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Don't Miss A Moment Of UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland, Live On Saturday, December 17, 2022
Results

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Results

Results As They Happen, Winner Interviews And More From UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland, Live From The UFC APEX In Las Vegas

Forty-eight weeks ago, Charles Rosa and TJ Brown made the walk to the Octagon as the first pair of fighters to compete in the UFC in 2022.

Saturday night, Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland wrapped up the year as the final tandem to step inside the cage, closing out a momentous, surprising, and electric year of action in the UFC.

It’s was one final standout card at the UFC APEX before breaking for the holidays and getting prepared for what should be an incredible year in 2023.

Here’s a look at what transpired. | Official Scorecards

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UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Results 

  • Main Event: Jared Cannonier defeats Sean Strickland by split decision (49-46, 46-49, 49-46)
  • Co-Main Event: Arman Tsarukyan defeats Damir Ismagulov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Amir Albazi defeats Alessandro Costa by KO (uppercut) at 2:13 of Round 3
  • Alex Caceres defeats Julian Erosa by TKO (left high kick) at 3:04 of Round 1
  • Drew Dober defeats Bobby Green by KO (left hand) at 2:45 of Round 2
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk defeats Cody Brundage by TKO (strikes) at 3:16 of Round 1
  • Cory McKenna defeats Cheyanne Vlismas by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Matthew Semelsberger defeats Jake Matthews by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Said Nurmagomedov defeats Saidyokub Kahkramonov by submission (modified guillotine choke) at 3:50 of Round 2
  • Rafa Garcia defeats Maheshate by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Bryan Battle by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)
  • Manel Kape defeats David Dvorak by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Sergey Morozov defeats Journey Newson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Main Card 

Main Event: Jared Cannonier defeats Sean Strickland by split decision (49-46, 46-49, 49-46)

The final fight of the year was a competitive clash of styles between Sean Strickland and Jared Cannonier where neither man wanted to give an inch, with the middleweight contenders going the distance to close out 2022.

Both men worked as if they anticipated going into deep waters, remaining economical through the first two rounds, Cannonier doing well with heavy low kicks and Strickland working behind his always crisp jab. Each man opened up a little more in the middle stanza, with Cannonier landing his heaviest shots of the fight and Strickland upping his output.

Jared Cannonier Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Jared Cannonier Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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As the fight hit the fourth, Strickland started by stinging Cannonier and throwing more volume, but the recent title challenger weathered the storm and turned up the pressure in the second half of the frame. The final round of the year was similar, with Cannonier connecting with the bigger individual power shots, and Strickland countering with superior volume.

When the scores were tallied, the judges were split. All three officials scored the fight 49-46, with Cannonier landing on the happy side of the results to end the year by getting back into the win column. | Official Scorecards

Co-Main Event: Arman Tsarukyan defeats Damir Ismagulov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Arman Tsarukyan affirmed his standing as one of the top emerging talents in the lightweight division heading into 2023 on Saturday, halting Damir Ismagulov’s 19-fight winning streak with a suffocating unanimous decision victory.

Arman Tsarukyan Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Arman Tsarukyan Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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The talented grappler from Armenia pressured Ismagulov throughout, forcing him to respect his striking with early connections early in each round before working into the clinch and pursuing takedowns. Ismagulov defended well and made Tsarukyan work, but the 26-year-old rising star was too strong, too relentless, and too well-rounded.

After landing on the wrong side of a debated decision opposite Mateusz Gamrot in June, Tsarukyan put himself right back into the win column by dominating a very dangerous, very skilled foe to close out the year. While he couldn’t find the finish, Tsarukyan dominated throughout to collect the biggest win of his career. | Official Scorecards

Amir Albazi defeats Alessandro Costa by KO (uppercut) at 2:13 of Round 3

Amir Albazi continues to impress in the UFC.

It took him a round to get the timing and speed of Alessandro Costa down, but once he had downloaded the information, “The Prince” was able to open up his offense and put it on the promotional newcomer.

Amir Albazi Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Amir Albazi Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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Both men were patient and measured in the opening frame, throwing little and landing few blows, but Albazi dropped Costa with a clean one-two early in the second. He followed him to the canvas and worked from inside the Brazilian’s guard, landing heavy, punishing shots for the remainder of the frame.

Just before the midway point of the third, Albazi caught Costa with a perfect right uppercut, sending him twisting to the canvas in a heap. Now 4-0 in the UFC with consecutive stoppage wins in 2022, the emerging flyweight just might get his wish for a date with a top-ranked opponent whenever his 2023 campaign gets underway. | Official Scorecards

Alex Caceres defeats Julian Erosa by TKO (left high kick) at 3:04 of Round 1

Alex Caceres got back into the win column in style on Saturday, putting Julian Erosa out with a clean high kick late in the first round.

Alex Caceres Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Alex Caceres Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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The duelling rangy featherweights were just starting to get a little more active with their strikes after spending the first half of the round feeling each other out when Caceres followed a reaching left hand with a high kick that found the mark. Erosa didn’t see it coming and didn’t have a chance to brace himself as he fell to the canvas, as the kick landed flush and he was out.

After using a five-fight winning streak to catapult himself into the rankings last year, Caceres entered Saturday’s contest off a loss to Sodiq Yusuff, but quickly re-established himself with an outstanding performance to close out the year in this one. | Official Scorecards

Drew Dober defeats Bobby Green by KO (left hand) at 2:45 of Round 2

Drew Dober took a whole lot of punishment, but a left hand on the jaw put Bobby Green down and earned Dober his third straight stoppage win.

The lightweights spent the entirety of the fight slinging hands without hesitation, with Green getting the better of the exchanges throughout the first round. It was the same to start the second, with Green keeping his hands low and landing as Dober came forward, but the Nebraska native remained engaged and looking to land his power shots of his own.

Drew Dober Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Drew Dober Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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With Green backed against the fence midway through the round, Dober took a couple more before finding a home for his left hand and putting Green out.

Dober has been one of the most entertaining fighters of 2022, racking up three stoppage wins, with all of them being wildly entertaining. The veteran lightweight is guaranteed excitement every time he steps into the Octagon, and should get more high profile opportunities next year. | Official Scorecards

Michal Oleksiejczuk defeats Cody Brundage by TKO (strikes) at 3:16 of Round 1

Michal Oleksiejczuk got taken down early, but as soon as he reversed into top position, it was one-way traffic courtesy of the talented Polish middleweight.

Cody Brundage closed the distance and took Oleksiejczuk to the canvas almost immediately, settling into back mount. But Oleksiejczuk was able to fight the hands and turn into top position inside Brundage’s guard, and once there, he instantly started unleashing big shots that routinely found a home.

There was little urgency from Brundage to get his shoulders off the canvas, and the Polish prospect made him pay, clubbing him with left hands that left him hurt and brought referee Mark Smith in to stop the fight.

After quickly dispatching Sam Alvey in his divisional debut, Oleksiejczuk is now 2-0 with two first-round stoppage wins since relocating to the 185-pound ranks. Now 6-3 with one No Contest in the UFC, Oleksiejczuk is one to watch at middleweight. | Official Scorecards

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Prelims 

Cory McKenna defeats Cheyanne Vlismas by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Cory McKenna’s relentless grappling and pressure ruled the day in the final preliminary card fight of 2022, as “Poppins” picked up a unanimous decision win over Cheyanne Vlismas.

The strawweights spent much of the opening stanza trading in space, but as soon as McKenna decided to grapple, she discovered she had an advantage and played to it for the remainder of the fight. While Vlismas landed some knees in the clinch in the second and had some offensive output off her back in the third, the Welsh prospect countered those blows well and dictated the terms of engagement throughout.

Cory McKenna Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Cory McKenna Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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After dropping her return to action in London in March, McKenna closes out her 2022 campaign with a second straight victory, halting Vlismas’ two-fight run of success in the process. Still just 23 years old, McKenna continues to show she has a bright future inside the Octagon as she gains more experience and continues to develop. | Official Scorecards

Matthew Semelsberger defeats Jake Matthews by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Matthew Semelsberger collected the biggest win of his MMA career on Saturday, using a series of knockdowns to earn a unanimous decision win over young veteran Jake Matthews.

Matthew Semelsberger Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Matthew Semelsberger Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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In all three rounds, the former collegiate defensive back dropped Matthews, putting a powerful right hand on the Australian’s chin that put him on the canvas. They were crucial blows because in the second and third, Matthews was able to out-land Semelsberger by a reasonable margin. But the scoring criteria prioritizes damage — and blows with immediate impact above all else — and those came from Semelsberger in all three frames.

The 30-year-old is now 5-2 inside the Octagon and collects a big bounce back victory here. He’s just 15 fights into his MMA career, and continues to get better each time out. | Official Scorecards

Said Nurmagomedov defeats Saidyokub Kahkramonov by submission (modified guillotine choke) at 3:50 of Round 2

Said Nurmagomedov snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday, clamping onto a guillotine choke in the midst of a scramble that left Saidyokub Kakhramonov no choice but to tap.

Said Nurmagomedov Earns Second Round Submission | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Said Nurmagomedov Earns Second Round Submission | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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Kakhramonov controlled the majority of the contest, out-wrestling Nurmagomedov with a relentless pace and constant pressure. Each exchange, each scramble, Kakhramonov was a step ahead, only for Nurmagomedov to clamp onto his signature ninja choke late in the second round. He had to adjust his grip a couple times, but once he locked things up, Kakhramonov was quick to tap.

Said Nurmagomedov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Said Nurmagomedov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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This was an opportunistic finish for the ranked bantamweight, who completes a perfect 3-0 year inside the Octagon and elevates his record to 17-2 overall. Despite the setback, Kakhramonov remains one to watch in the UFC’s deepest and most competitive division. | Official Scorecards

Rafa Garcia defeats Maheshate by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Rafa Garcia was covered in blood for nearly two rounds, but it didn’t deter the lightweight powerhouse one bit, as he pressed forward, used his wrestling, and hustled out a unanimous decision win over Maheshate in a competitive, entertaining scrap.

Rafa Garcia punches Maheshate of China in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Rafa Garcia punches Maheshate of China in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


The Chinese prospect opened with rangy strikes, playing to his considerable height and reach advantages, and opened a gnarly cut on the side of Garcia’s head that instantly turned into a crimson fire hydrant for the remainder of the fight. But Garcia was completely undeterred, using his superior conditioning and well-rounded attack to out-work Maheshate over the final two rounds to collect the unanimous decision win.

The compact 28-year-old brings his record back to level inside the Octagon with the victory, and moves to 15-3 overall. This was a gutsy, grimy triumph that should serve as a quality building block for Garcia going forward. | Official Scorecards

Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Bryan Battle by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)

Rinat Fakhretdinov marched into this sophomore appearance in the Octagon and ended Bryan Battle’s unbeaten run inside the UFC APEX, grinding out a unanimous decision victory.

In all three rounds, the streaking Russian put Battle on the deck, with takedowns in the first and second, and a clean right hand early in the third. Each time, the 31-year-old “Gladiator” blanketed the recent TUF winner, giving him no space to land and no room to breathe. It wasn’t particularly exciting, but it was extremely effective work from start to finish.

Rinat Fakhretdinov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Rinat Fakhretdinov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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With the victory, Fakhretdinov collected his second consecutive UFC victory and extended his winning streak to 19 straight overall. He’s a suffocating new arrival to the 170-pound weight class and it will be intriguing to see what he can do in his second year on the roster. | Official Scorecards

Manel Kape defeats David Dvorak by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

After a little over a year away from the Octagon, Manel Kape returned and made a statement on Saturday, dominating the action against Top 10 opponent David Dvorak to pick up a third straight win.

Manel Kape Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Manel Kape Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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Late in the first, Kape set up a kimura from bottom, using it to sweep to top position before nearly tearing the Czech standout’s shoulder apart. In the second, “StarBoy” used his diverse striking arsenal to put Dvorak on skates and nearly get him out of there. While Dvorak survived to see the final round, he was unable to muster enough of an attack to keep Kape from showboating and cruising to victory.

He stumbled out of the gate against elite competition, but Kape has now put together a three-fight winning streak, and should find himself stationed inside the Top 10 to begin next year. | Official Scorecards

Sergey Morozov defeats Journey Newson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Sergey Morozov worked to his strengths in Saturday’s opener, finding timely level changes in each round that allowed him to turn his bout with Journey Newson into a grappling match.

Sergey Morozov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
Sergey Morozov Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland
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While there wasn’t much in the way of damage and Morozov was largely unable to work to threatening positions for any long stretches of time , the American Top Team representative was effective in the clinch and largely neutralized Newson’s offence on the way to a unanimous decision victory.

After suffering a loss in his first bout of the year, Morozov wraps up 2022 on a two-fight winning streak, extending his record to 19-5 overall and 3-2 inside the Octagon with Saturday’s victory. | Official Scorecards

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on December 17, 2022. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass