Saturday, May 18, 2024

UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Alex Perez scores one-punch knockout of Matheus Nicolau

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Alex Perez isn’t done yet. The flyweight contender had his back against the wall on Saturday, stepping up on short notice to headline UFC Fight Night off three straight losses. He fought without hesitation and was rewarded with a quick knockout of Matheus Nicolau.

“You have to have short-term memory,” Perez told CBS Sports before the fight, refusing to harp on his losing streak.

Perez’s penchant for pressure was alive and well at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas this weekend. The underdog invested in body punches from the start, helping to set up a finishing sequence in Round 2. Perez forced Nicolau to the fence with a flurry of punches before landing a sneaky right hook that put Nicolau’s lights out.

Perez (25-8) agreed to replace Manel Kape on three weeks’ notice despite having fought Muhammad Mokaev on March 2. Perez entered the Nicolau fight ranked No. 8 in the UFC’s official flyweight rankings but will likely usurp his opponent’s No. 5 spot next week. Perez still shows promise despite his recent luck. He’s 7-4 in the UFC with the four losses coming against a current UFC champion, a former UFC champion, a multi-time title challenger and a fighter many believe will challenge for the belt soon.

Nicolau (19-4-1) has been knocked out in back-to-back fights for the first time. All four of his career losses are by KO.

Perez was humble in victory but several notable UFC fighters sang his praises. The list includes former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa.

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