Kyler Phillips
Matrix

USA

Loses fight despite big first round
BantamweightUFC
July 24, 2021
Phillips lost to Raulian Paiva via majority decision (28-29, 28-28, 28-29) at UFC on ESPN 27 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Phillips did everything but carry Paiva out on a stretcher in Round 1, using his speed advantage to connect with several clean shots to Paiva's chin that had him searching for balance. Round 2 was a different story, however, as a clean shot that dropped Phillips left him panic wrestling to stay in the fight. While the first round almost certainly should have been scored 10-8 across the board, Phillips has only himself to blame for his eventual exhaustion, as he literally left his feet trying to connect with punches early. Phillips is no less the exciting prospect he was heading into this bout, but he needs to compose himself in order to get full use of his talents. He falls to 9-2 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
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New opponent in July
BantamweightUFC
June 27, 2021
Phillips will now take on Raulian Paiva in a bantamweight matchup at the UFC event scheduled for July 24 following the withdrawal of Raphael Assuncao, Marcelo Barone of Combate reports.
ANALYSIS
Phillips had been scheduled for a potential resume-building matchup against a well-respected Brazilian fighter in Assuncao, but he'll instead take on a former flyweight who was riding a two-fight winning streak before weight cutting issues scrapped a February bout. Phillips holds a three-inch reach advantages and is the better statistical striker -- especially on the defensive end -- over his 3-0 UFC run. Phillips has also recorded two or more takedowns in his last three fights, but Paiva sports a respectable 80 percent takedown defense. Still, look for Phillips to enter as the betting favorite as he looks to remain undefeated under the UFC banner.
Books matchup with Assuncao
BantamweightUFC
April 27, 2021
Phillips (9-1-0) is scheduled to face Raphael Assuncao (27-8-0) in a bantamweight fight at the UFC's July 24 event, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Phillips will look to push his UFC record to 4-0 after he followed up his unanimous-decision victory over Gabriel Silva in his promotional debut in February 2020 with convincing wins over Cameron Else and Yadong Song. He'll be taking on a reeling fighter in Assuncao, a loser in his last three trips to the Octagon.
Remains undefeated in UFC
BantamweightUFC
March 6, 2021
Phillips defeated Yadong Song via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 259 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Our exposure to Phillips has been limited, but he looks for all the world like a legitimate rising contender at bantamweight. Just 25 years old and possessing a unique combination of both power and a strong fight IQ, Phillips easily took the first two rounds on the judges scorecards before letting off the gas pedal just a bit in Round 3. While the third frame was by far his worst of the fight, Phillips secured the win with a big late takedown. In fact, he landed one successful takedown in each of the three rounds. Song represented a considerable step up in competition for Phillips, and the fact he emerged with a clear-cut victory is a very promising sign. There's a ton to work with here as Phillips attempts to make a jump in the rankings at 135 pounds.
Books March fight with Yadong Song
BantamweightUFC
January 11, 2021
Phillips (8-1-0) is slated to face Yadong Song (16-4-1, 1 NC) in a bantamweight fight as part of the UFC's March 6 event, Farah Hannoun of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Phillips most recently faced Cameron Else in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 3, defeating him via second-round TKO to claim his third consecutive win. Similarly, Yadong returns to the Octagon with some momentum, having reeled off five wins in his six bouts under the UFC banner.
Comes through as heavy favorite
BantamweightUFC
October 3, 2020
Phillips defeated Cameron Else via TKO (punches) at 0:44 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Phillips dialed in on the lead leg of Else early, slipping away from any return fire from Else. He missed with a few theatric flying attacks, but it was clear early who the more complete striker was. Phillips proceeded to record a takedown around three-minute mark, and while Else kept him off with upkicks for a bit, Phillips eventually got to a dominant position on the ground. Phillips proceeded to take his back and pour on heavy shots, nearly finishing the fight before the bell rang. In Round 2, Phillips secured a body lock takedown with ease, again taking the back of his opponent. Else wasn't ready for another four minutes of punishment, so he curled up and Phillips attacked. It didn't take long before the referee stepped in, confirming the dominant victory for Phillips. The 25-year-old is now 8-1 as a professional and will likely see some better competition his next time out. "The Matrix" entered this bout as high as a (-400) betting favorite. He'll also walk away with an extra $50,000 for his efforts here after being awarded one of four Performance of the Night bonuses.