Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje | Carlos Condit vs Alex Oliveira | Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori | Michelle Waterson vs Cortney Casey | Tim Boetsch vs Antonio Carlos Junior | Muslim Salikhov vs Ricky Rainey | Wilson Reis vs John Moraga | Krzysztof Jotko vs Brad Tavares | Gilbert Burns vs Dan Moret | Shana Dobson vs Lauren Mueller | Dhiego Lima vs Yushin Okami | Arjan Bhullar vs Adam Wieczorek | Matthew Lopez vs Alejandro Perez | Luke Sanders vs Patrick Williams
Fight Night: Poirier vs Gaethje main card
Action starts at 8 pm ET
True to the style that makes him such a fan favorite, Justin Gaethje marched forward in the first round willing to eat shots in order to make them. The shots came, or course, from Dustin Poirier, who managed to land almost double those of the Arizona native, and every strike in the first was counted as significant for both fighters. After an eye-poke briefly halted the second round, the slugging continued; Gaethje’s wild and Poirier’s concise.The third round belonged to Gaethje and some right hands and leg work that visibly rocked Poirier. A second eye-poke cost Gaethje a point in the same round. A punch the rocked Gaethje backwards to start the fourth opened the door for a flurry of finishing punches that referee Herb Dean stepped in between to stop the fight and gives The Diamond the TKO victory. Official Result: @DustinPoirier def. @Justin_Gaethje by TKO at :33 of Round 4
Two veterans with a reputation for leaving it all in the Octagon came out giving fans the energy the fight deserved. Condit came close three separate times at executing a choke late in the first round until Oliveira was literally saved by the bell. Cowboy dominated from the ground for much of the second, however, despite some excellent up-kicks from Condit. Oliveira’s pressure kept his opponent on his heels enough to ultimately execute a guillotine choke and got Condit to tap. Official Result: Alex Oliveira def. Carlos Condit by submission (guillotine) at 3:17 of Round 2.
THEY SAID IT:
Charles Oliveira : “I have been through a lot in the build-up to this fight. I do this for my family so it means everything to be here and win for them. That is all I care about.”
In what was largely a stand-up slugfest, it was Adesanya who was more artful in his strikes (true to his moniker ‘The Last Stylebender’), but if Vettori was more brute in his technique, he still managed to deliver a bevy of heavy hands in the face of the much-hyped newcomer, and his heralded marble head withstood Adesanya’s well-timed punches. When the fight eventually found itself on the canvas in the third, Vettori parked himself in top control following the takedown until a tired Adesanya managed to get the fight back on its feet. Some exhausted swings followed from both fighters until the final bell, and the striking advantage from Israel Adesanya was enough to escape Glendale with the split decision win. Despite the win, it marks the first professional fight that didn’t end in a KO/TKO. Official Result: @stylebender def. Marvin Vettori by SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
When the fight stayed on its feet, Casey’s considerable size and reach advantage coupled with her forward pressure stymied Waterson who ate shot after shot, only getting a reprieve when the fight went to the clinch or to the ground, where she could get in close enough to do some damage. Waterson also got off a booming kick the knocked Casey to the ground as time expired in the second. Both fighters did great work from the ground in the third, and it was ultimately her overall advantage in control time and strikes was enough to edge out a tough performance from Casey. Official Result: @karatehottiemma def. Cortney Casey by SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
THEY SAID IT:
Michelle Waterson : “Oh my gosh, when I heard the split decision coming in, I was worried. I felt like I had done a lot more in the fight and I had escaped every submission attempt but you never know what the judges see – and that’s the difference between half of my pay. I felt great throughout the fight. I was winning the exchanges and I was getting the better of the grappling too so I felt like I had done enough for a unanimous decision but I’m very happy to get the win. I showed myself that I can compete with the bigger girls in this division. I’m very happy to be back in the win column. Now, I’m just excited for some family time and we’ll see what the UFC has for me next…”
Fight Night: Poirier vs Gaethje prelims
Action starts at 6 pm ET
That is it!
Carlos Junior was able to hang around and eat some heavy punches from Boetsch long enough to get him to the ground where Boetsch had no answer. Carlos Junior easily scores the submission in with a rear naked choke. The submission ties him (with Michael Chiesa) for second all time in UFC history for rear naked chokes. #UFCGlendale Official Result: @CaraDeSapatoJr def @TimBoetsch by SUB, RNC 4:28, first round. THEY SAID IT:
Antonio Carlos Junior : “I am very happy with my performance. This is my third straight submission victory and second straight in the first round. I try to get better every time I fight. Tim Boetsch is a very respected fighter and a veteran of the sport. I feel grateful for this win and I am excited for what is to come next.”
Muslim Salikhov vs Ricky Rainey
Two fighters happy to stand and trade did precisely that. The fight never went to the ground, and while Rainey impressed in his UFC debut with some heavy strikes and forward pressure, a clean right from Salikhov dropped him and left him vulnerable to the hammer fists that followed. Salikhov gets his first UFC win with the KO.
THEY SAID IT:
Muslim Salikhov: “I feel very happy. In my first UFC fight, I did not perform my best. I was having family problems and that prevented me from being my best. Tonight, I feel great. I had an incredible camp and I felt the best I have for a fight. I like striking and I think I am one of the best. I am very tough too so I want to fight the toughest guys. I know how this sport works so I know I have some work to get there. This is only my first UFC win. However, I like guys like Condit and Cerrone and, hopefully, I can fight them soon.”
Seeming determined to win one in front of his receptive Arizona hometown crowd, Morgaga displayed an excellent boxing game plan and owned the fight when it stayed standing. Predictably, the veteran Reis was able to swing the momentum back to his side when the fight went to the mat and his patented wrestling skills took over. But Moraga’s effort was relentless, and despite possibly dropping the third round, his scrappy resolve was good enough for the unanimous decision (29-28) and his third win in a row. It marks the third consecutive loss for Reis.
THEY SAID IT:
John Moraga : “I felt like it was a good fight. I just let myself go and went with the flow. I was confident in my gameplan and I just had to take whatever Wilson brought to the fight. He’s a really tough guy and I just hope everyone enjoyed the show we put on. I have fought in Phoenix before and it’s a great feeling to have so much support from the crowd.”
Krzysztof Jotko vs Brad Tavares
The battle of two hard-hitting middleweights featured plenty of damage on both sides, but Jotko’s tendency to leave himself open was exploited by Tavares one too may times, ending his night with a barrage of hammer fists in a third round TKO. It was Tavares’ fourth win in a row, and he called out Michael Bisping from the Octagon.
THEY SAID IT:
Brad Tavares: “I feel good but I’m a little annoyed. I was out striking him, stuffing his takedowns and having a great fight. It’s annoying that the one punch he landed was a knuckle that cut me. Otherwise, I’m feeling great. I’ve got a nice win streak going and I finally found that finish that I was looking for. Every guy I fight talks about how hard I hit so I wanted to make a statement and I did that tonight. Hopefully this win pushes me into the Top 10. I’ve only lost once in the past 3 years and that was to the champion of the division so I feel that it is all coming together right now. I want Michael Bisping next. I have nothing but respect for him and I know he is looking for his final fight. I would be honored to give it to him.”
Fight Night: Poirier vs Gaethje FIGHT PASS prelims
Despite being a short notice replacement AND making his UFC debut against a hard-hitting fighter like Gilbert Burns, Dan Moret looked like a dangerous veteran in the mostly-standup first round. In the second round, however, Burns’ notorious power took its toll and a fierce combination ended Moret’s night early. Burns gets the KO at :59 in the second.
THEY SAID IT:
Gilbert Burns : “In the first round, I wasn’t really finding my distance. I thought I fought well but I wasn’t finding what I was looking for. So, in the second round, I took my time and watched how he would setup. Once I saw his overhand, I could see my opening. The second time I saw it, I threw as hard as I could. I knew I would make him feel it and, sure enough, I was able to get the knockout. I had a fight scheduled earlier this year in Orlando against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. We weren’t able to make that happen and now I want to rebook that fight. I have no injuries so I’m heading right back to the gym. He just had a knockout win and so did I so I think this is a great fight and I want to fight him on July 7 at UFC 226.”
Two fighters looking to stake their claim in the new women’s flyweight division, Shana Dobson and Lauren Mueller didn’t seem to have any jitters under the spotlight. Dobson regularly found a home for her right hook and Mueller showed off some solid striking combinations and footwork. Trading leather from the opening bell to the last in a thoroughly entertaining fight, it was Mueller’s edge in the control game was good for the unanimous decision (29-28 ) in her UFC debut.
THEY SAID IT:
Lauren Mueller : “It’s an incredible feeling to win your Octagon debut. I knew a lot about Shana Dobson coming into this fight. I know how powerful she is but I felt like I was the more dynamic fighter and I wanted to show the differences in our game. I felt it was a close fight but I knew that I was outworking her so I’m happy that showed on the judges’ scorecards. I’m 5-0 now and it feels great to make that official. Coming into this fight, when people asked me my record, I would say 5-0 because I was manifesting what I wanted but it feels amazing to be able to say it and mean it now. My ultimate goal is the title. This is a new division so we are still seeing how this division comes together. I don’t have a name for who I would like to face next but I am undefeated and I want someone who will keep me climbing towards that title shot.”
Dhiego Lima vs Yushin Okami
In his first fight inside the Octagon at 170 pounds, Yushin Okami dominated the action against Dhiego Lima. Okami landed 5 of 10 takedowns and controlled Lima on the mat for 12:35 of the 15-minute bout to capture his first win in the UFC since March 2013.
THEY SAID IT:
Yushin Okami: “I spent my time outside of the UFC getting better and learning new things. I want to show that in each fight. I felt very dominant tonight and I imposed my will. I am older now so I don’t have a lot of time left in the Octagon. My goal is to fight ranked guys and get myself in title contention. I think Donald Cerrone would be a good matchup… or Darren Till. As long as it is someone ranked, I do not are who the UFC sends me next.”
In his sophomore UFC outing, Bhullar was able to put his Olympic wrestling prowess on display early against Wieczorek, dropping him to the mat and working from the top with a series of elbows and strikes for the majority of the round until the ref stood them up with half a minute remaining. On the feet, the advantage was clearly to Poland’s rangier Wieczorek, who was able to land some overhand jabs early in the second until a right hook form Bhullar rocked him enough to return the mat for more wrestling. But Wieczorek wielded his own surprises from the canvas and using his powerful legs executed only the second omoplata submission in UFC history.
THEY SAID IT:
Adam Wieczork: “The first round was tough but I knew I just had to keep working and find a way to win. I’m very excited to have the second ever Omoplata finish in UFC history. It is something that I have trained but it’s rare you find an opening for it in the fight – hey, there’s a first time for everything though! I think I have proven myself as a rising heavyweight. I always have some aces up my sleeve. I am going to take a vacation next but I want to fight again very soon.”
Another bantamweight brawl featuring two sneaky-good talents aspiring to break the division open, Matthew Lopez and Alejandro Perez came out looking for the finish. Lopez nearly had the submission on an early takedown until Perez patiently worked out of the RNC. Perez got off plenty of strikes, but on the ground the game belonged to Lopez in the first. The fight never went back to the mat in the second, and that was bad news for Lopez and Perez was able to capitalize on his striking advantage, ultimately firing off a left and then a right that had the referee step between them and hand Perez the second round TKO. Perez in undefeated in his last six fights.
"That "Cool Hand" is that left hand of Luke Sanders."
A tough-to-pick bantamweight match kicked off the Arizona event with both fighters getting some good work in during the first round, particularly Sanders who bloodied the head of Williams when he dropped him with a right-left combo. Williams looked rejuvenated in the second and found plenty of purchase for his right uppercut, although Sanders still got in plenty of heavy kicks including a loud shot to the head, and his left hand continued to open Williams’ wound. An even round three finished out the fight with both men continuing to be aggressive until the bell, and Sanders’ continuous forward pressure doing enough to get the unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
THEY SAID IT:
Luke Sanders : “I felt really good out there tonight. I wanted to be the aggressor but, not without reason, I just wanted to fight my fight. He is very tough. I could tell that he was rocked a couple of times throughout the fight but he never stopped working and I just hope everyone was entertained by the fight. It was great to have my loved ones here but that’s also a big motivation for me – my loved ones – whether they can be there or not. Just to feel their support and know that they are there for me, it’s a great thing. Now, I’m excited to get home and love them back! This was the last fight on my contract so I’m ready to see what the UFC wants to do with me next. I’m straight out of the trailer park and I’ve made it this far so I’m just excited to keep working and growing in the sport.”