Tagir Ulanbekov v. Allan Nascimento
This fight started out fairly casual on the feet with both fighters looking to land strikes. But it didn’t take long for Ulanbekov to eventually blitz, secure a body lock and land a trip for a takedown. From there what ensued was non-stop submission, attempts, scrambling and reversals from both fighters. It was high action grappling for several minutes with spectators and announcers both screaming. This was a perfect opening round to set the tone for the day’s event. Round two doesn’t take long before Ulanbekov can secure another takedown and quickly find himself in a submission threat by Nascimento from the bottom. Once again however, Ulanbekov is able to stay calm and escape. Both fighters continue to trade shots from the top and the bottom and the round makes it to completion while providing no shortage of action. Round three was absolutely more of the same with Ulanbekov on top trying to sneak in shots in between his very seldom moments where he’s not trying to fight off a submission attempt from Nascimento on bottom. The fight goes the distance and has no shortage of action but in the end it is the top control the proves to be just enough. Ulanbekov by split decision.
Yaozong Hu v. Andre Petroski
Round one of this bout also begins with a bang as Petroski doesn’t take long before he is in top control on the ground and huting for a submission. Hu proves his scrappiness though and is always able to escape any danger using good scrambles and continuing to make Petroski work. Round two proves to be more of the same with Hu always on the defensive to Petroski’s offensive grappling pressure. Hu being the former heavyweight is able to just use strength often, even when his technique may be lacking in some areas. Round three however, is when all the grappling finally begins to catch up to Hu. Hu’s scrambles begin to have a little less power and his defense and resistance begin to slow. Eventually, Petroski is able to finally lock up a submission that sticks and forces Hu to tap out. Petroski by round three submission.
Makwan Amirkhani v. Lerone Murphy
Amirkhani gets to work quickly in the opening round of this bout. He doesn’t wait long before he blasts in for a takedown and is able to secure it leaving plenty of time left in the round to work. For the entire remainder of the round he is able to control Murphy and continue landing shots while always trying to improve his position. Murphy survives but the round is clear cut in favor of Amirkhani. Round two starts off on the feet as usualy but it doesn’t take long for Amirkhani to finally shoot in again for another takedown. Unfortunately for Amirkhani, Murphy is ready this time and blasts a knee straight into Amirkhani’s chin knocking him out instantly. Murphy by round two KO.
Michal Oleksiejczuk v. Shamil Gamzatov
This fight didn’t last long as both fighters come out looking to just trade punches with no real grappling intentions being apparent. Oleksiejczuk is never one you want to strike with for very long as he is very good at movement and quick entries in and out of the pocket. Both fighters are able to land a couple but it is Oleksiejczuk that is landing more frequently while taking fewer shots, as per usual for his fights. As the round progresses and begins to near the end, Gamzatov is seen taking deep breaths and already showing signs of fatigue. Oleksiejczuk notices this and while Gamzatov has his back against the cage Oleksiejczuk closes in and lands a mean uppercut that drops Gamzatov. Oleksiejczuk quickly follows him to the ground landing a fast flurry of follow up punches forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight. Oleksiejczuk by first round TKO.
Elizeu Zalesk Dos Santos v. Benoit Saint-Denis
The opening round of this fight was high action with both fighters throwing every shot as hard as they possibly can trying to cause maximum damage in every movement. Both fighters hang tough though and are able to survive. Saint-Denis however, with his couple of takedowns, although brief, may have got the edge in the judges eyes. Round two ends up being one of the most exciting rounds of the night as Dos Santos begins landing flush non-stop. Saint-Denis though shows his toughness and just refuses to give up even though the announcers and everyone is screaming at the referee to stop the fight. Saint-Denis took so much damage and was basically out on his feet but somehow was able to survive and continue standing and stumbling around the cage. Unfortunately for Saint-Denis, his corner refuses to stop the fight in between rounds and sends him back out into the Octagon stumbling. The announcers continue to get frustrated at the referee as well as Saint-Denis’ corner for allowing this fight to continue.
Round three ensues and Saint-Denis continues to show his military toughness and heart pressing on and refusing to give up. Unfortunately for him, all this damage may come back to haunt him later in life. He fights on nonetheless and is somehow able to survive the final round while accruing even more damage. An incredible display of heart but an even worse display of refereeing. Dos Santos by unanimous decision.
Albert Duraev v. Roman Kopylov
Duraev comes into this fight with insane hype after his absolutely blistering and dominant peformance on Dana White’s Contender Series. They pair him up with a very experienced and skilled Roman Kopylov. Both fighters give an insane account of themselves with Duraev landing a takedown toward the end of the first round and doing plenty of damage. Then round two appears to be so dominant by Duraev that a 10-7 round could have been possible. Round three is mroe continued action but Duraev does not escape without accruing plenty of damage himself. By the end of the fight Duraev has a fractured orbital that is already turning insane colors of black and purple. Kopylov also has plenty of damage with a huge gash on his nose and blood coming from all different places on his face. In the end though, Duraev does enough to get the nod in his highly anticipate debut. Duraev by unanimous decision.
Zubaira Tukhugov v. Ricardo Ramos
The first round of this fight is very competitive with both fighters landing frequently and hurting each other at different times during the round. In the early part of the round it is Tukhugov that is getting the better of the striking exchanges opening up a good cut on the face of Ramos. Later in the round however, it is Ramos that starts landing the better strikes stumbling Tukhugov and opening up a cut on his face as well. Round two begins with both fighters having a 60 second rest and having their cuts cleaned up in between rounds. Round two is competitive again but in this round Tukhugov is able to land a more clear cut discrepancy in strike count and is able to even land a takedown late in the round which should be enough to clearly win him the round. Round three is more continued excitement with Ramos now starting to finally figure out the timing of Tukhugov due him using the same weapons over and over. Ramos picks up his activity and is clearly trying to come back from what he clearly feels is a deficit not in his favor. Tukhugov stays strong and aggressive though and fights right back continuing his high output as well. Both fighters survive the round and the fight goes the distance with each showing a great account of themself. In the end, it is Tukhugov who does just enough to get the nod. Tukhugov by unanimous decision.
Amanda Ribas v. Virna Jandiroba
The opening round of this bout went as expected with Jandiroba pursuing takedown attempts but Ribas having sufficient skills to defend and keep the fight standing. Both fighters continue aggressive throughout the round and are having a little bit of struggles in landing flush. Towards the end of the round however, Jandiroba finally lands flush and drops Ribas but only for a second as Ribas jumps back up quickly. It may have been enough to win the round for Jandiroba though. Round two starts off with both fighters continuing their aggression and it is Ribas that lands a hard flush shot this time, early in the round. The round carries on and it is another closely contested round with Ribas possibly doing enough but not in clear cut fashion. Round three Ribas starts to get her striking rhythm going and begins landing more frequently appearing to finally start taking control of the fight. Jandiroba tries to evade but her mouth is open wide showing clear signs of fatigue. She is able to survive but in the end it is Ribas that does enough to secure the victory. Ribas by unanimous decision.
Magomed Ankalaev v. Vokan Oezdemir
Oezdemir always has lethal hands in his fights but it tends to be somewhat one dimensional for him as that’s usually the majority of his offense. Ankalaev on the other hand, is an absolute murderer with a wide variety of lethal offense. In addition to that, Oezdemir has seen his ability to take a hard strike somewhat diminish over time. He hangs tough though in the first round and survives, despite taking a decent flush shot that dropped him briefly. Round two proves to be slightly less action than the previous but Ankalaev still lands a decent amount and lands a very brief takedown towards the end of the round which may have been enough to secure it for him. Round three Oezdemir comes out now with a poorly placed cut over his left eye which may prove to be a factor. The round is more of the same with Ankalaev landing the better of the strikes but never really sitting down on any of his strikes for fear of being countered by that fight ending power of Oezdemir. The fight goes the distance and Ankalaev does enough to get the nod. Ankalaev by unanimous decision.
Jingliang Li v. Khamzat Chimaev
This fight went as many thought it might. Chimaev came into this fight with maybe the most hype and anticipation we have ever seen for a UFC fighter. His opponent Jingliang Li, was going to be the stiffest competition he has maybe ever faced. Unfortunately for Li, this mattered none to Khamzat Chimaev. Yet again, Chimaev not only won in absolute dominant fashion, but he did it in round one with his opponent once again landing only a single shot in the entire fight. This Chimaev character is not only someone to watch, but is showing signs of being a potential champ in the near future. He also could even be a double champ eventually. This one was all one way traffic. Chimaev by first round submission.
Alexander Vokov v. Marcin Tybura
Not a lot of action in the first round as both fighters were feeling each other out. Tybura’s best path to victory in this bout would be to pursue the grappling but as far as round one was concerned, he didn’t seem to concerned about it. Round two was more of the same but this time Tybura was pursuing the grappling a little bit more. Volkov was able to fight off most of the clinches and takedown attempts but Tybura stayed persistent. Round three Volkov begins to pick up his activity and is landing occasionally on Tybura. No fighter ever truly lands that devastating shot in this fight that heavyweights are often known for. In the end, the fight goes the distance with Volkov clearly winning the third round
Islam Makachev v. Dan Hooker
This was another bout that was short lived. Makachev came into this fight under a great deal of pressure being often referred to as Khabib Nurmagomedov part two. He also was performing in front of all his countrymen. Fortunately for him, he didn’t let the pressure effect him at all. It only takes a matter of minutes before Makachev has secured a takedown, moved into a dominant position and forces a tap out via Kimura. Makachev by first round submission.
Petr Yan v. Corey Sandhagen
This fight was expected to be one of the most competitive and technical fights of the year and it absolutely delivered. Round one Corey was the more active fighter looking so precise and even mixing in some occasional takedown attempts. The activity appeared to be enough to win Sandhagen the round. Round two Yan picks up his activity to match Sandhagen’s and the round was very close and could’ve gone to either fighter. Round three was when Yan really started to get going and clearly wins the round. Round four was more intensity for Yan as he starts to officially take control of this fight. At the very best possible scenario for Sandhagen, he might’ve been going into the fifth round even at 2 rounds to 2. But more likely, he Sandhagen was possibly down 3-1. Round five was very important for Sandhagen to win according to his corner who was pleading to him in between rounds. Sandhagen does slightly better in the fifth but it appeared not to be enough. The judges agreed. Yan by unanimous decision.
Jan Blachowicz v. Glover Teixeira
Round one begins just as Teixera had hoped for. He is able to secure a takedown early in the round against a champ who has really shown himself to be hard to get to the ground. Teixeira stays in top control from there and although he doesn’t land a lot of significant damage he does land and stays in top control for the remainder of the round. A clear cut round one for Teixeira. Round two was much better for Blachowicz as he was stuffing the takedown attempts frequently and starting to land some good shots of his own. But it is only a matter of time before Teixeira lands another takedown and goes to work. Without much resistance, Teixeira eventually takes the back, flattens out the champ and locks in a rear naked choke. The champ is forced to tap out. Glover Teixeira by round two submission.