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Round 1

At long last, UFC 260 is upon us. It suffered several bumps and
bruises along the way, losing some fairly major fights in the
process, but 10 fights of various import will treat fans throughout
the course of the night. We begin the hostilities in the
middleweight division, with a classic matchup of Canada vs. Morocco
as Barriault (11-4, 1 NC; 0-3, 1 NC UFC) officially searches for
his first UFC win against the returning Azaitar (14-2-1, 1-0 UFC).
The two 185-ers that prefer the knockout will draw officiating from
referee Jerin Valel, and with no touch of gloves, the night begins.
Barriault comes out aggressively, pushing forward and throwing a
few left hands but keeping his hands up. When Azaitar swings back
at him, he blocks the strikes and kicks low. Azaitar crashes
forward and throws so hard he slips, but he returns to his feet and
presses into a makeshift takedown attempt. The Canadian turns him
around as he stuffs the takedown, and he clacks his knee off the
cup to draw an early break already. After about 30 seconds, Azaitar
signals he is ready to go and he throws a fury of strikes at his
foe. “Captain Morocco” drills his man with a right hand and plants
his knee on Barriault’s chest, before crashing into a clinch.
Azaitar targets the body with several strikes as he keeps the
pressure and mashes Barriault into the fencing, but Barriault
breaks off with a knee on the chin. Azaitar responds in kind before
bullying Barriault with body shots and a crisp uppercut that snaps
Barriault’s head back. Barriault backs off but he is showing some
damage on his face, and Azaitar does not let him off the hook with
vicious body work. The Moroccan attacks with a looping overhand
right, and Barriault ducks it and grapples with him to press
Azaitar into the cage. Azaitar reverses the position as he
continues to do damage with strikes to the torso, and Barriault
tries to fight back with sporadic knees and punches to stay busy.
Azaitar breaks free and kicks the leg, and the strike turns
Barriault just enough so that Azaitar avoids a strike. Azaitar
delivers a few knees to the head and body that get reactions out of
Barriault, and the Canadian presses his foe into the fence to take
a breath. Azaitar does not let him off the hook for long, kicking
the body and leg as Barriault jabs back to get some space. Azaitar
mixes it up with heavy leg kicks and right hands, and Barriault’s
pace is not nearly enough to keep Azaitar honest. Azaitar batters
his opponent’s lead leg with a few more kicks, and he rips the body
with a pair of hooks. Both land strikes at the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Barriault charges out of his corner, only to have his leg kicked.
When Barriault responds with a front kick, Azaitar’s reply of the
same strike is much heavier. Azaitar ducks out of the way of a left
hand to chop down the lead leg, and the two exchange punches from
over the top. Barriault chains several punches together that get
Azaitar’s attention, but he does not follow them up and instead
backs off to have his lead leg kicked again. The two men step in
front of one another and throw bombs, and a groin strike leads to a
bit of confusion before they resume swinging. The Canadian plants
his foot on Azaitar’s chest, and he slaps a leg kick home only to
have his own kicked harder when he sets it down. Barriault paws out
with a few jabs, only to absorb leg kicks. As both swing furiously,
Azaitar rings Barriault’s bell with a right hand. Barriault presses
in and Azaitar considers a takedown, but he bails on it to throw
strikes. Barriault appears to be no worse for wear, and the two
throw hands and land on one another recklessly. The Moroccan
attempts a takedown, and when it gets stuffed and Barriault tries
to counter him, Azaitar trips him down. Barriault springs back up,
and he lands several crisp elbows on the inside. The power bar may
be fading for Azaitar, and “Power Bar” comes at him with strikes
and exhausting pressure. Azaitar tries to clinch up and leans
heavily on his man, but he manages to get off a few uppercuts in a
clinch. Azaitar kicks Barriault in the body, and the two land
strikes at the same time. Barriault rocks Azaitar with a few right
hands, and Azaitar appears stunned and gassing fast. Barriault
walks through a leg kick and several punches to throw uppercuts and
winging shots, and he pressures Azaitar into the cage while
throwing hammers. Barriault gets off a few uppercuts when he
bullies Azaitar into the wire, and he is doing damage now and hurts
Azaitar again. Azaitar’s posture has changed and his shoulders hang
low after throwing strikes, and Barriault lands a few more right
before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The middleweights engage in the center of the cage briefly, and
Barriault feels he has the advantage as he starts stalking Azaitar
down. The Moroccan kicks his leg kick hard, and Barriault ignores
it, ignores another, and throws trading leather. Barriault stings
Azaitar with a right hand, and Azaitar trips against the fence as
he takes shots. Barriault pours on the pace, landing punches in
bunches until Azaitar goes after a desperation takedown. Barriault
rocks and knocks Azaitar’s mouthpiece out, and a shocked Azaitar
ducks down to retrieve it as Barriault lays into him with punches.
Valel bumps into the two, as if he were stopping the fight, but
instead Barriault shoves Azaitar over and starts pounding on him
with a steady diet of punches. As the ground-and-pound continues to
mount, Valel pauses the fight to replace Azaitar’s mouthpiece.
Barriault works him with strikes from above until he slices over
into mount, where he begins to slash at Azaitar with ferocious
elbows. The Canadian postures up and starts slamming him with
high-amplitude punches and more elbows, and Azaitar is barely able
to hold on. Azaitar sits up, and he thinks about his own takedown,
but Barriault easily stops him from doing so and bowls him over.
“Power Bar” still has energy to seek a finish, and he climbs to
mount without much effort to lay into Azaitar with a stream of
punches. When Valel tells Azaitar to move, Azaitar spins around and
gives up his back. Barriault lets him do this so he can continue to
do damage, and he re-mounts Azaitar so he can clobber him with
punches. Strikes keep raining down until Azaitar is busted open,
and blood is spraying about the canvas but Azaitar is still somehow
surviving.
He keeps rolling, twisting and turning to show
Valel he is able to keep fighting, so Barriault unleashes a final
flurry of punches and elbows to force Valel to intervene with
seconds to spare in the fight.
A valiant but defeated and
broken Azaitar does not have enough energy to protest, and the
stoppage likely came with less than five seconds in a round that
would have at minimum have been a bad 10-8 and probably should have
been stopped minutes ago. With this brutal win, Barriault now has
officially prevailed for the first time inside the Octagon.

The Official Result

Marc-Andre Barriault def. Abu Azaitar R3 4:56 via TKO (Punches and
Elbows)

Round 1

Switching over already to the ESPN prelims, featherweights collide
as “Sugar” Young (13-5, 2-2 UFC) tries to win one for City
Kickboxing tonight against Morales (10-1, 2-1 UFC). Although there
were brief concerns about Young’s ability to compete since he
trains with COVID-positive Alexander Volkanovski, he cleared the
protocols to fight tonight. Drawing the assignment for the
interesting stylistic matchup is referee Tognoni, and there is no
touch of gloves to check in the fight. Young walks out of his
corner and stands in the middle of the cage, pawing out with a leg
kick and eating a jab. The action is practically nonexistent for
the first minute, as Young reaches out with a few noncommittal jabs
to find his range. Morales fires off a leg kick, but it gets
checked and he recoils his leg quickly. Morales walks towards a
circling Young, and a low kick collides with the cup but Young says
he is good to continue. Morales flirts with a head kick, and Young
ignores it and walks Morales down. Young shoots in for a takedown
and gets caught with a knee on the chin, but he powers through to
attack the single. When Young tries to throw him down, Morales
nearly reverses him, before taking Young’s back standing and
lifting the Kiwi in the air to slam him down. Young springs back up
by walking up the fence, and Morales keeps heavy pressure tight on
Young. “Smokin Shane” turns him around and nearly gets away with a
fence grab, although Tognoni sees it and warns him. The two jockey
for position against the fence as Morales knees him in the face,
and the grind continues. Young squeezes Morales on the fence, and
when he tries to get off an elbow, Morales breaks free. The
Venezuelan throws a high front kick up, and Young ducks it and
surges forward to take the fight down. Morales lands a few punches
on the inside as Young comes towards him, and Morales pushes off to
land a right hand at the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

After a brief inactive opening to the round, Young takes a right
hand on the brow and charges in for a takedown. The Kiwi hits it
and is already in half guard, but Morales defends well enough to
not eat any strikes. Young transitions into a leglock, and Morales
is not in danger as he scrambles back to his feet and lands a
couple leg kicks at range. Morales chips away at the lead leg a few
times, and Young tries to close the distance only to have his nose
jabbed and busted up. Morales peppers the leg and has a few
checked, so he goes back to long left hands that target the nose
repeatedly. Both men get off a few kicks, and Young crashes the
pocket for a takedown. Morales pushes him away and loads up on a
right hand, but Young rolls with it. “Venezuelan Fighter” nearly
counters with a blistering knee, and when Young backs off just in
time, Morales hacks at his lead leg a few more times. Young ducks
down with a single right hand to the body, and Morales whiffs on a
big counter over the top. The two trade single strikes and neither
make much of a mark, so Morales sets up his jab and follow them
with a few heavy calf kicks. Morales points to his corner when
landing them, as Young circles away to reset. When Young bears down
on him, Morales tries to get off a head kick but is not in range.
Morales tags Young a few times with straight punches, and he turns
into a spinning wheel kick that clatters off the guard and sends
Young bouncing back. Morales leaps forward with a knee, and he ends
in the clinch which rides out the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The two featherweights greet with a glove touch to begin the last
round, and Young lobs a low kick and chases after Morales with a
swarm of punches. Morales tries to back him off with stabbing kicks
to the midsection, but Young blocks or walks through the lot of
them to get off a leg kick. Morales gives the kick right back to
him, leading Young to charge ahead with punches. Morales grabs him
and clinches him, and the two spin one another around until Young
gains the proper position to change levels for a single. Morales
stays upright thanks to an elbow to the side of the head and a
fence grab, and he hits his own body lock takedown to put Young
down to the ground emphatically. Morales is already in side
control, but Young rolls to his knees and gets upright again
without any danger. Morales scores a knee on the jaw in the clinch,
forcing for a separation. As Young lands a body shot, Morales fires
right back at him with two heavy kicks. Young does not like these
kicks, so he rushes in for a takedown attempt. Morales defends it
with a stern knee to the chest, and he stays balanced to knee Young
in the face while his back is on the wire. Young reels but plods
forward, and Morales chops down his lead leg and lands at the end
of a right hand. The Venezuelan sticks out several jabs to disrupt
Young’s forward movement, and Young cannot quite reach the target
like Morales can. Morales dings him with a one-two, and Young
signals he is not concerned and even absorbs a powerful leg kick
after. Young bears down with punches, but Morales sees most of them
coming, evades them and rips a right hand that gives Young pause.
Young tries to clinch up, only to get shoved away and jabbed on his
way back. Morales steps up with a looping uppercut and a left hand,
and Young is chasing him now as Morales picks and pokes with
constant strikes. Morales winds up with a bomb of a right hand that
just glances off the target, and Young aims for the body and then
ducks low for a takedown attempt that is stuffed. Young gets kneed
in the face once more right before the horn, and this potentially
close fight is in the books.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Morales (30-27 Morales)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Morales (29-28 Morales)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Morales (30-27
Morales)

The Official Result

Omar Morales def. Shane Young via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27,
30-27)

Round 1

Hold on tight, we are about to be treated to a light heavyweight
brawl between Bukauskas (11-3, 1-1 UFC) and Oleksiejczuk (14-4, 1
NC; 2-2, 1 NC UFC) in an all-Eastern Europe clash. Eighteen
knockouts across their combined 25 victories are attributed the
205-pound sluggers, and referee Jason Herzog may have his work cut
out for him. There is a respectful glove touch before fists start
flying. Bukauskas charges forward with a punch and a spinning back
kick, and Oleksiejczuk ducks it and throws a haymaker back at him.
There is no feeling-out process here, as Oleksiejczuk lands and
Bukauskas fires right back. Bukauskas reaches out with a front
kick, and dances out of the way when his Polish foe charges at him
with a swarm of punches. Oleksiejczuk lands a left hand, and
Bukauskas is able to retreat before the others that follow it can
find his chin. The Lithuanian lands another front kick, and he is
timing the bull-rush of Oleksiejczuk and shoots in with a takedown
only to get stood up. Bukauskas stands up and gets off a right
hand, but he gets clipped with a left backing away. The two clinch
up, only to shove off and trade leather again. Oleksiejczuk stalks
him down, cutting off the cage and not letting Bukauskas get away.
“Lord” gets off a left hand, but he gets rocked with a right hand.
Bukauskas hurts him with follow-up shots, and a front kick to the
solar plexus stings him as well. Oleksiejczuk gathers himself and
recovers with a right hand, and Bukauskas’ hands are quicker and he
reaches out a jab. Oleksiejczuk wings up with a monster right hook
and hurts Bukauskas, but the Lithuanian shakes it off and gets back
to his range. Oleksiejczuk lands at the end of a right hand, and he
rushes forward with a looping left hand that Bukauskas is able toa
void. “The Baltic Gladiator” stabs out a front kick a few times,
piercing his foe’s midsection a few times with his toes. Bukauskas
keeps his distance with long punches, but Oleksiejczuk catches up
with him and plants his fist on Bukauskas’ body. Oleksiejczuk puts
everything he has into a few wildly inaccurate strikes, and he bobs
and weaves when Bukauskas comes back at him. Bukauskas gets off a
spinning back kick to the body, and Oleksiejczuk cracks him with a
right high kick moments before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The round begins with a huge overhand right from Bukauskas, and
Oleksiejczuk is barely able to roll with it. Bukauskas circles out
as Oleksiejczuk is chasing after him, but Oleksiejczuk is still
able to reach him with a left and then a right. Bukauskas blocks a
right hand, only for the second punch to get through his guard, but
he wears it well. Bukauskas whiffs on a one-two, and Oleksiejczuk
rushes forward with a left hand that lands flush to the liver.
Oleksiejczuk charges in like a bull, winging left hands and unable
to find his mark. Bukauskas stands still to throw a strike, but in
doing so, he allows for Oleksiejczuk to counter him. Oleksiejczuk
tags him with a left hand, but Bukauskas does not let Oleksiejczuk
continue with a barrage as he backs off and kicks the body.
Oleksiejczuk returns fire with a punch to the body, and his left
hand is finding its home more in this round. Bukauskas puts his
foot on Oleksiejczuk’s body, Oleksiejczuk walks through it to throw
a pair of big shots. Bukauskas blocks them but they still leave
their mark, and the two clinch up and Oleksiejczuk gets off a knee.
Oleksiejczuk lumbers forward with wild punches, but this allows
Bukauskas to circle off and throw a trio of huge right hands that
all come short of his intended target. Bukauskas lets go with a
body kick, and although Oleksiejczuk catches it, he cannot take
advantage of the position. Oleksiejczuk continues to stride forward
to attack, and Bukauskas counters him with a short elbow but he
cannot keep the Polish man at bay from clinching. After a brief
twirl about on the fence, they separate and Bukauskas boots
Oleksiejczuk in the head. Bukauskas’ punches do some damage as he
lets them go with reckless abandon, and he chases Oleksiejczuk down
and lands several more before the horn blares to signal the end of
the frame.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The light heavyweights touch gloves to clock in the last
five-minute period, and Oleksiejczuk blitzes forward to throw
several big punches. Bukauskas counters with a right hand, stifling
the movement of Oleksiejczuk and allowing Bukauskas to retreat.
Bukauskas lands a one-two, and he paws away an oncoming punch as he
keeps his distance. Oleksiejczuk has a left hand bounce off
Bukauskas’ high guard, and Bukauskas blasts him with an uppercut.
Oleksiejczuk eats it like bigos stew and starts to fire back,
scoring successfully with his stern left hand on a few occasions.
Oleksiejczuk works the body as Bukauskas tries to back off, but
Oleksiejczuk is on him and clinches up while blocking a counter
elbow up top. Oleksiejczuk keeps his body weight pressed on his
foe, but Bukauskas eventually has enough of it and pushes off with
a knee up the middle. Oleksiejczuk pours it on with a storm of
punches, and Bukauskas is able to keep his composure and counter
the strikes while staying on his bike. The Lithuanian spins around
and has a back kick bounce off Oleksiejczuk’s shoulder, and
Oleksiejczuk returns fire with a left hook. Oleksiejczuk cracks
Bukauskas with a right hook, and Bukauskas greets him coming
forward with his own left hand. The two start trading recklessly,
and Oleksiejczuk hurts Bukauskas badly with a left hand to the
liver. Oleksiejczuk does not see that he damaged Bukauskas, and
instead goes after a single leg takedown that is thwarted.
Bukauskas gathers himself, fires off a high kick, and reaches out
with a few punches while staying away from the power punches coming
his way. The tense round, and fight, ends with a brief flurry from
both sluggers.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Modestas Bukauskas via Split Decision
(29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Round 1

Two welterweights looking to earn their first victories inside the
Octagon face one another next, as “Nite Train” Gooden (17-5, 0-1
UFC) tries to get his train back on the rails against famously
named Nurmagomedov (15-3-1, 0-1 UFC). The third man inside the cage
is referee Mark Smith, and a glove touch is not offered between
them. Instead, Gooden comes out of his corner with his hands very
low, perhaps concerned already about the grappling chops of his
opponent. The two welterweights land jabs at the same time, and
Gooden backs him up with a few strikes. Gooden fakes with a few
right hands and scores a left hook, and he ducks and dodges strikes
that come his way. A jab or two from Gooden marks up Nurmagomedov’s
nose, and Gooden continues to pick at him with these. Nurmagomedov
ducks low with a takedown attempt, and when Gooden stuffs it, the
Dagestan native reaches out with a front kick. As they close in on
one another, Nurmagomedov’s right hand scrapes the eye and draws a
20-second pause before Gooden is good to go. The American returns
to form with repeated jabs, and he backs off and gets blasted with
a one-two. Gooden wobbles and falls back to the fence, where
Nurmagomedov kicks him high and tries to finish the job. Gooden
gathers himself and starts jabbing, and Nurmagomedov crashes
forward for a takedown attempt. “Nite Train” derails the attempt
with a huge elbow from above, and he absorbs a heavy leg kick and a
knee to the body when he tries to engage in the center of the cage.
Gooden bites on a few feints, connects with part of a one-two, and
he gets hurt again by a punch. Gooden’s hands remain low, and
Nurmagomedov comes after him with a short salvo of punches. Gooden
jabs him a few times to get him to back off, and the welterweights
land left hands at the same time twice in a row. Nurmagomedov
charges after him and drills him with a left hand, and Gooden’s
hands drop down to the canvas so he can keep upright. Nurmagomedov
lands a kick but does not chase the finish, and instead allows
Gooden to recover to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Gooden reaches out with several jabs to begin the round, and
Nurmagomedov ducks low but bails before an attempt can materialize.
Nurmagomedov gets off a few punches, and Gooden commits to the jab
before whiffing on a big left hook. The Dagestan native uses solid
head movement to avoid many of the strikes coming his way, and he
blocks a left hand and counters with one of his own. The two clack
one another with big left hooks at the same moment, and when
Nurmagomedov lands a follow-up punch, Gooden wipes his eye as if he
had been poked. There is no break, and Smith asks them to watch
their outstretched fingers. Nurmagomedov times a ducking Gooden to
score a right hand, and Gooden gets stuck and cracked with a right
hand. Gooden tries to dip and dodge, and he delivers a left hand to
the body and another one shortly after. Nurmagomedov closes the
distance and kicks Gooden hard on the side, and Gooden ducks out of
the way to retreat and gather his thoughts. The American doubles
his efforts for punches to the body, and he watches as a high kick
grazes past his guard. The two trade jabs, and Gooden ducks down
with a liver punch. When Gooden ducks down for a punch again,
Nurmagomedov greets him there with a knee to the head. Nurmagomedov
races towards him to deliver more punishment, and Gooden can do
little but turtle up and bounce off the fence. Gooden shakes it off
and targets the body, but Nurmagomedov beats him to the punch with
a pair of shots. “Nite Train” lands an effective leg kick, only to
get countered over the top and then kicked in the head. Gooden
wears it well and blocks the brunt of the kick, and he resumes his
jab-first approach. Twin jabs are traded to conclude the second
round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

When Nurmagomedov begins with a leg kick, Gooden is ready to
counter with a big right hand. Nurmagomedov scores a body kick and
then a head kick, and Gooden shrugs them off and reaches out with
punches. Nurmagomedov jabs him first to send “Nite Train” off his
tracks, and he shoots in low for a takedown and hits a single.
Gooden scrambles and gets back up by walking up the fence, only to
get ripped back down to the ground when Nurmagomedov has his back.
Gooden once more rushes back up, and he takes an uppercut flush on
the way out. Nurmagomedov changes his angle and pursues a double
leg takedown, where he lands it in the center of the cage. Gooden
defends with vicious elbows from his back, hacking and chopping on
the top and side of Nurmagomedov’s head. The Dagestani fighter
wades into the guard and Gooden thinks to threaten with a
guillotine choke, but he abandons it when Nurmagomedov tries to
pass his guard. Gooden continues to slash with elbows while flat on
his back, and the stalemate forces Smith to ask Nurmagomedov to
keep working. Nurmagomedov obliges by climbing into half guard, and
he already has one arm around potentially in search for an
arm-triangle choke. Nurmagomedov looks to advance to side control
to tie up this move, and Gooden fights him off and lands loud,
thudding strikes that make Nurmagomedov reconsider his position.
Nurmagomedov starts delivering punches to the side, and the popping
sounds are alternating as one lands and the other gives it back.
The ribcages of the two welterweights are taking beatings in these
exchanges, but they are hardly more than irritating shots as
neither man can advance nor recover their positions. The fight ends
in this position.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jared Gooden via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Round 1

The lone women’s match of the night comes in the flyweight
division, in what is also the lightest fight on the card. “The
Savage” Robertson (9-5, 6-3 UFC) will be gunning for her top spot
as the winningest fighter in her weight category’s short history,
and she will be looking to win at the expense of Maverick (8-2, 1-0
UFC). The Octagon ranger for this matchup between two women looking
to make their way up the rankings is referee Jason Herzog, and they
offer a glove touch to start the fight. The Canadian opens up with
a high kick that is well short of the mark, and she reaches out
with her foot again while Maverick keeps a safe distance. Both
women crash together but neither land a noteworthy strike, and they
back off as Robertson kicks her in the body. “Fear the Maverick”
makes Robertson fear the leg kick, as she turns around after just
one lands. Maverick slings right hands, and Robertson responds with
a quick strike. The two start swinging, and Maverick loads up on
heavy shots. When Robertson aims a kick to the side, Maverick
counters with a left hand. She stands up Robertson with a few
punches, and she makes Robertson throw up her guard when she lets
loose with a fast head kick. Maverick chains a few punches
together, and although they fall short, they prevent Robertson from
doing anything. The two trade leather, and Robertson sneaks in a
right hand that gets Maverick’s attention. Maverick fires off a
thumping left hand, and as Robertson is retreating, Maverick
follows her with a body kick. “Fear the Maverick” lands a few
punches and a couple high kicks, and even though most of the
strikes are blocked, they have an impact by knocking Robertson
back. Maverick sits down on a left hand, and Robertson circles away
as she is starting to take damage. When Robertson reaches out with
a kick, Maverick catches it with ease and bowls Robertson over.
Maverick climbs into half guard and nearly slices into mount, but
Robertson scrambles and walks up the cage to her feet. As Robertson
tries to gain some space, Maverick chases her down with a flurry of
strikes. She gets off a trio of shots as Robertson tries to get
away, and ta few more land on the nose. The American crashes
forward after a few punches to hit a bulldozing takedown, where she
puts Robertson on her back dramatically. Although Robertson kicks
off, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The flyweights reach out gloves to touch ‘em up, and when they back
off, they come back together to throw big punches at one another.
Robertson backs off Maverick momentarily with a few kicks, but
Maverick is unconcerned and she comes forward with punches in
bunches. Maverick leaps forward with a superman punch, and
Robertson times it and her eyes light up as she circles around to
take Maverick’s back standing. The Canadian uses the momentum to
trip Maverick down, where she is in side control while Maverick is
stuck with her head against the fence. Maverick latches on to a
guillotine choke, and as soon as Robertson aims for a Von Preux
choke, she bails on it. Robertson reaches for a potential
arm-triangle choke, and Maverick scrambles and kicks off but gives
up her back. When Maverick sits up, Robertson keeps to her back,
and follows her while Maverick twists. Maverick manages to get her
back to the canvas, and when she does this, she pulls Robertson
back to an unusual half guard position. Maverick muscles her way
back to her feet, and Robertson is on her like saran wrap trying to
trip her opponent down. Maverick spins with an elbow, and Robertson
easily follows her along to take her back again. Maverick twists to
fall to her back again, and Robertson holds her down with a
potential armlock but is more using the position to keep Maverick
grounded. Maverick rolls and sits back to the fence, where she
lands a series of punches from behind her back. When Maverick is
throwing, Robertson grabs hold of a rear-naked choke. Maverick
powers out of the position and bursts to her feet, where she starts
pouring it on with strikes to back Robertson against the wall.
Maverick clips Robertson with an uppercut and several shots.
Robertson gloms on to her with a clinch to ride out the round and
possibly clear her head.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The final round checks in with a glove touch, and Maverick picks up
where she left off with a mix of punches and kicks that already
have Robertson hurt. Maverick starts unleashing kiais as she is
fired up sensing Robertson might be rocked, and when she starts
spamming punches, the Canadian shoots in for a takedown. The try
fails, and when she goes for another attempt, Maverick stuffs it
and twists her around to take Robertson’s back. Maverick gets her
hooks in and is already hunting for a rear-naked choke. When
Robertson scrambles and tries to power her way out of the bad
position, Maverick rides through and secures full mount. “Fear the
Maverick” starts to do work on Robertson with ground-and-pound,
leading Robertson to twist and turn and pull Maverick back to her
half guard. As Maverick continues to deliver punishment, Robertson
rolls through to her knees, but ultimately get shoved to her back
where she is promptly elbowed in the face repeatedly. As Maverick
winds up on power strikes from above, Robertson throws her legs up
to attack for an armbar. Maverick rolls through it but Robertson
did not let go, and Maverick narrowly escapes a dangerous situation
as she squirms her elbow out of harm’s way. Robertson reverses the
position and circles around to take Maverick’s back, and she gets
one hook only to fall of when trying to lock her up. Maverick times
the moment to roll through and get back on top, where she stands up
and let Robertson get back to her feet. Maverick walks through a
strike or two to land a few and shoot in for a deep double leg
takedown. She scoops Robertson’s legs out and drags her down, and
Robertson holds on tight to the neck to protect herself from
damage. Maverick backs off, lands a few slapping leg kicks, and
allows Robertson to butt-scoot towards her to tie her up. When
Maverick pushes her away once again, the horn sounds to end the
fight.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Miranda Maverick def. Gillian Robertson via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Round 1

In this high-stakes bantamweight tilt, it’s knock out or be knocked
out when O’Malley (12-1, 4-1 UFC) faces Almeida (22-4, 5-4 UFC).
The two 135ers have scored 25 knockouts across their 34 career
wins, but both have also suffered knockout losses of their own in
their careers. Keeping a lid on the proceedings is referee Mark
Smith, and there is a glove touch between them before they get down
to business. O’Malley comes out aggressively with kicks and long,
reaching punches. Almeida returns fire with a calf kick, and
O’Malley bounces around and stomps his foe’s knee. O’Malley pierces
the guard with a left hand, and Almeida ducks out of the way when
another one follows. Almeida lands another leg kick, and O’Malley
blasts him back with one that is much heavier and makes the
Brazilian spin around. Almeida is tentative and he takes a stern
kick to the body, but he chases “Sugar” with a pair of punches that
come up short. O’Malley drills a spinning back kick to the
midsection, and Almeida gathers himself and rushes forward to clip
O’Malley in a barrage. Almeida spins himself around trying to kick
the leg, and he whiffs on a right hand as O’Malley circles away.
The American scores another thudding body kick, and Almeida crashes
the pocket and throws bombs. O’Malley ducks away to land a punch
and a front kick, and Almeida slips his feet on the fence. O’Malley
blasts Almeida with a head kick, and Almeida eats it flush but
takes a right hand that sends him falling to the cage. O’Malley
walks off to celebrate a win, but the fight is not over. Instead,
Almeida gets up and blocks a spinning wheel kick. Almeida walks
into a few punches, and a nasty body kick gives Almeida pause again
to make the Brazilian shoot in for a takedown. Almeida gathers his
thoughts and lands a few low kicks, and he ducks a spinning wheel
kick to push O’Malley to the ground. The Brazilian lets O’Malley
stand back up, and he stalks O’Malley down and eats another head
kick flush. O’Malley hurts him again with a front kick, and he
bursts in but gets popped by a right hand from Almeida. The round
ends, and Almeida made it to the five-minute mark.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 O’Malley
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 O’Malley
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 O’Malley

Round 2

The two bantamweights consider touching gloves but decide that they
will use their hands as rangefinders instead. O’Malley paws out
with a front kick to the torso, and Almeida bounces on his front
foot and blocks a few punches as O’Malley rushes after him. Almeida
tries to advance, only to walk into the full front of a leg kick
that buckles his knee. Almeida comes up top with a head kick, but
it is short of the mark, and he dances out of the way when O’Malley
spins with a kick. Almeida sweeps the leg and set O’Malley down,
and he backs off to kick the leg again when the American stands
back up. O’Malley rushes forward with a right hand, and Almeida
delivers another calf kick low. O’Malley reaches out with a right
hand and a stomp side kick to the knee that surprises his opponent.
Almeida seems to be struggling to get his balance, as he keeps
wiping his feet off while O’Malley chops at his leg. O’Malley lands
a few punches and showboats a little, but a follow-up kick gets
blocked. O’Malley scores another accurate left hand, and a few body
kicks find the mark with ease. Almeida tries to time the circling
of O’Malley with a spinning kick, but O’Malley is well out of the
way. Almeida looks to counter a front kick with a right hand, and
he scores one that draws a frustrated reaction out of O’Malley. Two
big hooks glance the target from “Thominhas,” and he comes up shy
of the mark with a body kick. Almeida walks O’Malley down and
throws a leg kick, and he takes a left hand that splits the guard
and wobbles his legs. O’Malley chases him down to the fence, but he
cannot land again as Almeida kicks the leg twice. “Sugar” does not
like these kicks, and he backs far away to reset. Almeida times a
flying knee attempt to let O’Malley fall to his back, landing a
right hand and some ground-and-pound while O’Malley is on his back.
Almeida elects to land one more leg kick before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 O’Malley
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 O’Malley
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 O’Malley

Round 3

There is one last glove touch to begin the final round, and
O’Malley is ready to kick the leg first. O’Malley drops his hands
and fires off a front kick to the chest, doing so in a way that
does not draw a counter. Almeida kicks the leg, and O’Malley gives
him one back that is much more damaging and forces Almeida to spin
all the way around. Almeida blocks a front kick and takes a
stomping kick to the knee that makes him lift his knee up. Almeida
walks forward with a high kick that is easily slapped away, and
when he wades forward, O’Malley nails him with a right hand.
O’Malley gets off a kick and is out of the way before Almeida can
return fire. A few jabs from O’Malley keep Almeida at bay, although
Almeida does get off his own calf kick. O’Malley lands to the body
with a spinning back kick, and he lands a few punches as he starts
to brawl with the Brazilian. Almeida lands some powerful strikes
that makes O’Malley back off, and “Thominhas” dodges a wicked right
hand. O’Malley knees the body as Almeida closes the distance on
him, and Almeida pays it no mind as he throws big shots. Almeida
shrugs off heavy punches to try to throw bombs, but O’Malley is
accurate and sharp as he picks away at an advancing Almeida. The
Brazilian lands a stern calf kick that makes O’Malley turn around,
and “Sugar” comes back at him with a fierce right hand. O’Malley
scores a big right hand, and his opponent falls to the ground
spinning and hitting nothing but air. Almeida tries to throw a big
hook, and a short left hand counter drops him again. O’Malley walks
off once more, and Smith still has not called the fight as Almeida
flops to his back, so he drops a bomb of a right hand that
short-circuits Almeida and forces Smith to step in. This is a
hugely important victory for the “Sugar Show,” who gets back in the
win column with a statement-making performance over a tough
out.

The Official Result

Sean O’Malley def. Thomas Almeida R3 3:52 via KO (Punches)

Round 1

In what couldn’t be a more different style matchup, former champ
Woodley (19-6-1, 9-5-1 UFC) will try to stay worthy of the top-10
when he faces hard-charging Brazilian Luque (19-7-1, 12-3 UFC). The
official inside the cage is referee Jason Herzog, and they do not
touch gloves before putting their skills to the test. Woodley comes
out lobbing a bomb of a right hand, and Luque closes the distance
quickly enough to not get hit by it. The ex-champ is not through
yet, as he pursues wrestling and considers a takedown. The
Brazilian stops and counters it and twists Woodley to place him
against the fence, and Woodley delivers a few short strikes with
his back against the wall. Woodley is able to turn him about,
before they separate and he fires off a huge right hand. Another
few punches wobble Luque, and Woodley charges at him for a takedown
attempt only to get stood up and clinched in the center of the
cage. Woodley scores a few knees as Luque presses him back to the
wire, and Luque starts to work the body as he gets kneed more. The
jockeying against the fence continues until Luque gains separation,
and Woodley rocks him with a huge right hand. Luque barely avoids
another, and he fires back with a massive right hand that hurts the
former champ. Woodley is rocked and on baby deer legs, and Luque is
laying into him with devastating punches. Woodley is in serious
trouble as he falls into the fence, and Luque chases after him with
huge shots. Woodley winds up with a right hand that stings Luque,
but he does not keep the Brazilian at bay for long as Luque is
still searching for a finish while Woodley is barely conscious.
Woodley leans against the fence and holds himself up by grabbing
the chain links, but a wild barrage of punches puts Woodley down on
the ground again. With Woodley on his knees, Luque latches on to a
brabo choke. “The Chosen One” is completely disoriented still and
unable to defend it, as Luque shifts around to the proper position
to cinch it up. Woodley tries to fight it off as a reflex, but he
taps out shortly thereafter before he passes out. What a crazy
fight, easily worthy of “Fight of the Night” accolades even though
it went down in under four minutes. In doing so, Luque earned the
most significant win of his career, and he went through fire to get
it.

The Official Result

Vicente Luque def. Tyron Woodley R1 3:56 via Submission (Brabo
Choke)

Round 1

This one is for all the marbles. The UFC 260 headliner sees perhaps
the greatest heavyweight to ever compete in the sport in Miocic
(20-3, 14-3 UFC) try to stave off the spectacular Ngannou (15-3,
10-2 UFC) for the second time. Like their first meeting, the champ
is once more the betting underdog, and he will look to prove the
masses wrong and keep his head firmly attached to his shoulders.
Nothing more needs to be said about this rematch; referee Herb Dean
is on top of the action, and there is nothing but respect as the
big men shake hands to check in the final battle of the evening.
Hang on tight. Miocic is loose as he feints and fakes from afar,
but neither man throw a strike until Ngannou lands a leg kick at
the 20-second mark. Miocic dances on the outside, and he takes a
punch to the body as he escapes from another strike. Ngannou goes
after another leg kick as Miocic retreats, and he pulls one back
when Miocic reaches to counter. Miocic absorbs another leg kick,
and takes a right hand flush as it can be without budging. Miocic
throws a leg kick that bare deflected, and he shoots in low for a
single leg takedown. Ngannou hops back to the fence, and he circles
around to stuff it and actually drags Miocic down. Miocic has his
back taken, and Ngannou drills him with several punches while the
champ survives. Miocic powers back up and separates, and he takes a
head kick cleanly. Miocic tosses out a low calf kick, and he still
has yet to throw a punch three minutes into the opening round of a
title fight. Ngannou sticks out a jab, and he misses with a
follow-up right hand. Miocic targets the calf again with a kick,
and he narrowly avoids a looping right hand counter. The champ
chops at the calf once more and jumps out of the way when Ngannou
bears down on him. Miocic slowly, methodically picks at the legs of
his foe, but Ngannou loads up on one much heavier in response.
Miocic gives Ngannou another calf kick to think about, and he steps
back when Ngannou throws a front kick at him. One last leg kick
from Ngannou ends the round, and Miocic looks frustrated and shakes
his head as he walks back to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Miocic offers a glove touch to start off the round, and Ngannou
accepts before throwing a looping right hand at him. Miocic keeps
to his bike, circling out of danger and throwing a kick. Miocic
lands a jab and a leg kick, and Ngannou loads up on a power punch.
Ngannou reaches out with precise step-in jab, hurting the champ
badly. Miocic crashes into the fence, and he is barely able to
return to his feet as he takes left hands on the way up. Miocic
responds with a vicious counter right hand that rings Ngannou’s
bell, and he believes that he has done some damage so he charges in
to attack. “The Predator” meets his prey with his left hand,
catching Miocic before he reaches him, and putting the champion out
as his legs bend backwards reminiscent of Mirko Filipovic’s legs
when Gabriel Gonzaga leveled him. To leave no doubt, the
French/Cameroonian fighter dives down with a thunderous right hand
that completely severs Miocic from his consciousness. Francis
Ngannou is now the heavyweight champion of the world, and he blew
away his opponent less than a minute into the second round. What an
incredible performance from “The Predator,” and good luck to the
next man that meets Ngannou in the cage.

The Official Result

Francis Ngannou def. Stipe Miocic R2 0:52 via KO (Punch)

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