UFC 251 ‘Usman vs. Masvidal’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Jay Pettry Jul 11, 2020
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Martin Day (136) vs. Davey Grant (136)

Round 1

After a week off, we move to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for a big pay-per-view offering that starts on ESPN and ESPN+. We kick things off in the bantamweight division, as Hawaii tries to get on the board early when Day (8-3, 0-1 UFC) comes back after a long layoff against on Britain’s Grant (11-4, 2-3 UFC). The referee for this card opener is Rich Mitchell, and with a respectful touch of gloves, it’s on with the show! Grant winds up with a big sweeping leg kick, and Day can do nothing but take it flat. Grant pursues another, and Day is not thrilled by eating it, so Grant hits a third. Day backs off and tries to let a side kick fly, but the Brit evades it and slams a calf kick home. Day leaps forward with a hook, and Grant avoids the attack and counters with a few punches to the body. Day whips a body kick up quickly, and follows it with a one-two that comes up short. Day circles around the outside as Grant presses forward with leaping hooks, and the Hawaiian manages to get out of the way of most of the damaging strikes. Day swings with a telegraphed spinning back kick, in such a fashion that Grant can get clear. Day winds up with a massive right hand and cracks Grant on the jaw, dropping him in a flash knockdown. As Grant falls to his back, Day dives on top and starts putting together elbows while Grant clears the cobwebs. Day kicks his way free and gets back to his feet without absorbing much damage, and narrowly avoids a high kick flying at his head. Grant fires a head kick back at him, but Day blocks it and rushes forward to swing heavy leather. As Grant appears to have abandoned the leg kicks, Day picks them up and drops one in on the inside and another on the outside of Grant’s lead leg. Grant shoots in low for a takedown, lifting Day in the air and placing him down on the canvas. Day tries to tie him up with a submission off his back, but Grant bucks it off and climbs into his opponent’s guard. Day powers out to get back up, transitioning into a single leg of his own. The two scramble, and Grant just misses with a looping right hand as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Day
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Day
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Day

Round 2

The two touch gloves to start the second, and begin to brawl. Both men tee off on each other, and Grant catches Day on the end of a right hand in a flurry. Day fires back to the body, and the two separate for a moment to catch their breath. Grant throws out a front kick to halt and advancing Day, and Day responds with a spinning wheel kick that does not connect because he is too close. A solid one-two from Grant leads to another as Day tries to block the strikes. Grant runs forward and drills his man in the jaw with a flying knee, but Day eats it like a sandwich and the two continue to bite down on their gumshields and throw hands. A string of punches from Grant hurt the Hawaiian, and Day falls back to the cage as Grant pursues him. Grant pours it in with a big elbow and some thudding punches to the body as Day waves him on. “Dangerous Davey” backs up, and then quickly reverses to run forward with another knee, but this time Day sees it coming. Grant scoops him up and slams him down as a result, and tries to take top position while Day rolls to get out of danger. Grant sets up a power guillotine as Day attempts to stand, and the Hawaiian pulls his head free but winds up on his back with Grant in north-south position. As the two scramble, Grant quickly sets up a slick armbar, and Day turns the proper direction and gets out before Grant locks it up. Day uses the position to get on top, and eats a back fist on the chops for good measure. Grant walks up the cage and ignores a potential neck crank from his opponent, before the two men let their hands go. Day retreats, and comes back with a side kick right to the chest, sending Grant careening to the ground. The round ends before he can take advantage of this position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Grant
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Grant
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Grant

Round 3

One final glove touch checks in the last round, and both bantamweights start slugging. Day hurts him with a right hand, but Grant recovers and fires back at him. Grant tries to nail his opponent with a spinning back fist, and Day closes the distance to soften the blow. Grant shoots in low for a single, and Day pushes off and gets out of it. The two go punch-for-punch for a moment, and Day lands the more significant and impactful of strikes with a pair of heavy left hands. They land consistently on one another as they trade strikes, with one connecting and the other responding in kind. Grant goes to the body and lands with a looping left hook, all while dodging the counter that whizzes by his ear. They jab at each other at the same time, and Day chains a combination together that backs Grant against the wall. “Dangerous Davey” comes back at him, and lands a few punches after they come together, on the break. A right hand gets blocked, and Grant follows it with a left hook that blasts Day about as flush a punch can land. Day is out cold as his legs crumble beneath him, and Mitchell dives in to save the unconscious fighter from any follow-up shots after this huge knockout. What a performance from the Brit, and what a way to open Fight Island!

The Official Result

Davey Grant def. Martin Day R3 2:38 via KO (Punch)

Karol Rosa (136) vs. Vanessa Melo (141: Missed Weight)

Round 1

Shifting gears from men’s to women’s bantamweight, Rosa (12-3, 1-0 UFC) will try to make Melo (10-7, 0-2 UFC) pay more than a 30 percent fine for missing weight by five pounds. Our referee for this all-Brazil 141-pound women’s catchweight affair is Dan Movahedi, who claps the fighters in. Rosa opens up with a front kick and a few punches, coming out firing as Melo tries to dance out of the way. Melo comes back at her with a one-two that goes wide, and Rosa whips a low kick that nearly turns Melo around. Rosa lands a front kick and then a low kick, before firing one from the other leg to kick Melo off-balance. The kicks are flustering Melo, and as she continues to pepper her with them, Rosa sticks out the jab to good effect. Rosa wings up with a huge right hand, and drills Melo on the jaw so hard that Rosa nearly falls over, and Melo wears it well although her face is showing a little damage around her eyes. Melo sticks out a jab again a few times, all while avoiding the counter strikes. Melo tries to go to the body and the head, and Rosa sees it coming and backs away from the head shot. Melo is loading up on her shots now, but Rosa is content to just touch her with strikes from a distance. Rosa slips for the second time, this time while going for a kick, but she recovers before “Miss Simpatia” can take advantage of it. They start with a few single strikes, and Rosa changes levels as Melo throws an overhand left to take the fight down. In full guard, Rosa starts putting punches together, before posturing up to hack at her adversary with elbows. Melo closes her guard to try to trap Rosa and stop the damaging strikes from coming, and successfully ties her up to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rosa
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rosa
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rosa

Round 2

Rosa opens the round with a front kick, which pushes back an advancing Melo right off the bat. Melo wings up with a few punches, and she is well short of her target as Rosa backs off and lands a slapping leg kick. Rosa steps in, nails her with a left hook, and backs away while a counter hook zooms by her. Rosa eats a solid punch up top and backs off to circle away, and peppers Melo with a low kick. Rosa tries to connect with a flying knee, and Melo pushes off to get out of danger. As Rosa lands a hard right hand, Melo shoots in low for a takedown but is rebuffed. Melo pushes Rosa against the fence as she ties her up, but Rosa quickly reverses position and presses her full weight on her opponent. With her back against the fence, Melo brings up a few short knees, and right after one such knee, Rosa drags her other leg out and puts Melo on her back. Sliding in on top, Rosa drops down a stiff elbow right on the forehead. Melo is stuck taking punches and elbows in the face, and cannot push off the fence as Rosa is comfortable in half guard raining down elbows. Rosa continues to grind with slicing elbows, and mixes those elbows up with some loud, thumping punches as Melo can do nothing but take them on the chin. Rosa starts to pour them on, forcing Movahedi to take a close look at the action. When Melo gets to her knees, Rosa batters her with a stream of left hands until she falls to her back. Fully mounted, Rosa rides out the round on top with a few punches.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rosa
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rosa
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rosa

Round 3

Rosa begins the round with a body kick, and takes a step back to see a left-right hook combination fly before her eyes. Rosa picks at her with a jab, and avoids the counter two-punch combo again. A few more power jabs from Rosa snap the head back, and the two women trade heavy leg kicks. When Melo tries to charge in, Rosa stops her with a popping jab. This same type of exchange repeated two or three times, before Melo decides she has had enough and kicks to the leg. Rosa uses the moment to bust her in the chops with an elbow, and Melo takes it flush without much concern. Rosa feeds her opponent a steady diet of jabs, and Melo cannot connect with many if any power shots. Rosa shoots in for a double, but Melo stuffs her and makes her pay with a left hook that catches Rosa standing still. Rosa starts to retreat, circling away while Melo chases after her with looping punches. Rosa regathers herself and throws a jab out a few times, but Melo is in desperation mode throwing bombs at her. A few land square for Melo, getting Rosa’s attention and slowing the jabs from coming out. With momentum starting to come on Melo’s side, she presses in a little too close and clinches up with Rosa, allowing Rosa to tie her up and run out the clock. Rosa turns her around, and the two trade a few clinch strikes as precious seconds tick by. Rosa presses heavily on her foe, and stops a trip attempt to end the fight in dominant position against the fence.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (30-27 Rosa)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (30-27 Rosa)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rosa (30-27 Rosa)

The Official Result

Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Zhalgas Zhumagulov (126) vs. Raulian Paiva (129: Missed Weight)

Round 1

Making his debut after the event in his home country of Kazakhstan was scratched in June, Zhumagulov (13-3, 0-0 UFC) takes on Brazil’s Paiva (19-3, 1-2 UFC). Paiva missed weight by three pounds, so this 129-pound catchweight contest is overseen by referee Leon Roberts. The fight starts out aggressively, as Paiva starts winging punches and a high kick while Zhumagulov tries to find his range with right jabs. Paiva keeps his distance with kicks, and clips Zhumagulov on the way in when the Kazakh fighter tries to charge at him. Zhumagulov shrugs it off and backs away, where Paiva connects with a series of punches and audible kicks for good measure. Paiva digs to the body, and Zhumagulov comes up short with a left hand counter. When Paiva advances, Zhumagulov goes to the body with a couple punches, and ducks a head kick that buzzes his scalp. The Brazilian connects a stiff leg kick that nearly knocks Zhumagulov off-balance, and he goes up top with a head kick that wobbles the legs momentarily. Zhumagulov bites down on his mouthpiece and wings punches as Paiva advances, but Paiva avoids them quickly. Paiva backs off and rips the body with a few kicks, and Zhumagulov winces and tries and fails to land a right hand. As Paiva walks forward, Zhumagulov does connect with a right, but it is one-and-done as Paiva comes back with multiple punches. Zhumagulov races forward and trips Paiva’s lead leg out, and when Paiva falls to the canvas, Zhumagulov backs away instead of following through. Paiva springs back up, and eats a right hand for good measure along with one to the body. Zhumagulov this the takedown he was searching for, and Paiva springs back up and blocks a knee that comes towards his face. Zhumagulov bears down on him and wrenches him back down, and the round ends during a scramble.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Paiva
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Paiva
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Paiva

Round 2

Paiva goes to the body to begin the round, and Zhumagulov knocks him to the ground with a punch. It was not a damaging strike, but one that caught Paiva as he was leaning on one leg. Zhumagulov cracks him to the body, and Paiva complains for a moment that it went low, but it was a body shot. When Paiva advances to start his offense again, Zhumagulov tags him with a right hand. Paiva kicks at him, and Zhumagulov waves his finger to signal it did not hurt or land. In an exchange, Paiva tumbles over but he bounces back up before the Kazakh fighter can get after him. Paiva rakes a left hand on his opponent’s face, and Zhumagulov is hurt in his eye, as he rubs it. It does not appear to be an eye poke, but Paiva allows him to clear it instead of attacking. When clear, Zhumagulov backs away and Paiva rushes forward with a blitz of punches, but Zhumagulov blocks most of them as ne dances away. Paiva throws a pair of calf kicks, and Zhumagulov is back to struggling to find his range again as Paiva keeps him at a distance. Kicking Zhumagulov to the body, Paiva rolls with the counter and goes back to it with another kick. Paiva stings Zhumagulov with a right hand, and Zhumagulov blinks it out and tries to wing some punches. Paiva wades forward to put a few punches together, and Zhumagulov winds up with a few of his own. Paiva looks to take the fight down to conclude the round, but it is Zhumagulov that hits the takedown and winds up on top. Zhumagulov works a few elbows before the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov

Round 3

The two touch gloves to clock in the third, and Paiva starts out by reaching with a jab but Zhumagulov connects first with a low kick. Paiva whips a high kick back at him, and Zhumagulov blocks it and jumps forward with a stomp kick to the knee. The Brazilian misses with kick, and takes a right hand on the chin. Zhumagulov wings these right hands again, and then backs away to outstretch his fingers. Roberts warns him not to hold his hands in a way, and Paiva kicks him in the lead leg after the warning. Paiva digs to the body with a kick, and Zhumagulov’s torso is marked up from those kicks. Paiva lands flush, and comes forward to pour it on, but Zhumagulov times a left hand counter to stop his advancing opponent. Paiva changes levels to hunt for a takedown, but his opponent stuffs it without much issue and is unable to reverse it. Paiva backs away and kicks him in the body again, and Zhumagulov’s looping punches are falling short much of the time. The two men trade leg kicks, and Zhumagulov is sitting on his counter as he pops Paiva with a left as the Brazilian is coming in. After he lands that left, they start jawing at one another, and Paiva fires a front kick that goes south of the border. Zhumagulov falls down to the floor in a tremendous amount of pain as Roberts calls time, and the replays show exactly how clearly and powerfully the kick landed. Zhumagulov manages to crawl back to his feet, and Roberts calls in the doctor to check on him. After a couple minutes of recovery, Zhumagulov is ready to resume the fight with a minute left. Paiva fakes for a kick, and Zhumagulov hits a quick takedown to get Paiva down. The Brazilian bursts back to his feet, and breaks the grip of his opponent’s hands around his waist to break free. Zhumagulov slings a left hook that blows the hair back of everyone in the front row, but Paiva avoids it and stuffs a subsequent takedown attempt. Paiva shoves him away, and Zhumagulov rushes back at him to steal the round with a takedown. Paiva staves this one off as well, and knees his opponent in the cup right as time expires. This was a close one.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov (29-28 Zhumagulov)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov (29-28 Zhumagulov)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhumagulov (29-28 Zhumagulov)

The Official Result

Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Marcin Tybura (252) vs. Maxim Grishin (223)

Round 1

From the lightest men’s division of flyweight up to the largest, Tybura (18-6, 5-5 UFC) – who weighs almost as much as the two men who competed in the previous bout combined – tries to stave off newcomer and PFL vet Grishin (30-7-2, 0-0 UFC). Our Octagon ranger is Herb Dean, who will try to keep control of this 478-pound rumble. They touch gloves, and Tybura starts off with a leg kick that falls shy of its intended target. Grishin throws back a kick to the knee, so Tybura comes back at him with another low kick. The pace is very slow between these two for the first minute, exchanging sporadic leg kicks, and just then Grishin digs to the body with a kick. “Tybur” catches the kick and tries to leverage Grishin down to the ground, but the Russian keeps his balance and backs away. Tybura closes the distance, ducking a big left hook and clinching up with his smaller heavyweight foe. Grishin connects with a left after staving off another attempt, so the Polish fighter recalculates and attempts to hit an inside trip to get Grishin down. “Maximus” fights it off again, so Tybura is content to squeeze him against the cage, pushing his full body weight on his man. Grishin turns him about as he takes a few knees, and slams Tybura in the face with an elbow as they separate. Grishin sticks him with a jab as Tybura lumbers forward, and the Russian is circling with his back to the cage as Tybura tries to tie him up again. Tybura hunts for the takedown, attempting to muscle his opponent down, but Grishin remains upright. Tybura clatters an elbow off the side of Grishin’s head, and changes levels to pursue a single leg takedown. As he brings Grishin to a knee, Tybura grinds out the rest of the round with a few short punches.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Tybura

Round 2

Tybura starts out the round aggressively, pushing forward with a few punches and a wide body kick. The Polish fighter connects with a kick that just grazes the cup, and the action pauses momentarily. As it resumes, Tybura stalks his opponent down while Grishin has his hands low as he looks to counter. “Tybur” clinches up and throws a few knees, and a potential groin strike draws some confusion. As Dean tries to sort out what happens, Grishin wanders away, but Dean orders them to resume the position before the stoppage – this appears to be the correct call, although Tybura believes he had double underhooks. The two jockey for position slowly and methodically, and Tybura clacks an elbow off the dome. Grishin gives him one back, and fights off a single leg takedown attempt from his Polish foe. An elbow from Grishin, who ducks the counter, forces a separation. Grishin throws up a high kick, and “Tybur” blocks it and walks forward without much concern. Tybura jumps forward with a looping left hand, and although it misses, it allows him to close the distance and push Grishin against the cage. They turn each other around and trade knees, and Tybura hits a double leg takedown with seconds to spare in the round. Tybura ends this round on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Tybura
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Tybura

Round 3

The two men start the round swinging, and Tybura goes low with a kick after landing a few punches. Tybura comes in with a looping left, and Grishin easily evades the strike and circles to try to land a quick left hand. Grishin crashes forward, possibly in consideration of a takedown of his own, but Tybura shoves him away with ease. Tybura jumps in with a left hand, and then plods forward, now singularly focused on a single leg takedown. Grishin staves it off and gives up a bad position, leaned over against the fence but not in a downed position with his hand on the canvas. Tybura sees this, and solidly knees Grishin in the face twice before the Russian fights his way back up. Tybura transitions into a double, and manages to secure it and land in full guard. Advancing to half guard, Tybura works a few elbows to gain this transition and attempt to mount some offense. Appropriately, Tybura takes mount, and Grishin turns over and gives up his back to save his face some punishment, as we can see his left eye is a little swollen. Grishin locks up a body triangle, and things about fishing for a choke but instead punches him in the head a few times, opening up a cut or busting up the nose of the Russian. Tybura squeezes a neck crank as he cannot get in rear-naked choke position, and Grishin just toughs it out and gets back to one knee while Tybura still has the body triangle tight. As time ticks off the clock, “Tybur” realizes he likely will not get a submission, and ends the round by calmly punching Grishin in the side of the head repeatedly. This grueling fight is now over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Tybura (30-27 Tybura)

The Official Result

Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Leonardo Santos (156) vs. Roman Bogatov (155.5)

Round 1

Up next in the lightweight division, Santos (17-3-1, 6-0-1 UFC) makes his long-awaited return against unbeaten Russian newcomer Bogatov (10-0, 0-0 UFC). Referee Marc Goddard is on top of the action, and a glove touch checks the fight in. Santos takes the center of the cage while Bogatov is well on the outside, and the Russian suddenly runs in to throw a flying knee but abandons it before leaping. Bogatov backs off, slipping on the canvas – this appears to be a recurring issue for fighters tonight – and the Brazilian allows him to get back to his feet instead of attacking him like Rich Franklin on Ken Shamrock. The two men trade punches, and Santos connects with a heavy leg kick and a one-two that makes Bogatov take a quick count of his teeth. Bogatov spins and misses with a back fist, allowing Santos to time a leg kick when Bogatov comes back around. Bogatov lands a body kick, and takes a left hand in response. The Russian sticks his hand out, and jams his finger in Santos’ eye. Goddard takes charge of the cage, calling in the doctor to make sure there is no damage from the jabbing finger. Santos waves off the doctor, and Goddard warns Bogatov to watch his fingers. The fight checks back in, and Santos whips a body kick in rapid succession. When Bogatov comes back at him with a spinning strike, Santos catches him on the way in and grabs hold of his back. Bogatov tries to roll out of position, but the Brazilian is latched on like an Alabama tick. Seeing he does not have the position he is seeking, Santos elects to let go and allow his opponent free instead of wasting energy on something that is not there. Santos catches his man with a knee as Bogatov comes at him, and kicks Bogatov in the leg so hard that the Russian pirouettes. Santos sticks out a jab and a leg kick, so Bogatov returns fire with two piercing front kicks with the toes extended. Santos flings a similar kick at him, and Bogatov smiles and laughs. The two kick at one another, and Bogatov whirls around and lands a forearm on the side of Santos’ head. Bogatov shoots in low for a takedown, but he is staved off and avoids the counter. Santos tries to land a one-two, and Bogatov charges forward and fails on a spinning strike to give his back up again. The round ends with the Brazilian holding Bogatov’s back, with the two on the fence.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Santos

Round 2

The two touch gloves to start the round, and Santos begins with a heavy body kick. Bogatov loads up on a right hand, and Santos ducks out of the way and fires back at him. Santos is able to keep him at bay with long punches, and not eat the big, telegraphed strikes coming at his head. Bogatov shoots in for a takedown, but the Brazilian catches the takedown, stuffs it, and delivers an elbow on the side of Bogatov’s head. As he continues to stop the takedown attempt of Bogatov, Santos open-handed slaps him in the side of the head repeatedly. Bogatov tries to hook his fingers in the fence to get leverage, and Goddard puts a stop to it immediately. Santos catches him in a clinch, and knees Bogatov in the head several times. Santos unleashes a fury of strikes, with a few vicious right hands weakening the knees of the Russian. As Bogatov tries to recover and defend himself, Santos drills him in the side of the head with a kick, and Bogatov is on wobbly legs. Santos keeps a furious pace of punches on him as he tries to finish the fight, and Bogatov barely survives by rolling over on the ground. Santos keeps pouring strikes on as best he can, including a few hammerfists that land to the back of the head and draw a warning. Santos takes a deep breath, possibly having emptied the gas tank in this assault, and Bogatov reverses the position and winds up on top. As Santos gasps for breath, Bogatov takes mount, and starts working some punches of his own, although they have a lot less sting on them. Santos gets him back to full guard, but Bogatov steps over and pops him on the chin with several more punches. Santos attempts to defend the position with an omoplata sweep, so the Russian stands back up. As he lords over his opponent, Bogatov hammers down some heavy punches from high altitude, and Santos defends some of them but eats several more. Time expires before he can do much damage with it, but what a turn of events to end this round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Santos

Round 3

The two fatigued fighters begin the round pawing out jabs, and Bogatov changes levels to take the fight down. When Santos stuffs it, Bogatov blasts him in the cup with a knee, and Santos goes down like a ton of bricks. Goddard jumps in and shouts to make sure that Bogatov backs off and does not get some free shots in. Santos rolls around in pain in the ground, and this event seems to be developing a theme of fouls. Santos rolls to his back, and the doctor checks with him to help him recover. Thankfully, there is no crowd in the arena to voice disapproval or urge fighters to get back to the action, as Santos needs to take all the time to get his wind back. Santos gets to his knees, and stands up, but walks over to the fence and leans on it. Due to the foul, Goddard resumes the fighters in neutral position, instead of with Bogatov holding Santos against the fence. When the fight restarts, Bogatov throws a hard right hand to the body, and shoots in for a double. He transitions into a single, and picks Santos up, but the Brazilian miraculously keeps his balance so Bogatov sets him back down. Bogatov changes levels deep to keep after this single leg takedown, lifting Santos’ leg in the air, but Santos will not have it. Santos is about to get free, so Bogatov spins with an elbow, but Santos ducks it easily. The Brazilian does not react quickly enough to circle away, and Bogatov re-attempts a double. He picks Santos up, but Santos once more stays upright. Bogatov makes him pay with another knee to the groin, and Goddard is not pleased by what transpired this round. To the surprise of many, Goddard does not take a point away, and after another pause, we start over. Bogatov charges in with a spinning back elbow, and it lands, so he chains it into a takedown attempt. Santos defends the single once more by dropping to a knee, as he slaps Bogatov on the side of the head. Sticking to the Brazilian like glue, Bogatov finally drags Santos down, but only for a moment. Santos gets back to a knee, and Bogatov targets a knee and cracks Santos on the chin – but as Santos is on one knee, the strike is clearly illegal. Goddard is at his wits end with this fight, chiding Bogatov for his repeated fouls. Goddard has had enough of Bogatov’s nonsense, and takes two points away from Bogatov as he ruled the strike was intentionally illegal -- see also Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith. Santos is able to continue, and Bogatov comes out like his hair is on fire, leaping forward with a knee. Santos blocks the brunt of it, and defends the wild swinging punches that come at him. Bogatov lands a few heavily, and a powerful uppercut takes the knees out from beneath Santos. The Brazilian is able to hold on to end the round, and thankfully, we hear the horn and this mess of a fight is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 9-8 Santos (29-26 Santos)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 9-8 Santos (29-26 Santos)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 9-8 Santos (29-25 Santos)

The Official Result

Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)

Makwan Amirkhani (146) vs. Danny Henry (146)

Round 1

At featherweight, “Mr. Finland” Amirkhani (15-4, 5-2 UFC) faces off against Scotland’s Henry (12-3, 2-1 UFC). Drawing the charge is referee Leon Roberts, who will keep things clean between these two and hope it’s nothing like the last fight. They think about clapping hands, but abandon ship as Henry paws out a left repeatedly. Henry feints and fakes his way in, and Amirkhani catches his pawing left hand a few times. Henry lands with the end of a long right hand, and Amirkhani practically ignores it. The Scottish fighter throws out a long body kick, and then a couple leg kicks, but Amirkhani shrugs them off and is interested in closing the distance at this point. A jumping switch kick from Henry lands to the body, and Amirkhani is not throwing back with anything. A body kick from Henry finds its home, and Henry comes at him with a looping left hand, allowing Amirkhani to counter with a quick right. Amirkhani jumps forward to clack a knee off the chin, and positions himself to take the fight down. “Mr. Finland” drags the fight down with a body lock with relative ease, and rapidly sets up a submission attempt. When Henry tries to get up, a guillotine choke from Amirkhani transitions into an anaconda choke as he rolls with his opponent, and this choke is tight like a tiger. Henry pushes off the leg to try to break the position, and as he flails to get out, his arms go limp and he passes out. Amirkhani signals that his man might be out, so Roberts checks his arm, realizes that Henry is unconscious, and stops the fight. In an excellent show of sportsmanship, Amirkhani immediately lets go and jumps to his feet, where he lifts one of Henry’s legs in the air to restore blood flow and wake his snoozing former foe back up. This submission is not Amirkhani's first by anaconda choke, making him one of a select few fighters throughout UFC history to notch more than one inside the Octagon.

The Official Result

Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry R1 3:15 via Technical Submission (Anaconda Choke)

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (171) vs. Muslim Salikhov (171)

Round 1

In what could be a terrific battle between two high-flying strikers, it’s Capoeira vs. Kung Fu as Zaleski dos Santos (22-6, 8-2 UFC) comes to blows with Salikhov (16-2, 0-0 UFC). Hanging on tight is referee Herb Dean, who will have a tall task ahead in this welterweight scrap. The two flashy strikers touch gloves, and both paw out left hands that fall short. Zaleski dos Santos kicks low, and fakes to kick high, drawing a reaction from his opponent. The Dagestani fighter counters with a looping right, and Zaleski dos Santos evades it in time. Salikhov lands with a low kick, and Zaleski dos Santos connects to the body, which marks up Salikhov’s torso immediately. He slaps another body kick, so Salikhov counters with a right and follows it with a leg kick. Salikhov throws a low kick, avoids the counter and catches Zaleski dos Santos at the end of a left hand. Zaleski dos Santos charges forward with a salvo of punches, and lands a few in the process. Salikhov spins with a kick, and Zaleski dos Santos blocks it without much effort. When Zaleski dos Santos kicks to the lead leg, Salikhov times an overhand right that zings across the hair of his foe. Salikhov digs to the body with a spinning back kick, and this time Zaleski dos Santos is not quick enough to defend it. He comes back with a spinning wheel kick, and Salikhov blocks it, so Zaleski dos Santos charges forward with a few punches. Salikhov blocks them and fires another quick spinning back kick to the midsection. A powerful left hand from Salikhov stings Zaleski dos Santos, pausing the Brazilian for a moment. Zaleski dos Santos shoots in low for a takedown, and the Dagestani fighter stuffs it but gets tied up in a clinch. Zaleski dos Santos lifts a few knees up to the body, until Salikhov pushes himself free. Zaleski dos Santos wings up with a massive right hand, hurting Salikhov, so “Capoeira” chases after him with a few more. Salikhov shoots for a desperation takedown, and he lands it, but Zaleski dos Santos reverses the position and ends the round wailing on him with punches.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos

Round 2

Zaleski dos Santos opens up the round with a low kick, and a one-two finds its home as “King of Kung Fu” looks to back off and get in his own rhythm. Zaleski dos Santos stings him with a right, and Salikhov fires back with a powerful left that makes Zaleski dos Santos take a step back. Salikhov kicks low, and takes a few jabs and backpedals to avoid a blitz from the Brazilian. Salikhov kicks to the body, so Zaleski dos Santos spins with a wheel kick. Salikhov catches the kick in midair, and throws Zaleski dos Santos down to the ground like a sack of flour. When Zaleski dos Santos gets back up, the two laugh it off, until Zaleski dos Santos winds up with a massive right hand that rings his opponent’s bell. As he plows forward with offense, Zaleski dos Santos ties him up and tries to wrench the fight down with a body lock takedown. Salikhov staves it off, so Zaleski dos Santos delivers a couple knees up the middle. Salikhov pushes away, and the two take the center of the cage again. Zaleski dos Santos flicks out a few jabs, and follows one with a windmilling right hand that Salikhov sees coming from a mile away. Salikhov throws another spinning kick, and Zaleski dos Santos returns fire with an identical kick. Zaleski dos Santos chains that kick with a high kick, and Salikhov blocks it and fires a speedy wheel kick that just misses Zaleski dos Santos’s head. The Brazilian pops out a jab, and a one-two is delivered part and parcel. The two trade single strikes until we hear the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos

Round 3

The two men touch gloves to start the last round, and Zaleski dos Santos introduces his foot to the side of Salikhov’s midsection. A few jabs from the Brazilian keep Salikhov back, until the Dagestani fighter rings home a right hand. Zaleski dos Santos digs to the body with a front kick, and keeps his momentum by spinning into a capoeira kick. Salikhov evades it and responds with an overhand left that gets Zaleski dos Santos’ attention. After a tepid moment where the two lazily throw out jabs, Salikhov misses with a leaping left hand. The two jab each other in the face at the same time, and Zaleski dos Santos works a low kick into a right hand that is inches short of full impact. Salikhov rushes in with a big punch, and Zaleski dos Santos catches him with a thudding counter, forcing Salikhov to take step backwards. “King of Kung Fu” is stalking down Zaleski dos Santos around the cage, with a leg kick and a few punches to try to make the Brazilian back away. A right hand from Salikhov connects, and when he sees a punch coming, he counters Zaleski dos Santos with a stiff right. Two punches swing by Salikhov’s head, so the Dagestani fighter comes back at him with a right. Salikhov jabs to the body as he avoids a foot to the face, but these two strikers are dwindling to single strikes. With no setup, Salikhov fires off a spinning back kick that glances off the side of Zaleski dos Santos’ head. Salikhov stalks him down but does not unload on him, and backs away while goading his opponent to come at him. “Capoeira” winds up with seconds to go with a spinning tornado kick, and Salikhov is well out of the way, applauding as the kick goes flying. Time expires, and this fight goes the distance.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Salikhov (29-28 Zaleski dos Santos)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zaleski dos Santos (30-27 Zaleski dos Santos)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Salikhov (29-28 Zaleski dos Santos)

The Official Result

Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Volkan Oezdemir (205.5) vs. Jiri Prochazka (205)

Round 1

Headlining the preliminary portion of this card is a high-stakes light heavyweight tilt between two finishers, with Oezdemir (17-4, 5-3 UFC) trying to make Prochazka (26-3-1, 0-0 UFC) feel uncomfortable in his Octagon debut. Looking to avoid any errant blows is referee Marc Goddard, and the two powerhouses greet one another with a glove touch before lobbing bombs. Oezdemir starts out with a low kick, and gets countered over the top. Prochazka goes low to the body, and Oezdemir comes back at him. A stern body kick from Prochazka comes up the middle, and Oezdemir comes back at him with vicious intent. Oedzemir stings him with a few strikes, and Prochazka starts showboating and laughing at him. He drops his hands, and nails Oedzemir in the face and hurts the Swede. Prochazka keeps taunting and showing off as he continues to land, but Oezdemir comes back at him and has marked up Prochazka’s face already. A low kick from Oezdemir makes Prochazka stand still, and a left hand hurts Prochazka. The debuting fighter is in trouble, falling across the cage as he tries to get his head back. Oezdemir chases after him, swinging wildly, and Prochazka gathers his bearings and fires back at him. Prochazka still has his hands by his waist, and sneaks up an uppercut that catches Oezdemir right on the chin. Prochazka holds his hands down in front of him, grasped together, and he uses this unusual position to flick up right hands. A front kick catches Oedzemir, who seems a little flummoxed by this unusual opponent. Oezdemir works the lead leg, and chases after him with a blitz of punches. Prochazka pulls himself free and avoids the brunt of the damage, taking a deep breath as he stands chin-first. A quick punch from Oezdemir may have hurt Prochazka, as the newcomer wades back to the fence. He appears ok, as he slings leather wildly. These two are swinging for the fences in this battle, and both are narrowly missing massive power punches and spinning strikes. Oedzemir shoots in for a single, and although he gets his man down for a second, Prochazka jumps right back up. The round ends when both men separate from a clinch, and are about to swing as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Oezdemir
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Oezdemir
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Oezdemir

Round 2

Prochazka comes out switching stances multiple times, and lunges forward with a long left. Oezdemir gets out of the way, but takes one that follows flush. "Denisa" cracks him in the head with a kick, and Oezdemir’s knees buckle. Prochazka considers a flying knee, but abandons it to throws out a power left jab. A thunderous right hook comes over the top from the Czech fighter, separating Oezdemir from his consciousness in an instant. “No Time” is out cold, and Prochazka stops from any follow-up when he realizes Oezdemir is sleeping. What a spectacular UFC debut for the newcomer Prochazka, with the former Rizin champ putting on a statement performance and announcing himself as an immediate contender at light heavyweight.

The Official Result

Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oedzemir R2 0:49 via KO (Punch)

Paige VanZant (126) vs. Amanda Ribas (126)

Round 1

Opening the main card is a flyweight bout between fan-favorite VanZant (8-4, 5-3 UFC) and the biggest favorite on the card in Ribas (9-1, 3-0 UFC), with the former in her last fight of her UFC deal with sights on free agency. Keeping tabs on this one is referee Rich Mitchell, and the two women touch ‘em up before they throw down. Ribas opens with a leg kick, and VanZant returns fire with a heavier one of her own. The two are content to jab at one another, all while Ribas walks her down. The Brazilian fires up a body kick, and a left hand forces VanZant to clinch up. Ribas works several knees to the body, and she throws VanZant to the canvas and immediately is in side control from the hip toss. Although blood is starting to coat the canvas, it appears to be from Ribas’ nose and not a cut on VanZant's head. Ribas is in a dominant position as she looks for a submission, set up in scarf hold position. VanZant scrambles to get out, and in the process she gives up her arm. Ribas snatches on to an armbar, and although VanZant rolls, Ribas rolls with it to go belly down with the submission still latched on. VanZant tries to fight her way out, but she is trapped and has to tap so her arm doesn’t get snapped. Mitchell stops the fight, and VanZant ends her current UFC contract with a first-round submission defeat.

The Official Result

Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant R1 2:21 via Submission (Armbar)

Jessica Andrade (115) vs. Rose Namajunas (116)

Round 1

In the first of two top-ranked rematches tonight, Andrade (20-7, 11-5 UFC) looks to prove her first win was no fluke against “Thug Rose” Namajunas (8-4, 6-3 UFC) at strawweight. The referee for this three-round affair – the first was for a title – is Dan Movahedi, who may have his work cut out for him. They touch gloves as Movahedi tells them to “have fun,” and Andrade is very active to start the round, like a female Clay Guida with her footwork and head movement. Namajunas jabs at her, and tries to time the unusual movement of her opponent, before sending an elbow her way. Andrade is cocking back a big right hand, and ducks and darts her way out of Namajunas’ oncoming strikes. Andrade slams a leg kick home, and Namajunas flinches and then throws one back at her. When Andrade throws another, Namajunas times right hand down the pipe to break it up. She connects with a front kick, and Andrade leaps forward to attack. “Thug Rose” avoids the brunt of her opponent’s attack while staying composed and landing shots from a distance. She sticks her with a jab and ducks the returning strikes, but cannot duck a slapping leg kick. Namajunas attempts a standing elbow, and Andrade does not like this so she comes back and swings a heavy left. The two connect with big power punches, and Namajunas clangs a right hand off the head of her adversary. Andrade wears it well, and comes at her with a punch to the body and one to the head, but Namajunas is out of the way in time. Andrade leaps forward to attack, and Namajunas is out of the way and takes a few jabs that bloody up her nose. They clinch up, and Namajunas times a knee right up the middle to force a quick separation. Andrade winds up with looping hooks, but Namajunas evades most of them and takes a leg kick on the way out. A right hand connects, but a high kick doesn’t from Namajunas, and Andrade races forward again to clinch. Like before, “Thug Rose” greets this forward movement with a well-timed knee that makes Andrade have second thoughts. Both fighters throw up head kicks that are blocked, and Andrade throws heavy punches but cannot find her target.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas

Round 2

Namajunas begins the round trying to stick out a jab, and Andrade gives her a body kick to deal with. When Andrade ducks down, Namajunas kicks her in the head, and the Brazilian practically walks through it. They go jab for jab, and Namajunas knocks Andrade off-balance briefly with one of her jabs. Namajunas is not falling for the faking and movement of Andrade, waiting for the moment to strike and striking. She leaps in the air with a knee, and just misses the Brazilian’s head with the strike. Andrade smiles at her, and comes back with a heavy leg kick that Namajunas cannot check in time. Namajunas throws a heavy body kick, and misses with a standing up-elbow. She sticks Andrade with a couple jabs to break up power punches that “Bate Estaca” is looking to set up. Andrade lands heavily to the body, and Namajunas fires back at her with malicious intent. Andrade tags her with a right, and Namajunas backs off to set up a flying knee. Namajunas misses with it, and falls over, but she gets up before Andrade can take advantage of it. “Thug Rose” flicks out a few jabs while Andrade cannot get the timing quite right, and her corner and fiancé Pat Barry is in full, loud support for his fighter. Andrade clinches up with her to stop these jabs, and although there are no slams in sight, she does land a thumping body kick on the break. With her head movement, Namajunas can dodge most of the looping punches from the Brazilian, all while sticking her with jabs at a distance. Andrade gets in on her and lands to the body, and then connects with a few big hooks as the time runs out in the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Namajunas

Round 3

Both corners say their fighter is up two rounds, as this fight is indeed close. Andrade comes out firing, digging to the body and head with alternating strikes. Namajunas tries to keep her at bay with jabs, and Andrade loads up on power shots to the body. “Bate Estaca” is landing flusher at the moment than before, as her body strikes are making a difference. When she comes over the top, Namajunas is able to weave out of the way from most of them. Andrade charges at her, and they slug it out for a moment. A few punches from Andrade have now bloodied the nose of “Thug Rose,” who is trying to fire back for every strike she takes. Andrade tags her with an uppercut on the way in, and the nose of Namajunas is leaking more. Andrade loads up with a right and scores hard, hurting Namajunas. Andrade keeps swinging, and Namajunas is busted up. Andrade throws her to the canvas, ending on top, but she cannot get much ground-and-pound off as Namajunas tries to set up a triangle. She kicks Andrade away, and gets to jabbing but takes a loud leg kick from her opponent. Andrade blocks a spinning back kick, and takes a one-two right on the button but walks through it to score a heavy right. These two are really swinging, and Andrade connects with more power shots to wobble Namajunas again. “Thug Rose” regains her composure, but Andrade rushes in with hooks to the body. Andrade greets a jab with a heavy punch, and as soon as Andrade gets the advantage, Namajunas hits a quick takedown. The Brazilian muscles her way into a reversal, before pulling herself back up. The two blast one another with ferocious punches, with Namajunas hurting her opponent with a power jab and Andrade coming back at her, swinging hooks like a female Wanderlei Silva. The round ends in a brawl, and when it closes, the two embrace. What a terrific fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Andrade (29-28 Namajunas)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Andrade (29-28 Namajunas)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Andrade (29-28 Namajunas)

The Official Result

Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

UFC Bantamweight Title Fight:
Petr Yan (135) vs. Jose Aldo (135)

Round 1

In the first of three title fights, we commence championship festivities with the vacant bantamweight belt on the line, as Yan (14-1, 6-0 UFC) tries to stay unbeaten inside the Octagon against all-time great featherweight Aldo (28-6, 10-5 UFC). The two show respect for one another as they touch gloves in front of referee Leon Roberts, and here we go! The two men reach out their lead jabs, and it is Yan to go for a leg kick first. Aldo misses with a right hand to the body, and Yan comes back with a similar strike, before following it with a head kick that Aldo blocks. Yan pops out the jab a few times, and connects with a right hand. Aldo fires off a head leg kick, but Yan replies with a thunderous left hand that got Aldo’s attention. Another huge leg kick knocks Yan off his feet, and the Russian springs back up. A one-two comes from Yan, but Yan is switching stances already out of concern for a potential leg kick. They duck down at the same time and Aldo jabs forward, and Aldo backs away to fire off a low kick that falls short of the mark. Yan flips up a head kick that Aldo is able to block, and Aldo comes back with his own that is similarly defended. A few long jabs split the guard, and Aldo partly lands with a leg kick. Yan throws a left hand, and Aldo slams a leg kick home. The Brazilian switches it up with a head kick that is barely blocked, and he eats a power punch that he walks through. Also shoots in for a takedown, and Yan defends it and pushes Aldo on his back. Aldo grabs his gloves, and Roberts protests and asks Aldo to stop. Yan slams him in the face with a few stunning punches, and Aldo is hurt. His mouth is wide open and he turtles up, and Yan pours it on. Aldo holds on tight until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yan
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Yan
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yan

Round 2

Both men start out ready to kick, as Aldo is faking that he will throw kicks, drawing reactions out of Yan. Yan goes up high with a kick, and the Brazilian blocks it and fires at him with a leg kick. Aldo goes after the kick again, and Roberts warns Yan to stop reaching his fingers out. Aldo goes to the body, and throws out a piston-like jab that goes through the guard. Yan quickly fires a head kick, and Aldo blocks it before throwing an inside leg kick. The two stand and swing hard, and Yan ducks away to avoid any counter strikes. Yan wings a few looping punches, and Aldo darts away and blasts him with a leg kick that makes Yan lift it off the ground. Yan regathers himself and digs to the body, but Aldo rails the lead leg and forces Yan to switch stances. Aldo sees the damage and targets the other leg. Yan kicks the knee, and follows it with a one-two, but Aldo blocks it. The Brazilian again blocks an overhand right, and jabs back at him. Yan catches Aldo at the end of a left hand after Yan fakes with it, and not to be outdone, Aldo rips to the body. Once again, Roberts warns Yan to outstretch his fingers, and Aldo makes him pay with a body kick. Aldo scores two right hands, and Yan throws a leg kick of his own. Aldo stalks him down with straight jabs and another heavy leg kick, before going up high with a kick to make Yan shake it out. As soon as Yan switches stances back to orthodox, Aldo kicks that lead leg again. Yan tries to counter with an overhand left, but Aldo sees it coming and digs to the body. Aldo snaps out a punch to the body, and Yan comes at him with a fury that partially connects. The round ends in a flurry.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 3

The two men touch gloves to start the round, and Yan kicks to the knee a few times. Aldo throws hard to the body, and then brings up a knee in the middle. Aldo unleashes a right hand, and another, and Yan partially deflects them both but still absorbs the brunt of those strikes. Aldo kicks hard to the other leg, and Yan fires back with a body kick. The two are going tit-for-tat with strikes, with one landing, and then the other coming back. Aldo pot shots him a few times to the body and head, and rips twice to the body with liver punches that would Daniel Cormier cringe. Aldo has him hurt, and Yan retreats so Aldo follows him with another body shot. Yan loads up with a monster right hand, and Aldo sees it coming and gets out of the way in time. The two return to the center of the cage, and Aldo kicks the leg a few times and lifts a knee up the middle. Roberts once more warns Yan to keep his fingers closed, as he paws his hand out. A hard right hand at a short distance lands from Yan, and he unloads a huge left hand that Aldo rolls with to not take hard. Aldo winds up with a liver punch, and Yan strings together a several-punch combination to the body and head as Aldo blocks them. Yan connects with another string of punches, and Aldo tries to back him off but gets jabbed a few times. Aldo takes a few punches to the body, and Yan hurts him with an uppercut. The Russian elbows Aldo in the face, and as he throws a right hand, Yan kicks him in the torso. The two men clinch up and try to push each other around as the round is about to end, with Yan scoring one final blow to conclude it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yan
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Aldo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Aldo

Round 4

Yan comes out of his cage trotting towards his opponent, but it is Aldo that lands first. Yan comes back with a combination, and Aldo blocks it and kicks him in the body. Aldo takes a flush left hand, and closes the distance to set up a knee or clinch strike. Yan rips a low kick and a body kick with his left leg, a strike may go low as Aldo pauses. We do not stop for more than a second, and Yan comes out firing. They both connect squarely on one another, and Aldo steps in with a knee and an elbow. Aldo hits him in the body, Yan comes back with a left, and the Russian puts several short punches together in a flurry. Aldo takes a left hand across the bow to score a body shot, and the two clinch up again. Yan nearly trips Aldo to the ground, but the Brazilian manages to stay on his feet without falling over. Aldo jabs him, and Yan ducks, strikes to the body, and goes to the head as Aldo tries to back away. Yan leaps in the air to knee him in the face, and Aldo pulls his head away in time. Yan stalks him down with jabs, and Aldo retreats as if he might have been hurt with a strike. His nose starts bleeding quickly, and Yan comes after him with a low kick and looping punches while Aldo tries to catch his breath. Yan lands a few punches on the inside, and an uppercut hurts Aldo. Yan dumps him down to the ground, and follows him down to land a few punches on top. Aldo throws his legs up as if to defend a submission, but he closes his guard to tie him out with about 30 seconds left in the round. Yan postures up and racks Aldo with a few punches to the head and body. Yan stands over Aldo and drops down several heavy punches, and ends the round with an emphatic elbow.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yan
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Yan
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yan

Round 5

The two bantamweights embrace to begin the round, and quickly get back down to it. Yan nails Aldo with a one-two that hurts him. Yan damages him with a left hand, and Aldo falls over. Yan steps over into half guard and secure a crucifix position, but Aldo fights him back to half guard. Yan gets back in the crucifix, and he starts slamming Aldo in the face with vicious elbows. Yan keeps it going as Aldo has his toes interlocked in the fence, and Roberts slaps the Brazilian’s foot away as Yan hits him over and over. Aldo rolls to his side with an arm trapped, and Yan tries to find a position for either a submission or some more strikes. Yan opts to pour on hammerfists, and Roberts calls on Aldo to work. Roberts nearly intervenes, and Yan keeps at him with punishment while Aldo barely does enough to stay in the fight. Yan drills a few knees to the body, and “No Mercy” shows no mercy as he batters Aldo and causes a crimson pool to expand on the canvas. Aldo is face-down on the ground and blocking the punches -- and taking a few to the back of the head as well -- and Roberts is calling for Aldo to fight back. Yan does not stop, and Roberts finally has seen enough, halting the fight to rescue a fighter in Aldo who is too tough for his own good. Petr Yan is now the undisputed bantamweight champion, winning the belt by beating one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon.

The Official Result

Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo R5 3:24 via TKO (Punches)

UFC Featherweight Title Fight:
Alexander Volkanovski (145) vs. Max Holloway (145)

Round 1

In the second title fight and also the second rematch, Volkanovski (21-1, 8-0 UFC) aims to maintain an iron grip on his throne as he faces Holloway (21-5, 17-5 UFC) again. This featherweight championship will be overseen by referee Herb Dean, and the two show respect for one another and touch gloves before the opening bell. Holloway strides forward, and the first strike of the fight is an attempted leg kick from Volkanovski. As Holloway walks forward, he takes another and a right hand as well. Holloway whiffs with his own, and the two paw the air to try to establish their distance. Volkanovski leaps forward to close in with a quick leg kick, and Holloway darts away. Holloway pushes out a few front kicks, and Volkanovski returns fire with a heavy leg kick. Holloway lands a left, and Volkanovski blocks two more punches as he rips a hard leg kick. He scores another to make Holloway react, and Holloway throws back to the body and draws a smile from the champ. Volkanovski charges in, and Holloway catches him on the way in with a quick uppercut. Holloway takes a leg kick again, and tries to throw one back but it is not nearly as impactful. Volkanovski stings Holloway with a right hand, and Holloway laughs to say it did not hurt. The two clash leg kicks, and Holloway pushes forward with a front kick and a right hand that buckles the knees of the Aussie. Some swelling has started to form under the champ’s eye already, and Volkanovski comes back with a vengeance as Holloway tries to greet him with a flying knee. Volkanovski tags him over the top, and Holloway wears it well while throwing a body kick. Volkanovski comes at him with two inside leg kicks, and Holloway’s lead leg is already showing some damage. Holloway drills a spinning back kick to the body, and continues the spin to nail Volkanovski in the head with a kick. Volkanovski goes down in a shock, and he springs back up and eats a few punches from Holloway. Holloway lands a few more punches until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holloway
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Holloway

Round 2

Holloway begins with a few front kicks, so Volkanovski goes right back to it with a low kick. Holloway kicks the body, and Volkanovski doubles up with two leg kicks. “Blessed” fires right back with one, and then stings Volkanovski with a right hand. Volkanovski is hurt again, backing up against the fence and taking a left jab on the jaw. Holloway evades a leg kick and jumps back to land one, and he takes a left hand partly as he tries to block it. The Aussie loads up with a two-punch combination, and they trade leg kicks. A guttural scream comes from somewhere in the arena, and the fighters are unaffected as Holloway keeps swinging. Volkanovski sinks a leg kick in the same target as several before, and Holloway returns in kind with three more. Volkanovski’s are more powerful, and draw a reaction, but Holloway’s are marking up the leg. Volkanovski crashes forward, and Holloway greets him with a knee up the bracket. Volkanovski lands a hard left hand, and Holloway attacks with a stiff right hand that snaps the head back. Volkanovski now shows swelling under both eyes, and Holloway kicks the lead leg a few times for good measure. Holloway goes up top with a kick, and Volkanovski blocks it and cannot effectively counter. Holloway follows a left with a head kick that glances of the head of the Aussie, and he continues the attack with a spinning kick. Volkanovski charges forward like a bull, and the effective Hawaiian matador catches him right on the jaw with an uppercut that briefly drops the champ again. Volkanovski gets up and makes it through the round, as Holloway signals to someone outside the cage with a shushing motion.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holloway
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Holloway
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Holloway

Round 3

The two featherweights trade leg kicks to open the round, and Holloway is doubling them up now. If Volkanovski lands one, Holloway tries to give him two back. The two kick at the same time and nearly fall over, but Volkanovski adjusts and kicks a few times to the leg. Holloway steps in wit ha powerful knee, and Volkanovski eats it without much issue. The Aussie crashes forward with a salvo of punches, and Holloway enjoys the offense and avoids it with a grin. Volkanovski digs to the body with a left hand on the way in, and he takes part of a counter left. Holloway throws two leg kicks and a head kick right behind it, and Volkanovski is just able to defend the latter. Volkanovski lands a solid left hand, and shoots in to try to take Holloway down. The Hawaiian stands him upright and looks to break free. He does so, and plants a knee to the chest of his opponent. Holloway goes to the body and head indiscriminately, peppering in leg kicks but taking a hard left hook as he backs off. Volkanovski rings off a few left hooks, and a leg kick that makes Holloway stop briefly. The Hawaiian jumps up for a switch kick, and Volkanovski blocks it and cannot get in on him. Both men miss with combinations, and Holloway flips up a head kick that gets blocked. Volkanovski lands a thudding leg kick and a jab, and then another low kick comes from the Aussie. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Holloway
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski

Round 4

Volkanovski works the lead leg to start the fourth frame, and Holloway spins and kicks Volkanovski in the body. The kick makes Volkanovski rebound off the fence, where he uses the forward momentum to come into a punching combination that catches Holloway flush. Holloway throws right back at him, and Volkanovski meets him with a few audible leg kicks. Holloway misses with a flying knee, and Volkanovski kicks his leg out beneath him as Holloway tries to trade with him. The inside of Holloway’s lead leg is bright red, and Volkanovski targets it with a few more quick kicks. Volkanovski goes after the inside of Holloway’s leg a few more times, and breaks it up by going to the outside. When the Aussie comes forward, Holloway nearly times a jump knee. The two trade punches to the body, and a left uppercut hurts Volkanovski, who bounces off the cage. “The Great” gathers his thoughts and flicks out a jab, and a leg kick does some damage. Volkanovski grabs hold of Holloway, using a body lock to wrench Holloway down. Volkanovski takes top position for a moment, but Holloway walks up the fence and pushes free seconds later. A leg kick from Volkanovski pauses an advancing Holloway, but the Hawaiian gets his bearings and fires a left hand off the bow. Volkanovski kicks Holloway in the leg with such force that Holloway nearly drops to a knee, but he gets back up so Volkanovski charges. Holloway staves him off and a potential takedown attempt with three quick uppercuts up the middle. Volkanovski loads up on a right hand and gets Holloway’s attention. Holloway punctuates the round with a quick flying knee, a left hand, a head kick and a whiffing wheel kick.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holloway
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski

Round 5

The champ starts off with low kicks, and Holloway comes back with head kicks. Holloway throws a right head kick, and Volkanovski rushes in with big punches. Holloway fires up a head kick that Volkanovski blocks, but the impact staggers Volkanovski for a moment. Using a few punches on the way in, Volkanovski tries to wrap up Holloway and take him to the canvas. Holloway pulls himself free, and a few jabs from each fighter land to solid effect. Volkanovski goes after a single leg takedown, and Holloway shoves him away, so Volkanovski clips him with a right hand. Both men go high with kicks, and Holloway loads up with a leg kick. Holloway’s hands are down by his waist as he stalks down the champ. In the process, he takes a left and avoids the right. Holloway goes low with a kick, and catches Volkanovski coming up with an uppercut to push back the Aussie for a moment. Holloway nods at him to engage, and Volkanovski does just that. Holloway stings him with a few punches, and Volkanovski clubs him right back. A low kick from Volkanovski turns the legs out, and Holloway rails him with a right hand. Volkanovski tries to change levels for a takedown, and he trips Holloway’s legs out and gets him down. The Hawaiian walks up the cage rapidly, and the two men separate. Volkanovski sticks him with a left and a low kick, and he successfully avoids the counter uppercut. Volkanovski changes levels again to hit a takedown, and Holloway stands him up so they slug it out. Holloway loads up on a heavy right, and Volkanovski rolls with it and tries to clinch up to take him down. The two men trade jabs, and Volkanovski avoids a flying kick while landing a solid left hand. Clinching up at the 10-second clapper, Volkanovski gets a body lock takedown to end the fight on top. This is going to be a close one, and there will likely be people upset at the result of this top-shelf featherweight tilt no matter who wins.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski (48-47 Holloway)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski (48-47 Volkanovski)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Volkanovski (48-47 Volkanovski)

The Official Result

Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

UFC Welterweight Title Fight:
Kamaru Usman (170) vs. Jorge Masvidal (170)

Round 1

We’ve made it to the end of the evening – morning for the fighters in UAE -- with a final battle putting welterweight gold on the line. “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (16-1, 11-0 UFC) will be taking on surging vet Masvidal (35-13, 12-6 UFC), in a title fight many would have preferred to the one previously scheduled between Usman and Gilbert Burns. There is no love lost between these two men, as referee Marc Goddard asks them to touch gloves and they decline. Masvidal hangs on to the side of the cage until they start, and Masvidal starts with a low kick and then a high kick. He throws another high kick up, and Usman blocks it. When “Gamebred” fires a leg kicks at him, Usman catches it and plants him on the canvas with ease. Masvidal grins and lays on his back comfortably. As Usman tries to advance position, Masvidal lands several hammerfists and back fists to make Usman standup, where Masvidal lands an upkick that give Usman pause. Usman thinks about coming back down, but Masvidal kicks his way back up and stands to his feet. Masvidal throws another leg kick as he switches stances, and he rings an elbow off Usman’s forehead, and bounces a knee off Usman’s chin. The champ backs off, throws a body kick, then a jab that leads into a takedown attempt. He sells out to get a takedown, and as he gets Masvidal nearly down, Masvidal pushes off the floor and gets back up. Masvidal works the body with a knee, and then slices an elbow on the top of Usman’s head. Usman returns fire with a hard shoulder strike, and a short knee as he pushes his full weight on Masvidal against the fence. Masvidal gets a Thai clinch, and when he lands an elbow and tries to sink in a knee, Usman pushes away and lands a right hand. Masvidal has a cut opened on the corner of his left eye that may have come from a clash of heads, and he swings with reckless abandon as Usman barely ducks. Masvidal keeps his distance and lands some left hands and another knee. A right hand sends Usman back for a second, and Masvidal capitalizes on the opportunity with a few more looping punches. The round ends, and both men take deep breaths after a frenetic opening round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Masvidal
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Masvidal
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Masvidal

Round 2

Masvidal commences the second with a leg kick, and he backs away when Usman fires back at him. Masvidal rips the body with a kick, and when Usman grabs his leg, Masvidal crawls away and keeps on his feet. Usman goes all-out for a takedown, switching from a double to a body lock throw, and Masvidal maintains his balance. Usman starts stomping Masvidal’s feet as he mashes Masvidal against the fence, and Masvidal looks to Goddard to separate them after some inactivity. Goddard warns Usman to keep working, and Masvidal starts to smile. They start trading knees, and Usman keeps stomping the feet of the challenger. Masvidal uses a knee to get out, but only for a moment, as Usman clinches back up and works surprisingly effective shoulder strikes and punches to the body. Masvidal lands a knee to the body, and we can see another cut has formed on Masvidal’s head, which may have again come from them clacking heads together. The cut is not in a good place, above Masvidal’s right eyebrow towards the bridge of his nose. Usman methodically crushes Masvidal on the cage wall, all while stomping his toes and digging to the body with thudding punches. Usman keeps up a constant stream of these strikes, with the shoulder, the stomp and the body punch. A few shoulder strikes make Masvidal start laughing, but he is trapped against the cage with no way out. Usman keeps those powerful shoulder shots coming, and they break. Masvidal throws a body kick, a high leg kick, and a powerful left hand that makes Usman grin. A heavy leg kick makes Usman nearly stumble over, and Masvidal dips out of the way from a right hand as he sneaks in a powerful right elbow. The second round is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Usman

Round 3

Masvidal starts off with a heavy leg kick, but it is one and done as he backs away to not let Usman crowd him. He throws another, and avoids the looping right hands. Masvidal sees Usman coming at him and begins to laugh, but in doing so allows Usman to crash towards him and clinch him against the fence. Several crunching stomps come from Usman, who holds Masvidal against the fence for some time until Masvidal pushes him away. When Masvidal tries to get some distance, Usman wades in for another takedown attempt. Although Masvidal’s takedown defense has largely held up, he is getting ground against the fence. Usman punches him low, and it may be to the body but Goddard sees it as a low blow. Masvidal takes ample time to recover, catching his breath and getting some wind back, and a replay shows it does indeed glance off the cup. When the fight resumes, Masvidal whips out a front kick and a looping right hand, and Usman blocks the latter. Masvidal targets the lead leg with a swinging leg kick, and both men take their foot off the gas momentarily. Masvidal tries to time a superman punch, and as he does, Usman catches him on the way in and hits a double to plant Masvidal down on the ground. “Gamebred” walks up the cage, but Usman is on him like a cheap suit, and throws Masvidal down where he takes side control. Usman looks to load up on an elbow, and Masvidal bursts out of the position to escape a possible crucifix attempt. Usman stays tight and nearly takes Masvidal’s back, before the challenger rolls to his back and gets full guard back. Usman stacks him up and hammers down a few potent elbows as the time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Usman

Round 4

Usman opens up with a body kick, and within seconds, he bullies Masvidal against the fence and feeds “Gamebred” a steady diet of stomps and shoulder bumps. When not stomping or using his shoulder, Usman repeatedly targets the body with right hands. Usman drops low to get a takedown, and Masvidal times a knee to back him off. Usman backs off, and rushes in to hit a double leg takedown. Masvidal sighs in frustration as he goes down to his back, but walks his way back up the wall to get back in the same stomp, shoulder, punch rotation. Usman ducks down for a double, but Masvidal stuffs it and pulls him back up. Masvidal lines up a big knee, and a couple elbows force Usman to back away. The challenger may have hurt Usman’s nose in the exchange, as the champ starts touching it repeatedly. Masvidal backs off to catch his breath, as his offense is in short explosive bursts at this point. Masvidal tries to kick him in the head, and Usman stays ever the bull and connects with a few powerful punches. Masvidal eats them like Cuban sandwiches, but in the process, Usman is again keeping him locked on the fence. Although none of the strikes against the cage wall are particular effective or damaging, they are scoring and adding up control time for the champ. Usman rides out the round in this position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Usman
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Usman

Round 5

Masvidal kicks to the knee to start off the final round, and Usman is slowly walking Masvidal towards the wall as he throws looping punches. Masvidal catches him on the way in, but Usman doggedly pursues a takedown and gets Masvidal down. “Gamebred” tries to kick out, but Usman has him trapped on the cage and he drops down an elbow that lets a little more blood flow. In an unusual position, Masvidal throws punches off his back that slap Usman on the jaw. The champ tries to advance position, and Masvidal sets up an omoplata sweep but Usman shrugs it off. “The Nigerian Nightmare” is grinding out Masvidal while stepping over to mount, but Masvidal rolls out and gets to his knees at the moment. Usman tries to cinch up the neck with a choke, and “Gamebred” is wise to it and staves it off cautiously. Usman lands a knee up the middle, and may have landed an illegal blow, but the two separate. Masvidal dings Usman with a solid left hand, and then another as he throws everything he has left in his strikes. Masvidal leaps in the air with a knee, but Usman ignores it. Masvidal kicks to the head and body a few times, but he cannot secure the finish he so desperately needs. The final horn sounds to end the fight, and barring something insane – the scorecards have been a bit unusual tonight – the champion has successfully defended his title in a gritty fight that might not win him many fans. The first event on “Fight Island” is now in the books. See you all Wednesday!

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Usman (49-46 Usman)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Usman (49-46 Usman)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Usman (49-46 Usman)

The Official Result

Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
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