UFC 250 Prelims
Maki Pitolo def Charles Byrd via TKO (Round 2, 1:10)
First round a great wrestling battle. Byrd on top for most of it but Pitolo showed he was no pushover. 10-9 Byrd.
Second round a striking bout and Pitolo shows his clear advantage. A left straight through the guard rocks Byrd, he then goes on to hit him with a 12 striker combo with strikes to the head and body before a tricky trip takes it to the ground. Pitolo continues to pummel Byrd with strikes on the ground until Herb Dean waves it off.
Big win and impressive performance from the 29 year old to make it 4 wins in his last 5 fights.
Cody Stamann def Brian Kelleher via Decision (30-27 x3)
Round 1 starts brightly with both men looking to take the centre of the Octagon. Stamann establishes control as both men exchange strikes throughout the round. Kellaher landing leg kicks to slow Stamann down but the first round ends without much of an exchange to talk about. 10-9 Stamann.
Second round is much looser. Both men landing with big shots, with Stamann getting the better of the exchanges. Kellaher lands a big right hand that makes Stamann retreat, but Mr. Wonderful recovers quickly and gets the takedown after a clinch. The round ends with Cody on top controlling posture and looking to land big shots. Another close round but I give it to Stamann. 20-18 Stamann.
Round 3 starts with Stamann coming out strong and lands a knockdown with a powerful right hand. Patience shown as he doesn’t launch for the finish and Kellaher gets back to his feet. Kellaher fighting like he knows he needs the finish and goes for a huge spinning back fist but hits nothing but air. ‘Boom’ pushing the pace towards the end and lands a big body shot but Stamann eats it. Final minute and Stamann looking is looking for a takedown to see the fight out but Kellaher denies him. Kellaher now goes for a takedown with a single leg but Stamann catches him by the neck and takes his opponent to the ground with a guillotine attempt as the clock runs down to zero.
Comfortable win in the end for Mr. Wonderful with a 30-27 x3 victory on the scorecards as he dedicates the victory to his recently deceased younger brother.
Ian Heinisch def Gerald Meerschaert via TKO (Round 1, 1:14)
This fight is over as quickly as it starts. Both men come out strongly with Heinisch getting the better of the exchange. Heinisch then fakes a level change and drops Meerschaert with a huge overhand right. Ground and pound strikes follow and this one is done. Big, impressive win.
Alex Caceres def Chase Hooper via Decision (30-27 x3)
First round starts with electric movement and some big strikes from Caceres. Hooper rushing in, almost playing up to the fact that he’s in the prelim main event, and getting caught with big shots. Caceres fires in a big right hand and drops Hooper but then lets him get back up. ‘Bruce Leeroy’ picking Hooper apart, showing the big step up that the 20 year old has taken in this fight. Caceres ends the round attempting the takedown, but Hooper reverses it into a kneebar attempt but the clock runs down on him. 10-9 Caceres.
Round 2 starts with Hooper again coming out trying to land big shots on Caceres. He keeps missing though and once again. Hooper looking to close the distance and get hold of a limb as he tries to climb the back of his opponent. ‘The Teenage Dream’ tries to pull guard twice as Caceres maintains top positions and lands some heavy shots. Lots of pressing from Hooper but not a lot else going for him right now. His unbeaten streak is in serious jeopardy here. 20-18 Caceres.
Final round begins and Caceres continues to show the superior level of striking he possesses. Picking him apart on the feet with jabs and big hooks, with Hooper being hit almost at will. Hooper goes for the takedown against the cage but Caceres defends it well before a low blow by Hooper causes a short break in the round. Hooper starting to get desperate with submission attempts and continuing to attempt to pull guard. Caceres avoiding all with ease however and continues to land at will on the feet. Hooper pulls guard with 40 seconds to go in the fight but Caceres lands some shots from top position before he stands back up and this is as one-sided as it gets. 30-27 Caceres.
UFC 250 Main Card
Sean O’Malley def Eddie Wineland via KO (Round 1, 1:54)
The fight opens up with both men attempting to feel each other out. O’Malley attempts a few spins but nothing lands and Wineland catches him with a nice right straight. ‘Suga Sean’ starts to loosen up now and starts landing a bit more often. BOOM! O’Malley fakes an uppercut then lands a massive right-hand on the jaw of Eddie Wineland and this one is over. A walk-off KO for O’Malley. Amazing performance.
Neil Magny def Anthony Martin via Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
A slow first round to say the least following the action from the previous fight. A lot of feeling each other out. Both fighters landing on the other and engaging in the clinch, with not a lot happening other than that. 10-9 Martin.
Second round more clinches engaged and Magny doing slightly better this time around. Both men looking to push forward and take the advantage in front of the judges. Magny lands some nice knees and punches, Martin retaliates with a right hand of his own. Another slow round but Magny edges this one. 19-19.
Third and final round and both men come out strong, knowing this fight is up for grabs. Magny with a trademark surge in the final stages of the fight, pouring it on with his tremendous conditioning. Knees in the clinch plus more right hands, Magny is now chasing Martin around the Octagon looking for a finish. Magny with a very, very strong finish to the round – commentators even suggesting it could be a 10-8 round.
Aljamain Sterling def Corey Sandhagen via Submission (RNC) (Round 1, 1:28)
Funkmaster comes out quickly across the Octagon to meet Sandhagen and apply pressure. He throws a few feeler shots out before attacking with the takedown and gets it quickly. Aljamain goes straight for the back and gets it, applying a body triangle immediately and working for the rear naked choke. Sandhagen fights the hands and refuses to tap out to a face crank, but Sterling readjusts in the backpack position, puts the arm under the chin and chokes Sandhagen out cold. What a win for The Funkmaster!
Cody Garbrandt def Raphael Assuncao via KO (Round 2, 4:59)
Cody starts the fight with two strong calf kicks to the lead leg of Assuncao. Assuncao fires back with a kick of his own but ‘No Love’ throws a super fast right hand to counter that. Lots of feeling each other out in the first round with Assuncao feinting and ducking to gather his range. Cody looks energetic and sharp but not much activity from either fighter in the opening round. Cody edges it, just. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Second round starts out with Cody going for a strange leg sweep/kick variation to attack the lead leg of Assuncao once again. A scramble ensues and Cody lands a few short right hands before a huge head kick as they stand together, but Raphael eats it well. Both fighters still trying to establish range and movement of their opponent but Cody throws a nice uppercut. A big overhand right follows and Assuncao drops but recovers quickly. The fighters talk to each other but the round is drawing to a close with Cody edging it again. Assuncao goes for a big body kick against the cage but doesn’t land. Garbrandt ducks low to change levels and comes out of nowhere with a crazy right hand and knocks Assuncao out cold at the buzzer! What a punch! This is all over! Oh my goodness what a knockout.
Amanda Nunes def Felicia Spencer via Decision (50-44 x2, 50-45)
The champion opens the fight with a front kick to the body as she takes control of the centre of the Octagon. A bit of feeling each other out and Spencer charges across the cage but Nunes catches her with a big right hand. Nunes lands two or three more big shots but Spencer eats them and pushed the champ towards the cage for a clinch. Nunes counters Spencer’s takedown attempt with a judo throw and lands on top of the challenger. ‘The Lioness’ takes control on the ground and starts pummelling Spencer with elbows. Spencer is cut and this round is done. 10-9 to the champion.
Second round starts in a similar fashion to the first, with Nunes hitting Spencer flush but it being absorbed. Amanda is loosening up now and flowing with strikes. Spencer is in and looks for a guillotine as Nunes charges for a takedown, but Nunes turns it around and lands some big shots on the ground. A short scramble and both fighters return to their feet before the round comes to an end. 20-18 Nunes.
The third round begins with heavy shots from the Brazilian. Nunes lands a huge right hand that rocks Spencer. The Canadian’s mouthpiece falls out and Herb Dean stops the action (!?) to put it back in. In the short break Spencer seems to recover and Nunes doesn’t pounce. The champion is just piecing Spencer up now with hard 1-2 combos. Spencer is limping heavily on her left leg and the champion is not letting up. More heavy shots to close out the round, this fight is looking like a formality at this point. 30-27 Nunes.
Into the Championship rounds and Nunes is looking for a finish. Hard 1-2 combinations are causing Felicia Spencer a lot of problems. Nunes with a single leg takedown without any attempt to keep it on the ground and just allows her challenger to get back up. The champion is proving she is just a level above right now. Nunes lands a huge shot that rocks Spencer and she starts teeing off on her. Plenty of strikes and the referee is looking at stopping this. Spencer charges for a takedown in desperation but Nunes sprawls, takes the back and sinks in a deep rear naked choke with 10 seconds on the clock. Spencer holds out and survives but has a huge Joanna Jedrzejczyk-like hematoma on her head. 10-8 round for Nunes.
The final round starts with Nunes looking as fresh as she did at the opening bell. More hard shots from the champion and then a takedown as she looks to see this fight out. Hard shots while she’s staying in Spencer’s guard with no clear will to progress position. A merciful fifth round comes to an end and Amanda Nunes will retain her featherweight title. 50-44 on my scorecard.