The APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Vegas 18: Overeem vs. Volkov. The card saw four (T)KOs, one submission and seven decisions, including one split-decision.
The prelims opened with Ode Osbourne claiming a sensational, 26-second knockout victory over Jerome Rivera. That was followed by Timur Valiev getting the lopsided unanimous decision win over Martin Day. Then, Seungwoo Choi defeated Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision. Lara Procopio beat Molly McCann by unanimous decision, handing the Brit her second straight loss. Karol Rosa outclassed Joselyne Edwards via one-sided unanimous decision, and finally, Devonte Smith defeated Justin Jaynes by TKO when the ringside physician intervened after a huge hematoma developed under Justin Jaynes’ left eye.
The main card kicked off with Danilo Marques securing a second-round rear-naked choke over Mike Rodriguez. That was followed by Beneil Dariush taking a hard-fought split-decision over Diego Ferreira. Should it have been a split? Probably not, but judges. Manel Kape’s debut ended up being a dud, as Alexandre Pantoja took the unanimous unanimous decision win in a fight that saw Kape tentative and inactive for long stretches. Clay Guida took an easy unanimous decision over Michael Johnson that was punctuated by Guida landing takedown after takedown throughout the whole fight.
Corey Sandhagen only needed 28 seconds to put Frankie Edgar on his face. After a brief exchange, Sandhagen launched a flying knee that landed flush on Edgar’s face. Down he went, out cold. Sandhagen definitely earned the next crack at the title.
The main event saw Volkov box up Overeem for a little over a round before the ref mercifully intervened. By the time the fight was waved off at 2:06 of round two, Alistair’s face was a crimson mask of blood. Volkov looks better and better with every fight.
Performance of the Night: Alexander Volkov, Corey Sandhagen
Ode Osbourne def Jerome Rivera by (TKO (punches) at :26 of round 1), Devonte Smith (TKO (doctor stoppage) at 2:38 of round 2), Danilo Marques (rear-naked choke, round 2), Cory Sandhagen (KO (flying knee), :28 of round 1), and Alexander Volkov (TKO (punches) of round 2) all finished their opponents inside the distance but it would be Alexander Volkov and Corey Sandhagen that would take the night’s $50K bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Dariush-Ferreira
Timur Valiev (30-25, 30-25, 30-26), Seungwoo Choi (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Lara Procopio (29-27, 29-28, 30-27), Karol Rosa (30-27 x3), Beneil Dariush (28-29, 29-28, 29-28), Alexandre Pantoja (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), and Clay Guida (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) all heard the final horn but it was Beneil Dariush’s war with Diego Ferreira that would take FOTN honors.
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