March 2, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada from T-Mobile Arena
Live on UFC Fight Pass (6:30 PM ET), ESPN (8 PM ET), and pay-per-view (10 PM ET)
Fight Pass Prelims
Hannah Cifers vs. Polyana Viana (Strawweight)
Favorite: Polyana Viana -275
Round 1: Cifers connects with an over hand right to break the ice. She’s pressuring forward and Viana is mostly just circling away. Viana connects with a straight right straight and then a switch kick to the body. Viana pulls guard and attacks with a heel hook, but Cifers pulls out and we’re back on the feet. Viana mistimes a teep kick and Cifers connects with a big counter over hand right! Viana is down! Cifers allows her up, perhaps thinking that Viana is still going to be a bit dazed. Viana connects with a knee to the body! But Cifers is just missing with the same over hand right that she dropped Viana with earlier. It’s only a matter of time if Viana doesn’t make some adjustments and starts setting the kicks and knee’s up instead of just moving in with them. (10-9 Cifers)
Round 2: Viana is more aggressive here in the second. She’s quicker to strike so far and Cifers can’t find her rhythm. Viana connects with a left hook that causes Cifers to slip! Viana attacks and pulls guard! She’s landing some elbows to Cifers head from her back. The ref is threatening with a stand up. Viana is looking to isolate an arm but it does look like inactivity. 2 minutes remain in the round… Random thought here. If a fighter pulls guard, they should not be given points for a takedown but the fighter on top should not be given credit for any sort of top control. Viana has been on her back for nearly two minutes here, but she has controlled Cifers wrist and waist. This round she be scored for Viana. (10-9 Viana)
Round 3: Viana seems a bit more relaxed in this round. She is allowing Cifers to pressure her and that was a bad idea in the first round. Viana connects with a knee to the body. Viana connects again with a stiff kick to the midsection. Cifers attacks the body with a left hand, she’s been targeting the body with success a lot here in this round. Cifers just misses with one of those over hand rights. We’re seeing some dirty boxing, Cifers is attacking the body and mixing in the occasional uppercut as well. (10-9 Viana) (29-28 Viana)
Result: Hannah Cifers def. Polyana Viana via Split Decision
Analysis: Great way to start the night. It was a very close fight and Hannah Cifers now has the biggest win of her MMA career.
Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson (Bantamweight)
Favorite: Macy Chiasson -500
Round 1: Chiasson connects with a heavy kick to the body to get things going. They’re going at it early. Mazany is targeting the body with punches but Chiasson’s length is making is difficult. Chiasson forces the fight against the fence with a body lock. Mazany creates some space and tries to circle out. Chiasson is chasing her though and connects with a right, and then another, and then another! Gina Mazany face plants and this fight is over!
Result: Macy Chiasson def. Gina Mazany via KO (Punches) Round 1, 1:49
Analysis: Macy Chiasson continues to live up to the hype. She ended the fight quick and early and never really seemed to be in any danger. The finishing shot was a very nice right hook. Good stuff there by Macy Chiasson.
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Charles Byrd (Middleweight)
Favorite: Edmen Shahbazyan -150
Round 1: After a brief exchange we see Byrd shoot for a takedown. Shahbazyan is hitting him with some hard elbows though and Byrd is down! Shahbazyan hits him a few more times on the ground and this fight is over! Wow! In case what I wrote doesn’t make sense, what basically happened was similar to the Travis Browne and Josh Barnett fight. Byrd shot in, and Shahbazyan just nailed him.
Result: Edmen Shahbazyan def. Charles Byrd via TKO (Elbows) Round 1, 0:38
Analysis: Every time Edmen wins, his entire camp feels a bit of relief… That camp would be a complete afterthought if it wasn’t for this guy. He is a very interesting prospect and remains undefeated several fights into his MMA career.
Mickey Gall vs. Diego Sanchez (Welterweight)
Favorite: Mickey Gall -240
Round 1: Both guys connect with uppercuts right out of the gate. Gall forces Sanchez against the fence but can’t keep him there. Gall is throwing some heavy shots, but Sanchez is avoiding most of them. Sanchez secures a clinch before moving to a body lock. Gall is against the fence and Sanchez is starting to hit him with knees to the midsection. Sanchez completes a takedown and moves into side control. Gall is up but Sanchez still has a body lock and takes him right back down! Gall is up but just for a moment and Sanchez takes him down again! Sanchez is starting to land some shots to the body, Gall is not in a good place. (10-9 Sanchez)
Round 2: Sanchez lands a kick to the body. Gall appears to be a bit fatigued. Gall forces the fight against the fence, but Sanchez smashes him in the face with a knee and Gall is down! Sanchez is swarming Gall! Gall fights to his feet only for Sanchez to drag him right back down! Sanchez is just relentless with his attack from the top position, always has been and probably always will be. Gall just can’t find an inch to breath here. Sanchez is landing some hard elbows to Mickey Gall’s face. Sanchez is looking for the stoppage! He is landing shot after shot and this fight is over! Diego Sanchez just beat the hell out of Mickey Gall… Gall was like 12 when Diego Sanchez competed on the Ultimate Fighter… Long live Diego Sanchez.
Result: Diego Sanchez def. Mickey Gall via TKO (Punches) Round 2, 4:13
Analysis: Well what can you say… Mickey Gall was just over matched. Diego Sanchez gave ranted about anti-aging in his pot fight interview. I don’t really know what he said but he appears to be on to something.
(12) Cody Stamann vs. (13) Alejandro Perez (Bantamweight)
Favorite: Cody Stamann -190
Round 1: Long feeling out process starts the round… Stamann moves in for a takedown but Perez shakes him off. Neither guy has connected with anything notable so far and we have about 90 seconds left. Perez connects with a left hook to the body! Stamann is realizing that taking this fight to the ground will not be easy. Stamann connects with a counter left hook. Stamann drops for a takedown but Perez falls back against the fence and he’s defending from there. Stamann readjusts and drags him down to one knee as the round ends. (10-9 Stamann)
Round 2: Stamann connects with a counter right hand as Perez misses with a shot of his own. Stamann connects with a left hook and then a front kick. He changes levels for a takedown, but Perez reverses the position and they are back in the center. Perez connects with a low kick, but he isn’t very active over all. Stamann closes the distance and forces the fight against the fence. Perez separates briefly before Stamann just forces him fight back to where he wants him. (10-9 Stamann)
Round 3: Perez scores with the first takedown of the night. He rips into Stamann with a few leg kicks before he can get back to his feet. Perez reaches for a single but Stamann shakes him. Perez connects with a right hand that had a bit of heat on it. Stamann changes levels for a takedown and he has Perez down to one knee. Stamann basically has him down with 40 seconds left in the round. The ref steps in and both fighters are back on the feet. Stamann lands with a left hand with 15 seconds left. (10-Stamann) (30-27 Stamann)
Result: Cody Stamann def. Alejandro Perez via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Not the most exciting fight but it was an effective performance for Stamann. Perez was just a bit slow to the punch and it cost him here tonight.
(14) Misha Cirkunov vs. (15) Johnny Walker (Light-heavyweight)
Favorite: Johnny Walker -155
Round 1: Johnny Walker connects with a flying knee to the face and Cirkunov is down and out! What the hell! Walker landed a few shots on the ground once Cirkunov fell but it was over the second that knee connected.
Result: Johnny Walker def. Misha Cirkunov via KO (Flying Knee) Round 1, 0:36
Analysis: Johnny Walker uses a lot of strange movement, fakes a lot of shots, and because of that he is able to land. But after three fights we still down know what he can do if somebody can figure out his timing. Its hard not to be a fan of this guy though. He’s a highlight reel waiting to happen each time he steps into the cage. They are replaying his post-fight celebration post fight… he apparently injured his arm. You gotta love it…
(13) Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. (6) Jeremy Stephens (Featherweight)
Favorite: Zabit Magomedsharipov -200
Round 1: Both guys are showing a lot of respect early. Zabit connects with a high kick but it didn’t have much on it. Zabit is attacking the legs with a fierce low kick. Stephens still doesn’t seem to have his feet under him. Stephens ducks underneath a shot and connects to the body. Stephens pressures forward and lands a left hook. He is having a hard time dealing with Zabit’s superior footwork but he’s forcing him to move. Stephens connects with a hard-low kick. Zabit connects with a kick to the groin and we have a time out in the action. Zabit jumps off the cage and attempts a flying Headkick but misses. Stephens continues the pressure until the bell. (10-9 Zabit) It could go either way… It really just depends on what you value when it comes to judging a fight.
Round 2: Stephens connects with a nice right hook! He’s having a hard time dealing with the length of Zabit but that was probably his best punch of the fight. Zabit grabs a leg and attempts a takedown but Stephens defends. Zabit pushes through though and completes the takedown. He can’t keep Stephens down, but Stephens can’t stay on his feet either. Zabit scores another takedown and takes the back of Jeremy Stephens. He has two hooks in, and he is looking for a rear naked choke. Zabit is landing punches and elbows in the process of looking for a choke. (10-9 Zabit) Much clearer round.
Round 3: Stephens is pressuring early but he isn’t landing much. He connects with a straight right. Stephens is doing a good job of pressuring Zabit back against the fence. Zabit drops for a single leg but Stephens steps out of it. Low kick lands for Zabit. Stephens connects to the body but Zabit returns an elbow right across his face with just over a minute left in the round. My apologies but my internet feet cut out in the final seconds of the round. (10-9 Stephens) Close fight and it had its moment, but it wasn’t what a lot of people were probably expecting.
Result: Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Jeremy Stephens via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Zabit now has a top ten win and he looked good in earning it. It wasn’t quite the exciting fight that it could have been but that was mostly due to how well Zabit managed distance.
PPV Main Card
(2) Cody Garbrandt vs. (9) Pedro Munhoz (Bantamweight)
Favorite: Cody Garbrandt
Round 1: Munhoz attacks right out of the gate and attempts a heel hook. Garbrandt steps out of it though and they are back in the center. Munhoz lands a slick low kick. Garbrandt seems a bit more stationary than usual. We aren’t seeing the usual footwork to the extent that we have in the past. Munhoz is landing lots of low kicks here. Garbrandt is hurt! Not sure what caused it, but he hit the ground hard! Munhoz is attacking but Garbrandt is up and they are trading shots! Garbrandt lands a jumping knee! They are trading and this is wild! Garbrandt is down! Munhoz connected with a right hook that put Garbrandt down. He landed a few shots once Garbrandt fell but it was over once that hook landed.
Result: Pedro Munhoz def. Cody Garbrandt via KO (Punch) Round 1, 4:51
Analysis: For starters… Where does Garbrandt go from here? That’s three straight losses for the former champion and all have come by way of knockout. As for Munhoz, he can’t be far from a shot, but the division is in a bit of a weird spot right now
(7) Tecia Torres vs. (15) Weili Zhang (Strawweight)
Favorite: Weili Zhang -130
Round 1: We aren’t seeing much engagement early on. Both fighters are being very careful. Zhang moves in for a takedown off a missed spinning back fist by Torres. Torres is defending though. Zhang takes the back standing. Torres escapes the hooks as breaks out of the bad position. Torres scores with a headlock takedown but Zhang immediately sweeps her into side control as the round ends. (10-9 Zhang)
Round 2: Zhang connects with a spinning back fist to start the round. Torres connects with a low kick in return. Torres lands a short-left hook as Zhang lands an inside low kick. They are fighting for position against the fence and Zhang scores with a takedown. Torres reveres the position though and takes top control with just under a minute left in the round. Torres is getting in some good shots in the final moments of the round. (10-9 Zhang) Torres may have stolen the round in the final minute or so but its hard to say at this point.
Round 3: Torres lands a big kick to the body to get things going. They land several shots in a flurry before Zhang forces the fight against the fence. Torres escapes the position though and forces Zhang against the fence. Zhang lands a kick to the body as they separate. Zhang scores with a trip takedown with just over two minutes left in the round. She moves into half guard. Zhang is landing some short elbows from the top position and that’s how the fight will end. (10-9 Zhang) (29-28 Zhang)
Result: Weili Zhang def. Tecia Torres via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Zhang is now 19-1 and has the first quality win of her career.
Ben Askren vs. (6) Robbie Lawler (Welterweight)
Favorite: Ben Askren -280
Round 1: Askren shoots immediately! Lawler slams him though and lands some big shots! Askren is busted open badly! He’s up but Askren is hurt. He has an under hook, but he looks like a man that’s seen a ghost. Askren is looking for a takedown against the fence but he seems exhausted and Lawler is defending. As I say that Askren gets him down and takes the back. He has a bulldog choke and Lawler appears to be out and this fight is over! Oh wait… Lawler may not have been out… We have a bit of controversy…
Result: Ben Askren def. Robbie Lawler via Submission (Bulldog Choke) Round 1, 3:20
Analysis: The replay appears to show that Lawler may not have been out. Either way though Askren is now 19-0 and has passed his first test in the UFC.
© Tyron Woodley vs. (2) Kamaru Usman (UFC Welterweight Championship)
Favorite: Tyron Woodley -165
Round 1: Usman grabs a leg for a single leg takedown, but Woodley pulls him down with a headlock. Woodley doesn’t have guard though and Usman isn’t in any danger. Usman has Woodley down but not by much. Woodley is up but Usman is holding him against the cage. Usman lands a nice jab and moves in for a takedown. Woodley is defending though and pushes off the cage for separation. Usman lands a right hand and a knee to the body. He’s doing a good job of keeping Woodley with his back to the fence. The ref steps in and the two are separated. Usman is working hard for a takedown in the final seconds of the round but can’t quite get it done. (10-9 Usman)
Round 2: Usman is pressuring forward. Woodley lands a low kick, but Usman moves past it and forces his opponent against the fence. Usman lands a big elbow! Woodley circles away from the fence but Usman follows and slams him to the mat! Usman moves into the mount and Woodley is in a bad spot here. Usman is landing some short punches from the mount position. Woodley is bleeding and he just can’t seem to get anything going. He’s stuck and Usman is showing no signs of slowing down. Usman lands another hard elbow. Usman is landing shot after shot, they aren’t hard, but they are landing in huge numbers. (10-8 Woodley)
Round 3: Usman forces the fight against the fence, and he is landing some serious body shots on Woodley right now. The ref separates them after a moment of inaction. He isn’t giving them much time there… Usman secures an under hook and puts Woodley back against the fence. He lands some hard body shots and Woodley has got to be hurting at this point. We see another separation… Wash and repeat… Usman lands a short jab and secures an under hook. He forces Woodley against the fence again. (10-9 Usman) Isn’t even close…
Round 4: Woodley briefly has a guillotine and he pulls guard, but Usman slips right out. It seems that Woodley has reached the point of desperation. He’s just looking for a finish. He put himself in a bad spot and he likely won’t get up from here. Usman is just working, working and working… Woodley is only getting more and more exhausted. The ref stands them up with just over a minute and a half left in the round. They clinch and Woodley lands some nice uppercuts and follows them up with a few knees. Usman returns fire though and he is landing shot after shot! Woodley is exhausted! Usman secures under hooks and pushes Woodley back against the fence as the round ends… (10-9 Usman)
In the background… Colby Covington can be seen lurking in the crowd… Belt on his shoulder, MAGA hat on, Peoples Champion shirt on as well…
Round 5: Woodley has a guillotine and backs against the fence. Usman doesn’t appear to be in trouble though and he lifts Woodley up and slams him… just brutal. This is one of the most dominant performances by a title challenger in UFC history. Woodley is beaten, it shows on his face and he doesn’t even appear to be trying to get up. (10-8 Usman)
Result: Kamaru Usman def. Tyron Woodley via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Kamaru Usman absolutely dominated Tyron Woodley tonight… Woodley has been a great champion, and he is among the best ever in a division that has been filled with all time greats. Usman has a lot of interesting match ups going forward, but it probably starts with Colby Covington.
(C) Jon Jones vs. (3) Anthony Smith (UFC Light-heavyweight Championship)
Favorite: Jon Jones -900
Round 1: Smith opens up with a nice leg kick. Jones connects with a big spinning back kick to the body. Smith returns to the center though. Smith connects with a low kick. Smith connects with a high kick, but Jones catches it and forces the fight against the fence with two minutes left. Jones connects with a side kick to the body and then a big right hand. Smith seems to be in a bit of a trance. Jones lands a low kick on the lead leg of his opponent as the round ends. (10-9 Jones)
Round 2: Jones connects with a right and Smith counters with a right of his own. Jones connects with a low kick and Smith is backing up. Jones connects with a spinning elbow and it knocks Smith against the fence. Smith lands a right hand as they separate. Smith connects with a front kick to the body and circles off the fence. He then follows it up with a well-placed kick to the body. Jones lands yet another low kick. Jones comes over the top and lands a big right hand, but Smith sends one back in return. Jones shoots in for a take down in the final seconds of the round, but he doesn’t complete it. (10-9 Jones)
Round 3: Jones opens up the round with a quick right hand to the jaw. Jones changes levels for a takedown and forces Smith against the fence. Jones tries for another takedown via body lock, but Smith defends. Jones is working hard for a takedown and he’s landing some nice knees in the process. Jones scoops Smith up and slams him to the mat. Smith turtles up and Jones is looking for the neck. Jones is landing shots to the body and Smith is just taking them as he attempts to control the wrist of Jon Jones. Smith is just crouched in the corner with Jones on top of him… (10-9 Jones) Not even close or remotely competitive at this point. Smith seems gun shy and he hasn’t pulled the trigger in some time. He’s arguing with his coach in the corner… it’s getting bad.
Round 4: Jones connects with a spinning back kick to the body to start the round. He follows it up with some hard elbows! Smith is flinching… Ah man this is rough. Jones lands a flying knee and Smith is busted open from the nose. Smith is down and crouched, Jones takes the back… I don’t mean any disrespect, but I have never witnessed a fighter wilt in a title fight like this. Jones is doing whatever he wants. Smith briefly gets up, but Jones takes him right back down and lands a hard knee to the body. Jones is landing elbow after elbow and Smith is barely defending at this point. Jones is landing some ferocious knees to the body now… Jones is looking for the neck with 10 seconds left in the round. He just illegally kneed Smith in the face. Herb Dean just took two points for some reason… (Draw 8-8?) I have no idea what going on at this point. Herb Dean is having a bad night.
Round 5: Smith is showing signs of life early on. Jones shoots in for a takedown but Smith sprawls. Jones forces him against the fence and secures a set of under hooks. He’s landing some shots and Smith doesn’t appear able to get off the fence. Jones is going to run out the fight controlling Smith against the fence and that will be it. (10-9 Jones)
Result: Jon Jones def. Anthony Smith via Unanimous Decision
Analysis: Jon Jones dominated the fight… Was what it was. Jones gave a post-fight interview that was weird. His voice appears to have changed… He is quite a character. Smith did what he could, but it wasn’t enough.
Thanks for joining us for coverage of UFC 235 and come back throughout the week for the fall out.