UFC Fight Night 159: Who Gained & Lost The Most
By Claudia Peterson
UFC Fight Night 159 went down in Mexico City Arena on ESPN+. The card was filled with Latin American talent. In the end, the card left a lot to be desired between unfair split decisions, majority draws and a very unfortunate no contest in the main event between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens.
There are four fighters who performed exceptionally tonight and had the most to gain from their performance:
Stephen Peterson (featherweight) earned his first win this year by knocking out Martin Bravo in spectacular fashion with a spinning backfist. He is now 3-2 in his UFC run, and this knockout should at least keep him around to see next year with the promotion. His knockout of Bravo earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Irene Aldana (bantamweight): After losing a unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington back in July, the Mexican fighter got back in the win column on home soil by beating Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision. She is 4-1 in her last five fights, and with a couple more wins, she will find herself in title contention.
Bethe Correia (bantamweight): The Pittbull earned her first win in three years. Her last win was in September of 2016 when she beat Jessica Eye by decision. Since then, she last lost to Holly Holm and Irene Aldana, and has had a longer layoff than expected due to an eye injury and several cancelled bouts.
Paul Craig (light heavyweight): The Scottish “Bearjew” put on an incredible performance against Brazilian fighter Vinicius Moreira.
He last fought at UFC Minneapolis and is coming off a first round KO loss to Alonzo Menifield. This was a much needed win for Paul Craig, who is now 4-4 in his UFC career. This win will at least secure him another fight and keep him afloat. Tonight’s submission win earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez (featherweight) headlined the main event, which promised to be on fire. However, early in the first round, Yair accidentally poked Stephens in the eye, and Stephens was eventually rendered too injured to continue.
Herb Dean waived the fight off and declared it a no contest. This ending was very disappointing because both fighters had a lot to give to this fight. Yair was coming off a long layoff after his win against the Korena Zombie last November, and Stephens had spent the last several weeks in Mexico City getting acclimated to the altitude.
Both fighters worked really hard to get to this point, and were both distraught at not being able to fight after the eye poke. Not only that, but the crowd in the Mexico City Arena was completely disrespectful and threw debris and bottles into the octagon, and even pelted Stephens as he was being led out.