About Last Night: Highlights From UFC, Boxing and More

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As that one Elton John song goes, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’.

There was whole going on this weekend in the wild world of combat sports and for entertainment-sake, we can skip over the UFC’s lackluster main event between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Shamil Gaziev. But, the UFC Vegas 87 undercard had much more to offer than the heavyweights.

The highlight of the night belongs to UFC newcomer Vinicius Oliveira, who absolutely slept Benardo Sopaj with a vicious flying knee in the final round. While it’s only March, Oliveira’s performance has already entered the ‘Knockout of the Year’ conversation.

Debuts don’t get much better than this and the feat earned the Brazilian not only a performance bonus, but also fight-of-night honors against a game opponent. Oliveira takes home $100K, a rare double-bonus.

A flyweight gets the next feature as Steve Erceg laid out Matt Schnell with a check left hook in two rounds flat. It was a beautiful walk-off knockout from Erceg in a career-best performance.

Western Australia’s ‘Astro Boy’ will find himself higher in the flyweight rankings next week.

It’d be rude to not include ‘Mr. Highlight’ among the finishes on last night’s UFC card. Ľudovít Klein pieced up a durable AJ Cunningham en route to stopping the debutant with a teep kick to the body and more follow-up punches.

There’s not many fighters lining up to fight the undefeated Umar Nurmagomedov, so that’s why the UFC signed a guy to do just that. Bekzat Almakhan nearly took Nurmagomedov’s perfect record with a right hand over the top in the first round.

While Nurmagomedov was able to recover and win a rather lopsided decision, the unexpected highlight from Almakhan was one worth noting, especially since he accepted the dangerous fight on short notice.

If you like bloody affairs, Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA is for you. UFC star Jorge Masvidal’s promotion put together an event on Saturday, headlined by former UFC Champ Junior Dos Santos and ex-BKFC king Alan Belcher.

Dos Santos, 40, turned back the clock and unleashed a fiery left hand to put his opponent down. ‘Cigano’ finished it off with nasty ground and pound before smearing the cageside camera with blood. The former UFC Champ won the inaugural Gamebred Heavyweight title with this victory.

Right before that, ‘The Spartan’ Alex Nicholson went out on his shield after a devastating onslaught of blows from UFC veteran Chase Sherman.

‘The Most Violent Show On Earth?’ Yeah, Sherman’s KO fits the description.

To top the action-packed night all off, ‘The Problem Child’ Jake Paul beat up another pro boxer in Ryan Bourland, this time in Puerto Rico.

It’d take Paul only a round to close the show in the co-main event, which was basically the headliner since Amanda Serrano vs. Nina Meinke was called off at the last minute.

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Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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