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*This was originally posted April 7, 2022*
After a week off, the UFC was back with a BANG! We saw two title fights but no new champions; Aljo unified the belts, defending his Bantamweight title against Yan while Volk proved he’s still one of the greatest P4P fighters on the planet by defending his belt against the Korean Zombie. Those fights were crazy enough, but just before that we finally saw the monster, Khamzat Chimaev, get tested against the number 2 welterweight, Gilbert Burns. We also saw a tight fight between strawweight contenders Dern and Torres, the 60th win of Oleinik’s absurdly long career AND the incredible UFC debut of the Canadian Mike Malott. All of the bouts from UFC 273 are covered below along with BLÜ’s favourite performances of the night: the BLÜ BONUSES.
Julio Arce def. Daniel Santos by Unanimous Decision
Both guys were being careful not to walk into anything crazy too fast at the start of the fight, but the power coming from both sides was clear. The main difference was the constant forward pressure of Santos and the extra couple of bigger strikes coming from his side. That being said, it seemed as though Arce was starting to pick up on Santos’ timing near the end of the round and even landed a HUGE head kick that stumbled him. The forward pressure continued from Santos into the 2nd Round, but Arce countered that differently this time with some clinchwork. As the fight continued, Arce’s vision, footwork and experience was making all the difference. Even though Santos was still moving forward and throwing relentlessly, Arce was avoiding almost everything and landing over twice as many strikes. In the end, because of the first round, I could have seen the judges go 29-28 for Arce, but really, thanks to his unbelievable striking and footwork, I’d say he earned a pretty clear 30-27 decision win after landing the most strikes of his career. The judges agreed, scoring the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Arce.
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #1
Piera Rodriguez vs. Kay Hansen
I’ve featured this bout not just as a fan of Kay Hansen, but because both women are young and have a promising career ahead of them in the UFC. We recently saw Hansen in January where she made her return… but up a division at flyweight. For this one she returned down to her natural weight at 115. That was an important fact because she holds a huge edge in grappling at 115 due to her strength and skill. On the other side of the Octagon this weekend was the undefeated DWCS alum. Piera Rodriguez. She was only 6-0 going into this fight, but she earned her way into the UFC with a decision win on the Contender Series in October. This was an extremely difficult matchup to pick. Hansen has been in a rough patch recently with her (questionable) decision loss to McKenna and her loss to another DWCS alum. Jasudavicius in her last bout. This seemed like it was going to be a close one and I was sure the fight would go back and forth pretty evenly, but I went with the one who had UFC experience and a great ground game: Kay Hansen.
Hansen by Decision
The fight started off dead-even with some decent striking from both sides. As the round went on though, Hansen started to steal a bit of the momentum with a couple of takedowns. After landing a couple of shorter ones, she finally landed a solid one and controlled Piera for the rest of the round, even sinking in a decent submission attempt. Thanks to all those takedown attempts from Kay, Rodriguez started to become more hesitant to throw strikes. Those takedowns and clinches kept coming in the 2nd Round, but took a bit of a turn after Rodriguez managed to reverse Hansen and take her back. Thanks to that late reversal, it was probably tied 1-1 going into the final round. Interestingly, Piera caught one of Hansen’s kicks at the start of the 3rd Round and took the grappler down to the ground. After getting back up, Kay tried to land a takedown of her own, but Rodriguez spent the rest of the round smothering Kay along the fence, clearly winning the final round on the cards. Overall, an impressive debut performance from Rodriguez.
Piera Rodriguez def. Kay Hansen by Unanimous Decision
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #2
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa
Originally scheduled as a bout between Oleinik and Latifi 2 weeks ago, this matchup morphed into a bout between the veteran, Aleksei Oleinik, and the younger prospect of Jared Vanderaa. Oleinik is the most prolific MMA fighter I’ve ever seen with a mind-blowing record of 59-16-1. Although he’s almost always fought some of the toughest heavyweights in the division, things haven’t gone his way most of the time with a record of 2-5 in his last 7 bouts. It should be said that all 5 of those men are currently in the top 15 (except Overeem who has retired from MMA). Vanderaa started his UFC journey on the Contender Series in 2020 and made his debut here with 3 fights in 2021. Sadly, much like Oleinik, he’s had a rough record recently with a 1-3 record so far in the UFC. It should be said though that all 3 losses were against noteworthy opponents Spivak, Romanov and Arlovski. The matchup between Oleinik and Latifi was a toss-up to me, but this matchup seemed to slant in one direction. Oleinik has an edge in experience over pretty much anyone in the division’s history, plus he’s known for his stamina, grit and ground skills. Vanderaa is also a tough man to beat, but has notably had problems against grapplers. Being that Oleinik is ALWAYS a danger on the ground and seemed like he’d be able to stand up to Vanderaa’s power, it looked like he held a fair advantage over Vanderaa. Being that Aleksei is so skilled, there was a very real chance we could have seen a submission win for him, but the safer bet was likely a decision win thanks to his grappling.
Oleinik by Decision
As always in the Heavyweight division, it was a slow start, but things really started to pick up as soon as the fight hit the canvas. Amazingly, it was Vanderaa who was the one who got the dominant position. He started to land some decent ground and pound, even threatened a couple of submissions… but then the ‘boa constrictor’ started to do his thing. They had some of the best, wildest grappling exchanges I’ve ever seen in the Heavyweight division. It all ended as Oleinik maneuvered his way on top and sunk in a rare scarf hold submission for the win.
Aleksei Oleinik def. Jared Vanderaa by Submission in the 1st Round
Mike Malott def. Mickey Gall by TKO in the 1st Round
The fight started off pretty even with both men landing some good shots and stringing some combos together. As the round went on though, each man started to show their advantages. Malott stumbled Gall with some big shots while Gall notched himself a takedown. After that, Malott started to get back into his striking and then ended up SMOKING him with a bomb of a hook, floored Mickey and got an impressive 1st Round TKO in his UFC debut.
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #3
Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington
Here we had our first ranked fight of the night between the bantamweight contenders Aspen Ladd (4th) and Raquel Pennington (7th). Interestingly, both of their last bouts were fought at 145 instead of their ranked weights of 135. This is VERY important for me to point out because Aspen Ladd is famous for her weight-cutting issues. If you remember, last year there was a clip of her shaking and almost collapsing on the scales at weigh-ins. She was also a topic of discussion last year when she headlined with Norma Dumont and had one of the most boring main event performances in recent memory. Prior to all of these weight-cutting issues, all the way back in 2019, she was 9-1 with wins over Kunitskaya and Eubanks with her only loss coming from de Randamie. Pennington, on the other hand, had a few more losses heading into the weekend, but she’s also been around the UFC since 2013 and has only lost to the best: de Randamie, Andrade, Nunes and then Holm twice. Recently, she’s been on a 3 fight win streak including an impressive submission win over Chiasson in December. On paper, this seemed fairly close, but based on what we had seen in their last few fights, Pennington held an edge thanks to her experience and her very well-rounded skill set. As for Ladd, we all mentioned this after what happened last year; she shouldn’t be fighting down at 135 any more. Honestly, it’s at the point where you shouldn’t make any bets on her fight until after the weigh-ins are done; in fact, it’s fighters like this that pushed me to never bet until after weigh-ins. There’s always the potential that a young, promising prospect like Ladd will be able to figure things out and put on an incredible performance against Pennington, but the MUCH safer bet was to side with the veteran.
Pennington by Decision
As expected, this one started off dead even with flurries of strikes coming from both sides. The one significant difference seemed to be Pennington’s edge in accuracy, landing significantly more strikes. That aside, Ladd did land the heavier shots in the 1st Round. In the 2nd Round, the momentum stayed with Raquel as she did some good work along the fence as well as continued her activity on the feet. This momentum continued until about halfway into the final round. It was at this point that Ladd stole the round with her wrestling, landing a great takedown and controlling her along the fence for the rest of the round. After it was done, it seemed like a pretty clear 29-28 win for the veteran Raquel Pennington. The judges all agreed, unanimously giving it 29-28 to Pennington.
Raquel Pennington def. Aspen Ladd by Unanimous Decision
She may not have won, but it was good to see Ladd performing to her potential and it was great to see that (at least this time) she had her weight cut under control. Sadly, there still seemed to be a gap; Pennington was just faster, using her speed to land more often and more accurately. I’d still like to see Ladd more at Featherweight, but her strength and power is a huge advantage at Bantamweight if she can continue cutting down to this weight. All that aside, I’d say she had a better chance competing against the women between 10-15 or acting as a gatekeeper to the top 15 for now. As for Pennington, she’s clearly shown that she still deserves to be in the conversation for the top 5. She mentioned Sara McMann for her next matchup and I agree; they’re both coming off impressive wins, they’re both veterans, why not make it happen?
Anthony Hernandez def. Josh Fremd by Unanimous Decision
The fight started off with some WILD activity from Hernandez with immediate forward pressure, combos all over the place and some takedown attempts. It took him a while, but Hernandez got the fight to the ground and immediately started to smother Fremd. He sunk in some fairly deep submission attempts, but Fremd managed to get out of all of them and eventually got back to his feet. It may have been a pretty dominant round for Anthony, but Fremd did have a couple of good moments, landing some heavy strikes. The relentless pressure continued for Hernandez into the 2nd Round as he found Fremd’s back. After a tiny mistake though, Hernandez found himself reversed and in a fairly deep arm triangle submission attempt. He managed to get back up, but Fremd kept the pressure going along the fence. Then, to finish off an insane round, Hernandez sunk in yet another deep submission attempt. The final round was almost exactly the same as the opening round with Hernandez dominating Fremd along the fence and on the ground. This time though, Fremd couldn’t get any offence going at all. I had it 29-28 for Hernandez; one of the judges agreed, the others had it 30-27.
BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #3
Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks
The story of this fight is, of course, Ian Garry’s star power. He’s not on the same level as Paddy ‘the Baddy’, but he’s got quite a following in Ireland. He’s also got some skills to back it up as he sits at 8-0 with a 1st Round KO over Jordan Williams in his UFC debut in November. Darian Weeks didn’t have the hype or the UFC win under his belt going into this with a loss in his debut, now sitting at 5-1. Much like what the UFC has done with Paddy, it looked like they gave Garry an opponent here that matched up with him very well; they’re not rushing him in against extremely tough opponents. It looked like it would still be a tight, interesting matchup, but I thought Garry had the edge in skill and would probably cruise to a decision win.
Garry by Decision
The fight started off slow, but, after feeling Weeks out, Garry started to get some nice kicks and combos going. He continued his crisp striking throughout the round, but it was tough to say who took the round with the significant clinch control time from Weeks along the fence. The 2nd Round played out exactly the same with Garry winning on the feet, but Weeks winning the clinch battle along the fence. The third wasn’t too much different except for some extra activity, some clinch control and a fairly big strike from Garry. Honestly, I had no idea which way these judges would lean. It could’ve been anything from 30-27 for Garry to 29-28 for Weeks. In the end, the judges saw it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Garry.
Ian Garry def. Darian Weeks by Unanimous Decision
Main Card Action
Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen
Both men are nearing the end of their careers, finding themselves in their late 30s. Since his UFC debut in 2012, Pichel hasn’t fought a whole lot, but he managed to rack up a record of 7-1 before this bout. He hasn’t fought the biggest names, but he’s beaten respectable contenders like Jim Miller and Roosevelt Roberts in 2 of his last 3 fights. Also, his only loss was by a submission from the ranked contender Gregor Gillespie. Mark Madsen is slightly newer to MMA, but had a record of 11-0 before this one and is known for his olympic experience in wrestling. Normally, in a matchup like this you’d clearly be leaning towards Madsen thanks to his olympic experience and his undefeated record. Honestly, watching his last two performances… it wasn’t all that impressive AND most people (including myself) thought he clearly lost the decision to Clay Guida in his last fight. Not only that, Pichel was pretty impressive in his last couple fights. I said it’d be a VERY close matchup, either man could have taken it, but I actually went with Vinc Pichel.
Pichel by Decision
Both men were slow to start, but Madsen broke the stalemate after notching a late takedown to likely take the round. The 2nd Round opened up with better striking from Pichel, but that was quickly overshadowed by Madsen’s wrestling. Pichel made it exciting by taking down Madsen for the first time in his UFC career, but it likely wasn’t enough to take the round back. Realizing he was down by 2 rounds or tied, Pichel came in HEAVY, lighting Madsen up on the feet. Sadly, Madsen got his wrestling going once again, landed on top and did a great job of controlling him from there for the rest of the fight. I’d have scored it 30-27; the judges agreed, giving it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 to ‘the Olympian’.
Mark Madsen def. Vinc Pichel by Unanimous Decision
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres
In this exciting women’s flyweight matchup, two of the division’s best faced off. Dern, coming off a decision loss to Marina Rodriguez, was ranked 5th heading into this weekend. Before her loss to Rodriguez, Dern earned her spot in the rankings after getting THREE 1st Round finishes in her 4 fight win streak, all by submission. Torres has been in the UFC since all the way back in 2014 and has fought all of the best fighters in the division’s history. Sadly, she’s lost all of the fights against the bigger names like Weili, Joanna, Andrade and Rose. In fact, 4 of those losses were in a row in 2018-19. Since then though, she’s found herself on a 3 fight win streak. This may have been the tightest matchup of the entire night. Both of them are experienced, both of them are talented in their own areas: Torres on her feet and Dern on the ground. The only insight that I could think of was that Dern only struggled with Rodriguez in her last fight because Marina had a longer reach and is one of the best strikers in the division. I didn’t believe that Torres was on that same level, plus she doesn’t have the extra reach. Thanks to those factors, I thought Dern would be able to get past Torres’ striking and control her on the ground. I figured she’d threaten submissions all night long and may have notched one in, but Torres had never been finished in her career, so I thought we’d see a close decision win for Dern.
Dern by Decision
There was no waiting in this one; the fight was full of action right from the start. The first round was just as even as we expected it to be. Neither woman did anything too crazy to take the round, but they both landed some nice combos and banked some control time. Although the fight hadn’t moved to the ground, Dern started to get her submissions going by riding Torres like a backpack. A couple times in that exchange, moving down to the ground, it looked as though Dern was going to snap her arm in half. Amazingly, Torres got out of it, but she still wasn’t out of danger as she found herself trapped in submission attempt after attempt on the ground. This was a VERY clear, dominant round for Dern. The third round looked like it was about to go the same way, but Torres landed a NASTY upkick on Dern to stand back up. The final round was so close, just like the opening round, that the judges could have gone either way with it. The judges ended up being split, giving it 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 to Dern.
Mackenzie Dern def. Tecia Torres by Split Decision
Both women looked fantastic in this bout and their stocks should only go up from here. For Dern, she mentioned Yan Xiaonan which makes a lot of sense, in fact, I had even mentioned this matchup after Yan’s fight a little while ago. For Torres, someone just below her like Waterson or Ribas would be incredibly entertaining. Whatever happens, this division has gotta be the deepest women’s division; every matchup deserves to be on the main card.
Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Once again, we were blessed with another appearance by Chimaev. At this point, you probably already know everything there is to know about him. He was 10-0, 4-0 in the UFC leading up to this fight and has been so outrageously dominant that he’s only been hit by ONE significant strike with 2 KOs and 2 submission wins. Although his first three opponents may not have had the rankings or accolades that Burns holds, his last win was an insane 1st Round submission over the well-respected Li. Burns doesn’t have the undefeated record or the hype behind him, but his recent record is still impressive. In his last 4 bouts he’s gone 3-1 against some of the best welterweights in recent UFC history. He beat Woodley and Thompson in fairly dominant decisions and lost his title shot in spectacular fashion in the 3rd Round to the champ, Usman. I didn’t even need to say much here, there’s something so unique, terrifying and entertaining about Chimaev; something that I personally have never witnessed in MMA that reminds me of athletes in other sports that just seem untouchable. This was very clearly his toughest matchup yet, but when you’ve only been hit once in your 4 fight UFC career… you have to expect that he held the edge. Burns is tough and experienced on the ground; that being said, I wasn’t 100% sure that that’d make much of a difference. The only thing that I could gather from all of that information was that Burns may have been able to hold on until the 2nd Round. It also could have meant that Chimaev was going to get a KO or a ground and pound TKO without a submission. One other factor that had me leaning towards a TKO win was that Burns had never lost by submission in his entire MMA career.
Chimaev by Finish
Within the first 30 seconds it looked as though Chimaev was going to continue his dominance, but, unlike his other opponents, Burns resisted the takedowns for a while before finally succumbing and ending up on the ground. He managed to get up though and engaged in a standup brawl. It was close with both men landing some big shots, but Chimaev was clearly the harder hitter and ended up dropping Burns with a BOMB. Halfway into the 2nd Round and the fight EXPLODED as Burns stumbled Khamzat with massive shots and combos. After that though, Chimaev landed some BIG shots of his own. Then, to really blow the ROOF off the place, Burns finished the 2nd Round by throwing a NUKE at Chimaev to drop him and almost finish the fight. The final round started off close, but Chimaev started to get his striking going again, stumbling Burns against the fence again. The rest of the fight it was impossible to tell who was edging ahead. It was impossible to tell how the judges would see the fight, but I had it 29-28 for Chimaev, winning the first and third rounds. The judges agreed and all had it 29-28 for Chimaev.
Khamzat Chimaev def. Gilbert Burns by Unanimous Decision
There’s so many things that we learned from this fight. First, Chimaev isn’t the untouchable monster that most people thought he was. Contrary to what some people have been saying online, that doesn’t mean he’s not a special fighter. Just look at what he did: he took on the number 2 contender, wobbled him multiple times, ate some of the hardest punches you could get in the division and ended up winning. Not only that, he proved that he can go all 3 rounds and that he really is tough enough to overcome the onslaught of a tank like Burns. Plus… he didn’t even use his wrestling! I agree with Dana and most of the internet; Colby makes the most sense for his next fight. Honestly, even without fighting Colby, if Leon drops out of the title fight, Usman would still be a tight, interesting matchup for Khamzat. As for Burns, it still makes sense for him to fight the winner or even the loser of next week’s main event of Belal and Luque.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan
FINALLY, after a year of waiting, we finally saw the rematch between Sterling and Yan. Of course, everyone knows at this point, Sterling last fought against Yan and ‘won’ the belt after he kneed illegally and almost knocked out. As for Yan, he grabbed the interim belt after a dominant, incredible performance against Cory Sandhagen in October. This pick was simple, Aljo hadn’t fought since last year against Yan. In that title fight, Yan was dominating him for the entire fight and was clearly winning the decision before his mistake cost him the belt. Sterling likely learned some things after fighting Yan, but Yan is SO skilled, so dominant, that it was unlikely Sterling would be able to catch up. Not to mention, Yan keeps getting better; Sandhagen came in looking amazing in October, but Yan still outclassed him. I thought it was gonna be a real good one and that we’d see another dominant decision win from Yan.
Yan by Decision
Contrary to what we may have thought leading up to this weekend, this fight started off pretty slow with neither man doing much of anything in the first. Yan likely edged the opening round with a bit of extra activity and his constant forward pressure. In the 2nd Round, everything switched as Aljo dragged Yan to the ground and slipped onto his back into his favourite position. For the rest of the round, Sterling went off with some ground and pound and fairly significant submission attempts. Yan ended up getting out of it, but he may have found himself on the wrong side of a 10-8 round there. The 3rd Round started off with another tight exchange on the feet, but once again, Sterling dragged Yan to the ground and took his back to win. Heading into the championship rounds, it was clear that Aljo was up 29-28 at the very least. The 4th started off with a clear momentum shift towards Yan as he started landing big shots, stunning Aljo and using the fence to clinch. Sterling went in for yet another takedown, but Yan was actually the one that ended up on top. After that dominant round, I’d say it was likely 2-2, but with such hugely dominant rounds from Aljo in rounds 2 and 3, the scorecards could have gone either way at this point. In the final round, they both went into what their strengths were. Yan was landing some good shots and Aljo was shooting for takedowns. Aljo’s takedown attempts and clinching were doing well… until Yan landed a HUGE knee to drop him. In the end, it was Yan who finished in the dominant position, landing knees and controlling Aljo. After all 5 rounds, it was impossible to tell who took it on the cards. I had it 48-47 for Yan, but with the middle rounds being so dominant and the opening/closing rounds being so close, nobody could say for sure which way the judges would lean. The judges ended up being split, scoring it 48-47, 47-48 and 48-47 for the undisputed champ Aljamain Sterling.
Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan by Split Decision
I may not agree that Aljo won (and Dana White agrees with me), but there’s no denying that he proved everyone wrong, that he does deserve to be at the top. I’d say there’s 3 ways to go from here. You could go with the rematch… because, if we’re being honest, Yan should be 2-0 right now. If not, Dillashaw is who Aljo wants and I think we can all agree that that’s another Brawl of the Night contender. While both of those would be incredible fights, I can’t help but think that Aldo also deserves another shot. As for Yan… he could also easily be in any of those matchups. PLUS, we’ve now found out that Cejudo has officially been put back into the testing pool, meaning we’ll likely see ‘Triple C’ return before the end of the year. Since he never actually lost his belts, there’s no reason we couldn’t see him compete against Aljo or Yan too. No matter what we see, Bantamweight is the most talented division in the UFC and there’s never a dull matchup between these top guys.
Main Event (Middleweight Title Fight)
Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie
To cap off this incredible PPV, we got to see another Volkanovski title defence. Volk is one of the most dominant featherweights in UFC history sitting at a record of 10-0 in the UFC with his last 4 over future Hall of Famers Jose Aldo, Ortega and Max Holloway TWICE. His wins over Holloway were questionable to some, BUT there’s absolutely no denying the fact that he’s clearly the best in the division and nobody comes close except for Holloway. The Zombie is a beloved fighter to all UFC fans; he joined all the way back in the WEC days in 2010 and has fought against some of the best fighters in the division. he’s gone 3-1 in his last 4 with wins over Edgar, Moicano and, most recently, Dan Ige in a decision. No offence to the Zombie, I love the guy, but this seemed like it’d be pretty one-sided. His last win was over Ige and he really only got this fight because everyone else was busy and Holloway pulled out. I was sure that he’d make it interesting and fun to watch, but Volk is on a different level and I said he’d dominate him for all 5 rounds. Since Ortega couldn’t finish the Zombie… plus it’s literally his name, I thought he’d keep coming back and make it to the final bell.BLÜ’s Prediction
Volkanovski by Decision
Not too much was thrown in the opening round, but it was clear that Volk was not only the faster fighter, but also the more powerful, more accurate and elusive striker. He smoked the Zombie, dropping him twice and almost took his leg out with a nasty calf kick. This striking dominance continued into the 2nd Round with Volk picking him apart and landing another BOMB to get another knockdown on the scorecards. The 3rd Round got a little more interesting with the Zombie landing a couple of nice shots, but nothing could stop Volk’s momentum as he still easily out-struck him and knocked him down again. It was so dominant at this point that it started to become reminiscent of the Ortega fight; his face was mangled, bloody and had the analysts questioning if he should continue. In the 4th, it kept going with Volk smoking him again, giving him the spaghetti legs, forcing the ref to stop the fight. It may have been an early stoppage with the Zombie still standing and throwing… but really, he had nothing for the champ.
Alexander Volkanovski def. The Korean Zombie by TKO in the 4th Round
This has only reinforced what we already knew; Volkanovski can easily be thought of as one of the greatest Pound for Pound fighters on the planet, if not the number 1 P4P fighter in the world. He was so good, so wildly dominant that it didn’t look hard, it legitimately didn’t look like the Zombie even belonged in there. It takes a special kind of athlete to do that. It was at the point where Volk was actually concerned for the Zombie’s safety and the ref just stopped it after he took a few more big shots. Right now, I kind of agree with Volk; there’s nobody in the division, except for Holloway, that’s done enough to truly deserve a title shot. I also agree that what makes the most sense is a move up to lightweight to take on the winner of Oliveira and Gaethje. He’s just so unbelievably good that he could beat anyone. Finally, just like the bantamweights, there’s also Cejudo coming back. It’s a tough fight for both of them, but it’s intriguing for both men. If Cejudo takes it… he’s ‘Quadruple C’, if Volk takes it, he’s automatically in the conversation for being the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
BLÜ’s Record for the Night
Main Card: 3-2
KO of the Night: Mike Malott
Sub. of the Night: Aleksei Oleinik
Brawl of the Night: Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Most Valuable Fighter
Regardless of the fact that I don’t believe he won this fight, this man deserves all the credit in the world for shutting every single hater down to prove he belongs at the top. All the drama aside, he also hadn’t fought in a year and overcame some pretty rough injuries to come into this fight and give Yan his hardest fight in the UFC. It takes a special kind of person to overcome all of that hate, drama and those health problems to win a championship fight.