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411’s UFC 267 Report: Teixeira Claims Gold!

October 30, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 267 Image Credit: UFC

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 2 p.m. ET)
Champ Jan Blachowicz (205 lbs.) vs. #1 Glover Teixeira (205 lbs.) – for light heavyweight title
#3 Cory Sandhagen (135 lbs.) vs. #1 Petr Yan (135 lbs.) – for interim bantamweight title
#6 Dan Hooker (156 lbs.) vs. #5 Islam Makhachev (155.5 lbs.)
#8 Marcin Tybura (249 lbs.) vs. #5 Alexander Volkov (263 lbs.)
Khamzat Chimaev (171 lbs.) vs. #11 Li Jingliang (171 lbs.)
#7 Magomed Ankalaev (205.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Volkan Oezdemir (205.5 lbs.)

#12 Virna Jandiroba (116 lbs.) vs. #10 Amanda Ribas (115.5 lbs.)
Ricardo Ramos (146 lbs.) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (146 lbs.)
Albert Duraev (186 lbs.) vs. Roman Kopylov (186 lbs.)
Benoit Saint-Denis (171 lbs.) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.5 lbs.)
Shamil Gamzatov (206 lbs.) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (206 lbs.)
Makwan Amirkhani (146 lbs.) vs. Lerone Murphy (146 lbs.)
Andre Petroski (185.5 lbs.) vs. Hu Yaozong (186 lbs.)
Allan Nascimento (126 lbs.) vs. #15 Tagir Ulanbekov (125 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 267. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the proceedings. It’s finally here, a good card in the month of October. I’m not going to lie people, the last few weeks have been rough in terms of fight quality. All of that was in service of making UFC 267 and UFC 268 very stacked cards, so let’s all enjoy the action. Tonight we’ve got a double title fight and a couple of top lightweights, plus the return of 2020’s breakout talent in the form of Khamzat Chimaev. The main event sees light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz try for his second title defense when he takes on surging contender Glover Teixeira. Both men are older, but they’re rugged fighters with a penchant for the finish, good power and rather well rounded skill sets so we might get something entertaining out of that. The co-main event though, that’s where my attention lies. Former bantamweight champion Petr Yan takes on Cory Sandhagen with an interim bantamweight title up for grabs, champion Aljamain Sterling is on the shelf still recovering from neck surgery and Yan is looking to remind everyone that he’s the best bantamweight in the world despite Sterling winning the title via disqualification earlier this year. Sandhagen was last seen going life and death with TJ Dillashaw before dropping a controversial split decision, but with Dillashaw out due to knee injuries sustained in that fight this was the best fight that could be made. Frankly this is one of the better fights you can make in the sport, and I’m very much looking forward to those two squaring up in the cage.

Elsewhere on the card we’ve got lightweights in action as top contenders Islam Makhachev and Dan Hooker will battle things out, and while a title shot isn’t guaranteed for the winner it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility either. There’s also the return of Khamzat Chimaev when he takes on ranked opponent Li Jingliang in Chimaev’s stiffest test to date. And lastly there’s a battle of ranked light heavyweight fighters when Magomed Ankalaev looks to continue his march towards the title against former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. On the prelims there’s Ricardo Ramos battling Zubaira Tukhugov, the return of exciting light heavyweight prospect Shamil Gamzatov, Makwan Amirkhani will be back in action against the rising force of Lerone Murphy. It’s a pretty deep card all around, so let’s hope it can live up to the hype.

UFC 267 comes to the world from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On commentary we’ve got Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Paul Felder. As for the rules, the UFC is self regulating so they can use whatever set of rules they want and I’ll update this when I know for sure. My assumption is they’re using the same rules Nevada does, so they’ve adopted all the new rules except the downed fighter rule and will have the use of instant replay. Also remember we’re back in the big 30 foot Octagon instead of the 25 footer installed at the UFC Apex.

Tagir Ulanbekov is on a four fight winning streak including a successful UFC debut over a year ago, now he’s back in action and hoping to improve on his current ranking. Allan Nascimento is making his UFC debut here and hoping to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Ulanbekov is the favorite at -410 to a +310 comeback on Nascimento.

Flyweight Bout: Allan Nascimento (18-5, 126 lbs.) vs. #15 Tagir Ulanbekov (12-1, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nascimento is an inch and a half taller while Ulanbekov has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Nascimento lands a leg kick as Ulanbekov starts probing with the jab. Ulanbekov lands a few jabs, Nascimento lands a calf kick. Another calf kick from Nascimento. Ulanbekov keeps jabbing, and gets a clinch then an outside trip to land on top in half guard. Nascimento gets to full guard and lands a few elbows from his back. Ulanbekov avoids an armbar attempt, they scramble off of that motion and wind up clinched on the fence. Some knees from Ulanbekov then he gets another outside trip, though this time Nascimento is able to roll for a kneebar and come up on top. Ulanbekov grabs a guillotine, rolls into mount with it, it gets really tight but Nascimento is able to get free. Ulanbekov starts working from half guard and lands some lefts to the head. Nascimento is wrapping the head threatening the neck, he switches to a kimura attack but Ulanbekov has moved to side control then spins around looking for an armbar as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ulanbekov but could go either way

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Ulanbekov still jabbing, Nascimento is trying to counter with leg kicks. Both men land punches. Some stance switches from Ulanbekov, and he uses that to set up a double leg and he gets Nascimento to the fence. A few knees from Ulanbekov, Nascimento grabs a kimura as Ulanbekov gets a takedown into full guard. Nascimento is looking to use that grip to attack the kimura, he gets the arm extended but Ulanbekov is able to slip his arm free before Nascimento can get the angle on it. Both men land some strikes. Ulanbekov lands some body strikes. Nascimento tries a triangle choke but this one never gets close. A few elbows from Nascimento land. Ulanbekov passes to north-south, Nascimento throws up an armbar attempt and lands a couple of elbows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nascimento, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug for the last round. Nascimento lands a leg kick. Ulanbekov lands a right then gets a takedown and they scramble on the mat as Nascimento tries another armbar. Ulanbekov gets his arm free and starts working from full guard again. Some elbows from Ulanbekov as Nascimento continues trying to work his guard. Nascimento tries a triangle choke, but Ulanbekov postures through it. Ulanbekov passes to half guard and lands a few short punches. Some lefts from Ulanbekov land. Nascimento wraps the head but Ulanbekov uses that to pass again as Nascimento tries to switch to a kimura attack. A few triangle choke attempts from Nascimento but Ulanbekov defends each time and lands some more punches from the top as the round ends.

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

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

No objection to the split, the first round was the swing round and could easily have gone either way. Fun little scrap to get us going. No interview for Ulanbekov.

Hu Yaozong has gone 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win rather badly here, another loss would almost certainly spell the end of his current time with the UFC. Andre Petroski had a successful UFC debut earlier this year, now he’s trying to build his first UFC winning streak and solidify himself as a prospect of note. The odds are with Petroski at -225 to +185 for Hu.

Middleweight Bout: Andre Petroski (6-1, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Hu Yaozong (3-2, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hu is three inches taller while Petroski has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Petroski. Both men with some feinting as they circle, just getting a feel for the fight. Petroski lands a couple of lefts. Hu slips on a head kick, Petroski jumps on a mounted guillotine and starts cranking. Petroski keeps squeezing but loses the grip then moves to the back and lands punches before looking for a choke. Hu defends the choke attempt, he scrambles onto top position then they fight up to the feet. Petroski lands a few lefts, Hu just doesn’t move his head. Hu lands a leg kick but he’s eating punches. Hu lands a front kick to the body, Petroski doesn’t like that and his cardio is fading visibly. Petroski lands a body kick and a couple of more lefts but Hu keeps eating them. Hu lands a right. Petroski lands a leg kick and a left hand but he’s getting flatter and flatter on his feet. Single leg from Petroski but he can’t secure it. Hu lands a leg kick. Body kick from Hu. A Petroski left is the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Petroski, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Hu is eager to get back to things, Petroski has a bit of pep back in his step but we’ll see how long that lasts. Petroski hits a double leg, but can’t keep the position as they scramble back up. Petroski lands a left hand. Hu keeps coming forward, but gets taken down again this time into half guard. Petroski is looking to get control and recover, he lands some lefts then rolls for another guillotine and winds up on top in north-south. Hu moves to his knees, Petroski tries an anaconda choke but can’t finish it and moves to the back. Petroski tries an arm triangle choke, Hu is defending and Petroski bails on it. Elbow from Petroski then he moves to the mount and tries another arm triangle choke. Hu starts defending and rolls to his knees, Petroski with some blows from the ride position as Hu moves to his feet. A very poor grandy roll attempt from Hu, Petroski is riding him well and lands a few lefts from the ride position. Petroski jumps to the back with one hook in and starts looking for the choke. Both hooks for Petroski, then he loses them and they scramble back up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Petroski, 20-17 Petroski overall

ROUND THREE: Both men look pretty gassed as we start the last round. Hu is pushing forward again, and he defends a takedown attempt. Bit of a right from Hu. Petroski gets a double leg into half guard against the fence. Hu to his knees looking to wall walk, Petroski keeps him on the mat though and moves to mount the legs. Petroski lands rights, gets the back again with one hook in. Hu tries to scramble again, he gets up as Petroski bails on a front headlock. Hu lands a body kick, then sprawls away from a takedown though Petroski lands a couple of hard punches. Petroski tries a double leg, Hu defends and Petroski switches to a single leg and gets Hu down. Petroski into full mount with ease and lands an elbow. Elbows from Petroski as Hu shrimps to half guard. More punches and elbows from Petroski, he’s trying to set up a kimura but Hu gets his arm free. Petroski goes for another arm triangle choke, this time Hu can’t defend in time and he’s forced to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andre Petroski via Submission, arm triangle choke, at 4:46 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Petroski for his work this morning. No interview for Petroski, with 14 fights on the card if you don’t get a quick finish on the prelims you probably wont get a shot at the mic.

Here’s the finish. You can see some of the inexperience of Hu showing here, he’s got two tricks for defense and once those fail him here he has no fall back and has to tap out.

Makwan Amirkhani is just 1-3 in his last four fights and finds himself on a two fight losing streak, now he’s trying to halt that skid and get back on the winning side of things. Lerone Murphy is undefeated overall and is 2-0-1 in the UFC, he’s looking to score another significant win and possibly get a shot at some ranked opposition next. Murphy is a surprisingly heavy -280 favorite to a +225 payout on Amirkhani.

Featherweight Bout: Makwan Amirkhani (16-6, 146 lbs.) vs. Lerone Murphy (10-0-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Amirkhani is an inch taller while Murphy has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Southpaw for Amirkhani, Murphy does a fair bit of stance switching. Murphy is hanging out southpaw at the moment and is feinting Amirkhani back to the fence. Amirkhani tries a double leg, it takes a second effort but he gets it as Murphy moves to the fence. Amirkhani moves to side control, Murphy is fighting to regain his feet. Murphy is able to move to half guard, then hip escapes to full guard. Amirkhani is keeping Murphy on the mat against the fence. Murphy wall walks up with Amirkhani on his back in the clinch. Amirkhani is hitting short mat returns as Murphy can’t get free. Murphy gives up side control as they scramble. Murphy to his knees, Amirkhani starts working from the ride position. They get up along the fence, Amirkhani gets a takedown along the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Amirkhani

ROUND TWO: They circle a bit, then Murphy ENDS Amirkhani as he times a knee with a double leg attempt. Lovely timing.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lerone Murphy via KO, knee, at :14 of Round 2

Mic time for Murphy after that emphatic knockout, he says he didn’t get a good warmup in the back and it took him a bit too find things but he knew from southpaw he could time the knee as Amirkhani was coming in. He talks us through the finish and says he should get a post fight bonus from that. Asked who he’d like next he says everyone at featherweight is a killer but he’d love to fight some ranked opposition next. It might be time to give Murphy a step up in class after that one.

Watch the feet of Murphy here. He goes southpaw to induce the double leg attempt, then squares up just a bit with his feet so he can drive power with his right knee as Amirkhani ducks for the double leg.

Michal Oleksiejczuk has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, he’s coming off of a win though and will be looking to build another UFC winning streak. Shamil Gamzatov is undefeated as a professional including a win in his UFC debut back in 2019, visa issues have kept him out of action since then but now he’s back and looking to remind everyone that he’s a rising force in the light heavyweight division. The odds are fairly close but favor Gamzatov at -120 to an even +100 on Oleksiejczuk.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Shamil Gamzatov (14-0, 206 lbs.) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (15-4 1 NC, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gamzatov has two inches of height and reach over Oleksiejczuk. Southpaw for Oleksiejczuk. A lot of feinting from Oleksiejczuk early as he backs Gamzatov up. Oleksiejczuk lands a left to the body. Gamzatov lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a knee from Gamzatov as they clinch but Oleksiejczuk gets free quickly. Gamzatov lands a left hook. Oleksiejczuk lands a left that stuns Gamzatov for a second. Oleksiejczuk lands a left to the body. The pressure from Oleksiejczuk is getting to Gamzatov visibly. Gamzatov lands a couple of jabs then a right hand. Another right from Gamzatov then he lands a body shot. Oleksiejczuk keeps coming forward, and he lands a couple of lefts. Kicks from Gamzatov are blocked. Oleksiejczuk just will not take a backwards step, he lands another body shot. Gamzatov lands an uppercut. Oleksiejczuk lands a combination in close, but he eats a hard right hand for it. An Oleksiejczuk uppercut crumples Gamzatov and he pounds him out from the ride position.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Michal Oleksiejczuk via TKO, punches, at 3:31 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Oleksiejczuk for his work this morning. Gamzatov’s left eye is all busted up from that uppercut. Oleksiejczuk gets an interview with his translator, he says he feels great and is on his way to the top and wants to fight again against another tough opponent soon. He talks us through the finish then thanks his coaches and everyone for their support.

Here’s the finish. Oleksiejczuk is a good body puncher and uses those well to set up his head attacks. The timing on this uppercut is great, plus you can see Gamzatov shelling up leaves his elbows too far apart and that gives a clear path for the uppercut.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos was a top contender just a couple of years ago, but inactivity due to injuries has dogged him and now he’s 2-2 in his last four fights and hasn’t fought since July of 2020. Dos Santos is trying to return to his winning form and avoid his first UFC losing streak. Benoit Saint-Denis is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s got a golden opportunity to take out a highly respected UFC veteran and announce his arrival in a big way. Dos Santos is your -250 favorite to a +200 payout on Saint-Denis.

Welterweight Bout: Benoit Saint-Denis (8-0 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (22-7, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: The height and reach is identical between these two, but dos Santos is 9 years older. They touch gloves, southpaw for Saint-Denis. Saint-Denis lands a couple of body kicks before dos Santos fires back with a right hand. Dos Santos ducks under a head kick. They clinch up and hit the fence then break without much incident. Both men miss punches and they clinch up, dos Santos is fishing for a front choke while defending but Saint-Denis gets his head free and hits a double leg takedown. Dos Santos quickly wall walks but Saint-Denis lands a knee then a right hand as they break. Saint-Denis lands a body kick. Inside leg kick from dos Santos. Saint-Denis lands a front kick to the body, both men have settled down a bit. Another body kick from Saint-Denis. Dos Santos lands an inside leg kick, then lands a right in close and Saint-Denis shoots a double leg that hits the fence. Saint-Denis tries a single leg but dos Santos limp legs free and they trade punches before resetting. Saint-Denis lands a left in close. Dos Santos lands another inside leg kicks. Saint-Denis defends a double leg attempt. Dos Santos avoids a head kick, lands an inside leg kick then defends a takedown attempt. Both men miss power hand punches. Dos Santos lands a right hand then a body kick. They trade body kicks. A bit of a jab from dos Santos is the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos

ROUND TWO: Dos Santos goes back to the body kicks as the round begins. A right from dos Santos lands, and they trade in the pocket. They clinch up, Saint-Denis defends a takedown attempt and lands a knee before they break. A couple of dos Santos rights stagger Saint-Denis, then he lands a couple of knees but Saint-Denis just eats it. Dos Santos looks to flurry now, he knows Saint-Denis is hurt and he’s unloading with punches in close. Saint-Denis keeps swinging back, he will not back down even as he’s getting hurt. Dos Santos sprawls away from a telegraphed takedown then looks to unload along the fence. Body kick from dos Santos, then he avoids a kick and clobbers Saint-Denis with a right hand. Dos Santos looks to finish again, not sure what the ref is waiting for as dos Santos keeps landing blows on Saint-Denis. Saint-Denis keeps punching back but he’s got nothing. Dos Santos lands another body kick, this ref wants blood I guess. I mean there’s blood already, but still. More offense from dos Santos along the fence, the knees in the clinch to the body and head. This is ridiculous ref, stop the fight. They trade in close and Saint-Denis staggers dos Santos with a right hook. Saint-Denis gets a trip takedown but dos Santos wall walks immediately. Dos Santos rather easily slips free and lands another right. A few front kicks to the body from dos Santos, both men are dead tired and just walk away from each other for the last few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-8 dos Santos if not 10-7, 20-17 dos Santos overall

ROUND THREE: Saint-Denis’s corner should have stopped this between rounds. Dos Santos lands a knee to the body then a body kick and a right hand. Bit of a left form Saint-Denis, he’s still present and trying as the round begins. Saint-Denis complains of an eye poke, replay confirms the poke. It takes about a minute, Saint-Denis said he couldn’t see but still wants to fight on. This is a total clown fiesta as they restart, the ref didn’t even call in the doctor to check on Saint-Denis. Both men land body kicks. Dos Santos lands a right hook that staggers Saint-Denis, who then tries to pull half guard. Saint-Denis tries to work his guard as dos Santos lands ground and pound. Dos Santos looks to pass but Saint-Denis is able to scramble up and regain his feet. Saint-Denis lands a body kick but dos Santos counters with a leg kick. Dos Santos lands a left hook. Both men land punches in close, the dos Santos lands a knee and defends a double leg. Saint-Denis keeps after the double leg and gets countered then has to scramble upright. Dos Santos defends takedown attempts along the fence then lands knees. One of those knees strays low and we’ve got another timeout. The ref takes a point from dos Santos, which I don’t actually object to because fouls need to be treated more seriously. Dos Santos lands a body kick as they restart. Saint-Denis keeps throwing body kicks. Dos Santos lands a jumping body kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 9-9 DRAW after the point deduction, 29-26 dos Santos overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29-26 x3)

That shouldn’t have gotten out of the second round, baffling job of officiating by the ref. No interview for dos Santos.

Albert Duraev brings a nine fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he won on the Contender Series just over a month ago and now looks to extend that streak while making a good first impression on the UFC audience. Roman Kopylov suffered his first professional loss in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to rebound and get that all important first UFC win. Duraev is a rather heavy -425 favorite while a Kopylov payout sits at +310.

Middleweight Bout: Albert Duraev (14-3, 186 lbs.) vs. Roman Kopylov (8-1, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kopylov is an inch taller but the reach is identical. We get an update, the ref from the previous fight is being pulled from his other assignment tonight. Southpaw for Kopylov and they touch gloves to get us going. Duraev lands a few inside leg kicks as they circle and get a feel for each other. Kopylov lands an inside leg kick of his own. Both men keep kicking at distance. Duraev keeps flaring his elbows before he punches, there are counters to the body available if Kopylov can see them. Bit of a right from Duraev. Kopylov lands a left hand. Kopylov avoids a combination. A lot of inside leg kicks are going back and forth. Duraev lands a body kick. Jabs go back and forth, but Duraev is starting to increase his output. Duraev lands a right hand. Kopylov eats a head kick. Kopylov lands a left to the body. Bit of a left from Kopylov but he falls short trying to follow up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Duraev

ROUND TWO: Kopylov lands a right hook rather quickly and staggers Duraev. Duraev pushes forward and starts looking for a takedown against the fence. Kopylov grabs the fence to avoid a takedown, the ref halts the action and puts them back in the position for a restart. Good call by the ref, and Duraev gets a takedown and with ease passes into full mount. Duraev postures up and lands hammer fists and punches. Duraev goes for an arm triangle choke, Kopylov is defending thus far and Duraev bails on that attempt. More punches from Duraev, now elbows as well as he creeps his mount higher up and unloads. Elbows from Duraev as they’ve moved away from the fence. Duraev lands some weak hammer fists, but his elbows have more authority on them. Another attempt at the arm triangle from Duraev, but again Kopylov defends. Duraev unloads with more strikes, if his overall ground and pound was more powerful he might have stopped this already. Kopylov gives up his back trying to defend, Duraev flattens him out and moves back to mount then unloads with more punches. Kopylov keeps moving, Duraev gets under the chin with a choke attempt but Kopylov just guts out the final 5 seconds to see the round end.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Duraev, 20-17 Duraev overall

ROUND THREE: The doctor checked on Kopylov before the round started, Kopylov is cut on the bridge of the nose and badly swelling on the forehead but apparently the doctor feels he can continue. Duraev is stalking forward as the round begins. Duraev tries a double leg that hits the fence, he switches to a single leg but again Kopylov defends. Kopylov gets free, Duraev’s left eye is swollen up as well. Both men are pretty darn tired at this point. Duraev punches close and tries another double leg but again things stall on the fence. Kopylov gets free from a single leg attempt and they trade punches. Both men are wearing it. Kopylov lands a left hand. They trade power hand punches. A few jabs from Kopylov who keeps losing his mouthpiece. Duraev lands a right hand. A few jabs from Kopylov land, then a one two. Duraev lands a counter right. Bit of a left hook from Duraev. Kopylov lands a left and defends a takedown attempt then gets his own double leg. Duraev quickly wall walks but is happy to keep the clinch for the final 10 seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kopylov, 29-27 Duraev overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Albert Duraev via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27 x2)

Fire the judge who didn’t give Duraev a 10-8 second round. No interview for Duraev.

Ricardo Ramos has gone 3-1 in his last four fights, he’s coming off of a win and is hoping to build another winning streak while possibly finding his way towards ranked opposition in a stacked featherweight division. Zubaira Tukhugov was once thought to be a top prospect for the featherweight division but he’s been up against a wall lately, he’s got just one win since 2016 and he’s coming off of a loss. Tukhugov is trying to avoid his first losing streak and hopefully regain a bit of his former hype. The odds favor Tukhugov at -160 to +140 on Ramos.

Featherweight Bout: Ricardo Ramos (15-3, 146 lbs.) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (19-5-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ramos is an inch taller and has four inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Ramos misses a leg kick. They trade left hands. A left hook from Tukhugov stumbles Ramos for a second. Ramos lands a calf kick, but Tukhugov is constantly looking to counter him. Bit of a right from Tukhugov. Tukhugov keeps pressuring forward, he lands a jab then a right hand that stuns Ramos. There’s a cut now on the left side of Ramos’s face. Ramos misses a spinning elbow, his left eye is busted around the eyebrow. Tukhugov’s right eye is discolored, they’ve traded a lot of jabs so far. Tukhugov lands a right to counter a calf kick. At this point Tukhugov’s pressure is getting to Ramos a bit. They trade a few more jabs but Tukhugov is coming forward constantly. Tukhugov lands a right. Ramos lands the spinning elbow and Tukhugov is wobbled but remains upright. Tukhugov is bleeding more obviously from under his right eyebrow. Ramos misses an uppercut as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tukhugov but I’m not sure I’m correct there

ROUND TWO: Tukhugov gets right back to forward pressure and lands a couple of lefts. A right from Tukhugov lands. Ramos misses a right and takes a couple of counters. They split some jabs, Tukhugov’s hand speed is impressive. Ramos misses a combination and Tukhugov lands a right. Leg kick and a jab from Ramos, then Tukhugov lands a leg kick to counter. Tukhugov gets back to jabbing and pressuring. Ramos lands a left hook after taking a jab. One two from Ramos lands, then Tukhugov tries a single leg but Ramos defends. Tukhugov lands a couple of rights now. Ramos lands a calf kick. Tukhugov lands a couple of more jabs, if he can blend his takedowns with his punches he’ll get Ramos down. Calf kick from Tukhugov lands. Ramos keeps trying to set up another spinning elbow, this time Tukhugov isn’t biting on it. Ramos lands a calf kick, Tukhugov with a counter right. Tukhugov keeps pressuring Ramos backwards, he tries a double leg but that stalls on the fence until he can hit a back trip and get on top. Ramos quickly wall walks inot the clinch as the round ends.

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

ROUND THREE: Tukhugov pressing forward again. Ramos lands a right hand. They split a few jabs. Tukhugov lands a stiff jab. Ramos avoids a double leg and lands a knee. They trade left hooks, things are getting active. Ramos comes forward and lands a combination. Tukhugov lands a jab, then a right hand. They split rights again. Tukhugov lands a one two. Ramos lands a left hook. Tukhugov lands a jab as a counter, he’s drawing and countering rather well. Ramos misses an up elbow. Bit of a body kick from Ramos but Tukhugov is still in his face jabbing. Ramos lands a right. Tukhugov lands another jab then a left hook. Tukhugov gets the clinch on the fence and slips to the back. Some knees from Tukhugov, Ramos uses a double wristlock to break the grip around his waist as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ramos, 29-28 Tukhugov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Zubaira Tukhugov via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fun little scrap, we’ve had a lot of those so far. No interview for Tukhugov.

Amanda Ribas has gone 4-1 in the UFC but she’s coming off of her first loss since 2015, now she’s trying to defend her top ranking and avoid her first ever losing streak. Virna Jandiroba has gone 3-2 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win and is hoping to crack into the ten if she can take out Ribas here. Another close one here by the odds but they’re with Ribas at -165 while the +145 comeback on Jandiroba might be a tempting bet.

Strawweight Bout: #12 Virna Jandiroba (17-2, 116 lbs.) vs. #10 Amanda Ribas (10-2, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Ribas has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Jandiroba quickly tries a takedown, Ribas defends and avoids a clinch. A lot of stance switching from Jandiroba. Both women land rights. They tie up, both try throws from the clinch but neither connect before they separate. Jandiroba punches and tries a double leg, it takes a serious second effort but she completes it to land in full guard. Ribas tries a triangle choke, it’s in a different position more like a head scissors but Jandiroba stays patient and Ribas bails on it to retain full guard. Jandiroba moves things to the fence and they trade some small blows. Hard elbow from Jandiroba then she resumes landing body shots. We get our first “woo” of the show, thankfully no drunken primate answers the call. Things are stalling out a bit here and the ref stands them up. Jandiroba knocks Ribas down with a right hand, but Ribas pops back up before it can develop and that’ll be the last exchange of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jandiroba

ROUND TWO: Ribas misses a front kick to start the round. Ribas lands a right hand that stops the forward motion of Jandiroba. They trade rights. Spinning back kick from Ribas lands, then Jandiroba falls short on her counters. Jandiroba did not like that body attack, let’s see if Ribas starts going after the body. Ribas lands a one two. Jandiroba lands a body kick. Some jabs from Ribas, she’s backing Jandiroba up to the fence rather consistently. Ribas lands a front kick to the body. Another right from Ribas lands. Jandiroba tries a single leg, Ribas counters and gets on top but Jandiroba scrambles back up and eats a right hand as she gets free. Ribas lands a couple of rights. Another counter right from Ribas, she seems to be more dialed in this round. Ribas lands a bit of a right uppercut. Jandiroba tries a single leg, Ribas defends and forces a clinch on the fence. Ribas starts laying in knees to the body and leg as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ribas, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the final round. Ribas starts jabbing again. Jandiroba lands a bit of a right. Ribas lands a couple of rights then an inside leg kick. Ribas lands a jab. Jandiroba misses a combination and eats a counter right. Ribas has gotten stronger as the fight has gone on, she’s cut Jandiroba on the left cheek. More combination work from Ribas, she’s ending her combinations with leg kicks now and those are adding up quickly. They clinch, then break as Ribas has a right hand blocked. Ribas lands a counter right. Spinning back kick again from Ribas, and again it lands. They trade rights, then Ribas lands a combination to follow up. Jandiroba tries a takedown, Ribas defends and lands a right hand as they break. Ribas lands a left head kick that wobbles Jandiroba, she’s coming forward looking for the finish. Jandiroba puts her back on the fence and looks to return fire, Ribas got a bit too fancy looking to finish when some punches might have done the trick. Ribas lands a body kick. More jabs from Ribas, Jandiroba has just run out of ideas. Ribas lands a right. They get close and both women land punches. Jandiroba tries a double leg, Ribas defends then lands a head kick. A Ribas jab closs the round.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Amanda Ribas via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Fun little fight. Ribas gets an interview despite the short time left, she puts over Cormier, her opponent, and plays with the crowd just a bit. She says her last fight taught her a lot, and she gained confidence after Marina Rodriguez bested Mackenzie Dern.

That does it for the prelims, though we’re still on ESPN+ for the main card.

Magomed Ankalaev has gone 6-1 in the UFC and is on a six fight winning streak, he’s looking to extend that winning streak here and while he’s unlikely to get the next title shot he could secure a shot at a top ranked opponent with an impressive win. Volkan Oezdemir has gone just 2-4 in his last six fights, he was last seen in July of 2020 when Jiri Prochazka knocked him out. Oezdemir is trying to maintain relevance at the top of the division as well as avoid another losing streak. The odds are heavily with Ankalaev at -320 to a +250 payout on Oezdemir.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #7 Magomed Ankalaev (15-1, 205.5 lbs.) vs. #8 Volkan Oezdemir (17-5, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ankalaev is an inch taller while the reach is allegedly identical. They touch gloves to get us going, Ankalaev opens southpaw but does a bit of switching as he feels necessary. Oezdemir is pressuring forward but neither man doing much yet. Ankalaev misses a few punches. Ankalaev lands a jab. Oezdemir runs into a right hook. A right hook lands for Oezdemir but he gets clinched up off of a flying knee. A few short elbows from Oezdemir land but Ankalaev is getting to a body lock and working for a takedown. Both men work knees to the body then Ankalaev lands a left hook as Oezdemir pulls out of the clinch. Ankalaev lands a front kick to the body, then a one two that drops Oezdemir but Oezdemir regains his feet quickly. More jabs from Ankalaev, he’s got a feel for the range now and is starting to land consistently. Ankalaev lands another one two. Bit of a left from Ankalaev. Another counter one two from Ankalaev, he’s looking sharp thus far. Oezdemir misses a high kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ankalaev

ROUND TWO: Oezdemir tries to get back on the lead foot, going forward was the only place he had success. They punch in close and Ankalaev lands knees to the body before they break. Ankalaev lands a straight left hand. Oezdemir misses a high kick, then goes southpaw. Ankalaev lands another one two, then goes orthodox, he seems to favor open stance against Oezdemir as both men start switching. Ankalaev lands a right hook and Oezdemir is cut badly along the left eyebrow. That could be a fight stopper based on location if it’s bad enough. Oezdemir lands an inside leg kick. Ankalaev lands a front kick to the body, then a long range left hand. Another left from Ankalaev lands. The leg kicks from Oezdemir are starting to add up, Ankalaev gets a takedown and lands punches as Oezdemir wall walks into a clinch. Ankalaev lands leg kicks to the thigh while trying to set up a mat return. Elbow from Ankalaev then a left hand as they separate. They circle away the final seconds.

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

ROUND THREE: That cut on Oezdemir isn’t good, but the doctor doesn’t come in to check on it. Ankalaev is looking to keep his jab going as Oezdemir tries to find success. Body kick from Ankalaev then a high kick that’s blocked. Ankalaev with a jab then a right hook. Oezdemir tries a double leg, Ankalaev easily defends. Ankalaev avoids a few punches and lands a right hook. Oezdemir lands a leg kick but eats a counter combination. Ankalaev lands a straight left. More jabs from Ankalaev, that cut on Oezdemir is leaking again. Ankalaev lands a left hand. Body kick from Ankalaev, Oezdemir isn’t countering at all now. Ankalaev lands a right to the body then a front kick to the body. Both men land right hooks, Ankalaev is still landing better. Ankalaev tries a single leg, they hit the fence and stall out a the round ends.

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

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

I have no idea which round might have gone to Oezdemir. Mic time for Anakalaev and his translator, he expected a more exciting fight but something complicated things and he’s just happy to have a win. Asked about the future he wants a top five opponent, and has serious designs on taking the title at some point.

Li Jingliang has gone 4-1 in his last five fights, only dropping a decision to Neil Magny and stopping Santiago Ponzinibbio in his last fight. Li is looking to defend his ranking and stop the hype of one of the more celebrated rising fighters in the UFC. Khamzat Chimaev went 3-0 in 2020 and made serious waves in the UFC, but a few bad battles with Covid have kept him out of action for over year. Now Chimaev is back and looking to pick up where he left off, he could easily claim a spot in the rankings if he’s able to take out Li. Chimaev is one of the heaviest favorites on the whole card at a whopping -600 while the +435 comeback on Li might be a tempting wager if you’re the gambling type.

Welterweight Bout: Khamzat Chimaev (9-0, 171 lbs.) vs. #11 Li Jingliang (18-6, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chimaev is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Chimaev with a quick right hand then tries a double leg and he gets a mat return from the back to start working from the ride position. Li starts working to wall walk, Chimaev is keeping him on his knees but hasn’t found much offense. Chimaev lands a few lefts to the body and head. Li isn’t going all the way down but he’s struggling to build back up to his feet. More lefts from Chimaev as he starts working for the back. Just one hook for Chimaev, now both in and he’s looking for the choke as he flattens Li out. Chimaev lays in a bevy of rights, Li tries to stand but Chimaev gets under the chin with a choke attempt. Li is able to fight the grip for a bit but Chimaev adjusts his grip a few times and finally puts him to sleep.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Khamzat Chimaev via Technical Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:16 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Chimaev for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Chimaev, he plays with the crowd a bit and says he’s here to kill everyone and references putting his opponent to sleep. He warns people not to look at their phones when he fights, he’s always doing something. Asked who he wants next, he wants everyone.

Here’s the finish. Chimaev had been trying to choke with his left arm, but Li could constantly get a shoulder to the mat and make just enough space to stay in the fight. When Chimaev switched the other way though he got the shoulders of Li flat on his chest and got the proper leverage and alignment to put Li to sleep.

Alexander Volkov has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, he’s coming off of a loss to Ciryl Gane but is hoping to rebound here and remind everyone that he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. Marcin Tybura finds himself on a five fight winning streak and has finished his last two opponents, a win over Volkov would be the biggest of Tybura’s career and could get him an even bigger opportunity next. The odds are with Volkov at -310 to +245 for Tybura.

Heavyweight Bout: #8 Marcin Tybura (22-6, 249 lbs.) vs. #5 Alexander Volkov (33-9, 263 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Volkov is four inches taller and has two inches of reach advantage. Some stance switching from Tybura early. Volkov starts working combinations early, Tybura cracks him with a left hand. They trade in close, Tybura lands a calf kick. Volkov lands a front kick to the body. Bit of a right from Volkov. Another front kick to the body from Volkov. Tybura forces a clinch, they trade in close then break. Volkov lands a couple of short lefts. Tybura tries another takedown, they stall on the fence and Volkov defends. Volkov misses an elbow as they break. Tybura avoids a hook and lands a right to the body. Volkov lands a right hand. Bit of a right from Volkov, Tybura tries a takedown but Volkov smothers him and pushes him over to get on top in half guard. Volkov lands some short elbows and body shots, but Tybura is holding him close and looking to get a stand up. Volkov threatens an Ezekiel choke to break that grip and then lands an elbow. Tybura tries for a deep half guard so Volkov punches him in the face a few times. Another elbow from Volkov will be the last blow fo the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov

ROUND TWO: Both men working front kicks as the round begins. Volkov lands a left hook. Tybura tries a takedown, and eats a knee to the body for his trouble. They trade power hand punches then Volkov lands a knee. Some short uppercuts from Tybura land, but he takes a one two at range. Volkov lands a right hand, he’s coming forward a lot more now and lands a knee to the body. Tybura forces a clinch that hits the fence but Volkov breaks quickly. Another clinch from Tybura, Volkov lands a knee. Tybura tries a high crotch but can’t get it and they both land punches in close. Volkov lands a front kick to the body. Volkov has started stance switching now. Both men land body kicks. Tybura lands a left hand but takes an inside leg kick. Volkov lands a jab. They clash heads, then Volkov lands a side kick to the body. Tybura tries a double leg, that stalls on the fence again and they trade knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Volkov but could go to Tybura, 20-18 Volkov overall

ROUND THREE: Tybura keeps coming forward as the round starts. Volkov lands a knee to the body. One two from Volkov, then a straight left. Volkov defends a takedown attempt and they clinch up. A right from Volkov lands as they break the clinch. Volkov lands an uppercut. One two from Volkov, Tybura responds with a left hand then they clinch up but Volkov lands a left elbow on the break. Body kick from Volkov, then he lands a few punches in close. Tybura tries another takedown, again it stalls on the fence and Volkov gets on the back standing. Some knees from Volkov, Tybura spins into him and they trade punches as they break. Volkov lands a combination, he’s starting to find the openings reliably. Front kick to the body from Volkov then a one two. Tybura lands a left hand. Volkov lands a right as Tybura forces another clinch. Volkov lands a combination as they break. Tybura blocks a head kick. Volkov lands a right hand. Tybura lands a righ in close, then Volkov lands a body kick as the round ends.

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

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

Worst fight of the night, but if this is the worst fight all night I wont complain too much. Mic time for Volkov, he feels he’s happy just because of his newborn son and dedicates the win to his son while putting over Tybura. He knew the key to victory was defending the takedown, and once he could do that he knew he’d win.

Islam Makhachev is on an eight fight winning streak that has seen him climb the stacked ranks at lightweight, now he’s trying to extend that streak again and if he’s able to do so he’ll be in the title orbit going forward. Dan Hooker has gone 4-2 in his last six fights, but just halted a two fight losing streak when he bested Nasrat Haqparast a little over a month ago. Hooker is looking for the biggest win of his career, and if he’s able to halt the momentum of Makhachev he could find himself in the title picture sooner rather than later. Makhachev is a prohibitive favorite at -525 while the +385 payout on Hooker might tempt a few bettors.

Lightweight Bout: #6 Dan Hooker (21-10, 156 lbs.) vs. #5 Islam Makhachev (10-1, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hooker is two inches taller and has a notable four and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Makhachev fighting southpaw to start. Hooker working a jab and kicks, he’s trying to keep things long. Inside leg kick from Hooker. Makhachev lands a right and gets a double leg against the fence. Makhachev starts working out of half guard, he works to attack the far arm of Hooker but Hooker is defending so far. After a second Makhachev moves to side control with the kimura, steps over the head and cranks the arm and forces Hooker to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Islam Makhachev via Submission, kimura, at 2:25 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Makhachev for his work this afternoon. Mic time for Makhachev, he says now it’s time for him to talk after submitting the number 6 guy in the division. He’s ready for a title fight, this division is sleeping just a bit and he’s going to work them over. He talks us through the finish, he knew he could finish on the ground because his grappling is the best in the division for MMA. Asked about the future, he says everyone else above him has fought for the belt already and are just here for business, by contrast he’s coming for the belt and will keep it for a long time.

The top pressure and grappling from Makhachev is impressive, not many do something like this to Dan Hooker but he pretty much ran through him. Technically this is exceptionally well done, Makhachev is a real threat at lightweight.

Petr Yan is the former bantamweight champion, he lost that title via disqualification when he illegally kneed Aljamain Sterling back in March. Yan is looking to claim the interim title here and reinforce his claim to being the best bantamweight in the world. Cory Sandhagen is coming off of a highly contested split decision loss to TJ Dillashaw but is still regarded as one of the best bantamweights in the world, he’s looking for his first taste of UFC gold here and to make his own case as the best fighter in the world in this ridiculously deep division. The odds are with Yan to reclaim some form of UFC gold at -220 while the +180 comeback on Sandhagen is a tempting value bet.

Bantamweight Interim Title Bout: #3 Cory Sandhagen (14-3, 135 lbs.) vs. #1 Petr Yan (15-2, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sandhagen is three and a half inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men do a lot of stance switching, but open orthodox. Sandhagen starts circling and jabbing. They trade leg kicks. Sandhagen is changing stance a lot already, trying to find a look he prefers but Yan keeps kicking his legs. Sandhagen lands a left. Yan lands a jab, Sandhagen responds with a leg kick. Yan lands a looping left hand. Sandhagen lands a body shot. Body kick from Yan, Sandhagen digs the body in response. Yan falls short on a one two. Yan lands an inside leg kick but Sandhagen gets close and digs the body again. Sandhagen gets a clinch and has the back standing on the fence. Yan breaks the clinch and lands a left then they trade body shots. Another body kick from Yan. Sandhagen lands a body kick of his own. Hard leg kick from Sandhagen. Yan lands a leg kick and they trade punches. Sandhagen lands a bit of a left. Yan blocks a series of punches, then Sandhagen lands a front kick to the body. Body kick from Yan then a calf kick. Sandhagen lands an uppercut and inside leg kick. Sandhagen tries a single leg, Yan defends and lands an elbow. Another leg kick from Yan. Sandhagen with a jumping knee that’s mostly blocked, that’ll be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen but a close one

ROUND TWO: Yan resumes forward pressure, Sandhagen continues circling. Body kick from Yan. Yan lands a leg kick. Sandhagen lands a calf kick. Another body kick from Yan lands. Yan digs the body with a left. Sandhagen lands a left to the body. Yan lands another body kick, then Sandhagen avoids a right hand. Sandhagen digs the body again with his left hand, these two are killing each other to the body. Yan lands a calf kick. Another body kick from Yan lands, Sandhagen lands a counter punch. Calf kick from Yan then a left hand behind it. They trade jabs, then left hooks. Sandhagen lands an inside leg kick. Yan lands a straight left. Another straight left from Yan, Sandhagen responds with a left of his own. Sandhagen lands a left to the body, Yan responds with a combination of strikes. Uppercut from Sandhagen, Yan counters back and lands a left hook. Yan lands another body kick then a left hook to counter a leg kick. Sandhagen tries a single leg, Yan defends and works knees and elbows in the clinch before they break. Yan blocks a jumping knee. Sandhagen is moving well, just the footwork from these two is amazing. Yan lands a left hand. Sandhagen lands a calf kick, that’ll be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yan, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Sandhagen lands an inside leg kick, Yan returns it. Calf kick from yan, Sandhagen lands a counter left. Yan lands a spinning back kick to the body. Sandhagen lands a jab then a leg kick. Bit of a left from Yan. Sandhagen starts trying to keep his jab out and working, Yan digs a left to the body. Yan checks a leg kick. Bit of an uppercut from Yan, then a left hook but Sandhagen responds with a combination of his own. Both men land punches in close, but the defense of both men is outstanding as well. Sandhagen lands a jab. Yan lands a couple of hooks then avoids the counters. Sandhagen avoids a head kick. Another body kick from Yan, then a left hand. Yan lands a right hook, Sandhagen fires a body shot but Yan drops him with spinning back fist. Yan gets on top and starts dropping bombs but Sandhagen is able to scramble back to his knees. They’re against the fence, Sandhagen wall walks but Yan drags him back down and they resume scrambling. Amazing sequence as Sandhagen gets up and they separate. Yan lands a left hand. Bit of a left from Yan, then a knee as the round ends.

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

ROUND FOUR: Sandhagen back to circling, Yan is stalking forward. A few jabs from Sandhagen, Yan lands a combination. Yan avoids a jumping knee. Sandhagen lands a left hand. Yan lands a right hand. Sandhagen lands a calf kick. Bit of a left from Yan, then a strong left hook sends Sandhagen backwards. Body shot from Yan. Both men block power hand punches. Sandhagen digs the body but eats a counter left. Body kick from Yan, then a one two but Sandhagen returns fire. Yan lands a one two, he’s finding the target reliably now. Sandhagen tries a double leg, he gets it but Yan rolls for a heel hook and they scramble back up in the clinch then separate. Yan blocks another takedown attempt. Sandhagen lands an elbow, Yan responds with a left hook. Yan digs the body a couple of times in close, I don’t know what Sandhagen is made of but he’s still standing. Another combination from Yan, he’s getting Sandhagen to the fence a lot more often now. Sandhagen lands an elbow, then eats a left hand. Sandhagen digs the body but takes a hard counter combination. Yan defends a single leg and lands strikes from the ride position. They both land punches in close but Yan has more firepower and that’s showing. Sandhagen blocks a high kick. Glancing let from Yan. They feint away the final seconds of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Yan, 39-37 Yan overall

ROUND FIVE: Yan immediately gets back on offense. Sandhagen keeps circling and probing. Yan lands a left then a calf kick. Sandhagen lands a calf kick of his own. Yan blocks a jumping knee and lands a left hand. Body kick from Yan. Sandhagen lands a calf kick and avoids a left hand. Yan lands a one two. A lot of movement from Sandhagen so far, he avoids a few punches but does take a right hand. Yan lands a body kick. Sandhagen avoids a double leg but eats a left hand. Yan lands a head kick, Sandhagen just eats it. Yan lands another leg kick. Sandhagen eats a left and fires back. Sandhagen digs the body in close. Bit of a one two from Yan. Yan lands an uppercut. Sandhagen digs the body and lands a jab, Yan returns fire with a couple of punches. Yan lands a spinning bakc fist again, Sandhagen responds with a knee. Yan lands a left hand. Sandhagen eats a wheel kick, then they brawl just a bit as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Sandhagen but I’m not dying on that hill, 48-47 Yan overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW interim Bantamweight Champion – Petr Yan via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Amazing fight, no objection to Yan getting the fifth round. Mic time for Yan, he thanks everyone for their support and puts over Sandhagen as a tough opponent. He again puts over Sandhagen but knew his pressure and hand speed would get things done. He says it feels great to win the title again in Abu Dhabi. Asked about Aljamain Sterling he says Sterling isn’t the champion, he’s the real champion and will fight either Dillashaw or the clown Sterling next.

Sandhagen gets an interview too, he didn’t feel he did enough to win and puts over Yan as the better man tonight. He still wants to fight the best in the world because that makes him better, and he expects to win when he fights Yan again in the future.

Glover Teixeira celebrated his 42nd birthday just two days ago, he’s on a five fight winning streak that has earned him a second crack at the light heavyweight title. Teixiera is likely staring down his last title shot and will be looking to complete one of the more improbable career resurgences you’ll see by getting his first taste of UFC gold. Jan Blachowicz is the reigning light heavyweight champion, is currently on a five fight winning streak that includes a successful title defense earlier this year. Blachowicz is trying to secure his case as the best light heavyweight in the world, notch another successful title defense, and continue his reign as champion. Blachowicz is a solid favorite at -300 to a +235 comeback on Teixeira.

Light Heavyweight Title Bout: (c) Jan Blachowicz (28-8, 205 lbs.) vs. #1 Glover Teixeira (32-7, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Blachowicz has two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Blachowicz lands a leg kick. Teixeira starts feinting Blachowicz backwards. Blachowicz lands a jab, Teixeira ducks a hook and tries a takedown against the fence and gets it into half guard. Blachowicz quickly shrimps to full guard and closes it. Teixeira works some body punches while trying to posture up and start his passing game. Some body shots from Teixeira, Blachowicz is still trying to tie him up and stall. Teixeira tries a can opener to force the guard open but Blachowicz gets his head free and he eats a few punches. Teixeira lands a few short elbows and body shots. Another can opener from Teixeira then he lands an elbow. Teixeira is just working body to head striking drills while Blachowicz has conceded the round. Another can opener from Teixeira, Blachowicz doesn’t like it but there’s short time and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Teixeira

ROUND TWO: Both men circling again as the round begins. Blachowicz keeps trying to work his jab, Teixeira punches him back to the fence. Single leg from Teixeira but Blachowicz limp legs free. Bit of aleft from Blachowicz. Blachowicz lands a few punches in close as he circles off of the fence. They split jabs. Teixeira digs the body then gets a clinch on the fence. Blachowicz spins Teixeira to the fence then separates. Teixeira keeps coming forward, but Blachowicz blocks another takedown attempt. Teixeira lands a left hook that rocks Blachowicz. More forward pressure from Teixeira, they trade in close then Teixeira gets an ankle pick against the fence and moves to half guard. Teixeira lands punches and passes to full mount with 2 minutes left. Blachowicz gives up the back, Teixeira grabs the choke and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW Light Heavyweight Champion – Glover Teixeira via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:02 Round 2

Incredible feel good moment for the 42 year old Teixeira. Mic time for Teixeira, he says he’s been working 20 years for this and has no words to describe this moment. He’s just grateful and jokes about being a 42 year old champion. He’s the second oldest UFC champion in history, he says he loves this and doesn’t plan on going anywhere. When talking us through the finish he puts over Blachowicz as a great champion who beat everyone to get here. He thanks his family, his gym, and is happy to come home with the belt. Asked about his first challenger he expects Jiri Prochazka and would like to fight him in May as he expects to need a few months off. To close he tells everyone not to give up on your dreams, keep going forward and believe in yourself.

Blachowicz gets an interview as well, he says everything went wrong tonight and jokes he left the Polish power in his hotel room. This isn’t the end though, he’ll be back for sure.

Well on that note UFC 267 comes to a close. We suffered through a few weeks of mediocre cards so this one could sing from start to finish. We’ll break down all the results tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, plus look ahead to next week when UFC 268 comes to the world with another very stacked card. I’ll be back next week for that event, and I hope you will too. Until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 267, Robert Winfree