Ireland’s O2 arena is the setting for today’s UFC Fight Night: Dublin event, which is anchored by volatile featherweights Conor McGregor and Diego Brandao. The main card also includes multifarious welterweight Gunnar Nelson vs. Zak Cummings in the co-main slot, a flyweight firecracker pitting Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett and an old bull vs. young lion match between veteran Naoyuki Kotani and Norman Parke.
Live results and play by play for the main card will be covered herein, which begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass after the six-fight preliminary card (12:30 p.m. ET start time) cycles through. The main card lineup follows below. In the mean, soak in some analysis and predictions for each scrap on the event’s main and preliminary cards in this week’s Vivisection with Dallas, Connor and Zane.
UFC Fight Night Dublin Main Card
Conor McGregor vs Diego Brandao
R1: McGregor wheels out a spinning kick and both fighters deploy salvos of leather with both hands. Brandao clinches up and puts McGregor on the fence but McGregor circles to switch positions. Knee to the ribs for Brandao but he’s taken down with a trip. McGregor postures up and Brandao boots him off with both feet, then dodges a foot lock when he jumps back into Brandao’s guard. Brandao angles for an armbar and McGregor stacks him to break the grip.
Half butterfly for Brandao with good posture control. McGregor gives him enough room to push off and escape but McGregor tags Brandao with a shot on his way back up. Roundhouse kick for McGregor but he narrowly avoids a Brandao haymaker. McGregor thuds a left hand right through Brandao’s defense and the sheer power of impact breaks Brandao’s guard open, allowing McGregor to slice a long left through the opening that meets Brandao’s jaw. Brandao wilts to the canvas in slow-motion where McGregor unloads left hands until the ref pulls him off.
- Conor McGregor defeats Diego Brandao by TKO (punches) at 4:05 of Round 1
Zak Cummings vs. Gunnar Nelson
R1: They clinch up and fight for underhooks. With nothing cooking, Nelson lands a knee on the clinch break, then a left hand. Cummings tries to pressure with punches but Nelson smoothly pops in and out of range to dodge everything. Side kick to the body lads for Nelson, then two right hands. Cummings connects and slips behind Nelson in the rear waist cinch. Nelson spins to face him and works off the fence and out of the clinch.
Nelson walking Cummings down but then waiting on him to counter. Straight line burst from Cummings is side stepped by Nelson. Jumping something attempt from Cummings and Nelson tags him with a right cross. Cummings clinches up and puts Nelson on the face, landing a left uppercut on the break and then two more after stepping back. 10-9 Nelson
R2: Cummings swallows up the distance and puts Nelson on the fence, only backing off long enough to ping a quick flurry before reattaching. Nelson dings Cummings with a right while throwing a low kick. Good in-and-out movement from Nelson which causes Cummings to miss frequently, but not a lot of return fire from Nelson. Cummings whiffs with a dozen shots but Nelson only grazes with a few in response.
Cummings catches a kick but Nelson turns the tables by snapping him down firmly with the front headlock, then taking back control with both hooks in. Cummings fights off the choke and Nelson switches to hammer-fists, then cinches the choke back on as Cummings is defending, forcing the tapout.
- Gunnar Nelson defeats Zak Cummings by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:42 of Round 2
Ian McCall vs. Brad Pickett
R1: McCall is light on his toes and using lateral movement early. Pickett unloads as McCall enters his wheelhouse and it gets McCall’s attention. McCall initiates a clinch and lands a few body knees as Pickett circles him onto the fence but takes a knee to the cup. After a brief pause, Pickett fires off an uppercut-hook combo but McCall ducks under and latches onto his hips. Pickett keeps his footing and puts McCall on the fence, landing a short elbow. McCall, who was briefly exchanging words with the ref, fires a right elbow back.
McCall uncorks a monster overhand that sails just over Pickett’s head. Right, right left combo from McCall, then a straight left from southpaw on the restart. They clinch up and the ref is inexplicably chattering at the fighters again. McCall throws a tight one-two and looks to land cleaner than Pickett’s follow-up flurry. 10-10 for even offense and no clear winner.
R2: McCall nails a double after a few even exchanges but Pickett is right back on his feet again. Left hand for McCall, then a slick trip and he’s able to contain Pickett on the mat this time. Light-speed pass to full mount for McCall and Pickett can’t buck him off. Pickett gets enough space to roll onto a hip and jar McCall loose, and they reset in the center.
They land left hands simultaneously. McCall ducks Pickett’s overhand and retracts his head just in time to avoid a right hand. Short right for McCall, then a left body kick. Pickett catches the next kick but his right hand counter is blocked. McCall catches Pickett low with an inside low kick and we pause again. We restart with 90 seconds left and Pickett whiffs two punches and can’t get the takedown. McCall dances out of range while landing a left hand. Pickett blocks his left hook but McCall’s straight left sneaks through. Pickett grabs a single but McCall avoids it. Pickett shoots again at the bell but it’s stuffed easily. 10-9 McCall.
R3: McCall lands a teep to Pickett’s chin to begin the final frame. Pickett staying wide and planted on his punches and it’s allowing McCall to bore in tighter, faster straights. Left kick for McCall while circling out and Pickett lobs a sloppy hook but can’t cut off the cage. Another front kick for McCall. Left body kick for “Uncle Creepy.” Pickett initiates a clinch and changes levels but McCall gets a wide base to negate the takedown. McCall buries his shoulder in Pickett’s face and gets enough space to circle off the cage and into open space.
McCall shoots and Pickett defends, then hits a quick counter trip. McCall pops right back up. McCall digs a left roundhouse kick into Pickett’s ribs. McCall times a double leg well and puts Pickett on his back. Power-pass attempt from McCall as Pickett controls his left wrist. McCall passes to side mount and keeps right on going for an insta-pass to full mount at the one-minute mark. Pickett regains half guard but McCall’s base and balance are exemplary on top. Pickett escapes with a few seconds left and they both land punches. 10-9 McCall for a 30-28 his way on my card.
- Ian McCall defeats Brad Pickett by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
Naoyuki Kotani vs. Norman Parke
R1: Parke easily anticipates a Kotani level change and flings a high kick when they separate. Kotani sneaks in a straight left and shoots but Parke counters with an underhook and circles Kotani’s back to the fence. Parke lands a nice horizontal elbow on the clinch break. Kotani scores again with the straight left but shoots predictably. Jump knee attempt misses for Parke, as does his follow-up high kick.
Kotani catches a body kick but can’t convert the takedown. A pair of inside low kicks from Parke is answered by left-right combos from Kotani, who clinches up but eats a knee to the body. Telegraphed level change from Kotani and Parke sprawls out, then moves to Kotani’s back with a body lock. A right hand from Parke allows him to sneak a hook in and he hammers away with massive left punches and forearms to take the round. 10-9 Parke.
R2: Incidental low blow lands for Parke and Kotani is quick to reconvene, but can’t time his double on Parke’s overhand left on the restart. They clinch and Parke controls Kotani’s hips to dump him on his back and moves into side mount. A few pressure-release elbows from Parke while basing down in side control. Kotani keeps his head moving to avoid the next outburst but can’t escape side mount, where more elbows are delivered.
Kotani grabs a leg but Parke stands and spins out before he can secure leg-lock position. Parke lowers his level and picks the ankle to complete another takedown against the fence, and resumes the punishment with his left hand until the referee steps in.
- Norman Parke defeats Naoyuki Kotani by TKO (punches) at 3:42 of Round 2
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