The Toyota Center in Houston, TX was home to a great evening of fights at UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2. The card saw two (T)KOs, four submissions and eight decisions, including two split-decisions.
POTN: Tuivasa, Cannonier
FOTN: Silva de Andrade vs. Morozov
Tonight’s early action opened with Maxim Grishin taking a unanimous decision over William Knight, showing everyone that 12 extra pounds doesn’t matter a whole heck of a lot in the grand scheme of things. Jeremiah Wells shocked Blood Diamond when he choked him to sleep in the first round. Welcome to the UFC, Mr. Mathetha! Douglas Silva de Andrade overcame adversity to score a gnarly rear-naked choke win in round number two. Side note, this fight was a certified banger. Jacob Malkoun outclassed A.J. Dobson after a dicey first round, utterly dominating Dobson in the last two stanzas. Ronnie Lawrence took the unanimous decision over Mana Martinez in another gangbusters showing for the bantamweight division.
The regular prelims opened with Fabio Cherant’s defeat at the hands of Carlos Ulberg. Cherant spent all his time ignoring his corner and letting his emotions dictate his performance. Not the most exciting fight, but definitely not the worst. Kyler Phillips put on a helluva performance, beating Marcelo Rojo via armbar in the third round. Phillips is shaping up nicely, clearly learning from fight to fight. Casey O’Neill put on a great performance against a very game Roxy Modafferi, taking a split-decision, that likely should have been unanimous, but to her credit, the retiring Modafferi didn’t look helpless or outclassed in the fight. Andrei Arlovski and Jared Vanderaa swung heavy and hard for three rounds, but it would be Arlovski once again taking a split-decision win over lower tier competition. The Pitbull keeps out the riff-raff!
Early Preliminary Card
- Maxim Grishin defeated William Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jeremiah Wells defeated Mike Mathetha via submission (rear naked choke), 4:55 of round 1
- Douglas Silva de Andrade defeated Andrey Morozov via submission (rear naked choke), 3:34 of round 2
- Jacob Malkoun defeated A.J. Dobson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ronnie Lawrence defeated Mana Martinez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Regular Preliminary Card
- Carlos Ulberg defeated Fabio Cherant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Kyler Phillips defeated Marcelo Rojo via submission (armbar), 1:48 of round 3
- Casey O’Neill defeated Roxanne Modafferi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Andrei Arlovski defeated Jared Vanderaa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
The main card opened with a sensational performance by Bobby Green against Nasrat Haqparast. His superior striking and stinging jab were the backbone of the win, but some fraction of it should also be attributed to Nasrat making boneheaded decisions. A great fight, regardless, and one that should warrant a step up in competition for Green. That was followed by Mookie Alexander’s Nostradamus pick of Renato Moicano submitting Alex Hernandez in the second round, which is exactly what happened. Moicano would give a passionate post-fight interview where he asked for a bonus to help pay his very expensive taxes. Pay. These. Athletes. More. Jared Cannonier predictably got outwrestled and even dropped in the first round, but the second round would see him reverse his fortune, dropping Brunson with a huge shot, then following him down to the canvas where he landed one brutal hellbow after another. He bounced Blonde Brunson’s head off the canvas three times to seal the TKO win for himself.
The co-main event was a true slobberknocker with both Lewis and Tuivasa looking to take each other’s head off. Round 1 went by in a blur of huge shots that saw Tuivasa staggered. Round two was going the same way until a furious exchange between the two resulted with Lewis eating a huge hellbow that put him out cold. Bam Bam just clean-KO’d the Number 3 heavyweight. Of course there was a shooey, for those wondering.
The main event wasn’t the action-fest we’d all hoped it would be, but it was a solid performance by both men. Whittaker put in a much more patient, thoughtful performance, working well off his jab and utilizing his wrestling to score takedowns. Adesanya seemed to have injured his right hand somewhere in the second round, but he said in the post-fight interview that it wasn’t hurt. When it was all over, the men hugged, shared some friendly words then waited for the decision which ended up going Adesanya’s way. And still.
- Bobby Green defeated Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Renato Moicano defeated Alexander Hernandez via rear-naked choke at 1:23 of round 2
- Jared Cannonier defeated Derek Brunson via TKO at 4:29 of round 2
- Tai Tuivasa def. Derrick Lewis via KO (hellbow) at 1:40 of round 2
- Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
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