UFC head to Dublin, Ireland once again with the highly awaited return of rising star Conor McGregor making his third Octagon appearance against TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao, who replaced Cole Miller on just a few weeks’ notice. In the co-main event, top welterweight prospect Gunnar Nelson looks to go 4-0 in the UFC with a win over Zak Cummings, who is coming off an impressive victory over Yan Cabral in his last outing.
Elsewhere on the card, flyweight contenders Brad Pickett and Ian McCall battle for relevance in the 125lbs division, with both fighters potentially being just a win away from a rematch with Demetrious Johnson for the title. Kicking off the main card will be a bout between TUF Smashes winner Norman Parke welcoming Japanese lightweight Naoyuki Kotani.
The preliminary card sees the likes of Neil Seery, Cathal Pendred and Patrick Holohan fight in front of their home fans.
Here is a play-by-play for the full event.
Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao
Diego Brandao looked in great shape at the weigh-ins, but he has a tough test in Conor McGregor in front of him. The crowd are going to go insane as McGregor makes his third UFC appearance after ACL surgery.
I can’t describe the atmosphere in Dublin. It’s like no other.
Round 1 – Spinning back kick from Brandao. Brandao attempts a head kick and another. McGregor with a spinning kick and lands a straight. Both opening up with kicks in the early going. Brandao going in for a takedown but it’s defended well. The Brazilian has him against the cage. McGregor turns it around and some short shots from him. Knee to the body from Brandao, who reverses. McGregor reverses the takedown of Brandao and ends up in full guard! Great work there. He’s posturing up but instead gets to his feet. He’s stacking him now and going into side control. Upkicks from Brandao there, and he’s working on the leg. McGregor escapes and he’s once again stacking him, none of his shots landing too cleanly. He has the arm pinned now. Half guard for McGregor, and some short elbows. Brandao does a good job of pushing him off but he’s met with a shot by McGregor. A body shot then jab from McGregor. And another jab. Spinning kick lands! Big shots from McGregor as Brandao comes in with the hooks. A 1-2 from McGregor and he drops Brandao! He follows up with some big shots and that’s it! Brilliant performance by Conor McGregor, who comes back from a major injury and has all of the pressure on him.
Result: McGregor via TKO (punches) at 4:05 in first round.
McGregor with a statement and improves to 3-0. A huge win and a dominant one in that, and you can expect big things from this man. Ricardo Lamas or Dustin Poirier would make a lot of sense. Better yet, Chan Sung-Jung.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Zak Cummings
The unbeaten Nelson meets Cummings, who has won four straight. Nelson is 3-0 in the UFC, with Cummings 2-0. This should be a great welterweight contest. A black belt in karate and BJJ, Nelson is dangerous wherever the fight goes, but can Cummings’ grinding style prove difficult for the Iceland native?
Nelson gets a great reception from the Irish fans.
Round 1 – Nelson with the karate style, he lands a right and Cummings counters with a left. Now they’re in the clinch and Cummings lands a short knee, but Nelson getting double underhooks and controlling the American. A nice knee lands form Nelson, then a big right hook on the exit. Nelson trying to land that straight right and having some success, dodging Cummings’ counters. The crowd getting behind Nelson here. Cummings unable to land, Nelson is doing a great job of coming in-and-out. Body kick from Nelson lands. Nelson lands a right. Cummings gets the clinch and has the back of Nelson, he’s holding on to an arm triangle but Nelson reverses the position and they exit. Body kick from Cummings. Body kick from Cummings but recognised by Nelson, who attempts a head kick. Cummings’ combinations are predictable and ineffective so far. Cummings attempts a leaping knee but unable to land it. Overhand right by Nelson, and they clinch again. 30 seconds left in the round. They exit the clinch. A big combination by Cummings there, but Nelson unfazed and lands a couple of shots of his own. A tentative round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Nelson.
Round 2 – Another tentative start, Nelson lands a straight but Cummings counters and more clinch work from the fighters. Short shots by Cummings on the inside land. Knee from Cummings lands. This really isn’t the sort of fight I was hoping for. 90 seconds gone and it’s been a very poor second round. Leg kicks landing from Cummings, but a straight right from Nelson works well. Half the round remains, and there is really little to report. A lot of feints and feelers from both fighters. Nelson’s dodging the attacks of Cummings and lands a nice straight. Perhaps the pressure has got to Nelson. A leg kick lands for Cummings. Back elbow just misses by Cummings. Neither fighter looks good so far. Straight right by Nelson. Nelson now working drags Cummings to the ground with the front head lock and has the back! That was quick! Both hooks in and 40 seconds left in the round. Short shots by Nelson, and he’s going for the rear naked. He may have it. And Cummings taps! It was a strange start to the fight but Nelson shows why he is such a prospect with a big win over a tough Zak Cummings.
Result: Nelson via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:48 in second round.
Brad Pickett vs. Ian McCall
This has all the makings of Fight of the Night, and the winner of this contest could fight the winner of the upcoming Johnson-Cariaso title bout. Pickett looking for his second flyweight win, with #3 ranked McCall hoping to get his second UFC win.
Round 1 – Pickett taking the centre, McCall bobbing up and down and circling his opponent. Nice inside leg kick from McCall, who avoids the counters of Pickett. Another nice leg kick, and once again avoids Pickett’s counter. A nice 1-2 from McCall, who then lands a couple of knees as Pickett is trying to shoot in for the takedown. An accidentally blow to the groin of McCall, just as Pickett was about to get a double leg. They resume. McCall’s leg kicks are doing a great job. A big exchange there, then McCall goes in for a takedown before landing a couple of knees to the body inside the clinch. Pickett reverses the position and lands short knees to the thigh. They separate. Left hook then a right from McCall. Short left, and another from McCall. The speed advantage is very apparent there. Both guys attempting a huge haymaker there. McCall lands the straight left and keeping Pickett guessing. Another nice left. McCall looks great here. He’s in-and-out before Pickett can respond. Pickett gets the clinch but McCall reverses, lands a short combination and exits. A lovely uppercut from McCall there. Pickett having a hard time dealing with the speed of McCall. Nice combination from McCall, who once again avoids a big combination from Pickett. They both land big shots. Another straight left sneaks through for McCall. Pickett goes in for a big overhand left but McCall ducks out of the way. A great round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 McCall.
Round 2 – Pickett once again throwing at air. McCall with a nice sneaky right. Pickett lands a body shot but leaves himself open to the takedown of McCall. Straight back up though. Pickett misses a hook, but he’s still pushing forward. McCall with another trip and he’s now in the full mount! This is big! Pickett tries to explode but he left his arm open there. McCall instead sticking with the top game and now in the half guard of the Brit. Pickett explodes and gets to his feet, good job there. Combination from McCall lands, and Pickett’s responses are missing. McCall once again with the straight left. This must be frustrating for Pickett. Another stuffed takedown by McCall, and again. But a big overhand right by Pickett seemed to land. McCall now dropping for the takedown but unable to finish it. Pickett with a body-head combination. Body kick from McCall lands, then another. Pickett catches it and goes in for the takedown but unable to complete it. Kick to the cup of Pickett breaks the action. They’re back at it, Pickett misses both of his hook attempts and then McCall stuffs the takedown. Body shots by McCall but nice left hook lands for Pickett. Jab from McCall lands. And another couple of short shots as Pickett’s takedown attempt is stuffed. Pickett missed a huge left hook. McCall with another jab. McCall is doing a great job of landing on the exit of Pickett’s failed takedown attempts. The takedowns stuffed by McCall are adding up here. McCall slips after a spinning back fist attempt, but Pickett’s subsequent takedown is once again unsuccessful. The American should be two up heading into the third.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 McCall (20-18 McCall).
Round 3 – Left kick lands for McCall, and Pickett’s takedown attempt is once again unsuccessful. Pickett now winging his shots and McCall recognising them with ease, avoiding all of his strikes. More in-and-out movement from McCall, and Pickett having a hard time finding his range. McCall ducks the hook and lands a body shot. Body kick from Uncle Creepy. Lovely combination from McCall, mixing it up well. Pickett comes in with a shot but it doesn’t land flush, but he’s now trying to work on a takedown – McCall stuffs it and lands a couple of knees in the clinch. This is taxing on the gas tank of Pickett. Big left-right from McCall. Pickett lands but McCall’s counters also land. Trip from Pickett lands but McCall springs back up. This is a close round so far with 2 minutes left, and both fighters need to turn it up. Body kick once again for McCall. Lovely combination lands for Uncle Creepy. A huge double leg from McCall lands and he’s on top now with 90 seconds left in the third and final round. Half guard for McCall. This is big. McCall with some short shots, and he passes to side control before proceeding into mount. Great job. Pickett gets back into half guard but McCall is making a statement here in the third. Pickett is exhausted and he’s eating short shots from McCall. 20 seconds. McCall trying to get mount but unable to, but what a tremendous performance from Uncle Creepy. Pickett works his way up and they both land as the horn blows.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 McCall (30-27 McCall).
Result: McCall via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Great performance from Uncle Creepy, who now earns a place amongst the elite at flyweight. A move back up to bantamweight would make sense for Pickett, as he looked slow in this weight class.
McCall calls out Johnson once again, but says he’ll fight anyone on his path.
Norman Parke vs. Naoyuki Kotani
TUF Smashes winner Parke looking to stay undefeated in the UFC, while Kotani is looking to spoil the party in his Octagon return.
Round 1 – Parke takes the centre, with Kotani circling away. Kotani seems very nervous. He lands a couple of body shots then tries to get a takedown but easily defended, and Parke gets the clinch before separating. Body kick from Parke. He dodges the punch of Kotani and lands a leg kick. Kotani with a nice left but struggled with the takedown. Parke tags Kotani coming in, and once again the Japanese lightweight is unable to get the fight to the mat. Parke has him in the clinch against the cage, lands a couple of short shots but not staying too active there. A short elbow from Parke on the exit. Kotani with a combination then a body kick. Another poor shot in for the takedown, though. Parke once again reversing the clinch before separating. Flying knee from Parke just misses. Then a head kick. And another. Neither landing flush. Parke is the aggressor, and lands a body kick but Kotani catches it. He fails to capitalise though. Parke with the knees then an uppercut on the exit from the clinch. Kotani struggling to mount any offence. Parke with a disguised left, but it grazes Kotani. Kotani lands a short left before entering the clinch, a nice knee then a couple of shots from Parke on the exit. He’s doing a great job on the exit from the clinch, and Kotani goes in for a takedown once again but a deep stuff from Parke, who ends up on top with the back of the Japanese fighter. This will make a big impression on the judges. Short elbows from Parke, and he’s overwhelming Kotani so far. Huge shots at the end of the round!
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Parke.
Round 2 – A groin kick halts the action momentarily. Kotani having a hard time finding the range. Overhand right by Parke, who then shrugs off the takedown and doesn’t follow Kotani into his guard. Parke once again gets the clinch, and gets a big slam on his opponent, getting side control from the get-go. Kotani trying to stay active but it’s all Parke. Short elbows once again from the Northern Ireland native. Parke is overwhelming Kotani, and keeping busy with them short elbows. Kotani trying to escape but can only regain half-guard. Them elbows are brutal, and he’s tagging Kotani with every attempt. Kotani with the ankle lock attempt but Parke escapes before any trouble. They’re up and Parke has him against the cage. He trips him again, and Kotani is giving up his back now, in the turtle position. Short elbows from Parke, and some big shots. This could be it. Mark Goddard steps in and it’s a fourth UFC win for Norman Parke! Parke jumps out of the Octagon but he’s quickly dragged back in.
Result: Parke via TKO (punches) at 3:41 in second round.
Parke calls out Diego Sanchez, calls him a punk, and says he has won around £5k through betting on himself. Great post-fight interview, and a great performance all around.
Ilir Latifi vs. Chris Dempsey
Latifi comes out to the Rocky theme, which receives a big response from the crowd. He’s looking for a second UFC win against the Octagon debutant.
Round 1 – Latifi utilising a jab from the early going, and Dempsey with a bad takedown attempt. Latifi with a body shot. Stiff left. Latifi with a big leg kick, and he’s having his way with Dempsey so far. Big leg kick buckles the leg of Dempsey. Another low kick. Dempsey trying to get a choke, but to no avail. Nice short right by Dempsey. The low kick of Latifi is landing flush. More short shots by the Swede. Huge leg kick drops Dempsey, and he follows up with some big shots as Dempsey gets back up and finishes the fight! Big victory for the Swede!
Result: Latifi via TKO (leg kick & punches) at 2:07 in first round.
Destruction from Latifi, who hands Dempsey a defeat in his UFC debut. Latifi is now 2-1 inside the Octagon and looks like an absolute beast.
He lifts Dan Hardy above his head during the post-fight interview, that was hilarious!
Neil Seery vs. Phil Harris
Seery making his second Octagon appearance after losing a short notice bout against Brad Pickett, and he meets Phil Harris in front of his home crowd. Harris has lost three in four, though his last was overturned, but beat Seery in their first fight back in 2010.
Round 1 – Seery takes the centre, with Harris circling the cage. Harris with a overhand right then shoots in for the takedown, but Seery does a good job defensively. Harris struggling to get Seery to the ground, but has the clinch with over-under. Seery does a good job of landing a knee before escaping. Same again from Harris, and once again unsuccessful. Seery escapes the clinch. Harris with a faked shot. And again. But Seery isn’t staying too active with 3 minutes left in the first. Overhand right by Seery! He drops Harris! That was a huge shot. He follows him up, lands a couple and then forces Harris to stand. Seery pushing forward now and lands a few big rights again. Harris is wobbly and backing away. Nice jab by Harris. Big left by Seery, and he’s really getting the crowd going. Big right by Seery, but Harris counters with a nice left. Another nice counter by Harris. They’re swinging away! Harris with another failed takedown. Jab by Harris. Seery with a big left-right combination then reverses Harris’ takedown attempt to end up on top. He makes Harris stand up once again. Harris shoots in again and Seery just shoves him off. A big right staggers Harris. Seery has some serious power. Harris is missing almost everything. Liver kick from Seery. All Seery in the first.
Cooper scores round 1 10-8 Seery.
Round 2 – Seery again stuffs the takedown of Harris, who is becoming very predictable now. Harris gets caught coming in and ends up on the bottom, Seery once again deciding to stand and land some leg kicks to his grounded opponent. Harris on the back-foot, and eats another big left. Harris finally gets a takedown. But Seery is sat up and will look to wall walk now. Harris trying to keep him down and drags him down once again but Seery hits the switch. Harris trying to work another takedown but Seery gets back up and lands a right. Good scramble there. Big uppercut by Harris, but the counter of Seery landed hard. Huge combination from Seery. Harris with a nice left there. Harris with some more success now, but the takedowns still aren’t there. Nice short left lands for Harris, and he avoids the counter. He landed a nice combination on Seery again. A single leg from Seery there, then a hammerfist before standing up and landing more leg kicks, which the crowd are going crazy about. The crowd is just amazing. This is like a football crowd. They’re back to their feet. Seery once again goes in for the takedown and he gets it right at the end of the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Seery (20-17 Seery).
Round 3 – Harris needs a finish desperately. He lands a groin kick which halts the action. They resume. Leg kick by Seery, well disguised. Head kick from Harris, but easily checked. Harris lands a short shot but his takedown misses. Seery misses the overhand right, but he’s backing Harris up. Another failed takedown from the Englishman. The crowd is the best thing about this third round. Two minutes in and very little action. Stiff left by Seery. Harris once again unable to secure a takedown. Seery attempts one of his own and fails. He staggered Harris with that combination. Stiff jab. Nice uppercut from Seery as Harris comes in with a failed takedown attempt. They each land a left. Jabs are landing now for Harris, and Seery had a cut under his right eye. But a big overhand from Seery. 1 minute left in the third. The least active of the fight, but Seery doing more than enough. He defends the takedown and Harris eats more leg kicks as he’s in the guard. He gets up. Jab then an overhand right by Seery, he has Harris staggered. He’s on the ground now and Seery lands a couple of short shots. A leaping left there. Big shots at the horn and it was all Neil Seery.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Seery (30-26 Seery).
Result: Seery via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Complete dominance by Seery in front of his home fans, and a solid performance from the Irishman. Phil Harris will likely be cut now.
Cathal Pendred vs. Mike King
An insane atmosphere as one of the biggest draws of the card, Cathal Pendred, makes his UFC debut against Mike King.
Round 1 – Pendred pushes forward and misses two shots, with King getting a big takedown. Pendred quickly gets to his feet, but King hits a big leg kick to drop Pendred. He’s up again but needs to stay composed. They’re in the clinch momentarily. King dodges the right but fails the takedown. King pushes forward and lands a big right, then a knee to the body. Pendred now working on a takedown, and now has King’s back in the clinch. He gets King to the ground and has side control. Now the back. King trying to spin out, but he works his way up instead. King with a short right. Body kick by King, who then fails with another takedown. He lands a huge right that drops Pendred, some big follow-up shots and he has Pendred hurt. More short shots but Pendred somehow surviving. Huge shots now from King. He’s in side control and landing short, heavy blows. Mount now. This is bad news for Cathal Pendred. The crowd trying to encourage him. Now King has the back and has the rear naked choke! How is Pendred surviving? He’s flattened him out and is landing some short shots. Mount again. King is unloading. King now working on the arm of Pendred. It’s deep. Pendred is on top now! He escapes! Insane! They’re up and King misses a head kick. The crowd are going insane. King gets the clinch, but Pendred reverses. Somehow, Cathal survives the round, but he looks wobbly.
Cooper scores round 1 10-8 King.
Round 2 – Pendred taking the middle, and lands a right. Another right. Uppercut lands from Pendred. King is already breathing through his mouth. Pendred misses that lead uppercut, but he’s doing a good job of dodging King’s attacks. A nice left there, but eats one of King’s in return. Body kick from King, but Pendred replies with a takedown attempt, King giving up his back and Pendred lifting him and dropping him to the ground. King explodes and now gets the single leg. Good job. Pendred works his way up but is met with a head kick. Pendred with a jab then dodges the return of King. Head kick by King. And an uppercut. Pendred with the body kick. Neither fighter landing anything too significant, and they’re both fatigued. Pendred working on a takedown and he drags King to the mat, now getting the back. One hook in. Now both! He’s got the rear naked! King is out! What a crazy fight! Absolutely brilliant resilience from Cathal Pendred, who wins his UFC debut.
Result: Pendred via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:33 in second round.
A simply incredible comeback in one of my favourite fights of the year so far. The atmosphere from this crowd is simply indescribable.
Tor Troeng vs. Trevor Smith
Tor is considered one of the best European middleweights, and he faces a tough test in Trevor Smith here. Troeng makes his first appearance since a Fight of the Night performance against Rafael Natal, with Smith losing to Thales Leites in his last outing. ‘Hot Sauce’ has lost four of his last six, including a 1-2 record in the UFC, making this fight vital for him.
Round 1 – Smith with a couple of leg kicks, then an attempt at the takedown but Troeng showing good defence. He now has Smith against the cage and lands some nice short shots. A nice knee by Troeng, who is controlling Smith so far. Smith is really struggling in this clinch, Troeng showing his strength and imposing his will. Smith escapes and lands a couple of shots on the exit. Troeng gets the clinch again, and has Smith against the fence once more, using double underhooks to control him. Short shots from Troeng land. A trip attempt is defended by Smith, and they separate. Smith with a very laboured overhand right which misses by some margin. Troeng lands a couple of big shots which seemed to buckle Smith. And again. Smith’s leg kick is caught and Troeng throws him to the canvas, on top of Smith and has the arm pinned. Smith escapes and lands a knee in the clinch, with Troeng against the cage. Troeng reverses the position. They’re exchanging knees to the body. This fight certainly lacks the excitement of the previous two. Troeng with a nice teep. They each land. A nice uppercut by Troeng as Smith comes in, then an uppercut by the American.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Troeng.
Round 2 – A stiff right by Smith lands. Troeng with some big shoots then a lovely entry into the double leg, which he completes. Smith sitting up though, but Troeng could have full mount. He does. Very well done by the Swede. Smith trying to explode but Troeng has his left arm pinned. Smith does scramble, very good job, but Troeng could get the back. But no! Great sweep by Smith, who ends up in side control now. Short shots by Smith to the head of Troeng, but he regains guard now. Smith trying to land ground and pound but good defensive job by Troeng thusfar. Smith advances to half guard. Smith now landing short shots, but not keeping too active. Smith lands a number of blows to the back of the head, and two warnings from the ref there. Full guard regained by Troeng. Both are looking very tired with two minutes remaining in the round. Troeng sits up and scoots to the fence, now trying to wall walk. Smith has the legs pinned, and lands another couple of short shots. Troeng works his way up, but Smith still trying to impose his will in the clinch. Troeng reverses now. They separate. Troeng with a nice combination as he pushes forward. Smith is the slower of the two now, his leg kick was very laboured. Troeng goes in for the takedown, which Smith reverses then jumps into guard with the guillotine. Troeng is defending well and doesn’t look like he’s in too much trouble. Smith is going to be very tired in the third now, as Troeng survives the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Smith (19-19).
Round 3 – Low kick from Smith. Troeng gets the clinch, and attempts a trip but it’s stuffed. Then a takedown attempt and stuffed once again. Good job by Smith, who then gets Troeng against the fence and works on a single leg, but now the Hammer shows great takedown defence. He reverses the position into his favour and now has Smith’s back! But Smith reverses and gets the guard. Great scramble. Half guard now. It’s wide open and Smith could advance to side control if he wishes. Short shots from Smith are landing, especially the elbows. He’s overwhelming Troeng now, after looking the more tired of the two in the later stages of the second round. He’s pinning Troeng’s left arm, and may be working on the americana. He’s now trying to work on an arm triangle it seems. He’s got side control now. I think he’s too tired to submit him now though. Troeng now gives up his back. Short shots from Smith. But he lets him up. A great lift by Smith and he has the guard now, Troeng looking deflated. 90 seconds left in the fight and it’s all Trevor Smith in the third. More short blows, nothing significant but they’re scoring. Half guard. Smith trying to work on the neck with a modified guillotine and forced him to give up his back now. 45 seconds left now and Troeng looks too exhausted to do anything. Smith with knees to the body, he’s really exhausting the Swede. Short shots from Smith. Troeng explodes but Smith ends the round in half guard, once again working on the neck of Troeng. Good performance by Smith.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Smith (29-28 Smith).
Result: Smith via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Good performance by Trevor Smith, and he really needed that. He’s now 2-2 in the Octagon, while Troeng is now 1-2.
Cody Donovan vs. Nikita Krylov
After that insane first fight, this one has something to live up to. Krylov is 1-2 inside the UFC and lost his light heavyweight debut against Ovince St. Preux, while Donovan has the same UFC record, but has lost two straight. The loser may get cut, making this a must-win for both of these 205-ers. Krylov is just 22, with Donovan being 11 years his senior.
Round 1 – Donovan with a stiff jab, taking the centre. Krylov with a lot of movement, and he eats a left hook. Head kick by Krylov, followed by an uppercut and he backs Donovan against the fence. Krylov has him in the clinch, but Donovan reverses the position. Trip attempt ends with Krylov on top, but Donovan works on an armbar, it looks deep and Krylov is grimacing. Krylov escapes somehow, but Donovan ends up on top in half guard. A lovely reversal by Krylov, and some short shots. Knees in the clinch, but Donovan responds with uppercuts. They separate. Great start. They’re both swinging with haymakers. Lovely takedown from Donovan. Donovan decides to stand up. Left head kick then a punch by Krylov. Some nice uppercuts from the clinch by Krylov, Donovan covering up now. Just as he’s getting momentum, he hits Donovan with an accidental groin shot and there is a halt to the action. Krylov with a nice low kick, and to the head. Nice knees and uppercuts by Krylov. He’s hurting Donovan, who is struggling to land. Big right by Krylov, but Donovan responds with a lovely combination and drops the 22 year old! He’s in half guard now. Krylov was lacsidasical there, and paid for it. Donovan in mount. Now the back! Both hooks in. He may have the rear naked. Krylov explodes and is now in the guard, peppering the head of Donovan. Both seem very tired, and Donovan gives up his back. No hooks in but Krylov landing big shots. He’s got both hooks now and Donovan isn’t protecting himself! Nice short shots by Krylov as the round is ending and Mark Goddard steps in to stop the contest! Great fight.
Result: Krylov via TKO (punches) at 4:57 in first round.
Very fun fight. Krylov improves to 2-2 in the UFC, and at just 22 years of age, he could become quite solid with some improvement. Donovan put in a valiant effort, but I’d be surprised if he sticks around.
Patrick Holohan vs. Josh Sampo
The Irishman Holohan meets prospect Sampo, who has gone 1-1 in the UFC. Holohan is making his UFC debut in front of his home crowd in this flyweight bout.
Crazy atmosphere for the first fight of the evening.
Round 1 – Holohan circling around from the get-go, firing leg kicks and looking fired up. Big right by Sampo lands. Sampo goes in for the takedown, then lands a shot. A nice right from Sampo. Holohan leaving himself open. Big uppercut by Holohan drops Sampo! He follows up with some ground and pound. Short elbows. He’s in half guard now and Sampo doing his best to recover. The crowd are going crazy, chanting ‘Paddy.’ Holohan keeping composed and not letting the crowd get to him, though he is giving the Grelim time to recover. Holohan makes a mistake and Sampo is now working an armbar! That is deep. But Holohan escapes and gets the back! Crazy scramble. He has the choke. It’s tight! Body triangle and Sampo taps! Wow that was an insane scramble and the crowd are going insane! Great first fight of the evening.
Result: Holohan via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:06 in first round.
A great debut by Holohan, who was surprisingly composed despite the amazing atmosphere of his home fans. He submitted a tough guy in Josh Sampo, and did so after almost getting armbarred.