Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 54: Costa vs. Vettori, emanating from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC action is back for the fourth straight week inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, with this show headlined by two middleweights looking to work their way back into the middleweight title picture, but fighting at 205 pounds.
Second-ranked Paulo Costa takes on fifth-ranked Marvin Vettori in the five-round main event. Both men are coming off of title fight losses to UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. Costa was finished in the second round by Adesanya at UFC 253 in September 2020, while Vettori dropped a decision to Adesanya at UFC 263 in June. A win here for either would put them right back into the mix.
This fight was changed late Thursday night to a light heavyweight bout. Costa said at media day on Wednesday that he was 211 pounds and wouldn't make it to 186 pounds. It was agreed upon to change to a 195-pound catchweight later on Wednesday. However, it was then thought Costa wouldn't even make that, so they agreed to a second change to 205 pounds late on Thursday.
Also on the main card is a lightweight bout pitting surging prospect Grant Dawson against tough veteran Ricky Glenn, a women's bantamweight bout between Jessica-Rose Clark and Joselyne Edwards, a featherweight bout between long-time veteran Alex Caceres and rising prospect Seungwoo Choi, and a welterweight bout pitting Francisco Trinaldo against Dwight Grant.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
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> Jonathan Martinez (13-4, 4-3 UFC) vs. Zviad Lazishvili (12-0, 0-0 UFC)
Martinez is landing leg kicks early and lands a couple to the body. Lazishvili goes for a takedown against the fence. He's working hard to get it but Martinez is defending. They break and Martinez lands a knee and a leg kick. He continues to land the leg kick as Lazishvili is missing his punches. Lazishvili with a leg kick. Lazishvili with a body kick. Martinez mixes some kicks and punches. Lazishvili with a hard right hand. Lazishvili with a leg kick. Lazishvili with a body kick. Martinez with a late combo and Lazishvili with a snap jab. 10-9 Martinez.
Martinez with a body kick. Lazishvili with a leg kick. Lazishvili with a body kick and Martinez with a combo to the body. Lazishvili with some leg kicks and lands to the body. Martinez with a left hand. They trade and Martinez looked to land a knee to the body and Lazishvili caught it but let go. They trade close elbows. They trade punches. Both landing some good shots in this round. Lazishvili with a leg kick. Lazishvili with a body kick and Martinez lands a left hand. Martinez lands a couple of left hands and a step-in knee. Martinez landing the jab as he's making a late push in the round. Martinez with a head kick. Close round. 10-9 Martinez, 20-18 Martinez.
Martinez lands some leg kicks to start the third. They trade punches and Martinez lands better. They continue to trade and Martinez is landing more as he finds a home for the straight left hand. Lazishvili ducks under a punch and looks for a takedown but Martinez sprawls out. Martinez with the jab and a left hand. Martinez with the jab. He lands another as Lazishvili is missing his punches. Martinez still landing the jab. Martinez lands a nice combo. Martinez with a body kick. 10-9 Martinez, 30-27 Martinez.
Official Result- Jonathan Martinez def. Zviad Lazishvili by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
> Livinha Souza (14-3, 3-2 UFC) vs. Randa Markos (10-11-1, 6-10-1 UFC)
Markos with a leg kick. Souza with the jab. Markos with a little flurry as she pushes it against the fence. Souza lands some elbows. They remain clinched against the fence and Markos with a knee. Markos with short right hands and some more knees. They break to the center. Markos with a leg kick and Souza gets a takedown and is in side control with an arm around the neck. Souza landing left hands from the headlock position. Markos gets out but gives up her back. Souza looking for a choke. It's not quite in under the chin but Souza is squeezing and Markos is able to escape as Souza is now on top. Markos escapes to her feet and lands a couple of elbows. They break and Markos running forward throwing as Souza is backing up. Markos gets on top and ends the round on top. Close round. 10-9 Souza.
Markos lands some short punches as they tie up early and Souza pushes it against the fence. Markos with some elbows. Souza gets a big takedown and is in side control. Markos has a little bit of a neck crank in. They work their way up and Souza pulls guard against the fence. Markos is in the half-guard and lands some punches. Markos is in side control and landing some left hands. She lands some elbows as well. Markos still landing as Souza gets her back in her guard. Souza tried for an arm but Markos got out. Souza looking for the leg but Markos gets out of danger and ends the second on top again. 10-9 Markos, 19-19.
They trade leg kicks and Markos lands a combo. Souza lands a right hand and then Markos lands a flurry as she pushes it against the fence. They are trading against the fence and Markos looks to land better. Markos lands some hard right hands. Souza was in trouble on the feet and got a takedown. Markos escapes and has the back on the ground and lands some left hands. Markos landing as she stands and gets back into the guard of Souza. Markos continues to land. Markos passes guard and they scramble on the mat as Markos has the back. Markos has a reverse crucifix in. Markos gets back to the top in side control. Markos gets the back again. Markos with some elbows at the end. Strong close to the fight for Markos. 29-28 Markos.
Official Result- Randa Markos def. Livinha Souza by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
> Jeff Molina (9-2, 1-0 UFC) vs. Daniel Da Silva (11-1, 0-0 UFC)
They were trading early and Da Silva landed some kicks to the legs and body. Da Silva went for a couple of takedowns but Molina defended and they went to the mat. Da Silva went for an armbar but Molina escapes to the top and Da Silva is looking for a triangle as he throws hammerfists. Molina is defending and lands some hard shots from the top. He's landing but Da Silva grabs the arm and looks for the armbar. Molina gets out and is landing more punches from the top. Both landing on the ground as they scramble. Molina with some big shots from the top at the end. 10-9 Molina.
They trade early and Molina drops Da Silva with a right hand and hops on top and is landing. Molina gets full mount and is landing lots of punches. Da Silva gives up his back and Molina keeps landing until it is stopped. What a finish by Molina.
Official Result- Jeff Molina def. Daniel Da Silva by TKO (punches) at :46 of Round 2
> Khama Worthy (16-8, 2-2 UFC) vs. Jai Herbert (10-3, 0-2 UFC)
Worthy with a low kick. Herbert with an inside leg kick. They trade kicks. Herbert with a body kick. Herbert lands a right hand. Herbert lands a combo. They trade leg kicks. Herbert with a right hand and then a flurry and a high kick. Herbert lands a big flurry and drops Worthy with a right hand and is hammering away and gets the finish. What a stoppage by Herbert.
Official Result- Jai Herbert def. Khama Worthy by TKO (punches) at 2:47 of Round 1
> Jamie Pickett (11-6, 0-2 UFC) vs. Laureano Staropoli (9-4, 2-3 UFC)
Pickett lands a left hand. He lands a glancing body kick. Pickett with a short leg kick. Staropoli tries a takedown but Pickett defends. They tie up against the fence and Staropoli with some left hands to the body. Staropoli working hard to score the takedown but Pickett defending nicely. Staropoli grabs the fence a couple of times as they remain tied up. They are broken up by referee Mike Beltran. Pickett throws a kick and Staropoli pushes it against the fence. Pickett reverses and lands some elbows. They break. Staropoli with a high kick. Pickett lands a late combo. 10-9 Pickett.
Staropoli lands a high kick and pushes Pickett against the fence. Pickett tries a takedown and is able to get to the back of Staropoli. He gets one hook in for a moment but they stand. Pickett with a left hand. They're clinched up and Staropoli is looking for the takedown. Pickett with a knee and they break. Staropoli lands a left hand. They clinch again. They break quicker than normal. They both miss kick attempts. Pickett lands a combo. Staropoli just misses a left hand as they clinch again. They break and Staropoli gets a late takedown. 10-9 Staropoli, 19-19.
Staropoli lands a right hand and gets a brief takedown but Pickett gets up and then Pickett gets a takedown. They get to their feet and break to the center. They clinch and Pickett lands a low blow and we have a timeout. Staropoli with a high kick. They clinch up and Staropoli with a knee to the thighs. Staropoli with a left hand and they break. They trade punches and Pickett with a high kick. They clinch again. We have another groin strike timeout. They get back to action and both are throwing and landing. Pickett with a high kick. He lands a knee and a combo. They trade body kicks. Close fight. 10-9 Pickett, 29-28 Pickett.
Official Result- Jamie Pickett def. Laureano Staropoli by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
> Tabatha Ricci (5-1, 0-1 UFC) vs. Maria Oliveira (12-4, 0-0 UFC)
Ricci tried an Imanari roll but didn't get it. She lands a right hand and a leg kick. Ricci rushing in but neither really landing. Oliveira with a leg kick. Ricci lands a big right hand. They trade jabs. Oliveira with a leg kick. Ricci lands a right hand. They trade body kicks. They trade leg kicks. Oliveira lands a right hand. Ricci goes for a takedown against the fence. They trade knees before breaking. Ricci lands a combo. They trade leg kicks. Oliveira with a combo. They trade leg kicks and Ricci catches the kick and lands some right hands and gets the takedown. Ricci with an elbow and short punches. Ricci with some left hands. 10-9 Ricci.
There's an eye poke early in the second and we have a timeout. They get back to action and both landing punches. Ricci lands as she clinches. Oliveira lands a knee and Ricci with a leg kick as they break. Oliveira with a couple of leg kicks. Ricci grabs the single leg and gets a takedown into side control and moves to the mount. She lands some nasty elbows. She's still in the mount. Ricci with more elbows. Oliveira is able to get out and they get to their feet. Ricci lands a nice right hand. Both are throwing and neither landing a lot. They trade and Ricci gets a takedown into the guard. She ends the round on top. 10-9 Ricci, 20-18 Ricci.
They're trading to start the third. Both landing punches and Oliveira with some kicks. Ricci gets a takedown after they land. Ricci with some punches and she's trying to move to the mount. Ricci with more left hands from the top. They get to their feet and Ricci had control and they break. Oliveira with the jab. Ricci gets another takedown. Ricci with some ground and pound and finishes the fight on top. Excellent showing from Ricci. 10-9 Ricci, 30-27 Ricci.
Official Result- Tabatha Ricci def. Maria Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
> Mason Jones (10-1 1 NC, 0-1 1 NC UFC) vs. David Onama (8-0, 0-0 UFC)
Onama took this fight on Tuesday, making his debut. Jones throwing combos early and Onama is throwing as well. Onama lands a punch that stumbles Jones. He lands and then Jones lands a jab that stumbles Onama. Jones looking to tee off and they clinch up. They break and Jones with the double jab. They trade in the pocket as they tie up and Onama with a knee and Jones gets a takedown. They get to their feet and Jones has the back and drags it back down. They get up and Jones with a knee. Jones gets it back down as he has the body lock. They go back down and Jones moves to the full mount. Onama tries to explode out and is eating punches from Jones. Onama gets to his feet and lands some punches as they stand. Onama with a combo. Jones with a body kick. Jones lands to the body and then lands an uppercut. They trade punches. They both land and hurt each other. Action-packed round. 10-9 Jones.
They come out trading to start the second. Jones with a body kick and Onama lands the right hand. Jones with a combo. They tie up and Onama tries a trip and lands a knee. Onama lands some elbows and Jones gets a takedown and has the back. Jones looking for a choke but Onama is able to escape. They trade punches and Onama lands a big flurry. They clinch up and Jones lands a knee as Onama has his hands down and it was accidental. They get back to action. Onama lands a big right hand. They clinch and both land in close range. Jones gets the back against the fence. Jones gets it to the ground and is trying to flatten Onama out. Another wild round. 10-9 Onama, 19-19.
They trade to start the third and both are landing in close range. They're both landing and hurting each other. Jones changes levels and gets a takedown into the half-guard. Jones looking to take the back as he tries to set up a choke. They get to their feet and Jones still has the back but he takes Onama back down. They scramble to their feet and Jones still has back control and the body lock against the fence. They break and both are landing and Onama lands some big punches. Great fight. 10-9 Jones, 29-28 Jones.
Official Result- Mason Jones def. David Onama by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Jun Yong Park (13-4, 3-1 UFC) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (10-3, 1-0 UFC)
Park lands some leg kicks. He lands the jab. Rodrigues with a body kick. Rodrigues with a body shot. They trade and both stun the other. Rodrigues with a right hand. Rodrigues lands another right hand. Park with the jab. Rodrigues with a right hand to the body. Rodrigues gets a takedown and right into side control. He ends up taking the back and is trying to set something up as he has the body triangle. Park is trying to escape but has nowhere to get out. Rodrigues with some elbows from the top. He lands punches at the end. 10-9 Rodrigues.
Park lands a combo but eats a right hand from Rodrigues. They both land in close range and are trading against the fence with Park getting the better of it. They clinch and Rodrigues with a knee. Rodrigues tries a takedown but Park grabs the neck and is looking for a choke. Rodrigues is able to scramble and gets the back. They get to their feet and break. Park lands a big flurry. Rodrigues gets the clinch and a judo takedown and is on the top. They get to their feet and Rodrigues has the back. They separate. Both landing and Rodrigues lands a nice right hand. Park with a flurry. Park lands and then Rodrigues lands a few hard right hands and Park is in trouble. Rodrigues with a big uppercut and Park is out on his feet! Wow, what a fight and what a finish.
Official Result- Gregory Rodrigues def. Jun Yong Park by knockout (punches) at 3:13 of Round 2
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> Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1, 1-1 UFC) vs. Ike Villanueva (17-12, 1-3 UFC)
Negumereanu with a leg kick. Villanueva throws and Negumereanu ducks under and pushes it against the fence. They break and trade hard punches. They both land in close range. Both are landing and Negumereanu lands and Villanueva drops down to his knees and Negumereanu pours it on and gets the finish. Villanueva says Negumereanu was landing to the back of the head. Replays show lots of the punches on the ground were to the back of the head and questionable but Negumereanu gets the stoppage anyways.
Official Result- Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ike Villanueva by knockout (punches) at 1:18 of Round 1
> Francisco Trinaldo (26-8, 16-7 UFC) vs. Dwight Grant (11-3, 3-2 UFC)
Trinaldo with a leg kick and Grant lands a right hand. Grant lands a right hand and a left hook. Trinaldo with a leg kick and Grant returns one of his own. Grant lands the right hand again. Grant with a left hand and Trinaldo stumbles. Trinaldo with a high kick that just barely lands. Grant with the right hand. Trinaldo with a left to the body. Grant with a combo to the body and Trinaldo with a body kick. Trinaldo lands the left hand. Trinaldo lands another big left hand. Trinaldo with a high kick and Grant lands a leg kick. Trinaldo with a right hook. 10-9 Grant.
Grant lands to start the second and we have a timeout for Chris Tognoni to warn Trinaldo about his fingers. Trinaldo lands the left hand. Trinaldo was coming in and Grant landed a right hand and followed it with a takedown and had Trinaldo in trouble but they get up. Neither doing much right now as both are circling and feinting the jab. Grant with a right hand. Trinaldo with a leg kick. Trinaldo gets the body against the fence and is working for the takedown. They break and both exchange punches late. Another close round. 10-9 Grant, 20-18 Grant.
They both looked to land to start the third and Trinaldo landed a groin shot and we have a timeout. We now have a major eye poke by Trinaldo and Grant is in pain. The doctor checks on Grant. Trinaldo gets a point taken away. They get back to action. They both land big shots and Trinaldo with a big left and gets the takedown into half-guard. Trinaldo trying to set up an arm-triangle. Trinaldo still trying to pass the guard but he has Grant pinned down here. He gets to the mount for a moment but back into the half-guard and lands some punches. Trinaldo gets the mount again late and lands as the fight ends. 9-9 with the point deduction, 29-27 Grant.
Official Result- Francisco Trinaldo def. Dwight Grant by split decision (27-29, 29-27, 29-27)
> Alex Caceres (18-12 1 NC, 13-10 1 NC UFC) vs. Seungwoo Choi (10-3, 3-2 UFC)
Caceres with some leg kicks and a high kick. They're trading and Choi is landing some solid kicks and punches. Choi then drops Caceres with a right hand and they were scrambling on the mat and we have a timeout for what looks to be an illegal knee. Replay shows it did land and Jason Herzog checks on Caceres and takes a point away from Choi and the fight continues. They get back to trading. Caceres with a body kick. Caceres with a left hand as they clinch. Caceres lands to the body and Choi lands a head kick on the break. Choi with a right hand. Caceres with a body kick. Caceres with a leg kick and Choi lands a right hand that has Caceres hurt. Fun round. 9-9.
Choi throwing heat to start the second and lands a body kick. Caceres with the side kick. They clinch but nothing happens and Choi lands a body kick on the break. Choi lands a right hand. Choi with a high kick. They trade in close range. Choi with a body kick and then Caceres grabs the back and climbs up and has the body triangle. He looks for the choke and has it locked it and Choi taps! What a finish by Caceres.
Official Result- Alex Caceres def. Seungwoo Choi by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:31 of Round 2
> Jessica-Rose Clark (10-6 1 NC, 3-2 UFC) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-3, 1-1 UFC)
Clark immediately closes the distance with punches and gets a takedown. Clark landing some short punches from the top. Not much is happening though as Edwards is trying to throw her legs up. They are stood up and reset by Keith Peterson. Clark gets right back to the clinch and gets another takedown, but Edwards reverses and they get to their feet. Edwards has the back standing and lands a knee. They break and Edwards just misses a kick. Edwards lands a body kick and combo as Clark was coming in. Clark pushes the fight against the fence looking for the takedown and gets it. 10-9 Clark.
They clinch right up as both are looking for the takedown. Neither is able to get it but Clark gets it down and passes to the half-guard. Clark works to the full mount. There isn't a whole lot going on as Clark is firmly in control. Clark lands some elbows from the top. Clark with more elbows as they stand before the end of the round. They trade kicks at the end. 10-9 Clark, 20-18 Clark.
Clark with a leg kick as Edwards misses a combo. Edwards lands a combo and they clinch against the fence. Clark gets the takedown. Clark working from the top and Edwards has done nothing to get out from the bottom. Edwards tried to scramble up but Clark kept her down. Clark staying just busy enough to not get it stood up as she lands short punches, but nothing is happening at all. 10-9 Clark, 30-27 Clark.
Official Result- Jessica-Rose Clark def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
> Grant Dawson (17-1, 5-0 UFC) vs. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1, 4-3 UFC)
Glenn with a body kick then a leg kick to start. Dawson with a high kick. Glenn with a hard leg kick and Dawson gets a brief takedown. Dawson gets the fight back down after they stood. Dawson landing knees from side control. Dawson gets the back as Glenn was trying to scramble. Dawson has the body triangle locked in. Dawson landing left hands from the back. He still has back control as they move more towards the center. 10-9 Dawson.
Dawson with a body kick and gets a takedown but Glenn rolls to his feet and then stuffs another takedown attempt. Dawson with a high kick. Dawson trying hard for the takedown and gets it and goes right into side control. Dawson gets into the guard of Glenn and lands. Dawson moves to side control but Glenn almost caught him in a bad spot. Dawson dominating from the top and trying a shoulder choke but there is not much going on. 10-9 Dawson, 20-18 Dawson.
Dawson goes right for the takedown and Glenn lands a knee and defends. Dawson tries again and looks like he pulled guard and Glenn is on top. Glenn with some punches. Glenn with some body punches and they work to their feet. Dawson is still trying for the takedown but just pulls guard again and Glenn is in half-guard. Glenn landing from the top as Dawson is trying to get out from the bottom but Glenn controlling. Glenn with some punches and just misses an elbow. Glenn now lands some elbows. Glenn with more punches from the top. Glenn with big shots and Dawson is not doing good. Glenn goes for a choke late but time runs out. 10-9 Glenn, 29-28 Glenn.
Official Result- Grant Dawson vs. Ricky Glenn declared a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
> Paulo Costa (#2 MW, 13-1, 5-1 UFC) vs. Marvin Vettori (#5 MW, 17-5-1, 7-3-1 UFC)
Costa with a heavy leg kick. He lands another. He lands a high kick. He lands another then stumbles and Vettori presses forward. Vettori lands a left hand. Costa with a body kick and they clinch. They break. Vettori with a left hand. Costa with some hard body kicks. They trade right hands. Costa lands another as Vettori landed the jab. Vettori with a combo. Costa with a hard leg kick. Vettori with a flurry against the fence. Costa with a body kick. Costa with an overhand right then a body kick. Vettori lands a stiff jab. They trade late. 10-9 Vettori.
Vettori with a body kick and Costa returns a hard body kick. Vettori with the left hand. Costa with some body kicks. They trade right hands. Costa with a big head kick and he's on the attack and throwing. Costa with another high kick and Vettori still in trouble. Vettori with a left hand. Costa with a leg kick. Vettori with a body kick. Vettori with a combo. Costa with a combo to the body. Vettori gets a takedown but they quickly get up and break. We have an eye poke by Costa and a timeout. Costa gets a point taken away. Costa with a leg kick. Costa with some body kicks. Vettori with a leg kick. Vettori with a combo as Costa is covering up. They trade late. 9-9, 19-18 Vettori.
Vettori lands the jab. Costa with a high kick. They trade in close range. Vettori with a body kick. Vettori with a combo against the fence. Costa misses a wheel kick but lands a right hand. Vettori lands a left hand. Costa with a body kick and right hand. They clinch against the fence and Vettori lands an elbow as they break. Vettori with a combo. Vettori lands a knee and Costa gets a takedown. Costa with some big shots from the top. Vettori sprawls and Costa went for a choke but Vettori easily escaped and is in the guard of Costa. Vettori lands from the top as the round ends. 10-9 Vettori, 29-27 Vettori.
Costa with a hard body kick to start the fourth. Vettori fires back with a combo. Vettori lands as Costa with a leg kick and they clinch. Costa with a left hook. Vettori lands a left hand. Vettori with a combo. They trade leg kicks. Vettori landing to the body against the fence as Costa covers up. Costa with a body kick then another leg kick. Vettori with a combo. Vettori lands a solid left hand. Vettori lands another left hand. Costa with a right hand. Vettori shoots for the takedown but Costa defends. They break. Costa with a body kick. They trade body kicks late. 10-9 Vettori, 39-36 Vettori.
Costa with a big right hand. Costa with a head kick. They trade punches. Costa with a hard body kick. Costa landing as he's landing kicks to the body. Vettori tried a takedown but Costa shook him right off. Costa lands a hard right hand. Costa with a knee to the body and then lands a left hook to the body. Vettori tries a takedown but Costa defends. They break and Costa with a body kick. Costa with a right hand. Costa with another hard body shot and then a right hand. Vettori is the more tired fighter. Costa with a body kick. Costa with a leg kick. They clinch late. 10-9 Costa, 48-46 Vettori.
Official Result- Marvin Vettori def. Paulo Costa by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)