UFC 296 Edwards Vs. Covington: Prelim And Undercard Live Results, Video Highlights: Emmett Flatlines Mitchell In Opening PPV Bout

It’s Saturday night, and UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington is ready to get started from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

With tempers flaring between welterweight champion Leon Edwards (21-3) and former interim titleholder Colby Covington (17-3), there is no doubt we are in for an absolute barn burner of a main event.

That being said, the real focus in the lead up to this fight should not be surrounding the level of animosity between the fighters, or the drama that has caused. Instead, we should focus on the fact that these are two outstanding athletes with world-class skill sets, and sit back to enjoy the aggressive nature in which they express themselves.

But we can’t just jump ahead to the main attraction, and with seven preliminary bouts followed by an absolutely stacked main undercard, who would want to?

Directly preceding the headlining welterweight title bout, another belt is on the line, this time in the flyweight division. Defending his strap for the first time, Alexandre Pantoja (26-5) will square off with Brandon Royval (15-6). Royval is currently sporting a three fight win streak since coming up short versus Pantoja in their first meeting back in August 2021.

To overlook the other three fights on UFC 296’s main card would be an absolute crime. Getting the PPV started, Josh Emmett (18-4) will square off with Bryce Mitchell (16-1) at 145-pounds, Tony Ferguson (25-9) will look to snap his losing streak versus Paddy Pimblett (20-3), and in the evening’s featured bout undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov (17-0) will face his biggest test yet as he meets skilled striker Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (17-6-1).

FIGHT SPORTS will be right here to take you through all the action with live results, bout recaps, and highlights.

The early prelims will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass. Following, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on ESPN+, the four fight preliminary card will get started.

Finally, at 10 p.m ET / 7 p.m. PT, the main card will go live on ESPN+ PPV. Four exciting bouts will keep fans glued to their TV’s as they wait excitedly for the evening to conclude with the highly anticipated welterweight title match between Edwards and Covington.

Follow the Live Results, Recaps, and Highlights below, provided by FIGHT SPORTS

 

Main Undercard 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (PPV) Live Results:

 

Co-Main Event: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval – Flyweight Title

Despite a valiant effort throughout the match, Brandon Royval fell short in his attempt at securing Alexandre Pantoja’s 125-pound world title.

The striking through all five rounds was very competitive, but where Pantoja really took over was in the takedown and control department. Furthermore, the MMA adapted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that was on display in this fight was on a level that is not something we see every Saturday.

In the final round, Royval came out swinging under his corner’s advice, and he began to let everyone know he was not out of the fight yet. While it showed heart and determination, eventually Pantoja would drag Royval back to the canvas, where the fight remained until the final bell.

Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval via Decision (Unanimous) – 50-45, 50-45, 49-46

 

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson – Welterweight 

With a record of 17 straight finishes, and no defeats, Shavkat Rakhmonov is one of the scariest competitors in the welterweight division. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson knew this going into the fight, but still saw this as an opportunity to challenge himself, and what a challenge it was.

While Thompson’s takedown defense held up for the first few attempts, eventually Rakhmonov was able to bring things to the ground with a single leg takedown. Not only did this put the pair in a position where Thompson would be unable to use his next-level striking, but it opened up the opportunity for Rakhmonov to lock in a rear naked choke and seal the deal.

With the state of the welterweight division, the result of this bout could put Rakhmonov in a spot to become the next 170-pound title challenger.

Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Stephen Thompson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2, 4:56

 

Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett – Lightweight

Coming into this fight on a 6-fight losing skid, Tony Ferguson clearly had something to prove. On the other side of the cage, Pimblett was also hoping to use this an opportunity to silence the naysayers as his last performance in December 2022, prior to his surgery, was not an overly impressive victory.

In the opening round, both competitors were landing clean shots, but eventually Pimblett began to land the harder punches. He had Ferguson wobbled on multiple occasions in the back half of the first five minutes, and at the end of the round it was shocking that the crowd would even see a second round.

While Ferguson made it to the next stanza, it did not go his way. But, even though Pimblett had the top position, Ferguson used his guard in a defensive fashion and nullified many of the attacks from the top to minimize the damage absorbed.

By the third round, Pimblett was completely exhausted, but the Brit was still able to secure the top position. There was not a significant amount of damage done from this dominant position, but he was able to effectively control his opponent and cruise towards an almost sure thing decision victory.

Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson via Decision (Unanimous) – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27

 

Josh Emmett vs. Bryce Mitchell – Featherweight

Bryce Mitchell took this 145-pound contest with Josh Emmett on just two weeks notice, and like so many short notice fights, it ended in just a matter of seconds. While Mitchell has displayed high level striking on several occasions, he was no match for Emmett’s power on this night.

Prior to the halfway mark of the first round, Mitchell stepped in to deliver a straight shot. Emmett read the attack perfectly and dipped to his left before unloading a bomb of an overhand right. The punch landed clean and knocked Mitchell out cold.

Through this victory, Emmett’s record improved to 19-4, while Mitchell suffered just the second loss in his 18 fight career.

Josh Emmett def. Bryce Mitchell via Knockout (Overhand Right) – Round 1, 1:57

 

Live Results: Preliminary Card 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+

Alonzo Menifield def. Dustin Jacoby via Decision (Unanimous)

Irene Aldana def. Karol Rosa via Decision (Unanimous)

Cody Garbrandt def. Brian Kelleher via Knockout (Counter Right Hook) – Round 1, 3:42

Ariane Lipski def. Casey O’Neill via Submission (Armbar) – Round 2, 1:18

 

Live Results: Early Prelims 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass

Tagir Ulanbekov def. Cody Durden via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2, 4:25

Andre Fili def. Lucas Almeida via Knockout (Right Hook to Ground Strikes) – Round 1, 3:32

Shamil Gaziev def. Martin Buday via TKO (Punches) – Round 2, 0:56

 

 

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