Beneil Dariush (W) vs Scott Holtzman – Lightweight Bout
We now move to the main card and kicking it off is a fight in the lightweight division between the 14th ranked lightweight contender Beneil Dariush and Scott Holtzman. What a first round this was. Both guys came flying out of the gates and the fight was stopped twice for some eye pokes to Beneil. Afterward, Beneil really rocked Holtzman with some huge shots and looked to take him down and take the back. Holtzman recovered and tried for shots of his own, but Beneil just kept the pressure up and was piecing him together and stunning him with some nasty combos. Beneil got the finish with a wonderful spinning back fist to the jaw of Holtzman that knocked him out cold. Beneil is a real threat at lightweight!
Yana Kunitskaya (W) vs Julija Stoliarenko – Women’s Bantamweight Bout
We now move to the first and only women’s fight of the night as the 8th ranked women’s bantamweight contender Yana Kunitskaya takes on Julija Stoliarenko. Round 1 was a real slow burner, Stoliarenko instantly initiated the clinch from the opening bell and Kunitskaya managed to counter it straight away and keep clinch control up against the cage wall for quite some time. Stoliarenko went for a very ambitious guillotine choke attempt and failed. Easy 10-9 round for Kunitskaya.
Round 2 was pretty much a mirror image of the first, Stoliarenko went for a high kick at the start but Kunitskaya caught her leg and slammed her to the floor, she got back up and Kunitskaya got the body lock and dominated Stoliarenko against the cage within the clinch. Right near the end it got a little scary for Kunitskaya as Stoliarenko almost locked in an armbar but Kunitskaya defended it well. 20-18 for Kunitskaya.
Once again, round 3 saw Kunitskaya just dominate Stoliarenko in the clinch and up against the cage, her total control time over the 3 rounds was around 13 minutes. Stoliarenko had a few little chances for something but she couldn’t bring anything together and Kunitskaya gets the win via decision.
Maki Pitolo vs Darren Stewart (W) – Middleweight Bout
We, once again, move back up to the middleweight division as we see Maki Pitolo take on Darren Stewart. This was a great first round, both guys were throwing bombs towards each other with Maki on the outside and Stewart putting the pressure on Maki. Maki stunned Stewart in the middle of the round with a lovely hook to the jaw but Stewart shook it off and came back, grabbing Maki’s neck and locking in a tight guillotine choke. Maki tried to defend it, but Stewart transitioned well and Maki had no choice but to tap.
Omari Akhmedov vs Chris Weidman (W) – Middleweight Bout
For the co-main event of the evening, we stay in the middleweight division as the 11th ranked middleweight contender Omari Akhmedov welcomes a former UFC middleweight champion back to the division in Chris Weidman. Omari opened the round up well, piecing together some combos and defending the takedown attempts of Weidman well. Omari slipped up though, as he attempted a takedown and gave the chance for Weidman to come back into the fight. Weidman scored a takedown with around 2 minutes to go and enjoyed dominant position for the rest of the round. 10-9 Weidman for me.
Omari did well at the start of the round, coming out with a lot of energy and he managed to take the back of Weidman early on, laying in some nasty ground and pound. Weidman found his way back to the feet but Omari was feeling it there too, connecting with a lot of the stiff jabs and right-hand crosses he was throwing. Omari scored a few knockdowns late on, not really doing much and for me its 19-19 heading into round 3.
Weidman came out with a burst of energy at the start of round 3 and managed to take Omari’s back early on. From there Weidman looked for a rear-naked choke, then transition for a leg lock and then tried for an arm triangle. Omari defended well and stopped the submissions from being locked in but he was taking a lot of damage from elbows and strikes to the body. Weidman tried for another arm triangle and ended the round raining down more elbows. 29-27 Weidman for me and the judges agree as Weidman gets a win, he was so desperate for.
Derrick Lewis (W) vs Aleksei Oleinik – Heavyweight Bout
We move up to the heavy hitters in the heavyweight division for the main event of the evening as the 4th ranked heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis takes on MMA legend and 10th ranked heavyweight contender Aleksei Oleinik. Lewis came out flying at the start if the round, throwing a head kick and then throwing multiple bombs, taking Aleksei to the ground and looking for a way to throw down some ground and pound. Aleksei countered on the ground and got dominant position, trying to get a choke going but Lewis powered out. Aleksei got dominant position back and locked in a choke but couldn’t get it deep enough. 10-9 Aleksei for me.
Round 2 started and ended with Derrick Lewis coming out with a flying knee to the chest, followed by a huge right hand that sent Aleksei crashing to the mat, and then he finished the fight with a huge amount of hammerfists. Lewis now hold the most KO wins by any UFC heavyweight in history with 11.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports