“The Nigerian Savage” Kennedy Nzechukwu was handed the main event spotlight on the night of the event at UFC Vegas 65.
Nzechukwu and Ion Cutelaba were promoted from the co-main slot to the main event after the night’s scheduled headliner between Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac was called off on the night of the fight due to what was described as a non-COVID, non-weight-cut-related illness to Lewis, who was later given a clean bill of health from a doctor.
It meant that the two light heavyweights stepped up and produced an exciting clash that eventually finished with a second-round TKO victory for Nzechukwu, who weathered a torrid opening round before finding his form and finishing Cutelaba with strikes to pick up his second win in a row following his third-round TKO of Karl Roberson in July.
The shakeup at the top of the card gave a golden opportunity for heavyweights Waldo Cortes-Acosta and Chase Sherman to fill the co-main event spot, and it was Cortes-Acosta who picked up the victory with a unanimous decision victory.
Elsewhere on the card, Muslim Salikhov showed everyone just why he’s known as “The King of Kung Fu” as he used his much-vaunted striking to finish Portugal’s Andre Fialho via spinning wheel kick TKO.
There was also a standout performance from Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena, who finished England’s Danny Roberts with a combination of accurate striking and sheer punch power as he competed a hat-trick of wins since earning a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2021.
The night also kicked off with a superb performance, as Natalia Silva claimed a third-round TKO with a spinning back kick finish of Tereza Bleda to register her second successive victory since joining the UFC.
UFC Vegas 65: Official Results
- Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Ion Cutelaba via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 2, 1:02
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Muslim Salikhov def. Andre Fialho via TKO (spinning wheel kick and punches) – Round 3, 1:03
- Jack Della Maddalena def. Danny Roberts via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:24
- Charles Johnson def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jennifer Maia def. Maryna Moroz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Miles Johns def. Vince Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ricky Turcios def. Kevin Natividad via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Vanessa Demopoulous def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Brady Hiestand def. Fernie Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Natalia Silva def. Tereza Bleda via TKO (spinning back kick and punches) – Round 3, 1:27