The sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to one of the biggest events in UFC history on Saturday night. Two title fights. Two title changes. And one of the most incredible in-cage moments in the 22-year history of the UFC.
Jose Aldo (25-1) and Conor McGregor (19-2) was meant to be a fight for the ages. It had been built with a world press tour that saw both men’s contrasting personalities clash over, and over, and over again. It had been ripped away from us at UFC 189 when Aldo was forced out of the bout with a rib injury. Had Chad Mendes played spoiler when he stepped in to face McGregor at that pay-per-view, we might have been robbed of the fight completely. Yet finally it was here, and it was going to be a war.
And it was. A short, decisive, definitive one that left everyone watching it breathless. The opening bell rang as the crowd got to their feet. Only 13 seconds later Jose Aldo was laying on his back with his arms by his side and referee John McCarthy was stopping the fight. The two men had met head on in the centre of the octagon, with Aldo happy to stand in the pocket and fire off a straight-right, left-hook combination. McGregor fired a counter left-hook that landed perfectly and sent Aldo crashing face first to the mat. A couple of hammerfists followed but they were academic. Aldo was out before he hit the mat. The interim and world featherweight titles were unified, and Conor McGregor had fulfilled his prophecy of dethroning the only champion the UFC’s 145-pound division had ever known.
In the co-main event the two best 185-pound fighters on the planet collided. The impact gave us a new middleweight champion of the world and his name is Luke Rockhold (15-2). Defending champion Chris Weidman (13-1) came out strong in the opening round, taking the challenger’s back early and competing hard throughout. It was the only round he would win. Rockhold found a regular home for his thunderous body kicks as the fight progressed, and he was more than holding his own in the scrambles and grappling exchanges. After Weidman threw a spinning kick in the third round that left his back exposed, Rockhold rode him to the mat, moved to mount, and unloaded with elbows and punches. By the time the round was done many were questioning why referee Herb Dean had not stopped the fight, and Weidman was staggering back against the cage to hold himself up. There was no coming back from that. Little more than three minutes into the following round, Rockhold once again found himself on top of Weidman, and this time the referee intervened. Luke Rockhold ladies and gentlemen, your new UFC middleweight champion of the world.
Before Yoel Romero (11-1) and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-4) stepped into the octagon in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the general consensus was that both men were ready to challenge for the middleweight title. Between them, they carried a perfect 11-0 UFC record into the cage, and it was clear that the winner would be next in line for a shot at 185-pound gold. Romero was at his explosive best in the first round, hurting Jacare with a spinning back fist and battering him with hard punches on the ground. Jacare survived and eventually came on strong in the third round, but it was not enough to sway two of the three judges. With the split decision win, Romero’s UFC record improved to 7-0 and he now holds wins over three of the current UFC top ten.
When the welterweight clash between Gunnar Nelson (14-2) and Demian Maia (22-6) was announced, grappling fans everywhere rejoiced. Their expectations were met, as the majority of the action took place on the mat. It was Maia who put on a masterclass, controlling Nelson over fifteen minutes. Dominant position followed dominant position, as Maia landed unanswered punches and elbows to leave no doubt that the judges would rule in his favor. All three did emphatically, as the Brazilian made it 3-0 for 2015 and extended his winning streak to four inside the octagon.
Earlier in the night it was the featherweights who opened up the main card as Max Holloway (15-3) and Jeremy Stephens (24-12) met in a fight that gathered pace as it progressed. Holloway was the slicker of the two fighters, outmaneuvering his opponent through all three rounds, getting the nod on each of the judges scorecards. This was Holloway’s eighth straight win and furthered his claim for a title shot.
December 12, 2015 | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, Nevada
MAIN CARD – Pay-Per-View, 10 p.m. ET
Conor McGregor def. Jose Aldo via KO (Punch) R1 0:13
Luke Rockhold def. Chris Weidman via TKO (punches) Round 4, 3:12
Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo Souza via split decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Max Holloway def. Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD – Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET
Urijah Faber def. Frankie Saenz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Tecia Torres def. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Warlley Alves def. Colby Covington via submission (guillotine choke) Round 1, 1:26
Leonardo Santos def. Kevin Lee via TKO (punches) Round 1, 3:26
EARLY PRELIMS – UFC Fight Pass, 6.30 p.m. ET
Magomed Mustafaev def. Joe Proctor via TKO (knees and punches) Round 1, 1:54
Yancy Medeiros def. John Makdessi via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Court McGee def. Marcio Alexandre Jr. via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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