Join us here at Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, and play-by-play (main event) as UFC Vegas 66: Cannonier vs. Strickland goes down from the UFC’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, NV.
The main event of this Fight Night will take place in the middleweight division, with Jared Cannonier looking to bounce back from his loss to then-champion Israel Adesanya by knocking off Sean Strickland, looking to recover from a loss of his own to the now-champion, Alex Pereira.
This is an ESPN+ show for it’s entirety, the preliminary fights beginning at 4pm ET/1PM PT and the main card kicking off at 7pm ET/4pm PT. For the areas outside of the United States, you can catch all the scheduled contests on UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card (7 PM ET, ESPN+)
Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland
They start with a feeling out process, neither excited to engage. Strickland paws with his jab. Cannonier engages with a couple of bursts, but nothing lands clean. Strickland is looking to counter. Stricklnad is figuring out the distance and is finding a home for his jab while dodging Cannonier’s attacks. Strickland catches a kick from Cannonier and puts him on his back. Cannonier gets right back up, but Strickland holds onto his back against the cage and lands a series of short shots before Cannonier escapes. Cannonier stalking, lands a heavy low kick. Strickland dodges a heavy shot. Cannonier looking for leg kicks and a few land. Good round, but Strickland the busier fighter. Strickland 10-9
Cannonier lands the first good shot to open the round. Strickland stumbles Cannonier with a caught kick, but doesn’t pursue the takedown. Strickland is finding his jab again. Cannonier looking for heavy shots and Strickland dodges most of them, the others not landing clean. Cannonier looking for leg kicks again. Strickland struggling to find the jab due to Cannonier’s volume. Cannonier slows and Strickland finds a home for some punches. Strickland rushes Cannonier and lands something heavy. Cannonier isn’t phased and goes right back to stalking Strickland. Cannonier lands a good right to end the round. Close round. Cannonier 10-9
Strickland back to playing matador. Cannonier lands a leg kick. Strickland building momentum, increasing his volume. He slows and Cannonier lands a body kick. Cannonier throwing a lot of big shots that are largely missing. Strickland not throwing with much power, but they find their home. Cannonier finally lands a big combo, but Strickland isn’t phased. Cannonier lands another big right. Strickland begins putting some power into his shots, but Cannonier blocks most of them. Strickland lands a low kick and checks one from Cannonier. Strickland lands several punches to the head, then proceeds to dodge several punches from Cannonier. Cannonier lands a left to end the round. Another close round. Strickland 10-9
The round opens with them finding their range before Cannonier begins pursuing aggressively. Nothing lands as Strickland dodges. They have a few equal exchanges before Strickland starts landing several consecutive unanswered exchanges. Cannonier appears to be hurt by one of the punches. Strickland is landing to the head with damn near every punch. Cannonier lands a heavy kick, seeming wake himself up. Cannonier is back on the offensive, but his offense is only coming in bursts now. Strickland reading this and attacks with the jab in between the bursts. Strickland beginning to follow up behind his jab. Cannonier backs Strickland down and forces Strickland to circle out. Cannonier lands a heavy right, but Strickland smiles as he dodges out again. Strickland 10-9
Strickland pawing with the jab. Cannonier rushes, but Strickland dodges again. Cannonier looking for straight punches. Strickland counters, briefly stumbling Cannonier. Cannonier looking for hooks again, but not coming anywhere close to landing. Strickland lands peppering shots. Cannonier lands a big one, but Strickland isn’t phased. Big right counter from Strickland, followed by a sound combo from Cannonier. Cannonier whiffs and Strickland counters with a big combo. Cannonier lands a heavy shot and Strickland’s nose is bleeding. Cannonier whiffs on a spinning back fist. Strickland backing Cannonier off with several one-twos. Strickland is finding his groove. Cannonier lands a big right, follows with a big combo. Strickalnd fires back with a combo and several kicks. Another close round. Strickland 10-9.
I have it Strickland 49-46, but can see Cannonier 48-47.
Official decision: Jared Cannonier defeated Sean Strickland via split decision (49-46 x2, 46-49)
Arman Tsarukyan def. Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Amir Albazi def. Alessandro Costa via TKO (punches) at 2:13 of RD3
Alex Caceres def. Julian Erosa via TKO (head kick and punches) at 3:04 of RD1
Drew Dober def. Bobby Green via KO (punch) at 2:45 of RD2
Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Cody Brundage via KO (punches) at 3:16 of RD1
Preliminary Card (4 PM ET, ESPN+)
Cory McKenna def. Cheyanne Vlismas via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Matt Semelsberger def. Jake Matthews via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Said Nurmagomedov def. Saidyokub Kakhramonov via submission (guillotine) at 3:50 of RD2
Rafa Garcia def. Maheshate via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Bryan Battle via unanimous decision (30-25 x2, 30-27)
Manel Kape def. David Dvorak via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Sergey Morozov def. Journey Newson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
About the author