Aleksandar Rakic vs Thiago Santos
Round 1: We begin the main card with this light heavyweight title eliminator. Action begins slowly with neither guy really finding an early advantage. A few kicks traded with Rakic really mixing up his heights. Santos eats a kick but throws a huge left hand letting Rakic knows hes there. Rakic is controlling the middle of the octagon early then nearly catches Santos with a side kick. Both guys are taking some big swings early but neither has been able to make real solid contact. Kicks go flying as Rakic appeared to take round one with his variety and control of the center. Round 1: 10-9 Rakic.
Round 2: Second round begins similar to the first with Rakic controlling the center and peppering Santos’ legs with kicks. Both fighters being extremely cautious and keeping a good distance. Santos continues attempting to counter Rakic with small amounts of success. Rakic controls the first tie up of the night holding Santos against the cage. Santos ends the clinch with a nice jab to the head but unsure how the body feels after taking some good knees. A couple decent shots to end a pretty calm round 2. Rakic did the work early and took the round. Round 2: 20-18 Rakic
Round 3: Both men come out swinging to open this crucial final round. Santos attempts his first take down but ends it with his back against the cage. Santos lands a couple of painful looking kicks to the leg and sternum stunning Rakic a little. Santos has gotten more and more comfortable with his kicks as this fight has continued. He looks much more confident. Santos does a phenomenal job stopping another take down and lands some great elbow shots to the head. The final minute did not see either man really go for a kill shot. Overall not the best of fights, but the night is young. Round 3: 29-28 Rakic
Winner Rakic: UD
Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober
Round 1: This fight begins with some touch jabs and a few kicks before Makhachev takes down Dober to the mat early. Makhachev holds Dober and drops a few punches while sitting in half guard. Makhachev gets his leg free and mounts Dober before falling back into half guard. Makhachve escapes again and is just putting on a clinic. Dober nearly escapes but the wrestling from the Russian is world class. Dober nearly succumbs to a brutal looking arm bar, but manages to find some leverage and end the fight on top. Amazing wrestling display by Makhachev. Round 1: 10-9 Makhachev.
Round 2: The second round begins with a couple good shots but and immediate take down by Makhachev. Dober has just had no answer for this type of wrestling. Dober just looks helpless while Makhachev continues to move wherever he wants. Dober gets his back on the ground and into full guard. Makhachev looks nearly Khabib like with his control of another human being on the mat. In the final 30, Makhachev drops some solid elbows and finishes the round on top. 10-8 is almost necessary. Round 2: 30-27 Makhachev.
Round 3: Dober needs a big round. Most certainly a finish. Well guess what happens. Yes, Dober ends up on his back again. Makhachev moves around the side and gets him into a modified head and arm choke. Makhachev was dominant from the opening bell and did not let off the gas. Dober tapped to fight another day.
Winner: Makhachev – Submission
Petr Yan (c) vs Aljamain Sterling
Round 1: This fight should be a banger for the bantamweight championship. The touching of gloves was a little hesitant but it occurred. Bell rings and here it goes. Sterling comes out early looking for kicks. Sterling is creating a very quick pace early. Sterling clipped Yan with a flying knee that shook up Yan a little bit. Sterling has not slowed down one bit. Yan catches a kick and put Sterling on his back to slow the pace. Another flying knee to the head of Yan. Sterling wraps his hands around Yan and takes him to the mat. Yan reverses and takes Sterling’s back. Yan with a huge right hand puts Sterling on the ground, but Yan did not chase. sterling eats a low kick that takes him to the mat again. Sterling attempts another take down just to end up back on his back. Yan ends the round on Sterlings back and takes the round after a slow start. Round 1: 10-9 Yan.
Round 2: The start of the second round and Sterling is still attempting to dins the range with both punches and kicks. Sterling slips again and is laying on his back. Yan lets Sterling up and the pressure continues from Sterling. Yan has shown how good his take down defense is the first 8 minutes of this fight. Sterling still seems to have great energy and cardio for this matchup. Even from a Sterling single leg attempt, Yan looks calm, cool and collected. Yan finally breaks the hold of Sterling and both guys head to the center for a good exchange. Yan finishes the round with the back of Sterling captured and, in my opinion holds a 2 round lead. Round 2: 20-18 Yan
Round 3: Round three and Sterling is still putting a ton of pressure on Yan with little to no success. Yan has done nothing but absorb any shot received and making the most of the openings he finds. Yan is stating to land some bigger shots to the head while Sterling is having success to the body. Sterling has gone for a dozen take downs at this point and only succeeded on one. Yan has completed a couple of great leg sweeps just to put Sterling on the ground. Sterling is refusing to quit in this fight though, still throwing with decent frequency. The round ends with Yan on top of Sterling and, unless something crazy happens, should secure a win if this fight goes to decision. Round 3: 30-27 Yan
Round 4: Yan is just having a field day with these leg sweeps. Sterling still looks in this fight from a quantity perspective, but Yan is demolishing when it comes to quality. Sterling tries again for a take down to no avail. Yan continues to by his time and find the best punch in any exchange. Sterling looks visibly tired. These punches from Yan combined with the amount Sterling has thrown has put his gas tank close to empty. Sterling has some success with a couple of knees. The unthinkable happened. Yan hits Sterling with an illegal knee. Sterling’s knee was clearly on the ground, and Yan blasted a knee right to the temple. I cannot believe I just witnessed. A new champion with Aljamain Sterling. Wow!
Winner: Sterling DQ
Amanda Nunes (c) vs Megan Anderson
Round 1: Well after that last bit of excitement, seeing the best female fighter of all time is a welcomed sight. The fight begins with both ladies feeling each other out. Nunes clears a right and Nunes takes he to the ground and gains control of the back. Nunes is ripping at the arm while attempting a triangle with the legs. Nunes forces a tap from Anderson. Anderson took a hard right hand and it was over right after that. There is no competing with the Lioness. She could fight tomorrow and have no problem. Congrats GOAT.
Winner: Nunes Submission
Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz (c)
Round 1: The final fight of the night and it has been a roller coaster of a card so far. From the opening bell, both Izzy and Jan are working on finding the range with leg kicks. Jan’s first attempt at a combination goes begging while Izzy continues to touch up Jan. Izzy is doing a decent job not giving Jan complete control on the center. Jan is doing well sticking just out range for a clean jab. Both guys continue to trade jabs and the center of the octagon. Round one ends without any major talking points. Adesanya touched him up just enough to sneak round one in his favor. Round 1: 10-9 Adesanya
Round 2: The start of round two and both guys seem a bit twitchy. Adesanya lands a kick then eats a great combination by Jan. Izzy has done a great job of sticking and moving out of the pocket so far. A quick slip by Izzy almost became disastrous, but Adesanya got right back up. Jan almost completes a take down and gives Izzy a couple shots on the way up. Jan has fought a much better round two then round one. A quick break for an inadvertent low blow, and both guys are continuing to find their range. That round was so tight and tough to judge, but I am going to give it to Blachowicz. More effective strikes this round. Round 2: 19-19 Tie
Round 3: Izzy gets caught with a major jab and almost takes his back. These guys have come out swinging. Jan looks a little shaky on his feet still, but that exchange did damage to both guys. Jan finally ties up Izzy in order to recover some and try to wear to wear down the smaller man. Adesanya is fighting like a man that might have lost the previous round. Blachowicz is having more and more trouble keeping the combinations going with Adesanya continuing to tag him up. Izzy continues looking for the question mark kick. Jan tires again for a take down with no avail. Adesanya looked much better and much more composed to take round 3. Round 3: 29-28 Adesanya
Round 4: Izzy begins the round tagging Jan twice with jabs, forcing him to attempt a take down to little success. Izzy eats a big jab to remind him Jan is still in this contest. Jan busts through a beautiful combination and places Izzy on the ground for the first time this fight. Blachowicz lays all probably 215 pounds directly on the body of Adesanya. Jan continues to work on top position to keeps the pressure on the middleweight champion. Jan moves into side control, Izzy is attempting to buck him off. Izzy is starting to breathe through his mouth with all of that weight on him for the better part of round four. Blachowicz needed that round to stay in it on my scorecard. Round 4: 38-38 Tie
Round 5: It all comes down to round five, especially on the scorecard. Jan looks to have taken the momentum gained in round 3 from Izzy. Both guys are still moving fairly well to be 22 minutes in this fight. Izzy looks fresher at this point, but he is still doing well tagging up Izzy. Blachowicz dodges a jab and gets taken down by a double leg in the middle of the octagon. Izzy looks trapped below the massive Pol. Jan continues to work Izzy on the ground and keeping busy enough to prevent them from being stood up. Jan made that a phenomenal fight. I think Jan just won round 2 and clearly won rounds 4 and 5. I have Blachowicz winning this round and the fight. Round 5: 48-47 Blachowicz
Winner: Jan Blachowicz UD
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