A last-minute forced withdrawal from the main event fight has left everyone in shock. The current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has pulled out due to an undisclosed illness, possibly of a bad weight cut. Amanda looked good as she made the weight during the weigh ins. As a result, Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight belt has been moved up as the main event of the night.
BELAL MUHAMMAD GRINDS HIS WAY TO VICTORY
The first round was very close between the two as Belal starts early putting pressure on Mein who sweeps him to the mat. Round two has Belal more aggressive in his striking and pushes Mein against the cage and getting him to the mat. In a short while he gets another take down as Mein struggles to fight through the blood from the cut on his left eyebrow. Round 2 goes in the favour of Belal Muhammad. In the third round, Belal continues to grind his way which were answered by Mein by the way of Kimuras. With the win Belal improves to a 12-2 record and a second straight win inside the octagon.
CHAD LAPRISE SHUTS DOWN BRIAN CAMOZZI
After eleven months of inactivity Chad Laprise comes back to deliver an outstanding performance against Brian Camozzi. As the first-round opens, both the welterweights begin with leg kicks and looking for an opening. Camozzi lands an overhand right but Chad responds back with his own left and right. Chad begins to use his overhand right frequently which would ultimately become the stepping stone for the finish. Round 1 ends with Camozzi in the guard position. In the second round, Chad continues to land his overhand right as Camozzi finds his range and lands kicks and punches. A much better round for Camozzi. As Round 3 begins Camozzi shows urgency to be more active. Chad finds target for his overhand right, steps back and delivers left hook and liver shot with his right that stuns The Mantis and backs him off. Chad unloads beautiful combination to the body and drops Camozzi to the mat who is unable to continue.
THE BOA TRAPS AND SUBMITS TRAVIS BROWNE
Round 1 begins with straight leg kicks from Browne. Both the heavyweights clink and Brown rocks Alexey who drops to the mat. Alexey is on wobbly legs but recovers as he gets back up. Alexey moves forward and lands a heavy overhand right that drops Browne. As Browne gets back up they both clinch and Travis looks to recover in the clinch. More front kicks from Browne, but Alexey catches on and takes Browne to the ground and goes in for a neck crank and has Browne in a bad position until the round ends. Round 2 begins with both the heavyweights breathing hard and they need to dig deep down to get a finish. More straight kicks from Browne who keeps the distance, but Alexey moves forward and takes The Hapa down into his realm where he wraps like a boa not letting his victim escape. Alexey submits the #9 heavyweight Browne with a rear naked choke. The Russian could possibly break into the heavyweight rankings with his biggest win in the UFC
ANTHONY PETTIS VS. JIM MILLER
That was one bloody fight of the night and possibly could earn the performance of the night bonus as both Pettis and Miller put on a back and forth battle. Pettis making his return to the lightweight division looked sharp and like the champion he one was. Miller showed his toughness and made a solid statement in his 27th UFC outing that he still has all what it takes to hang out with the top 5. Pettis got the best of round 1 by landing some of his trademark kicks, while Miller responding with counter attacks while retreating. Round 2 has even more kicks from Pettis who lands kicks to head and legs but Miller catches one of them taking Pettis to the ground. They scramble a bit to change positions and Miller looks for a triangle attempt from the bottom. Pettis ends the round in his favour. Miller attempts few new tricks in the round 3 which unfazed the showtime. Back and forth action between the both ends the third round with Pettis getting the unanimous decision.
THE REEM OUTPOINTS WERDUM FOR THE SECOND TIME
Meeting for the third time, Overeem knew what was coming for him the moment the bell rang for the first round – an attempted flying kick from Werdum. Overeem graciously side stepped giving the Brazilian an empty place to land. The first two rounds were clearly controlled by the Dutchman who was more cautious than their previous meeting. Overeem struck Werdum with his strikes who was prepared for a counter game. Werdum even resorted to pull Overeem to the ground and engage him there. It took him four rounds to finally land some nice shots and had Overeem wobble for a bit and took him to the mat to finish him. Overeem’s chances of survival were less had he not resorted to neutralize Werdum from the bottom. As the fifth round ended, Werdum was in a dominant position but unable to finish making the judges the incline mmore towards the Dutchman.
ROBERT WHITTAKER IS THE NEW MIDDLEWEIGHT INTERM CHAMP
Whittaker had figured out how to beat Yoel and that is to weather the storm for the first two rounds and implement his game plan in the last three. That is exactly how it played out for the Australian Whittaker. Yoel had the first two with his explosive and athletic aggression landed neat punches, kicks and wrestled his way. Whittaker’s inside leg kick had him badly hurt after the first round and he needed another round to get back on track. The last three rounds were all Whittaker who won them with one leg badly jacked up. Yoel’s cardio started giving him problems which Whittaker capitalized and landed head kick and left hook which rocked the Cuban. The judges scored a unanimous decision in favour of Whittaker (48-47, 48-47, 48-47).