CJ Vergara v. Ode Osbourne
This fight was a great bout to start the night with two highly skilled flyweight’s that had tremendous speed. Both fighters started out aggressive and after a few exchanges it appeared that Osbourne would have the speed advantage. Round two was more of Osbourne being slightly quicker and landing a few more shots overall that Vergara. After two rounds it appeared that Osbourne had done enough to possible be up two rounds. In the third round however, Vergara started walking him down and pressuring highlighting the fact that Osbourne was starting to slow down. Vergara landed his best strikes of the fight in this round and even landed several extremely hard knees to the midsection of Osbourne. Eventually, Vergara also landed a crucial takedown towards the end of the round which absolutely ensured that he would win that round without a doubt. In the end though, Osbourne did just enough in the first two rounds to get the nod. Osbourne by unanimous decision.
Melsik Baghdasaryan v. Bruno Souza
The opening round of this bout showed Baghdasaryan being the far more aggressive fighter. He walked forward with no fear and threw the higher quantity of strikes. Later in the round Souza started increasing his output but it appeared that Baghdasaryan had done enough to win the round. The first half of round two showed Souza circling and refusing to engage while Baghdasaryan walked him down and landed kicks from the outside. The crowd even began to boo Souza a bit for his evading. Just like the first round, Souza began to pick up his output later in the round but it may not have been enough. Round three Souza starts off much more active and finds some success early knowing that he may very well need a finish. The third round ends up being the most competitive of the three but in the end it was Baghdasaryan that does enough in the judges eyes. Baghdasaryan by unanimous decision.
Dustin Jacoby v. John Allan
Dustin Jacoby came into this fight as a huge favorite. Many people believed he would win by first round knock out but Allan hung tough and made a good account of himself. Round two was competitive as well and although Allan was doing well it appeared that Jacoby did just enough to win the round once again. Round three Allan came out knowing that he would probably need a finish to get the win. Jacoby was aware of this and kept aggressive and defensively sound. By the end of the fight, it was clear Jacoby did enough to get the win, even after taking this fight on four day’s notice. Jacoby by unanimous decision.
Gian Villante v. Chris Barnett
Going into this fight Gian Villante announced that this would be his last fight which would allow him to retire in his home state of New York. As per usual, Barnett was fast and dangerous in the opening round and it appeared that Villante was somewhat biding his time and saving his aggression for later in the fight when Barnett is known to fade. Unfortunately for Villante, the fight did not get to go long enough for him to ever see the fading occur. It was in the second round that Barnett shocked the world with a lightning fast wheel kick that landed flush and drops Villante. The crowd erupts after seeing a nearly 300 pound man land such an agile kick with that kind of speed. Shortly after Villante drops Barnett follows him to the ground raining down blows. It was only a matter of seconds before the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight. Barnett by second round KO.
Ian Garry v. Jordan Williams
This fight was the highly anticipated UFC debut of the Irish superstar Ian Garry. The opening round proved to be much tougher for Garry than he expected it to be. In fact, he was getting touched up pretty badly for the majority of the first round. But towards the end of the round Garry does a beautiful slip and rip and completely changed everything. Williams throws a hard left hand, Garry steps back to evade and then quickly comes back in with a devastating right hand that lands flush on the chin of Williams. Williams is immediately wobbled and Garry comes back and hits him with the exact same shot again, in the exact same spot. Williams drops, Garry follows up with one more shot and the fight is over. Garry by first round TKO.
Edmen Shahbazyan v. Nassourdine Imavov
Shahbazyan came into this bout after putting a lot of focus on improving his grappling for the past year. He had a couple of different grappling exchanges in the opening round and you can already see he has clearly improved in this department. He was able to evade a couple of attempts and even get a takedown of his own which is a huge improvement. Unfortunately for him though, in round two Imavov is able to start snatching up Shahbazyan’s neck and threatening chokes. Shahbazyan hangs tough and is able to escape several times but each time it is chipping away at his cardio. Eventually the fight hits the ground and Imavov is able to lock Shahbazyan into a crucifix. From there Imavov is able to land elbow after elbow to Shahbazyan’s face forcing the referee to stop the fight. Imavov by second round TKO.
Phil Hawes v. Chris Curtis
Chris Curtis makes his UFC debut in this bout and draws one of the hardest possible opponents in the division. For the first part of the opening round Curtis is getting absolutely lit up by Hawes. Not only was Hawes landing nonstop unanswered strikes but they were extremely hard and flush strikes. Curtis somehow weathers all these shots and continues to hang tough while standing his ground. Eventually Curtis lands a flush strike of his own and rocks Hawes. After stumbling for a second Curtis follows up and lands another flush strike. Hawes fall to the ground and Curtis lands one final blow before the fight is stopped. Curtis shocks the world and ends the Hawes undefeated streak. Curtis by first round TKO.
Bobby Green v. Al Iaquinta
This fight was a return to the Octagon for Al Iaquinta after a 21 month layoff and a significant knee injury. Bobby Green not only had a stiff opponent but he was fighting a New Yorker in New York. The crowd clearly was rooting against Green but you would have never known it based off his performance. Not only did Green put on a good performance against one of the toughest challenges of his career, but he eventually landed a flush one-two punch on Al Iaquinta dropping him instantly. From there Green follows him to the ground landing hard shot after hard shot. It is only a matter of seconds before the fight is stopped and Green has one of the biggest wins of his career. Green by first round TKO.
Alex Pereira v. Andreas Michailidis
Pereira makes his UFC debut for this fight and is a highly anticipated fighter to join the organization. Not only has Pereira beat the current UFC middleweight champ twice in kickboxing, he actually knocked out Israel Adesanya in one of those meetings. Pereira starts the round off looking deadly with each strike he throws but eventually Michailidis has seen enough and goes for a takedown, which he successfully secures. Pereira stays patient though and eventually works his way back up to his feet. The round ends and Michailidis may have done enough to secure the round due to the takedown and ground control. Round two begins though and is over in a matter of seconds. Michailidis closes in to throw a strike but before he can, Pereira jumps into the air throwing a jump knee which lands flush. Michailidis drops instantly and looks like he has been hit by a truck. The fight is stopped instantly. Pereira by second round KO.
Justin Gaethje v. Michael Chandler
This fight was one of the most anticipated UFC fights in history. Both fighters are known for their high powered athletic ability, blistering shots and absolute willingness to go into the darkness and thrive there. With so much hype for potential violence it was almost destined that this fight couldn’t live up to the anticipation. Somehow though, it not only lived up to the anticipation, it actually exceeded it. From the very opening minute it was nonstop violence. With every person in the arena on their fight and every spectator forgetting to breathe. In the opening round it appeared that Chandler may have won by the slightest of edges although both fighters had been hurt. Round two though was when Gaethje landed one of the meanest uppercuts of all time and dropped Chandler instantly. The only thing more impressive than the shot Gaethje landed was the fact that Chandler somehow was able to grab a leg and barely survive. Dripping in blood, Chandler hangs on for dear life and eventually gets back to his feet and somehow survives the round. In the third and final round the absolute carnage continues. Both fighters rock each other, both fighters wobbled several times and both somehow pressing on while the crowd is standing and screaming. With every passing moment of the fight it felt as though it could end any minute. Surprisingly though, both warriors survive and will both be limping for the next entire week. In the end though, it was Gaethje who delivered the nastier violence and was able to sustain his damage better. Gaethje by unanimous decision.
Shane Burgos v. Billy Quarantillo
The opening round of this bout was very competitive and filled with action but it paled in comparison to the Gaethje/Chandler fight that preceded it. Quarantillo landed the better shots early on and was first to draw blood from his opponent. Burgos hangs tough however and begins putting his own offense together late in the round. Both survive the first but it’s anyone’s guess as to who wins the opening round. In the second round the action picked up even more with Burgos getting the better of the exchanges. Quarantillo definitely had his moments but Burgos had Quarantillo hurt badly at the end of the round to the point where it seemed like Quarantillo was one punch away from being knocked out. Going into the third round it appeared that the fight was tied. Early in the third round, Quarantillo’s leg begins to give out from all the previous damage that Burgos had inflicted on it. Normally this would be a huge problem for a fighter but it somehow seemed to fuel Quarantillo and propel him forward. Both fighters continue to land huge shots and hurt each other repeatedly. By the end of the fight, both fighters are battered and bloody but it was Burgos who had done just enough. Burgos by unanimous decision.
Frankie Edgar v. Marlon Vera
It was rumored that this might be the final fight of Frankie Edgar’s career. Retiring in his home state of New York would be a perfect ending to his career, especially if he could go out on a win. In the opening round Vera looks to be the more deadly striker but as per usual with Frankie’s career, he is able to secure a takedown and neutralize Vera’s striking. Vera survives the first round but clearly loses the round. In the second, Vera gets taken down again but this time he is able to get back up and from there he begins to land some serious punishing strikes. He even rocks Edgar several times that is apparent and likely wins the round for Vera. Going into the third round the fight is potentially tied. While the final round is yet another competitive round, it is with only one minute left that Vera lands a brutal kick straight up the middle that lands flush on the chin of Edgar. It was reminiscent of the world famous Anderson Silva kick against Vitor Belfort. The fight was stopped instantly. Vera by third round KO.
Rose Namajunas v. Weili Zhang
This fight was much more competitive than the first meeting of these two fighters. The biggest difference seemed to be the addition of wrestling to Zhang’s approach. The first round was close and Namajunas seemed to be getting the better of the strikes but half way through the round Zhang secures a very crucial and surprising takedown. Rose stays pretty defensively sound on her back but Zhang is able to land a few strikes from top control. Round two Zhang lands another takedown but this time Namajunas gets back to her feet much quicker. Later in the round Namajunas even lands a takedown of her own. Going into the third the fight seemed to be tied. Round three was competitive but we saw Namajunas getting more aggressive at times and changing up her offensive rhythms. At the end of the round Zhang lands another crucial takedown and did just enough from top to possibly win her the round. As we head into the championship rounds Zhang appeared to be up two rounds to one. Halfway through the fourth round Zhang gets another takedown and the fight appears to be slipping away from Namajunas. But seconds later Namajunas reverses the position and ends up on top. From there she remains in top control and lands occasional strikes which appears to be just enough to win the round. As we head into the final round the fight may be tied. Early in the fifth round Namajunas lands an absolutely beautiful takedown and resumes top control with plenty of time left to work. The champ remains on top for the remainder of the round making it quite possibly the easiest round to score in the fight. Both fighters give a great account of themselves but in the end it was the champ who does just enough to hold on to her belt. Namajunas by split decision.
Kamaru Usman v. Colby Covington
In the opening round of this title bout Covington comes out and appears to be a little bit nervous. Both fighters land here and there and both attempt a takedown but all in all there was not a lot of devastating action that took place. The round appeared to go to Usman though. In round two Colby finally seems to be committing to his strikes a little more at times but once again the round is all Usman. Late in the round Usman lands flush and drops Covington. Covington gets back to his feet and is dropped once more right away but it is so late in the round he is able to survive. The champ goes into the third round up two rounds to zero. Covington comes out in the third looking very intimidated but by the time the round ends it actually ends up being his best round so far. He lands flush a few times making those strikes his best of the fight up to that point. He also came closer to completing a takedown than any fighter ever has against Usman. In fact, a case could possibly be made that Covington might even have won the round. Round four Covington comes out with the first glimpse of confidence after having a couple things go his way in the previous round. He starts the round off nicely and lands some more flush shots. Usman takes them though and rallies back to have his moments as well. At the end of the round, Covington rocks Usman again and Usman clearly wobbles. Covington is beginning to rally back. We head into the final round of the fight with Covington possibly needing a finish, especially considering he may have lost one of the previous rounds 10-8. The fifth round is competitive and Covington again has his moments but in the end it is the champion who does enough to keep his belt and continue his insane winning streak. Usman by unanimous decision.