Miocic vs Ngannou | Cormier vs Oezdemir | Kattar vs Burgos | Villante vs Barroso | Almeida vs Font | Bochniak vs Davis | Homasi vs Razak Alhassan | Ortiz vs Pantoja | Ige vs Arce | Bessette vs Barzola | Makhachev vs Tibau
UFC 220: Miocic vs Ngannou main card
Main event: Stipe Miocic defeated Francis Ngannou
Stipe Miocic felt Francis Ngannou’s power but the “Baddest Man on the Planet” took everything the challenger had to dish out and kept pushing forward, forcing Ngannou to tire over the course of 25 minutes before being named the winner by unanimous decision, 50-44, 50-44, 50-44. Miocic becomes the first heavyweight to make a successful third title defense and he did it with a strong game plan. He let Ngannou unload and relied on the strength of his chin and his toughness. Ngannou landed only 26 percent of the strikes he threw and only 18 percent of the significant strikes. Miocic finished six takedowns and drowned the big “Predator” to pick up the win despite being the underdog in the bout. Miocic extends win streak to six in a row with the massive victory.
Co-main: Daniel Cormier defeated Volkan Oezdemir
Volkan Oezdemir was flinging powerful punches in the opening minute of this one and Daniel Cormier needed a minute to settle in and get the range down. But once he did, Cormier took over. He became the aggressor and landed an overhand right that stung Oezdemir and then he really started to come forward. Cormier landed a takedown at the end of the round and sunk in a rear naked choke that probably would have finished Volkan if not for the horn at the end of the round. DC came out in the second and landed another takedown and made his way to the crucifix position and pounded out Oezdemir to retain the light heavyweight title.
Calvin Kattar defeated Shane Burgos
Calvin Kattar used an explosive jab to dominate the first round and then turned up the pressure in the third before landing a pair of titanic upper cuts and a TKO flurry to follow to pick up the finish in front of his hometown Boston fans at :32 of the final frame. Kattar looked sensational against Burgos, who has made his name in the UFC on the back of some slick striking. Kattar was quicker and more effective with what he was throwing throughout and after a setback in the second round where Burgos started to gain some steam, Kattar landed a killer combo that was the beginning of the end for Burgos, who was tough as they come and tried to survive despite the damaging blows.
Giving it all they got.
Gian Villante defeated Francimar Barroso
It wasn’t the most thrilling fight at times, but Gian Villante was the aggressor for most of the fight and it paid off in the end as he was awarded the split decision, 30-27, 28-29, 30-27. The final strike total was unofficially 74-74. Villante snaps a two-fight losing skid and said after the fight he was frustrated that Barroso seemed not to want to engage.
THEY SAID IT:
Villante: “You never know until you watch it, but it felt like I crushed him. When you fight in front of a big crowd like this, we’re here to put on a show—not run. I wanted to put on a show, get a sick knockout and steal the show. Dana puts you in a nice spot on the card, with the biggest heavyweight title fight in history—you want to get the crowd going. I want to get hit, too, man. Throw them back. Let’s go. Let’s do this. He didn’t want to do it. I don’t know, 29-28 the other way. I thought I was going to get screwed. That’s the sport. You’ve got to push through those things. I hate decisions. Win or lose, I’m going in there to put on a show. Dana’s going to keep putting me in these good spots because I want to fight. It’s a good start to 2018. Hopefully we get a guy next time who wants to throw back with me and put some fireworks out there.”
Rob Font defeated Thomas Almeida
Rob Font looked superb against division top 10 Thomas Almeida. Font was quicker with his striking and used a consistent jab to frustrate Almeida before landing a straight right early in the second to rock Almeida, who is tough and survived. But later in the round Font connected with a leg kick to the head and a flurry of punches that followed to finish Almeida by TKO at 2:24 of the second round to pick up the win in front of his hometown. Font has now won three of his last four and is looking at a leap to the next level of the division next in 2018.Font now has four knockouts which is good for the second-best mark in the history of the bantamweight division. His five finishes are third-best in the division’s history.
THEY SAID IT:
Font: “He’s a warrior. He’ll be back. He’s a complete savage and I got a little reckless at first. A win over him gets me in the top 10. It’s a big W. He’s quick and hits hard. He’s a complete stud. I always get reckless in the first two minutes. I don’t know what it is. I’ve done it since I was an amateur. I’ve just got to chill and develop more maturity through fights. But everything went smooth and I got the W. Right now, I’m just trying to chill and relax. But I think Aljamain Sterling would be a huge win for me.”
UFC 220: Miocic vs Ngannou FS1 prelims
Kyle Bochniak vs Brandon Davis
In front of his hometown crowd at the Garden, Kyle Bochniak picked up a unanimous decision win over Brandon Davis, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27. Bochniak wouldn’t give up on his gameplan to wrestle, landing just three of 15 takedowns in the fight. But it was those takedowns that earned him the win after he was out-struck, 59-35. Bochniak is now 2-2 in the UFC.
THEY SAID IT:
Bochniak: “It feels absolutely phenomenal. I was riding a 1-2 record in the UFC. I knew this was make-or-break it. There was a lot of pressure in there. I knew I needed this win. If I didn’t win, there was a tremendous chance I’d be cut. I didn’t want that to happen. I know I’m a great athlete and I need to perform to my full potential. You’ve seen bits of it before, but I needed to put together an entire night of it. I knew I was going to have to keep on my bike. I like to get into a slugfest, but this wasn’t the fight to do it. He’s a great striker and Muay Thai coach. He’s a lot longer than I anticipated and he covers a lot of ground. I had to pick my angles and shots, switch levels, execute feints and fight a smart fight. I want another fight this year. I just want to get back in there and sign a new contract. Hopefully I get one.”
Abdul Razak Alhassan defeated Sabah Homasi
Abdul Razak Alhassan emphatically put away Sabah Homasi in their rematch from a controversial ending from their original bout in 2017. Alhassan KOed Homasi with a debilitating upper cut in the first round to finish the fight at 3:47. That makes three wins for Alhassan in the UFC and this was his most impressive performance to date. The two men exchanged big shots early in the fight and Homasi ate a few that made him try and shoot for a takedown. As the shots continued to land from Alhassan, Homasi looked to get the fight to the ground but Alhassan had other plans as he finished the fight in an early KO of the Year contender.
THEY SAID IT:
Alhassan: “This feels amazing because I couldn’t even celebrate after the first fight. I couldn’t be happy about it. When they offered the rematch, I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s go ahead and do it.’ I wanted to show that the referee didn’t cost him the first time. It was the best I could have ever hoped for. When I’m in the fight, I get so balled up with anger. This time everybody—my friends like Kamaru Usman—told me to be patient. I just pictured myself being calm and taking him apart. I knew I was better in every aspect of the game. I just took my time and it was the best knockout I could ask for. I hope they give me something big next. I’m not one to call people out, so I hope they put me against someone who can move me up (the rankings).”
Dustin Ortiz defeated Alexandre Pantoja
Dustin Ortiz scored seven takedowns and defended Alexandre Pantoja’s submission attempts throughout the contest to earn a unanimous decision win, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.Ortiz out-struck Pantoja 100-30 and his activity and relentless pressure and defense won him the fight. The win gives Ortiz seven in his UFC career bringing him into third place all time in the flyweight division behind champion Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.
THEY SAID IT:
Ortiz: “Pantoja’s a super-tough guy. Wow, what a strong dude. It was frustrating that he took my back and was able to just hold me. I was looking for a little bit more movement to create openings to wiggle my way out. But, man, he wasn’t giving me anything. I love scrambling. That’s where I feel superior. He did a great job of not letting me do that. I don’t have any names (for my next opponent), but I’m moving forward. I learned a lot off this fight. I’m just focused on what’s ahead of me. I don’t have anyone in particular. I’ve fought pretty much everybody above me. I’m focused on moving forward.
Julian Arce defeated Dan Ige
Julio Arce prevailed in the matchup of the two Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series fighters. Arce landed a shot that stunned Ige in Round 1 and he continued to pick his spots throughout while stuffing all 10 of Ige’s takedown attempts. Arce earned the decision unanimously (30-27 twice, 29-8) and improves to 14-2 in his professional career.
THEY SAID IT:
Arce: “It’s unbelievable. Two Contender Series alumni going in there and banging it out. It was tough. The emotion and excitement was incredible, so I just had to let it settle. Danny—what a tough dude. It couldn’t have gone better for me. It was great. Now, I get to go back, look at my fight and make adjustments. I just want to evolve from this fight. There are a lot of people out there, so whoever they give me next is fine. I’m just excited. I made my debut and won my fight. I’m super pumped to be here. I just want to give a shout-out to my family in Colombia.”
UFC 220 UFC FIGHT PASS prelims
Enrique Barzola defeated Matt Bessette
Matt Bessette looked good in his Octagon debut against Enrique Barzola, but it was “El Fuerte” who was able to get the unanimous decision win, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28. Barzola was relentless with his wrestling and landed five takedowns for 4:32 of control time on the ground to take out Bessette. Barzola has now won three in a row in the UFC.
THEY SAID IT:
Barzola : “I’ve gotten better at striking, wrestling and ground-and-pound. I was working low kicks back at American Top Team. We combined everything to get the victory. It was originally Arnold Allen, so I was working for a left-handed fighter. The transition was tough, but we made it. The whole plan changed, but I feel comfortable fighting lefty or righty. I’m going to rest for now, probably a couple months. I’ve always wanted to fight Ricardo Lamas.”
Islam Makhachev defeated Gleison Tibau
Gleison Tibau was barely back from a two-year USADA suspension when rising prospect Islam Makhachev landed a devastating overhand left that dropped Tibau where he stood. Makhachev picked up the knockout at just 57 seconds into the first round to improve to 15-1 with his fourth win in the UFC. Add another killer to the pile at 155 pounds as Makhachev has long been predicted to become a contender by training partners Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier. Makhachev becomes just the third UFC fighter to finish Tibau by KO in his 27 UFC fights.
THEY SAID IT:
Makhachev : “Gleison is a tough opponent. This is the UFC, with small gloves. One punch and I can lose, but today I won. Gleison Tibau is a legend and I respect him very much. He has a lot of fights in the UFC. He’s beat a lot of tough guys. In the top 15, there are a lot of bum opponents. I think the No.1 bum opponent is Kevin Lee. UFC, give me Kevin Lee.”