Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight Luke Jumeau(12-4) vs. Daichi Abe(6-0)
Strong finish for @Lukejumeau at #UFC221! pic.twitter.com/9q5rDweZVI
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 10, 2018
Result: Jumeau via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28,28)
Bantamweight Teruto Ishihara(11-4-2) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez(7-2)
Quinonez will be the favorite here. He was the runner up on the Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. Ishihara came into the UFC after competing on the Road to UFC: Japan show that took place in 2015. This will be his Bantamweight debut. They clinch early, Quinonez is looking for a takedown early. Ishihara is down, and Quinonez is glued to his back. He has a body triangle, but Ishihara is controlling the wrist well. They’re back on the feet, but again Quinonez is glued to him. They take a pause for Quinonez to adjust his cup, and they’re back at it. Ishihara lands a nice body shot, and then a nice trip to follow it up. Ishihara lands a nice right hand, and then a knee as the round ends. Nice shot there, and Quinonez was staggered by that last punch. 10-9 Ishihara but it was close. He won it in the last 5 seconds
They exchange early, but Ishihara changes levels and drags Quinonez down to the ground. He can’t keep him there long though, and they’re back on the feet. Nice low kick but Quinonez. Much slower paced round than the first. Jimmy Smith just made a comment about everybody type being good for MMA, as long as you know how to use said body type. It was an interesting comment and I’m not doing it justice. Also, it’s great having Jimmy Smith calling fights. Nice knockdown by Ishihara as the round ends. I think that was probably enough to steal the second for him too. 10-9 Ishihara
Ishihara lands a straight left to start the round. This has been a very close fight, both guys should probably be looking for the finish. Nice body kick by Quinonez. He follows it up with a head kick that lands. Close round. 10-9 Quinonez (29-28 Ishihara)
Result: Quiñónez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight Ross Pearson(21-12-0, 1NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota(19-8-2)
I missed some of this round and I apologize. Pearson controlled most of it with his boxing, but Hirota did land more shots throughout the round. 10-9 Pearson
Nice right hand to start the round by Pearson. Lots of boxing exchanges here, and Pearson is getting the better of the majority. Hirota lands a right hand that sends Pearson back. He follows it up with another that staggers Pearson as the round ends. 10-9 Pearson
Stiff right from @MizutoHirota hurts Pearson at the end of the 2nd#UFC221 pic.twitter.com/lx2d1KO34z
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 11, 2018
Pearson is choosing to circle around the outside. Lots of Ric Flair “Woo” chants from the crowd. That man is over like rover. Hirota is busted open, probably from Pearson’s jab. Hirota lands a nice left hook as he moves in but gets hit with one from Pearson on his way out. This hasn’t been a very fast paced fight, but Hirota choosing to stand right in front of Pearson must be a dream come true for Pearson. This is exactly what he wants. 10-9 Pearson (30-27 Pearson)
Result: Pearson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Flyweight #4 Jussier Formiga(20-5) vs. #8 Ben Nguyen(17-6)
Ben Nyugen closes the distance early, and shoves Formiga against the cage. Formiga lands a nice left hand as they separate and move back towards the center. Nyugen again moves Formiga against the fence. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Formiga just pulled guard here. Formiga gets a body lock, and is looking for a takedown, but its stuffed. He settles for a trip, and Nyugen is down. Formiga moves to the mount. He isn’t doing much, aside from landing short elbows. 10-9 Formiga
Formiga is bleeding from the forehead, not sure what from. Formiga lands a nice spinning back kick to the body. Formiga gets a takedown with plenty of time left but can’t do much with it and Nyugen is back on his feet. Nyugen took an eye poke as the round ends. 10-10 Draw. Close round.
They exchange early, and Formiga is looking for a takedown but can’t get it. Ben Nyugen looks for a head kick, but Formiga counters with a spinning back fist and Nyugen is down. Formiga takes the back, and slaps on a rear naked choke and Nyugen might go out here and its over. Impressive finish there by Formiga in what was a close fight until then.
Result: Formiga via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of Round 3
FORMIGA!!@JussierFormiga drops Nguyen w/ a spinning back fist, then locks in the RNC and puts him to sleep!
Big win for the Brazilian! #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/iiJmkYIaJd
— UFC (@ufc) February 11, 2018
Featherweight Jeremy Kennedy(11-0) vs. Alexander Volkanovski(16-1)
Kennedy is a slight under dog here. He has a very notable size advantage though. Its looks like a grown man fighting a child. Volk closes the distance early and gets a takedown from a body lock. He is landing some nice elbows here. Kennedy is having problems here, Volk is controlling him easily and continuing to land elbows. Kennedy has a half guard, but he’s just covering up here. He’s going to survive but he took a beating. 10-9 Volkanovski
Flurry of GnP from @AlexVolkanovski early at #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/nqlQFl3hRF
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 11, 2018
Volkanovski throws two big hooks early and gets a takedown early. Kennedy works back to his feet and is looking for a takedown of his own but he’s playing a dangerous game. He can’t get it and Volkanovski gets a takedown of his own. He’s applying heavy pressure and landing short shots. Kennedy just isn’t offering much off his back. Volkanovski is picking up the pressure here, landing big shots and the ref is going to step in and save Kennedy. That was an absolutely dominant performance, and he needs to be tested big time in his next fight. We might have a future contender here.
More relentless ground strikes from @AlexVolkanovski at #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/eiNEc6t3H1
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 11, 2018
Result: Alexander Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (Punches) 4:57 of round 2
Middleweight Rob Wilkinson(11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya(11-0)
If you haven’t seen Israel Adesanya’s previous fights I highly recommend you take the time to watch them. Wilkinson is looking to close the distance early. He goes for a trip and looks for a guillotine at the end of it but can’t find anything. Wilkinson is doing all that he can’t to avoid exchanging with Adesanya. He gets a quick trip takedown but can’t hold Adesanya down for long. Adesanya attempted a body kick, Wilkinson caught it, and then they rolled…I honestly can’t even explain what just happened. What I’m talking about goes down with around 45 seconds remaining in the round if you’re interested in checking it out. 10-9 Wilkinson
Wilkinson is looking for the takedown early, but he is eating some serious knees for his trouble. Wilkinson is covering up and allowing Adesanya to pick his shots. He is busted open and taking some more serious knees. I think that Wilkinson just spit blood in Adesanya’s face, but it was hard to tell. Wilkinson is against the cage taking punches and knees. This is just strikes in bunches, and Wilkinson just can’t do anything. He drops down and the ref steps in. Great debut performance by Adesanya. He is a very exciting and skilled striker and just off the top of my head the idea of him facing Uriah Hall sounds very fun.
What a debut for @StyleBender at #UFC221!
12 wins, 12 knockouts pic.twitter.com/nXpY6NiEf9
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 11, 2018
Result: Adesanya via TKO at 3:37 of round 2
Lightweight Damien Brown(17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim(15-8-3)
Nice low kick by Brown to start the round, and it knocks Kim down. Brown is sporting silver hair tonight. Bold. Kim is using the jab well to keep Brown off him. Slow round but Brown probably did enough to get it. 10-9 Brown
Long feeling out process at the start of the round. Kim lands a nice 1,2 combo. Brown lands a low kick that knocks Kim off balance. Kim is circling out and landing his jab. Kim is starting to counter the low kicks of Brown with his jab. This has basically been a battle between Kim’s jab and Browns low kick. 10-9 Kim
Both men appear to be fresh as the round begins. Brown throws a body kick that Kim counters with a left hook. This is a very tedious round. Lots of respect being shown by both fighters. Kim lands a 1,2 as the round ends. 10-9 Brown I think. This was a very close, and slow fight. It could definitely go either way. (29-28 Brown)
Result: Kim via split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Main Card (pay-per-view)
Light heavyweight #13 Tyson Pedro(6-1) vs. Saparbek Safarov(8-1)
Pedro lands a thunderous leg kick early. Safarov didn’t like it and gets the double leg. Pedro had a hard time dealing with Ilir Latifi’s wrestling in his last fight. It will be interesting to see if he has worked on that hole. Pedro, back on his feet, lands a nice knee. Pedro lands a nice right hand. Safarov shoots but gets stuffed and Pedro made him pay with a couple shots on his way out. Pedro shoots, but Safarov side steps and lands a nice uppercut. Safarov gets a nice takedown and lands a few hard shots before Pedro gets back to his feet. Safarov is looking for a takedown, Pedro counters with a kimura and sweeps Safarov. Safarov taps! Wow that was a nice win for Pedro.
Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via Submission (Kimura) Round 1. 3:54
Welterweight Jake Matthews(12-3) vs. Li Jingliang(14-4)
Matthews is back at welterweight for the first time since dropping to 155 four fights back. Jingliang is at the point probably the best fighter that China has produced, and he is quickly making his way up the card. He is currently riding a 4-fight win streak. Jingliang is landing some big shots early. He slips a quick right straight from Matthews and counters with one of his own. Jingliang is favoring the left hook tonight. Just as I say that Matthews drops him with the very same punch and he pounces into mount. Jingliang gives up his back, and this is a bad spot. Matthews is looking for the rear naked choke, but Jingliang is fighting it well. He’s going to survive the round. 10-9 Matthews
Jingliang lands a nice right to start the fight, but Matthews pushes through and gets a takedown. He slaps on a guillotine, but Jingliang escapes and is landing heavy shots. Matthews is busted open badly. They are both swinging wildly, and Jingliang appears to be taking the harder shots. Jingliang is landing some big shots here, combining low kicks and body punches. Matthews is breathing heavy; his mouth is open, and he is retreating a bit. Jingliang is swinging for the fences and eats a counter right from Matthews. Jingliang just won’t give Matthews any room to breathe. The Leech nickname is very fitting. 10-9 Jingliang
*The post round replay showed that Jingliang blatantly eye gouged Matthews. Crazy that the ref didn’t do more about that. Just blatant cheating by Jingliang, but he escaped position with it.
Matthews gets a quick takedown, but Jingliang is able to quickly get back to his feet. Matthews lands shot right on the chin and puts Jingliang down. Jingliang recovers nicely though. That could have been a mistake by Matthews. He had Jingliang hurt and let him up. Jingliang is now in control, landing shots from the top. Matthews works to his feet though, drives forward and is looking for a takedown against the fence. This is a fun fight and my choice for fight of the night so far. Matthews lands a flying knee that has no obvious effect, and Jingliang counters with a right hand as the round ends. 10-9 Matthews (29-28 Matthews)
Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jingliang via Unanimous Decision
Heavyweight Tai Tuivasa(8-0) vs. Cyril Asker(9-3)
Tai Tuivasa lands a big left hook early and Asker is hurt. Asker is against the cage trying to recover, but Tuivasa hits him with a mean elbow. Asker is just covering up right now. Tuivasa lands another big elbow. Asker eats a left hook…man he is just getting beat up here. Tuivasa lands ANOTHER big elbow and Asker is down. Its over…wow. That was a nice performance and the hype train will continue. That was a very disciplined performance by Tuivasa. Asker is as tough as they come but he didn’t offer much in the way of offence.
Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (Elbows and Punches) Round 1, 2:18
Heavyweight #5 Mark Hunt(13-11-1, 1NC) vs. #9 Curtis Blaydes(8-1-0, 1NC)
Both gentlemen are ranked in the top 10 of the heavyweight division. Blaydes is a slight favorite. They exchange big shots early, and man I wouldn’t want to be either guy right now. Blaydes is swinging wild on some of his punches and I can’t help but feel that’s dangerous considering Hunts countering ability. Blaydes gets a takedown, but Hunt pops right back up and the crowd loves it. Blaydes eats a huge right and he’s hurt. Hunt its taking his time but landing some big shots! Blaydes gets a takedown out of nowhere! He was hurt, this is a great position for him to recover. Hunt is back on his feet though, but Blaydes gets him right back down. This is fantastic fight so far. Hunt is beneath Blaydes taking some big shots. He’s been taken down 3 times so far in the round. Blaydes gets the back as the round ends. Close round but that damage that Hunt caused should be enough. 10-9 Hunt, really could go either way though. Depends on if you value takedowns and control or damage more.
Blaydes looks for a takedown early but can’t get it. Blaydes is making this a grappling match which can’t be good for Hunt. They separate in the center, and Blaydes is utilizing his jab to keep Hunt back. Blaydes looks for another takedown, but Hunt shakes it. Much slower round than the first so far. Blaydes attempts another takedown, which Hunt avoids at first but Blaydes pushes through and completes it. Hunt is on his back, and not doing much. For what it’s worth Blaydes isn’t doing a whole lot from the top either. They are pretty much just napping at this point, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it is what it is. Blaydes is moving a bit more now, landing a few elbows here and there. 10-9 Blaydes
Blaydes gets the takedown early and move to mount. Both men are tired, its hard to see a way for Hunt to get up at this point without some help from the referee. Blaydes is landing some nice elbows from the mount position. They are huge, but they are doing damage and the crowd couldn’t be angrier. Hunt rolls into the turtle position, but Blaydes rides him and is still landing shots. Hunt is back on his feet, but Blaydes still has a body lock and he gets Hunt right back down. Hunt just can’t get up without Blaydes sitting him right back down. Just a dominate grappling performance by Blaydes. I thought that Hunt would be able to pound on him through out the fight, power through the wrestling, and eventually get the stoppage but Blaydes has worked his wrestling VERY well tonight. He just got his tenth takedown of the night. Great performance. 10-8 Blaydes (29-27 Blaydes)
Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via Unanimous Decision
Interim middleweight championship(Only Rockhold can win the title) Yoel Romero(12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold(16-3)
Both men are keeping a slow pace at the start of the fight. Romero is throwing the occasional big shot but is otherwise taking his time. Nice low kick by Romero that staggered Rockhold a bit. I think it was a trip though, hard to tell. Romero lands a nice left hand. Lots of respect being shown by both fighters. 10-9 Romero, could have been a draw though. Not much happened.
Romero tags Rockhold early and is landing some big shots. Rockhold could be in trouble here. He is taking some big shots but surviving. Rockhold is using the jab well but is getting hit for his efforts. Romero traps Rockhold against the fence and lands a few shots. They’re back in the center and Rockhold is throwing low kicks and jabs and finding a home for both. Nice right hook by Rockhold as the round ends. 10-9 Romero.
They come out slow and Rockhold eats a huge left hand! The ref jumped in but not before Romero could land another big shot! Wow! Wow! Wow! That was a huge KO! I know he missed weight, but he deserves the next title shot despite the Whitaker loss. Just epic stuff to end the card.
Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (Punch) Round 3, 1:48
Rockhold is a good striker but doesn’t have a chin anymore. Jingyang should be cut from the UFC over those intentional eye gouges; I love brutality but eye gouging is ridiculous.