Rising light heavyweight contender Jamahal Hill passed the test posed by former title challenger Thiago Santos as he rounded off an historic night of fights at the UFC Apex.

Every single bout on the 10-fight card at UFC on ESPN 40 produced a finish as the judges were not called upon to tender a scorecard at any point during a spectacular night in Las Vegas.

And, despite the thrilling action that unfolded, no bout was more exciting than the main event, as Hill and Santos swung for the fences in a bout that looked set to end in a knockout at almost any moment.

While Hill edged those stand-up exchanges, Santos utilised his rarely-seen wrestling to take Hill off his feet and neutralise “Sweet Dreams'” striking. But, with both men starting to show signs of fatigue in the fourth round, Hill was able to keep the fight in the striking realm, and he connected with a string of strikes that eventually put Santos to the canvas, where the Michigan native finished the bout with a non-stop barrage of punches and elbows that forced referee Herb Dean to intervene.

After his victory, Hill said he’d love to face light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka next, but if that option isn’t presented to him for his next bout, he’d be happy to face former champion Jan Blachowicz instead.

Neal scores career-best win with Luque finish

In the co-main event, Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal announced his arrival as a legitimate threat to the welterweight elite with a stunning third-round finish of Vicente Luque.

Making his first UFC performance of 2022, Neal had a brilliant first round as he stunned, then dropped Luque as he threatened to score an incredible first-round finish of the Brazilian. But Luque survived the round and came back strongly in Round 2, prompting Neal’s coach Saif Saud to read him the riot act on the stool before the final round.

With his ears still ringing from his coach’s pep talk, Neal came out for the final round and lit up Luque with strikes once again. A straight left put Luque on wobbly legs, and after the Brazilian backed up against the cage, Neal unloaded an incredible barrage of nine consecutive uppercuts before eventually knocking his man out with a two-piece combination to put the cap on a stellar display.

After his victory, Neal said he’d love to face fellow contender Gilbert Burns next.

Usman flattens Pauga with huge KO to capture TUF heavyweight honours

Younger brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Mohammed Usman, scored a massive knockout as he defeated Zac Pauga to win the heavyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Pauga looked the better fighter through the opening round as he connected with strikes on Usman for much of the round, while Usman struggled to find a home for his big winging punches.

But, at the start of Round 2, that all changed when Usman tightened up his strikes and connected with a perfectly-timed short left hook on the counter. The punch knocked out Pauga instantly, and the immediate follow-up ground strike was mere garnish on a spectacular knockout victory.

It means Usman joins his brother in the UFC as the only two brothers to have both won seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.

Miller captures TUF 30 women’s flyweight crown

Juliana Miller delivered a statement-making performance to defeat Brogan Walker and win The Ultimate Fighter 30’s women’s flyweight tournament with a third-round TKO finish.

Miller took charge early and never relinquished control as she won both of the opening two rounds. Then, with Walker needing a huge final round to force a fourth “sudden victory” round, Miller underscored her dominance by claiming the finish with ground strikes to win the season and receive the winner’s trophy from UFC president Dana White.

Spivac continues his improvement

Moldovan heavyweight Serghei Spivac showed off his evolving MMA skillset, and his improving English, in a display that may well see him listed in the UFC heavyweight rankings this coming week.

Spivac dominated, then finished Augusto Sakai via TKO due to ground strikes after utterly bossing the bout with the Brazilian. Then, in his post-fight interview, Spivac discussed his victory in English before calling on the UFC to give him a post-fight bonus for his handiwork.

McKinney snatches another first-round finish

Terrance McKinney bounced back from his first career defeat in fine style as he finished Erick Gonzalez in the first round of their lightweight main card opener.

McKinney lit up Gonzalez with strikes early on as he threatened to finish his man with punches, but a big right hand on the counter from Gonzalez gave “T-Wrecks” a moment’s pause.

McKinney soon resumed his onslaught, however, before eventually switching to his grappling as he took his opponent’s back and jumped into a standing rear-naked choke to seal an impressive first-round finish.

Prelims deliver 100 percent finish rate

The preliminary card saw four outstanding finishes as all of the undercard winners claimed eye-catching stoppage victories.

The night’s featured preliminary card bout saw a one-round demolition job by Poland’s former light heavyweight Michal Oleksiejczuk, who flattened UFC veteran Sam Alvey to make a huge impression on his UFC middleweight debut.

There was also a highlight reel knockout from Bryan Battle, who knocked out Takashi Sato via head kick in just 44 seconds on his UFC welterweight debut.

The opening bout of the night saw Mayra Bueno Silva claim a quickfire armbar submission victory over Switzerland’s Stephanie Egger, but the result didn’t come without a little controversy.

Silva locked up a tight mounted armbar on Egger and appeared to have her opponent completely trapped. Then, suddenly, Silva released the hold and informed referee Chris Tognoni that she felt Egger tap. Egger appeared to dispute the finish and, while there was no camera angle that captured the tap, three cageside officials – including referee Herb Dean – all confirmed they saw a tap as an emotional Silva claimed the win.

That performance was followed by another submission, as Wales’ Cory McKenna made history as the first female fighter to win via Von Flue choke in the UFC as she used the rarely-seen submission to defeat former CFFC champion Miranda Grainger in the second round.

UFC on ESPN 40: Official Results


  • Jamahal Hill def. Thiago Santos via TKO (punches and elbows) – Round 4, 2:31
  • Geoff Neal def. Vicente Luque via knockout (punches)Β  – Round 3, 2:01
  • Mohammed Usman vs. Zac Pauga via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:36 – TUF 30 heavyweight final
  • Juliana Miller def. Brogan Walker via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 3, 3:57– TUF 30 women’s flyweight final
  • Serghei Spivac def. Augusto Sakai via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 3:42
  • Terrance McKinney def. Erick Gonzalez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:17


  • Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Sam Alvey via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:56
  • Bryan Battle def. Takashi Sato via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 0:44
  • Cory McKenna def. Miranda Granger via submission (Von Flue choke) – Round 2, 1:03
  • Mayra Bueno Silva def. Stephanie Egger via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:17