Alex Pereira Leaves No Doubt About His Dominance With Head-Kick KO at UFC 303

July 1, 2024
2 weeks

An argument could have been made that the first fight between Jiří Procházka and Alex Pereira was stopped too soon. While Procházka didn’t have a problem with the stoppage, fans and observers believed he could have been given more time to recover at UFC 295. But Saturday night in Las Vegas, anyone interested in MMAfighting latest news would likely tell you that the fight could have been stopped much sooner.

Right after the second round started, Pereira uncorked a lightning-fast leg kick that landed flush on Procházka’s temple. Procházka immediately hit the canvas, and Pereira followed up with several hard punches on the ground that ended the fight 13 seconds into the second round.

Pereira said that he decided to add a head kick into his game plan for the fight after watching some of Procházka’s training footage he posted online leading up to the fight. The impact of the knockout required Procházka to be helped to the stool following the fight.

The major question following this fight is what is next for Pereira. He is the ninth multi-division champ in UFC history. There is some talk he may pursue the heavyweight crown to become the first three-division champ. While the heavyweight division is backlogged right now with Jon Jones’ injury, Pereira said he is interested in going up in weight.

“I think that’s in my future,” Pereira said. “There didn’t seem to be much interest in the organization. I think the fans will have a lot of say in this, whatever they want.”

Ige Comes off the Couch to Save Co-Main Event

Dan Ige didn’t pick up a win over Diego Lopes in a 165-pound catchweight bout. But Ige earned the respect of the commentators, fellow fighters, and fans of the promotion by stepping up to fight. Ige, a Las Vegas-area resident, was called in to fight Diego Lopes on four hours’ notice.

Lopes was originally slated to fight former featherweight title challenger Brian Ortega. However, Ortega came down with a temperature of 103 degrees and had to withdraw from the fight. Ige was allowed to fight because the Nevada State Athletic Commission already had Ige’s medicals in the system.

Ige had been scheduled to fight in Las Vegas in three weeks. Lopes controlled the first and second rounds of the fight. While Ige rallied in the third round, he couldn’t avoid taking a unanimous decision loss.

Roman Dolidze Slides by Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith and Roman Dolidze had a competitive scrap in a fight that went through many chances. Initially, this was supposed to be a bout between Jahamal Hill and Khalil Rountree Jr. After Rountree failed a drug screening, the fight underwent many changes.

Initially, Hill was going to fight Carlos Ulberg. When Hill pulled out due to injury, Ulberg followed suit. Anthony Smith, a former light heavyweight title challenger, stepped in to fight Roman Dolidze, who typically fights at middleweight, instead.

Dolidze kept Smith off balance with a wide array of kicks. The highlight of the fight was when Dolidze knocked Smith to the ground in the second round. Dolidze won with a comfortable unanimous decision.

Bueno Silva’s Time at Top May Be Done

Mayra Bueno Silva’s career may have all turned after a failed drug test. Bueno Silva put herself in line for a shot at the women’s bantamweight title with a second-round submission win over Holly Holm in July 2023. However, Buneo Silva’s win was later vacated after she tested positive for ritalinic acid.

Bueno Silva lost her title shot by unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington at UFC 297. At UFC 303, Bueno Silva took another difficult loss. She was on the end of a nasty elbow from Macy Chiasson. The best MMA news sites show that the doctor was forced to step in and stop the fight. 

Bueno Silva had been cut so deep that it was almost to her bone. She has now lost consecutive fights.

Garry Solves Difficult Puzzle

Fighting Michael “Venom” Page isn’t an easy challenge for any fighter. If you stay on your feet, Page carries his hands low and fights out of a karate stance that makes him difficult to touch. Ian Machado Garry decided to take the more practical approach.

More known for his striking, Garry grappled to gain the upper hand. During the first round, the undefeated Irishman shot for a takedown and got Page on the mat. Garry nearly finished off a rear-naked choke in the first round.

However, Page was able to survive. The last two rounds were decided by a razor-thin margin. Garry did just enough to move to 15-0 in his career.

Pyfer Bounce Back

Joe Pyfer had a lot of pent-up frustration to unleash on Marc-André Barriault. Pyfer had an opportunity in his last fight to challenge himself against a respected veteran in Jack Hermansson. But when Pyfer didn’t get the first-round finish, Heremansson outclassed Pyfer for the final four rounds.

However, Pyfer didn’t allow his first loss in the UFC to discourage him. When matched up with Barriault, Pyfer used his strong striking to put away Barriault in the first round. It only took 95 seconds for Pyfer to earn his ninth knockout win of his career.

Pyfer immediately called out Paul Craig for his next fight.

Here’s a look at the rest of the fights on the card not mentioned above:

  • Featherweight, Andre Fili win by split decision over Cub Swanson, 29-28 (Fili x2), 29-28 (Swanson)
  • Catchweight (147.5 pounds), Jean Silva win by KO over Charles Jourdain, Round 2 1:22
  • Bantamweight, Payton Talbott win by KO over Yanis Ghemmouri, Round 1 :19
  • Women’s strawweight, Gillian Robertson win by decision over Michelle Waterson-Gomez, 30-27 (x2), 30-6
  • Heavyweight, Martin Buday win by split decision over Andrei Arlovski, 30-27 and 29-28 (Buday), 29-28 (Arlovski)
  • Flyweight, Rei Tsuruya win by decision over Carlos Hernandez, 29-28 (x3)
  • Bantamweight, Vinicius Oliveira win by decision over Ricky Simón, 30-27 (x2), 29-28

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By Dean McHugh.