Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway turned back surging contender Arnold Allen with another virtuoso performance as he outpointed the Englishman over five breathless rounds in Kansas City.
Holloway settled into his rhythm early in Round 1, and by the mid point of the round he was putting flashy combinations together almost at will. Allen had successes, too, but notably they were with single shots, as the former champion’s output set a familiar tone.
Allen turned up the pressure in Round 2 and landed three big right hands early in the round that Holloway took clean, without too much fuss. But it meant the Brit started to settle, and Holloway’s output noticeably dropped as the former champion found himself having to be more wary of the Englishman’s power. A thumping body kick from Holloway drew gasps from the Kansas City crowd, but Allen continued to push forward.
Round 3 saw Holloway at his elusive best as he dominated the center of the Octagon and repeatedly made Allen miss as the Englishman struggled to repeat his success from the second round. Holloway’s speed advantage was becoming more apparent, but Allen continued to press forward in search of big shots. A spinning backfist from Holloway put the exclamation point on a strong round for the former champion.
Holloway continued in the same vein in the fourth, peppering Allen with strikes from range and mixing in spinning kicks. Body kicks landed hard for the Hawaiian, too, as the former champion stamped his authority on the fight with another strong round.
The final round started with Allen landing and connecting with a host of big punches, while Holloway answered with a big body kick and a spinning back elbow.
Barboza folds Billy Q with huge knee
In the co-main event, Edson Barboza added another spectacular finish to his highlight reel with a massive knockout of Billy Quarantillo.
Quarantillo relentlessly pursued the takedown against the noted Brazilian striker, and for a while appeared to have Barboza on the back foot. But Barboza was waiting for his moment to strike, and when he did he ended the fight in the blink of an eye.
A perfectly-timed knee folded up Quarantillo, who collapsed to the canvas, out cold. It meant Barboza was back in the win column, with another stunning finish to add to his collection.
Cutelaba steamrollers “The Bulldozer”
Ion Cutelaba welcomed former heavyweight Tanner Boser to the light heavyweight division with a bang as he finished “The Bulldozer” with strikes just over two minutes.
Cutelaba stayed calm and compact in the early exchanges, but badly rocked the Canadian with a big right hand that had Boser on skates. Cutelaba saw his moment and unloaded a barrage of shots to force Boser to the mat. Then, as the Canadian attempted to fight his way back to his feet, Cutelaba hammered him with another salvo of strikes that prompted referee Keith Peterson to step in and wave off the fight.
The main card kicked off with a pair of unanimous decision victories as Pedro Munhoz and Rafa Garcia claimed wins over Chris Gutierrez and Clay Guida with shutout scorecards of 30-27 across the board.
Preliminary card recap
On the preliminary card, Gillian Robertson added to her ever-growing list of submission wins with a second-round armbar finish of the previously undefeated Piera Rodriguez, though the Venezuelan protested the stoppage, saying she hadn’t tapped.
There was also an impressive performance from Mexico’s Daniel Zellhuber, who came flying out the gate in the first round against Lando Vannata, and came very close to finishing “Groovy” in that opening frame. Somehow, Vannata managed to survive, and came back well, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the “Golden Boy” from improving his record to 13-1 with a unanimous decision win.
There was also a rarely-seen double-retirement as both Zak Cummings and Ed Herman laid down their gloves and called it a career after their wild back-and-forth slugfest. It was especially emotional for Kansas City native Cummings, who claimed the third-round TKO victory in front of his hometown fans, before announcing his retirement with his daughter in his arms.
The KC crowd also showed their respect to Herman, who gave an emotional retirement speech of his own, before kneeling down in the center of the Octagon with Cummings as they ended their careers together.
And the featured prelim served up a barnstormer of a bout, as Bill Algeo turned the table on TJ Brown to score a second-round submission.
Brown was winning the majority of the stand-up exchanges, but ran into a perfectly-timed short elbow from “Senor Perfecto” that dropped Brown to the mat.
Algeo pounced, took Brown’s back and locked up a rear-naked choke for the win, then cut a pro-wrestling promo on the Kansas City crowd for good measure.
UFC Kansas City: Official results
- Max Holloway def. Arnold Allen via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
- Edson Barboza def. Billy Quarantillo via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 2:37
- Azamat Murzakanov def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (29-82, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ion Cutelaba def. Tanner Boser via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:05
- Pedro Munhoz def. Chris Gutierrez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Rafa Garcia def. Clay Guida via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Bill Algeo def. TJ Brown via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2, 1:40
- Brandon Royval def. Matheus Nicolau via
- Zak Cummings def. Ed Herman via TKO (punches) 4:13
- Gillian Robertson def. Piera Rodriguez via verbal submission (armbar) – Round 2, 4:21
- Daniel Zellhuber def. Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)
- Denise Gomes def. Bruna Brasil via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:42
- Gaston Bolanos def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Joselyne Edwards def. Lucie Pudilova via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)