Saturday, including CFFC and Cage Warriors. The issue will also have the usual “Look At The Week Ahead” as well.

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