Kevin Holland channeled his inner Joe Frazier to unleash a classic left-hook KO to light up the early portion of the main card at UFC 287 in Miami.
Holland faced Santiago Ponzinibbio in an important bout for both men in the UFC’s talent-stacked welterweight division and, after two competitive rounds, it was Holland who found the knockout punch as he connected with a huge leaping left hook to send the Argentine fighter down to the canvas for a highlight-reel knockout.
After his victory, Holland called for a bout with Miami’s favorite fighting son, Jorge Masvidal, as he declared his wish to face “Gamebred” for his BMF belt further down the line.
“Hey Jorge, George if you don’t retire after Gilbert Burns gets done whupping your ass tonight, I would definitely love a chance for that BMF belt,” he said.
“I love Miami. And if I won the BMF belt here, I’d fight here four times a year if the boss let me. Shout out to Jorge Masvidal. Love everything you’re doing. You got a hell of a promotion and all that good stuff. But there’s no badder motherf****r than me. See you soon, boy.”
Font turns on the style to finish Yanez in one
Bantamweight contender Rob Font produced an outstanding performance to halt the rise of the talented Adrian Yanez in a battle of the division’s two best boxers.
Both men got to work early, with Font pumping out his piston-like jab, with Yanez looking to move off the center line and counter with big shots off the back foot.
It made for a spectacular opening round as both men traded solid shots and, despite Font appearing to suffer some swelling on his left eye following one big Yanez punch, the New England Cartel fighter eventually made the breakthrough as he stung Yanez with a clean right hand that forced him onto wobbly legs.
Font saw the opportunity and turned up the pace as he stalked his man around the Octagon, connecting with straight, clean shots before eventually dropping Yanez hard with another big shot. A few hammerfists on the deck forced referee Keith Peterson to intervene at the 3:16 mark as Font celebrated a hugely impressive victory.
Rodriguez halts the Rosas hype train
The main card kicked off with the much-hyped return of teenage prodigy Raul Rosas Jr. But the young gun’s heavily-promoted matchup with Christian Rodriguez didn’t go according to plan, with Rodriguez producing a nerveless display to decisively defeat Rosas on the scorecards.
Rosas started out at an electric pace as he charged straight at Rodriguez in search of an attention-grabbing first-round finish. But Rodriguez stayed calm and defended well through the opening five minutes to avoid Rosas’ submission attack. Then, in Rounds 2 and 3, he turned the tables on his young opponent.
Encouraged by coach Duke Roufus in his corner, Rodriguez set to work on his gameplan in the second and third rounds as he dominated Rosas on the feet, and on the ground, as he dragged the young prospect into deep water and threatened to drown him. Rosas did enough to avoid being submitted on the ground, but by the time the final horn sounded, there was no doubt over who had won the fight, with Rodriguez claiming scores of 29-28 from all three judges.
UFC 287: Official results
- Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya – for middleweight title
- Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Rob Font def. Adrian Yanez via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:57
- Kevin Holland def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 3:16
- Christian Rodriguez def. Raul Rosas Jr. via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kelvin Gastelum def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Waterson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joe Pyfer def. Gerald Meerschaert via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:15
- Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
- Ignacio Bahamondes def. Trey Ogden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Steve Garcia def. Shaylian Nuerdanbieke via TKO (body kick and punches) – Round 2, 0:36
- Sam Hughes def. Jaqueline Amorim via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)