LAS VEGAS – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 36 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results.
UFC on ESPN 36 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN2 and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+.
In the main event, former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (28-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) takes on Aleksandar Rakic (14-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC). In the co-feature, Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1 MMA, 5-5-1 UFC) meets Ryan Spann (19-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at light heavyweight.
Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results.
To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC on ESPN 36 discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporter Ken Hathaway (@kenshathaway) on Twitter.
Enjoy the fights, everyone.
Nick Maximov vs. Andre Petroski
Round 1 – Petroski rushes to the center of the cage. Ten seconds in, they land kicks at the same time and Maximov briefly slips to the canvas. He’s back up in a hurry, though, and ready to swing. They trade punches 30 seconds in, and a few seconds after that, Maximov shoots for a single-leg takedown. Petroski plays defense nicely and reverses. They scramble on the canvas, and Petroski latches onto a choke. He turns around and it looks like he’s got it locked up. Petroski’s corner is yelling that he’s out. Referee Chris Tognoni checks on him, and sure enough – the anaconda choke has Maximov asleep. Maximov was the biggest favorite on the card, and Petroski has a big upset in just 76 seconds. It’s the first loss of Maximov’s career.
Result: Andre Petroski def. Nick Maximov via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 1:16
Recap: Andre Petroski chokes Nick Maximov out cold in 76 seconds
Records: Andre Petroski (8-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Nick Maximov (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Carlos Candelario vs. Tatsuro Taira
Round 1 – The two fighters exchange and Taira ties Candelario up. They separate after a brief struggle against the fence. Candelario shoots for a single-leg. He almost gets it, but Taira spins out and lands an inside leg kick. A clean right hand clips Candelario, but he remains relatively unfazed. Candelario spams a head kick but Taira avoids and ties him up. Taira shoves Candelario to the fence and then takes him down. Candelario leverages himself upward and nearly breaks Taira’s grip. Taira lets it go on his own accord and connects with an uppercut. Candelario grabs hold of a leg and beautifully drags Taira to the ground. Taira briefly threatens a guillotine but lets go. Candelario on top as the round ends. 10-9 Taira.
Round 2 – Taira’s corner instructed him to go for the finish, and he apparently listened. A big punch floors Candelario over sideways. Candelario covers up and Taira rains down punches. Candelario eats a few in order to move upward. Taira gets the back mount and seeks a rear-naked choke. He turns his attention to ground-and-pound before the choke again. Now, he’s back to ground-and-pound. Candelario needs to move. He’s doing just enough for referee Mike Beltran not to stop it. Candelario nearly escapes, but Taira shifts in order to maintain the back. Taira is going for the rear-naked choke again. Candelario rolls and rolls. Taira briefly cranks his neck and lets go. Now, they are in a bizarre position, almost like a twister set-up for Taira. Candelario shows off his flexibility though and continues to try to turn inward toward Taira. He can’t get Taira off his back, but Taira can’t get a submission. We’ve hit a weird repetitive stalemate. Finally, Candelario twists himself on top, into Taira’s half guard. The round finishes with Candelario on top, hitting Taira in the body. 20-18 Taira.
Round 3 – In classic MMA fashion, the round begins with a groin kick. Taira split the uprights and connected flush on Candelario. After a brief breather, Candelario is good to go. The fight resumes. Taira whiffs on a big right hook. Candelario nicely ducks under it and shoots. A workmanlike effort gets Taira to the canvas. Taira tries to get up but leaves his neck out. Candelario snatches it and drops for a guillotine. He has a butterfly guard on one side, so it’s hard to tell how tight it is. He uses it to leverage Taira over. However, the squeeze isn’t there, so he briefly lets go. Taira rises up and Candelario pulls for a guillotine again. That one was much more ill-advised. Not the brightest move from Candelario, who just gave up top position and is now on the bottom in half guard. Taira spins from the top and shoots up a triangle choke on Candelario. That was slick. Candelario slips out but Taira flips to his back again. They tumble. Taira has a mean body lock, I’ll tell you. Taira is seeking a rear-naked choke, but he keeps putting his arm across Candelario’s jaw. They roll and Taira lands a pair of massive elbows from mount. Taira pauses, then postures up. Taira rains down ground-and-pound. Candelario is trying his best to sit up and get out of it, but he keeps eating punches and elbows. The round ends with Taira firing away. That’s a great debut from the 22-year-old youngster. 30-27 Taira.
Result: Tatsuro Taira def. Carlos Candelario via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Carlos Candelario (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Tatsuro Taira (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Referee: Mike Beltran
Judging: Derek Cleary, Ron McCarthy, Adalaide Byrd
Angela Hill vs. Virna Jandiroba
Round 1 – A pretty solid bout divisionally for the third fight of the night is underway. This card is sneaky solid from top to bottom, but I digress. The two fighters exchange and tie up. The fight hits the mat and Jandiroba is seeking a leg lock. After a brief struggled, Hill escapes and ends up on top. They get to their feet, still in the clinch. Hill is controlling Jandiroba, who fires a few knees before they break. Jandiroba ties up Hill and drags her to the canvas, but the round ends. 10-9 Jandiroba.
Round 2 – Jandiroba lands a combination and shoots. Hill defends and shoves her off. Hill jabs. Jandiroba comes over the top with a right hand. Hill comes under with an uppercut and ties Jandiroba up. She walks Jandiroba to the cage. Jandiroba breaks with an elbow and circles away. Hill connects with a nice combination. They tie up again. Hill walks Jandiroba backward. Jandiroba shoots for another takedown. This time, she gets it. Jandiroba is in Hill’s half guard. Hill controlling Jandiroba’s wrist. Jandiroba shifts upward and isolates an armbar. She’s going for an armbar. Hill is holding her left arm with all her might, fighting the armbar. Hill rolls to be on top, but she’s still fighting the armbar. Jandiroba readjusts her grip. Hill shoves her knee into Jandiroba’s throat. That looks brutal. Jandiroba is uncomfortable, but continues her armbar threat until the round ends. 20-18 Jandiroba.
Round 3 – Jandiroba lands a nice combination, then smiles. Perhaps she knew what was coming, because she drags Hill down again. Hill threatens a triangle but Jandiroba doesn’t look bothered. She tosses Hill’s legs aside and isolates Hill’s arm briefly. Hill grabs Jandiroba’s leg. Jandiroba cycles to the the back, as they stand up. Hill fights off a second hook to remain standing. Jandiroba is relentless, though. She gets what she wants, which is Hill with her back on the mat. There is about half a round left on the clock. Jandiroba is much stronger in the grappling department. It’s clear. Jandiroba in half guard. Hill slides herself back toward the fence. Jandiroba looking for an arm-triangle choke. In defense, Hill gives Jandiroba her back. Vandiroba has the body lock on. Hill rolls into her and ends up in Jandiroba’s guard where the fight ends upon the final horn. 30-27 Jandiroba.
Result: Virna Jandiroba def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Angela Hill (13-12 MMA, 8-12 UFC), Virna Jandiroba (18-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Sal D’Amato, Chris Lee, Junichiro Kamijo
Michael Johnson vs. Alan Patrick
Round 1 – Patrick tries to drag Johnson down. No dice. Johnson cracks him shortly thereafter. That stunned Patrick, who briefly tries another tie up. Johnson matadors the bull and side steps. His boxing looked crisp, but Johnson just got tagged. He was hurt there. Ice skates. Both guys have had their moments here early. Patrick ties up Johnson. They separate. Patrick dives in with a wild combination that lands. Johnson returns. Patrick connects with a spinning backfist. Johnson looked a little stunned again, but he tied Patrick up and took him down. Johnson cranking Patrick’s neck with a can opener. What is the point of a can opener? To open the guard. That’s what just happened. Johnson moved to side control and then north-south. The round ends with Johnson on top. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 2 – This is a fun one. Both fighters connect. Patrick throws a low kick and Johnson counters with a wicked punch. Patrick wipes his face. That must’ve hurt. Johnson ties him up and shoves him against the fence. Patrick tries a spinning back kick to the body. Johnson taps an inside leg kick. Patrick dashes for a takedown. Johnson avoids and remains standing, while Patrick is on his back looking up at him. Patrick tries a handstand upkick off his back. That was cool-looking, but not particularly effective. Johnson lets him up and lands a combination. Patrick moves in again and eats a counter for his troubles. Johnson lands a four-punch combination and Patrick crumples over backward. Johnson drills a few more dynamite punches to the downed Brazilian and that’s it! What a knockout!
Result: Michael Johnson def. Alan Patrick via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 3:22
Recap: Michael Johnson ends four-fight skid with brutal KO of Alan Patrick
Records: Michael Johnson (20-17 MMA, 12-13 UFC), Alan Patrick (15-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC)
Referee: Herb Dean
Viviane Araujo vs. Andrea Lee
Round 1 – Araujo jabs, then lands a hard left hand and a leg kick. Lee returns with a cross of her own – and then another combination. OH! Araujo falls forward, hurt. Araujo gets up and eats a big head kick. Lee is pummeling away but Araujo survives. Araujo ties Lee up and slams her to the canvas. Oh my goodness. She drove her into the canvas with a thud. Lee is OK, though. They remain on the ground briefly, then clinch. They separate. Referee Chris Tognoni calls timeout to reposition Lee’s mouth piece in its rightful… mouth. Lee peppering Araujo with kicks. Araujo shoots for a takedown against the fence. Lee’s nose is a faucet of blood. They separate. Araujo jabs. Moments later, she gets a takedown. Araujo is in side control. She briefly threatened an arm-triangle or Von Flue choke. Araujo lands a few punches. Lee is starting to work off her back. She’s in rubber guard. Araujo passes into side control, now seeking mount. Araujo lands a few punches before the round ends. 10-9 Lee.
Round 2 – Araujo comes up aggressive and punishes Lee with a punch to the body. Jabs land simultaneously. Lee shoots for a takedown. Not only does Araujo stuff it hard, she switches to the back mount on Lee while she’s there. That was slick. Araujo is landing short shots, so Lee spins into her. But she may have put herself in danger. Araujo is working for an arm-triangle choke. Lee escapes. Araujo shifts to side control, then to the back again. Araujo is controlling Lee significantly from the back. She’s so strong. Lee is flat, but holding Araujo’s wrists so the Brazilian fighter can’t posture up. Araujo works back for another arm-triangle choke. Lee defends and spins away as the horn sounds. 19-18 Araujo.
Round 3 – Araujo takes Lee down immediately. More of the same. Lee works her way up. Araujo clinches her against the fence and they break. Lee tries a hook kick, but it’s caught. Araujo grabs her and back to the canvas they go. Araujo is in side control again. They’re just holding each other here. Araujo threatens a Von Flue choke to move to the back again. Araujo falls off the back of Lee. They scramble and are in a 50-50 leg lock position. Lee rains down some hard punches before the round and fight ends. 29-27 Araujo.
Result: Viviane Araujo def. Andrea Lee via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Recap: Fighters criticize Tony Kelley’s ‘dirty f*cking Brazilians’ comment while cornering Andrea Lee at UFC on ESPN 36
Records: Viviane Araujo (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Andrea Lee (13-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC)
Division: Women’s flyweight
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Derek Cleary (29-28, scoring Round 1 for Lee); Sal D’Amato, Junichiro Kamijo (29-27, scoring Round 1 for Lee and Round 2 a 10-8 for Araujo)
Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento
Round 1 – With UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in his corner, Nascimento drags the fight right to the canvas. He utilizes an omaplata to roll Hadley. Nascimento is now on the bottom, as he seeks a leg. His focus shifts to Hadley’s arms. Nascimento gives up his back to re-seek the leg. Nascimento leverages Hadley backward, as he seeks an ankle lock. They transition and Nascimento enters Hadley’s guard. Hadley tries the rubber guard, but Nascimento remains heavy, making it impossible. Nascimento slides both of his hips into mount. Hadley shifts Nascimento into half guard. Hadley gets up right before the horn sounds. 10-9 Nascimento.
Round 2 – Charles Oliveira called for kicks and Nascimento instantly gives him what he wants. After a few kicks, Nascimento takes Hadley straight to the mat. Hadley has his rubber guard going, trapping Nascimento’s right arm. Nascimento pops his arm out. He remains heavy on top and is doing just enough to prevent a standup. However, neither fighter is mustering up much offense in the striking or submission departments on the ground. Like Round 1, Hadley works his way to the feet just in time for time to expire. Not the most eventful fight of the evening. 20-18 Nascimento.
Round 3 – Nascimento throws a kick and ducks his head. Hadley snatches control of his neck with a guillotine choke attempt. Nascimento drops to the mat, in defense. Hadley is on top, in half guard, but no longer is attempting a submission. Hadley shifts to mount, but he’s on Nascimento’s side. Despite the odd position, he’s trying an arm-triangle choke. Hadley moves to the back but is bucked off. Nascimento is on top. This is not where Hadley wants to be with half a round left in a fight in which he is almost certainly down two rounds to none. Nasicmento is trying a D’Arce choke. Hadley defending, but it’s a bit of a stalemate. Hadley escapes and briefly shoves Nascimento off. Nascimento dives back into the grappling department. Hadley eventually gets up. Nascimento chases him down, then shoots for another takedown. Hadley grabs hold of his neck and flips him over. Hadley is in half guard. Someone is bleeding. Ew, it’s mat burn from Nascimento’s knee. Ouch. Nascimento is unfazed. He reverses Hadley and ends up on top. He lands ground-and-pound and the horn sounds. Nascimento explodes in celebration as he embraces Charles Oliveira. 30-27 Nascimento.
Result: Allan Nascimento def. Jake Hadley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Records: Jake Hadley (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Allan Nascimento (19-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Referee: Mike Beltran
Judging: Sal D’Amato, Ron McCarthy, Adalaide Byrd
Frank Camacho vs. Manuel Torres
Round 1 – I expect this to be violent. Both of these guys like to bang. Torres is the first to land something significant. Camacho briefly threatens a takedown, then lands a jab. Torres connects on a hook. Camacho returns with a hook. Camacho grabs hold of Torres’ leg. Torres clinches him and spins him toward the cage. They separate. Camacho lands a head kick and misses on a wicked combination. Torres fires back with a two-punch combination. Camacho shoots, ties Torres up and then shoves his opponent away. Camacho connects with a hard punch. Torres eats it, moves forward, and lands a combination. Camacho ties Torres up against the fence. Torres stuns Camacho with a right uppercut. Camacho eats a big elbow. Torres looking for a kill shot. Camacho has a chin, but we knew that. Torres takes a step back, perhaps a mental reset to pace himself. Camacho moves forward and eat a big left-right, one-two combination. Down. Goes. Camacho. Referee Herb Dean waves it off. Camacho seemed at least minimally with it, but Dean had seen enough. What a debut for Torres. Nice highlight.
Result: Manuel Torres def. Frank Camacho via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:27
Records: Frank Camacho (22-10 MMA, 2-6 UFC), Manuel Torres (13-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Referee: Herb Dean
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas
Round 1 – After a brief feeling-out process, Ribas tosses Chookagian to the canvas with a hip toss. Ribas is on top of her. Chookagian gets up and lands a solid punch. Both fighters are “hut-hutting” on their punches. Ribas misses on a spinning back kick and eats a solid right hand. Ribas continues to pressure Chookagian, but she looks a bit out of rhythm. They trade some more. Both fighters land. The round horn sounds. 10-9 Chookagian.
Round 2 – Ribas continues to push forward, but she continues to just look generally unmatched, particularly in the boxing department. Chookagian lands a stepping knee. Ribas has a lot of herky-jerky movement. They tie up and Ribas tosses Chookagian to the canvas again. Ribas is in half guard. Off her back, Chookagian backhands her. Ribas lands a punch. Chookagian rolls and Ribas has her clinched against the cage standing up. Chookagian turns and faces. Chookagian waits, waits, waits, and explodes out of the clinch. Another spinning back kick whiffs for Ribas. They trade leg kicks. Ribas is bleeding out of her nose. A hard right hand clatters the face of Ribas. This is the best sequence for the fight for Chookagian thus far. Chookagian shoots for a takedown against the fence but time expires. 20-18 Chookagian.
Round 3 – Chookagian jabs and jabs. A Ribas leg kick sweeps Chookagian to the canvas briefly. Back up, Chookagian fires a combination that connects. They tie up and separate. Chookagian definitely looks like the fresher fighter. Chookagian’s slipping and ripping. Ribas rips a combination that finishes off with a low kick. Chookagian fires back. A spinning backfist by Ribas misses. They trade some more before Ribas scores a big takedown. Chookagian pops up. Ribas has her tied up against the fence. Chookagian circles away. Ribas lands a right. She’s screaming while she punches forward. Both fighters bite down and chuck. They clinch and Chookagian lands a knee. Chookagian connects on a right hand, then Ribas does the same. The round ends and the fighters embrace. 29-28 Chookagian.
Result: Katlyn Chookagian def. Amanda Ribas via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap: Katlyn Chookagian edges Amanda Ribas by split decision
Records: Katlyn Chookagian (18-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC), Amanda Ribas (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Division: Women’s flyweight
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Derek Cleary (29-28 Ribas, scoring Round 2 for Chookagian); Sal D’Amato, Junichiro Kamijo (29-28 Chookagian, scoring Round 1 for Ribas)
Davey Grant vs. Louis Smolka
Round 1 – A touch of gloves and we’re off. Smolka misses and Grant whacks him with a right. Smolka has grown out his hair for this one. Will that play a factor? Grant threatens a front kick and switches stances. He has such whacky striking, but hey, it works. Just as I write that, he whiffs on a hugely wound-up wheel kick. Grant punches the body, then the head. Smolka rushes in. Grant shoves his takedown attempt away. They trade. Grant lands a spinning back kick to the body. Grant chops the leg with a kick, then rips the body with a kick. He is handily winning this fight thus far. The left side of Smolka’s body is red. Grant flies in with a spinning back elbow. It lands, but so does a counter knee from Smolka. Both men stay upright. Grant rips a one-two to the body. Grant goes body-head. He’s winding up like he’s throwing a baseball. A stiff jab sits Smolka down. Damn, he looked like he was out, but he comes to and grabs Grant’s leg. Grant gets his leg out and has Smolka stand up. Smolka stands up and looks a bit wobbly. Luckily for him, the round ends. 10-9 Grant.
Round 2 – Grant comes out confident, hurling shots. Smolka finds some success early, though. Perhaps this will be less lopsided than things appeared in Round 1. Smolka lands a hard combination. Now, Smolka is tripling, quadrupling up on shots. I wonder if Grant threw too hard, too often in the first round. Both fighters jab. Grant has a gash in his forehead, but lands a two-punch combination. Grant lands a spinning back kick to the head. It didn’t connect fully, though. Smolka enters the clinch with a knee. Grant returns with a knee. The volume from both guys is unusually high. A hard leg kick from Grant clacks off Smolka’s shin. Grant lands an overhand right. Grant tries an out-of-control spinning kick. He whipes out. Smolka takes advantage of the slip and dives onto the ground. Smolka grabs hold of Grant’s arm and is seeking an armbar. This could be his chance! Nope. Grant bucks him off and the two return to the feet. Horn sounds. 19-19.
Round 3 – It’s anyone’s fight and if Round 3 is anything like the first two, we’re in for a treat. A wicked calf kick from Grant hurts Smolka. Disabled, Smolka dives for a takedown. Grant stuffs it. As Smolka flips around to face him, Grant hammers him with four hard punches. The second-to-last one knocks Smolka unconscious. What a bizarre and brutal knockout from Davey Grant!
Result: Davey Grant def. Louis Smolka via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:49
Recap: Video: Davey Grant takes out Louis Smolka, makes case for fifth straight UFC bonus
Records: Davey Grant (12-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC), Louis Smolka (17-9 MMA, 8-9 UFC)
Referee: Mike Beltran
Ion Cutelaba vs. Ryan Spann
Round 1 – Spann takes the center and tries to push Cutelaba to the outside. Fifty seconds in, Spann lands a pair of jabs that have Cutelaba going backward. But Cutelaba expertly recovers and gets a takedown and quickly moves to the top. Spann works his way back to his feet and looks for a guillotine choke, but Cutelaba again fires him back to the canvas. But Spann pushes off with a beautiful upkick and sends Cutelaba flying back to the fence. He jumps back to his feet quickly and the two engage. Cutelaba brings it back down quickly, but when Spann again kicks off, they scramble and Spann grabs Cutelaba’s neck. He’s got it, and it’s tight. He spills the fight to the canvas and keeps his grip on, and Cutelaba has to furiously tap from his back with Spann latched on tight. Spann promised a quick finish, and that’s what he delivered.
Result: Ryan Spann (20-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) def. Ion Cutelaba via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:22
Recap: UFC on ESPN 36 video: Ryan Spann chokes out Ion Cutelaba, issues warning to 205-pounders
Records: Ryan Spann (20-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Ion Cutelaba (16-7-1 MMA, 5-6-1 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight
Referee: Herb Dean
Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Round 1 –
Records: Jan Blachowicz (28-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC), Aleksandar Rakic (14-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight