UFC 248 ‘Adesanya vs. Romero’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 7, 2020
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135: Danaa Batgerel vs. Guido Cannetti

Round 1

In the first fight of the night, we are treated to a historic battle between Argentina’s Cannetti (8-4, 2-3 UFC) and Mongolia’s Batgerel (7-2, 0-1 UFC) at bantamweight. Referee Chris Tognoni is in charge of the action to kick things off. These two are so amped up that Tognoni has to make them go back to their corners, but when the fight begins they come together and touch gloves. Cannetti kicks low and falls over, but Batgerel is unable to take advantage of his stumble. The Argentinian commits to a heavy body kick, and Batgerel is trying to set up a counter. Batgerel loads up on a right hand to time the kick coming at him from Cannetti, but he still eats a low kick before scoring a big right. Cannetti again goes for a high kick and nearly falls, so this time the Mongolian fighter comes at him with punches. Cannetti gets up without much issue, but is already marked up around his nose. Each kick Cannetti is trying to chamber or throw, Batgerel is ready with a right hand, and stings him with one. Not to be outdone, Cannetti replies with a right of his own, and Batgerel wears it well. Batgerel steps forward with a front kick and dances out of the way when one comes back at him. Cannetti slams a heavy low kick on Batgerel’s legs, and the Mongolian fighter falls over. He springs back up and comes at Cannetti, but absorbs a nasty body kick while trying to uncork bombs. Batgerel launches a huge left hook, and catches Cannetti right on the jaw. The Argentinian crumples to the canvas, and regains his faculties when he hits the ground just enough to turtle up. A few more punches from Batgerel are barely academic, as Tognoni dives in to stop the action. This is an impressive win for Batgerel, who becomes the first fighter to knock out the durable “Ninja,” and in the process earns the first victory of his UFC career.

The Official Result

Danaa Batgerel def. Guido Cannetti R1 3:01 via KO (Punches)

145: Giga Chikadze vs. Jamall Emmers

Round 1

Up next, Emmers (17-4, 0-0 UFC) looks to make his triumphant debut against vaunted kickboxer Chikadze (8-2, 1-0 UFC). Serving as our referee for this featherweight tilt is Mark Smith. They do not greet with a glove touch, and instead Chikadze introduces himself with a spinning back kick that falls well short of the mark. Emmers blocks a head kick but absorbs a heavy leg kick, and Chikadze’s movement and footwork has flustered Emmers so far. Chikadze wings a right hand and hurts him, but Emmers recovers and takes a few kicks while circling away. Chikadze chases after him, but does not burn himself out trying to force a stoppage. The Georgian fires a left body kick to the liver -- he calls it his “Giga Kick” -- and Emmers returns fire with a low kick. Chikadze misses with a few more kicks, while Emmers tries to find his range. “Prettyboy” takes another body kick, and cannot effectively counter as Chikadze leaps forward to throw a right body kick. Chikadze taunts him by outstretching his arms, and Emmers is dancing around on the outside to try to find an angle. The two continue to feint and fake, while Chikadze sneaks in another body kick to the same target as before. They clash together and Emmers barely ducks a right hand, and after they separate, he catches Chikadze on the end of a right hook that does not have a great effect. Chikadze hops around and throws a tornado kick, but Emmers is out of the way in time. Chikadze snaps a left hand in, and follows it with a body kick but Emmers blocks it. The American throws back with a right hand, and falls short while taking a leg kick. The two go wild at the very last second of the round, as they both throw spinning strikes with Chikadze kicking and Emmers using a back fist, and we hear the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chikadze
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Chikadze
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chikadze

Round 2

Chikadze charges out of his corner, but only does so to take position and not to attack. Emmers is the first to try to strike, leaping in the air with a knee, but Chikadze parries it easily. Emmers rushes in, and is much more aggressive with his offense as he cracks him with a right hand. Emmers follows that punch with a knee to the torso that stuns Chikadze for a moment, but the kickboxer regathers himself as he fires a front kick up the middle. Emmers counters with a stinging right hand, but it is one-and-done as Chikadze starts to chain kicks together. During a flurry of kicks, Emmers lifts his man off the ground and slams him down with ease. In half guard, Emmers nearly takes mount before Chikadze pulls him back. Instead of defending the advance, he sweeps Emmers and lands on top. Emmers kicks off and springs to his feet, and in the process takes an eye poke to the right eye. The action pauses, and we can see a small cut on the top of Emmers’ eye. The fight resumes, and Emmers charges forward but takes a nasty body kick. On the end of a combination, Chikadze tags Emmers and makes the American trip and nearly fall across the cage, hurt fairly badly. While still partially in a daze, Emmers closes the distance and clinches up, where he defends against strikes while landing a few knees on the inside. The two jockey for position against the fence, and Chikadze breaks free as his best work has come at range. Emmers lands two punches and then a body kick, and he avoids the counter that flies right back at him. Emmers races forward to try to take the fight down, and Chikadze defends it but he has visibly slowed. Emmers scores a solid one-two, and blocks a hard head kick before throwing one of his own. One last blocked head kick from Emmers sees the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chikadze
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Emmers
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chikadze

Round 3

The Chikadze corner saves their fighter some time by taking the mouthpiece with them, and after a momentary delay, we are right back to it in the final round. The two immediately start trading, standing in front of each other and swinging while mixing them up with kicks. Emmers tries for a clinch to drag the fight down, but Chikadze shoves him away. Emmers pops him with a jab, and then another before trying to follow it with a right hand. Chikadze is starting to get marked up, and Emmers can see the looping punches coming as he avoids the big shots. Emmers sneaks in a short right hand, and takes a big left for his effort but he grins. The two load up and swing, allowing Chikadze to land a few stiff left hooks, but the American eats them like breakfast. Emmers sticks the jab out a few more times, while stomping the canvas to get Chikadze to commit to a counter. Emmers keeps Chikadze on the end of his long punches, while avoiding counters and the occasional head kick. “Prettyboy” is not putting a lot into his punches, instead preferring to just land rather than hurt his opponent, while Chikadze is loading up and fatiguing quickly. Another reaching takedown attempt from Emmers is stuffed, but Emmers is working him with punches from the outside. Chikadze lands a few, but for every one he lands, Emmers scores three or four. When Chikadze tries to swing for the bleachers, Emmers hits a perfect takedown to land in full guard. With 10 seconds remaining, Chikadze throws his legs up for a triangle, but Emmers practically ignores it as he drops down some nasty ground-and-pound in an attempt to seal the fight for him. The horn sounds, and this will be a real close fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Emmers (29-28 Chikadze)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Emmers (29-28 Emmers)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Emmers (29-28 Chikadze)

The Official Result

Giga Chikadze def. Jamall Emmers via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

185: Gerald Meerschaert vs. Deron Winn

Round 1

Opening up the ESPN prelims -- they are also on ESPN+ and were slightly delayed due to the UNC-Duke basketball game -- is a middleweight affair as Roufusport product Meerschaert (30-12, 5-4 UFC) tries to hand Winn (6-1, 1-1 UFC) his second straight defeat after Winn started his career at 6-0. There is no nonsense to be found in the cage, as referee Keith Peterson will make sure of that. Winn tries to jab his way in and eats a body kick and then a left hand. Meerschaert throws a leg kick, but it lands loudly on the peninsula south of the Equator and we have an early pause in the action. After a break of around a minute, Winn is good to go, and starts the fight back up and eats a few punches on the way forward. Meerschaert goes low with a kick, and takes a huge left hand on the chin. “GM3” takes it like a champ and closes the distance, where Winn scoops him up and puts him down. Instead of diving in after him, Winn backs off to let him stand. When Meerschaert gets to his feet, Winn starts winging heavy punches, backing Meerschaert up against the fence. Meerschaert survives the assault and fires a solid body kick, before taking a leg kick from the shorter fighter. Meerschaert connects with a left right down the pipe, and tries to follow it with a looping right hand but Winn darts out of the way. Winn blows the hair back of his opponent with a surprising head kick, and then dings him to the midsection with a body kick. Winn is loading up on his punches, and connects on a few more including a fierce left hook. When Winn tries to crowd him, Meerschaert sneaks a knee up the middle that stops Winn from advancing for a moment. Winn regathers himself and stings Meerschaert with a few hefty punches, but “GM3” takes them without much concern. Meerschaert connects with a stiff one-two, and Winn stands straight up and counters with a left as if he had not been punched at all. Winn lands a right hand, and then catches Meerschaert with a left hand that has Meerschaert blinking and wiping his eye. There is some damage beneath that right eye of Meerschaert, but he is undeterred as he ends the round with a looping right hand.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Winn
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Winn
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Winn

Round 2

Meerschaert starts off with a jab, and then chains together a one-two before landing one more. Winn tries to kick low, but his best punch in the exchange is a stiff left. Meerschaert aims to the body with another kick, and steps back as if to avoid a counterpunch, but there is none to come. Meerschaert throws two hooks, and Winn digs to the body before throwing a right to the head. To try to keep Winn at bay, Meerschaert sticks out his jab, and Winn closes the distance with a looping left hook that barely misses. Winn is content to land the counter left and an occasional power jab, but digs to the body with a punch. Meerschaert is not outshined by that strike, as he lands a thudding body kick. Meerschaert has started to get his range, as he lands a series of left hands and right jabs. Winn goes after the lead leg with a kick, but Meerschaert sticks him with his lefts. Winn tries to take the fight down, but Meerschaert gets to his knee and then stands up as Winn fires a high kick at him. Meerschaert triples up the jab and follows it with a left hand, and Winn shrugs it off as he also absorbs a heavy body kick. Winn fires a successful low kick, but his two leaping hooks are well off the mark as Meerschaert is halfway across the cage by the time Winn gets to him. They land heavy jabs, and Meerschaert targets the body as if he were Stipe Miocic repeatedly aiming for Daniel Cormier’s midsection. He lands another, and Winn winces. The body is hurt for Winn, so Meerschaert targets it with a kick and then another two punches. Winn loads up on a huge right hand and lands it, but Meerschaert is undaunted as he kicks the body and then tries to bring up a knee. The round ends with one more thumping punch to the torso by Meerschaert.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Meerschaert
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Meerschaert
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Meerschaert

Round 3

Meerschaert commences the last round with a jab, and Winn reaches with a body kick that barely lands with his toes. Meerschaert puts together a left hand, followed by one to the body. He targets the body once more, and the strike has seemed to land at will for him. Winn loads up with a massive right hand, and Meerschaert’s knees buckle for a moment as we see a cut on the left eye of Meerschaert. “GM3” circles out of danger and gets his left back from beneath him, but Winn is swinging for the fences with another massive right hand -- it is short. Meerschaert sticks him with a jab, and a subsequent left hook hurts Winn. The punches continue to mount for Meerschaert, and Winn stumbles across the cage. As Meerschaert pours it on, Winn falls over, so Meerschaert hunts for a guillotine choke. While Winn defends the choke, Meerschaert sees an opening and circles around to take Winn’s back. In no time at all, Meerschaert seeks out a rear-naked choke. Winn defends it by trying to yank the arm away, but the choke that almost appears to be a neck crank is too tight. Winn can resist no further and taps, and thereby suffers the first stoppage loss of his career. This is a huge win for "GM3," and he praises his opponent in his post-fight interview for "bringing out the best in me."

The Official Result

Gerald Meerschaert def. Deron Winn R3 2:13 via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

185: Rodolfo Vieira vs. Saparbek Safarov

Round 1

The first of several undefeated fighters competing tonight is up next, with the submission-minded Vieira (6-0, 1-0 UFC) putting his unblemished record on the line against Dagestani brawler Safarov (9-2, 1-2 UFC) at middleweight. The third man inside the Octagon is referee Jason Herzog. They touch gloves, and after 15 seconds, Safarov finally throws the first strike in the form of a jab. He misses, and similarly comes up short with a front kick while Vieira tries to figure out his timing. Safarov goes to the leg with a kick, and sneaks up a front kick that hurts Vieira. The Brazilian immediately shoots in for a takedown, but Safarov powerfully turns him about and stands up. Vieira closes back in and throws him down, and we see some blood on the nose of Vieira as he takes Safarov’s back. As Safarov tries to fight off the choke attempt and prevent punches, he grabs the glove multiple times, causing Herzog to pause the action for a moment. Safarov then puts his fingers in the fence and Herzog slaps his hand away, before again pulling on the gloves to get out of a choke. As the old adage goes, "if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying." Vieira flattens out his opponent for a moment and slams down a few punches, before taking mount as Safarov rolls to his back. Vieira sets up a speedy arm-triangle, and hops over to side control to finalize it like a snake devouring its prey. With absolutely no way out, Safarov taps out once and it is unnoticed. He then taps several more times, and Herzog stops the fight. When “The Black Belt Hunter” stands back up after the fight is called, we see a massive cut over his left eye, and his eye is completely closed while the swelling grows rapidly. Had he not gotten the submission, he could have been in the danger zone, but instead the Brazilian records his seventh win. They have all come by stoppage.

The Official Result

Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov R1 2:58 via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

155: Mark O. Madsen vs. Austin Hubbard

Round 1

In the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling Madsen (9-0, 1-0 UFC) will try to keep his unbeaten record intact against the tactfully nicknamed “Thud” Hubbard (11-3, 1-1 UFC). Referee Chris Tognoni is in charge of the cage for this contest. There is no touch of gloves, as Hubbard goes low for a kick that spins Madsen around. He throws another, and Madsen absorbs it and does not turn about. Instead, Madsen throws one back at him, and closes the distance to shoot in for a takedown. He pushes Hubbard against the fence, and then miraculously hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Hubbard. The American fights his way back to his feet, but only for a moment, as “The Olympian” is on him like glue. Holding on to Hubbard’s back, Madsen puts his full weight on his opponent while trying to drag him down. Hubbard manages to get to his knees and then stands up against the fence, while Madsen is more intent on controlling than doing damage. Madsen tries to throw his adversary, but Hubbard is wise to it as he fights out of the hands and breaks free. Hubbard goes immediately to a leg kick, and then another as he keeps a wide berth. Madsen closes the distance in the blink of an eye, before latching on and hitting a body lock takedown. The man from Denmark quickly takes side control, but Hubbard fights his way free as Madsen hunts for a choke. Madsen pursues a brabo choke that turns into more of a neck crank, but Hubbard spins out and falls into the choke again. This choke, which looks like more of a necktie at this point, is again unsuccessful while Hubbard yanks his head free. Hubbard slowly, cautiously pulls himself out of bad position, and gets back up. Madsen does not let him off the hook, as he clinches up to hunt for one last takedown. Hubbard staves it off, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Madsen
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Madsen
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Madsen

Round 2

Hubbard opens up the round with a quick knee that glances off the chin of his adversary. Not wanting to stay close to Madsen for long, Hubbard tries to circle away, but Madsen hits a takedown and lands in half guard. Hubbard gets his man back to full guard for now, before pushing Madsen away. Madsen jumps back down, before circling around to take the American’s back. Madsen again stays heavy on Hubbard, but the latter walks his way back to his feet for barely a second before Madsen tosses him back down. Once more, Hubbard gets back up, and this time he shoves off to get his distance. Hubbard wings a right hand before throwing a high kick, but Madsen evades them before charging forward to take the fight back to the floor. In a stalemate position, Hubbard tries to roll over but cannot go anywhere, so Madsen finally starts punching him. “Thud” uses the moment to spring back up, but Madsen is latched on like an Alabama tick. The two are trying to muscle their way into and out of position, and Madsen hunts for an anaconda choke but bails on it when there is nothing there. Hubbard gets free, and the two are back to their feet with a round remaining. Madsen wings a big right hand, and Hubbard throws another low kick that once more spins his opponent around. Hubbard misses with a combination, and the two trade punches that mostly miss the mark. The 10-second clapper leads to a failed takedown attempt from Madsen, and the round is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Madsen
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Madsen
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Madsen

Round 3

The two kick off the round by standing in front of each other and swinging. Hubbard jumps up for a knee, and is unloading, knowing he is down on the scorecards. Madsen takes him down with a double, but Hubbard returns to his feet and pushes away from a fake attempt. Hubbard flies in the air with a knee, and cracks Madsen right on the jaw. Madsen is hurt, but the wrestler stays smart and clinches up. Hubbard breaks free and stings him with a right hand, and scores a powerful knee that gives Madsen pause. The strikes are doing some damage on Madsen, who is stunned from these shots. Hubbard commits to an uppercut, and ducks out of the way of the inevitable takedown attempt before landing a knee. Hubbard targets the body with a vicious left hand, and Madsen is slowing down and backing off. The American scores with a front kick to the body, and Madsen replies with a low takedown attempt. Hubbard tries to fight it off, but falls to his back as Madsen wrenches him to the canvas. “The Olympian” takes his back, but Hubbard remains patient and walks his way back up the cage wall while taking a thumping knee to the thigh. Hubbard stands up, and spins free before trying to set up some strikes. Madsen sticks him with a jab, and Hubbard leaps in the air with another knee that catches Madsen right on the jaw. Madsen is hurt and wobbling, so Hubbard chases him down with a knee and a few elbows. As Hubbard chases him down, the precious seconds tick off the clock. Hubbard sets up with one more huge elbow, but time expires before he can land it. It very well might be too little, too late for the American.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hubbard (29-28 Madsen)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Hubbard (29-28 Madsen)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Hubbard (29-28 Madsen)

The Official Result

Mark O. Madsen def. Austin Hubbard via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

135: Sean O'Malley vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez

Round 1

To headline the prelims, Mexico’s Quinonez (8-3, 5-2 UFC) will look to make O’Malley (10-0, 2-0 UFC) feel unwelcome in the latter’s long-awaited return to action. “Sugar” last competed in March 2018, having been sidelined due to multiple failed drug tests that later saw him cleared of wrongdoing. The undefeated MMA Lab prospect will try to jump-start his career once more while referee Dan Miragliotta oversees the proceedings. O’Malley opens up by not touching gloves, but instead throwing a stomp kick. He throws a kick to the leg and makes Quinonez falls over, but the Mexican gets back to his feet before any danger ensues. O’Malley lands a front kick, and then evades a right hand from his opponent before aiming to that knee with a stomp kick once more. O’Malley dodges a few reaching punches before firing a front kick to the body, and scores a spinning back kick right to the breadbasket. Quinonez marches him down, but cannot land flush. It is O’Malley who connects with a big looping punch, and immediately follows it with a thudding body kick. O’Malley circles along the outside of the cage, and back him off with a punch. O’Malley cracks him a right high kick, and immediately follows with a huge uppercut, and Quinonez crashes to the canvas. “Sugar” chases him down with some powerful Donkey Kong-esque hammerfists, and Miragliotta very quickly steps in to rescue the doomed fighter from Mexico. Welcome back to the Sugar Show, ladies and gentlemen. Still undefeated, Sean O’Malley is back in dramatic fashion, and he has now finished seven different opponents in the opening round.

The Official Result

Sean O’Malley def. Jose Albert Quinonez R1 2:02 via TKO (Head Kick and Punches)

170: Alex Oliveira vs. Max Griffin

Round 1

Opening up the main card is a battle between two welterweights in desperate need of a win as “Cowboy” Oliveira (19-8-1, 2 NC; 9-6, 1 NC UFC) takes on Griffin (15-7, 3-5 UFC) . Drawing the assignment is referee Mark Smith. There is no glove touch, as Griffin comes out firing with a heavy one-two that just misses the mark. Griffin is racing after him, and gets clipped on the way in but does not pull back. “Pain” swings heavily, but does not connect flush, as Oliveira dances away and spins about almost to celebrate that he did not get hit. Oliveira crashes forward and dings him with a right hand before clinching up, and Griffin fights himself free. The two try to paw out their left hands for range, and Oliveira throws a right hand so hard he nearly falls over. The two both wing their punches, and Oliveira sticks out a jab. Griffin takes a one-two, and comes right back with a similar combination but does not score it. The two swing and trade at the same time, and Griffin tags him and cause Oliveira to go flailing with an uppercut. Griffin hits a takedown, and his corner screams at him to back off and do damage. In full guard, Griffin stays heavy while throwing some short punches, and Smith chides Griffin on punching to the back of the head. Griffin passes to half guard, and Oliveira tries to pull himself up the fence so Smith shouts at him to let it go. Griffin stays tight and looks to tie up Oliveira’s arm with his leg, but the Brazilian gets his arm free before interlocking his toes in the fence. Smith again warns him to let go of the cage, and has to slap Oliveira’s toes out. All the while, Griffin slowly works with some elbows and looks at an arm-triangle choke, but with Oliveira against the cage wall, he cannot get leverage to set anything up. As Oliveira springs to his feet, Griffin takes his back, but “Cowboy” rips himself free and the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Griffin
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Griffin

Round 2

Like the first, Griffin practically sprints towards his opponent to land a long jab. Oliveira is ready for it, and catches him before landing two heavy leg kicks that make Griffin’s knee a little wobbly. Oliveira fires out a few more jabs, and Griffin is busted up from these shots with a cut above his right eye towards the bridge of his nose. Oliveira rushes in with a strike, and Griffin times a takedown but the Brazilian halts it. Instead, he turns the position around tries to pull for a single leg takedown, and we can see the blood pouring out of Griffin’s forehead. Smith calls in the doctor to check on the cut, which we can see came from a fierce uppercut. The doctor clears him to continue, and we are back to it. The two men start off with some jabs, and Oliveira pursues the low calf kick that is really irritating Griffin quickly. The two come together and swing, and Oliveira is timing the uppercut but cannot score it. The Brazilian lands an outside and then inside leg kick to the damaged leg, and takes a powerful right hand along the way. The two both come together with huge right hands, and both are clear of the mark with their home run shots. Griffin clinches up, but again Oliveira reverses him. In an attempt to break free, Oliveira pirouettes with a spinning elbow and Griffin is barely able to block it. Griffin shoots in low for a takedown, and Oliveira defends it with a guillotine before pushing him against the fence. After some tense but slow clinch work, “Cowboy” pursues a single but cannot get it, so Griffin breaks free and swings a heavy right hand that is short of the mark. Oliveira stings him with two more right hands, and when Griffin goes after a labored spinning back fist, Oliveira shoots low for one last takedown to seal the round. He does not land it, and the round is over with Griffin bleeding heavily.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Oliveira
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Oliveira
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Oliveira

Round 3

The last round kicks off with Griffin cleared to continue, as we see a separate cut under Griffin’s other eye. Oliveira scores a few long front kicks where he stabs with his toes, and then goes up top with a head kick that is blocked. Griffin tries to close the distance, and Oliveira spins him around to get a takedown. “Pain” stays strong, and spins him around while taking a few elbows to the side and back of his head. Griffin complains, and Smith warns the Brazilian as a cut has now opened on the top of Griffin’s head. This fight could quickly turn into a performance from the Edwin Dewees playbook, and Oliveira separates only to hit a takedown. “Cowboy” lands on top and pursues a choke, before taking full mount, and Griffin is in a bad way as the blood pours into his eye. Oliveira pulls for a straight armlock while on top, and bails on it to end in half guard. Griffin wears a crimson mask and is grimacing as he is not likely able to see, and Oliveira capitalizes with a few short but effective punches on top. The Brazilian once more takes mount, and is starting to unload punches while Griffin tries to blink his eyes clear. Griffin scrambles and manages to reverse the position, and Oliveira falls to his back when he cannot come close to sinking in a guillotine choke. Griffin steps over to half guard and drops some elbows on his man, and Oliveira is holding on for dear life. With 80 seconds to go, Griffin is giving Oliveira his best “You don’t know where I’ve been, Lou” impression as he bleeds down on his opponent without getting many strikes off. Griffin grinds and starts to pour it on with some very short elbows and punches to try to steal the round. The judges have their hands full in this round, as Griffin ends the fight on top. What a bloody mess of a battle, but it sure was fun.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Oliveira (29-28 Oliveira)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Griffin (29-28 Griffin)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Oliveira (29-28 Oliveira)

The Official Result

Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

170: Neil Magny vs. Jingliang Li

Round 1

Returning from the longest layoff in his career, the traditionally ultra-active Magny (21-7, 14-6 UFC) comes back after over 15 months away to take on China’s Li (17-5, 9-3 UFC) at welterweight. Can Li start the night off in a big way for Chinese MMA, or will the Elevation Fight Team staple spoil his party? Referee Keith Peterson will find out, just like the rest of us, but he will permit approximately zero nonsense. The two touch gloves, and Magny starts out backing Li away but taking a low kick. Li swings heavily and throws another leg kick, so Magny gets him to backpedal with a string of jabs. The American ducks down to throw an overhand right, but he falls short and evades a low kick. Magny keeps the jab going, and whiffs with a step-in elbow as Li is content to target the lead leg with short, quick kicks. Magny decides to emulate the success of Li by firing a low kick, leading Li to charge in and go for a clinch. Magny tries to break free, but gives up his back as Li tries to wrench Magny down to the canvas. He does, but only for a moment, and Magny gets back up. Li cracks Magny with a monster right hand, and Magny is hurt badly. “The Leech” pours it on with more punches while Magny tries to get out, and he shoots in low and scores a takedown to put Li on his back. Li returns standing again, and now Magny takes his back briefly. Li spins himself out of the dangerous position and presses Magny against the fence, before trying to crack him with a short uppercut and then hit a single. Magny stands him up, and the two separate before any more significant strikes land. Magny pops him with a jab, and rushes in to clinch, before throwing a few heavy knees to the body. Li changes levels to go after a double, and Magny thwarts it but is ultimately tripped down. Li is only able to maintain top position momentarily before Magny shoves him away and gets up. Magny stings Li with a few powerful jabs, and then steps in with a knee before landing another. The jab for Magny has had great success, and Magny is not out of this fight quite yet. We hear the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Magny
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magny
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Magny

Round 2

Seeing that he was successful last round with them, Magny chains together several stiff jabs to start the round before leaping forward with a knee. Li takes the jabs but avoids the knee, and clinches up to hunt for a trip takedown. Magny reverses the position to turn Li against the fence, and nearly lands a takedown of his own. The American starts pouring on the punches, while Li grabs the fence repeatedly to stop Magny’s aggression. Li drops low for a double before transitioning to a single, and Magny nearly lifts Li up to slam him down face-first -- this would almost certainly be illegal. Li keeps his balance and changes it up to a single, but Magny holds firm and turns him around. Magny tags him with a powerful shoulder strike that we have seen more often lately, and the two turn each other around against the fence. Magny scoops him up and drops him, where Li gives up his back while trying to stand to his feet. Magny lands a few more punches, and it appears that Li is starting to fade while Magny is still firing on all cylinders. Li breaks free with a big right hand, but Magny rolls with it and is the fresher of the two as he scores a few jabs before crashing back into the clinch. Li once more goes low for a double leg takedown, and then goes back to a single, while Magny works the side of his head with elbows. Li tries to punch his way out of the clinch, and Magny times him with some powerful punches as Li keeps his head movement going to avoid the shots. Magny targets him with some long, nasty punches and Li can do nothing but eat them one after the other. The American pulls him down to the cage floor, landing in mount to end the round in style.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Magny
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magny
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-8 Magny

Round 3

Magny bounces forward to start the final round, and Li is the one loading up with everything he has in these last shots. Magny sees them coming from a mile away, and avoids them while piecing Li up from the outside. The Chinese fighter wades forward with punches, but misses wildly as Magny flicks out the jab a few more times. The double jab is followed with a solid right, before another jab comes out. The American evades the looping power shots coming his direction, and drops down to aim for a takedown. Li stuffs it and circles around to take Magny’s back, but Magny breaks free and nearly lands a head kick on the way out. The jabs are adding up fast for Magny, as Li is confounded by them while recklessly charging forward and missing by a long way. Li lands a heavy leg kick, but Magny sticks the jab out hi Li’s face. Another loud leg kick lands for Li, and he cannot capitalize with any follow-up punches. Magny crashes forward and gets him against the fence, before landing two knees and then separating. Li aims for an uppercut but is unsuccessful, and Magny hits a trip to get Li down on the ground. With Li’s arm trapped, Magny starts to throw a few punches with his left hand. The American steps over into mount for a second, before pursuing the back as Li tries to stand up. Magny drops down several powerful punches, and Li scrambles and takes two strong knees to the posterior. Magny throws punches and elbows to all parts of Li’s body, nearly shouting as he connects with them. Li stands up, and tries to throw everything he has left into one big right hand, but there is nothing doing. Magny backs away, and time expires. This is a statement performance for Magny, who comes back in a major way against a top-flight welterweight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-26 Magny)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-27 Magny)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Magny (30-26 Magny)

The Official Result

Neil Magny def. Jingliang Li via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

155: Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose

Round 1

At lightweight, Kings MMA regular Dariush (17-4-1, 11-4-1 UFC) will try to put Klose’s (11-1-1, 5-1 UFC) submission skills to the test. Dariush’s preferred method of victory is by tapout, while Klose has never been submitted--will something give? Keeping this contest on the up-and-up is referee Jason Herzog. The two men touch gloves, and Klose tries to set up his jab but it is Dariush who lands first. A left hand is followed by a thumping body kick from Dariush, but he eats a nasty right coming back at him. Klose loads up with another right hand, and Dariush may be hurt but hiding it well. Dariush closes the distance and hits a takedown, but Klose does not stay ground for long. Klose grabs the fence to stop a takedown, and then grabs it again while Herzog admonishes him. Klose still grabs the cage, but in the process gives up his back. Dariush jumps on like a backpack and secures a body triangle, while hunting for a standing rear-naked choke. Dariush is only able to get one arm around his neck, and Klose is holding tight on the glove to stop the choke -- this is allowed, as long as he does not have his fingers inside the glove. Dariush wrenches his hand away and tugs tightly to get the choke, but Klose again wrests his arms free from danger. The Californian abandons the choke attempt while mounting a few punches together, and keeps his body triangle tightly wrapped around his opponent’s waist. As Klose starts to elbow the thigh to break the grip, Dariush nearly sinks in the choke, but Klose is quick to fight it off. The crowd starts to turn on the two men, as Dariush pulls tight for a choke and is content to squeeze on the chin instead of under the neck. Klose scrambles and flails to get his neck free, and does so while the crowd showers them with boos. Klose starts elbowing the top of the knee of his foe, and the round ends with Dariush as a backpack.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dariush
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Dariush
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dariush

Round 2

The second frame begins with Klose kicking the lead leg, possibly sensing that Dariush’s legs are gassed. Dariush fires back with a low kick that lands to the groin, and a brief pause sees Klose readjust his cup. Dariush takes another gnarly leg kick, and Klose charges forward and blasts him with a huge right hand. Klose cracks him again and Dariush is in a bad, bad way. Klose swarms him with punches, and while getting tagged Dariush winds up and connects with a vicious right of his own that makes Klose do the stanky leg. The tide may have changed quickly, as Dariush chases after him with ferocious punches that back Klose against the fence. This is crazy! Now Klose is rocked badly, and in this insane exchange, Dariush evades a looping punch and fires a thunderous left hand that stiffens Klose and separates him from his consciousness. The mouthpiece nearly goes flying, and you can see Klose’s eyes staring off at the lights while he topples over against the fence. Herzog dives in to end the fight, and what an incredible turn of events! With this wild win, Dariush becomes the first fighter to ever finish the durable Klose.

The Official Result

Beneil Dariush def. Drakkar Klose R2 1:00 via KO (Punch)

UFC Strawweight Title Fight:
Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Round 1

We have arrived at the co-main event, in the form of a highly anticipated strawweight title tilt between defending champ and China native Zhang (20-1, 4-0 UFC), who is riding nearly unprecedented 20-fight win streak, and the longest reigning strawweight queen Jedrzejczyk (16-3, 10-3 UFC). Fasten your seatbelts, we could be in for a wild ride. Nonsense, what nonsense? Referee Keith Peterson’s got this. They do touch gloves, which might have been a surprising prop bet for some, and then once more touch ‘em up to start the fight. Jedrzejczyk begins the offense with a low kick that is short of the target, and then another, while Zhang lands one. She scores one more kick, and the two are now trading leg kicks. Zhang dances her hips back and forth to the delight of the crowd, and Jedrzejczyk starts off with the punches. Zhang shrugs them off and loads up with a big right hand, but Jedrzejczyk cracks her with a right that sends the champ backpedaling. Jedrzejczyk aims at that lead leg of her Chinese opponent, and Jedrzejczyk sticks her with another right. Two more low kicks glance off the lead leg of the champ, and the two come together and swing while Jedrzejczyk ends it with a low kick. The two trade, and Jedrzejczyk is grinning at her after Zhang connects. When Zhang lands a leg kick, Jedrzejczyk throws one right back at her, and is doubling them up on her opponent. Zhang scores a big right, and darts out of the way to avoid the counter from Jedrzejczyk. Zhang misses with a low kick and follows it with a side kick, and the punches from Zhang are marking up the face of the challenger. Zhang is now smiling, and she scores a right hook as Jedrzejczyk backs away. Zhang spins with a kick that just skims across the stomach, and Zhang loads up with punches that surprise Jedrzejczyk. While Jedrzejczyk is landing low kicks, Zhang’s power is the difference in those kicks. Despite this, Zhang’s face is also starting to redden up, and Zhang presses forward with another spinning back kick. Zhang catches a kick, throws one low, and Jedrzejczyk pulls her leg free to land one. Zhang lands a combination, and Jedrzejczyk is quick to come back at her, but the power appears to be favoring the champ. The two trade until the bell, and when it sounds, Jedrzejczyk throws one more punch that is very late, but apologizes immediately after.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhang

Round 2

They start the round with another glove touch, and Zhang kicks off the round with a low kick and punches. The two flurry punches at one another, and both land a few but it is Jedrzejczyk that lands the more successful strikes. Zhang takes a leg kick and nearly loses her balance, and Jedrzejczyk is pressing forward and lands another leg kick that makes Zhang turn her lead leg in. Zhang tags her with a right, and the two clash legs when throwing opposing kicks at the same time. The champ stalks her opponent down, and Jedrzejczyk fires right back at her, as the two go punch-for-punch. Zhang changes levels to go for a takedown, and the former champ stands her up and turns her around against the fence. The two trade knees to the body, and Zhang considers a trip takedown but is thwarted. Zhang unloads with a big elbow in the clinch, and Jedrzejczyk scores a thudding knee to the midsection as they separate. As Jedrzejczyk comes in, Zhang stings her with a right hand, and then follows it with a one-two that hurts Jedrzejczyk. Zhang connects with a side kick, and the two clinch up as Jedrzejczyk goes for a takedown but falls over. Zhang grabs on to the neck, but Jedrzejczyk pulls herself free. There is some damage forming beneath the right eye of the champ, but she does not notice and is loading up with big right hands that keep finding their mark. Jedrzejczyk tries to reply, and jabs her way in but is sternly countered by the champ. Zhang kicks to the body and then goes low for a kick, and both score powerful right hands. A multiple-punch combination for Zhang scores, and she evades the combination from the challenger. Jedrzejczyk fires a high kick and catches Zhang on the chin and stuns her, so Jedrzejczyk races in and accidentally clocks her with a headbutt. Zhang is a little wobbled, and they swing until the horn. After the round ends, the two embrace and Zhang is carried to her corner.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhang

Round 3

Round 3 sees a glove touch, and Jedrzejczyk proverbially draws first blood with a right hand. The two are swinging heavy leather, and Zhang catches her on the end of a right hook before following the strike with a thudding leg kick. Zhang cracks her with a left hand, but the former champ is unconcerned and throws back with reckless abandon. The striking totals are bound to be monumental at the end of this contest. Jedrzejczyk lands a leg kick and is countered up top, and then Zhang throws a kick and Jedrzejczyk counters her. Jedrzejczyk changes stances, possibly out of damage to the leg or because she sees an opening. Jedrzejczyk starts throwing left head kicks, and Zhang may be slowing to an extent. Jedrzejczyk throws a few punches and Zhang comes back at her with a right hand that does not have the sting on it that it did before. The two kick each other in the legs, and Zhang takes a punch up top that starts a trickle of blood out of her nose. Jedrzejczyk aims a few front kicks to the body, and Zhang loads up with some big punches that are not finding their home like the first two rounds. Zhang rushes in to clinch, and she trips Jedrzejczyk’s legs out but cannot keep her grounded for more than a few seconds. Jedrzejczyk gets back up and separates, while missing with an elbow on the break. Zhang lands a powerful kick to the body, and follows it with a big right hand. The punch did some serious damage, as an enormous hematoma has begun swelling very quickly on Jedrzejczyk’s entire forehead. Jedrzejczyk chains together a combination punctuated by a kick, and Zhang throws right back at her fiercely. Both crack each other with huge hooks, and neither are concerned by the damage. When the 10-second clapper sounds, they load up on more strikes until we hear the horn. This is a wild fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Jedrzejczyk

Round 4

It appears that a third eye may sprout from the forehead of the former champ, but the round begins with a wild exchange that sees success for both women. One lands, the other comes back, and the first follows that with strikes. The two are brawling wildly, and Zhang hurts Jedrzejczyk with a punch and backs her off. Not to be outdone, Jedrzejczyk clips Zhang with a head kick and wobbles her briefly. Both regain their composure and are not cone. A right hand from Zhang is followed by an enormous left hook from Zhang, and these two women are throwing everything they have into this fight. Jedrzejczyk’s forehead is massive now, and Mark Hominick may be having flashbacks if he is watching this fight. Jedrzejczyk stings her with a leg kick that makes Zhang pick her leg up, and then nails Zhang with a quick combination. Jedrzejczyk fires up a head kick that partially gets through, and Jedrzejczyk is starting to land more successfully in this round. As Zhang rushes forward, Jedrzejczyk pushes her aside like a matador to a bull. Zhang nails her with a left hook, and Jedrzejczyk eats it like a sandwich while her forehead continues to balloon. Zhang catches her on the end of three punches, and then one more shakes up Jedrzejczyk. Jedrzejczyk throws back at her with a few low kicks, and is still walking forward like a Terminator. Zhang throws a low kick and then a high kick, and Jedrzejczyk comes back at her with a low kick. As Zhang swings heavy, Jedrzejczyk crashes forward with an elbow that lands as cleanly as it could. The two turn each other about in the clinch and land knees up the middle, and Zhang scores an elbow as they break. They land at the same time, and with 30 seconds left, Jedrzejczyk looks up at the clock as we see the extent of her damage straight-on. She does not appear concerned, and still fires at the champ with a high kick that could turn out the lights. She barely misses, and this crazy round ends as Jedrzejczyk reaches to feel the depth of the swelling on her for head. The doctor will take a close eye on this, but we have five minutes to go so we should be clear.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhang
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhang

Round 5

We are good to go, and the two embrace to begin the last fateful round. This fight could still be hanging in the balance, so Jedrzejczyk opens up with a bevy of kicks low and high. Zhang digs to the body, and Jedrzejczyk swings ferociously but largely does not connect. Jedrzejczyk scores with a low kick that nearly turns Zhang around, but the champ fires back with a one-two that is just off the mark. Jedrzejczyk loads up with a right and lands square, but Zhang pulls back and fires and smashes the nose of Jedrzejczyk. The damage is incredible on the face of the former champ, and Jedrzejczyk is briefly turning away from the damage but continues to return fire. Jedrzejczyk clips Zhang with a big left hook, and then lands another, but Zhang cracks her with one more. Zhang slips as they are going bombs away, and this fight is one for the record books. Zhang again tags her with a right hand, and a left from Zhang forces Jedrzejczyk to clinch up. The two try to spin each other around but shove away, and less than two minutes left, Zhang is the one stalking her down now as Jedrzejczyk is barely recognizable. A brief pause transforms into a wild flurry from both, and Zhang is headhunting as Jedrzejczyk goes for body and low kicks. Jedrzejczyk fires out the jab, and Zhang doubles up on kicks. A left hook from Zhang lands, and it is miraculous neither of these women have been badly rocked yet. The two continue to trade, and Zhang screams as she swings with reckless abandon. The 10-second clapper sees Jedrzejczyk sting Zhang with spinning back fist, and Zhang wobbles but keeps her footing. Zhang races towards her when she shakes out the cobwebs, and this incredible fight comes to an end. Both women’s stock rose significantly from this unbelievable battle, and this was the one of the greatest title fights the UFC has ever seen, man or woman. It is unfortunate that one of them has to suffer a defeat, and hopefully one day we can see the two square off once again.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Zhang (49-46 Zhang)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Zhang (49-46 Zhang)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Zhang (49-46 Zhang)

The Official Result

Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

UFC Middleweight Title Fight:
Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero

Round 1

For the first time since the days of “Tank” Abbott, a fighter will get a title shot on the heels of multiple non-title fight defeats. Even so, the mercurial champ Adesanya (18-0, 7-0 UFC) is up to his elbows against the hard-charging Romero (13-4, 9-3 UFC) at middleweight. Trying to become the king of the walkout (watch out David Rickels), Adesanya emerges while women throw rose petals beneath his feet -- did he watch “Coming to America” recently? Referee Dan Miragliotta will make certain that this main event does not get out of hand, and with a brief touch of gloves, it’s time. Romero walks out slowly from his corner, while Adesanya takes the center of the cage. Romero stands still, and Adesanya is walking around. Twenty seconds in, the crowd is already booing. Romero shuffles stances, but is standing tall until finally loosening up after 45 seconds. The first strike is finally thrown 75 seconds into the round, and it is a jab from the champ that is nowhere near the target. Adesanya flicks out a low kick that is also well away from hitting his mark, and these two are playing a game of trying to psyche each other out as Miragliotta implores them to work. Two minutes in, neither man has landed a single strike. Finally, Adesanya lands a low kick, and Romero acts as if nothing happened. He fires one back, and Adesanya turns about. The champ tries to fake his way in, and throws a one-two that Romero evades. The challenger blocks a head kick, and drops to his knees to mess with him. In typical Romero fashion, the first serious strike he lands, in the form of a looping left hook, hurts Adesanya for a second and makes him blink it out. Adesanya backs off and throws a low kick, and this round is about as far away from the first in the previous battle. Romero whiffs with a high kick and then a low kick, before jumping into a body kick that somehow finds its home on Adesanya’s midsection. Adesanya again goes for a low kick, and we have not likely seen more than a small number of significant strikes through five rounds as we hear the horn. The crowd is not amused.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-10
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Romero
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Romero

Round 2

The second round begins quietly and slowly like before. As Adesanya wades forward, Romero unleashed a huge left hand that cracks Adesanya, and the champ wobbles and backs away. Adesanya regains his composure and starts to chain kicks together, while staying out of the one-hitter quitter range of the challenger. Adesanya goes to the lead leg of the Cuban, and Romero changes levels to punch Adesanya in the thigh. Adesanya turns to fake with a kick, and as Romero reacts, Adesanya goes to the opposite side of the leg. Romero coils his left hand back, and Adesanya takes note and retreats. The champ spins around and tries to land a tornado kick, but is not able to do much with it. Again with a sudden explosion, Romero takes a kick and races forward with a few punches. Romero swings a few heavy punches that land, and Adesanya gets away before taking serious damage. The champ throws a high kick and Romero blocks it in time, and then throws another that Romero defends. Romero catches a low kick and tries to come over the top with a big left, and Adesanya ducks out of the way. Adesanya sinks in a heavy leg kick, and sneaks up a question mark kick that catches Romero on the top of his dome. Romero rushes in to throw a big punch, but just moves forward without actually throwing a punch. Adesanya catches him with a short left, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Romero
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Romero
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Romero

Round 3

As Romero tries to begin the round with a big left hand, Adesanya catches him on the way with a front kick to halt his movement. Adesanya wings a high kick, and Romero ducks underneath it and nearly tags him with a punch on the way out. The challenger decides it is time to throw a half-hearted rolling thunder kick, and Adesanya shoves him away as he lets Romero get back to his feet. Romero attempts to time a counter left hand when Adesanya throws a high kick, so the two settle for single leg kicks that both visibly react to. Romero slaps a loud leg kick on Adesanya’s lead leg, and the champ points at him. They both point at each other, and after some more inactivity, Adesanya throws a low kick. Romero crashes in to land a left hook, and falls over, but Adesanya does not do anything with it and walks away. The champ flips out a jab, and Romero thumps a body kick home. Adesanya fires a quick front kick to the torso that draws a reaction out of Romero, and then fires a body kick as Romero raises his arms in the air. They both swing low kicks at each other at the same time, and as Adesanya throws a left hook, Romero drops down to his knees to avoid it before springing back up. Adesanya sneaks up a front kick to the face, and circles out of danger as the crowd protests the inaction by jeering and waving their phones around. Adesanya digs to the body and then whips a head kick up quickly that skips off the side of Romero’s head. The crowd rains down boos as the two stare at one another until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya

Round 4

Miragliotta brings both men together in the beginning of the round, telling them both they need to give the judges something to score. Romero calls him on, and as the round begins, he is cheering at Adesanya and dancing at him. The champ lands a body kick, and Romero points to the ground to goad him on. Both men are dancing around and waving their arms around, and Romero lands a body kick while Adesanya sticks him with a jab. The way things are going, one single round of the Zhang-Jedrzejczyk contest will have higher strike totals than this entire slog of a main event. Romero tries to unload a bomb of a left hand, and he is a foot or two away from his mark. The challenger begins to walk Adesanya down, but “The Last Stylebender” stays on the outside and avoids anything of note. Adesanya throws a low kick, and Romero mockingly gasps at him, so the champ throws up a high kick. Adesanya pushes off when the two come together, and pokes Romero in the eye while backing away. The action pauses, and Miragliotta calls in a doctor to check on any possible damage. It might be just to buy some time, or wipe it out a little, but nothing comes of it as we start back again. Romero races forward and hits a takedown out of nowhere, and the champ springs back to his feet in an instant and circles off. Adesanya lands a body kick and stays out of the way from a counter, before throwing a low kick. Romero takes it and starts hopping in the air like a rabbit, and Miragliotta again calls for them to fight. The challenger charges in with punches and hits nothing but air, and Adesanya pops him with a jab as he avoids the onslaught coming his way. Adesanya lands another leg kick, and there is some visible damage and swelling above Romero’s knee. Adesanya commits to a huge leg kick, and the strike buckles Romero’s knee for a second. The champ misses with a high kick, and telegraphs a takedown from a mile away that Adesanya pushes off. Romero uses the moment to land a few strikes, and avoids a high kick that whizzes just past his head. This strange round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya

Round 5

The last round begins with Miragliotta imploring the two to actually fight. Adesanya throws up a high kick that is blocked, and Romero charges at him with punches and catches him at the end of one. Romero throws a low kick, but takes one that is much heavier from the champ. If this fight is to end inside the distance, it is likely because of a low kick. Adesanya targets the same leg with a kick, and Romero comes over the top with a looping left. The Nigerian-born fighter slaps at him as Romero throws a straight punch to the body, and comes forward to land a takedown but Adesanya almost ignores it. Adesanya goes after that lead leg, and we can see that it is lumped up badly as the challenger reacts from every one he absorbs. Romero swings with all his might, and he barely connects if anything, leading Adesanya to stumble backwards possibly off-balance. As Adesanya tries to jab, Romero lands a straight left and tries to channel it into a takedown. Adesanya avoids it, ducks out of the way of a punch, and runs away around the cage to get back to the center of the Octagon. Romero comes up way short on a one-two punch, and Adesanya fires up a high kick that Romero just blocks in time. The crowd is incensed at how disappointing this fight is, and both men flip each other off. Adesanya goes back to kicking the lead leg, and they come together and trade punches that both land successfully. Romero raises his arm in the air as the 10-second clapper sounds, and they both throw low-percentage strikes that do not connect in any magnitude. If there is any major takeaway from this fight, it is that we should all be glad that it is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-10 (49-48 Adesanya)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Romero (48-47 Romero)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-10 (48-48)

The Official Result

Israel Adesanya def. Yoel Romero via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
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