Cyborg Retains Title
Reigning UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” earned a unanimous decision victory to defend her title against Holly Holm.
Holm, a former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, tested Cyborg with her striking arsenal throughout, but Cyborg consistently had an answer for her American foe.
Cyborg’s pressure was telling as the Brazilian looked to march down Holm before unloading with kicks and straight, hook and Superman punches with regularity. Holm’s face may have been swollen from 25 minutes of action, but she valiantly stayed in the fight and gave Cyborg one of her biggest challenges in years.
Khabib Stakes His Claim
"The look in Barboza's face says it all. He's just overwhelmed."
— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2017
The night’s co-main event saw Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov cement his position as the UFC’s best lightweight not holding a belt after a dominant display of skill against fourth-ranked Edson Barboza with a unanimous decision victory.
The Dagestani handily stifled Barboza’s offensive output with suffocating pressure on the feet, against the cage and down on the canvas, beating up the Brazilian in the process. Nurmagomedov had chances to finish the fight, but Barboza showed a lot of heart to last all three rounds.
This three-round mauling will surely see Nurmagomedov lined up to face either Conor McGregor or Tony Ferguson once the UFC lightweight title picture becomes clearer.
“The Hangman” Earns Guillotine Choke Win
The UFC 219 crowd may have not been totally enamoured by this fight, judging by the hollering from the stands, but New Zealand’s Dan Hooker utilised a smart gameplan to earn a big win over lightweight prospect Marc Diakiese.
Hooker consistently maintained enough distance to keep Diakiese’s aggressive striking attack at bay during the opening two rounds. Frustrated at Hooker’s jab, clinchwork and takedowns, Diakiese looked to up his tempo in the third and final stanza. However, the Englishman left his neck exposed and Hooker gladly synched his arms around it to secure a submission win by guillotine choke.
Esparza Bests Calvillo in Unanimous Decision
Inaugural UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza was an underdog ahead of taking on upcoming strawweight talent Cynthia Calvillo.
Calvillo looked to have the better time of the early exchanges in round one. However, Esparza showed her experience as she opted for a more wrestling-based attack—her bread and butter—to nullify the slick ground skills of Calvillo, as well as fighting smartly on her feet.
Esparza won the final two rounds to earn a solid unanimous decision verdict to get her back into title contention. Calvillo was left upset at the result—her first professional defeat—but it appeared the correct one to those watching outside the cage.
— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2017
Magny Looks Sharp Against Returning Condit
Fan favourite Carlos Condit made his long-awaited return to the UFC after a year-and-a-half out of action. Though, that inactivity appeared to affect his rhythm as he never got going in his unanimous decision to Neil Magny.
Magny was the sharper man throughout, throwing crisp striking combinations to dissuade his opponent from ever truly committing to an attack. He also clearly had an advantage in the grappling stakes, taking Condit down on multiple occasions and dictating the fight in all areas.
Magny has fought an incredible 18 times for the UFC since debuting for the promotion in 2013 and he now has another big-name win to his credit.
UFC 219: Cyborg vs. Holm full results:
UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship bout: Cris “Cyborg” defeats Holly Holm by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds.
Lightweight bout: Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Edson Barboza by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Lightweight bout: Dan Hooker defeats Mark Diakiese by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:42 minutes of round 3.
Strawweight bout: Carla Esparza defeats Cynthia Calvillo by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Welterweight bout: Neil Magny defeats Carlos Condit by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Light Heavyweight bout: Michal Oleksiejczuk defeats Khalil Rountree Jr. by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Featherweight bout: Myles Jury defeats Rick Glenn by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Middleweight bout: Omari Akhmedov and Mavin Vettori share the spoils with a Majority Draw (Judges scores: 29-28 Akhmedov, 28-28, 28-28)
Flyweight bout: Matheus Nicolau Pereira defeats Louis Smolka by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.
Bantamweight bout: Tim Elliott defeats Mark Delarosa via Submission (Anaconda Choke) at 1:41 minutes of round 2.