Glover Teixeira took his fight with Rashad Evans on fairly short notice, but he made it three straight stoppage wins when he put Evans out cold with a huge two punch sequence in the first round. The Brazilian had been the aggressor early, and early in the round he landed an overhand left to the jaw that dropped the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. A quick follow up right hand face-planted Evans and ended things just 1:48 into the first round.
Rose Namajunas evened things up with Tecia Torres in a close and competitive rematch, taking a unanimous decision in the night’s co-main event. Torres had Namajunas a bit off-rhythm early on, connecting on strikes from a number of angles and using her kicks effectively to keep things unpredictable. Namajunas found that rhythm mostly in the second round, firing back with significant damage and some excellent combinations in a highly entertaining scrap. The third saw her much more inactive, though Torres’ offense was a bit minimal, allowing Namajunas to likely steal the frame with a late takedown. The win now likely has Namajunas in line for the winner of July’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha title fight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov did what was expected of him, making a successful return with a dominant showing against late replacement Darrell Horcher. Nurmagomedov was slated to headline this event after two years out of action, but the tune up fight may have been a blessing. He got himself back on track with his 23rd win in 23 fights, and gets any shakiness about a two-year layoff past him for when he faces an elite competitor – and potentially the UFC Lightweight Champion – later this year.
In the main card opener, Cub Swanson as well made a successful return after a year out, defeating Hacran Dias and nearly finishing the fight in the third round to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak.
On the preliminary card, Michael Chiesa and John Dodson scored standout wins, with Chiesa scoring a shocking second round submission over Beneil Dariush, while Dodson needed just 47 seconds to take out Manny Gamburyan in his return to bantamweight.
[Glover Teixeira art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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