Tonight’s event in Las Vegas was overshadowed by the horrific events that occurred during the past weekend, but that would not stop the event. With first responders, victims and their families present in the stands for the fights the UFC opened the PPV with a video of Dana White encouraging strength and unity in the hard times, followed by musician Everlast performing “America, the Beautiful” in the middle of the octagon accompanied by first responders and victims of the shooting.
As for the fights, it was an interesting night. High-level Jiu-Jitsu was very much on display with four submissions on the main card, not just one but two draws and only one knockout for the whole night.
So who walked away with wins?
Beneil Dariush vs Evan Dunham
Dominant grappler Beneil Dariush came out displaying his improved striking skills, putting pressure onto Evan Dunham from the start. Two hard elbows up against the cage saw Dunham hurt and sent the fight to the canvas where Dariush dominated with transitions and ground and pound. This is where Dunham's experience was on display, surviving the nasty shots being rained down upon him and even attempting a submission off his back.
The second round saw Beneil Dariush looking fatigued, allowing Dunham to put pressure on him and even getting a takedown early in the round. Dariush was not done though, landing strong and effective leg kicks.
In the third round, both men went toe to toe trading strikes and working the clinch against the cage. Both men were fatigued and trying to make something happen. The round was fairly uneventful until the last 30 seconds where Dunham was eager to turn it into a slugfest, calling upon Dariush bring it on. Dariush didn't seem to share the opinion, throwing a few punches and circling away until the end of the round.
Result: Majority Draw
Mara Romero Borella vs Kalindra Faria
Being the First Italian woman to fight in the octagon Mara Romero Borella looked to make an impression in her UFC debut. Borella took the fight to the canvas early, passing the half guard of Kalindra Faria to gain full mount. Using the dominant position Borella was relentless with pressure, controlling Faria whilst using the openings she had to land strikes. The pressure was too much for Faria who rolled to her stomach allowing Borella to take her back, using strikes to help her lock in a rear naked choke and getting the submission.
Result: Mara Romero Borella wins by submission
Fabricio Werdum vs Walt Harris
Originally scheduled to fight Derrick Lewis, Fabricio Werdum had to step into the octagon against knockout artist Walt Harris on five hours notice after Lewis could not even get out of bed due to a back injury. This didn't bother the world champion Jiu-Jitsu black belt, quickly getting a single leg takedown and making quick work of Walt Harris, transitioning from the back to an armbar to win by submission.
Result: Fabricio Werdum wins by submission
Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg
Ray Borg came in with all intention to stop Demetrious Johnson from breaking the title defense record. Borg got outclassed on the feet, with the total strike count being just 22 strikes for Borg compared to Johnsons 172. While is may not have gone to plan Ray Borg showed the world he isn't there to just give up, still doing all he can in the grappling exchanges, even jumping on Johnsons back before being shrugged off. Johnson dominated the fight like most expected, but Ray Borg proved that he still has a bright future ahead of him, at just 24 Borg still has time to learn and evolve his skills.
Demetrious Johnson broke Anderson Silva's record in magnificent fashion, throwing Borg down to the canvas late in the 5th round, capturing Borgs arm in midair to immediately transition to an arm bar in one of the most impressive submissions in recent memory.
Result: Demetrious Johnson wins by submission
Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee
As soon as Kevin Lees top came off, it's easy to see that he had a potential Staph infection on his chest which could affect the fight. But that didn't stop Lee, looking as determined as ever. If you thought all the trash talk was over, you were wrong. Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee traded strikes in the center of the octagon whilst they continued to taunt each other.
In the first Lee was dominant, hurting Ferguson but getting tagged himself whilst coming forward. The pair ended up on the canvas where Ferguson put on an arm bar attempt which Lee escaped. Lee ended up on top where he rained down punches and elbows into Ferguson, who was desperate to escape. Although Lee was dominating when the bell rang, he still threw an extra punch after the bell and had to be pulled away by referee Herb Dean.
In the second round, you could tell that Ferguson had found his range, landing successfully with his jabs and loosened up with his strikes, enjoying himself. Lee shot for a takedown but Ferguson was too quick to sprawl. The third round saw Lee slam Ferguson to the canvas, but found himself caught up in another arm bar, a tight one. The arm bar looked tight but Lee escaped after a struggle. Lee then had to figure out another escape from Tony Ferguson's triangle choke. The choke was tight, and eventually, Lee was forced to tap.
The two men's animosity towards one another seemed to go as soon as the choke was released. Lee was in the center of the octagon on his hands and knees crying when Ferguson came over to embrace Lee after their war. Later on during the official announcements they hugged each other, shook hands, and both seemed to bury their bad blood in an inspiring display of sportsmanship.
Result: Tony Ferguson by submission.
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