CHICAGO – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s UFC 225 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. PT).
The event takes place at United Center in Chicago, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
In the main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) meets Yoel Romero (13-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in a rematch – but it’s not a title bout since Romero failed to make weight. In the co-headliner, Colby Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Rafael dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) fight for the vacant welterweight title.
Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results beginning at approximately 6:15 p.m. ET for the UFC Fight Pass prelims, 8 p.m. ET for the prelims on FS1, and 10 p.m. ET for the main card on pay-per-view.
To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC 225 discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporters Ken Hathaway (@kenshathaway) and John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) on Twitter.
Enjoy the fights, everyone.
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Round 1 –
Records: Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), Yoel Romero (13-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC)
Division: Middleweight (non-title fight; Romero missed weight)
Rankings: Whittaker No. 2 (honorable mention pound-for-pound); Romero No. 3
Round 1 – Ige comes swinging early and catches Santiago before an early takedown. Santiago gives up his back as Ige flurries away with punches to the side of the head. Santiago already in deep trouble. Flattened out, Santiago taking heaps of punishment. Referee MacDonald has seen enough, and it’s all over. Just a mauling from Ige.
Result: Dan Ige def. Mike Santiago via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:50
Recap: Dan Ige finishes Mike Santiago in just 50 seconds
Photos: Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago
Records: Mike Santiago (21-12 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Dan Ige (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Round 1 – No touch of gloves. Oliveira leads with front kicks and leg kicks. Guida replies with a hook. Guida circles off and tries to find a way in. First exchange of punches indecisive. Oliveira goes back to the legs. Oliveira feinting with leg to keep Guida at bay. Guida in on a counter off a kick, but misses. Finally, he repays with his own leg kicks. Jumping front kick misses for Oliveira, who fires off a tight follow-up combo. Oliveira looks very comfortable here, potshotting Guida at distance. Guida is bleeding from something. Oliveira pops Guida coming in with a nice combination, and Guida goes for the takedown. Instantly, Oliveira slaps on the guillotine, and it’s too deep. Guida forced to tap.
Result: Charles Oliveira def. Clay Guida via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:18
Recap: Charles Oliveira spoils Clay Guida’s Chicago homecoming, ties Royce Gracie record
Photos: Charles Oliveira vs. Clay Guida
Records: Clay Guida (34-18 MMA, 14-12 UFC), Charles Oliveira (23-8 MMA, 11-8 UFC)
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee: Herb Dean
Round 1 – Benavidez pops leg kicks early. High pace early, and Pettis makes Benavidez back off with a straight right. Benavidez faceks into ah a high kick and gets dropped with a straight right. Another shot staggers him. Pettis, very patient, waits for his opportunity to finish. But before he can land the killing blow, Benavidez charges into a takedown and gets on top. Benavidez working to pass guard, stuffing Pettis against the cage. Pettis stands using the cage, and Benavidez works to put him back down. Pettis’ takedown defense solid for now. Short punches from Pettis, and Benavidez is forced to give up. Left eye of Benavidez banged up. He keeps moving and tries to fake out Pettis, but Pettis’ timing is really on point. Nice punch-kick combo for Benavidez, who again shoots in to no avail. Counter right again good for Pettis. Benavidez exploding in over and over again, but Pettis just waiting for the counter. Benavidez ducking in and firing big hooks, but Pettis’ straight punches are winning the day. Benavidez goes to the legs and tries to duck under again. Kick from Pettis opens takedown attempt, but Benavidez gets caught in a front headlock. Against the cage, Pettis sprawls and escapes. Nice right hand from Benavidez. Again, lots of feints and wide shots capped by kicks to the leg and body. MMAjunkie scores the round 10-9 for Pettis.
Round 2 – Benavidez pawing with his hands and kicking the lower half of Pettis, who’s working more straight jabs and straights. A couple of shots find their way through, but Pettis’ return has more effect. Benavidez shoots in again and works for the single-leg. He knees the legs when that doesn’t work, and the crowd loses its patients. Firemans carry misses, and Pettis out the back door. Benavidez still charging in, working a lot higher volume with punches and kicks. But it’s all a prelude to a takedown attempt, and Pettis is again stuffed. Pettis uses fence to scoot away, and Benavidez blocks it. Benavidez drops for the single leg and takes a knee as Pettis escapes. Another pair of takedown attempts no good, and Benavidez manages to fire off a wheel kick that glances. Pettis has his kick counter, too. Benavidez goes to the body and continues to pressure forward. He drops again and works for the single against the fence. Before spinnig for an elbow, Pettis peels off. Another flashy high kick from Benavidez, who lands another nice low calf kick. Herky-jerky movement from Benavidez, who gets caught with a straight right and jab in counter. Benavidez presses again to the fence and takes a knee to the head before running out of time. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Benavidez, evening it up at 19-19.
Round 3 – Pettis quick on the counter as Benavidez closes in. Benavidez lands a nice straight right. Spnning backfirst cracks Pettis, and Benavidez presses in for the takedown. Pettis gets free and lands a short right hand, and Benavidez goes back to his usual attack. Head kick no good, and Benavidez charges into the clinch before they break off. Pettis lands as Benavidez comes in with his hands low. Pressure is Benavidez’s best weapon, as is his diversity of attack. More volume from Benavidez, while Pettis waits for the straight counter. Jabs keep Benavidez at bay. Leaping knee absorbed by Benavidez, who wraps the neck as Benavidez shoots in for the takedown. He doesn’t have it, and they break off. Benavidez chases Pettis across the cage and presses him against the fence. Pettis hits a few knees to the body, but he won’t give up the takedown, and he escapes. Kick answered by combo from Benavidez. Jumping kick from Pettis blocked, and Benavidez spins with a misses kick. Another charge puts Pettis against the fence, and there’s 75 seconds to work. Benavidez gives up and continues to mix it up with punches. Pettis just short on the counter. Nice jab met by body kick from Benavidez. Benavidez grabs and ankle and gets the takedown off a combo. But Pettis pops up the wraps the neck, forcing Benavidez to defend. Short time. They both start firing, and Benavidez tags Pettis with three straight right hands. Pettis doesn’t get much of a chance to counter before time runs out. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Benavidez, and he squeaks out the 29-28 decision.
Result: Sergio Pettis def. Joseph Benavidez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Records: Joseph Benavidez (25-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC), Sergio Pettis (17-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
Rankings: Benavidez No. 2, Pettis No. 6
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee: Rob Madrigal
Round 1 – Smith spins Evans early with a low kick. Feints from Evans and a wide karate stance. Smith pops the leg. Evans charges for a takedown and gets shucked. Smith just short on an elbow, and Evans pushes again for a takedown. Smith lines up a knee by framing the head, and drops Evans with a shot to the head. A pair of follow up rights, and Evans is on the canvas, the fight is over in a flash.
Result: Anthony Smith def. Rashad Evans via KO (knee) – Round 1, 0:53
Recap: Sergio Pettis clips Joseph Benavidez early, battles to split-decision win
Photos: Anthony Smith vs. Rashad Evans
Records: Rashad Evans (19-8-1 MMA, 14-8-1 UFC), Anthony Smith (29-13 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee: Dan Miragliotta
Round 1 – De La Rocha pumps a jab early. He then fakes into a takedown attempt, and Coulter closes to cut him off after that passes. De La Rocha ties up and stuffs Coulter against the fence. Coulter uses an elbow to keep distance. Knee up the middle for Coulter. He gets out ot the clinch and pops De La Rocha with a right hand. A subsequent knee prompts him to slip and De La Rocha gets on top. A guillotine attempt, and De La Rocha pops him with an elbow. Coulter gives up his back and De La Rocha tries to wrap the neck. As Coulter sits up, De La Rocha tries a face crank. No good, and they sit against the fence. Coulter spins into guard and then nails De La Rocha with a few elbows and a huge right hand. De La Rocha still there, and Coulter backs off and resets. De La Rocha bloeeding over his right eye. De La Rocha winds up on a shot and misses, and Coulter pops him back with a flurry of huge punches. The flurry may have exhausted Coulter, because he backs up, and De La Rocha is all over him, pounding away. It’s not looking good for Coulter, but he suddenly starts firing back, and this fight is officially a slugfest. Coulter comes back strong and slams De La Rocha again, but he can’t put away his foe. Right hand from De La Rocha opens takedown. With 30 seconds left, De La Rocha fires an elbow and then takes a breather. He postures up and fires off a few right hands, but he runs out of time. MMAjunkie scores the round 10-9 for Coulter.
Round 2 – A doctor checks the cut of De La Rocha between rounds and briefly checks Coulter, too. Touch of gloves, and Coulter gets back to it, winging a few shots. He backs off and resets, and De La Rocha pops him with a right hand. Coulter fires back after getting off the fence. Another pair of big right hands from De La Rocha, who follows with a takedown. Coulter scoots to the fence, and De La Rocha advances to mount. A few shots, and Coulter gives his back. De La Rocha wraps the neck and again cranks the face. Gable grip, and Coulter guts it out. Shots from up top from De La Rocha, but there’s not much on them. Coulter isn’t doing anything, though. De La Rocha again goes for the choke, but Coulter survives. He’s not going anywhere. De La Rocha punching away, and he can’t generate enough force to motivate the stoppage. Finally, a big elbow from up top. De La Rocha thinks about a choke and thinks better of it. Crowd getting restless. Coulter tries to scramble, and he just doesn’t have the juice. De La Rocha still pounding away, and finally, MacDonald has seen enough to stop it.
Result: Chris De La Rocha def. Rashad Coulter via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:53
Recap: Chris De La Rocha survives first-round slugfest, grinds out Rashad Coulter in second
Photos: Chris De La Rocha vs. Rashad Coulter
Records: Rashad Coulter (8-4 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Chris De La Rocha (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Round 1 – Bektic pumping a jab and feinting kicks early as Lamas pushes him back and misses with a kick. Lamas jumps in with a front kick and Bektic tries to counter. High kick short for Bektic, and Lamas ducks under for a takedown. Bektic right up, and Lamas pushes to the fence, wrapping the waist to briefly put him down. Short punches from Bektic, who’s resisting the takedown well. Lamas works knees, and Bektic turns him and does the same. Bektic warned for grabbing the fence. They trade more knees. Lamas turns and escapes. Bektic measures a jab and lands a left hand on a combo. Bektic over the top with a right hand off a Lamas kick. Low kick for Lamas, who’s knocked to the ground when his next kick is intercepted. Bektic next pushes Lamas to the fence, and Lamas throws hiim to the mat. Bektic pops up and gets his own takedown, trying to advance position. Lamas finds his feet as Bektic works short shots. Lamas turns Bektic and escapes again to center cage. Lamas closes distance and misses wide on a wheel kick to close the frame. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Bektic.
Round 2 – Lamas presses early and thinks about a piar of kicks. He drops for a takedown on the next try and is deterred by a Bektic flurry. They trade kicks, and Lamas backs off. Lamas in again on takedown, and Bektic scrambles. Bektic tries for his own and elevates the leg, but Lamas stays upright and wags his finger. Bektic with an overhand right as Lamas closes, and they tie up. They trade knees. Lamas is cut under his left eye. Dean warns for action. Short elbow from Bektic. Lamas finally escapes and resets. Lamas charges with kicks, and Bektic backs off. Lamas again tries to convert a kick to a takedown, and Bektic sprawls. Nowhere to go. Stall. Dean warns for action, and Lamas gets up. Spinning elbow misses for Lamas, who’s bleeding badly now. He pushes in nonetheless with a leaping knee, and Bektic pushes him to the fence. Kness on the inside. Lamas turns away and tries to lead with an elbow. Bektic’s fast hands are again a deterrent, and he pushes Lamas to the fence again. Dean immediately warns for action, then steps in to separate. Lamas closes, and leg kicks draw fast counter combos. Capoiera kick manages to glance Bektic, and he’s impressed. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Bektic, putting him up 20-18.
Round 3 – Lamas closes early and draws fast counters from Bektic. Punches in counter to Lamas’ kicks. Lamas ducks for a leg and gets swarmed by a counter, and Bektic pushes him to the fence. Smothered. Bektic has a leg, and they trade short punches. Lamas tries to turn out and can’t. Finally, he gets the angle. He pushes Bektic back, and again, his kicks are answered by punches. Wheel kick gives Bektic takedown opportunity and arm-triangle position. Stalled out, Bektic has the neck and is deciding what to do with it. Lamas turns him and fires off an elbow before transitioning to the guillotine. He misses, and Bektic gets back on top. Lamas scoots back and wraps the head again, cranking with all his might. Bektic gets free on an adjustment, and Lamas stands. Bektic won’t let go and shoves him to the fence. Hooking a leg, he hangs on Lamas’ back. Relentless. Lamas again looking for that guillotine, and Bektic is forced to back off. Lamas goes for an arm-in guillotine, and Bektic goes to his knees. Lamas backs off and fires an elbow. Bektic stands, and Lamas again misses a guillotine transition. He stuffs Lamas against the fence, and Lamas wraps the head. Bektic postures up and works short punches. Lamas tries to stand and takes a knee to the body to close it out. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Bektic, and he gets the 30-27 score.
Result: Mirsad Bektic def. Ricardo Lamas via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Recap: Mirsad Bektic stifles Ricardo Lamas, takes home hard-fought split call
Photos: Mirsad Bektic vs. Ricardo Lamas
Records: Ricardo Lamas (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), Mirsad Bektic (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
Rankings: Lamas No. 5, Bektic No. 10
Referee: Herb Dean
Round 1 – Gadelha closes in and takes a low stance. Esparza pops a jab and low kick and circles off. Gadelha follows and repays a charge with a right hand. Esparza explodes again with a two-piece combo. Kick countered with a hard right from Gadelha, who prompts Esparza to shoot. Another hard right knocks Esparza to the mat, and Esparza shoots again. After a brief stall, Esparza escapes to her feet. Gadelha good again in the pocket, forcing Esparza to reset. Low kick from Esparza. Uppercut to cross for Gadelha, who’s lighting up Esparza with counters. Esparza charges again and ends with a low kick. Another hard right counter off Esparza’s charge. Esparza out of nowhere clips Gadelha with a right hand that staggers, and she pursues to land another punch that drops Gadelha. Esparza follows to the mat, and Gadelha goes for a leg. Esparza escapes, and Gadelha is back up. She chooses to settle into Esparza’s guard and works some ground and pound. Esparza scrambles and gets back to her feet. Esparza chases Gadelha across the cage, but Gadelha avoids her. Another charge brings a level change and easy takedown for Gadelha, who works punches from side control. Hammerfists as Esparza scrambles to her feet, and Gadelha slaps on a guillotine choke. She turns Esparza, and it looks deep. But somehow, Esparza guts it out and hears the bell. MMAjunkie scores the opening frame 10-9 for Gadelha.
Round 2 – Esparza charges with another flurry of punches, and Gadelha tries to counter in the pocket. Right hand misses wide. Gadleha going straight to counter Esparza’s wide hooks, and they both land inside. A right hand prompts a duck under from Gadelha, and Esparza presses her to the fence. Esparza working knees to the legs. Short punches from both. Gadelha tries to turn out, and Esparza lands hard knees to the midsection. Gadelha whips around to Esparza’s back and gets the takedown. Esparza uses a headlock to reverse and winds up on bottom in half-guard. Gadelha working right hands as Esparza tries to get up. Ground and pound from top. Esparza pops up, and Gadelha misses the back-take. Gadelha keeps a body lock and ragdolls Esparza to the mat again. Gadelha now taking over on top. It looks like Esparza is running low on energy. But Gadelha isn’t doing much from up top. Esparza out of nowhere kicks Gadelha off and dives into a takedown, ending the frame with a few punches overhead. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Gadelha, and she’s up 20-18.
Round 3 – Esparza charges again with punches, and Gadelha replies with her right hand. A glancing hook hurts Gadelha, but Esparza doesn’t seem to notice. She charges again and takes a right hand in counter. Front kick to the face countered with right from Gadelha. Esparza walking down Gadelha, and she nails a knee in the clinch. Superman punch catches Gadelha. Another trade of punches, and Esparza resets. She looks the more urgent fighter this round. Gadelha flat footed and waiting for the counter. Esparza nails her with a couple of right hands. She’s faster than Gadelha this round. Another glancing right hand, and Gadelha replies with a one-two. Kick opens takedown from Gadelha, who has a body lock against the fence. Esparza punches the thigh and gets slammed to the mat. Gadelha in side control. Esparza with rabbit punches, and Gadelha tries to keep her grounded. Ninety seconds to go, and the two are trading short shots. Esparza trying to get up, and she kicks off Gadelha before grabbing a leg for her own takedown. One minute left, and Esparza punching with her left hand. Gadelha just trying to hang on as Esparza flurries away with ground and pound. Gadelha looks spent. Esparza closes the round with a flurry of punches, and that’s a wrap. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Esparza, giving Gadelha the 29-28 score. First round was really close, though, so wouldn’t be surprised it it went the other way.
Result: Claudia Gadelha def. Carla Esparza via split decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap: Claudia Gadelha survives early trouble, outpoints Carla Esparza, much to crowd’s dismay
Photos: Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
Records: Claudia Gadelha (16-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), Carla Esparza (13-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Rankings: Gadelha No. 4, Esparza No. 6
Division: Women’s strawweight
Referee: Rob Madrigal
Round 1 – Overeeem stays low as Blaydes looks for a way in. Overeem waiting to use his left hand, taking a low stance. Right straight short for Blaydes. Overeem wants that left uppercut. Not much doing so far. Blaydes feints a level change, and Overeem waits for that left hand. Blaydes stutter-steps, and Overee moves back. Pawing jabs from Blaydes short. Big head kick short for Blaydes. Audience losing patience. Overeem not there when Blaydes closes distance. Blaydes finally catches Overeem napping on position and grabs an easy takedown. Overeem works to stand up, and Blaydes gets his bearings. Punch from overhead. Overeem trying to scoot away, and Blaydes follows him. Not doing much from overhead. Finally, he postures and tries to nail Overeem’s chin. Overeem scoots away and Blaydes grabs his torso. A few pawing punches from overhead. Overeem searches for a leglock as the clapper sounds. He cranks, but runs out of time. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Blaydes.
Round 2 – Overeem again ducking in and catches Blaydes with a knee as Blaydes closes. Guillotine attempt, but Blaydes gets out of it. Against the fence, Overeem again goes for the ankle, but the position isn’t there. Overeem loses the position completely as he goes belly-down, and Blaydes jumps on his back. Blaydes lands a knee and a punch as Overeem pops back to his feet. Standoff. Blaydes lands an uppercut as he collides with Overeem. He tries to back up Overeem, who ducks shots moving backward. Overeem misses on a straight right. Lunging knee met with takedown attempt by Blaydes, who’s got half the round to work. Arm-triangle position segues to punches from overhead from Blaydes. Overeem moves to avoid. Elbow from Blaydes in half-guard. Blaydes looking to pass, and fires off a short punch. A pair of big shots over the top, and an elbow good. Miragliotta warns for action, and Blaydes works an elbow. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Blaydes, who’s up 20-18.
Round 3 – Overeem hoping for that uppercut, and Blaydes closes for his own. Body kick from Overeem, and Blaydes cracks him with a right. Blaydes clips Overeem with a right hand, and Overeem is hurt. He lights up Overeem with a few more punches, but then drops for a takedown. He lands a few more shots overhead for good measure, and Overeem tries to get back to his feet. Blaydes with elbows from the top. Overeem ties up, and Blaydes works to pass. Overeem again for a leg, but he just doesn’t have it. Blaydes flops down and settles into guard. A huge elbow cracks Overeem, and he’s hurt. Another one splits open Overeem’s forehead, and Blaydes flurries with more elbows that turn Overeem’s face crimson and knock him out.
Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Alistair Overeem via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:56
Recap: Curtis Blaydes elbows slice open, finish Alistair Overeem
Photos: Curtis Blaydes vs. Alistair Overeem
Records: Alistair Overeem (43-17 MMA, 8-6 UFC), Curtis Blaydes (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
Rankings: Overeem No. 3, Blaydes No. 9
Referee: Dan Miragliotta
Round 1 – Touch of gloves, and the unlikely pair get underway. Leg kick short for Punk, and Jackson answers a leg kick with a jab. A straight right from Jackson nails Punk. But punk charges and lands his own right hand before rushing into the clinch against the cage. Punk works for the takedown, and Jackson peppers him with short shots. Jackson turns Punk against the cage, and Punk tries to wrap a leg. Jackson pushes away and resets. Punk fires off kicks and takes a jab to the body. Punk tries to fire back and misses and a clinch attempt fails. Jackson with a straight right and shot to the body. He’s popping and moving as Punk flails. Punk still drives forward and presses Jackson against the fence. Jackson turns Punk and attacks the leg with his fist. Punk turns Jackson, and Punk lands a knee to the body. Clinch from Punk, and he fires off a knee. Punk ducks under for a takedown as Jackson lines up for a shot. Jackson stays upright as Punk pushes them across the cage, and they again wrestle for position. Jackson peels off and pops a jab. Punk reaching way too far and getting popped with the jab. Punk scrappy with his kicks, though, even though they aren’t even close. Jackson powers Punk to the cage and then backs up. Punk’s nose bleeding. But he’s swinging away. Jackson looks like he’s just waiting for the right opportunity. But as he commits to a right hand, Punk ducks under for the takedown and fires off an elbow. Jackson powers to his feet and then fires off an elbow and a pair of shots to the body. Jackson lands an elbow to close out the round. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Jackson.
Round 2 – Punk looks very winded, and Jackson looks like he’s having a stroll in the park. Punk comes in swinging, and Jackson circles off and resets. One-two from Jackson. Straight punches. But Punk ducks in and shoots, and Jackson gets stuffed to the fence. Jackson turns him and steps off. One-two from Jackson, and he’s just shy. Flurry of punches from Punk backs off Punk. But a right hand cracks Punk, and he backpedals. Jackson goes to work with combinations and looks for the kill. Punk surprises with a jump for a guillotine, and Jackson slams him to the mat. Jackson evaluates his offensive options. He’s just toying with Punk. Big right hands on top, then short hammerfists. Open season. Punk angles his legs for a submission, but Jackson pulls out early. More shots from Jackson overhead, and Punk is just getting beaten up. Punk again angles for a triangle, and Jackson pulls out and resumes his punishment. Punk tries to get up and gets shoved back down again. Jackson sits up and continues to play patty cake punctuated by big shots from the top. Punk tries to explode up. No way. Jackson postures and works elbows. Punk’s face is a bloody mess. This isn’t competitive. Punk tries one last triangle and flails away to end the frame. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-7 for Jackson, putting him up 20-16.
Round 3 – Punk’s face is a swollen, bloody mess. They trade jabs, and Jackson works his right hand counter. Punk pushes into the clinch and gets turned against the cage. Punk tries to duck under and is stuffed. Short punches from Jackson, who peels off. PUnk is hunched over and tries a desperation takedown. Jackson interceepts and pops a few knees against the clinch. A right hand sends him pedaling back. He shoots for a takedown and winds up on his back as a punch cracks him. Jackson lets him up and looks for the kill shot. Punk is flailing away, and Jackson pops him with a pair of huge right hands. Punk powers through and pushes for the takedown. Jackson sprawls and stays on his feet. Big elbow cracks Punk, and a takedown is schrugged off. Jackson just beating him up. Punk is expiring. Jackson gets to his back and pounds away with shots, and Punk rolls for a kneebar. Jackson in side control, and he takes the back as Punk turns. Short shots as Punk is on his hands and knees. Punk flops to his back and punches up. Jackson, unamused, peppers him with shots from the top. Punk rolls to his knees, and the crowd starts to boo. They’ve had enough of this. This is going to go the distances. Fight ends with Punk driving for a takedown and getting it as the fight comes to an end. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-7 for Jackson, who picks up the 30-23 score.
Result: Mike Jackson def. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Recap: CM Punk outclassed over 15 minutes, drops decision to Mike Jackson
Photos: Mike Jackson vs. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks
Records: Phil “CM Punk” Brooks (0-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), Mike Jackson (1-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Round 1 – The two circle for a few seconds before they collide, and Tuivasa misses on a big uppercut. He resets and looks for a way in. A leg kick draws a big right from Arlovski, and Tuivasa smiles. Leg kick from Tuivasa and Arlovski fires his right hand again. Low kick from Tuivasa. Arlovski jabs the body, and they trade inside leg kicks. Tuivasa stalks Arlovski, who jabs him and resets. They trade rights and they clinch. Arlovski misses on a throw, and Tuivasa follows him down, landing in mount. Arlovski ties up the arms and tries to sweep, but Tuivasa isn’t having it. Tuivasa uses his head to buck free, and it looks like Tuivasa is cut. Audience boos, and Madrigal warns for action.Arlovski explodes into a reversal and stands up. Tuivasa drops Arlovski with a left hook on the next exchange and then lets him get up. Arlovski drops for the takedown on the next exchange and ties up against the fence. Knee in close, and Tuivasa pushes him off. Tuivasa powers in with a one-two, but it’s blocked. Tuivasa just misses on his power punch in the next exchange, and Arlovski ties up at the fence. They traade rights on the break, and Tuivasa chares Arlovski. Knee in close, and a combo from Tuivasa that wobbles Arlovski. He takes a right elbow and misses on a head kick. But Tuivasa slips and nearly avoids a big Arlovski shot. Arlovski attacks the lead leg, and the two run out of time. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Tuivasa.
Round 2 – Arlovski jabs in, and Tuivasa measures him. Front kick to body for the ex-champ. Inside leg kick and side kick to Tuivasa’s lead leg. Arlovski misses on a high kick. Tuivasa with an inside left hook, and Arlovski replies with a pair of big right hands. Leg kick good for Arlovski. Lead labs from Arlovski, and he’s getting the jump on Tuivasa, who’s loading up a bit too much. Tuivasa ducks under and presses Arlovski to the fence. Arlovski holds onto his arms and stalls. Arlovski turns him and escapes, firing off an overhand right. Arlovski lands again with another combo. Tuivasa is taking the shots, but he’s gettting outclassed. Tuivasa misses on a right hand and takes a spinning backfist. Arlovski follows with kicks. Tuivasa batters Arlvoski with a combo that’s blocked, and Arlovski ties him up again. Tuivasa’s face is a bloody mess. Arlovski trips him to the mat, but doesn’t pursue to get on top. Big body kick from Tuivasa and clash, and Arlovski signals an eye poke. Replays look like it was a slap, not a poke. Arlovski takes a left hook rushing for his right hand. Low kick for Arlovski. Spinning backfist misses for Arlovski, and Tuivasa misses on a counter. Arlovski whiffs a right hand to end the frame. MMAjunkie scores the fight 10-9 for Arlovski, and it’s even at 19-19.
Round 3 – Gentlemanly hug starts the frame. Outside leg kick for Tuivasa, who tries to counter Arlovski’s kick. Overhand right telegraphed by Arlovski, and Tuivasa ducks. Head kick from Arlovski blocked. Tuivasa closes and misses on a right overhand. He’s closing in. Arlovski with a tight combo. They both wing right hands and miss. Tuivasa goes back to the body, then upstairs with a a right hook. Tuivasa ducks under an Arlovski charge and pushes him off. Arlovski cornered and meets an elbow while firing back with a knee. Head kick whiffs for Arlovski. Tuivasa beats the body. Left hook short for Tuivasa, and he’s tied up in the next exchange. They trade a right for a left hook. Tuivasa backs him up and staggers Arlvoski with an elbow, then tries to close off with a combo. Arlovski circles off, but takes another stiff combo. Tuivasa covers up on Arlovski charge but still takes a pair of punches. He jabs and resets, denying Tuivasa an uppercut. Spinning backfist from Arlovski misses. Leg kick good. Arlovski jogs away and takes a one-two. Tuivasa trying to land power shots inside. Arlovski jogs away and celebrates, a little prematurely. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Tuivasa, giving him the 29-28 call.
Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap: Tai Tuivasa bloodied, battered, but outslugs Andrei Arlovski over three rounds
Photos: Tai Tuivasa vs. Andrei Arlovski
Records: Andrei Arlovski (27-16 MMA, 16-10 UFC), Tai Tuivasa (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
Rankings: Arlovski honorable mention
Referee: Rob Madrigal
Round 1 – Anderson closes slowly and paws with a leg. Holm explodes into a combo, and Anderson nails her with a knee and combo of punches. Holm clinches up after Anderson’s next flurry and ties up the action against the fence. Holm tries an elbow and keeps Anderson put. Anderson bides her time. Another elbow lands for Holm. Anderson trying to turn out, but Holm has the underhook. Finally, she gets space and fires off a couple of knees. Holm presses her back and works short punches and elbows. Holm knees the legs. Anderson finally turns her and escapes. Anderson punches in and misses on a knee as Holm tries to clinch up again. Holm explodes again and misses, but a front kick to the face good. Next advance, Holm drops for a takedown and gets it, but Anderson has a half-nelson of sorts from bottom. Holm hangs out in top position and tries a sideways elbows. Anderson tries to sweep and thinks about a leg. Holm strikes the legs, tied up in Anderson’s legs. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Holm.
Round 2 – Anderson presses in again and draws another combo. She intercepts the next charge with a kick, and Holm pops a hook before resetting. Anderson working an uppercut hook counter. Knee connects for Anderson and Holm catches a leg and works for a takedown. Holm goes back to her game plan, smothering Anderson against the fence. Elbows and punches from Holm. Suddenly, she disengages. Anderson follows and lands a straight left against a kick. Knee to the body lands for Anderson as Holm shoots, and Holm again has the takedown. Holm elbows the legs while she wraps the left arm of Anderson, like she’s going for a kimura. Holm to side control and fires down punches with her free hand. Holm into mount and fires down punches. Anderson turns and Holm sets up for an arm triangle. She backs off and then fires off a flurry of punches. Anderson kicks up her legs, but Holm won’t be bucked. Shoulder strikes from Holm, who’s having her way with Anderson. Elbows from the top. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-8 for Holm, and she’s up 20-17.
Round 3 – Holm and Anderson trade combos, and Holm takes a straight right off a kick. Holm shoots in for a takedown and grabs a leg. They stall as Anderson tries to stay upright. Holm has the body lock and drags them to the cage, and we’re back to where we we’ve been. Elbows in close. Short punches. Anderson isn’t going anywhere. Holm powers her down to the mat and advances to mount. She postures up and starts firing down punches and elbows. Anderson again a sitting duck. Anderson cage walks, but Holm hops off and resets. Holm’s head kick blocked. Front kick sends Anderson back. When Anderson gets too close, Holm locks up the clinch and gets the fight back to the ground. Holm attacks Anderson’s leg and then advances to side control, firing down elbows. Holm passes to mount and fires off shoulder strikes. She switches to punches, and Anderson rolls to her side. Holm pounds away as Anderson gets to her hands and knees, and Anderson powers forward into a takedown as Holm tries what must be her first guillotine in the UFC. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-8, and Holm takes home the 30-25 decision.
Result: Holly Holm def. Megan Anderson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Recap: Holly Holm turns to wrestling to best powerful striker Megan Anderson
Photos: Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
Records: Holly Holm (12-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC), Megan Anderson (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Division: Women’s featherweight
Rankings: Holm No. 10 women’s bantamweight
Referee: Kevin MacDonald
Round 1 – Covington gets right in dos Anjos’ face and trades a few shots before getting the takedown. dos Anjos pops up, but Convington on his back. Dos Anjos gets to his feet and turns, only to be slammed back to the mat. He gets up again and Covington smothers him. Dos Anjos with frame, and Covington takes an elbow. Covington with an elbow, then withdraws. They’re trading in close, and dos Anjos lands a left hand before Covington again drives him to the fence. Elbow in close from the American. Dos Anjos framing up a knee, and elbow keeps him from dropping. Dos Anjos framing that knee again. Dos Anjos escapes. Covington chases him and ducks under a shot to shoot. Dos Anjos circles off and trade in close. Bit body shot from dos Anjos, and Covington shoots in for the takedown. Dos Anjos frames him and circles off. Covington charges again and drives for the takedown. Elbows crack Covington, and dos Anjos circles off. He digs the body with a punch and knee, and uses an elbow to stop the takedown attempt. Covington with kicks to the legs. Covington with heavy pace, but dos Anjos is more accurate in exchanges. Leg kick to uppercut fro dos Anjos, and Covington drives in again. Against the fence, he grabs a leg and dos Anjos nearly avoids a spinning backfist. They trade leg kicks. Dos Anjos just a little off on his punches, and Covington drives in again. They end the frame in the clinch. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for dos Anjos.
Round 2 – Covington in early and fires off a head kick before a flurry of punches and a takedown. At dos Anjos’ back, he knees the legs. Dos Anjos turns and Covington fires off an elbow. Covington does the same thing again. Nearly grabs the leg. Dos Anjos rips the body with a kick and peels off. Covington with leg kicks. Covington presses him to the fence and drops for takedown. Dos Anjos punches the body, and Covington briefly puts him on the mat. Covington still winning the colume battle, but dos Anjos’ strikes landing harder. Big body shot from dos Anjos, but Covington still chasing. Straight left from Covington opens takedown attempt. Dos Anjos turns off, and Covington chases again. Covington trades in close and gets caught with a shot that turns him. Dos Anjos with a big hook, but Covington lands back with a combo. Dos Anjos on his heels now. Covington relentless, and presses into the fence. Dos Anjose wraps the clinch, and the two trade shots in close. Leg kicks traded. Covington walking down dos Anjos and gets the takedown. Dos Anjos doesn’t pop up this time. Punches from the back from Covington. Dos Anjos struggles to turn with Covington at his back. He peels off finally, and Covington cirlces off, firing off a left straight before the round ends. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Covington, and it’s even at 19-19.
Round 3 – Covington marches out again and they’re trading in close. Dos Anjos gets off an uppercut before Covington smothers him. Elbow in close, and dos Anjos circles off. Trading in close, and Covington won’t let dos Anjos breath. He presses back in for the takedown. Dos Anjos lands a few knees, but can’t turn Covington on the fence. Covington drops for the double leg, and good body kick and leg for Covington. Dos Anjos replies to the leg. Covington presses in and gets the takedown again. He’s hanging on dos Anjos now, and it looks like dos Anjos is fading. Covington shucks off dos Anjos, and an exchange of kicks produces an accidental groin kick. After restart,Covington comes right back in, and dirty boxes. Dos Anjos with body kick. Covington flurries into the clinch. Muscling for position. Knee to the body from dos Anjos, and Covington with an elbow. Covington pulls off and walks into a right, then an uppercut. He still chases dos Anjos and answers with a right hand. Back to the clinch, and dos Anjos circles off. Leg kick for dos Anjos, and an exchange of punches with both men landing. Covington gets a takedown of sorts and knees the legs over the bent over dos Anjos. Covington won’t let dos Anjos escape, but then, he gets free. Covington drives back to the fence, and the audience is getting bored. Knee to the body from dos Anjos, and Covington lands a body kick at the end. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 for Covington, and he’s up 29-28.
Round 4 – Covington takes a superman punch early, and Covington shakes his head. More trading in close, and dos Anjos lands to the body and head. Covington presses for a takedown and misses. Dos Anjos presses in and gets his own takedown. Covington scrambles to his knees, and dos Anjos sets up for a choke. Covington drives up and puts dos Anjos against the fence, and dos Anjos backs off before shooting and getting another takedown. Covington is seated against the fence. Dos Anjos gets to his back and then adjust for a takedown. Dos Anjos working to flatten Covington, but it’s proving difficult. Covington spins out, and dos Anjos resets. Covington chases forward and takes a few counters before pressing dos Anjos to the cage. Dos Anjos escapes and shoots for his own takedown, but Covington stuffs it. Action stalls. Covington peels off and counters as dos Anjos fights on his heels. Inevitably, the takedown attempt. Dos Anjos breaks off and they trade, and dos Anjos with a left hand. Covington grabs a leg and gets the takedown. Dos Anjos pitches up and Covington punches the body to close it out. MMAjunkie scores the frame 10-9 dos Anjos, and it’s 38-38.
Round 5 – Covington presses in and kicks before shooting in for the takedown. He gets under dos Anjos and to the back, kneeing the legs. Dos Anjos works to escape. Covington hanging on him. Turn, and the two trade early. Dos Anjos misses on a jumping knee and gets smothered again. Covington gets the takedown and goes to the back before giving it up. Break, and they trade kicks. Covington still in, gets to the clinch, and drops again for the takedown. Dos Anjos trying a kimura. Covington wheels to the back and hooks a leg. Dean warns for action, and dos Anjos turns back to fence. Dirty boxing, and Covington pulls back. Covington with a combination and he lands with a shot before pressing for the takedown. Dos Anjos beats the body and wraps the head. He turns, and Covington chases him with a body kick. Trade of punches, but Covington comes back, and a left hook clips him. He drives forward anyway for the takedown and takes a few lateral elbows. Dos Anjos pummels and tries to turn, but Covington turns him. Kimura attempt, and Covington rolls with it. Trade of shots, and they’re slinging. Both men landing, but Covington ends with a clinch. Misses the takedown, and dos Anjos escapes. Kick to body meets punch for Covington, and they end it swinging. MMAjunkie scores the final frame 10-9 for Covington, and he gets the 48-47 call.
Result: Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
Recap: Brace yourself world, Colby Covington is a UFC champion
Photos: Colby Covington vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Records: Rafael dos Anjos (28-10 MMA, 17-8 UFC), Colby Covington (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC)
Division: Welterweight (for interim title)
Rankings: Covington No. 3, dos Anjos No. 4
Referee: Herb Dean