The fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards took center stage in a crowded UFC on ESPN 4 card Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
While the battle between Dos Anjos and Edwards served as the main event, the bout between Greg Hardy and Juan Adams also made headlines leading into the action. The two high-profile fights were just two of 13 on the slate, with six of the matchups on the main card.
With that in mind, here is a look at the results for the full card.
UFC on ESPN 4 Results
Leon Edwards defeats Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision
Walt Harris defeats Aleksei Oleinik by first-round knockout
Greg Hardy defeats Juan Adams by first-round technical knockout
Dan Hooker defeats James Vick by first-round knockout
Alexander Hernandez defeats Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision
Andrei Arlovski defeats Ben Rothwell by unanimous decision
Jennifer Maia defeats Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision
Ray Borg defeats Gabriel Silva by unanimous decision
Mario Bautista defeats Jin Soo Son by unanimous decision
Felipe Colares defeats Dom Pilarte by split decision
Klidson Abreau defeats Sam Alvey by unanimous decision
Raquel Pennington defeats Irene Aldana by split decision
Alex Caceres defeats Steven Peterson by unanimous decision
History is Made Before Knockout Blows
Alexander Hernandez's victory over Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision was notable for more than just the victor.
It marked the ninth straight fight of the card that was decided by decision, which was a record. According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the previous record for decisions to start an event was eight, and the ninth straight match to go to decision put the San Antonio card just one shy of the record for most decisions on an entire show (10).
Dan Hooker had no interest in tying that record.
The Hangman dropped James Vick with a powerful left hook and then landed multiple blows while his opponent was on the ground before the fight was called. It was the first shocking moment of the night after a number of straightforward fights, which set the stage for what was to come.
Hardy followed that showing with a first-round knockout of his own, and the record start for decisions was quickly in the rearview mirror.
No knockout was more jarring than the one Walt Harris notched in his fight against Aleksei Oleinik after Hardy's win.
Harris needed a mere 12 seconds in the Octagon, coming in hard with a knee to the face before he threw a couple of punches as Oleinik fell to the ground. It was a statement victory and one that stood out despite other headline-making fights.
Greg Hardy Leaves Little Doubt in Contentious Matchup
There wasn’t much love lost going into the fight between Hardy and Adams.
Adams told Nolan King of MMA Junkie the former NFL player was yet to fight anyone of note in his controversial UFC career:
"That’s where a lot of this comes from. Greg Hardy has fought cans. Even in the UFC, they’re going as far as to sign guys they’ve previously cut to give him an opportunity to look good, whereas my second fight in the promotion was Arjan Bhullar, who was 8-1. He was another top guy. I’ve challenged myself throughout my career, whoever they could find for me, whereas I feel like he’s cherry-picked his opponents. They’re trying to market him as this superstar athlete or crazy MMA talent, and he hasn’t displayed any of the skills."
The two fighters didn’t even shake hands in the pre-fight weigh-in and wasted no time going after each other by trading jabs in the opening minute.
That was as far as the drama would go, though, as Hardy took Adams to the ground and unleashed a number of punches before the official called the fight.
The former Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers pass-rusher won via technical knockout in less than a minute thanks to the display and proved that he was a better fighter than Adams even if he hasn’t faced the best opponents the UFC has to offer.
Edwards Continues to Roll
Edwards’ unanimous-decision victory over Dos Anjos ended the streak of knockouts but extended his own winning streak to eight.
The two fighters traded blows in the early going with leg kicks and body shots before Dos Anjos finally took Edwards to the ground. However, the victor escaped and landed enough left jabs to cut Dos Anjos near his right eye and cause significant bleeding by the end of the second round.
Edwards took Dos Anjos to the ground in the fourth round and stood strong against the latter’s trademarked pressure. It was a high-level fight with both competitors remaining within striking distance of each other and showing off their footwork throughout, but Edwards proved victorious with enough blows and timely defense.
He was already looking forward to a potential next fight in the immediate aftermath of his win:
It was a disappointing setback for Dos Anjos, who bounced back from losses to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington with an impressive win over Kevin Lee.
"He’s tough, dangerous, young, but I’ve entered the Octagon against the toughest guys on the planet," Dos Anjos said of Edwards leading into this fight, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "He’s not something I haven’t seen before. It will be no surprise. I’m confident. It was a short, dynamic camp. I’m in great shape and it will certainly be another step towards my dreams."
Edwards may have been something Dos Anjos has seen before, but the Brazilian didn’t have enough firepower to stop the British fighter’s streak in San Antonio.