Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Light Heavyweight Fight
The first round between these two was mostly a feeling out process with the occasional flurry of punches. The 2nd round was much of the same with a clinch from Rakic where he kept control and Santos finally started to try and land his famous leg kicks. Rakic went for a flying knee and tried to land a few shots at the end of the 2nd. Rakic had a few moments in the 3rd round, went for a takedown, but all in all the anticipation of the big moment never paid off.
Result: Unanimous Decision for Aleksandar Rakic
Islam Makhachev vs. Drew Dober
Makhachev scored a takedown early in the 1st and kept control in the top position for basically the remainder of the round. Dober scrambled to fight out of it but Makhachev had an answer for everything. Dober narrowly escaped an armbar attempt as the 1st round came to a close. Makhachev got another early takedown in the 2nd and kept complete control of every movement that Dober tried to make. Makhachev even added some heavy elbows to his dominance to finish the 2nd round. Makhachev got Dober to the ground again and got a submission by simply applying ridiculous pressure on Dober’s neck with his shoulder.
Result: 3rd Round Submission for Islam Makhachev (Arm Triangle)
Petr Yan vs. Aljimain Sterling
Sterling came out at a blazing pace, but Yan remained patient and picked his spots. Yan scored a takedown and a knockdown with a great shot on Sterling. The round had an even feeling, but 2 takedowns to 1 for Sterling probably gives him the edge on paper. After getting knocked down in the 1st Sterling seemed to have no interest in standing up with Yan in the 2nd. He used a lot of time and energy to try and score a takedown and Yan was more than happy to let Sterling burn himself out. Sterling seemed to try to conserve some energy in the 3rd, but he had no answers for Yan. Yan continued to pepper in solid shots and score takedowns on Sterling. Yan continued to pick Sterling apart, but late in the round Yan hit a knee on Sterling while Sterling was clearly down. The fight was stopped and the doctor was brought in to check on Sterling. After a much longer period of time than usual the fight was officially called off. Sterling was awarded the Championship after Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee. This is a bad look for the UFC, if you want to take the belt off Yan, I get it, but you don’t pass the belt to the other guy for that. Sterling seemed upset that the belt was awarded to him and even threw it to the mat after it was put on him. In the post fight interview Sterling was incredibly distraught about how things turned out. This MUST lead to a rematch, this is such a weird situation for UFC to navigate.
Result: Aljimain Sterling becomes new Bantamweight Champion after Petr Yan is disqualified for Illegal Knee
Women’s Featherweight Championship
Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson
Amanda Nunes is so scary when she was a little girl the monsters hid under their beds. What absolute domination. This was a classic Nunes display. She is the greatest of all time. Not greatest female fighter of all time, THE greatest of all time. It’s great to see her back, and now that the lioness has a cub at home she has a whole new motivation.
Result: Amanda Nunes Retains her Featherweight Championship by Submission in the 1st Round (Armbar)
Light Heavyweight Championship Superfight
Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz vs.
Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya
The 1st round was definitely a feeling out for both fighters. Blachowicz was testing the waters with different strikes while Adesanya was trying to keep things off balance to confuse Blachowicz. The 2nd round was a bit more feeling out, but Adesanya slowly started taking chances and Blachowicz started to chip away. Blachowicz got a couple of clinches on Adesanya and even went for a takedown. Adesanya started varying up his strikes and kept finding ways to make Blachowicz miss in the 3rd. Blachowicz scores a takedown in the 4th round and proceeds to simply try to gas out Adesanya by just laying on him and making him fight back to his feet. The 5th round had the fight at basically even coming in. Blachowicz scored another takedown and worked Adesanya for the rest of the round while landing a lot of punches including some serious shots towards the end of the fight. This was a great showing for both champions.
Result: Jan Blachowicz retains his Light Heavyweight Championship by Unanimous Decision