The main event of UFC Fight Night in Mexico City featuring Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens ended in very unfortunate fashion.
Just 15 seconds into the first round, Rodriguez landed an accidental eye poke, which caused Stephens’ eye to spasm and resulted in a no contest.
ESPN’s Marc Raimondi did a feature on Stephens moving to Mexico six weeks in advance of the bout with Rodriguez and spending nearly $30,000 on his training camp, which makes the situation all the more painful for the always tough Stephens.
Following the bout, fans in the arena threw garbage into the octagon due to the abrupt end of the main event.
Canadian Nelson scores win
The third time was a charm for Hunstville, Ontario’s Kyle Nelson as the Canadian headed to Mexico City to face Marco “Polo” Reyes on his home turf.
The aggressive Nelson stopped Reyes with some heavy strikes at 1:36 of the first round en route to his first UFC victory.
“Coming off two losses, I don’t want to try and call anybody out, but I think that I just proved with that performance that I’m ready for anyone in the UFC,” Nelson told UFC officials after the fight. “Sean Shelby get a hold of me, I’ll be ready in a couple of weeks.”
Nelson improved to 13-3 as a professional.
Attendance and Bonuses
UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City drew 10,112 attendees with an undisclosed gate.
The Fight of the Night bonus went to the co-main event of Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso, which Esparza won by majority decision. Performance of the Night bonuses went to Paul Craig and Steven Peterson, who both scored highlight reel finishes.
All four fighters earned an additional $50,000 (USD)
Holloway vs. Volkanovski booked for December
The UFC Fight Night broadcast confirmed reports that featherweight champion Max Holloway will make his next title defence this December.
Holloway will defend his title against top contender Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in Las Vegas on December 14.
Australia’s Volkanovski has won seven straight fights and is undefeated in his UFC tenure, including his most recent win at UFC 237 over Jose Aldo, perhaps the greatest featherweight of all-time, in Aldo’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro.
Holloway meanwhile has won 14 straight featherweight bouts and will look to defend his title for the fourth time.
Oezdemir to face up and coming prospect Rakic
The final card of the UFC’s 2019 schedule has added a fantastic bout between two of the top light heavyweights.
UFC Fight Night in Busan, South Korea on December 21 will feature a bout between former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir facing off against 12-1 Austrian prospect Aleksandar Rakic, who is 4-0 in the UFC, including a head kick knockout of Jimi Manuwa in his last outing this past June.
Oezdemir is coming off an impressive victory of his own over Ilir Latifi last month.
No main event has been officially announced for the final card of the year.