Matt Sayles v. Jordan Leavitt
Matt Sayles comes into this fight making his lightweight debut after moving up from featherweight. In the first couple of minutes Leavitt is getting the better of the striking exchanges utilizing his height and reach advantage. About halfway through the round the fight ends up on the ground with Leavitt on top which is his preferred place to be in a fight. Sayles tries to utilize good defense but it doesn’t take long before Leavitt is threatening with a choke that looks to be locked in pretty deep. Impressively though, Sayles is able to scramble and roll around in a frantic pace and eventually get back to his feet despite the heavy pressure from Leavitt. In round two Sayles comes out more aggressive in the striking. Leavitt appears to still be slightly winded after all of the frantic grappling in the previous round. About two minutes into the round another grappling exchange is initiated. Sayles is on top but Leavitt is able to magically lock in an inverted triangle from the bottom. Sayles tries to escape once again but after a couple of failed attempts he is left no choice but to tap out. Leavitt by round two submission.
Don’Tale Mayes v. Josh Parisian
In the opening round of this bout Mayes is able to quickly demonstrate his growth. In his first two UFC fights, he had a grappling deficiency which was exposed and costed him two losses to start out. In his 3rd fight however, he not only displayed an improved takedown defense, he even showed some takedown offense of his own which helped him in securing his first UFC win. About halfway through the first round of this bout, he again shows takedown offense and is able to take Parisian down and control him from there. He threatens with a submission and then later gets Parisian locked into a crucifix where Mayes lands several violent ground strikes on a grimacing Parisian. Parisian survives to the end of the round but it is a clear cut round win for Don’Tale Mayes. At the start of the second round, Parisian lands a devastating leg kick which clearly hurts Mayes. Mayes quickly responds with another takedown attempt which is successful and allows Mayes to once again resume control of the fight. From there Mayes gets back to work and is able to remain in top control for a majority of the round. Parisian once again survives but it yet another clear cut round for Mayes. In the final round Mayes once again secures a quick takedown. At this point it becomes clear that Parisian is running out of steam and a will to resist. Mayes once again secures a crucifix and after about 20 consecutive elbow strikes the referee is left no choice but to stop the fight. Mayes by round three TKO.
Raquel Pennington v. Macy Chiasson
At the start of this fight the most noticeable thing is the very obvious size advantage of Chiasson. She is several inches taller and has a much longer reach. During the striking exchanges however, Pennington is still able to utilize her persistent boxing aggression and is still able to get on the inside and land at times. Chiasson remains the better striker from the outside though and is able to land consistently with long jabs, hooks and push kicks. Eventually the grappling takes place and Chiasson is able to get a takedown where she ends the round in top control. This may have been enough to win her the round. In the beginning of the second, Pennington comes out much more aggressive and is blitzing Chiasson with a good amount of success. Chiasson eventually is able to clinch to slow down the overwhelming aggression of Pennington. The fight eventually hits the ground and this time it is Pennington in top control. It doesn’t take long before she can lock in a choke over a scrambling Chiasson. After only a few seconds, Chiasson is forced to tap out. A nice performance and win for Raquel Pennington. Pennington by second round submission.
Charles Jourdain v. Andre Ewell
Ewell comes into this bout to make his debut as a featherweight after moving up from bantamweight. He had a lot of struggles making weight in the past and was excited to see how his performance could improve when he no longer was solely focused on the weight and feeling so depleted. As the fight starts, Ewell clearly looks bigger and very fresh and is able to land some very snappy jabs and straights in the opening exchanges. Jourdain eventually is frustrated and begins to close in more aggressively. He lands his fair share as well but eventually the ground hits the ground and Ewell ends up on top. As the round ends, Jourdain appears to be getting frustrated and somewhat winded as he is noticeably breathing heavily. In the second round Jourdain comes out extremely aggressive which could have been due to his frustration. Regardless of the reason, it starts leading to huge success for Jourdain as Ewell starts taking heavy damage and is clearly beginning to wilt. Late in the round, Jourdain continues to pile on the damage and even wobbles Ewell which leads to him stumbling across the cage and falling. Jourdain follows him to the ground and lands a few more strikes but Ewell is able to survive the round. In the third, Jourdain continues with his aggression but Ewell is giving a better account of himself as he is able to land some successful counter shots along the way. In the final 90 seconds Jourdain starts landing vicious knees to the body of Ewell as they are pressed against the cage. Ewell is clearly hurt and stumbles to the ground once again. Jourdain lets him stand back up and as he does Jourdain screams loudly in his face. He lands a few more hard shots and in the final second, he blasts Ewell with one last push kick to the body which drops Ewell one final time. Jourdain screams at him again and is clearly feeling like the dominant alpha male in this one. A fairly clear fight to score for the judges. Jourdain by unanimous decision.
Sijara Eubanks v. Melissa Gatto
Eubanks comes into this fight heavily favored by the oddsmakers despite her missing weight. She starts the fight off nicely by landing the better shots in the striking exchanges and then later successfully completes a takedown where she ends the round in top control. A fairly clear cut round won by Eubanks. In the second round however, Gatto comes out and is having much better success. She eventually lands a takedown and now has her turn in top control. She threatens with submissions and lands occasional ground strikes spending most of the round in top control. Another clear cut round for the judges but this time in the favor of Gatto. In round three they begin exchanging on the feet again but out of nowhere Gatto lands a body kick that immediately cripples Eubanks. Her whole body locks up as she slowly falls to the floor. Gatto closes in aggressively and after only a few more strikes the referee is forced to stop the fight due to the body language of Eubanks. Upon viewing the replay, it is clear that Gatto dug her toes deep into the stomach which is why it was such a devastating blow to Eubanks. Gatto by third round TKO.
Justin Tafa v. Harry Hunsucker
As expected, this fight was very short lived. Tafa came into this bout after missing weight which in heavyweight, is the rarest weight miss that you will ever see. Both fighters come out swinging heavy right away and Tafa lands a flush shot that drops Hunsucker. He is able to eventually make it back to his feet but not without being compromised moving forward. Hunsucker tries to blitz and even initiate grappling at times but he is struggling to find any success, especially against a fighter who is over 30 pounds heavier than him. Eventually Hunsucker has his back against the cage and Tafa throws a blistering head kick. Hunsucker gets his hand up to partially block it but with legs as thick as Tafa’s and with power as heavy as his, he still drops Hunsucker immediately. Tafa throws one or two more shots while Hunsucker is folded up on the ground and the referree rushes in to stop the fight immediately. Tafa by first round TKO.
Gerald Meerschaert v. Dustin Stolzfus
Both men come out immediately and start trading punches. They each land a couple and then Meerschaert lands a brutal body kick that Stolzfus doesn’t even seem to notice. That may have intimidated Meerschaert a little as he immediately shoots a blast double leg which he is able to successfully complete with almost no resistance. Once on the ground and in top control Meerschaert is now in his office where he does his best work. He threatens with submissions but Stolzfus is able to scramble and defend until he eventually is able to work his way back to his feet. This was a very good sign for Stolzfus against a man with the grappling caliber of Meerschaert. The ground later hits the ground again and this time it is Stolzfus who is able to end up on top and finish the round there. This made it a much harder round for the judges to score. In the second round Meerschaert comes out more aggressive with the striking. Stolzfus eventually ducks under and is able to complete another takedown of Meerschaert. He spends a majority of the round in top control and is able to complete the most dominant round of the fight so far. In the third round, Meerschaert lands some good flush shots to start the round but shortly after Stolzfus is able to land yet another takedown. Meerschaert shows more urgency this time and is able to get back to his feet. Unfortunately for him, Stolzfus lands another blast double leg and once again gets Meerschaert back to the ground. This time is different though. Meerschaert sneakily is able to scramble and take the back of Stolzfus. From there he locks in a rear naked choke and it is finally a submission threat that Stolzfus is unable to escape from. He is forced to tap out. Meerschaert by third round submission.
Darren Elkins v. Cub Swanson
This fight was highly anticipated due to it featuring two long time veterans of the sport who always bring action packed fights. As the fight started and the two began to exchange, it was beyond apparent that Cub was the much faster, more precise and technically sound fighter. He started landing sniper shots on Elkins with surgical precision. As per usual with Elkins, he was hit flush several times and rocked but still hung in there. Elkins was hit with shots that were so devastating that he even dropped on two different occasions. He was able to somehow stumble back to his feet as usual but once it got the point that he could not quit stumbling and was clearly not all there, referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight. A dominant and impressive performance by Cub Swanson. Swanson by first round TKO.
Mateusz Gamrot v. Diego Ferreira
Gamrot comes into this bout being an exciting prospect who has shown extreme dominance in his first two previous UFC appearances. As the fight begins, Ferreira looks very focused and it was extremely apparent that he really wanted to pick up a win in this one. Ferreira came in as a big underdog and was looking to get back on track to pick up a big win against a very hyped up fighter. Gamrot does what he normally does and lands several takedowns but Ferreira is extremely feisty and never accepts the takedown. He scrambles back to his feet time and time again only for Gamrot to continue aggressively taking him back to the ground. This proves to be a very exciting first round with lots of nonstop grappling action at extremely high paces. Ferreira makes it out of the round and even appears to tire Gamrot out a bit. In the second round however, Gamrot picks up right where he left off. He goes right back to the aggressive grappling and continues to somewhat ragdoll Ferreira. As the round progresses though, he ends up behind Ferreira alongside the fence. While Ferreira is crouched down on one knee, Gamrot lands a blistering knee to the backside ribs of Ferreira. A split second passes and then Ferreira starts motioning to the referee that he cannot continue the fight. It is unclear exactly what the injury was but it appeared that the devastating knee to the back/side of Ferreira may have damaged one of his ribs. Another impressive performance by Gamrot to keep the hype train rolling. Gamrot by second round TKO.
Raphael Assuncao v. Ricky Simon
Assuncao comes into this fight under the narrative that he’s starting to slow down in his older age. As of late, he had not been quite as successful in the Octagon as he used to be in the past. However, the people he had been losing to as of late are some of the elite fighters in the division. Simon comes into the bout looking like he may be one or two wins away from being viewed as an elite also. In the opening round the fighters exchange strikes and all looks to be even. Eventually though, Simon gets to his bread and butter which is the grappling. He is able to take Assuncao down with authority and get to work. He lands some ground strikes and even though Assuncao is able to scramble back to his feet briefly, Simon gets him right back to the ground. The fight ends with Simon in top control making it a fairly easy round to score for the judges. In the second Simon keeps it on the feet. About halfway through the round Simon lands flush with a right hook and drops Assuncao instantly. Simon follows him to the ground and as Assuncao is trying to get up Simon lands flush again with an uppercut. After two flush shots and Assuncao clearly hurt and out of it, the referee is forced to stop the fight. Simon by second round TKO.
Angela Hill v. Amanda Lemos
The opening minute of this fight was somewhat a feeling out process for Hill. She comes in very cautious knowing that Lemos is one of the most devastating finishers in the division. No other girls in the division seem to carry the kind of power that Lemos has and because of that, Hill was the biggest underdog on the entire fight card. After a slow feeling out process Hill throws a left hook that lands and immediately gets the attention of Lemos. What follows that is the extremely violent power shots of Lemos. She lands some heavy shots as Hill tries to counter. About halfway through the round is when the most intense moment of the round happens. Lemos throws an upkick straight up the middle like Anderson Silva. It lands flush on the chin of Hill and she immediately wobbles to the ground. Lemos follows her to the ground aggressively with strikes and somehow Hill is able to latch on and survive. She recovers and then before the round ends she lands some more strikes of her own making it a very exciting round as a whole. The second round starts off a little slower as Lemos is seeming to show signs of fatigue. Hill is now the one walking forward as Lemos kind of circles to the outside and only throws an occasional counter shot. As the round comes to an end it may be a round won by Hill just off of the sheer activity differential. Heading into the final round, the fight may be tied at one round a piece. Both fighters come out and get right back to trading shots. Lemos lands another upkick straight up the middle to the face of Hill. This time she just eats it and keeps walking forward. She starts landing punches of her own and is clearly giving the huge favorite the hardest fight of her UFC career. Both fighters are persistent the entire round and by the end of the fight it was one of the most competitive fights of the night. The judges saw it differently but in the end it was Lemos who had done just enough to squeak by. Lemos by split decision.
Stephen Thompson v. Belal Muhammad
Belal Muhammad comes into this fight with another big chance to further his career. In his last big chance, he suffered a terrible eye poke in the main event against Leon Edwards and the fight was stopped. Muhammad was devastated and wondered when he would get another big chance. He didn’t have to wait long as he draws Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is this co-main event. Thompson is one of the hardest puzzles to solve in all of the UFC and if Muhammad wants to make it to the very top, he was to get a win over him. Both fighters come out and immediately Thompson starts showing his superior dynamic striking. He hits Muhammad with all kinds of weird shots from weird angles and catches him off guard. But Muhammad presses forward nonstop and is having success tracking Thompson down due to the smaller Octagon and there not being much room for Thompson to evade. Muhammad eventually lands a takedown and for the last 60 seconds of the round Muhammad is on top raining down blows on Thompson. Other referees may have stopped the fight but Herb Dean lets the fight carry on due to Thompson covering up and blocking a majority of the strikes. In round two Thompson lands a few good shots on the feet but it doesn’t take long for Muhammad to secure another takedown and start controlling Thompson on the ground again. The majority of the round plays out with Muhammad on top and going into the third round it appears that Muhammad is clearly up two rounds to none. As the third round begins, Muhammad blitzes for another takedown immediately. He is successful and spends the first two minutes of the round controlling Thompson against the cage. Thompson eventually is able to get back up but Muhammad immediately starts wrestling again and gets him to the ground once again. The majority of the final round is spent with Muhammad controlling Thompson on the ground again. In the end, it was a fairly boring fight to watch due to Muhammad’s strategy. But it’s hard to hold that against him for taking the clearest path to victory against such a tricky opponent. Muhammad by unanimous decision.
Chris Daukaus v. Derrick Lewis
The first minute of this fight was also a feeling out process. Once again we have another fighter who may have the most power in the division. Daukaus is well aware of this and he chooses to circle with caution while Lewis slowly stalks him. Eventually Daukaus finally starts to tentatively engage. Lewis tries to counter and misses. Daukaus continues to try and circle and only occasionally engage with extreme caution. At first, Daukaus is able to stick and move and display his speed advantage. But in this smaller cage Lewis is able to keep stalking and eventually corner Daukaus against the cage in a matter of only a few steps. Once Lewis sees he’s in range and Daukaus has his back to the cage, the violence ensues. Lewis starts blitzing with nonstop flurries of full power shots that would knock out a horse. He lands a couple of grazing shots and stumbles Daukaus. Lewis keeps chasing and throwing while Daukaus tries to stumble out of range but Lewis just keeps throwing until he eventually lands flush. Daukaus drops violently and is officially knocked unconscious. This knockout was the one to put Derrick Lewis as the new record holder with the most knockouts in all of the UFC. Another violent performance for the Black Beast. Lewis by first round KO.