Fighting in the main event of a special two-hour live stream on UFC Fight Pass and in front of an adoring crowd of fans at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, hometown favorite and US Olympic bronze medal winner Nico Hernandez (7-0, 4 KOs) won his eight-round flyweight showdown by unanimous decision over a determined but out-gunned Victor Trejo Garcia of Mexico City, Mexico (16-10-1, 8 KOs).
It was a good “learning” fight for Hernandez, as Garcia never threatened to win, but hung tough against the superior firepower to keep things entertaining throughout. The judges’ scores were 79-73, 80-72 and 80-72. Hernandez appears to be progressing well in the professional game. He was sitting down on his punches well and picking spots for his punishing combinations like a veteran.
“I was feeling really good in there,” said Hernandez, post-fight. “I’ve been working on fighting southpaws and I did better than I did last time against a southpaw. It was awkward for me, but I’m proud of my progress and I just need to keep working. He was a tough opponent and I take my hat off to him. If anybody is ready to step up next, have them call my team.”
As always the case, Kazakhstani buzzsaw Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov (14-0-1, 12 KOs) came out looking for a brawl and this time found a willing participant in Monterrey, Mexico’s Jose Luis “La Boa” Rodriguez (25-12-1, 13 KOs).
Fighting in the middle UFC Fight Pass bout, the two super lightweights did not disappoint, going to old-school inside warfare for eight exciting rounds. The entertaining Eyubov was the much more active fighter. He worked the body relentlessly while mixing in powerful hooks with both hands upstairs. Rodriguez weathered the relentless storm and came back consistently with hard, accurate counters.
In the end, the judges couldn’t decide who won and a majority draw was the verdict. One judge had it 77-75 for Rodriguez, a bit surprisingly, but was overruled by stereo scores of 76-76. Give both fighters credit, it was an entertaining slugfest and the Kansas fans loved it.
In the six-round super flyweight Fight Pass opener, Pushkino, Russia’s Elena Savelyeva (5-1, 4 KOs) needed just 36 seconds to dispatch Kansas City’s Tatiana Williams Kansas City (0-2). Williams was dancing and smiling before the action and came out looking to trade, but a taste of the former Olympian Saveleva’s power and she packed it in quickly.
Saveleva’s body work was ferocious as long as it lasted.
In the opening swing-bout of the night, a 10-round heavyweight bout didn’t last a full round, as knockout specialist Apti Davtaev (16-0-1, 15 KOs) of Kurchaloi, Russia, made quick work of Belton, Missouri, veteran Richard Carmack 15-15-1, 12 KOs.
The two giants traded strong blows from the outset, with both landing. Davtaev, however, had the better accuracy and chin. One of his long right hands put Carmack down on a delayed reaction and another finished things at 2:26. KO 1.
Afterward, the stern Russian, who trains at Detroit’s world-famous Kronk Gym and is featured in upcoming Ring Magazine “New Faces” section as a “Heavyweight to Watch” for 2019, signalled he is ready for a step up in competition in his next fight.
The UFC Fight Pass commentating team consisted of The Fight Network veteran Cory Edrman and “2018 Female Boxer of the Year” and women’s world champion Claressa Shields, making her debut behind the microphone. The event was presented by Salita Promotions.