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Round 1

In the first fight of the night, we are treated to a historic
battle between Argentina’s Cannetti (8-4, 2-3 UFC) and Mongolia’s
Batgerel (7-2, 0-1 UFC) at bantamweight. Referee Chris Tognoni is
in charge of the action to kick things off. These two are so amped
up that Tognoni has to make them go back to their corners, but when
the fight begins they come together and touch gloves. Cannetti
kicks low and falls over, but Batgerel is unable to take advantage
of his stumble. The Argentinian commits to a heavy body kick, and
Batgerel is trying to set up a counter. Batgerel loads up on a
right hand to time the kick coming at him from Cannetti, but he
still eats a low kick before scoring a big right. Cannetti again
goes for a high kick and nearly falls, so this time the Mongolian
fighter comes at him with punches. Cannetti gets up without much
issue, but is already marked up around his nose. Each kick Cannetti
is trying to chamber or throw, Batgerel is ready with a right hand,
and stings him with one. Not to be outdone, Cannetti replies with a
right of his own, and Batgerel wears it well. Batgerel steps
forward with a front kick and dances out of the way when one comes
back at him. Cannetti slams a heavy low kick on Batgerel’s legs,
and the Mongolian fighter falls over. He springs back up and comes
at Cannetti, but absorbs a nasty body kick while trying to uncork
bombs.

Batgerel launches a huge left hook, and catches Cannetti right on
the jaw. The Argentinian crumples to the canvas, and regains his
faculties when he hits the ground just enough to turtle up.
A
few more punches from Batgerel are barely academic, as Tognoni
dives in to stop the action. This is an impressive win for
Batgerel, who becomes the first fighter to knock out the durable
“Ninja,” and in the process earns the first victory of his UFC
career.

The Official Result

Danaa Batgerel def. Guido Cannetti R1 3:01 via KO (Punches)

Round 1

Up next, Emmers (17-4, 0-0 UFC) looks to make his triumphant debut
against vaunted kickboxer Chikadze (8-2, 1-0 UFC). Serving as our
referee for this featherweight tilt is Mark Smith. They do not
greet with a glove touch, and instead Chikadze introduces himself
with a spinning back kick that falls well short of the mark. Emmers
blocks a head kick but absorbs a heavy leg kick, and Chikadze’s
movement and footwork has flustered Emmers so far. Chikadze wings a
right hand and hurts him, but Emmers recovers and takes a few kicks
while circling away. Chikadze chases after him, but does not burn
himself out trying to force a stoppage. The Georgian fires a left
body kick to the liver — he calls it his “Giga Kick” — and Emmers
returns fire with a low kick. Chikadze misses with a few more
kicks, while Emmers tries to find his range. “Prettyboy” takes
another body kick, and cannot effectively counter as Chikadze leaps
forward to throw a right body kick. Chikadze taunts him by
outstretching his arms, and Emmers is dancing around on the outside
to try to find an angle. The two continue to feint and fake, while
Chikadze sneaks in another body kick to the same target as before.
They clash together and Emmers barely ducks a right hand, and after
they separate, he catches Chikadze on the end of a right hook that
does not have a great effect. Chikadze hops around and throws a
tornado kick, but Emmers is out of the way in time. Chikadze snaps
a left hand in, and follows it with a body kick but Emmers blocks
it. The American throws back with a right hand, and falls short
while taking a leg kick. The two go wild at the very last second of
the round, as they both throw spinning strikes with Chikadze
kicking and Emmers using a back fist, and we hear the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Chikadze charges out of his corner, but only does so to take
position and not to attack. Emmers is the first to try to strike,
leaping in the air with a knee, but Chikadze parries it easily.
Emmers rushes in, and is much more aggressive with his offense as
he cracks him with a right hand. Emmers follows that punch with a
knee to the torso that stuns Chikadze for a moment, but the
kickboxer regathers himself as he fires a front kick up the middle.
Emmers counters with a stinging right hand, but it is one-and-done
as Chikadze starts to chain kicks together. During a flurry of
kicks, Emmers lifts his man off the ground and slams him down with
ease. In half guard, Emmers nearly takes mount before Chikadze
pulls him back. Instead of defending the advance, he sweeps Emmers
and lands on top. Emmers kicks off and springs to his feet, and in
the process takes an eye poke to the right eye. The action pauses,
and we can see a small cut on the top of Emmers’ eye. The fight
resumes, and Emmers charges forward but takes a nasty body kick. On
the end of a combination, Chikadze tags Emmers and makes the
American trip and nearly fall across the cage, hurt fairly badly.
While still partially in a daze, Emmers closes the distance and
clinches up, where he defends against strikes while landing a few
knees on the inside. The two jockey for position against the fence,
and Chikadze breaks free as his best work has come at range. Emmers
lands two punches and then a body kick, and he avoids the counter
that flies right back at him. Emmers races forward to try to take
the fight down, and Chikadze defends it but he has visibly slowed.
Emmers scores a solid one-two, and blocks a hard head kick before
throwing one of his own. One last blocked head kick from Emmers
sees the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The Chikadze corner saves their fighter some time by taking the
mouthpiece with them, and after a momentary delay, we are right
back to it in the final round. The two immediately start trading,
standing in front of each other and swinging while mixing them up
with kicks. Emmers tries for a clinch to drag the fight down, but
Chikadze shoves him away. Emmers pops him with a jab, and then
another before trying to follow it with a right hand. Chikadze is
starting to get marked up, and Emmers can see the looping punches
coming as he avoids the big shots. Emmers sneaks in a short right
hand, and takes a big left for his effort but he grins. The two
load up and swing, allowing Chikadze to land a few stiff left
hooks, but the American eats them like breakfast. Emmers sticks the
jab out a few more times, while stomping the canvas to get Chikadze
to commit to a counter. Emmers keeps Chikadze on the end of his
long punches, while avoiding counters and the occasional head kick.
“Prettyboy” is not putting a lot into his punches, instead
preferring to just land rather than hurt his opponent, while
Chikadze is loading up and fatiguing quickly. Another reaching
takedown attempt from Emmers is stuffed, but Emmers is working him
with punches from the outside. Chikadze lands a few, but for every
one he lands, Emmers scores three or four. When Chikadze tries to
swing for the bleachers, Emmers hits a perfect takedown to land in
full guard. With 10 seconds remaining, Chikadze throws his legs up
for a triangle, but Emmers practically ignores it as he drops down
some nasty ground-and-pound in an attempt to seal the fight for
him. The horn sounds, and this will be a real close fight.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Giga Chikadze def. Jamall Emmers via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28,
29-28)

Round 1

Opening up the ESPN prelims — they are also on ESPN+ and were
slightly delayed due to the UNC-Duke basketball game — is a
middleweight affair as Roufusport product Meerschaert (30-12, 5-4
UFC) tries to hand Winn (6-1, 1-1 UFC) his second straight defeat
after Winn started his career at 6-0. There is no nonsense to be
found in the cage, as referee Keith Peterson will make sure of
that. Winn tries to jab his way in and eats a body kick and then a
left hand. Meerschaert throws a leg kick, but it lands loudly on
the peninsula south of the Equator and we have an early pause in
the action. After a break of around a minute, Winn is good to go,
and starts the fight back up and eats a few punches on the way
forward. Meerschaert goes low with a kick, and takes a huge left
hand on the chin. “GM3” takes it like a champ and closes the
distance, where Winn scoops him up and puts him down. Instead of
diving in after him, Winn backs off to let him stand. When
Meerschaert gets to his feet, Winn starts winging heavy punches,
backing Meerschaert up against the fence. Meerschaert survives the
assault and fires a solid body kick, before taking a leg kick from
the shorter fighter. Meerschaert connects with a left right down
the pipe, and tries to follow it with a looping right hand but Winn
darts out of the way. Winn blows the hair back of his opponent with
a surprising head kick, and then dings him to the midsection with a
body kick. Winn is loading up on his punches, and connects on a few
more including a fierce left hook. When Winn tries to crowd him,
Meerschaert sneaks a knee up the middle that stops Winn from
advancing for a moment. Winn regathers himself and stings
Meerschaert with a few hefty punches, but “GM3” takes them without
much concern. Meerschaert connects with a stiff one-two, and Winn
stands straight up and counters with a left as if he had not been
punched at all. Winn lands a right hand, and then catches
Meerschaert with a left hand that has Meerschaert blinking and
wiping his eye. There is some damage beneath that right eye of
Meerschaert, but he is undeterred as he ends the round with a
looping right hand.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Meerschaert starts off with a jab, and then chains together a
one-two before landing one more. Winn tries to kick low, but his
best punch in the exchange is a stiff left. Meerschaert aims to the
body with another kick, and steps back as if to avoid a
counterpunch, but there is none to come. Meerschaert throws two
hooks, and Winn digs to the body before throwing a right to the
head. To try to keep Winn at bay, Meerschaert sticks out his jab,
and Winn closes the distance with a looping left hook that barely
misses. Winn is content to land the counter left and an occasional
power jab, but digs to the body with a punch. Meerschaert is not
outshined by that strike, as he lands a thudding body kick.
Meerschaert has started to get his range, as he lands a series of
left hands and right jabs. Winn goes after the lead leg with a
kick, but Meerschaert sticks him with his lefts. Winn tries to take
the fight down, but Meerschaert gets to his knee and then stands up
as Winn fires a high kick at him. Meerschaert triples up the jab
and follows it with a left hand, and Winn shrugs it off as he also
absorbs a heavy body kick. Winn fires a successful low kick, but
his two leaping hooks are well off the mark as Meerschaert is
halfway across the cage by the time Winn gets to him. They land
heavy jabs, and Meerschaert targets the body as if he were Stipe
Miocic repeatedly aiming for Daniel Cormier’s midsection. He lands
another, and Winn winces. The body is hurt for Winn, so Meerschaert
targets it with a kick and then another two punches. Winn loads up
on a huge right hand and lands it, but Meerschaert is undaunted as
he kicks the body and then tries to bring up a knee. The round ends
with one more thumping punch to the torso by Meerschaert.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Meerschaert commences the last round with a jab, and Winn reaches
with a body kick that barely lands with his toes. Meerschaert puts
together a left hand, followed by one to the body. He targets the
body once more, and the strike has seemed to land at will for him.
Winn loads up with a massive right hand, and Meerschaert’s knees
buckle for a moment as we see a cut on the left eye of Meerschaert.
“GM3” circles out of danger and gets his left back from beneath
him, but Winn is swinging for the fences with another massive right
hand — it is short. Meerschaert sticks him with a jab, and a
subsequent left hook hurts Winn. The punches continue to mount for
Meerschaert, and Winn stumbles across the cage. As Meerschaert
pours it on, Winn falls over, so Meerschaert hunts for a guillotine
choke. While Winn defends the choke, Meerschaert sees an opening
and circles around to take Winn’s back.

In no time at all, Meerschaert seeks out a rear-naked choke. Winn
defends it by trying to yank the arm away, but the choke that
almost appears to be a neck crank is too tight. Winn can resist no
further and taps, and thereby suffers the first stoppage loss of
his career.
This is a huge win for “GM3,” and he praises his
opponent in his post-fight interview for “bringing out the best in
me.”

The Official Result

Gerald Meerschaert def. Deron Winn R3 2:13 via Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)

Round 1

The first of several undefeated fighters competing tonight is up
next, with the submission-minded Vieira (6-0, 1-0 UFC) putting his
unblemished record on the line against Dagestani brawler Safarov
(9-2, 1-2 UFC) at middleweight. The third man inside the Octagon is
referee Jason Herzog. They touch gloves, and after 15 seconds,
Safarov finally throws the first strike in the form of a jab. He
misses, and similarly comes up short with a front kick while Vieira
tries to figure out his timing. Safarov goes to the leg with a
kick, and sneaks up a front kick that hurts Vieira. The Brazilian
immediately shoots in for a takedown, but Safarov powerfully turns
him about and stands up. Vieira closes back in and throws him down,
and we see some blood on the nose of Vieira as he takes Safarov’s
back. As Safarov tries to fight off the choke attempt and prevent
punches, he grabs the glove multiple times, causing Herzog to pause
the action for a moment. Safarov then puts his fingers in the fence
and Herzog slaps his hand away, before again pulling on the gloves
to get out of a choke. As the old adage goes, “if you ain’t
cheating, you ain’t trying.” Vieira flattens out his opponent for a
moment and slams down a few punches, before taking mount as Safarov
rolls to his back.

Vieira sets up a speedy arm-triangle, and hops over to side control
to finalize it like a snake devouring its prey. With absolutely no
way out, Safarov taps out once and it is unnoticed. He then taps
several more times, and Herzog stops the fight.
When “The Black
Belt Hunter” stands back up after the fight is called, we see a
massive cut over his left eye, and his eye is completely closed
while the swelling grows rapidly. Had he not gotten the submission,
he could have been in the danger zone, but instead the Brazilian
records his seventh win. They have all come by stoppage.

The Official Result

Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov R1 2:58 via Submission
(Arm-Triangle Choke)

Round 1

In the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman
wrestling Madsen (9-0, 1-0 UFC) will try to keep his unbeaten
record intact against the tactfully nicknamed “Thud” Hubbard (11-3,
1-1 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni is in charge of the cage for this
contest. There is no touch of gloves, as Hubbard goes low for a
kick that spins Madsen around. He throws another, and Madsen
absorbs it and does not turn about. Instead, Madsen throws one back
at him, and closes the distance to shoot in for a takedown. He
pushes Hubbard against the fence, and then miraculously hits a
belly-to-belly suplex on Hubbard. The American fights his way back
to his feet, but only for a moment, as “The Olympian” is on him
like glue. Holding on to Hubbard’s back, Madsen puts his full
weight on his opponent while trying to drag him down. Hubbard
manages to get to his knees and then stands up against the fence,
while Madsen is more intent on controlling than doing damage.
Madsen tries to throw his adversary, but Hubbard is wise to it as
he fights out of the hands and breaks free. Hubbard goes
immediately to a leg kick, and then another as he keeps a wide
berth. Madsen closes the distance in the blink of an eye, before
latching on and hitting a body lock takedown. The man from Denmark
quickly takes side control, but Hubbard fights his way free as
Madsen hunts for a choke. Madsen pursues a brabo choke that turns
into more of a neck crank, but Hubbard spins out and falls into the
choke again. This choke, which looks like more of a necktie at this
point, is again unsuccessful while Hubbard yanks his head free.
Hubbard slowly, cautiously pulls himself out of bad position, and
gets back up. Madsen does not let him off the hook, as he clinches
up to hunt for one last takedown. Hubbard staves it off, and the
round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Hubbard opens up the round with a quick knee that glances off the
chin of his adversary. Not wanting to stay close to Madsen for
long, Hubbard tries to circle away, but Madsen hits a takedown and
lands in half guard. Hubbard gets his man back to full guard for
now, before pushing Madsen away. Madsen jumps back down, before
circling around to take the American’s back. Madsen again stays
heavy on Hubbard, but the latter walks his way back to his feet for
barely a second before Madsen tosses him back down. Once more,
Hubbard gets back up, and this time he shoves off to get his
distance. Hubbard wings a right hand before throwing a high kick,
but Madsen evades them before charging forward to take the fight
back to the floor. In a stalemate position, Hubbard tries to roll
over but cannot go anywhere, so Madsen finally starts punching him.
“Thud” uses the moment to spring back up, but Madsen is latched on
like an Alabama tick. The two are trying to muscle their way into
and out of position, and Madsen hunts for an anaconda choke but
bails on it when there is nothing there. Hubbard gets free, and the
two are back to their feet with a round remaining. Madsen wings a
big right hand, and Hubbard throws another low kick that once more
spins his opponent around. Hubbard misses with a combination, and
the two trade punches that mostly miss the mark. The 10-second
clapper leads to a failed takedown attempt from Madsen, and the
round is over.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two kick off the round by standing in front of each other and
swinging. Hubbard jumps up for a knee, and is unloading, knowing he
is down on the scorecards. Madsen takes him down with a double, but
Hubbard returns to his feet and pushes away from a fake attempt.
Hubbard flies in the air with a knee, and cracks Madsen right on
the jaw. Madsen is hurt, but the wrestler stays smart and clinches
up. Hubbard breaks free and stings him with a right hand, and
scores a powerful knee that gives Madsen pause. The strikes are
doing some damage on Madsen, who is stunned from these shots.
Hubbard commits to an uppercut, and ducks out of the way of the
inevitable takedown attempt before landing a knee. Hubbard targets
the body with a vicious left hand, and Madsen is slowing down and
backing off. The American scores with a front kick to the body, and
Madsen replies with a low takedown attempt. Hubbard tries to fight
it off, but falls to his back as Madsen wrenches him to the canvas.
“The Olympian” takes his back, but Hubbard remains patient and
walks his way back up the cage wall while taking a thumping knee to
the thigh. Hubbard stands up, and spins free before trying to set
up some strikes. Madsen sticks him with a jab, and Hubbard leaps in
the air with another knee that catches Madsen right on the jaw.
Madsen is hurt and wobbling, so Hubbard chases him down with a knee
and a few elbows. As Hubbard chases him down, the precious seconds
tick off the clock. Hubbard sets up with one more huge elbow, but
time expires before he can land it. It very well might be too
little, too late for the American.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Mark O. Madsen def. Austin Hubbard via Unanimous Decision (29-28,
29-28, 29-28)

Round 1

To headline the prelims, Mexico’s Quinonez (8-3, 5-2 UFC) will look
to make O’Malley (10-0, 2-0 UFC) feel unwelcome in the latter’s
long-awaited return to action. “Sugar” last competed in March 2018,
having been sidelined due to multiple failed drug tests that later
saw him cleared of wrongdoing. The undefeated MMA Lab prospect will
try to jump-start his career once more while referee Dan
Miragliotta oversees the proceedings. O’Malley opens up by not
touching gloves, but instead throwing a stomp kick. He throws a
kick to the leg and makes Quinonez falls over, but the Mexican gets
back to his feet before any danger ensues. O’Malley lands a front
kick, and then evades a right hand from his opponent before aiming
to that knee with a stomp kick once more. O’Malley dodges a few
reaching punches before firing a front kick to the body, and scores
a spinning back kick right to the breadbasket. Quinonez marches him
down, but cannot land flush. It is O’Malley who connects with a big
looping punch, and immediately follows it with a thudding body
kick. O’Malley circles along the outside of the cage, and back him
off with a punch.

O’Malley cracks him a right high kick, and immediately follows with
a huge uppercut, and Quinonez crashes to the canvas. “Sugar” chases
him down with some powerful Donkey Kong-esque hammerfists, and
Miragliotta very quickly steps in to rescue the doomed fighter from
Mexico.
Welcome back to the Sugar Show, ladies and gentlemen.
Still undefeated, Sean O’Malley is back in dramatic fashion, and he
has now finished seven different opponents in the opening
round.

The Official Result

Sean O’Malley def. Jose Albert Quinonez R1 2:02 via TKO (Head Kick
and Punches)

Round 1

Opening up the main card is a battle between two welterweights in
desperate need of a win as “Cowboy” Oliveira (19-8-1, 2 NC; 9-6, 1
NC UFC) takes on Griffin (15-7, 3-5 UFC) . Drawing the assignment
is referee Mark Smith. There is no glove touch, as Griffin comes
out firing with a heavy one-two that just misses the mark. Griffin
is racing after him, and gets clipped on the way in but does not
pull back. “Pain” swings heavily, but does not connect flush, as
Oliveira dances away and spins about almost to celebrate that he
did not get hit. Oliveira crashes forward and dings him with a
right hand before clinching up, and Griffin fights himself free.
The two try to paw out their left hands for range, and Oliveira
throws a right hand so hard he nearly falls over. The two both wing
their punches, and Oliveira sticks out a jab. Griffin takes a
one-two, and comes right back with a similar combination but does
not score it. The two swing and trade at the same time, and Griffin
tags him and cause Oliveira to go flailing with an uppercut.
Griffin hits a takedown, and his corner screams at him to back off
and do damage. In full guard, Griffin stays heavy while throwing
some short punches, and Smith chides Griffin on punching to the
back of the head. Griffin passes to half guard, and Oliveira tries
to pull himself up the fence so Smith shouts at him to let it go.
Griffin stays tight and looks to tie up Oliveira’s arm with his
leg, but the Brazilian gets his arm free before interlocking his
toes in the fence. Smith again warns him to let go of the cage, and
has to slap Oliveira’s toes out. All the while, Griffin slowly
works with some elbows and looks at an arm-triangle choke, but with
Oliveira against the cage wall, he cannot get leverage to set
anything up. As Oliveira springs to his feet, Griffin takes his
back, but “Cowboy” rips himself free and the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Like the first, Griffin practically sprints towards his opponent to
land a long jab. Oliveira is ready for it, and catches him before
landing two heavy leg kicks that make Griffin’s knee a little
wobbly. Oliveira fires out a few more jabs, and Griffin is busted
up from these shots with a cut above his right eye towards the
bridge of his nose. Oliveira rushes in with a strike, and Griffin
times a takedown but the Brazilian halts it. Instead, he turns the
position around tries to pull for a single leg takedown, and we can
see the blood pouring out of Griffin’s forehead. Smith calls in the
doctor to check on the cut, which we can see came from a fierce
uppercut. The doctor clears him to continue, and we are back to it.
The two men start off with some jabs, and Oliveira pursues the low
calf kick that is really irritating Griffin quickly. The two come
together and swing, and Oliveira is timing the uppercut but cannot
score it. The Brazilian lands an outside and then inside leg kick
to the damaged leg, and takes a powerful right hand along the way.
The two both come together with huge right hands, and both are
clear of the mark with their home run shots. Griffin clinches up,
but again Oliveira reverses him. In an attempt to break free,
Oliveira pirouettes with a spinning elbow and Griffin is barely
able to block it. Griffin shoots in low for a takedown, and
Oliveira defends it with a guillotine before pushing him against
the fence. After some tense but slow clinch work, “Cowboy” pursues
a single but cannot get it, so Griffin breaks free and swings a
heavy right hand that is short of the mark. Oliveira stings him
with two more right hands, and when Griffin goes after a labored
spinning back fist, Oliveira shoots low for one last takedown to
seal the round. He does not land it, and the round is over with
Griffin bleeding heavily.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The last round kicks off with Griffin cleared to continue, as we
see a separate cut under Griffin’s other eye. Oliveira scores a few
long front kicks where he stabs with his toes, and then goes up top
with a head kick that is blocked. Griffin tries to close the
distance, and Oliveira spins him around to get a takedown. “Pain”
stays strong, and spins him around while taking a few elbows to the
side and back of his head. Griffin complains, and Smith warns the
Brazilian as a cut has now opened on the top of Griffin’s head.
This fight could quickly turn into a performance from the Edwin
Dewees playbook, and Oliveira separates only to hit a takedown.
“Cowboy” lands on top and pursues a choke, before taking full
mount, and Griffin is in a bad way as the blood pours into his eye.
Oliveira pulls for a straight armlock while on top, and bails on it
to end in half guard. Griffin wears a crimson mask and is grimacing
as he is not likely able to see, and Oliveira capitalizes with a
few short but effective punches on top. The Brazilian once more
takes mount, and is starting to unload punches while Griffin tries
to blink his eyes clear. Griffin scrambles and manages to reverse
the position, and Oliveira falls to his back when he cannot come
close to sinking in a guillotine choke. Griffin steps over to half
guard and drops some elbows on his man, and Oliveira is holding on
for dear life. With 80 seconds to go, Griffin is giving Oliveira
his best “You don’t know where I’ve been, Lou” impression as he
bleeds down on his opponent without getting many strikes off.
Griffin grinds and starts to pour it on with some very short elbows
and punches to try to steal the round. The judges have their hands
full in this round, as Griffin ends the fight on top. What a bloody
mess of a battle, but it sure was fun.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28,
29-28)

Round 1

Returning from the longest layoff in his career, the traditionally
ultra-active Magny (21-7, 14-6 UFC) comes back after over 15 months
away to take on China’s Li (17-5, 9-3 UFC) at welterweight. Can Li
start the night off in a big way for Chinese MMA, or will the
Elevation Fight Team staple spoil his party? Referee Keith Peterson
will find out, just like the rest of us, but he will permit
approximately zero nonsense. The two touch gloves, and Magny starts
out backing Li away but taking a low kick. Li swings heavily and
throws another leg kick, so Magny gets him to backpedal with a
string of jabs. The American ducks down to throw an overhand right,
but he falls short and evades a low kick. Magny keeps the jab
going, and whiffs with a step-in elbow as Li is content to target
the lead leg with short, quick kicks. Magny decides to emulate the
success of Li by firing a low kick, leading Li to charge in and go
for a clinch. Magny tries to break free, but gives up his back as
Li tries to wrench Magny down to the canvas. He does, but only for
a moment, and Magny gets back up. Li cracks Magny with a monster
right hand, and Magny is hurt badly. “The Leech” pours it on with
more punches while Magny tries to get out, and he shoots in low and
scores a takedown to put Li on his back. Li returns standing again,
and now Magny takes his back briefly. Li spins himself out of the
dangerous position and presses Magny against the fence, before
trying to crack him with a short uppercut and then hit a single.
Magny stands him up, and the two separate before any more
significant strikes land. Magny pops him with a jab, and rushes in
to clinch, before throwing a few heavy knees to the body. Li
changes levels to go after a double, and Magny thwarts it but is
ultimately tripped down. Li is only able to maintain top position
momentarily before Magny shoves him away and gets up. Magny stings
Li with a few powerful jabs, and then steps in with a knee before
landing another. The jab for Magny has had great success, and Magny
is not out of this fight quite yet. We hear the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Seeing that he was successful last round with them, Magny chains
together several stiff jabs to start the round before leaping
forward with a knee. Li takes the jabs but avoids the knee, and
clinches up to hunt for a trip takedown. Magny reverses the
position to turn Li against the fence, and nearly lands a takedown
of his own. The American starts pouring on the punches, while Li
grabs the fence repeatedly to stop Magny’s aggression. Li drops low
for a double before transitioning to a single, and Magny nearly
lifts Li up to slam him down face-first — this would almost
certainly be illegal. Li keeps his balance and changes it up to a
single, but Magny holds firm and turns him around. Magny tags him
with a powerful shoulder strike that we have seen more often
lately, and the two turn each other around against the fence. Magny
scoops him up and drops him, where Li gives up his back while
trying to stand to his feet. Magny lands a few more punches, and it
appears that Li is starting to fade while Magny is still firing on
all cylinders. Li breaks free with a big right hand, but Magny
rolls with it and is the fresher of the two as he scores a few jabs
before crashing back into the clinch. Li once more goes low for a
double leg takedown, and then goes back to a single, while Magny
works the side of his head with elbows. Li tries to punch his way
out of the clinch, and Magny times him with some powerful punches
as Li keeps his head movement going to avoid the shots. Magny
targets him with some long, nasty punches and Li can do nothing but
eat them one after the other. The American pulls him down to the
cage floor, landing in mount to end the round in style.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Magny bounces forward to start the final round, and Li is the one
loading up with everything he has in these last shots. Magny sees
them coming from a mile away, and avoids them while piecing Li up
from the outside. The Chinese fighter wades forward with punches,
but misses wildly as Magny flicks out the jab a few more times. The
double jab is followed with a solid right, before another jab comes
out. The American evades the looping power shots coming his
direction, and drops down to aim for a takedown. Li stuffs it and
circles around to take Magny’s back, but Magny breaks free and
nearly lands a head kick on the way out. The jabs are adding up
fast for Magny, as Li is confounded by them while recklessly
charging forward and missing by a long way. Li lands a heavy leg
kick, but Magny sticks the jab out hi Li’s face. Another loud leg
kick lands for Li, and he cannot capitalize with any follow-up
punches. Magny crashes forward and gets him against the fence,
before landing two knees and then separating. Li aims for an
uppercut but is unsuccessful, and Magny hits a trip to get Li down
on the ground. With Li’s arm trapped, Magny starts to throw a few
punches with his left hand. The American steps over into mount for
a second, before pursuing the back as Li tries to stand up. Magny
drops down several powerful punches, and Li scrambles and takes two
strong knees to the posterior. Magny throws punches and elbows to
all parts of Li’s body, nearly shouting as he connects with them.
Li stands up, and tries to throw everything he has left into one
big right hand, but there is nothing doing. Magny backs away, and
time expires. This is a statement performance for Magny, who comes
back in a major way against a top-flight welterweight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-26 Magny)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-27 Magny)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-26 Magny)

The Official Result

Neil Magny def. Jingliang Li via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27,
30-27)

Round 1

At lightweight, Kings MMA regular Dariush (17-4-1, 11-4-1 UFC) will
try to put Klose’s (11-1-1, 5-1 UFC) submission skills to the test.
Dariush’s preferred method of victory is by tapout, while Klose has
never been submitted–will something give? Keeping this contest on
the up-and-up is referee Jason Herzog. The two men touch gloves,
and Klose tries to set up his jab but it is Dariush who lands
first. A left hand is followed by a thumping body kick from
Dariush, but he eats a nasty right coming back at him. Klose loads
up with another right hand, and Dariush may be hurt but hiding it
well. Dariush closes the distance and hits a takedown, but Klose
does not stay ground for long. Klose grabs the fence to stop a
takedown, and then grabs it again while Herzog admonishes him.
Klose still grabs the cage, but in the process gives up his back.
Dariush jumps on like a backpack and secures a body triangle, while
hunting for a standing rear-naked choke. Dariush is only able to
get one arm around his neck, and Klose is holding tight on the
glove to stop the choke — this is allowed, as long as he does not
have his fingers inside the glove. Dariush wrenches his hand away
and tugs tightly to get the choke, but Klose again wrests his arms
free from danger. The Californian abandons the choke attempt while
mounting a few punches together, and keeps his body triangle
tightly wrapped around his opponent’s waist. As Klose starts to
elbow the thigh to break the grip, Dariush nearly sinks in the
choke, but Klose is quick to fight it off. The crowd starts to turn
on the two men, as Dariush pulls tight for a choke and is content
to squeeze on the chin instead of under the neck. Klose scrambles
and flails to get his neck free, and does so while the crowd
showers them with boos. Klose starts elbowing the top of the knee
of his foe, and the round ends with Dariush as a backpack.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second frame begins with Klose kicking the lead leg, possibly
sensing that Dariush’s legs are gassed. Dariush fires back with a
low kick that lands to the groin, and a brief pause sees Klose
readjust his cup. Dariush takes another gnarly leg kick, and Klose
charges forward and blasts him with a huge right hand. Klose cracks
him again and Dariush is in a bad, bad way. Klose swarms him with
punches, and while getting tagged Dariush winds up and connects
with a vicious right of his own that makes Klose do the stanky leg.
The tide may have changed quickly, as Dariush chases after him with
ferocious punches that back Klose against the fence. This is crazy!
Now Klose is rocked badly, and in this insane exchange, Dariush
evades a looping punch and fires a thunderous left hand that
stiffens Klose and separates him from his consciousness. The
mouthpiece nearly goes flying, and you can see Klose’s eyes staring
off at the lights while he topples over against the fence. Herzog
dives in to end the fight, and what an incredible turn of events!
With this wild win, Dariush becomes the first fighter to ever
finish the durable Klose.

The Official Result

Beneil Dariush def. Drakkar Klose R2 1:00 via KO (Punch)

Round 1

We have arrived at the co-main event, in the form of a highly
anticipated strawweight title tilt between defending champ and
China native Zhang (20-1, 4-0 UFC), who is riding nearly
unprecedented 20-fight win streak, and the longest reigning
strawweight queen Jedrzejczyk (16-3, 10-3 UFC). Fasten your
seatbelts, we could be in for a wild ride. Nonsense, what nonsense?
Referee Keith Peterson’s got this. They do touch gloves, which
might have been a surprising prop bet for some, and then once more
touch ‘em up to start the fight. Jedrzejczyk begins the offense
with a low kick that is short of the target, and then another,
while Zhang lands one. She scores one more kick, and the two are
now trading leg kicks. Zhang dances her hips back and forth to the
delight of the crowd, and Jedrzejczyk starts off with the punches.
Zhang shrugs them off and loads up with a big right hand, but
Jedrzejczyk cracks her with a right that sends the champ
backpedaling. Jedrzejczyk aims at that lead leg of her Chinese
opponent, and Jedrzejczyk sticks her with another right. Two more
low kicks glance off the lead leg of the champ, and the two come
together and swing while Jedrzejczyk ends it with a low kick. The
two trade, and Jedrzejczyk is grinning at her after Zhang connects.
When Zhang lands a leg kick, Jedrzejczyk throws one right back at
her, and is doubling them up on her opponent. Zhang scores a big
right, and darts out of the way to avoid the counter from
Jedrzejczyk. Zhang misses with a low kick and follows it with a
side kick, and the punches from Zhang are marking up the face of
the challenger. Zhang is now smiling, and she scores a right hook
as Jedrzejczyk backs away. Zhang spins with a kick that just skims
across the stomach, and Zhang loads up with punches that surprise
Jedrzejczyk. While Jedrzejczyk is landing low kicks, Zhang’s power
is the difference in those kicks. Despite this, Zhang’s face is
also starting to redden up, and Zhang presses forward with another
spinning back kick. Zhang catches a kick, throws one low, and
Jedrzejczyk pulls her leg free to land one. Zhang lands a
combination, and Jedrzejczyk is quick to come back at her, but the
power appears to be favoring the champ. The two trade until the
bell, and when it sounds, Jedrzejczyk throws one more punch that is
very late, but apologizes immediately after.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

They start the round with another glove touch, and Zhang kicks off
the round with a low kick and punches. The two flurry punches at
one another, and both land a few but it is Jedrzejczyk that lands
the more successful strikes. Zhang takes a leg kick and nearly
loses her balance, and Jedrzejczyk is pressing forward and lands
another leg kick that makes Zhang turn her lead leg in. Zhang tags
her with a right, and the two clash legs when throwing opposing
kicks at the same time. The champ stalks her opponent down, and
Jedrzejczyk fires right back at her, as the two go punch-for-punch.
Zhang changes levels to go for a takedown, and the former champ
stands her up and turns her around against the fence. The two trade
knees to the body, and Zhang considers a trip takedown but is
thwarted. Zhang unloads with a big elbow in the clinch, and
Jedrzejczyk scores a thudding knee to the midsection as they
separate. As Jedrzejczyk comes in, Zhang stings her with a right
hand, and then follows it with a one-two that hurts Jedrzejczyk.
Zhang connects with a side kick, and the two clinch up as
Jedrzejczyk goes for a takedown but falls over. Zhang grabs on to
the neck, but Jedrzejczyk pulls herself free. There is some damage
forming beneath the right eye of the champ, but she does not notice
and is loading up with big right hands that keep finding their
mark. Jedrzejczyk tries to reply, and jabs her way in but is
sternly countered by the champ. Zhang kicks to the body and then
goes low for a kick, and both score powerful right hands. A
multiple-punch combination for Zhang scores, and she evades the
combination from the challenger. Jedrzejczyk fires a high kick and
catches Zhang on the chin and stuns her, so Jedrzejczyk races in
and accidentally clocks her with a headbutt. Zhang is a little
wobbled, and they swing until the horn. After the round ends, the
two embrace and Zhang is carried to her corner.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Round 3 sees a glove touch, and Jedrzejczyk proverbially draws
first blood with a right hand. The two are swinging heavy leather,
and Zhang catches her on the end of a right hook before following
the strike with a thudding leg kick. Zhang cracks her with a left
hand, but the former champ is unconcerned and throws back with
reckless abandon. The striking totals are bound to be monumental at
the end of this contest. Jedrzejczyk lands a leg kick and is
countered up top, and then Zhang throws a kick and Jedrzejczyk
counters her. Jedrzejczyk changes stances, possibly out of damage
to the leg or because she sees an opening. Jedrzejczyk starts
throwing left head kicks, and Zhang may be slowing to an extent.
Jedrzejczyk throws a few punches and Zhang comes back at her with a
right hand that does not have the sting on it that it did before.
The two kick each other in the legs, and Zhang takes a punch up top
that starts a trickle of blood out of her nose. Jedrzejczyk aims a
few front kicks to the body, and Zhang loads up with some big
punches that are not finding their home like the first two rounds.
Zhang rushes in to clinch, and she trips Jedrzejczyk’s legs out but
cannot keep her grounded for more than a few seconds. Jedrzejczyk
gets back up and separates, while missing with an elbow on the
break. Zhang lands a powerful kick to the body, and follows it with
a big right hand. The punch did some serious damage, as an enormous
hematoma has begun swelling very quickly on Jedrzejczyk’s entire
forehead. Jedrzejczyk chains together a combination punctuated by a
kick, and Zhang throws right back at her fiercely. Both crack each
other with huge hooks, and neither are concerned by the damage.
When the 10-second clapper sounds, they load up on more strikes
until we hear the horn. This is a wild fight.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

It appears that a third eye may sprout from the forehead of the
former champ, but the round begins with a wild exchange that sees
success for both women. One lands, the other comes back, and the
first follows that with strikes. The two are brawling wildly, and
Zhang hurts Jedrzejczyk with a punch and backs her off. Not to be
outdone, Jedrzejczyk clips Zhang with a head kick and wobbles her
briefly. Both regain their composure and are not cone. A right hand
from Zhang is followed by an enormous left hook from Zhang, and
these two women are throwing everything they have into this fight.
Jedrzejczyk’s forehead is massive now, and Mark Hominick may be
having flashbacks if he is watching this fight. Jedrzejczyk stings
her with a leg kick that makes Zhang pick her leg up, and then
nails Zhang with a quick combination. Jedrzejczyk fires up a head
kick that partially gets through, and Jedrzejczyk is starting to
land more successfully in this round. As Zhang rushes forward,
Jedrzejczyk pushes her aside like a matador to a bull. Zhang nails
her with a left hook, and Jedrzejczyk eats it like a sandwich while
her forehead continues to balloon. Zhang catches her on the end of
three punches, and then one more shakes up Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk
throws back at her with a few low kicks, and is still walking
forward like a Terminator. Zhang throws a low kick and then a high
kick, and Jedrzejczyk comes back at her with a low kick. As Zhang
swings heavy, Jedrzejczyk crashes forward with an elbow that lands
as cleanly as it could. The two turn each other about in the clinch
and land knees up the middle, and Zhang scores an elbow as they
break. They land at the same time, and with 30 seconds left,
Jedrzejczyk looks up at the clock as we see the extent of her
damage straight-on. She does not appear concerned, and still fires
at the champ with a high kick that could turn out the lights. She
barely misses, and this crazy round ends as Jedrzejczyk reaches to
feel the depth of the swelling on her for head. The doctor will
take a close eye on this, but we have five minutes to go so we
should be clear.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 5

We are good to go, and the two embrace to begin the last fateful
round. This fight could still be hanging in the balance, so
Jedrzejczyk opens up with a bevy of kicks low and high. Zhang digs
to the body, and Jedrzejczyk swings ferociously but largely does
not connect. Jedrzejczyk scores with a low kick that nearly turns
Zhang around, but the champ fires back with a one-two that is just
off the mark. Jedrzejczyk loads up with a right and lands square,
but Zhang pulls back and fires and smashes the nose of Jedrzejczyk.
The damage is incredible on the face of the former champ, and
Jedrzejczyk is briefly turning away from the damage but continues
to return fire. Jedrzejczyk clips Zhang with a big left hook, and
then lands another, but Zhang cracks her with one more. Zhang slips
as they are going bombs away, and this fight is one for the record
books. Zhang again tags her with a right hand, and a left from
Zhang forces Jedrzejczyk to clinch up. The two try to spin each
other around but shove away, and less than two minutes left, Zhang
is the one stalking her down now as Jedrzejczyk is barely
recognizable. A brief pause transforms into a wild flurry from
both, and Zhang is headhunting as Jedrzejczyk goes for body and low
kicks. Jedrzejczyk fires out the jab, and Zhang doubles up on
kicks. A left hook from Zhang lands, and it is miraculous neither
of these women have been badly rocked yet. The two continue to
trade, and Zhang screams as she swings with reckless abandon. The
10-second clapper sees Jedrzejczyk sting Zhang with spinning back
fist, and Zhang wobbles but keeps her footing. Zhang races towards
her when she shakes out the cobwebs, and this incredible fight
comes to an end. Both women’s stock rose significantly from this
unbelievable battle, and this was the one of the greatest title
fights the UFC has ever seen, man or woman. It is unfortunate that
one of them has to suffer a defeat, and hopefully one day we can
see the two square off once again.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via Split Decision (47-48,
48-47, 48-47)

Round 1

For the first time since the days of “Tank” Abbott, a fighter will
get a title shot on the heels of multiple non-title fight defeats.
Even so, the mercurial champ Adesanya (18-0, 7-0 UFC) is up to his
elbows against the hard-charging Romero (13-4, 9-3 UFC) at
middleweight. Trying to become the king of the walkout (watch out
David Rickels), Adesanya emerges while women throw rose petals
beneath his feet — did he watch “Coming to America” recently?
Referee Dan Miragliotta will make certain that this main event does
not get out of hand, and with a brief touch of gloves, it’s time.
Romero walks out slowly from his corner, while Adesanya takes the
center of the cage. Romero stands still, and Adesanya is walking
around. Twenty seconds in, the crowd is already booing. Romero
shuffles stances, but is standing tall until finally loosening up
after 45 seconds. The first strike is finally thrown 75 seconds
into the round, and it is a jab from the champ that is nowhere near
the target. Adesanya flicks out a low kick that is also well away
from hitting his mark, and these two are playing a game of trying
to psyche each other out as Miragliotta implores them to work. Two
minutes in, neither man has landed a single strike. Finally,
Adesanya lands a low kick, and Romero acts as if nothing happened.
He fires one back, and Adesanya turns about. The champ tries to
fake his way in, and throws a one-two that Romero evades. The
challenger blocks a head kick, and drops to his knees to mess with
him. In typical Romero fashion, the first serious strike he lands,
in the form of a looping left hook, hurts Adesanya for a second and
makes him blink it out. Adesanya backs off and throws a low kick,
and this round is about as far away from the first in the previous
battle. Romero whiffs with a high kick and then a low kick, before
jumping into a body kick that somehow finds its home on Adesanya’s
midsection. Adesanya again goes for a low kick, and we have not
likely seen more than a small number of significant strikes through
five rounds as we hear the horn. The crowd is not amused.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The second round begins quietly and slowly like before. As Adesanya
wades forward, Romero unleashed a huge left hand that cracks
Adesanya, and the champ wobbles and backs away. Adesanya regains
his composure and starts to chain kicks together, while staying out
of the one-hitter quitter range of the challenger. Adesanya goes to
the lead leg of the Cuban, and Romero changes levels to punch
Adesanya in the thigh. Adesanya turns to fake with a kick, and as
Romero reacts, Adesanya goes to the opposite side of the leg.
Romero coils his left hand back, and Adesanya takes note and
retreats. The champ spins around and tries to land a tornado kick,
but is not able to do much with it. Again with a sudden explosion,
Romero takes a kick and races forward with a few punches. Romero
swings a few heavy punches that land, and Adesanya gets away before
taking serious damage. The champ throws a high kick and Romero
blocks it in time, and then throws another that Romero defends.
Romero catches a low kick and tries to come over the top with a big
left, and Adesanya ducks out of the way. Adesanya sinks in a heavy
leg kick, and sneaks up a question mark kick that catches Romero on
the top of his dome. Romero rushes in to throw a big punch, but
just moves forward without actually throwing a punch. Adesanya
catches him with a short left, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

As Romero tries to begin the round with a big left hand, Adesanya
catches him on the way with a front kick to halt his movement.
Adesanya wings a high kick, and Romero ducks underneath it and
nearly tags him with a punch on the way out. The challenger decides
it is time to throw a half-hearted rolling thunder kick, and
Adesanya shoves him away as he lets Romero get back to his feet.
Romero attempts to time a counter left hand when Adesanya throws a
high kick, so the two settle for single leg kicks that both visibly
react to. Romero slaps a loud leg kick on Adesanya’s lead leg, and
the champ points at him. They both point at each other, and after
some more inactivity, Adesanya throws a low kick. Romero crashes in
to land a left hook, and falls over, but Adesanya does not do
anything with it and walks away. The champ flips out a jab, and
Romero thumps a body kick home. Adesanya fires a quick front kick
to the torso that draws a reaction out of Romero, and then fires a
body kick as Romero raises his arms in the air. They both swing low
kicks at each other at the same time, and as Adesanya throws a left
hook, Romero drops down to his knees to avoid it before springing
back up. Adesanya sneaks up a front kick to the face, and circles
out of danger as the crowd protests the inaction by jeering and
waving their phones around. Adesanya digs to the body and then
whips a head kick up quickly that skips off the side of Romero’s
head. The crowd rains down boos as the two stare at one another
until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 4

Miragliotta brings both men together in the beginning of the round,
telling them both they need to give the judges something to score.
Romero calls him on, and as the round begins, he is cheering at
Adesanya and dancing at him. The champ lands a body kick, and
Romero points to the ground to goad him on. Both men are dancing
around and waving their arms around, and Romero lands a body kick
while Adesanya sticks him with a jab. The way things are going, one
single round of the Zhang-Jedrzejczyk contest will have higher
strike totals than this entire slog of a main event. Romero tries
to unload a bomb of a left hand, and he is a foot or two away from
his mark. The challenger begins to walk Adesanya down, but “The
Last Stylebender” stays on the outside and avoids anything of note.
Adesanya throws a low kick, and Romero mockingly gasps at him, so
the champ throws up a high kick. Adesanya pushes off when the two
come together, and pokes Romero in the eye while backing away. The
action pauses, and Miragliotta calls in a doctor to check on any
possible damage. It might be just to buy some time, or wipe it out
a little, but nothing comes of it as we start back again. Romero
races forward and hits a takedown out of nowhere, and the champ
springs back to his feet in an instant and circles off. Adesanya
lands a body kick and stays out of the way from a counter, before
throwing a low kick. Romero takes it and starts hopping in the air
like a rabbit, and Miragliotta again calls for them to fight. The
challenger charges in with punches and hits nothing but air, and
Adesanya pops him with a jab as he avoids the onslaught coming his
way. Adesanya lands another leg kick, and there is some visible
damage and swelling above Romero’s knee. Adesanya commits to a huge
leg kick, and the strike buckles Romero’s knee for a second. The
champ misses with a high kick, and telegraphs a takedown from a
mile away that Adesanya pushes off. Romero uses the moment to land
a few strikes, and avoids a high kick that whizzes just past his
head. This strange round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 5

The last round begins with Miragliotta imploring the two to
actually fight. Adesanya throws up a high kick that is blocked, and
Romero charges at him with punches and catches him at the end of
one. Romero throws a low kick, but takes one that is much heavier
from the champ. If this fight is to end inside the distance, it is
likely because of a low kick. Adesanya targets the same leg with a
kick, and Romero comes over the top with a looping left. The
Nigerian-born fighter slaps at him as Romero throws a straight
punch to the body, and comes forward to land a takedown but
Adesanya almost ignores it. Adesanya goes after that lead leg, and
we can see that it is lumped up badly as the challenger reacts from
every one he absorbs. Romero swings with all his might, and he
barely connects if anything, leading Adesanya to stumble backwards
possibly off-balance. As Adesanya tries to jab, Romero lands a
straight left and tries to channel it into a takedown. Adesanya
avoids it, ducks out of the way of a punch, and runs away around
the cage to get back to the center of the Octagon. Romero comes up
way short on a one-two punch, and Adesanya fires up a high kick
that Romero just blocks in time. The crowd is incensed at how
disappointing this fight is, and both men flip each other off.
Adesanya goes back to kicking the lead leg, and they come together
and trade punches that both land successfully. Romero raises his
arm in the air as the 10-second clapper sounds, and they both throw
low-percentage strikes that do not connect in any magnitude. If
there is any major takeaway from this fight, it is that we should
all be glad that it is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-10 (49-48 Adesanya)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Romero (48-47 Romero)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-10 (48-48)

The Official Result

Israel Adesanya def. Yoel Romero via Unanimous Decision (48-47,
48-47, 49-46)

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