Karol Rosa v. Lina Lansberg
In the opening round both fighters come out measured. Within the first minute Lansberg lands a flush shot that drops Rosa instantly. Rosa gets back up but is now officially aware of the danger. She closes distance and clinches along the fence. Lansberg reverses but Rosa lands a nice trip and ends up on top. From there Rosa accumulates control time for the entire remainder of the round. She lands some good strikes from top control and may have done enough to steal the round. In the second round Rosa lands an early takedown and gets a few more minutes of control time. Late in the round she stands back up and then throws an illegal knee to the face of Lansberg while she is still grounded. A point is taken from Rosa, but Lansberg is deemed fit to continue. Rosa lands another takedown late in the round. With the point deduction this is likely a 9-9 round. In the final round the ladies spend more time clinch striking along the fence. Each fighter lands some decent strikes but eventually Rosa reverses and starts teeing off. Lansberg seems tired now and is just getting hit with a barrage of strikes. This flurry at the end of the fight ends up sealing the deal for Rosa and all three judges see it this way. Rosa by unanimous decision.
Muhammad Mokaev v. Malcolm Gordon
The opening round of this fight was risky one for Mokaev. He comes out with not much respect for Gordon but is quickly put on notice that Gordon has good striking and is here to win. Gordon blitzes in and lands a shot which then quickly turns to Mokaev initiating his grappling. Mokaev’s grappling is other worldly and he now realizes he better lean on it for this fight. Mokaev controls a majority of the round once the grappling is started. In the second round Mokaev comes out showboating on the feet again. Gordon lands again and Mokaev finally takes it to the ground once more. Mokaev dominates the remainder of the round. In the final round Gordon is still pressing hard. Mokaev is tested at different times throughout the fight but late in the final round he locks up an armbar. It only takes a couple of seconds before Gordon is tapping out in agony. Mokaev pulls off a late finish but at the same time learns a lot of valuable lessons. Mokaev by third round submission.
Armen Petrosyan v. AJ Dobson
In the first round of this bout the fighters keep a measured pace. They feel each other out early in the round and finally start letting go after a couple minutes. Petrosyan appears to be the better striker and Dobson surprisingly is willing to engage with him. The longer the round goes and Petrosyan sees Dobson is not wrestling, the more he begins to open up with his striking. Petrosyan lands a couple of grazing strikes but neither fighter ever lands flush. In the final thirty seconds Dobson lands a takedown but it is likely not enough to steal the round for him. In the second round. In the second round it is more of a mild striking affair. Neither fighter ever truly lands anything that is game changing but once again it is Petrosyan that is edging out the exchanges. Going into the final round Dobson will likely need a finish if he wants to pull off the win. In the third round the fighters are starting to open up more with the striking. Petrosyan is sitting down on his punches more which in turn is causing Dobson to do the same. Dobson is stalking forward while Petrosyan is bouncing around on the outside and throwing counter strikes. As the fight comes to a close Dobson never really showed the urgency or output he needed to change the complexion of the fight. Petrosyan is able to skate comfortably to a decision win. Petrosyan by unanimous decision.
Gadzhi Omargadzhiev v. Abubakar Nurmagomedov
In the first round the fighters are throwing full blast shots. Omargadzhiev eventually is able to land a nice takedown, but Nurmagomedov reverses quickly. The fighters end up back on the feet but each time the grappling sequences take place, it appears that Nurmagomedov has the edge. The second round is more of the same. Omargadzhiev continues to attempt the grappling but each time he ends loses the edge and Nurmagomedov comes out on top. Both fighters have their moments but once it again it feels like Nurmagomedov has edged out the round. Going into the final round Omargadzhiev will need something big to steal this fight. He tries his best to find a finish, but he is loading up on his shots. Each time he misses he is left out of position. Nurmagomedov stays poised and picks his shots. When the grappling resumes, he is always staying one step ahead. This proved to be plenty to convince the judges in his favor. Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision.
Nikita Krylov v. Volkan Oezdemir
The first half of the opening round is all fireworks. Both fighters come out in full chaos mode and get right to work. They exchange full power shots and have nonstop frenzies to the point where it becomes sloppy. The crowd erupts and Oezdemir lands some good shots during the frenzy. Krylov wobbles but never gives in. He clinches to slow the chaos and is able to rally back to composure. As the round progresses Krylov later lands a flush knee and now the momentum is all on his side. Oezdemir wobbles as Krylov chases after him. Krylov gets it to the ground and is threatening a rear naked choke. Oezdemir somehow survives. At the end of the round the crowd is on their feet. In the second round the striking frenzy continues. Krylov is able to duck under and get an early takedown this time. Oezdemir tries his best to escape but Krylov is doing a nice job at controlling him. Halfway through the round Oezdemir finally gets back up but only thirty seconds pass before he is taken down once again. Krylov remains in top control for the remainder of the round. The fight is likely tied at one round a piece now. In the final round Krylov lands another quick takedown. At this point in the fight Oezdemir is tired so his urgency to get back up is greatly reduced. Krylov works in top control and peppers shots down onto Oezdemir. The referee eventually stands them back up but it doesn’t take long for Krylov to land some shots and then secure another takedown. The entire third round is just Krylov outworking Oezdemir. The hustle and skills of Krylov are enough to secure him a very impressive victory. Krylov by unanimous decision.
Caio Borralho v. Makhmud Muradov
The first round is a back and forth affair. The fighters exchange on the feet for a couple minutes before Borralho finally gets the fight to the ground. This is his arena. Muradov does a nice job at surviving and constantly searching for escapes. The round remains competitive but as it comes to a close it is Borralho who may have edged it out due to the grappling control. In the second round Borralho initiates the grappling again and is doing nicely but eventually he is reversed. Muradov now is in top control and is landing some peppering shots. Borralho is so comfortable on bottom that he is too accepting of the position which can end up counting against him. As the round comes to a close it may have been Muradov who edged it out due to Borralho accepting bottom position. In the final round the fighter’s trade on the feet the first minute. Eventually Borralho is able to get it to the ground and in top control again. From there he is landing shots and accruing good control time. Muradov is trying to escape but the top pressure from Borralho is difficult to navigate. He is doing just enough to keep control and not force the referee to stand them up. It is closely contested fight, but Borralho does plenty to get a comfortable win on all three judges score cards. Borralho by unanimous decision.
Belal Muhammad v. Sean Brady
The opening round of this fight is an all-striking affair. For some this might be surprising considering the grappling caliber of each fighter. However, this often ends up being the case when both fighters have complete respect for the other’s grappling. The round is close, and each fighter has their moments. It will be a tough one to score for the judges. In the second round the fighters continue to trade on the feet. Belal was the forward pressure fighter for a majority of the first round but in this round, we finally see Brady coming forward. The round is close and competitive once again. Each fighter has their moments again and it appears that it will be another tough round for the judges to score. Fortunately for Belal Muhammad the judges are not needed. Late in the round he hurts Brady and has him wobbled. Muhammad swarms him and continues to fire a barrage of strikes. Muhammad doesn’t rush but Brady is wobbled and not throwing anything back. Muhammad sees his chance and keeps pouring it on. The referee warns Brady to fight back but eventually he has seen enough. Muhammad once again finds a way to win another very impressive victory. Muhammad by second round TKO.
Katlyn Chookagian v. Manon Fiorot
In the first round of this bout, these ladies stay mostly in the middle and trade two punch combinations. Fiorot is having trouble landing on Chookagain other than the lead side kick she is landing above the knee of Chookagian. In the punching exchanges it is Chookagian who is landing the better strikes. It is a close round but may have been edged out by Chookagian due to the slightly higher volume landed. In the second round Chookagian continues to be the forward pressure fighter. She lands nice jabs and is still giving Fiorot trouble with her footwork and head movement. Eventually Fiorot has had enough and starts changing up her tactics. She is starts going first in the striking exchanges and is now figuring out the timing of Chookagian. In the second half of the round Fiorot starts finding momentum and is now landing more. She edges out the striking numbers in the round which is enough to steal the round back in her favor. In the final round it feels like the fight may be tied at one round a piece. Fiorot continues with her momentum and is edging out the strikes again. As the fight is coming to a close Fiorot wisely lands a surprise takedown. This proved to enough to put the finishing marks on her comeback to steal the fight. The judges all agree that she has done enough to win the bout. Fiorot by unanimous decision.
Mateusz Gamrot v. Beneil Dariush
The opening round of this fight is all action just as expected. Both fighters are known for insane paces and wild fights. As the round begins both fighters land a couple of decent shots. Eventually Gamrot lands a takedown but the BJJ of Dariush is giving him all kinds of problems. Gamrot can never really get into a comfortable position of control on the ground. Dariush is constantly scrambling and pulling all kinds of tricks to keep Gamrot from ever settling. The round is close, but it appears to have been edged out by Gamrot. In the second round Dariush starts turning it around. He is stuffing the takedowns from Gamrot and is landing the better striking numbers. The round is another closely contested affair, but this time appears to be edged out Dariush. Going into the third the fight is likely tied at one round a piece. In the final round Dariush continues with his momentum. Gamrot tries to pursue the wrestling, but Dariush puts on an absolute master class at wrestling defense in this fight. Dariush keeps it on the feet and stays back which forces Gamrot to have to go first. Dariush waits for the entry of Gamrot and times his counter strikes beautifully. Towards the end of the round Dariush lands the best strike of the fight. He lands flush and drops Gamrot instantly. Gamrot gets back up quickly and recovers but the power leaves a very lasting impression in the eyes of the judges. It is enough to win the round and the fight as well. Dariush by unanimous decision.
Petr Yan v. Sean O’Malley
This fight was pure insanity and nonstop action. From the opening round the fighters are trading and stalking each other. O’Malley is using his reach and footwork to cause problems for Yan. As per usual, Yan stalks forward with his defensive shell held high. O’Malley picks at him from distance but Yan is not deterred. The opening round is very close and could have gone to either fighter. In the second round Yan lands an important takedown but O’Malley is slick on the ground and minimizes the damage. When back on the feet both fighters trade shots and have their moments. As the round ends it is another very close round. In the final round O’Malley lands a beautiful knee to the face of Yan that cuts him open instantly. Yan wobbles but remains poised as O’Malley stalks after him looking for finishing shots. Yan then lands a very hard shot and now has O’Malley wobbled. The crowd erupts. The fight hits the ground and both fighters are trying to recover. Yan continues to force the grappling, but O’Malley is doing a nice job at utilizing his BJJ to stay slippery. The fight comes to an end and it was not only extremely competitive but even more so exciting. O’Malley has now answered the question as to whether he belongs at the top of the division competing with the elite. He absolutely does. The judges agree. O’Malley by split decision.
T.J. Dillashaw v. Aljamain Sterling
This fight ended up being a let down for the fans. In the very first round Dillashaw’s shoulder pops out during a grappling sequence. While on the ground Dillashaw is grimacing in agony. Sterling remains in top control and is landing shots and constantly looking to improve his position for potential submissions. The fight looks very close to being stopped on several occasions but somehow Dillashaw miraculously survives the round. In between rounds Dillashaw’s coach is able to pop the shoulder back into place. Unfortunately for Dillashaw, the shoulder pops out once again very quickly into the second round. Sterling is now in top control on the ground and Dillashaw is squirming to survive. Sterling gets in full mount on the back of Dillashaw and is now raining down punches from behind. Dillashaw is no longer able to escape and his shoulder is dislocated. Eventually it is just too much, and the referee can no longer watch the struggle. The fight is stopped. A very disappointing title fight for the fans who were so looking forward to it. Sterling by second round TKO.
Charles Oliveira v. Islam Makhachev
This title fight was another exciting one. As the opening round begins, Oliveira and Makhachev exchange on the feet. It is surprising at how willing Makhachev is to trade on the feet. As the round progresses both fighters land occasional strikes until the fight eventually hits the ground. Makhachev is different than Oliveira’s previous opponents because is willing to engage on the ground. Oliveira stays on bottom and is willing to stay there but all of his submission attempts are rejected by Makhachev. The top pressure and control of Makhachev is unlike anything Oliveira has ever felt. The first round is close but after several minutes of top control the round is easily won by Makhachev. In the second round Oliveira looks more hesitant on the feet and this is likely due to the wrestling threat and severe control that Makhachev can threaten with. This keeps him unwilling to sit down on his strikes. Eventually the fight hits the ground again and Makhachev is able to secure a head and arm choke. Oliveira is only in the choke for a few seconds before his taps out. There is a new lightweight champion. Makhachev by second round submission.