FB TW IG YT VK TH
Search
MORE FROM OUR CHANNELS

Wrestlezone
FB TW IG YT VK TH

UFC 291 ‘Poirier vs. Gaethje 2’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

Sherdog's live UFC 291 coverage will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

Priscila Cachoeira (125) vs. Miranda Maverick (125.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Maverick (-305), Cachoeira (+240)

Round 1

Every now and then, a fight card comes around that makes the community pause for a second to admire its impressive stature. The excitement around the MMA sphere is refreshingly genuine, especially for an otherwise costly event that has no actual, real belts on the line. When the lights go down in the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, the anticipation will build throughout the night to a crescendo. Even if the product does not deliver respective to how it looks on paper, the main attraction is one that will entice even the most jaded of fight fans. Before we get to that mega rematch, we start on the early preliminary card with six prelims as appetizers ahead of the hearty $80 meal. The first fight on the billing also happens to be the lone women’s match of the evening, and it comes between late replacement Maverick (11-5, 4-3 UFC) and the much-maligned Cachoeira (12-4, 4-4 UFC). This contest of wrestler vs. striker will be officiated by referee Dave Seljestad. The flyweights start the show without a touch of gloves, and here we go. Maverick bobs and shifts forward, and she reaches out with a left hook and a pair of punches soon to follow. Cachoeira swats back at her and comes up short, and Maverick gets to a safe range and lands a low kick. Maverick shoots in for a takedown from afar, and before she can get close, Cachoeira pushes her back and catches her with an overhand right. Maverick fakes a level change, and she goes up high with a kick that surprises the Brazilian. Cachoeira chops down at the inside leg, and Maverick responds and gets countered with a right hand. Maverick leaps forward with a Superwoman punch, and she wraps her foot on the side of the head. When Cachoeira tries to take advantage of an off-balance Maverick, she closes the distance, and Maverick uses the momentum to spin Cachoeira and drag her to her seat. Cachoeira leans against the fence in hopes of wall-walking, and Maverick isolates her foe’s right leg to keep Cachoeira grounded. Cachoeira posts off on her right arm while using her other to push Maverick’s head down, and this stops Maverick from advancing to a top position. “Zombie Girl” musters her way to her knee and is briefly upright, but Maverick pulls her down and smacks her a few times with her left fist. Maverick imposes her weight on Cachoeira to keep her trapped in this awkward position, and Cachoeira still muscles her way back up. The second she does, Maverick strips her legs back out and dumps her to her back. This allows Maverick to move to side control, and she drives a knee to the midsection before lowering herself down. Maverick scores short punches to fluster the Brazilian, sitting comfortably in half guard, and Cachoeira is not making any overt effort to stand back up. Maverick traps Cachoeira’s right arm beneath her legs for a partial crucifix, and she hammers Cachoeira with thudding elbows. Cachoeira tugs her toes on the fence to try to escape, and Seljestad slaps them a few times to prevent the fence grabbing. Maverick rides out the remainder of the round, dropping down a few elbows and hammerfists.

Advertisement

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Maverick

Round 2

The second round kicks off with an aggressive Maverick, who swarms with a big left hook and a few follow-up punches. When Cachoeira misses on the counter, Maverick reaches out and pops her with a left hook. Maverick drops down for a single-leg takedown, and Cachoeira shuts it down and misses with a short counter by a matter of inches. Cachoeira thwarts another takedown, although an uppercut from Maverick after it gets stifled busted her nose up. Maverick thwacks the inside leg of her opponent, and Cachoeira draws it back briefly. Cachoeira commits to defending the oncoming takedown, and she grips her left arm under the chin to potentially threaten with a guillotine choke. Cachoeira grabs the fence with her other hand instead of securing the submission, and Maverick doubles down on the attempt. Maverick slides her neck out of the dangerous position and slowly drags Cachoeira to the ground. Cachoeira has her hands slapped by Seljestad for grabbing the inside of Maverick’s gloves and then the cage, warned sternly for her fouls. Maverick secures the takedown and sits down in half guard, smothering Cachoeira and frustrating her with little left hands and elbows. Maverick smartly traps Cachoeira between the corner of the fence and the floor to disallow Cachoeira from going anywhere, and she tries to jump to the side and winds up falling into full mount. Maverick opens up with ground-and-pound, and Cachoeira bucks with all her might to get out of the precarious position. Cachoeira pulls on the fence with her fingers and toes, and the fouls allow her to turn all the way through and nearly get back up. Maverick, concerned only on her gameplan and not what the Brazilian is doing, wrenches Cachoeira to her back again. Maverick hacks down with a crisp elbow, and her grinding attack allows her to conclude this frame in this position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Maverick
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Maverick

Round 3

Knowing Cachoeira is likely to come out guns blazing, Maverick keeps her distance early in the last round with multiple front kicks. Cachoeira swings for the bleachers with right hooks, and Maverick times this inaccurate strike to shoot in for a takedown. When this fails, Maverick redoubles her effort, scoring a clean right hand to set it up and perfectly deposit Cachoeira to the canvas courtesy of a double-leg takedown. When they hit the ground, Cachoeira’s arm inadvertently slides beneath one of Maverick’s shoulder straps, and it forces a brief wardrobe malfunction that Seljestad resets. Maverick, glad to be on top in side control, drops down a few strikes before shifting gears to north-south. When there is no submission to come from it, Maverick keeps moving and jumps into full mount. As Cachoeira defends from any oncoming fire, she leaves her right arm out just a little too long. Maverick snatches it up and rolls to the side, setting the hook and wrenching down. Cachoeira taps out, and then taps a second time. Seljestad, watching very closely, does not intervene. Instead, Cachoeira taps out several more times, and he finally steps in. Maverick could have cranked the elbow much harder, but out of sportsmanship decided not to destroy the arm of “Zombie Girl.” This one-side victory is an important one for Maverick, who reminds the rest of the flyweight division she is still a threat.

The Official Result

Miranda Maverick def. Priscila Cachoeira R3 2:11 via Submission (Armbar)

Uros Medic (170.5) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (169.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Semelsberger (-205), Medic (+175)

Round 1

Welterweights take center stage next, as two action fighters prepare to only leave one man standing. “Semi the Jedi” Semelsberger (11-5, 5-3 UFC) has his full array of Jedi mind tricks at his disposal, while “The Doctor” Medic (8-1, 2-1 UFC) wants to show on short notice that mind tricks do not work on him – only money, and punches. This potential thriller draws oversight from referee Tyler Tomlinson, and it kicks off as the two men bump fists. Semelsberger is the initial aggressor, launching an early head kick that bounces off the raised guard. Medic kicks, and the two clash together as Medic topples to the mat. In a furious exchange, Medic gets off some upkicks, but Semelsberger circles around to take the back. Medic defends with a possible leglock as they continue to roll, and this forces them to lean up against the cage and walk up it. Medic breaks off and scores a short right hand, and the two reset. Medic leaves a lazy right hook out too long, and Semelsberger snaps the head back with a straight right hand. Semelsberger paws out a one-two, and Medic replies with a similar pair of punches that split the guard. Medic kicks low, and Semelsberger slowly crowds him but does not let go. They both get off single strikes, with Semelsberger’s right hand a big one. Medic winds up with a heft left hook, causing the mullet of Semelsberger to wave behind him. Medic backs up against the fence, bounces off it, and tosses a high kick that makes Semelsberger nod at him. Semelsberger counters a kick with an overhand left that lands loudly, and a straight right hand knocks Medic clean off his feet. Semelsberger lowers himself down into the guard, as his corner desperately cries for him to not play in the guard. Semelsberger stands up, and Medic blasts him in the chops with an upkick. Medic trips Semelsberger up, and Semelsberger stumbles to his back. Medic jumps up and chases after him, and he drills Semelsberger with a few punches. Semelsberger comes back firing with a right hand, dropping Medic down to his face. Medic tries to recover with a takedown attempt, and Semelsberger swirls around to take his back. The two break up and take breaths after the ferocious exchange. Semelsberger plants two solid right hands on the chin, and he measures Medic and bobs up and down as he works his way in. Semelsberger sneaks up a high kick as Medic misses a hook, and Semelsberger busts open a cut on the bridge of the nose with a right hand. Medic strikes the body with a kick, and Semelsberger whiffs with a counter as the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Semelsberger
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Semelsberger
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Semelsberger

Round 2

The welterweights are fired up to get back after it, as they clap their hands together. Medic leads off with a solid one-two, and Semelsberger responds with a missile of a right hand back at him. Medic kicks the body with body legs, and he disrupts an advancing Semelsberger with a few punches. They both fire off kicks to the midsection, and Semelsberger tries to follow one with an overhand right that misses the mark by a wide margin. Medic paws out with a few left hands, and Semelsberger crowds him with a trio of punches. Medic counters his man on the inside, and Semelsberger hammers his lead leg three times in a row. Medic follows a left hand with a low kick, and Semelsberger is right in front of him to fire out a one-two. Semelsberger doubles up on a jab, and a left hand shakes Medic up. The Alaskan by way of Serbia grits his teeth and gets back into the pocket, only to dance out of the way when Semelsberger is throwing hands. They trade right hands, but Semelsberger lands flusher. Medic delivers a kick to the body, and Semelsberger does the exact same thing and then kicks Medic’s lead wheel for good measure. Semelsberger rashes the pocket and tags Medic a few times, only to get backed off when Medic tries to initiate a brawl. Semelsberger hooks a right hand on the ear, and Medic backs off and aims a kick at the dome. Semelsberger mimics him with his own high kick, after nodding at Medic for the effective strike. Semelsberger keeps his guard up high as Medic strings punches together, but a few manage to get through. Semelsberger eats a left hand on the end of an exchange, and this results in heavy counters from both men. Semelsberger use head movement to evade a few strikes, and he takes a front kick to the chest. Semelsberger blocks a head kick, and he powers forward to miss with a right hand. Semelsberger steps in with a knee that misses, and a right hand that does not. Medic scores a right hand and follows with a blocked head kick, and the close round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Semelsberger
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Medic
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Semelsberger

Round 3

Semelsberger is the one fired up coming out of his corner, swinging with big punches and kicks. Medic stands in the pocket to counter, and he eats a right hand as he powers forward. Medic rips a shin to the liver, and Semelsberger might be compromised but he sticks his tongue out to keep a poker face. Semelsberger pushes forward, blocking the punches that soar towards him so that he can clinch up. Semelsberger presses Medic against the wire, but Medic turns the corner and stuns him with a right hand on the break. Semelsberger digs a shin to the calf, and Medic swings right back. Semelsberger gets off a crisp right hand, and Medic has to hop back a few steps to get his balance. Medic targets the body, and he leans back from a big right hand and swings a high kick up. Semelsberger is able to block it, and he pushes out a one-two that gets parried. Semelsberger lands a right, and Medic jabs him back. Semelsberger whiffs on a leg kick, and the two start trading with bad intentions. Semelsberger unloads with a right hand, and Medic returns fire with a thudding right hand on the temple that rocks “Semi the Jedi.” Semelsberger laughs it off, but he is hurt badly. Medic tactically comes forward, spinning with a back fist that ends connects with the forearm and sends Semelsberger careening to the canvas. Medic stands over him and hammers the nail with several standing-to-ground punches, and Tomlinson steps in to wave the fight off. Semelsberger immediately protests, claiming he was not out, but when he stands up, he is still very wobbly. The victorious Medic retains his 100% finish rate by informing fight fans that “The Doctor” is in.

The Official Result

Uros Medic def. Matthew Semelsberger R3 2:36 via TKO (Spinning Back Fist and Punches)

Darrius Flowers (170.5) vs. Jake Matthews (170)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Matthews (-260), Flowers (+220)

Round 1

Sticking around a little longer in the welterweight division, at 29, the “The Celtic Kid” Matthews (18-6, 11-6 UFC) may not quite be a kid any longer. With visions of bouncing back into the win column again, he welcomes Flowers (12-5-1, 0-0 UFC) to the world-famous Octagon. The third man inside of that cage with them will be referee Tyler Tomlinson, and he stands back as the two combatants touch ‘em up. Flowers takes to the center of the cage immediately, while Matthews strafes around the side. Flowers gets off a stern leg kick, and he hops back to avoid a jab. The Aussie lands a right hand on the temple, and he absorbs a leg kick to launch a high kick that careens off the guard. Flowers rests and takes a hard leg kick, and he avoids a looping right hand by a matter of inches. Matthews checks a kick and gets backed up to the wall, with Flowers pouring it on with volume and intensity. The two throws bombs at one another, and Matthews gets the better of an exchange to knock Flowers back. Flowers reaches him with a right hook, and Matthews slams a left hook to the liver to stun Flowers. After gathering his thoughts, Flowers charges, and Matthews and pushes him out of the way to work the body. They trade leg kicks, and Flowers shrugs at him. Flowers whiffs on a gnarly uppercut, and he again backs Matthews up and unloads on him. Matthews throws back accurately to keep Flowers honest, and he drills an elbow on the back of the ear to make Flowers take back off. Flowers then advances right into a liver shot, and this makes him reevaluate his position. Matthews digs a front kick to the body, and he stabs his toes to the same target with a second kick. Matthews has found his groove with those front kicks, and he mixes things up with a few stomp kicks to the thigh. Flowers plods forward, seemingly slowing down, while Matthews is able to be light on his feet and keep moving to pick at him from range. Matthews rips a left to the body and a right to the head, and Flowers staggers and takes a funny step back. Matthews charges, and Flowers was playing possum, as he swings with a huge right hand to surprise Matthews. The Australian fighter dodges it just enough to not get hurt, and Flowers wags his finger at him. As they trade hands, Flowers changes levels suddenly and secures a double-leg takedown to put Matthews on his back. Matthews defends with a guillotine choke, and he sets it up even as Flowers moves to the side. Matthews sits up, no choke locked up, and the exciting round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Matthews
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Matthews
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Matthews

Round 2

Matthews offers a glove touch, but Flowers is taking deep breaths and backs off early. Matthews gives chase and reaches him with a high kick, and he steps forward with a front kick that slams in to the liver. Based on Flowers’ reaction, it collided with his groin, as he falls to his knees and drops to his face. Tomlinson calls the foul and allows Flowers to recover, and the replay shows that the strike appeared legal although the heel subsequently may have bounced into the cup. The crowd is incensed, as they believe this should be a TKO victory for Matthews. Tomlinson is not affected by the crowd and continues to allow Flowers to recover. Tomlinson calls in the doctor, and Flowers is still leaned over on his knees in pain. When three minutes pass, Flowers is cleared to compete and the fight resumes. Matthews kicks the same spot beneath the ribs when they get back to it, and Flowers lets his hands go to back the Aussie up. Matthews digs a few more kicks to the body, and he rings Flowers’ bell with an overhand right. Flowers advances, dipping his head back and forth, and he dodges the worst of the strikes. Flowers catches a front kick and tries to lift the leg up and dump Matthews to the mat, but he lets it go to allow them to keep trading. Matthews lands a right hand, stuffs a takedown and bowls Flowers over. Matthews lands in half guard, and he quickly isolates Flowers’ left arm to set up a two-on-one wrist lock. “The Celtic Kid” uses the kimura to advance to full mount, and he postures up to hammer Flowers with ground-and-pound. Flowers’ mouthpiece pops out, and Tomlinson allows him to reset it. Matthews works Flowers over with ground-and-pound, forcing Flowers to turn to his stomach. The 29-year-old flattens Flowers out, and he sets up the rear-naked choke in a hurry. Flowers knows he has been thoroughly plucked, as he is wilting and cannot defend himself any longer. The very moment that Matthews completes the rear-naked choke grip, Flowers is already tapping. It was a valiant UFC debut for Flowers, who had the veteran in trouble a few times, but he ultimately found himself outmatched in the end. Some may joke that Matthews should have earned two victories tonight, one for the front kick and another for the submission, but Matthews got the job done when it mattered most.

The Official Result

Jake Matthews def. Darrius Flowers R2 2:37 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Roman Kopylov (185) vs. Claudio Ribeiro (185.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Kopylov (-240), Ribeiro (+195)

Round 1

With 20 knockouts in their combined 21 victories, someone in this middleweight slugfest is almost certain going to hit the deck before it’s all over. The resurgent Russian Kopylov (10-2, 2-2 UFC) would like to make sure it is not him that suffers the first knockout loss of his career, but Ribeiro (11-3, 1-1 UFC) is eager to earn that distinction. Before the fists and feet fly, referee Marc Goddard clocks them in as the middleweights’ gloves come together. Kopylov half-checks an oncoming leg kick, as the two slowly measure up one another. Kopylov is the one moving forward calmly, and his straight left finds its mark on the nose. Kopylov reaches his man with another left, and Ribeiro comes up short on a counter. The Russian lands a leg kick, and the two paw at one another in their alternating stances. Ribeiro kicks at his foe’s lead leg, and Kopylov gives him one right back as they are otherwise tentative to engage. Ribeiro wings a right hand that misses the mark by a safe distance, but his inside low kick lands hard. Kopylov strings a left hand into a front kick to the body, and Ribeiro sits down on a responding body kick. Kopylov throws that same kick back at his foe, and he snipes Ribeiro with a right hook. Kopylov kicks high off to bounce his leg off the raised guard, and he ignores a calf kick to walk Ribeiro down. Kopylov leaps forward with a knee and swipes out a pair of punches, and Ribeiro shells up and ricochets off the fencing. Ribeiro springs into action when he takes a left hand, and he lands a solid series of punches that only ends because Kopylov kicks him in the ribs. The Russian stabs his toes to the midsection and follows it with a few hooks, and he keeps on his bike and times a perfect left hand that stops Ribeiro in his tracks. Ribeiro reels and backs off to the fence, and Kopylov marches him down and hammers him with body shots and then two over the top. The right hand from Kopylov opens a cut on the corner of the Brazilian’s eye, and he leans back to dodge a strike and tag Ribeiro with a one-two. The Brazilian flies into a rage, charging recklessly and throwing caution to the wind to land heavy shots. Kopylov is hurt and backs away, and he gets nailed with several more punches that put him on the proverbial ropes. Instead of trying to finish the job, however, Ribeiro shoots for a takedown, and Kopylov shuts it down until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kopylov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kopylov
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Kopylov

Round 2

The second round kicks off as the middleweights meet in the middle of the cage, and they are again tentative to throw anything of note in the early going. Ribeiro lands a single low kick, and Kopylov calms himself down and looks for the perfect time to strike. Like a coiled snake, the Russian fakes a jab and lashes out with a ferocious head kick that smashes square into Ribeiro’s jaw. Ribeiro collapses to the ground, and although the back of his head does not hit the mat, he is seated awkwardly and staring into the void. The void stares back at Ribeiro, and Kopylov does not know what he should do next. With Goddard fast rushing between then, Kopylov feels like dropping down one single hammerfist in case there needs to be punctuation to this spectacular performance. There is no need. Ribeiro is done. That marks 10 knockouts in his 11 pro wins, but this one likely stands above the others.

The Official Result

Roman Kopylov def. Claudio Ribeiro R2 0:33 via KO (Head Kick)

Vinicius Salvador (128.5: Missed Weight) vs. C.J. Vergara (125.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Vergara (-160), Salvador (+130)

Round 1

Scoring an extra 20% of his opponent’s purse, win or lose, Vergara (11-4-1, 2-2 UFC) is almost playing with house money as he engages in this former flyweight affair. Now bumped to a de facto 129-pound catchweight, due to the egregious 2.5-pound miss from Salvador (14-5, 0-1 UFC), the Brazilian will need to push it to the limit if he wants to get his hand raised tonight. That just so happens to be exactly what he does regularly, as all 14 of his pro victories have come inside the distance. The predictably fast and furious fight receives oversight from referee Dave Seljestad, and the competitors are amped up and Vergara claps before touching gloves. Salvador strikes first in the form of a leg kick, and Vergara starts changing stances in a hurry. Salvador sneaks up a low body kick, and Vergara responds with a low kick of his own and dodges a counter right. Salvador strikes the lead leg and pushes out a straight right to the body, and the offense is largely muted initially. They both land jabs, and Salvador turns his hips into a thudding leg kick. Salvador sneaks a right hand over the guard, and he gets backed off from a front kick. Salvador drops his hands and signals for Vergara to bring it on, and Vergara does not oblige him and instead chips at the lead calf on both sides. Vergara whiffs on a few hooks, and he absorbs a clean low kick. Vergara stands Salvador up with a left hook, and he strafes to the side and takes a straight right hand down the pipe. Vergara claims his eye was poked, and Seljestad pauses the fight to allow him to recover. After a few seconds, and Vergara mentioning he is having trouble seeing, Seljestad calls in the doctor. Vergara is cleared to keep going after about 90 seconds, and on the reset, Salvador leads off with multiple kicks. The Brazilian kicks behind his own leg as he starts feeling himself, and Vergara swings for the fences with huge hooks that miss by a tiny amount. Salvador drives his man back with a left hand, and he digs the body with the ball of his foot. Vergara reaches his man with a left hook, and he paws out a jab to follow and kicks the thigh to mix things up. Vergara gets in a left hook and a front kick to follow, and Salvador makes him backpedal with a jab. Vergara chops at him with another kick, and Salvador pounds the inner thigh with his own shin. Vergara leans back to evade the worst of a few swinging punches, and he struggles to reach his rangy opponent. Salvador lets fly a high kick that bounces off the shoulder after faking a level change, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Salvador
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Salvador
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Salvador

Round 2

The fighters slap hands, and Vergara marches forward out of his corner only to have to backpedal when Salvador is using his range as an effective weapon. Salvador keeps his guard up to block a high kick, and he cannot defend against several low kicks. They trade this kind of kick, as the punches largely miss the mark on both sides. Salvador just barely avoids a looping left hook, and Vergara slams a shin to the breadbasket. Salvador goes wild with a capoeira kick, and he drills Vergara in the side of the head. Salvador strides away, confidently, and Vergara appears frustrated as he tells his opponent to start fighting. They both clash shins at the same time, and Salvador is able to stay light on his feet to keep out of range. Salvador sits down on a body kick, and he takes a punch to the chest before closing distance and driving a knee to the sternum. Salvador sticks and moves, his hands low as he sways side to side. Vergara hits nothing but air, and Salvador is showboating and mocking him. Vergara times a solid left hand when he gets his bearings, and Salvador responds with a sharp body kick that makes Vergara pat his side. Vergara tags his foe twice with left hands, and he starts feeling himself as well as he motions to his opponent. Both fighters are goofing off and not throwing everything into their strikes, and Salvador is reaching with the occasional kick and several more pitter-patter shots. Salvador gets in a left to the body and chains a kick to the same spot, and Vergara makes sure to throw back in the form of a calf kick. The two clash shins together again, and Vergara punches his way in and misses the mark. Vergara throws haymakers, and he clips Salvador with a left. Salvador bounces off the cage wall, and he sticks out a jab and catches a kick to load up with a left hand. With 15 seconds left in the round, Salvador changes levels and pursues a takedown. Vergara stops it and rails Salvador with an elbow, and Salvador smiles at him. The two throw hands right to the bell, and they raise their hands in the air even though there is one round to go.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vergara
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Vergara
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vergara

Round 3

The flyweights come together and embrace, and the final round commences. Salvador uses his distance smartly, with jabs and body kicks. Vergara has a left hand slide off the temple, and he strings several additional punches together as Salvador tries to shake it off. Vergara walks through a left kick to rip a left to the body and a right to the head. Salvador comes up just short with a left hook, and he kicks the body and it gets caught. Vergara drops it and comes at him with everything he has, driving his fists into the chin again and again. Salvador plays it off as if he is not hurt, faking with wobbly legs, but he is getting hit and not giving it back enough. Salvador takes a left on the chin and wings a hook back, and Vergara eats it like a sandwich. Vergara kicks the body and steps in with a left hook, and Salvador leans forward with two winging punches. Salvador backs his man off with body shots and a high kick that glances off the shoulder, and the two are trading one after the other. Salvador gets off a front kick to the body, and Vergara goes at him with a kick and chops at his lead wheel that is welted up badly. Another left to the body is followed by an overhand right from the Texan, who is finding success and his range with these short bursts. Vergara whips up a head kick, and Salvador blocks it and ambles towards him. Vergara slides out of the way from a sweeping left, and he avoids another such telegraphed blow. Vergara swats away a front kick and catches Salvador with a right hand on the temple, and he goes body-head-body as Salvador stands right in front of him and tanks it all. Salvador reaches at the tail end of a left hand, but Vergara is more active and more accurate as he lands three strikes in a quick flurry. They trade jabs, and Salvador rushes in with a knee to the body. Vergara slides to the back and snaps the head back with a left hand, and Salvador recovers and flicks out multiple jabs. The Brazilian looses a left to the body, and Vergara tags him up top. Vergara lands two jabs and a right hook, and we have gone the distance for the first time tonight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vergara (29-28 Vergara)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Vergara (29-28 Vergara)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Vergara (29-28 Vergara)

The Official Result

C.J. Vergara def. Vinicius Salvador via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gabriel Bonfim (170) vs. Trevin Giles (170)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Bonfim (-320), Giles (+265)

Round 1

Concluding the prelims is a 170-pound scrap between two promising fighters age 30 or younger. With welterweight so logjammed, a win tonight for the undefeated Bonfim (14-0, 1-0 UFC) or resilient Giles (16-4, 7-4 UFC) may help raise them to greater heights in the weight class. Before said action, the two men touch ‘em up, and referee Herb Dean is ready to take charge of what comes next. Bonfim walks forward fearlessly, and he blocks a head kick that flies at him immediately. Bonfim comes forward, and he starts throwing hands. Giles gets tagged, throws back with bad intentions, and makes Bonfim reevaluate his current position. Bonfim backs off, measures his way back in and clips Giles with a left hand. Giles, perhaps from the strike or because he is off-balance, gathers himself and moves to the outside. Giles comes at him, and Bonfim grapples him, gets around to take his back, and lifts Giles off his feet and slams him down. Bonfim lands and considers a submission from on top, but he decides to maintain position while Giles is bucking. Giles manages to kick Bonfim off of him, and he leans forward while on his knees. “Marretinha” welcomes this and licks his chops, as he snatches up and jumps guard with a guillotine choke. The submission is tight as a drum, and Giles sits up but is gurgling and the lights are flickering in his eyes. Giles surrenders, and he appears to go out right as Bonfim is releasing the grip due to Dean’s intervention. Giles comes to, and Bonfim celebrates the victory that boosts him to 15-0 as a pro with 15 stoppages. Welterweight has one more threatening contender in the works, and Bonfim confidently claims in his post-fight interview that he will be the champion.

The Official Result

Gabriel Bonfim def. Trevin Giles R1 1:13 via Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Michael Chiesa (170) vs. Kevin Holland (169.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Holland (-145), Chiesa (+125)

Round 1

It has been over 22 months since “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 victor Chiesa (16-6, 11-6 UFC) has graced the cage, due to injuries. In the same span of time, his foe Holland (24-9, 1 NC; 11-6, 1 NC UFC) has fought five times. Both 170ers celebrate 11 UFC wins, but Chiesa joined the UFC in 2012 while Holland picked up his first victory with the promotion in late 2018. This quintessential striker vs. grappler affair will be overseen by referee Marc Goddard, and it opens up as the athletes touch gloves. Holland takes to the center of the cage immediately, and he keeps a low stance perhaps to stave off an early takedown effort. Holland works his way towards his opponent, using his long arm to reach out. He catches Chiesa early with multiple right hands and uppercuts, and Chiesa bounces off the cage wall and defends himself. Holland presses forward, and they clash together chest to chest. Holland hurls Chiesa to the mat on his back with emphasis, and he climbs on top before realizing he would be better suited on the feet. Chiesa tags him with a pair of uppercuts on the way up, and Holland walks him down, unconcerned by the power coming back at him. Holland smiles as Chiesa tries to close the distance, and he fights off a single-leg entry from “Maverick.” Holland defends it and puts his leg down on the floor, and he turns Chiesa around on the fence and starts talking to him. Holland miraculously defends from a body lock takedown, backs off and drills Chiesa with a jump knee. Holland pushes Chiesa back and belts him with a knee and a right hand. Chiesa leans over, and he eats a solid knee right on the chin. Chiesa drops to his knees, and he shoots for a double. Holland sees this coming from a mile away, and he instantly slides one arm beneath the armpit and another around the neck to secure a brabo choke. Holland uses the maneuver to turn Chiesa to his back, and the choke is still locked in tight. Chiesa tries to buck and shift his weight to get out of the submission, but “Trailblazer” is pressed tightly to him and not about to let go. With nowhere left to go, Chiesa taps out, and has now been submitted by these types of chokes three times in his UFC tenure. Holland leaps out of the cage and high-fives anyone that is willing to engage him, including the entire commentary booth as well as Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell. Holland declares that he plans on relocating back to the middleweight division, but he looked sensational at 170 pounds against a very tough opponent.

The Official Result

Kevin Holland def. Michael Chiesa R1 2:39 via Submission (Brabo Choke)

Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Bobby Green (155.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Green (-410), Ferguson (+310)

Round 1

Storied veterans with over 30 pro fights apiece under their belt come to blows as the main card pushes on, and only one of them will get back to their winning ways when the dust settles. Once the holder of one of the mightiest win streaks in company history, Ferguson (25-8, 15-6 UFC) has fallen on hard times, dropping five straight. Not to be outdone, Green (29-14-1, 1 NC; 10-9-1, 1 NC UFC) is one defeat away from finding himself with a .500 record in the Octagon. Both getting up there in age, these lightweights want to prove that there’s still life left in their veins. Joining the two entertaining competitors for this one will be referee Dan Miragliotta, who will keep tabs on how it proceeds. With a surprising amount of intensity, the 155ers have no interest in bumping their fists together. Fergoson dances forward, and he slides back when Green charges at him with a few punches. Green aims a right hand as Ferguson is weaving, and Ferguson is able to parry a subsequent jumping front kick. Ferguson just dodges a punch and misses on the counter, with the footwork of Green also on par. Ferguson shoots in for a sudden single, and he bullies Green to the wall and jumps on the back to get one hook in. Green is able to turn out and kick his foe in the body, and he resets. Ferguson digs a left to the body as he eats a left up top, and the two trade strikes at the same time as chants for either fighter rain down. Ferguson steps in with a knee and a punch at the same time, and Green is able to smoothly dodge it. Ferguson sticks Green with a short left hand, and Green stumbles back but is not overly compromised. Ferguson whiffs on a big left hook, and he catches Green with a right hand over the top. Green lands two punches on the nose to open up Ferguson’s nose, and Ferguson lines up a straight right hand that sends Green crashing to the floor. “King” bounces back up without batting an eye, and Green pushes off and a finger jams into Ferguson’s eye socket. Ferguson clutches at it, as Miragliotta calls time to allow Ferguson to recover. Miragliotta brings in the doctor to check it out and make sure Ferguson’s vision is clear, and also to allow Ferguson to wipe it out. Ferguson’s vision is not what it used to be, as he blinks significantly and still tries to clear things out. At 90 seconds into the break, Ferguson tells Miragliotta he is good to go, and the fighters bump fists. Ferguson steps in with two fake knees, and he barely blocks a head kick at the nick of time. Ferguson side-steps a Green punch at a strange angle, and the two clash together with punches and kicks. Green plants a one-two on the chin, and Ferguson shakes his head vigorously to clear out the cobwebs. Ferguson misses with a right hook and lands a shorter one, and Green counters him quickly and manages to backpedal into a position that lets him kick Ferguson in the body. Green potshots Ferguson from a distance, and Ferguson grabs hold of him and tries to get off clinch strikes. Green pushes him off and prods out front kick, only to get knocked back with a straight right hand. Green drills “El Cucuy” with a one-two, and he drops his hands and starts taunting his foe. Ferguson bites on it, and Green pops him with a few slick counters, chattering at Ferguson all the while until the round closes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Green
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Green
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Green

Round 2

The lightweights meet in the middle of the cage, and Ferguson is quick to start moving in strange angles laterally. Green looks to time an axe kick as it brushes past his head, and the two come to blows like whirling dervishes. Green lands the cleaner of the two, but Ferguson is still able to touch him. Ferguson leaps forward with a left and a right, and Green sits down on a hard right hand to back Ferguson off momentarily. Ferguson grits his teeth and moves from side to side, and he somersaults his way forward to engage with Green. This forces Ferguson to his back, and Green stacks him up and starts bashing him with hammerfists. Ferguson catches him with one upkick as he is fishing for a triangle choke, and Green lowers himself down to pace himself. As Ferguson keeps shifting and scrambling, he manages to kick Green off of him, and Green stands back but leans forward to belt Ferguson in the face with a sweeping right hand. Ferguson rolls to his back again, and Green follows him down to blast him in the face with unanswered right hands. Green shucks off a potential triangle choke or armbar setup, and he postures up in the closed guard and starts trading leather with Ferguson. Ferguson throws back from his disadvantageous position, but Green is hitting much harder and using his weight to drop down fierce elbows. Green pummels his man with several ferocious hammerfists, and they open up a huge cut on the right side of Ferguson’s face. Ferguson does not mind, and he instead hacks at Green from below with elbows, all while swaying his legs around to catch something. Green backs off and motions for Ferguson to stand up, both men are bleeding and ready to trade. Trade is exactly what they do, as Ferguson meanders forward and chains unorthodox combinations together. Green stays more composed with his boxing, and he marks up Ferguson and staggers him with a straight right hand down the pipe. The jab from Green intercepts “El Cucuy” several times, and he puts two kicks to the body as well. Green pierces the guard with several jabs, and Ferguson knocks him back with a clean right hand. Green gets him right back before the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Green
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Green
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Green

Round 3

Ferguson practically sprints out of his corner and does a whole rotation around Green, while Green just sits back and measures his man with a right hand. Ferguson gets off a body kick, and Green catches the kick and slings Ferguson to the floor. Ferguson eats a body kick and sinks his shin on Green’s calf. Green prepares several counters, and Ferguson is just able to avoid them. Green goes left to the body and right to the head, and Ferguson shakes his head as if to signal it did not land. Green responds with a “yeah” and smiles. Green opens up with body shots and subsequent head shots, and Ferguson’s erratic movement is no longer befuddling him. Green scores an inside leg kick and a jab, and he stands Ferguson up when Ferguson bears down on him. Green chains three punches together, and Ferguson resets and shoulder-rolls an overhand right. Ferguson smacks Green in the face with a right hand, but it is one-and-done. When he tries to add to it, Green is there to strike back. This results in both men trading, and Green’s power is able to stifle Ferguson just enough to stop Ferguson from getting him back. Ferguson walks through several punches and practically ignores the jabs, but the one-twos from Green are able to reach him. Ferguson settles down to throw several low kicks, and he mixes it up with one to the midsection and ducks a punch. Ferguson kicks high, and at the same time, Green comes over the top with a left hand that sends Ferguson toppling to the mat. Green lets him stand back up and deposits a one-two on the jaw. Ferguson marches forward, despite the damage, and he stings Green with a one-two of his own. Green tries to motion that it did not bother him, and Ferguson is a Terminator as he comes out firing and landing. Green closes in on him, and Ferguson rolls to set up a kneebar or leglock. Green stops it in its tracks and shoves Ferguson to his back, where he proceeds to smash Ferguson in the face with a hammerfist. Green lowers himself down, and he sets up an arm-triangle choke from out of nowhere. Ferguson has Green stuck in half guard on top of him, so he is not overly concerned with the submission. When Green steps over to the side, he presses his full body weight down to crush with his shoulder and complete the submission. Ferguson flails with his arms, and even kicks with his legs, possibly hoping on bucking his way out of the choke. There is no way out, and Ferguson’s wiggling turns to spasms as he goes out on his shield. This is a statement victory for Green, pulling off the submission in the waning seconds of the fight over a grizzled vet that had only been submitted twice before. In victory, Green is humble, and he thanks former mentor and even more-experienced veteran Utah’s own Jeremy Horn for all he did to help Green become the fighter he is today.

The Official Result

Bobby Green def. Tony Ferguson R3 4:54 via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

Derrick Lewis (263.5) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (262)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Rogerio de Lima (-215), Lewis (+185)

Round 1

One day ago, this heavyweight slobberknocker that will almost certainly end in either a violent knockout or some serious huffing and puffing – possibly both – is now sitting pretty as the “Featured Fight of the Night” due to the cancelation of the Stephen Thompson-Michel Pereira contest. Hunting for his first win since 2021, Lewis (26-11, 1 NC; 17-9 UFC) still holds the UFC’s all-time knockout record, although Matt Brown tied it with him. He draws fellow knockout artist Rogerio de Lima (21-8-1, 10-6 UFC), and the structural integrity of the cage will be tested when these big men get after it. They lumber towards one another, not offering a glove touch, and referee Dan Miragliotta is ready to step in at a moment’s notice. Lewis shockingly leaps in the air, blasting Rogerio de Lima in the chops with a flying knee. Rogerio de Lima collapses to the ground, and Lewis jumps on top and starts hammering him with vicious ground-and-pound. Rogerio de Lima considers hunting for leglock while trying to survive, but he is in a bad, bad way. Lewis continues slugging him on the face and side of the head, and Rogerio de Lima bails on any possible sub setup and just looks to keep it together. Rogerio de Lima turns to his knees, and the writing may be on the wall here. “The Black Beast” continues swarming Rogerio de Lima with everything he has, and Miragliotta has no choice but to call the fight. Lewis unmounts his defeated opponent, takes his shorts off and starts gleefully running around the cage. He proceeds, in just his underpants, to triumphantly motion the crotch chop several times. Lewis jumps on the cage, happy as can be, celebrating in vintage Derrick Lewis fashion. The UFC’s knockout record now singularly sits in the lap of Lewis, who tells commentator Joe Rogan that his contract is now up and that he hopes to be re-signed by the promotion. If not, as he says, “it is what it is.” The rest of the top-notch post-fight remarks cannot be done justice by a simple play-by-play writeup, and must be heard.

The Official Result

Derrick Lewis def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima R1 0:33 via TKO (Punches)

Jan Blachowicz (205) vs. Alex Pereira (205.5)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Blachowicz (-125), Pereira (+105)

Round 1

The year is 2023, and for the second time in the last several months, there is no light heavyweight champion in the UFC. Once the glamour division, a litany of injuries and vacated belts left the throne unclaimed. This 205-pound clash will not be for the vacant strap, as some had expected, and instead will take place across three rounds. The victor will be sitting pretty for that next available opening, and former kingpin Blachowicz (29-9-1, 12-6-1 UFC) and ex-middleweight champ Pereira (7-2, 4-1 UFC) are positively salivating at the opportunity that awaits the triumphant man tonight. Referee Marc Goddard is on high alert for the next 15 minutes or less, although it has no bad blood so he can breathe a slight sigh of relief. The hulking light heavyweights bump fists, and they swat at one another with quick punches. Blachowicz ducks down in pursuit of a single, and he lifts Pereira’s leg up but cannot hold him down. Pereira keeps his back to the wall and wraps an arm around the neck, and he cinches his other arm around and fastens the grip to make it excruciatingly tight early. The Polish fighter is not remotely concerned, and he re-adjusts himself to drop down low enough to thwart the choke. Blachowicz leans heavily on his man while he doggedly pursues a single, and he uses heel strikes to the back of Blachowicz’ thigh and calf. Blachowicz imposes his weight on his man, and he manages to drag Pereira to the mat. Blachowicz snakes his legs around the waist to get hold of the body triangle, and he is quick to set up a rear-naked choke. The grip is on the chin and not beneath it, so Blachowicz changes his hands to try to slide it in. Pereira hand-fights to stop the choke, but Blachowicz is still on his back with his body lock tight. Blachowicz tries to keep himself leaned against the fence to stop Pereira from sliding him out the back door, and he lands one single strike before looking to put his right arm around the head. The Brazilian keeps himself out of submission danger, and he lowers himself down to puts himself in a worse position than before. Blachowicz gets the choke again, and he nearly flattens Pereira out. Pereira once more protects his neck, so Blachowicz decides to smack him upside the head with any free hand. Blachowicz keeps the lock tight around the waist, even as he cannot get the choke, and he elects to ride out the round in this dominant position.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz

Round 2

The 205ers do not decide to touch gloves to engage this round, and Blachowicz is in the center of the cage immediately and he backs off to dodge a jab and check a leg kick. Blachowicz jabs the body in response, and Pereira sits down on a low kick. Blachowicz responds in kind, and Pereira gets off a solid body shot. Blachowicz intercepts the kickboxer with a short left hook, and Blachowicz flicks out several jabs. Blachowicz turns his shin to prevent a low kick from getting through, and Pereira marks the body with another straight punch. Blachowicz responds with his own body shot, and they both jab one another. Pereira sweeps the leg with a hard calf kick, and Blachowicz has to take a step to shake it out. Pereira lands another, and Blachowicz steps in with a hard left hook. Blachowicz follows it with a right hand, and Pereira is able to shake it out but overswings and opens himself up. This allows the Polish fighter to secure a double, where he plants Pereira on his back. Blachowicz stays heavy on top and opens up with a few strikes, and “Poatan” responds with a sharp elbow that gets through. Pereira tries to scoot himself to the fence in order to fight his way back to his feet, and he succeeds in getting to a knee and then standing. Pereira sneaks in short knees as Blachowicz continues to press on him, and Blachowicz gives him a stern knee to the solar plexus as he holds on. Pereira suddenly spins out quickly, and he appears the fresher fighter as he tosses out a head kick that Blachowicz barely blocks. Pereira comes at him with a body shot, and Blachowicz responds with a left over the top. Pereira stings Blachowicz with a left hook, and Blachowicz charges with a takedown that fails. Blachowicz backs off when he gets popped with a right, and the two tie up again with 40 seconds remaining. They both get in knees, and Pereira breaks off with two uppercuts and a body shot. Pereira corners his man and starts teeing off on him with short but dangerous shots, and Blachowicz leans back against the fence and is taking damage. Blachowicz responds with one left hook, and he takes a very heavy breath. Pereira lands two right hands, and Blachowicz drops down to shoot in but time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pereira

Round 3

The body language could scarcely look more different between the two, as Blachowicz is clearly spent while Pereira is psyched up. Both fighters come together to engage in the last round, and Blachowicz lumbers forward kicking low. Blachowicz is just able to avoid a massive uppercut, and the two trade jabs. Pereira batters his foe’s lead calf, which is nastily welted. Blachowicz musters his energy with a pair of punches and a body kick, and Pereira replies with a stern calf kick to the same spot. Pereira jabs the body, and he peppers the lead wheel. Blachowicz blitzes him with a few hooks, and Pereira shrugs at him. Pereira walks down his foe instead of attacking recklessly, and he takes a solid low kick as he come forward. Pereira gives him a jab to think about, and he parries a few punches that come his way. Blachowicz tries to check a kick, and he absorbs a flush right hand to the midsection. Blachowicz huffs and puffs and still reaches his foe with a left over the top, and Pereira beats him to the punch with a few punches right back at him. Blachowicz scores a clean left hand, and he shoots in for a takedown. Pereira stands him up but gets shoved back to the wall, although he is able to stave Blachowicz off. Blachowicz scores a left on the break, and he dings Pereira with another left hand. Blachowicz snaps the head back with a jab, and he charges forward but misses with two strikes. Blachowicz sits down on a leg kick, and the shins crack together. Both men land flush with blows, and Pereira hits the harder of the two and makes Blachowicz nod at him. Blachowicz walks through a left hook and eats a jab to the body, and he races forward swinging hands. Pereira stuffs a takedown, and the Brazilian makes him pay with a few punches. With 45 seconds left in the fight, Blachowicz is able to grab Pereira’s leg and sling him to the mat. When he lands in full guard, Blachowicz sits on top and looks for any energy he has to land strikes. Stacking Pereira up with seconds to spare, Blachowicz drops down hammerfists and concludes the fight on top. This one goes the distance, and it could be an extremely close one depending on how the final round was scored.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Blachowicz (29-28 Blachowicz)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pereira (29-28 Pereira)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pereira (29-28 Pereira)

The Official Result

Alex Pereira def. Jan Blachowicz via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Dustin Poirier (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (156)

BETTING PREVIEW | SCOUTING REPORT | ODDS: Poirier (-150), Gaethje (+130)

Round 1

Back in 2018, future interim lightweight beltholders Poirier (29-7, 1 NC; 21-6, 1 NC UFC) and Gaethje (24-4, 7-4 UFC) collided in an all-action showdown atop UFC on Fox 29. After 15 heart-pounding minutes of action, Poirier turned the tables early into the fourth frame to put Gaethje away. A bit over five years later, with even more at stake than their first meeting, it is time to run it back. There is nothing more that needs to be said, other than that referee Herb Dean receives the honor of officiating this rematch, and that the elite 155-pounders bump fists. It’s on. Both men measure one another with range-finding jabs, and Poirier lands first with a leg kick. Poirier gets off a body kick, and Gaethje counters with a ferocious leg kick that makes Poirier made at himself for letting that happen. Gaethje lands another, and Poirier comes at him crowding him. Gaethje springs off the cage wall, exploding into a combination of punches, and Poirier shells up and acknowledges him. Gaethje gets in a few more punches, and Poirier blocks them and swings at him with a body kick. Gaethje slams another low kick home, and he takes a clean jab that makes him take a funny step. They enter the proverbial phone booth and trade leather, and Gaethje takes a few shots on the way out but does get off another calf kick. Gaethje prods out with a front kick, and Poirier gives him one back. Gaethje continues his assault of Poirier’s lead wheel, and he reaches out with two punches and has a head kick slam off the raised guard. Poirier continues pressing forward, and he digs the body with a right but gets countered over the top. Gaethje is sharp and accurate, and Poirier is unable to do anything about the low kicks. Poirier jams a knee to the body, and Gaethje again ricochets off the fencing to spring into a barrage. The lightweights both trade punches at the same time, and Poirier stings his foe with a straight left hand. Poirier marches forward and hurts Gaethje with another straight punch, and Gaethje bites down on his mouthpiece and slugs it out. A cut has opened on the corner of Gaethje’s left eye from one of their ferocious exchanges, and Poirier strides forward and smashes Gaethje in the chin with an overhand right. Gaethje makes additional investments with his leg kicks, and he pops Poirier with a left hook. Poirier jabs his way forward, ever pressing the action, and he just misses a head kick by a matter of inches as Gaethje ducks down. Gaethje hammers the calf with a kick, and Poirier changes stances and rushes after him but does not pull the trigger. Gaethje goes up with a kick that careens off the guard, and his leg kick continues to find its home. Poirier tags him, Gaethje slugs him back, and the thrilling round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Gaethje
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Gaethje
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Gaethje

Round 2

The lightweights meet in the middle, more than happy to continue slinging bombs at one another. Poirier makes Gaethje retreat with a short combo, and Gaethje dips down and looks for an overhand right over the guard. Gaethje goes to the body and then to the head, and Poirier keeps a tight guard and walks Gaethje down. Gaethje slips a punch, sticks his hand out, dips down low and launches a picture-perfect head kick. The shin wraps around the guard to collide cleanly on the dome, and Poirier collapses to the canvas, his arms splayed out as he is out cold. Gaethje thinks about raining down one punctuating hammerfist, and Dean slide-tackles him out of the way to wave the fight off all while Poirier sits up to try to take him down, clearly running on autopilot. Gaethje leaps to the top of the cage to celebrate his handiwork, and he back flips off of it despite the cries of the commissioners telling him not to hurt himself. Poirier regains his faculties quickly and handles this knockout with the utmost of class, congratulating his victorious opponent for the spectacular win. Gaethje has almost certainly recorded the biggest win of his career, and he sets himself up brilliantly a lightweight title fight in the near future. Champion Islam Makhachev and ex-champ Charles Oliveira will run things back in October, and Gaethje makes no bones about wanting the winner. Additionally, Gaethje and Poirier are now tied at 1-1 with one another, so a rubber match somewhere down the line is practically essential before they wrap up their careers. When Gaethje challenges for the undisputed 155-pound strap, we will absolutely be here for it. We hope you are too.

The Official Result

Justin Gaethje def. Dustin Poirier R2 1:00 via KO (Head Kick)
More

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Latest News

POLL

Have you been impressed with Rose Namajunas' recent performances?

FIGHT FINDER


FIGHTER OF THE WEEK

Christian Lee

TOP TRENDING FIGHTERS


+ FIND MORE