Two decisions and a no contest highlight the UFC Fight Night 158: Vancouver main card. But despite the lack of finishes, excitement (and controversy) was far from lacking among the four fights.
Misha Cirkunov, Uriah “Prime Time” Hall, and Tristan Connelly were the victors from September 14’s main card event, although Cirkunov was the only victor to end his fight before a judges’ decision.
The Latvian-born Cirkunov finished Jimmy “The Brute” Crute just three minutes and thirty-eight seconds into their main card opener. Cirkunov, who is a fan of finishing fighters via submission, used a Peruvian necktie choke to end his Australian opponent.
With the victory, Cirkunov’s pro MMA record improves to 15-5-0. It’s his ninth victory via submission, and dents a streak that saw him lost three of his last four fights.
The result is also Crute’s first ever loss as a professional MMA fighter,
Uriah “Prime Time” Hall earned the night’s second main card victory when he defeated Antonio “Cara de Sapato” Carlos Junior via a split decision. The Jamaican-born Hall had only won two of his last six fights leading up to this bout, and three of his last four losses were via KO/TKO.
But despite facing a fighter six years his junior, Hall was able to just edge his Brazilian-born opponent. Hall landed 35 significant strikes across the three rounds; roughly double the amount Carlos Junior landed.
With the win, Hall’s record improved to 15-9-0, including 8-6-0 in the UFC. It’s Hall’s first decision win since July 5, 2014.
The result drops Carlos Junior’s record to 10-4-0 (with 1 no contest). It’s his second loss in as many fights; the first time that has happened in his pro career.
Local boy Tristan “Boondock” Connelly had the night’s best story when he beat Michel “Demolidor” Pereira in his debut UFC fight.
The Canadian, who had a 13-6-0 record prior to the fight, was an emergency replacement after Sergey “Honda” Khandozhko pulled out of the fight over visa issues. He had last fought in Rise FC 4 on July 27, 2019, although he didn’t know about his UFC bout until five days before his debut.
His opponent Pereira was coming off of a “Performance of the Night” showing in his UFC debut win over Danny Roberts in May. He came into the fight having failed to make weight, but he didn’t seem bothered by it. The Brazilian started round one with multiple flips, cage jumps, and cartwheels, much to the amusement of the UFC Twitter account.
Connelly wasn’t thrown off by his opponent’s acrobatics, though. The Canadian kept his composure and, egged on by the local Vancouver crowd, displayed some aggressive jabbing an striking. Connelly survived Pereira’s theatrics, which became rarer as the fight went on, and he was rewarded for it. Connelly was awarded the victory via a unanimous decision; the only one of the main card.
The win boosts Connelly’s record to 14-6-0 and 1-0-0 in the UFC. It’s his fourth win in a row; he hasn’t lost a pro fight since 2017. He’s also 9-1-0 in his last 10 fights.
Pereira, as a result of his loss, sees his record drop to 23-10-0. The 25-year-old had won his last three fights prior to this defeat, but he sees his streak come to an end.
The event’s fourth and final main card fight – Todd Duffee vs. Jeff “Lights Out” Hughes – ended in a no contest.
The fight was called off after an accidental eye poke from Hughes. Duffee complained that he was seeing double, and after the ref called in a doctor to check Duffee out, the fight was waved off as a no contest.
Some questions were asked of the referee, who may have waited too long to bring in a doctor. There was also doubt of the extent of Duffee’s injury since the doctor reportedly said that the fighter was good to continue.
It was the American Duffee’s first pro MMA fight since July 15, 2015.