Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for what should be a memorable night of fights at UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. We have live coverage and play-by-play of all of the action, including the main event featherweight championship unification bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. The co-main event is a middleweight title clash between undefeated champ Chris Weidman and former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold.
Also on this incredible main card: Middleweight contenders Jacare Souza and Yoel Romero finally square off after two postponements, with the winner in line for a title shot against the Weidman vs. Rockhold winner. BJJ specialists Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson meet in an important welterweight bout. The PPV kicks off with surging featherweight contender Max Holloway taking on dangerous striker Jeremy Stephens.
Live play-by-play coverage (by Dallas Winston) will coincide with the PPV broadcast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT. In the meantime, check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on all match-ups.
PPV main card (10 PM ET)
Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor – UFC featherweight championship
R1: McGregor opens with a glancing left cross. Dear lord. As soon as Aldo steps forward and throws a right, McGregor detonates an atom-bomb of a left hook and Aldo crumples to the canvas. McGregor has time for one hammer-fist to Aldo’s face as the former champ is staring blankly up at the rafters. Another new champion is crowned.
- Conor McGregor defeats Jose Aldo by KO (left hook) R1 0:13
Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold – UFC middleweight championship
R1: Weidman starts with a right high kick but it’s blocked. Weidman wades forward and lands a chopping left hand, then changes levels in pursuit of Rockhold’s hips. Weidman takes his back on the escape attempt and then jumps to back mount, locking on the body triangle. Rockhold hula-hoops him off but Weidman, with the help of some slick wrist control, lands on his feet. Weidman circles off the fence and drills Rockhold with a right, then takes him down, landing in side mount.
Weidman slips to his back again on the escape attempt but Rockhold stands and spins to face the champ. Weidman keeps him on the fence with a left underhook, then lands a knee and a hard right elbow. Weidman bowls him over with a powerful takedown and Rockhold falls back for a guillotine. It’s tight and it forces Weidman into 100% defense mode. Weidman passes to side mount to alleviate the pressure but Rockhold’s hands are still locked. Herb Dean inexplicably stands them up while Rockhold is still in guillotine position. 10-9 Weidman.
R2: They touch gloves and Rockhold storms after Weidman with both hands whirring, stunning the champ with a shot, then landing a hard left body kick. Weidman clinches to recover and then separates. Another scorching left kick to the body from Rockhold, then an outside low kick. Weidman ducks under a Rockhold combo and gets the body lock but Rockhold shucks him off and lands a low kick.
Weidman, looking more and more uncomfortable in open-space exchanges, rushes forward in a straight line looking for a takedown. Rockhold circles out of danger and continues to chip away with left low kicks. Rockhold digs to the body with a lead right. Rockhold has a high kick blocked but follows up with a clean body kick. Rockhold flings a question mark kick and just misses. Weidman thuds a right body kick and Rockhold jogs out of range. 10-9 Rockhold.
R3: Weidman glances with a right body kick, and then another after deflecting a Rockhold body kick. Weidman doubles up on body kicks and they land but not nearly as hard as Rockhold’s. Weidman makes a clinch entry and takes Rockhold down with surprising ease. Rockhold gets to his feet and Weidman keeps him on the cage. Rockhold separates and lands a left body kick on the reset. Glancing right hand from Rockhold. Weidman with two consecutive right kicks to the body. Straight left lands for Rockhold.
Another body kick from Weidman, who then tries to go high with a kick. Now a spinning kick from Weidman and Rockhold steps inside to jam it, then hops on Weidman’s back. Both hooks in for Rockhold, who transitions to full mount when Weidman rolls. Weidman covers up on a prolonged flurry of rights and lefts from Rockhold, and the champ’s face is bleeding freely. Rockhold sees the blood and amplifies his attack in volume and with the addition of elbows. 10-8 Rockhold for the late-round mauling.
R4: They both trade kicks to the body. Rockhold forces a clinch, gets the body lock and almost gets the takedown but Weidman stays up with a fence grab (he’s warned for it). Rockhold sticks with the body lock, lowers his level and completes a throw. Rockhold lands in half guard and keeps Weidman’s head pinned on the fence though the champ gets full guard. Rockhold dings him with a right to the face.
Another right from Rockhold and Weidman is squinting with blood drenched across both eyes. Rockhold passes to side mount, then maneuvers to full mount and the punches start flying. Herb Dean steps in to wave it off. Luke Rockhold is your new UFC Middleweight Champion.
Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
R1: Souza blocks a left high kick. A quick right hand lands for Souza. Now a lead left downstairs from Souza and Romero dances around on the fringe. Romero unbolts a huge overhand left that only glances but still blasts Souza back a few steps. Romero flings a spinning back fist that lands clean and it sits Souza down. Souza stays on his back and waves Romero in, and Romero obliges.
Romero heaves punches and enters Souza’s guard carefully at first, then grows in confidence as his punches start landing. Souza isolates an arm but Romero pulls it out, then plasters him with a huge punch. Souza rolls for another armbar and Romero again escapes and bludgeons Souza. 10-8 Romero.
R2: Romero lands a left front kick to the body and a left hand upstairs. “Jacare” shoots a sloppy takedown and Romero literally tosses him aside. Souza glances with a clubbing right hand as Romero circles out. Souza shoots a single and Romero jumps over his head; Souza keeps the single leg and Romero counter-wrestles to take him down.
Referee Marc Goddard emphatically halts the action, warns Romero for a blatant fence grab that allowed him the top position and then restarts them on the feet. Souza with a right to the body. Romero glances with a front kick downstairs. Romero chops out Souza’s lead leg with an inside low kick. 10-9 Souza.
R3: Romero glances with a left cross before shutting down a Souza takedown attempt. Romero staggers him with a one-two. Souza peels off a quick combo, then persists with a quick right to the face and it dazes Romero. Souza recognizes it and takes Romero down, then passes to half guard.
Souza postures up and lands a pair of stiff forearms to the face. Romero goes two-on-one on Souza’s right arm and can’t escape, then goes back to it, creating enough space to stand at the end of the round. 10-9 Souza. I have it a 29-29 draw.
- Yoel Romero defeats Ronaldo Souza by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson
R1: Maia shrinks the gap and gets the body lock, then half-hits an outside trip; Nelson reverses him but can’t stabilize on top and Maia stands back up. Maia gets in on a single and Nelson counters with the front headlock, then again counter-wrestles to land on top. Slick transition to side control from Nelson as soon as Maia’s back hits the ground. Maia rolls into turtle and goes to a counter single, then switches to a double leg. Maia takes the back as Nelson’s defending.
Nelson rolls out and Maia moves to full mount, then he returns to back mount with a body triangle locked. Left hands to the head of Nelson as he’s trying to escape. Maia keeps a steady stream of leather on Nelson’s head from back mount. Maia lands a brutal downward elbow to the face from back control. Maia switches to an armbar and falls back to straighten it out but Nelson escapes. 10-9 Maia.
R2: Maia shoots a double, then switches to a single and runs the pipe. Nelson nearly reverses again; Maia smoothly glides into the rear waist cinch. Nelson blatantly grabs the fence and referee John McCarthy twice smacks his hand off the cage when he ignores his warning. Maia off-balances Nelson from the rear waist cinch and puts both hooks in for full back mount.
Nelson spins into him for another crafty reversal but can’t stay on top for long as Maia returns the favor with a sweep of his own. Double butterfly guard for Nelson with head control. Maia lands short hammer-fists to the head and shuts down a sweep attempt. Now some sharp left elbows from Maia on top, who’s looking to pass to full mount. And he does with a few seconds left in the round. 10-8 Maia for a notable lack of effective offense from Nelson.
R3: Maia pops him with a straight left, then shoots. Nelson counters with the front headlock and, again, nearly hits a last-second reversal. Instead, Maia goes to work in Nelson’s butterfly guard. Maia methodically passes to half guard and bangs a few right forearms off Nelson’s head, then craftily transitions to back mount with a body triangle.
A constant thud of left hands to the head and body from Maia in back mount, then he tries to cinch on a rear-naked choke but can’t get under the chin. Unhindered left and right hands to the face from Maia. Nelson sweeps him with 15 seconds left. 10-8 Maia. I have it 30-25 Maia.
Demian Maia defeats Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)
Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens
R1: Stephens comes out southpaw, lands an outside low kick and switches back to orthodox. Holloway, also standing southpaw, lands a flicking double jab. Stephens goes inside with a low kick. They trade body kicks. Holloway glances with a right to the body. Stephens with another low kick. Lead right hook lands for Holloway.
Stephens catches a kick and puts Holloway on the fence, looking for a high crotch, then a double leg. Holloway gets a right underhook to stay upright and lands a knee to the body. Stephens tries to scoop a leg for another takedown but he’s denied by the composed Holloway, who circles off the fence and separates. Inside low kick lands in the middle of a Holloway combo. Now an outside low kick from Stephens. Holloway glances with a left to the head and Stephens forces a clinch. 10-10.
R2: Stephens glances with a lead hook to the liver. Holloway steps back from a near clinch and pops Stephens with a left. Hard counter right hook lands for Holloway, who throws a spinning kick that Stephens steps into to clinch up. Stephens slithering for a single or high crotch instead of a sudden level change and Holloway defends casually before circling off and separating.
They both heave combos and land simultaneously. Holloway checks the inside low kick and Stephens forces another clinch, again trying to scoop up Holloway’s leg to no avail. Holloway circles off the cage and pops Stephens with a right hand. Stephens ducks a right hand and snatches a single leg but Holloway hops on one foot and regains his balance on the cage, then separates. Outside low kick for Stephens. 10-9 Holloway.
R3: Holloway sneaks in a quick counter knee to the body. Holloway lands an uppercut and, anticipating Stephens’ forward movement, takes him down from the body lock and lands in side control. Hard left hand lands for Holloway. Stephens turtles and Holloway nearly takes his back in the scramble, then starts working on an arm triangle. Stephens rolls into it to alleviate the pressure and Holloway takes his back with his both hooks in.
Holloway peels out a hook and lands a heel strike to the gut from back mount but it allows Stephens enough room to escape and separate. Stephens glances with a right hand, then times a duck-under double leg well but still can’t get Holloway to the mat. Holloway ducks a left hook and glances with a spinning elbow. Jump knee attempt from Holloway is sidestepped. Stephens shoots again but can’t find the takedown, then goes berserk with caveman punches. 10-9 Holloway. I have it 30-28 Holloway.
- Max Holloway defeats Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
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