Alessandro Costa Tenderizes Legs, TKOs Kevin Borjas to Kick Off UFC 301

Alessandro Costa and Kevin Borjas, UFC 301
Alessandro Costa and Kevin Borjas, UFC 301 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dylan Bowker/Cageside Press

On a night capped by a flyweight title fight, it was a pair of flyweights opening the UFC 301 card in Rio, Brazil where Alessandro Costa faced off with Kevin Borjas.

Brazil’s own Costa, coincidentally enough, was seeking to bounce back from a loss from Saturday’s title challenger, Steve Erceg. Peruvian Borjas, meanwhile, was looking for his first UFC victory after the Contender Series alum dropped his debut last time out.

The fight would begin cautiously as both men measured the other out for the opening seconds. It would be Costa that landed the first combination, a 1-2 upstairs followed by a thudding calf kick. Borjas would throw a punch and Costa again returned fire with a hard leg kick. As Costa darted in with a shot Borjas would expertly move out of the way to avoid the takedown.

Costa moved in for a wild combination whiffing on a couple strikes as Borjas expertly evaded and returned with a counter strike of his own. Borjas was bleeding behind his ear now, engaging and missing with a flying knee. The two fighters flurried momentarily with punches before just few seconds later Costa caught Borjas with a hard hook that stumbled his opponent against the cage. Costa engaged with another flying knee that narrowly missed its mark, hitting the neck. After Borjas was momentarily slung to the ground the two engaged in the clinch before the bell sounded seconds later.

To start the second round Borjas was throwing hard combinations before taking yet another hard calf kick, backing him off. It only took another two or three leg kicks before Borjas was on his back defending from ground and pound. After momentarily regaining his feet, another couple of leg kicks from Costa dropped Kevin again. Alessandro swarmed on his badly hurt opponent, who was still defending but eventually gave up full mount. Moments later the ref stepped in and mercilessly stopped the fight as Costa rained down strikes on a clearly hurt Kevin Borjas.

Official Result: Alessandro Costa def. Kevin Borjas by TKO (leg kick and punches), Round 2, 1:35