Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 33: Smith vs. Rakic, emanating from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Octagon remains in Las Vegas as UFC action keeps going during the pandemic, this week with a light heavyweight main event featuring a former title challenger, plus a co-main event with the return of a former champion.
Former title challenger Anthony Smith will be looking to get back into the win column when he takes on Aleksandar Rakic in the headline bout. This fight will only be a three-round main event after the original main event for this show was cancelled. Smith is facing a quick turnaround after a brutal loss to Glover Teixeira in May while Rakic makes his first Octagon appearance of 2020.
In the co-main event, former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler returns on short notice, fighting for the first time in over a year, as he looks to end a three-fight skid against Neil Magny, winner of two straight. Also on the main card is the debut of Alexa Grasso at 125 pounds as she takes on Ji Yeon Kim and former title challenger Ricardo Lamas welcomes short-notice replacement Bill Algeo to the UFC.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
ESPN/ESPN+ PRELIMS | 6 PM ET/3 PM PT
> Mallory Martin (6-3, 0-1 UFC) vs. Hannah Cifers (10-6, 2-4 UFC)
Women's Strawweights* (Cifers missed weight by 1 pound)
They trade early on. Cifers starting to land a little more early on. Martin lands a nice jab. Martin lands a nice right cross. Cifers lands a big right hand that drops Martin and rushes on top looking to finish. Cifers in the guard and lands a big slam and is landing punches but they scramble to their feet. Cifers still landing lots of punches and they clinch. Cifers with a knee and Cifers still landing as Martin is pinned against the fence. Cifers still landing. Martin looks for a takedown but Cifers defends and is still landing. Martin pulls guard. Cifers slams herself free and is landing more big punches from the top. Martin stands and survives the round. 10-8 Cifers.
Cifers was landing early and Martin pushes her against the fence in a clinch. Martin scores a takedown and lands some elbows. She traps the arm of Cifers for a moment and lands some punches. Martin still landing left hands as she moves to the mount. Martin with some elbows and Cifers is cut open. Cifers gives up her back and Martin locks in a rear-naked choke and gets Cifers to tap. What a huge comeback by Martin and an unfortunate end for Cifers after a dominant first round.
Official Result- Mallory Martin def. Hannah Cifers by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:33 of Round 2
> Polyana Viana (10-4, 1-3 UFC) vs. Emily Whitmire (4-3, 2-2 UFC)
They both come out swinging and Whitmire lands some inside leg kicks. Viana lands a nice right hand. Whitmire able to get a takedown and is in side control. She moves to full guard and Viana lands some elbows from the guard. They start scrambling and Viana is able to grab an arm and lock in an armbar and Whitmire screams tap. What a slick finish by Viana to pick up the win.
Official Result- Polyana Viana def. Emily Whitmire by submission (armbar) at 1:53 of Round 1
> Sean Brady (12-0, 2-0 UFC) vs. Christian Aguilera (14-6, 1-0 UFC)
Brady with a big body kick and follows it with a left hand and then a leg kick. Aguilera with a leg kick. Brady with another nice leg kick and they trade punches. Brady with a left hook as Aguilera rushes in and then lands a leg kick. Brady with a combo as Aguilera has a cut open around his right eye. Brady with a hard leg kick and Aguilera counters with a hard right hand. Brady lands a left hand and rushes in scoring a takedown. Brady with control from the top as he lands to end the round. 10-9 Brady.
Brady starts with a leg kick followed by a left hand. They trade left hooks. Aguilera lands a leg kick but Brady times it perfectly and turns it into a big takedown. Brady works for a guillotine and has it in and Aguilera is able to fight it off for a moment but Brady gets a mounted guillotine locked in deep and Aguilera is choked out cold and put asleep. What an impressive submission by Brady as he remains undefeated.
Official Result- Sean Brady def. Christian Aguilera by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:47 of Round 2
> Alex Caceres (16-12 1 NC, 11-10 1 NC UFC) vs. Austin Springer (12-3, 0-0 UFC)
Featherweights* (Springer missed weight by 5 pounds)
Caceres lands a head kick and Springer stumbles a little. Springer lands a leg kick. Springer with a couple more inside leg kicks. Caceres lands a left hand. Springer is throwing punches but not landing but lands a leg kick. Caceres with a body kick. Caceres lands for a body. Springer goes for a takedown but Caceres is able to defend and takes the back of Springer. Caceres quickly gets the hooks in and finds a rear-naked choke and gets Springer to tap! Yet another submission win on the night.
Official Result- Alex Caceres def. Austin Springer by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:38 of Round 1
> Alessio Di Chirico (12-4, 3-4 UFC) vs. Zak Cummings (23-7, 8-4 UFC)
Di Chirico lands some early and just misses landing a flush head kick. Di Chircio with a leg kick and Cummings is limping a little. Cummings with a leg kick. Di Chirico lands a right hand. Cummings with an inside leg kick. Cummings lands a left hand. Di Chirico with a body kick. Di Chircio with another body kick and lands a right hand and left hook at the end. 10-9 Di Chircio.
Di Chirico landing to start the second and Cummings with a leg kick. They are feeling each other out and Cummings blocks a high kick attempt from Di Chirico. Cummings with a high kick and then lands a left hook. Cummings with a left hand. Cummings with a left hand and Di Chircio is wobbled a little. Cummings with an inside leg kick. They trade punches. Close round. 10-9 Cummings, 19-19.
Cummings lands a left hand and then a leg kick. Di Chircio with an inside leg kick. Cummings with a left hook to the body. Di Chirico with a left hook. Di Chircio connects with a combo and Cummings lands a counter left hand. Cummings with a front kick to the body. Di Chirico with a combo ending with a hard left hook. Di Chirico with a leg kick and Cummings with a left hand. Cummings with a body kick. Cummings with a groin strike and we have a brief timeout. Back to action and Cummings lands a left hand. Di Chirico with an inside leg kick. Di Chirico with a late flurry and Cummings drops Di Chirico with a head kick as the horn sounds. Wow. Close fight. 10-9 Cummings, 29-28 Cummings.
Official Result- Zak Cummings def. Alessio Di Chirico by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
> Maki Pitolo (13-6, 1-2 UFC) vs. Impa Kasanganay (7-0, 0-0 UFC)
Both men have already fought in the month of August. They are throwing big punches to start. Kasanganay with a calf kick. Pitolo lands a body kick and then a counter right hand. Kasanganay with a combo. Kasanganay with a left hand. They clinch against the fence. They break and Pitolo with a body kick. Kasanganay with a nice body punch. Kasanganay with a hard overhand right and Pitolo eats it. Pitolo with an uppercut. Kasanganay with a big combo and he's chasing Pitolo around the Octagon. Kasanganay with some punches against the fence. Pitolo is cut over his left eye. Kasanganay with a right hand. Kasanganay with a front kick. 10-9 Kasanganay.
Kasanganay landing some good punches to start the second. Kasanganay pressing forward and both men are landing. Pitolo with an overhand right. Kasanganay lands a right hand. Pitolo with a kick and they clinch and both get position against the fence. They break. Kasanganay with a left hook. Kasanganay with a left hand. They clinch for a moment and Kasanganay lands a hard elbow on the break and follows it with a hard combo. They trade late and Kasanganay with a nice right hand at the end. 10-9 Kasanganay, 20-18 Kasanganay.
Both men looking for their range to start the third. Kasanganay lands a left hook after landing to the body. Kasanganay walking forward and landing with more volume in the third. Pitolo slowing down. Kasanganay with a teet kick. Kasanganay with a left hook after Pitolo lands a jab. Kasanganay with a combo. Kasanganay with a right hand. Kasanganay with a head kick that Pitolo blocks. Kasanganay with an overhand right. Pitolo lands a left hand. This goes the distance. 10-9 Kasanganay, 30-27 Kasanganay.
Official Result- Impa Kasanganay def. Maki Pitolo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ESPN+ MAIN CARD | 9 PM ET/6 PM PT
> Ricardo Lamas (19-8, 10-6 UFC) vs. Bill Algeo (13-4, 0-0 UFC)
Algeo lands a knee to the body and Lamas grabs the neck and tries to drag him down but Algeo breaks free. Algeo with a leg kick and Lamas with a right hand. They trade jabs. They trade and then clinch but break. Lamas with a body kick and then goes high with a kick. Lamas with a body kick followed by a calf kick. Lamas with a combo. Algeo with a leg kick. Lamas with a jab and then a leg kick. Lamas with an uppercut. Algeo with a leg kick and Lamas counters with a head kick. Algeo lands a left hook. Lamas with the jab. Lamas with a leg kick and Algeo stumbles. Algeo with a leg kick. Lamas with a hard calf kick and then another. Algeo hurts Lamas late with some punches. Close competitive round. 10-9 Algeo.
They trade kicks to start the second. Lamas with a body kick and Algeo counters with a left hook. Lamas shoots for a takedown and gets the back and drags Algeo to the mat. They scramble to their feet. Algeo with heavy shots in close and they trade elbows. Algeo with a combo ending with a head kick against the fence. Lamas shoots in and pushes Algeo against the fence. Lamas is leaking blood from his nose. Lamas still trying for a takedown as Algeo is landing elbows to defend against the fence. They break and Lamas with a pair of kicks. Algeo with a hard knee and Lamas is wobbled. Algeo takes Lamas down. They scramble up. They battle for underhooks. Algeo with some short knees. They break. Lamas with a calf kick. They trade late. 10-9 Algeo, 20-18 Algeo.
Lamas with a pair of high kicks to start the third. Algeo with a high kick of his own. They trade leg kicks and right hands. Lamas with a high kick and Algeo with some right hands. Lamas shoots in for a deep takedown and has Algeo pinned against the fence. Lamas with a knee to the body. Algeo defending with some elbows but Lamas finishes the takedown and lands a couple of right hands. Algeo with a big elbow from the bottom. Lamas with some nasty elbows as Algeo is trying to scramble to his feet. Lamas doing damage on the ground. Lamas looking to take full back control. Lamas landing punches but Algeo scrambles out to his feet. Lamas gets Algeo back down and has the back. He looks to get the hooks in as he has back control. He flattens Algeo out and is landing big punches and elbows to close out the fight. Big elbows at the end. 10-8 Lamas, 28-28 draw.
Official Result- Ricardo Lamas def. Bill Algeo by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
> Ji Yeon Kim (#14, 9-2-2, 3-2 UFC) vs. Alexa Grasso (#14 WSW, 11-3, 3-3 UFC)
They are trading early and Grasso landing with more volume. Grasso landing some good leg kicks early on. Grasso lands a nice right hand but eats a counter left hook from Kim. Kim with a right hand as Grasso lands a leg kick. Grasso fires back with a combo. They continue to trade and Grasso landing with more volume as she lands a body kick. Grasso with a big combo and then another body kick. Grasso with a right hand. Grasso with the jab. 10-9 Grasso.
Grasso landing with more volume to start the second and lands a couple of good right hands and Kim just eats them. Kim with a right hand and then Grasso lands a jab. They trade in close range. Grasso back to landing with more volume and lands a leg kick. Grasso with a nice combo and ends it with a hard right hand. Grasso with another solid combo. Grasso with a hard right hand and Kim is bleeding from the nose. More hard right hands landed by Grasso. They trade punches. They trade and clinch for a moment but break. Grasso with a right hand. Kim lands a right hand. 10-9 Grasso, 20-18 Grasso.
Grasso with a leg kick. They trade in close range and Kim lands a good combo. Kim with a right hand. They trade and Kim jumps up trying to grab the neck but they separate. They trade and Grasso lands a nice combo. Kim lands a right hand. Kim coming forward and Grasso circling away as both land. Kim lands as Grasso has her back against the fence and Kim forces a clinch. They battle for underhooks against the fence as Grasso lands a knee. Grasso with body punches. Kim with some short knees. Grasso with hammerfists to the thighs. Grasso gets a late takedown. Grasso working in the half-guard and lands some punches and ends the fight in the position. 10-9 Grasso, 30-27 Grasso.
Official Result- Alexa Grasso def. Ji Yeon Kim by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
> Robbie Lawler (#13, 28-14 1 NC, 13-8 UFC) vs. Neil Magny (#14, 23-7, 16-6 UFC)
Magny with a quick leg kick. Magny with a body kick. Lawler with a left to the body. Lawler rushes in and they clinch after he lands a left. Lawler looking for the takedown and they go to the mat and Magny looking for a D'Arce choke but lets it go. Magny with some body punches. They get to their feet and Magny has the back. Magny with a knee and he's going for a standing rear-naked choke but lets go. Magny still has the back and lands some knees and gets a takedown. Lawler able to reverse and ends on the top in the half-guard of Magny. They start to get up and Lawler lands some left hands. Magny drops down and Lawler lands some elbows but Magny completes the takedown. They scramble and Magny with some punches. Magny with punches and elbows to the body. 10-9 Magny.
Lawler with a calf kick. Magny with a leg kick. Magny ducks under a left hand from Lawler. Magny with a body kick and then closes the distance. Magny gets a takedown against the fence. Magny gets the back and has both hooks in against the fence. Lawler trying to escape but Magny still has control. Lawler with some back elbows. He tries to scramble up and makes it to his knees before Magny gets him back down. They get to their feet. Magny with some knees in the clinch. They break. Magny with a right hand. They trade late. 10-9 Magny, 20-18 Magny.
Magny with a couple of kicks to start the third. Lawler with a right hook and tries a left hand but Magny grabs him and pulls guard. Not much happens on the ground and Jason Herzog orders them up. Magny going for the takedown and has the leg and ends up completing the takedown. Magny has the back. They get to their feet. Magny with some knees. They break the clinch and go to the center. Lawler with a left hand. Magny with a couple of kicks. Magny with a quick combo and then a step-in knee. They clinch and Magny with some knees. Magny staying busy against the fence. Lawler with a head kick as they break. Magny slips under some kick attempts at the end. Great performance from Magny. 10-9 Magny, 30-27 Magny.
Official Result- Neil Magny def. Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
> Anthony Smith (#5, 32-15, 8-5 UFC) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (#8, 12-2, 4-1 UFC)
Rakic with a couple of leg kicks to start. Smith with a leg kick of his own and Rakic counters with a body kick and then a leg kick. Rakic with another hard leg kick. Rakic with more hard leg kicks and Smith falls down as his leg crumples. Rakic with some punches. Smith able to get up and hops on the back of Rakic as they stand but Rakic escapes. They stay on the mat and Rakic on top. Smith trying to hunt for submissions from the bottom but Rakic maintaining top position though not much is happening on the ground. Smith with some good punches from the bottom. Rakic postures up and lands a couple of heavy right hands. 10-9 Rakic.
Rakic with a leg kick to start. Rakic now with a body kick and then another leg kick. Smith lands a hard right hand and they clinch. Smith tries a takedown but Rakic slips away and Smith falls down and Rakic goes into his guard. Rakic landing from the top as Smith looks to attack the kimura. Smith not doing much from the bottom otherwise. Rakic with smothering top control. Rakic postures up and lands more punches. Smith is going to need a finish in the third. 10-9 Rakic, 20-18 Rakic.
Rakic starts with a leg kick. Rakic lands a left hand and a head kick and Smith is wobbled. Rakic with a knee and they clinch. Smith tries to take Rakic's back standing and they end up on the mat with Rakic on top. Rakic landing punches from the top. Rakic now gets the back and is in control as he lands knees to the legs. Smith is doing nothing to try to even get up. Rakic now gets back to the top. Rakic with more punches and he explodes to his feet and nothing happens in the last ten seconds. 10-9 Rakic, 30-27 Rakic.
Official Result- Aleksandar Rakic def. Anthony Smith by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)