Mean Hakeem achieves the Dream
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
This was a great opener to the card. Entirely standing up, and Tukhugov seemed to have something going wrong later in the fight as he refused to go after Dawodu. Dawodu landed some serious shots throughout the fight while mixing them up to all different parts of the body. Tukhugov fought like a boxer would, he focused on the head and tried to win on the scoreboard. Dawodu even aggressively challenged Tukhugov to the point of the ref warning him about his language. Very solid fight to start things off.
Result: Split Decision for Hakeem Dawodu
Throw Girls Throw
Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks
Women’s Bantamweight Fight
This was another great stand up fight. Eubanks just seemed to be outmatched, even when she traded with Vieira she always seemed to be a step behind. Vieira had control the whole time, and always looked calm and collected. She never made a bad decision and seemed to get the better of whenever the fight hit the ground, which wasn’t often.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Ketlen Vieira
Everybody gets a knockdown!
Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval
The first round of this one featured dueling knockdowns, first a big knee from Kara-France and then an immediate spinning back fist from Royval. They did everything they could to finish each other, but 5 minutes just wasn’t long enough. The second round didn’t last, it went to the ground fast and Royval synced in a very quick guillotine choke and Kara-France had no answer.
Result: 2nd Round Submission (Guillotine Choke) for Brandon Royval
Light Heavyweight Championship
Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz
Blachowicz didn’t waste time doing damage, as there was a very visible bruise on the ribs of Reyes early in the fight. Blachowicz seemed to want to finish this fight standing up even though he’s an artist with takedowns. The 2nd round appeared to be more of the same, but Blachowicz seemed to be in control, he never panicked. Reyes seemed to attempt to force things. Reyes tried to work in close quarters with Blzchowicz, which based on the giant pole’s history, you shouldn’t try. Blachowicz strung together a bunch of massive shots before making Reyes woozy and then finally taking him down. Blachowicz called out Jon Jones after his win, and even said “Jon Jones where are you? Don’t be a quitter.” Jan even joked with Jon Anik in his post-fight interview “I’m gonna be a father, I think I’m more scared of that than this.” A lifetime of work for the soon to be new father finally comes to fruition. Congrats Big Fella.
Result: 2nd Rd TKO for Jan Blachowicz
Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
This fight started with a lot of posturing and trash talking and leg kicks, but not much to really hang your hat on, but the scoreboard would probably award it to Adesanya. The second round had the same look without the sound, there was no trash talking, and Adesanya retained control as he picked apart Costa’s front leg. Once he was confident that Costa couldn’t run he caught him with a big left hand and finished him off. Adesanya was talking massive amounts of trash after the win, to both the cameras and Costa’s corner, but few do it better than him, he certainly earned the right to. I’m not sure what’s next for Adesanya, but it’ll be another great one. 20-0 is tough to beat. Israel brought up how he believes UFC needs to change what percentage of the purse is lost when fighters don’t make weight. It currently stands at 30% Adesayna said it should be 90%. He said: “These guys are gangsters, they make money outside of UFC, 30% ain’t s*** to them.” Adesanya is undeniably one of the best in the fight game today.
Result: 2nd Rd TKO for Israel Adesanya