With three title fights and Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman vs Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal as the main event, how could this event not deliver? From the very first fight between Anthony Smith and Jimmy Crute, the surprises began, wit this one being unfortunate. Smith late in the first round of the fight landed a kick to Crute’s leg that seemed to render it useless. Crute briefly got Smith to the ground and mainly kept the fight there to end the round. He was unable to walk back to his corner with his leg giving out on the way to and when at his corner. The doctor wisely called the fight, and Smith won via TKO.
In the very next fight, a middleweight bout between Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman, an even more unfortunate outcome occurred. Weidman kicked Hall’s leg and on contact Weidman’s lower leg snapped in two. The injury was hard to look at but according to mmafighting.com, his procedure was successful. Needless to say, that fight did not continue and resulted in a knockout victory for Uriah Hall. It was the first time a UFC fighter won without having to throw a single strike.
In the first title fight, Valentina Shevchenko defended her title and dominated Jessica Andrade. Shevchenko had far more signature strikes, winning that battle 32 to 10. She also dominated total strikes 90 to 47. On the ground, Shevchenko was 7 for 7 on her takedowns. The fight ended with Shevchenko on top of Andrade on the ground and using a series of vicious elbow strikes that led to the ref calling it. Not so surprisingly, Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko remains the dominant force in the women’s flyweight division.
The second title fight was for the women’s strawweight belt between defending champion Zhang Weili and challenger Rose Namajunas. A great matchup that led to another shocking result as Thug Rose connected with a nasty kick to Weili’s head and put her to the ground. Namajunas then jumped on top and landed the necessary head strikes to get the ref to call it. The result came with 1:18 left in the first round. Weili outstruck Rose 12 to 4 but clearly, that didn’t matter. It’s highly likely these two will be fighting again not too far down the road.
Usman was defending his belt in the anticipated rematch against Masvidal for the welterweight belt. Even with all the hype, it delivered. Masvidal outstruck the champ 56 to 32 but Usman was 2 for 2 on takedowns. Late in the second round, Usman did something no one had done before by knocking out Jorge Masvidal with a devastating punch to the head. Currently, there doesn’t appear to be anyone ready for Kamaru Usman in the welterweight division. His next fight will probably be a rematch with Colby Covington. If he loses again to Usman, can Dana White find him a suitable challenger? Usman is just simply dominant, and that’s why he’s on an 18 fight win streak and has 3 title defenses.
All stats sourced from ESPN