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411’s UFC 222 Report 3.03.18

March 4, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Cris Cyborg Justino UFC UFC 222

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 222. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. UFC 222 is something of an unfortunate card, the original main event was to be Frankie Edgar taking on Max Holloway for Holloway’s featherweight title but Holloway got injured. The co-main at that time was Struve vs. Arlovski, so the UFC scrambled to save the card and found a new title fight where women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino defends her belt against promotional newcomer Yana Kunitskaya. Edgar remains on the card, now in the co-main event taking on Brian Ortega with the winner being the clear cut number on contender for the title.

UFC 222 comes to the world from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA with the trio of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on commentary. As for the rules well Nevada has not adopted the new rules so anything besides the soles of your feet on the mat means you’re considered downed and the language around scoring is needlessly nebulous but we do have the use of instant replay, it’s limited to fight ending sequences and once invoked the fight cannot be restarted.

Jordan Johnson is undefeated including being 2-0 in the UFC, if he can extend that winning streak here he could find himself challenging for a top ranking soon given the talent starved nature of the division. Adam Milstead is making his light heavyweight debut here after suffering a knee injury in his prior fight up at heavyweight, he’s trying to make an immediate impact in a division sorely in need of up and coming talent. The odds are with Johnson at -230 against +180 for Milstead.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jordan Johnson (8-0, 206 lbs.) vs. Adam Milstead (8-1 1 NC, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Milstead is an inch taller while Johnson has three inches of reach on him. A bit of circling to start, slight left hook from Johnson. Leg kick from Johnson and Milstead swings a left to the body in response. Milstead has the quicker hands, and lands a bit of an overhand right. Ugh, the “woo’s” are here already. I really hate that, it actively detracts from the viewing experience. Milstead lands a couple of rights as Johnson landed a left, the hand speed differential is troubling Johnson. Johnson tries a double leg but once they hit the fence Milstead is able to spin and disengage. Milstead lands a right. There’s another takedown attempt from Johnson, he can’t finish the single leg but he’s got a body lock now and is looking for a trip. A few kicks to the calf from Johnson and they trade some foot stomps while jockeying for position. Milstead lands an elbow in close and Johnson is backing up out of the clinch. Right uppercut from Milstead lands but Johnson is able to push into the clinch. The round comes to a close while they fight in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Milstead

ROUND TWO: Milstead comes out flashing the jab, Johnson lands a jab of his own. There’s a right to the body from Johnson, he’s still looping those punches a bit too much. A couple of clubbing rights from Johnson and he gets the clinch, now he’s got Milstead on the fence. Johnson lands a few rights to the body and thigh, some impressive control now from Johnson. Single leg attempt from Johnson, can’t finish it and settles for more short rights to the body and head. Milstead lands a couple of rights. The ref separates them, I don’t agree with that as Johnson was still working and Milstead was gesturing for the break. Johnson quickly gets a body lock takedown and drives Milstead into the fence, Milstead is up to a knee and Johnson holds a body lock for control. Milstead is back up now but is still on the fence. More short rights from Johnson to the body and head, Milstead is fishing for a guillotine now but Johnson quickly gets his head free and resumes working. The ref breaks them again, again I disagree with the separation. Bit of a jab from Johnson then a leg kick. They stare away the final few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. There’s a bit of an exchange of hooks. Leg kick from Johnson but Milstead lands a counter right that forces a shot from Johnson. This time when they hit the fence Milstead spins free but he’s holding his head a bit as he does so. Glancing right from Milstead, he’s cut around the right eyelid but it doesn’t look bad. Johnson lands a lunging left hook then pushes Milstead into the fence. They break without incident and Johnson is starting to jab now at distance. A few lefts are traded, Milstead is bleeding from the bridge of his nose as well now. Single leg attempt from Johnson, he gets Milstead on the fence and trips him down, Milstead immediately looking to wall walk but Johnson smothers him. Milstead is on his knees now but Johnson is controlling him and landing short punches. There’s a successful wall walk from Milstead but Johnson has him pinned on the fence. Milstead swings a few rights to the head but Johnson is still controlling him. High single leg attempt from Johnson, Milstead retains his balance but gets punched, they break and swing wild as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson, 29-28 Johnson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jordan Johnson via split decision (27-30, 29-28 x2)

Wait, some moron gave Milstead all three rounds? We’re in for a long one folks, you could argue Milstead won 1 and 3 but I can’t see an argument for him winning the second at all. Johnson on the mic, says Milstead’s wrestling surprises him but he felt he out worked him. Asked about the decision, he says it’s scary and felt Milstead didn’t win a single round.

Bryan Caraway is on a two fight winning streak and is 4-1 overall in his last five fights, but he hasn’t fought since May of 2016. Caraway is trying to reaffirm his spot near the top of the division here and potentially get a top five opponent next. Cody Stamann is on a nine fight winning streak including being 2-0 in the UFC, if he can knock off a ranked contender here he could easily find an official number next to his name going forward. The odds lean towards Caraway at -130 to Stamann’s +100

Bantamweight Bout: #7 Bryan Caraway (21-7, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Cody Stamann (16-1, 135.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Caraway is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Both men come out feinting, looking to get a read on each other. Stamann avoids a single leg attempt, Caraway tries again and they wind up on the fence. Good takedown defense from Stamann so far, they trade a few knees to the body and Caraway dives for another double leg that goes no where then Stamann lands a right as they break. Leg kick from Stamann and he eats a bit of a counter. Another takedown attempt from Caraway that winds up on the fence. There’s a few lefts from Caraway, Stamann lands a couple of knees then blocks a double leg and they brawl a bit before breaking. Clubbing right from Stamann lands to counter an uppercut, then another right. Stiff jab from Caraway but he eats a counter body kick. Single leg from Caraway lands and he moves to half guard immediately. It takes a bit but Caraway moves to side control and he’s after a no arm triangle choke. It’s just a control position but Caraway is holding this position, he goes for a kimura but the round ends before anything comes of it.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Caraway

ROUND TWO: They both show the lead hand to start the round, Stamann lands a left hook. Stamann lands a right and avoids a jab. A right lands for Stamann, he blocks a double leg attempt as well. Caraway lands a right and they start posturing. Leg kick from Stamann. There’s an exchange of rights and Stamann avoids another takedown attempt. Stamann is landing some leg kicks, they trade in close and Stamann is starting to force the brawl. Solid right lands for Stamann. Stamann lands a couple of jabs, the left eye of Caraway is red and swelling. A few missed takedowns from Caraway and Stamann lands a knee. They wind up clinched on the fence again, a few knees are traded. Caraway is trying for a single leg, Stamann blocks that and separates. Stamann avoids another takedown and lands a solid three punch combination. Another failed takedown attempt and Stamann lands a knee, Caraway dives back in and they stall on the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stamann, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Commentary tells me Adelaide Byrd is one of the judges for this fight and I die inside a little. Caraway is showing leg kicks, Stamann lands a left hook. Bit of a right from Stamann, and another one wobbles Caraway. They trade rights but Caraway is fading a bit. Stiff jab from Stamann and a leg kick behind it. Another leg kick from Stamann. Bit of a left from Stamann lands, then a right to the body. Stamann avoids a takedown attempt, Caraway sticks with it and they hit the fence. Caraway tries a single leg, Stamann blocks it and lands a knee to the body before they break. Bit of a right from Caraway lands, then Stamann avoids another poor single leg attempt. Hard right lands for Stamann. Stamann lands a solid leg kick and they’re trading some jabs. Yet another failed takedown attempt from Caraway and Stamann lands knees as they break. A bit of a brawl breaks out and they both land rights before Stamann avoids a few takedown attempts. They clinch up on the fence, Stamann lands knees to the body. They both throw hands in the clinch then Stamann lands a right. Some brawling, Caraway dives on a guillotine as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stamann, 29-28 Stamann overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Cody Stamann via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

No issues with 29-28 Caraway, he could have stolen the third with that late flurry. Stamann on the mic now, he says he knew he lost the first round and felt he won the second and the first four minutes of the third and feels he’s proved he belongs in the UFC. He talks a bit about the pace of the fight and needing to improve his cardio as he goes forward.

Mike Pyle is just 1-4 in his last five fights and he’s been knocked out in his prior two fights, he’s trying to avoid a three fight losing streak and likely keep his spot on the roster. Zak Ottow has gone 2-2 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss to Li Jingliang, he’s trying to avoid the first losing streak of his career by getting back on the winning side of things. Ottow is the -315 favorite against +245 for Pyle.

Welterweight Bout: Zak Ottow (15-5, 171 lbs.) vs. Mike Pyle (27-13-1, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pyle is eleven years older, he’s also got an inch of height and two of reach on Ottow. Touch of gloves to get us going. Ottow does a lot of stance switching, he lands a right to the head then one to the body. Front kick to the body from Pyle. Both men still getting a feel for each other, Ottow is swinging a little wide and Pyle is keeping his defense high to account for it. Leg kick from Otow. Pyle avoids a rush from Ottow. Another leg kick from Ottow then a right that drops Pyle, Pyle covers up but Ottow gets on top and lands some offense. Pyle tries to recover but Ottow keeps swarming him until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Zak Ottow via TKO, punches, at 2:34 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ottow for his work this evening. Ottow on the mic now, he says it feels good to fight like a barbarian again and puts over Pyle who had announced this would be his last fight. He talks us through the finish to close his interview.

We get a couple of words from Pyle, who’s very emotional as his career comes to an end. He says he loved every bit of his career before choking up and Rogan puts him over before he walks out of the cage.

Here’s the finish, just a clean right hand lead that Pyle didn’t avoid and with his chin being kind of shot it was all over but the shouting.

That’s it for Fight Pass, on to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the prelims.

CB Dollaway just snapped a three fight losing streak when he moved up to light heavyweight, now back at middleweight he’s trying to get his first win in that weight class since 2014. Hector Lombard is on a four fight winning streak and hasn’t officially won a fight since 2014, a loss here would almost certainly spell the end of his UFC run. The odds wound up closing as a -115 pick ’em.

Middleweight Bout: C.B. Dollaway (16-8, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Hector Lombard (34-8-1 2 NC, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dollaway is five inches taller and has five inches of reach on Lombard. Lombard fighting southpaw, Dollaway misses a high kick. There’s a few leg kicks from Lombard, both guys still getting a feel for each other. Body kick lands for Dollaway. Another body kick from Dollaway, Lombard lands a solid inside leg kick. Dollaway lands a jab. Lombard catches a body kick and lands a left but eats a counter right. Ugh, the “woo’s” from the crowd are killing me. Another body kick from Dollaway lands. Lots of circling from Dollaway, this fight is progressing at a glacial pace. Bit of a blitz from Lombard is mostly blocked. There’s a couple of more inside and outside leg kicks from Lombard. Stabbing jab from Dollaway lands but he eats a counter hook. Right to the body from Dollaway, then a body kick will be the last blow of the round. Oh wait, Lombard lands a left after the body kick, very questionable as to the legality of that punch as the round had ended. Need to hear a replay.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dollaway as that knockdown was after the round

ROUND TWO: Replay on that ending, the punch was after the bell and the ref hadn’t stepped between them but had called a verbal time. Dollaway was out after that punch, the fight is over but the question is the decision being a No Contest or a disqualification.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – CB Dollaway via Disqualification, late punch, at 5:00 of Round 1

Dollaway has to be helped from the cage, he’s really shook up from that punch and they’re carting him out of the arena and was almost certainly concussed. No issues with the decision there, and oh for the love of. The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Dollaway for his work this evening. I’m not going to comment on that decision by them.

Here’s the finish, so decide for yourself if you agree with the DQ. I’m becoming less sure about it, the ref ends the round not the bell and that combination was in motion before the ref called time. No issues again, but there’s a lack of consistency here.

John Dodson has traded wins and losses while going 2-2 since returning to bantamweight, he’s coming off of a loss to top contender Marlon Moraes and is looking to rebound with a win here and assert himself at the top of the division. Pedro Munhoz is on a four fight winning streak, in fact his only losses in the UFC are to top contenders Raphael Assuncao and Jimmie Rivera, if he can get another win here over a fellow top ten bantamweight he could find himself in the title picture sooner rather than later. The odds lean towards Dodson at -155 against +125 for Munhoz.

Bantamweight Bout: #8 John Dodson (19-9, 134.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Pedro Munhoz (15-2 1 NC, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Munhoz is three inches taller while the reach edge goes to Dodson by an inch. Dodson fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Munhoz blocks a left, and lands a bit of a body kick. Left to the body from Dodson. Dodsson checks a leg kick then has a combination blocked. Left to the body then a right from Dodson land. Another left to the body from Dodson. Dodson is doing a good job of finding an angle to attack from then blitzing with two or three punches as Munhoz tries to adjust. Knee from Munhoz lands, Dodson lands another left hook to the body. Dodson is catching the body kick of Munhoz pretty reliably, he lands a left then eats a counter from Munhoz. Stepping knee from Dodson lands to the body, the angles and footwork from Dodson are troubling Munhoz. Munhoz lands a body kick but gets tripped down, Dodson lets him back up though. Inside leg kicks are traded. Bit of a left from Dodson, every time Munohz commits his weight Dodson is angling and countering. Knee to the body from Dodson, and he misses a straight left as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dodson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Quick left from Dodson lands, he lands an inside leg kick then a left behind it as he broke Munhoz’s posture. The speed difference is very evident as is the technical striking disparity. Dodson angles and digs a left to the body. Dodson catches a body kick and lands a couple of counters. Another left to the body from Dodson, the way he angles and lands that is really nice. Munhoz lands a body kick. They both land power hand punches in close, Dodson is bleeding from the nose but he lands a left uppercut. Dodson is always angling to his right, Munhoz is starting to throw his left hook to deal with it. Knee to the body from Dodson. Solid right from Munhoz, Dodson is backing up. Quick left from Dodson lands. Head kick from Munhoz, he’s still just coming forward and he’s starting to find the target with his offense. Body to head from Dodson but he takes a front kick to the groin, that was a bad one and we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay confirms the low blow, Dodson was jumping at the time so there’s no point, and the round ends basically on the restart.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dodson, 20-18 Dodson overall

ROUND THREE: Munhoz comes out swinging and lands a right, he’s pressuring forward immediately and we get a bit of brawling. We get another time out as Dodson complained of a groin shot, replay shows that it landed as a glancing groin shot. We get a quick restart as Dodson wants to get back to fighting. Hard knee to the body from Dodson, Munhoz lands a left but eats a left in exchange. Munhoz is still coming forward, Dodson lands a left to the body. Another exchange of lefts. Jab from Munhoz lands but he eats three straight lefts from Dodson to counter. Another double left shot from Dodson. There’s an exchange of power hands and Dodson angles away from Munhoz. Right lands for Munhoz. Bit of a jumping knee from Munhoz. Body kick from Dodson and they trade punches. Munhoz catches a kick and gets a double leg against the fence, Dodson immediately looking to wall walk as he sits on the fence. Dodson is on a knee, Munhoz trying to keep him down. Some knees to the thigh from Munhoz, then they brawl on the feet for the final ten seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dodson, 30-27 Dodson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – John Dodson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Dodson on the mic now, pretty good fight overall. Rogan asks about his right hand being injured because he didn’t throw it much, he denies injury and then puts over Munhoz as a forward moving guy who hit him a fair amount. Asked who or what is next he says anyone who’ll get him closer to the title and tells everyone ranked above him to stop saying no.

Beneil Dariush was to fight Bobby Green here before Green got injured. Dariush is coming off of a draw with Evan Dunham, he’s in danger of losing his ranking here given how competitive lightweight is and really needs a win to avoid that happening. Alexander Hernandez took this fight on short notice, but has a six fight winning streak going on and is looking to score a significant upset over a ranked opponent and announce himself as a player in the division. Dariush is a significant -400 favorite against +300 for Hernandez.

Lightweight Bout: #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1, 156 lbs.) vs. Alexander Hernandez (8-1, 155 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dariush is an inch taller while they have identical reaches. There’s a false touch of gloves from Hernandez and they start kicking at each other. Dariush fighting southpaw, lands a body kick and a left behind it. Hernandez is doing some stance switching, he lands a hard left punch that ENDS Dariush.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alexander Hernandez via KO, punch, at :42 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Hernandez for his work this evening. Big win for Hernandez, short notice fight and he stomped a ranked opponent. He’s on the mic now, he says he’ll take any opportunity and plans on leaving a big violent legacy in the UFC. He says the rank of his opponent doesn’t matter, he trains harder than the elite and he’s not here just to be in the UFC but he’s here to take the belt.

Here’s the finish, just superior hand speed from Hernandez and Dariush didn’t get out of the way in time and instead kind of ducked into the punch.

Ashley Yoder has gone 0-2 in the UFC, she’s trying to get the all important first UFC win under her belt. Mackenzie Dern is undefeated and is one of the more hyped prospects in the division, she’s trying to remain perfect while showcasing her skills to a wider audience. Another mismatch according to the odds, Dern is the -450 favorite to a +325 payout on Yoder.

Strawweight Bout: Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 116 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (5-3, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yoder is three inches taller and has six and a half inches of reach on Dern. Yoder fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves to get us going. Leg kick from Dern, they trade punches and clinch up where they trade knees to the body. Dern lands a knee to the head, then body, and is looking to get this to the mat. They break without incident. Inside leg kick from Yoder. Body kick from Yoder and she avoids a counter right. Some sloppy brawling and Dern gets the clinch again. Elbow from Dern in the clinch. Yoder is able to pull free and lands a front kick to the body. Another exchange of punches and they’re clinched. Dern drops for a double leg, she moves to the back standing as Yoder avoids the takedown. Yoder is able to push free and separate. Inside leg kick from Yoder. Bit of a right from Dern and Yoder lands a counter left. Yoder lands a left as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dern

ROUND TWO: There’s a touch of gloves for the second round. Body kick from Dern, Yoder lands a left. Another left from Yoder, at distance Yoder is clearly the better striker. Dern lands an inside leg kick and punches into the clinch. They trade some knees to the body, Dern struggling to drop for a real takedown here. The ref separates them after they stall out. Yoder lands a counter left that drops Dern, she’s back up quickly but she got tagged. They trade inside leg kicks. Body kick from Yoder and she avoids a counter right. Another counter left from Yoder. Dern’s lack of head movement is a real problem, she’s always there to be hit and her takedown game isn’t strong. Right lands for Dern, Yoder lands to the body. Yoder is bleeding around the right eye, they trade some more punches. Double leg attempt from Dern, blocked by Yoder and they end the round clinched.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yoder, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Inside leg kick from Dern. Left lands for Yoder. Dern lands a hard right and is after a takedown against the fence. Knees to the body from Dern but she can’t complete the takedown. Elbow from Dern, Yoder returns it and we get a left from Yoder as well. Yoder gets the clinch now and we’re back to trading knees to the body. Dern can’t get the takedown and they break. Dern lands a right. Bit of a head kick from Yoder and a left. They trade lefts, Dern lands an inside leg kick as well. Single leg from Dern works this time and she’s got Yoder down, moves to the back almost immediately but only has one hook in right now. Both hooks in now and Dern lands punches while setting up the choke. Dern has the choke now, she’s squeezing as Yoder tries to hand fight, she tries really hard to break the grip and finally does but Dern is after it again. Dern bails on the choke and lands hammer fists as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dern, 29-28 Dern overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mackenzie Dern via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Adelaide Byrd was the dissenting score, the moron. Dern on the mic now and puts over Yoder as a tough opponent who came out going for the win. She says there wasn’t a lot of pressure but fighting a southpaw as different and threw her off a bit but she can’t wait for the next fight. Asked about not getting the choke she was surprised Yoder defended the choke as well as she did, references trying to get some cage time and looking for late submissions.

That’s it for prelims, we’re on PPV for the main card now. We open the PPV with a tribute to UFC producer Bruce Connal, who had produced every UFC PPV since the 90’s, who passed away a few days ago. Joe Rogan is visibly emotional as the PPV opens and the commentary team briefly pays tribute to him as well.

Cat Zingano is on a two fight losing streak and hasn’t fought since July of 2016, she’s trying to get on the winning side of things again and possibly get another shot at the bantamweight title. Ketlen Vieira is undefeated including three wins in the UFC, she’s trying to move up the rankings here and insert herself into the title picture. Vieira is the favorite at -205 against +175 for Zingano.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: #5 Ketlen Vieira (9-0, 136 lbs.) vs. #6 Cat Zingano (9-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Vieira is two inches taller but the reach is identical. Feinting from both women, Vieira lands a bit of a right hand. Zingano lands a right and they clinch, Vieira lands a knee to the body then an elbow as they break. They trade rights, Zingano looks really awkward striking so far. Vieira lands a left after avoiding a couple of punches. They clinch up, Zingano lands a knee to the body then Vieira pulls free. Inside leg kick from Zingano but she eats a couple of counters. Body lock and trip from Zingano but she can’t get top position and Vieira gets free immediately. Right from Vieira lands, Zingano lands a body kick. There’s a right from Zingano but she eats a counter left. A few sloppy punches are traded and they clinch up, Vieira lands a right as they break. Another clinch, Zingano lands a knee to the body and they both miss elbows on the break. Another knee from Zingano as they clinch, this time Vieira returns it and gets an outside trip takedown into top position. Vieira moves towards mount, she’s not up on the abdomen but she has the legs mounted at the moment. Vieira lands a few punches while looking to advance her position. Full mount for a second before Zingano gets half guard, and the round ends in that position.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira

ROUND TWO: A couple of body kicks from Zingano start the second round. Vieira lands a hip toss throw into full mount and starts landing punches. Zingano moves to a hip but Vieira is settling into the position as she does so. Vieira locks up an arm triangle choke, she’s methodically trying to tighten things up, Zingano gets her head free and Vieira stands then comes back to the mat. Quick pass to half guard from Vieira, she’s trying to set up the pass to side control as well now. Zingano lands an elbow as Vieira lands a punch. Vieira stands and looks to reset the position, then moves into the guard of Zingano. They trade some elbows. Vieira moves to half guard, Zingano is trying to get a kimura grip but Vieira is hiding the arm. Left lands for Vieira, and another. Vieira stands, Zingano lands a body kick then tries to get up, Vieira grabs a front headlock as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Vieira given how one sided it was, 20-17 Vieira overall

ROUND THREE: Head kick from Zingano lands and they start trading punches. Vieiera checks a leg kick and Zingano’s leg is suddenly shot, Vieira gets a takedown off of it as Zingano hopped on one leg. Zingano is able to keep full guard, Vieira stands and lands a few leg kicks before moving to side control. Half guard now as Zingano was able to get some kind of defensive posture. Vieira lands a few lefts, then stands again. Before Zingano can get up Vieira moves back to the mat and has half guard again. Vieira lands a few lefts, Zingano lands an elbow. Another stand up from Vieira but Zingano picks the ankle as she does and gets the clinch, she lands knees and elbows before Vieira is able to spin her into the fence and slow the pace. A series of knees to the body from Zingano, Vieira is stalling for time here. The ref separates them, I’m OK with that one, and we’re at distance. Zingano lands a bit of a right, she’s matching forward throwing kicks and trying to win. Vieira circling, Zingano lands a body kick and they clinch up. Vieira eats some hard knees to the body and head as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Vieira, 30-26 Vieira overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ketlen Vieira via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

That baffles me, can’t fathom scoring that fight for Zingano even if you wanted to give her the third as a steal. Vieira on the mic now, she puts over Zingano as a though opponent and expresses confidence in her training and preparation. She closes by saying she wants the belt next, says she took this fight with a busted rib and has been on anti-inflammatory medication all week.

Stefan Struve is coming off of a loss to Alexander Volkov, he’s trying to get back on the winning side of things and show he still has something to offer the division and the UFC. Andrei Arlovski just broke a five fight losing streak with a horrible fight against Junior Albini, he’s trying to get his first winning streak since 2015 up and running and avoid further talk of retirement. Given the recent record of Arlovski it should be no surprise that Struve is the -190 favorite to a +150 comeback on Arlovski.

Heavyweight Bout: #12 Andrei Arlovski (26-15 1 NC, 247.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Stefan Struve (28-9, 266 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Struve is nine inches taller and has seven and a half inches of reach on Arlovski. There’s a touch of gloves to get things going. Both men feinting early and throwing inside leg kicks. High kick from Struve is blocked, Arlovski lands a calf kick. They both miss rights. Leg kick from Struve lands. Hard overhand right from Arlovski lands. Body shot from Arlovski and they clinch up then he hits a trip to land in half guard. Arlovski decides he doesn’t want to play in the guard and stands up then makes Struve join him. They trade leg kicks. Struve is pushing forward and starting to throw, Arlovski gets a clinch and a body lock takedown into the guard of Struve, then stands out of the guard as Struve starts to get wrist control. The ref makes Struve stand back up as Arlovski was posturing over him. Knee to the body from Struve, they clinch again but this time Arlovski can’t get the takedown and they wind up jockeying for position on the cage. Quick foot sweep from Arlovski and he lands body shots as Struve landed on his knees.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski

ROUND TWO: Struve comes out and misses a right. Bit of a right lands for Arlovski. Struve has a high kick blocked. Another clinch, body lock from Arlovski and we hit the fence in the clinch. Arlovski gets a takedown into the guard of Struve. Struve tries for a sweep, he’s got a leg lock opportunity but it’s a straight ankle lock and Arlovski guts through it. Struve adjust towards a heel hook, then decides to get on top against the fence. Ride position for Struve and he lands lefts to the head, Arlovski explodes to his feet but Struve has his back while they’re clinched. Struve tries to climb onto the back but he can’t get it and Arlovski spins into him and has a body lock. A few positional changes, knee tap from Arlovski but he can’t get on top before Struve is back up. Another body lock from Arlovski but he stalls out and the ref separates them. Verbal complaint from Arlovski about an eye poke and we’ve got time for him to recover. Replay confirms the eye poke. Arlovski is good to continue and we’re fighting again. A few leg kicks go back and forth. They both miss punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Struve, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: There’s a touch of gloves for the final round. Solid leg kick from Struve. Calf kick from Arlovski, Struve lands a leg kick of his own. Straight right lands for Struve. Struve lands a body kick. Arlovski lands a calf kick. There’s another clinch from Arlovski that hits the fence. Arlovski fails on a takedown and pokes Struve in the eye so we’ve got another break in the action. Replay shows a bit of an eye rake from Arlovski, and the doctor is in to check on Struve as he complains of white in front of his left eye. The doctor says Struve can continue, and he wants to so we restart. A few kicks land for Struve to the leg and body. Overhand right lands for Arlovski. Struve digs another leg kick then a body kick. Arlovski punches into the clinch, tries a trip but can’t get it. Struve tries a leg sweep but Arlovski reverses this one and lands in side control against the fence. Struve is back up, and they break. We get a wild flurry from Struve, Arlovski locks up another clinch to stall out the final ten seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arlovski, 29-28 Arlovski overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

That sucked. Mic time for Arlovski, he says he still has passion for the sport and wants to keep learning new things. He wants to get the title back and considers this a first step on the path.

Sean O’Malley is undefeated and had a successful UFC debut, the promotion has gotten behind him pretty heavily and he’s trying to justify that with another win here. Andre Soukhamthath just scored his first UFC win after two hotly contested split decisions didn’t go his way, he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak going here. Because of the promotional hype the odds lean towards O’Malley at -135 against +105 for Soukhamthath.

Bantamweight Bout: Sean O’Malley (9-0, 136 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (12-5, 135.25 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: O’Malley is two inches taller and has two inches of reach on Soukhamthath. Both men come out feinting, O’Malley does a lot of stance switching. Soukhamthath is circling, O’Malley flashing offense. Leg kick from O’Malley. Bit of a front kick to the body from O’Malley then lands a leg kick. Right from Soukhamthath lands. Soukhamthath lands a leg kick and he avoids a wheel kick. O’Malley really fighting long so far. Leg kick from O’Malley, something is up with Soukhamthath’s left leg. Body kick from O’Malley lands. Soukhamthath ducks into a head kick but just eats it. Another front kick to the body from O’Malley then he misses a high kick. Left to the body from Soukhamthath. O’Malley lands a body kick. Solid right lands for O’Malley and Soukhamthat drops for a second, he’s back up and blocks the follow up offense. Left to the body from O’Malley, then a glancing high kick, he lands a knee as well just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 O’Malley, might be 10-8

ROUND TWO: Soukhamthath comes out going forward, they trade rights. O’Malley is circling away, lands a bit of a right then Soukhamthath lands a leg kick. Straight left lands for O’Malley. Soukhamthath gets a double leg into the guard of O’Malley after taking a couple of punches but O’Malley quickly throws up a triangle choke. O’Malley is trying to tighten the choke up, and landing some elbows as he does so. O’Malley switches to an armbar but Soukhamthath pulls free and is in side control now. Knees to the body from Soukhamthath before O’Malley moves to half guard. O’Malley looking to wall walk, Soukhamthath keeping him flat. There’s a guilltoine attempt from O’Malley and he tries an illegal knee after a scramble but because he only hit the arms the ref lets it go. O’Malley in side control now and moves towards mount, tries for a rear naked choke as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 O’Malley, 20-18 O’Malley overall

ROUND THREE: And Comcast craps out on me as the third round is about to start. Sorry guys. I get my feed back at about the 3:30 mark, and O’Malley is landing with impunity at distance. There’s a kick from O’Malley but his leg wobbles and he’s backing up now. Leg kick from Soukhamthath on the injured leg and he gets a single leg takedown into the butterfly guard of O’Malley. Lefts from Soukhamthath and he moves to side control. Mounted crucifix attempt from Soukhamthath, O’Malley gets to his seat though and now to a knee looking to wall walk. He’s back up but they’re clinched and Soukhamthath lands a right. O’Malley can’t put weight on his right foot, he’s literally hopping as Soukhamthath takes him down again. Side control from Soukhamthath, O’Malley able to regain his feet and lands an elbow but Soukhamthath gets another takedown into half guard. I can’t believe Soukhamthath is letting O’Malley off fof the hook like this, the man can’t stand on one leg. Rights land for Soukhamthath but O’Malley just rides out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Soukhamthath, 29-28 O’Malley overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean O’Malley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

O’Malley can’t even stand, his right foot or ankle is likely broken. He’s still flat on his back as the decision is read and Rogan comes over to interview him. He says he can’t feel his right foot and is in a lot of pain but still pimps his after party, he’s going to the hospital not the bar guys. He thanks everyone who came out to watch to close his interview.

Frankie Edgar is one of the premier fighters of this generation, he’s a former lightweight champion and his only losses since dropping to featherweight have been to Jose Aldo. Edgar is trying to secure his next featherweight title shot here. Brian Ortega is undefeated and has finished all of his UFC opponents, if he can take out the respected Edgar here he’ll have guaranteed himself a shot at the title going forward. The odds are with Edgar at -160 to a +130 comeback on Ortega.

Featherweight Bout: #2 Frankie Edgar (22-5-1, 146 lbs.) vs. #3 Brian Ortega (13-0 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ortega is two inches taller and has an inch of reach on Edgar. Touch of gloves to get us going, Ortega fighting southpaw. Inside leg kick from Edgar, Ortega doing some stance switching now. Leg kick from Edgar, he’s trying to mitigate the reach issue. Bit of a right from Edgar, he’s coming forward applying pressure to Ortega. Ortega lands a jab. Overhand right from Edgar lands. Both men throwing jabs, Edgar lands a right. The big difference is volume, Edgar is throwing three or four punches in every combination to just one r two from Ortega. Bit of a left hook from Edgar, he’s getting a read on the jab of Ortega and is firing a combination to counter. High kick from Ortega is blocked. Counter right lands for Edgar. Leg kick from Ortega, Edgar catches it but has to bail quickly when Ortega grabs his neck and threatens with a front choke. Left to the body from Ortega then a left elbow that stuns Edgar, and a high kick. Edgar is hurt and Ortega is teeing off, he drops him with an uppercut and it’s over!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brian Ortega via KO, punches, at 4:44 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Ortega for his work this evening. That finishing sequence was incredibly impressive, Ortega’s finishing instincts are incredible. Interview time for Ortega, he thanks God first and foremost then says the win feels great and he’s visualized this moment a lot and talks about being afraid to be knocked out but using that fear to motivate him. He puts over Edgar and gets the crowd to cheer for him. He talks us through the finish and talks about having to use elbows because of his length when guys get in close. Asked about what’s next he puts over his charitable foundation rather than call anyone out, though one has to imagine a date with Max Holloway is coming soon.

Here’s the uppercut that ended things, no replay on the elbow that Edgar ran into that set the whole thing up but man that’s a great uppercut.

Cris “Cyborg” Justino hasn’t lost in over a decade, she’s going for her second featherweight title defense here and looking to remain the most dominant female force in the sport. Yana Kunitskaya is the former Invicta bantamweight champion and is coming off of winning that title, she’s looking to score one of the biggest upsets in MMA history here by taking out Justino. The odds are almost comically in favor of Justino at -1600 while those who like playing long shots have to be tempted by the +800 payout on Kunitskaya.

women’s Featherweight Title Bout: (c) Cris “Cyborg” Justino (19-1 1 NC, 144.75 lbs.) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (10-3 1 NC, 144 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Justino is two inches taller while Kunitskaya has half an inch of reach on her. Come circling to start, both women looking for an angle. Justino lands a hard right, Kunitskaya covers up then hits a low ankle pick and is on top of Justino in open space. Kunitskaya moves to the back, she’s got one hook in, but Justino stands and peels her off and they wind up in the clinch. Some positional jockeying in the clinch and a few knees are traded. Hard knees from Justino but Kunitskaya is keeping her pinned. Single leg attempt from Kunitskaya, Justino defending so far. Hard knee from Justino then a right as they break. Right from Justino drops Kunitskaya, she lands a bit as Kunitskaya regains her feet. Right to the body from Justino, she’s got Kunitskaya on the fence and is looking for her shot. Another right from Justino drops Kunitskaya again, Justino follows down this time and reigns down rights until the ref saves Kunitskaya from more abuse.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion – Cris “Cyborg” Justino via TKO,
punches, at 3:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Justino for her work this evening. Justino on the mic now, she thanks the fans for coming out and God. She mentions she went old school with her training recently and was ready on short notice for this fight. Asked who’s next she say’s she’ll wait for Amanda Nunes as Nunes has been calling her out and when you call out Cyborg you have to handle it.

OK everyone, that wraps up UFC 222. Thank you all for being here, I’ve got a rare week off next Saturday and have no idea what I’ll do with the freedom. We’ll be breaking down this event Sunday at 8pm eastern time on the 411 Ground and Pound Radio Show, hopefully the technical issues wont return and this time it goes through. I’ll be back on March 17th for Fight Night 127 exclusively on Fight Pass, I hope you’ll join me. Until next time thank you all for being here, stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.