UFC Combat Island outcomes — Fabricio Werdum, Khamzat Chimaev make statements

One of many biggest MMA heavyweights of all time may need departed from the UFC with fairly the bang.

Fabricio Werdum, the legendary heavyweight floor artist and former UFC champ, completed Alexander Gustafsson by armbar submission at 2:30 of the primary spherical Saturday on the primary card of UFC Combat Night time: Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Until on Abu Dhabi’s Combat Island. It was Werdum’s first win in three years — and it got here on the ultimate battle of his UFC contract.

Gustafsson was coming back from retirement and transferring as much as heavyweight for one more run. That was the story coming into the bout. Werdum, the outdated lion, would have none of it. He wrote his personal chapter.

Werdum shot for a takedown early, which Gustafsson stuffed. However maybe Gustafsson obtained a bit grasping, going for hammerfists on Werdum when Werdum nonetheless had a maintain of his leg. A scramble was initiated and Werdum ended up on Gustafsson’s again. Werdum, the very best grappler in MMA heavyweight historical past, rapidly transitioned to Gustafsson’s arm. Gustafsson fought for a bit, clasping onto his left hand along with his proper, however Werdum gave the left arm a yank and Gustafsson had no alternative however to faucet.

“This was essential,” Werdum stated. “I have been ready for this.”

Werdum stated main as much as the bout that this doubtlessly may very well be his closing UFC battle. His supervisor Ali Abdelaziz confirmed with ESPN on Saturday that this was the ultimate battle on his UFC contract. However he may need simply earned himself one other stable contract with this victory.

Afterward, the normally jovial Werdum was very emotional. There was a sure finality to the second.

“I am very glad,” he stated. “I am virtually crying.”

Werdum (24-9-1) had not received a UFC battle since he beat Marcin Tybura on Nov. 19 2017. The Brazil native, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, was out from March 2018 till Might of this 12 months on account of a USADA doping suspension. Werdum, 42, returned in a dropping effort in opposition to Aleksei Oleinik by break up determination on Might 9.

Werdum held the UFC heavyweight title in 2015 and 2016 after submitting Cain Velasquez. He additionally ended Fedor Emelianenko’s 10-year undefeated streak in 2010 through submission beneath the Strikeforce banner.

Gustafsson (18-7) has misplaced three in a row. The Sweden native fought his complete UFC profession at mild heavyweight previous to this, combating for the title there 3 times in dropping efforts. Gustafsson, 33, has not received a battle since Might 2017.

— Raimondi

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Combat in progress:

Middleweight: Robert Whittaker (21-5, 11-Three UFC, -125) vs. Darren Until (18-2-1, 6-2-1 UFC, +105)


Mild heavyweight: Mauricio Rua (27-11-1, 12-8-1 UFC) defeats Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (23-10, 6-7 UFC) by break up determination

Recap to return.

Strawweight: Carla Esparza (18-6, 8-Four UFC) defeats Marina Rodriguez (12-1-2, 3-1-2 UFC) by break up determination



Carla Esparza takes down Marina Rodriguez simply over midway into Spherical Three as each contenders look to be within the operating for a title shot.

Esparza was relentless in taking the battle to the place she wanted it to be, and though she absorbed injury alongside the way in which, the previous strawweight champion’s persistence paid off as she dealt Rodriguez her first profession defeat.

Esparza, who defeated Rose Namajunas within the Season 20 finale of “The Final Fighter” to change into the UFC’s inaugural 115-pound champ, has at all times relied upon her wrestling, even on the threat of getting hit alongside the way in which. And that was the case on this battle. She took down the 33-year-old Brazilian inside the first minute, and he or she remained on high for almost everything of Spherical 1. However Rodriguez was harmful from the underside, touchdown an elbow that reduce up her opponent above the left eye and left the world swollen.

Esparza, a 32-year-old Californian who got here in on a three-fight profitable streak, maintained positional management till late within the spherical, when she dropped again for a leg lock try. It was a foul concept, as Rodriguez defended the submission and ended up on high, from the place she focused Esparza’s eye.

Rounds 2 and three had been a lot the identical, besides within the second spherical Esparza didn’t quit high place for a leg-lock attempt till the waning seconds. Nonetheless, when she went again to her nook, her coach yelled at her for surrendering place.

Esparza didn’t make the identical mistake in Spherical 3, and in these closing 5 minutes she not solely remained on high, she was the one shelling out the elbows. It was an in depth battle, however Esparza completed strongly.

Every fighter was awarded a 29-28 scorecard, and the deciding decide noticed it as a 30-27 flight for Esparza.

— Wagenheim

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Mild heavyweight: Paul Craig (13-4-1, 5-4-1 UFC) defeats Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-7, 2-Three UFC) by first-round triangle



Paul Craig would not waste any time, submitting Gadzhimurad Antigulov through triangle choke simply over two minutes into the bout.

Each opponent is aware of Craig will attempt to snatch a submission. It’s basically the one means the sunshine heavyweight fighter wins.

But, someway, Craig at all times appears to discover a choke. He did it once more Saturday, defeating Antigulov by submission (triangle choke) at 2:06 of the primary spherical. Craig, of Scotland, is now tied with 5 others for essentially the most submission wins in UFC mild heavyweight historical past (5).

Antigulov, of Russia, took Craig down to begin the primary spherical. Craig welcomed it, as a result of it arrange his backside recreation — he is probably the greatest from that place among the many heavier fighters within the UFC. Craig threw his legs up for the triangle, however Antigulov began to mild him up with elbows from high place. Craig ate them, in favor of working extra on the choke. He locked it in tight, and Antigulov tapped out. Craig popped up from the bottom bloodied, however his dangerous technique labored.

“As he was elbowing me, it was sinking in deeper,” Craig stated of the choke. “It was value it.”

Craig, 32, is unbeaten in his previous three fights. All of 5 of his UFC wins are by submission, and three of them have come through triangle choke. Craig has by no means gone to determination in a victory over his profession. He has 12 profession submission wins and one TKO. Antigulov, 33, has dropped three straight.

— Raimondi

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Welterweight: Alex Oliveira (21-8-1) defeats Peter Sobotta (17-7-1, 4-Three UFC, 10-6-1 UFC) by unanimous determination



Alex Oliveira hurts Peter Sobotta early in Spherical 1 with a straight kick to the photo voltaic plexus.

Oliveira has been recognized to battle like a wild man at instances, however not this time. He placed on a poised efficiency from lengthy vary, utilizing physique kicks to maintain Sobotta out of boxing distance and even damage him just a few instances.

The 32-year-old from Rio de Janeiro is again on observe, profitable his second straight battle after dropping three in a row. He was in command the entire means, with the largest risk to his three 30-27 scorecards being his personal fouls. The bout was paused twice — after Oliveira landed a low blow, then poked the Polish-born German within the eye — however no level was deducted.

Sobotta, 33, misplaced for the second straight time — however the different loss got here again in 2018. He had a battle canceled final 12 months due to harm.

Oliveira saved the battle at lengthy vary for essentially the most half, absorbing some physique kicks however touchdown excess of he took. When Sobotta tried takedowns, Oliveira defended effectively and landed elbows to the aspect of the pinnacle. That enabled him to interrupt away and preserve the battle standing, and his footwork remained efficient and at instances was even playful.

— Wagenheim

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Welterweight: Khamzat Chimaev (8-0, 2-Zero UFC) defeats Rhys McKee (10-3-1, 0-1 UFC) by first-round TKO



Khamzat Chimaev’s TKO victory over Rhys McKee marks his second win in two completely different weight courses within the span of 11 days.

Combat Island? How about Chimaev Island?

The most popular new prospect within the UFC completely ran by way of McKee with a TKO at 3:09 of the primary spherical. Chimaev had the quickest turnaround victory in UFC historical past (10 days) after beating John Phillips on the July 15 card. The Swedish supernova has been one of many stars of the UFC’s 14-day stretch in Abu Dhabi.

On Saturday, Chimaev ran throughout the cage, picked McKee up and took him down simply. He then obtained into high management and rained down strikes till referee Wealthy Mitchell pulled him off. It was complete domination — prefer it was in opposition to Phillips.

Learn all the story.

— Raimondi

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Light-weight: Francisco Trinaldo (26-7, 16-6 UFC) defeats Jai Herbert (10-2, 0-1 UFC) by third-round TKO



Francisco Trinaldo drops Jai Herbert with an overhand left hook, then completes the end.

Because the battle wore on, Trinaldo was getting lit up. Then, the veteran from Brazil turned out the lights.

The end was sudden — and but not sudden sufficient. Trinaldo, who had been pieced up within the standup for a lot of the primary two rounds, threw a robust left hand early in Spherical Three that related to the temple and despatched Herbert crashing backward onto the mat, stiffened. As Trinaldo moved in, Herbert didn’t transfer. So Trinaldo held again, however referee Herb Dean stood there immobile, as effectively, not stopping the battle. A few seconds ticked off the clock, with nobody transferring, so Trinaldo threw a punch at his fallen opponent, who didn’t defend. Then, Trinaldo threw one other punch. He paused once more. Lastly, Dean jumped in to finish it at 1:30 of Spherical 3.

Trinaldo, a 41-year-old Brazilian, had missed the light-weight restrict by 4 kilos at Friday’s weigh-in, and his vitality appeared to wane earlier than the primary spherical was executed. He got here out aggressively and rapidly closed the space on the slick English striker, scoring a takedown, transferring into half guard and threatening a few submissions.

However Herbert, a former Cage Warriors champion who was making his UFC debut whereas driving a six-fight profitable streak, defended effectively on the bottom, and when he obtained the battle again to standing, he took benefit of his quick arms and fixed motion. The 32-year-old Englishman even combined in some grappling work, almost securing a rear-naked choke within the second spherical.

However Herbert’s greatest work was within the standup, and Trinaldo was carrying the consequences of that increasingly more because the battle continued. And but Trinaldo, who owns victories over the likes of Paul Felder and Jim Miller, saved coming ahead, and his resilience paid off when he landed the massive punch that ended it. Or ought to have ended it.

— Wagenheim

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Welterweight: Jesse Ronson (22-10, 1-2 UFC) defeats Nicolas Dalby (18-4-1, 2-3-1 UFC) by first spherical submission



Jesse Ronson submits Nicolas Dalby with a vicious strike to Dalby’s face and a comply with up rear-naked choke in Spherical 1.

Welcome again, “Physique Snatcher.”

After a six-year absence from the UFC, Ronson stopped Dalby through submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:48 of the primary spherical of a welterweight bout. Ronson dropped a pressuring Dalby with a phenomenal left hand, obtained into mount, took the again and choked Dalby till he tapped. An all-but-flawless efficiency from the veteran.

“I climbed tooth and nail to get again in there,” Ronson instructed Dan Hardy afterward. “… To hell and again. That is all it’s. And right here I’m — I am again.”

He added that he’ll drop right down to light-weight after this bout. Ronson known as out Luis Pena and Jalin Turner for later within the 12 months — due to their heights. Each are above 6-foot, which is tall for the division, and whereas Ronson will battle the taller opponents, he stated should you’re that top, it is best to transfer up in weight.

“Should you’re 6-foot-3, you’ll want to eat one thing apart from lettuce and ice cubes,” Ronson stated. “… I like combating tall guys, and I like crushing their guts.”

Ronson, 34, had not fought within the UFC since a break up determination loss to Kevin Lee on July 6, 2014. The Canada native has bounced round, profitable a title within the TKO promotion and having misplaced twice in PFL final 12 months. Dalby, a 35-year-old from Denmark, had been unbeaten in his previous 5 fights coming in.

— Raimondi

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Heavyweight: Tom Aspinall (8-2, 1-Zero UFC) defeats Jake Collier (11-5, 3-Four UFC) by first-round KO



Tom Aspinall wastes no time knocking out Jake Collier with an enormous knee and two follow-up jabs in Spherical 1 of their bout.

Aspinall didn’t waste any time in making an affect in his UFC debut, knocking out Collier with a straight proper hand simply 45 seconds into their heavyweight bout.

This was a well-known outcome for the 27-year-old from England. All eight of his skilled victories have come by knockout, most within the first minute.

Collier, who had not fought since 2017 due to harm, a PED suspension and bout cancellations, was making his heavyweight debut after competing at middleweight and lightweight heavyweight. Regardless of having come from these lighter divisions, although, he was a step gradual proper from the beginning. He absorbed a straight proper within the opening seconds, and Aspinall instantly measured him for one more, setting it up with a left hook.

The fitting hand that adopted despatched Collier face-first to the canvas, the place Aspinall pounced, including just a few extra photographs on his immobilized opponent earlier than the referee jumped in.

For Aspinall, it was his fourth straight victory. Collier has alternated victories and defeats going again to 2014.

— Wagenheim

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Males’s featherweight: Movsar Evloev (13-0, 3-Zero UFC) defeats Mike Grundy (12-2, 1-1 UFC) by unanimous determination

Evloev would not have a nickname. Possibly it must be “Houdini.”

Time and time once more, Evloev was in a position to escape Grundy’s takedowns and submission makes an attempt, together with an extremely tight D’arce choke within the first spherical. When again on the ft, Evloev dominated along with his placing en path to a unanimous-decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) win.

Grundy took early management along with his superior wrestling. He obtained Evloev down in a precarious place up in opposition to the cage and seemed for a choke. He almost cinched it in, however Evloev pulled off an unbelievable escape.

From there, Evloev had all of the momentum. He break up open Grundy’s left cheek with a tough proper hand within the first and landed clean mixtures all through the battle. Evloev’s jab particularly was very spectacular.

Evloev, 26, has received three straight within the UFC and stays undefeated. The Russia native, a former M-1 champion, seems to be a professional prospect within the featherweight division. Grundy, a 33-year-old England native, had his nine-fight profitable streak snapped. This was the British wrestler’s first loss since 2015.

— Raimondi

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Heavyweight: Tanner Boser (19-6-1, 3-1 UFC) defeats Raphael Pessoa (10-2, 1-2 UFC) by second-round KO



Tanner Boser finishes Raphael Pessoa after touchdown a vicious left hook to Pessoa’s face in Spherical 2.

Twenty-eight days earlier, Boser scored a first-round knockout in Las Vegas. Then he traveled to Combat Island and needed to work a bit longer, however the outcome was one other large knockout victory.

After spending all the first spherical and far of the second utilizing footwork to remain out of vary of the heavy-fisted Pessoa, and likewise touchdown leg kicks that reddened the massive Brazilian, Boser started partaking in punching exchanges halfway by way of Spherical 2 and clipped Pessoa with a counter left hand that instantly despatched Pessoa into retreat, squinting out of a compromised proper eye. Boser went on the assault as his opponent slumped on the canvas and punched away till the referee stepped in at 2:36 of the spherical.

The 28-year-old out of Edmonton, Alberta, who wanted barely 2½ minutes to take out Philipe Lins on June 27, put in his work proper from the beginning however this time that work was principally within the type of motion. He strikes effectively for a heavyweight, and his array of kicks and punches had been tough to counter. Pessoa saved his proper hand cocked, able to unleash, but it surely merely couldn’t discover its goal.

This was the fourth win in Boser’s previous 5 fights. Pessoa, a 31-year-old out of Rio de Janeiro, misplaced for the second time in his previous three bouts.

— Wagenheim

Girls’s bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad (14-5, 2-2 UFC) defeats Bethe Correia (11-5-1, 5-5-1 UFC) vs. by unanimous determination



Bethe Correia thinks Spherical 1 is over, not realizing there are nonetheless 10 seconds left, and Pannie Kianzad takes benefit.

Kianzad has began placing collectively considerably of a run within the UFC’s ladies’s bantamweight division with two straight wins and three of 4.

After years of bouncing round promotions and struggling together with her weight reduce, Kianzad now has her first UFC profitable streak, courtesy of a unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) victory over Correia, the previous UFC title challenger.

Kianzad seemed stable the entire battle together with her boxing and knees within the Thai clinch. She did stable injury on the finish of the primary when Correia thought the clacking sound that signifies there are 10 seconds left within the spherical meant that the spherical was over. Kianzad landed a tough mixture when Correia let her guard down.

Kianzad was the extra correct, highly effective striker all through. Correia had moments, together with stable ground-and-pound placing within the second spherical. However Kianzad confirmed off the higher stand-up.

Kianzad, the Iran-born Sweden native, had a crack on the Invicta FC bantamweight title in 2015, however missed weight. She moved as much as featherweight and went to the finals of the UFC’s Final Fighter ladies’s 145-pound event in 2018, falling to Macy Chiasson. Kianzad, 28, has seemed stable again at 135 kilos now.

Correia (11-5-1) has dropped three of 4 and has just one victory since 2016. The 37-year-old Brazilian famously fought Ronda Rousey in the primary occasion of UFC 190 in 2015. That continues to be Rousey’s final win.

— Raimondi

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Welterweight: Ramazan Emeev (19-4, 4-1 UFC) defeats Niklas Stolze (12-4, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous determination



Niklas Stolze lands an enormous knee to the chin of Ramazan Emeev on the finish of Spherical 1 of their bout at UFC Combat Night time.

Emeev used 4 takedowns and a number of other spells of ahead stress to manage the battle for all however just a few moments and take the choice.

The 33-year-old Dagestani, who misplaced in November to Anthony Rocco Martin to finish a seven-fight profitable streak, began robust and secured a submission try inside the first half of Spherical 1, however Stolze, making his UFC debut on a four-fight profitable streak, defended effectively and damage his opponent seconds earlier than the horn, dropping Emeev with a knee to the face.

However Emeev seized again management of what became a gradual battle at the beginning of Spherical 2, and apart from absorbing the occasional low kick, jab or knee, saved the German on the defensive.

Two judges scored the bout 30-27 and the opposite had it 29-28.

“I felt very assured that I may end him couple of instances,” Emeev stated. “However due to the 2 failed submission makes an attempt, my arms had been very heavy. I wasn’t rocked from his knee within the first spherical and I felt that I dominated the battle. Subsequent time I’ll get a end for positive. I really feel utterly wholesome and wish to get again to the Octagon as quickly as potential.”

— Wagenheim

Watch this battle on ESPN+.

Males’s bantamweight: Nathaniel Wooden (17-4, 4-1 UFC) defeats John Castaneda (17-5, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous determination



Nathaniel Wooden and John Castaneda commerce huge blows in the course of Spherical 2 of their bout at UFC Combat Night time.

Coming off a momentum-killing defeat earlier this 12 months, Wooden obtained himself proper again into the move with a poised and relentless assault.

The 26-year-old out of London, who noticed an eight-fight profitable streak ended by a John Dodson left hook in February, didn’t have it simple in opposition to Castaneda, however his fluid motion and array of punches and kicks from all angles obtained him again on the profitable observe. All three judges scored the battle 30-27.

Castaneda, 28 and out of Minnesota, placed on a robust efficiency in his UFC debut. He obtained hit lots, bloodied within the second spherical, however by no means stopped coming ahead and clipped Wooden on many events. He simply couldn’t string collectively the form of mixtures that saved Wooden a step forward.

“The battle was enjoyable,” Wooden stated. “It was good to truly have a call for a change. It was good to truly undergo the three, 5 minutes and really do what I am doing within the health club. There’s nothing higher than stepping into and getting a fast knockout, choosing up a bonus, these form of fights, but it surely’s good to truly go in and have a battle, as such.

“The whole lot my coaches needed me to do was not brawl. Let’s not give him that likelihood of let’s commerce photographs. I do know it is enjoyable for the followers to look at, do not get me flawed, I am nonetheless going to be doing it and I nonetheless attempt to have just a little little bit of a go in there, however I knew I used to be up within the rounds, I knew I used to be the higher fighter and I knew I’d outscore him. So for me to have a fifty-fifty trade with him, I am giving him the advantage of the doubt and coming off a loss, I could not afford to try this. My coaches stated, be the sniper, decide the photographs, do not get right here and that is what I’ve executed.”

— Wagenheim

Watch this on ESPN+.

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