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Exactly seven days following a drama-filled Saturday in Dallas, the UFC was back on home turf at the Apex facility in NEVADA for a Fight Night show jam-packed with quick endings.
All the card’s 10 bouts were finished in the distance, and the primary show combined for 60 minutes and four seconds across six fights.
It had been the 1st time since 2014 that each fight on a UFC card ended early.
Ranked 205-pounders Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill shared main event duties in the Nevada desert, carrying a primary show that included a set of THE BEST Fighter season 30 finales and whose broadcast was carried by Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping.
The B/R combat sports team took everything in from begin to finish and come up with a definitive set of the card’s winners and losers. Scroll to see what we developed, and feel absolve to drop a thought or two of your in the comments.
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Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Hill fell to his knees, rolled to his back and lay in the center of the cage.
And, though clearly exhausted, he managed the power to whisper, “I belong.”
Predicated on what he’d just accomplished in the initial trip in to the UFC’s “championship rounds,” the fighter nicknamed “Sweet Dreams” certainly deserved the affirmation.
The 10th-ranked light heavyweight staked a definitive claim to a prodigious ladder climb in a few days, outworking and finally pummeling No. 6 contender Santos right into a fourth-round stoppage in the primary event of Saturday’s card.
The finish came at 2: 31 of the fourth after Santos, himself out of gas, was driven to the ground and hit with a reliable torrent of fists and elbows before referee Herb Dean waved it off.
It had been Hill’s fifth win alongside a loss and a no-decision in seven UFC fights since winning on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. He’d never gone past three rounds before and had finished all of his last four victories since a choice over Darko Stoi in 2020.
Santos has lost five of six since mid-2019 and four of five since losing a 205-pound title shot to then-champ Jon Jones. The Brazilian established a career-best in takedowns but couldn’t secure a submission and was struggling to match Hill’s output on your feet.
“I expected him ahead in and shoot because I’m a difficult person to stand with,” Hill said.
“That’s what I study from my coaches and team, we just work. Once I acquired along with him, I was just thinking ‘work.'”
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Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Saturday night was Geoff Neal’s ninth visit to the UFC Octagon.
Nonetheless it was the very first time he’d arrived being an underdog.
Also it was clear he didn’t enjoy it.
The 13th-ranked welterweight had it tough contrary to the division’s No. 6 fighter in Vicente Luque, but he used his foe’s lofty ranking as motivation and ultimately managed to get count with a smashing third-round knockout in the show’s co-main event.
“I am looking towards Luque,” he said.
“A hardcore opponent always brings the very best out of me.”
That has been surely the case from the outset, as Neal controlled the initial round from the southpaw stance with an accurate straight left. He landed the shot many times and had Luque reeling before finally dropping the Brazilian with in regards to a minute to go in the round.
He couldn’t obtain the stoppage there, however, and Luque rallied to take the next with an increase of aggression and increased accuracy with both his punches and multiple kicks to Neal’s legs and body.
Neal’s corner exhorted him to rally in the ultimate round, and he followed orders, again rattling Luque with left hands and firing nine straight uppercuts at one point as Luque was pinned contrary to the fence. He didn’t land every shot as Luque stayed in the fray, but another straight left eventually got through, dropped Luque to his knees and prompted a wave-off at 2: 01.
It had been his seventh win in nine UFC fights since he graduated from Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017.
“I go hard in the initial round, and I have a tendency to go on it easy in the next,” Neal said. “He got in my own ass in the next, but I acquired back on him in the 3rd round.”
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She may never be considered a UFC champion, but Juliana Miller surely knows how exactly to perform on a large stage.
The California-based flyweight chalked up probably the most impressive win of her brief MMA career in THE BEST Fighter’s 125-pound finale, mauling rival Brogan Walker for just two rounds before pounding her right into a final-round finish and earning a UFC contract.
Miller was an associate of Julianna Pena’s TUF team, and the now-ex-champ at featherweight was in the building in NEVADA to cheer on her behalf charge.
Pena lost her title to Amanda Nunes in a rematch at UFC 277 the other day in Dallas.
“I level up exponentially each time I step into this cage,” Miller said. “And I cannot wait showing the planet what’s next.”
The 26-year-old got the fight to the ground in each one of the first two rounds and said afterward that Walker’s trash talk in early stages inspired her to choose the final. It came at 3: 57 of the 3rd after she’d again established top control and pummeled Walker with vicious elbows.
“She’d whispered in my own ear that I had nothing on her behalf,” Miller said.
“In order I was decreasing with the elbows, I was laughing and telling her ‘this one’s for you personally.’ She got what she asked for.”
Pena was the coach for both Mohammed Usman and Zac Pauga in the show’s heavyweight finale, so she found her second straight win when Usman won by thudding knockout in the initial minute of the next round.
Usman, younger brother of the UFC’s welterweight and pound-for-pound king, Kamaru, landed a left hook flush as Pauga charged forward, and he drilled the former NFL practice squad player with two more violent ground strikes that left him prone for a few minutes.
“I never stopped working. I never stopped believing in myself,” Usman said. “I cannot wait to obtain back again to work.”
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If nothing else, Terrance McKinney includes a keen sense of timing.
The 27-year-old American bills himself as “T.Wrecks” and had carved a path of recent octagonal destruction, winning two of three UFC bouts by first-round finishes.
So Saturday’s main-card date with Erick Gonzalez, which McKinney ended by rear-naked choke in under half of a round, was indicative of his “reach work” mindset.
However the streaking lightweight saved his best career-advancing work with following the fight when he was casually communicating with Bisping.
It had been then he made a decision to land his biggest shot of the night time, calling out perpetually chatty Paddy Pimblett for a romantic date later this season.
“Hey, Paddy the Baddy,” he said, “the fans want to buy, so let’s obtain it.”
Pimblett was in the Octagon just fourteen days ago and scored his third straight UFC finish, stopping Jordan Leavitt by rear-naked choke in two rounds.
McKinney’s win was the 13th of his pro career, simply by finish, and the ninth straight time he won in the initial round. Actually, he’s not gone past 3 minutes to obtain a victory since 2018.
“If it is time and energy to eat, I don’t play with my food,” he said. “[Gonzalez] hung his neck on the market, and I’m a fairly strong m’er f’er, therefore i just squeezed him up.”
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Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
It could have already been a shock.
In the event that you tuned into ESPN around 9 p.m. looking to catch a small number of prelim bouts prior to the main card began, you tuned in much too late.
The six-fight early show was wrapped up prior to its back-end time boundary because of a set of bouts being scrubbed and the four that remained all ending via stoppage.
MMA veteran Sam Alvey strutted to the ring past several family in the audience, however the in-house adoration didn’t help because the 36-year-old was battered, bloodied and dropped twice on the path to a KO loss in under two minutes.
“I’m here to win, and I’m here for knockouts,” said Michal Oleksiejczuk, moments after his final sweeping left hook left Alvey flat on his back and ended the featured prelim at 1: 56.
“It is the kind of fighting I would like to show to the UFC and the fans.”
The three fights that preceded Oleksiejczuk’s win ended in barely a lot more than eight minutes of combined combat time, thanks partly to a higher right kick from Bryan Battle that rendered welterweight foe Takashi Sato helpless after just 44 seconds of the opening round.
“I’ve never really had a one-hitter quitter like this,” Battle said, “so I’m pretty gassed up.”
Also ending fights early were Cory McKenna and Mayra Bueno Silva, with the former becoming to first UFC woman to win via Von Flue choke against Miranda Granger and the latter stopping Stephanie Egger having an armbar.
A bout between Josh Quinlan and Jason Witt was pulled from the card following a little bit of dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) was within a recently available Quinlan urine sample and prompted the Nevada Athletic Commission never to clear him. Also, a sickness suffered by Ariane Lipski led to her bout with Priscila Cachoeira being rescheduled to in a few days.
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Jamahal Hill def. Thiago Santos by KO (punches), 2: 31, Round 4
Geoff Neal def. Vicente Luque by KO (punch), 2: 01, Round 3
Mohammed Usman def. Zac Pauga by KO (punch), 0: 36, Round 2
Juliana Miller def. Brogan Walker by KO (punches), 3: 57, Round 3
Serghei Spivac def. Augusto Sakai by KO (punches), 3: 42, Round 2
Terrance McKinney def. Erick Gonzalez by submission (rear-naked choke), 2: 17, Round 1
Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Sam Alvey by KO (punch), 1: 56, Round 1
Bryan Battle def. Takashi Sato by KO (kick), 0: 44, Round 1
Cory McKenna def. Miranda Granger by submission (von flue coke), 1: 03, Round 2
Mayra Bueno Silva def. Stephanie Egger by submission (armbar), 1: 17, Round 1