UFC 295: Live updates, highlights, results, how to watch in Australia, fight time and full card

Stay tuned for live updates, highlights and results from UFC 295 from Madison Square Garden here.

We’re live! The early prelims are underway, with Aussie Stephen Erceg set to fight at around 1pm AEDT.

UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira | SUN 12th NOV 2PM AEDT | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports

Stephen Erceg gets high-powered political backing

Stephen Erceg is the only Aussie fighting at UFC 295 today, and he’s received some high-powered support from the West Australian premier Roger Cook.

A proud Perth product, Erceg fights Alessandro Costa in his second fight in the UFC.

Proving how highly the company rates him, the 14th ranked flyweight will headline the prelim card. That’s rare for a flyweight, and even rare for a guy in just his second UFC bout.

Cook, who replaced Mark McGowan as WA premier in June, threw his support behind Erceg in a video released on social media over the weekend.

“On behalf of Western Australia, we want to wish Stephen Erceg all the very best for UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden in New York,” he said. “Steve was signed up just before UFC 284 in Perth and he’s already amoungst the top 15.

“So, Steve, all the very best for this weekend. Go well.”

Israel Adesanya’s shock call on rival Alex Pereira

Israel Adesanya has fought Alex Pereira four times in the UFC and Glory, but has beaten the Brazilian just once.

Stylebender’s solitary win over Poatan came via second round knockout in their middleweight title fight rematch earlier this year.

Despite their history – which has turned ugly at times in the past – Adesanya has nothing but respect for Pereira inside and outside the Octagon.

“Pereira is a special human being – not just a fighter, but a special human being,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel this weekend. “I’ll say that because I’ve been in there many times.

“He’s got a special ability when it comes to putting people to sleep. He can do it to anyone. Anyone.

“His story is very impressive with what he’s done in kickboxing and the UFC. He hunted me down, he was hunted and now he’s going up to a second division to claim another belt.

“When they do a movie on his life, it’s going to be something amazing.”

Their rivalry dates back years, but Pereira was inspired to join the UFC after reading comments Adesanya made to this reporter in 2018.

Speaking about the stunning kickboxing knockout Pereira dished out to him, Adesanya said: “At the end of the day, no one knows who the f–k he is, and he’s going to be that guy when I’m world champion and when I’m a legend, he’s going to be at some pub talking shit about ‘I beat that guy one time.’”

The comments went viral, spurring Pereira’s rise up the middleweight rankings and eventually leading to his 2022 title fight victory over Adesanya.

Poatan has the chance to get one over Adesanya by achieving what the Kiwi failed to do and winning a title at light heavyweight.

Stephen Erceg’s massive call

He’s preparing for just his second fight in the UFC, but Aussie flyweight Stephen Erceg is adamant he’s ready to face the division’s elite already.

Erceg headlines Sunday’s UFC 295 prelim card before the pay-per-view action is headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira.

Erceg weighed in at 125.6 pounds ahead of his bout with late-notice replacement Alessandro Costa, after Matt Schnell pulled out with injury.

UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira | SUN 12th NOV 2PM AEDT | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports

A dominant performance this weekend will see Erceg move up the 125-pound rankings as he plots his path towards a title shot within seven fights.

But, if through some remarkable set of circumstances he was to get the call-up to fight champion Alexandre Pantoja, or number one contender, former champion Brandon Moreno, Erceg wouldn’t hesitate.

“As far as the level, I really do think I can hang with them,” Erceg told this masthead. “Obviously they’re very tough fights, but I do think I could hang with them.

“Maybe not in every single position or aspect of it. But I could give them a good crack.

“If they asked me tomorrow, if something happened to one of them and they said, ‘would you fight Pantoja?’ the answer is definitely yes.

“I don’t have to think about it. Whoever, whenever.”

Even before his UFC debut in June, Erceg was planning on fighting for the title within seven fights, and his upset victory over David Dvorak as a late replacement only fuelled his confidence.

“I definitely felt like I belong there,” he said. “I felt like that before anyway, but it’s good to have it solidified by getting the win and the way I felt.

“The level in the UFC is higher than outside it, so it was good to feel that.”

Erceg’s win over Dvorak saw him leapfrog the Czech fighter into 14th in the flyweight rankings – a rare move after just one fight.

It’s positive signs, but in reality he’ll need a few more fights before he works himself into title contention.

A win over Schnell – a veteran of 12 UFC fights – would have been the perfect springboard, but Erceg will now need to rethink those plans.

“It changes my timeline a little bit,” he said of his opponent change. “First off though, I need to win – that’s the most important thing.

“But I also need to make a statement. Then I’ll move forward (in the rankings).

“I really do want to go out there and make a statement, and I think that will propel me.”

In Costa, Erceg has a worthy opponent.

The 13-3 Brazilian is 1-1 in the UFC after appearing on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, and is coming off a second round TKO win over Jimmy Flick in June.

“Honestly, I think he’s better than Schnell,” Erceg says of Costa. “I’ve watched every fight that I could find of his.

“He’s very good. He’s got good Jiu Jitsu, good take-down defence and he’s a hard puncher and hard striker.

“It’s going to be a very tough fight, so I just need to go out there, mix it up and find out where I can exploit him.”

UFC 296 results

Main card (2pm AEDT)

Light Heavyweight: Jiří Procházka vs. Alex Pereira

Heavyweight: Sergei Pavlovich vs. Tom Aspinall

Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs. Jéssica Andrade

Lightweight: Matt Frevola vs. Benoît Saint-Denis

Featherweight: Diego Lopes vs. Pat Sabatini

Preliminary card (12pm AEDT on ESPN)

Flyweight: Steve Erceg vs. Alessandro Costa

Women’s Strawweight: Tabatha Ricci vs. Loopy Godinez

Lightweight: Mateusz Rębecki vs. Roosevelt Roberts

Lightweight: Nazim Sadykhov vs. Viacheslav Borshchev

Early preliminary card (10am ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

Lightweight: Jared Gordon vs. Mark Madsen

Bantamweight: John Castañeda vs. Kang Kyung-ho

Flyweight: Joshua Van def Kevin Borjas via UD

Featherweight: Jammall Emmers def Dennis Buzukjavia Rd 1 KO