It took Mark O. Madsen just 18 months of training mixed martial arts full time to earn a UFC contract — and it took him just 72 seconds to earn his first win in the promotion.
Madsen (9-0) easily took down Danilo Belluardo (12-5) in the opening minute of their lightweight bout in the co-main event of Saturday’s Fight Night in Copenhagen, Denmark. Madsen finished Belluardo with elbows moments later. It was a gratifying moment for Denmark’s Madsen, 35, a three-time Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling and silver medalist in 2016.
Madsen retired from amateur wrestling in March 2018 and announced his intention to sign with the UFC. He has promoted his own shows in Denmark to ensure he competed on a platform with enough reach to get the UFC’s attention. He is coached by another pioneer of Danish MMA, Martin Kampmann.
Madsen has finished all but three of his professional bouts. He accepted two pro fights in 2013 and 2014, before taking an extended break to focus solely on wrestling.
From ESPN Stats & Information: It was the sixth career finish for Madsen, all coming in the first round. At 1:12, Madsen has the fastest finish for a debuting fighter in 2019 and fastest since Devonte Smith in November 2018 (46 seconds). Madsen is the ninth fighter in 2019 to win their UFC debut by first-round finish. He is the sixth non-TUF fighter to debut in the co-main event of a UFC event and win by first-round finish, joining Branden Lee Hinkle, Dean Lister, Anderson Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and Jacare Souza.
Shore, a former Cage Warriors champion out of Wales, remained undefeated in his UFC debut with a dominant performance that ended with a tapout from Hernandez via rear-naked choke at 2:51 of Round 3.
Shore was poised out of the gate, getting the better of early standing exchanges before taking the bout to the mat. After Hernandez fended off his first two takedown tries in the center of the Octagon, Shore moved the fight into a clinch against the cage, where he ramped up his command. He nearly ended the fight in Round 1 after taking back control, had his way in Round 2 as well, and put Hernandez on his back less than 10 seconds into the third, patiently and efficiently setting up his finish.
From ESPN Stats & Information: It was Shore’s seventh career submission victory, six of which have come via rear-naked choke. He outstruck Hernandez 46-6 according to UFC Stats.
Hernandez is 0-2 in the UFC and both losses have come via rear-naked choke.
Diakiese put on a kicking clinic right from the start, bruising Vannata’s left calf within the first two minutes with a succession of low kicks. He then attacked the body and head with a relentless, unpredictable array that left Vannata with little room for response.
Diakiese was in control the whole way, and two of the judges scored it 30-27 for him, while the third had it 30-26.
Diakiese, who had lost three of his previous four fights in a career in which he has sometimes hurt his own cause by chasing the flashy finish, was poised for all three rounds. He barely needed to throw hands, although one jab bloodied Vannata’s nose. But his strongest attacks were with calf kicks, as he knocked down Vannata once, put him off balance several times and limited his mobility.
Diakiese surprised Vannata with a third-round takedown, erasing any possibility of a late comeback.
The “Elbow Queen” turned into the “Takedown Queen” as Lansberg won the second and third rounds with timely takedowns and handed Chiasson her first career defeat.
Chiasson, who came in looking to join Ronda Rousey as the only female fighters to start their UFC careers 4-0 with all of the wins coming by stoppage, was in control at the start, pushing Lansberg (10-4) against the cage and staying busy with short strikes. But Lansberg defended well and kept the fight standing. Then, in the second round, the Swede took the fight to the canvas on her terms, putting Chiasson on her back, where the American had no answer.
Chiasson came out aggressively for Round 3, but Lansberg weathered the storm and again took the fight to the mat, where she remained in charge on the way to scoring the biggest upset in a UFC women’s fight in 2019. She came in as a +325 underdog. Two judges scored the bout 29-27 and the other had it 29-28.
From ESPN Stats & Information: Lansberg has won back-to-back fights as at least a 2-1 underdog. She joins Joanne Calderwood as the only fighter to win multiple times as a 2-1 underdog in 2019.
Chikadze showed off his Glory kickboxer pedigree and more in winning his UFC debut — although he had to wait a while to celebrate, as the bout was announced as a draw in the Octagon before the scorecards were reviewed and Chikadze was awarded the split decision.
Chikadze, from the country of Georgia, picked Davis apart with punches and kicks in the second round and for much of the third, until he appeared to tire and give Davis some room for a comeback. But Davis, who has lost four of his last five, could not take advantage of his takedowns.
One judge scored the fight for Davis 29-28, but the other two had the same score for Chikadze. Initially, a 29-29 scorecard was announced, which would have made the bout a split draw.
From ESPN Stats & Information: Chikadze outstruck Davis 59-34 and landed 49% of his significant strikes compared to 34% for Davis. Davis did land three takedowns with four passes compared to one and one for Chikadze.
Naurdiev was more accurate, more diverse and more strategic in his attacks on his way to a complete performance in a unanimous decision over the veteran Bahadurzada.
Two of the judges scored the fight a dominant 30-25 for “The Austrian Wonderboy,” and the other had it 30-26.
Naurdiev never allowed Bahadurzada to get on track. His punches and kicks kept coming, and his footwork kept him out of range of counterattacks. Bahadurzada kept throwing punches, but he was lunging for a target that was no longer there.
From ESPN Stats & Information: Naurdiev is the third fighter to get multiple 30-25 scorecards in a win this year, joining Claudio Puelles over Marcos Mariano last week and Sabina Mazo over Shana Dobson at UFC 241.
Muradov staggered across the finish line a bit but made his UFC debut a success, securing his 12th straight victory by surviving a tough test from Di Chirico to get the 29-28 nod from all three judges.
Muradov, a 29-year-old middleweight born in Uzbekistan and now fighting out of Prague, led the dance for most of the way, avoiding the big overhand right hand that Di Chirico repeatedly flung in his direction. He did get clipped on occasion, and in the third round he appeared to tire. But he never took one of the big, finishing shots that Di Chirico was relying on.
Muradov is the first Uzbekistan-born fighter in UFC history.
Talk about living up to a nickname. Phillips, known as “The Welsh Wrecking Machine,” needed only 17 seconds to wreck Amedovski via knockout.
Phillips, who came in on a three-fight losing streak, dropped Amedovski with a left hook in the fight’s first exchange. Amedovski got up but was met with a right hand to the body followed by another left hook to the head, which finished the job.
It was the 20th career KO for Phillips among his 22 wins. It also was the third-fastest in UFC middleweight history.
From ESPN Stats & Information: Phillips had been 0-3 in the UFC prior to that knockout. Amedovski drops to 0-2 in the UFC after being 8-0 in other organizations. It’s the first time Amedovski has been finished.
The Danish Dalby picked up the win in his first fight in the UFC since 2016 — although a piece of shameful officiating marred what was otherwise a well-contested fight.
Dalby won the bout on all three judges’ scorecards 29-28. He performed well and was deserving of the win, but there’s no question Dalby benefited from a terrible decision by the referee to stand the fight up in the third round, as Oliveira was in top position and landing strikes.
No reason for the ref put that fight back stand again. That cost Brazilian Cowboy a fight. #UFCCopenhagen
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) September 28, 2019
Oliveira, of Brazil, immediately shot for another takedown after the crucial stand-up. He eventually transitioned into a triangle attempt, but Dalby escaped and ended up on top in full mount. Dalby rode out the rest of the round in dominant position and took the decision.
Despite the poor officiating, it’s a big result for Dalby, who was cut by the UFC in 2016 after a 1-2-1 skid. After the win, he called for a fight against entertaining welterweight Mike Perry at UFC 245 on Dec. 14.
This is starting to get a little ridiculous.
Saint Preux submitted Oleksiejczuk at 2:14 of the second round with his signature Von Flue choke. There have only been six finishes in UFC history via the Von Flue choke — and four of them belong to Saint Preux.
“It’s my go-to move,” Saint Preux said. “For some reason, people always give it to me.”
The submission capped a strong comeback by Saint Preux, 36, as he struggled with Oleksiejczuk’s pressure boxing in the opening round. Oleksiejczuk, of Poland, walked Saint Preux down in the opening round and landed the left hand almost at will to Saint Preux’s body and head. Saint Preux responded with some striking of his own, however, and a takedown in the second round.
The win snaps a two-fight skid for Saint Preux. The former title challenger had lost three of his last four going into Saturday, and was more than a 2-to-1 betting underdog. Oleksiejczuk suffered his first loss in the UFC and first overall since 2014.
Cutelaba made good on his prefight antics as he took Rountree down and “Hulk smashed” him into the fetal position in just 2:35.
Cutelaba, of Moldova, garnered interest on Friday when he screamed into Rountree’s face during the UFC’s ceremonial weigh-in. The 25-year-old prospect’s nickname is “The Hulk,” and he has been known to paint his face green before staring down his opponents during fight week.
He was all business once the fight began, however. Cutelaba ate a hard left kick to the body early, but used the opportunity to take Rountree down. He landed several hard elbows from top position, before eventually standing over Rountree’s guard and pummeling him with ground-and-pound.
It is the 12th knockout victory of Cutelaba’s career. He is now 4-3 in the UFC. His most recent loss came in April, to former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
From ESPN Stats & Information: Cutelaba has finished all but one his 15 career wins, and 11 of those 12 KO/TKO victories have come in the first round. Entering Saturday, Cutelaba had the highest striking rate among active light heavyweights with 5.24 strikes per minute. His strike rate against Rountree was 5.88 strikes per minute (15 strikes). Cutelaba is the seventh UFC fighter to land at least four takedowns in a fight he won in the first round.
Burns made the most of a short-notice matchup against Nelson as he outscored the Icelandic grappler in a unanimous decision.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Burns, who agreed to step in for the injured Thiago Alves on two weeks’ notice. The former lightweight is now 2-0 since moving up to welterweight two months ago.
Burns outlanded Nelson in total strikes 51-42, according to UFC Stats. He caught Nelson with a beautiful flying knee in the second round, and scored a key takedown late in the third that might have sealed the victory. Burns’ leg kicks caused visible damage on Nelson’s calves and the outside of his lead leg.
Burns, 33, is an interesting addition to the 170-pound division. He struggled to make the 155-pound limit. He trains under striking coach Henri Hooft in South Florida.