UFC Fight Night 216 play-by-play and live results – MMA Junkie

LAS VEGAS – UFC Fight Night 216 takes place Saturday, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results beginning at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT).
UFC Fight Night 216 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.
In the main event, recent middleweight title challenger Jared Cannonier (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) takes on Sean Strickland (25-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC).
Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results beginning at approximately 4 p.m. ET for the prelims on ESPN+ and 7 p.m. ET for the main card on ESPN+.
To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC Fight Night 216 discussion thread.
Enjoy the fights, everyone.
Round 1 – They touch gloves and begin finding the range. Newson misses with a two-punch combo, and follows up with a pair of kicks. Morozov darts in with a left hand. Newson circles away, then offers a spinning kick. The left hand then lands for Newson. Morozov goes to a front kick. Newson lands a punch before attempting a switch kick. A two-punch combination scores for Newson, and he then goes with a side kick a moment later. Morozov, still stalking forward shoots for a takedown and gets the fight to the mat. Newson gets back to his feet while Morozov keeps the hands locked around his waist. After a clinch against the cage, Newson scrambles his way free. They get back to trading punches and kicks in the center with less than a minute to go. A switch kick lands for Morozov. Newson charges forward, evading a spinning elbow attempt, and lands a couple more strikes before the horn. MMA Junkie scores the first round 10-9 Newson.
Round 2 – They touch gloves again and get back to the action with a body kick from Morozov. Newson returns with a series of kicks to the legs. A lunging left hook from Newson partially connects. Morozov kicks to the body twice. They circle the cage, continuing to exchange punches with Morozov keeping up the forward pressure. He then gets another takedown and looks to get a hook in to take the back. Newson powers up to his feet, but Morozov sticks with him and drags him back down. Morozov lands a few knees to the thighs as Newson stands back up against the cage. Newson tries his best to break free, but can’t do it before the round ends. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Morozov, who did more with the takedown this time around.
Round 3 – The final round begins with striking exchanges. Newson comes out with more aggression, swinging big hooks as he looks to land a haymaker. Morozov evades most of the punches and then changes levels for a nice lift and slam of Newson. Morozov quickly takes the back, but Newson explodes back to his feet after a few seconds. Newson was only free for a moment though, as Morozov quickly darted back in for the clinch, and takes the back while standing. Newson attempted to roll out of the position, but Morozov was ready for it and maintained the position. With less than a minute to go, Newson finally gets free and looks to land punches. Morozov ducks under again and gets one more takedown. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Morozov, giving him the fight 29-28.
Result: Sergey Morozov def. Journey Newson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Sergey Morozov (19-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Journey Newson (10-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Division: Bantamweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Mike Bell (30-27), Adalaide Byrd (29-28), Ron McCarthy (29-28)
Round 1 – They touch gloves and Kape begins sizing up Dvorak from the center of the cage. Dvorak darts in with an outside leg kick. They circle the cage a number of times as Kape begins to taunt Dvorak like he’s dribbling a basketball between his legs. Kape looks for a head kick but doesn’t fully commit to it. Feints from both fighters feint, and then Kape lands nicely. They rapidly circle around the cage again. Kape slips in a nice uppercut, but Dvorak then changes levels well for the takedown and begins working from full guard. Kape is active off his back attacking submissions. He locks up a kimura and begins cranking it hard. Dvorak rolls to defend, but Kape keeps with it and ends up on top, cranking the submission hard. Somehow Dvorak doesn’t tap, despite the nasty looking position. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Kape.
Round 2 – Dvorak comes out early looking to land strikes, but Kape evades while controlling the center of the cage. A front kick from Kape is brushed away by Dvorak, who darts in with a quick right hand a moment later. Kape lands a nice left hand in an exchange. Dvorak responds with a crisp right hand. A quick combination from Kape lands, causing Dvorak to circle away. Kape lands another hard series of punches, this time hurting Dvorak, causing him to retreat to the cage. Kape charges in and lands more strikes as Dvorak goes to his back on the canvas. Kape stands over him for a moment landing punches but backs off to force the stand up. More strikes find the mark for Kape. He can sense the finish is close and pours on the pressure with nice strikes to the body. Kape goes for a spinning elbow, but Dvorak avoids it and latches on for a takedown. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Kape.
Round 3 – Dvorak comes out swinging big hooks and overhand punches that Kape easily evades. A spinning back kick from Dvorak misses the mark, prompting Kape to poke fun at his attempt. A nice short left hook gets in for Kape, but Dvorak stays in the pocket looking to return the favor. As Kape looks for a big left hand, Dvorak accidentally pokes the eye and the fight is briefly paused. Kape doesn’t appear too phased by the poke as he continues to taunt when the fight resumes. Dvorak looks for the takedown but Kape keeps it standing and then taunts the next striking attempt. Kape looks to put together a combination, and Dvorak answers. They clinch against the cage for a moment, but return to the center. Dvorak lands some crisp punches and a nice leg kick. MMA Junkie scores the final round 10-9 for Dvorak, but the fight goes to Kape, 29-28.
Result: Manel Kape def. David Dvorak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: David Dvorak (20-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Manel Kape (18-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Division: Flyweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Keith Peterson
Judging: Derek Cleary (30-27), Sal D’Amato (30-27), Anthony Maness (29-28)
Round 1 – Battle opens up with a pair of kicks and Fakhretdinov responds with an overhand right. A moment later, Fakhretdinov charges forward and gets a big early takedown. With a lot of time to work, Fakhretdinov calmly looked to transition from guard. He then decides to posture up and land hammerfists, which prompts Battle to look for an armbar. Fakhretdinov gets without much trouble and lands a damaging right hand. Battle uses his back against the fence to work back to his feet, but right when he gets to a standing position, Fakhretdinov dumps him back to the mat. More punches land from top position from Fakhretdinov, opening a nasty cut on Battle. With short time remaining, Battle throws up a triangle attempt to stop the striking, and the round comes to a close. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-8 for Fakhretdinov.
Round 2 – Battle looks to land strikes in the opening seconds, but before he knows it, Fakhretdinov is in on a double leg and drives through for another early takedown. Battle gets his back to the fence and looks for a kimura to counter the position, but Fakhretdinov remains calm, gets his arm free, and lands more punches. Fakhretdinov doesn’t rush anything here while focusing on maintaining top position. Battle goes for another kimura, but it fails. Fakhretdinov continues his control in the clinch as Battle gets back to his feet. Battle slaps on a ninja choke out of nowhere, and he appears to have it for a moment, but Fakhretdinov slips out and once again takes top control on the ground. Punches from guard continue until the round concludes. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Fakhretdinov.
Round 3 – They touch gloves to start and Battle fires off a few kicks to the legs and the body. Fakhretdinov loads up a big right hand and drops Battle cleanly. Fakhretdinov rushes in and takes top position in guard and continues his smothering grappling. Battle gets back to his feet for a moment, but Fakhretdinov once again drags him back to the ground. Heavy top pressure continues, but Battle keeps looking for ways to get back to his feet while doing his best to limit damage. Fakhretdinov is just too much on the mat. Battle got back to his feet one more time, but yet again, Fakhretdinov dumped him back down again. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-8 for Fakhretdinov, giving him the fight 30-25.
Result: Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Bryan Battle via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Bryan Battle (8-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Rinat Fakhretdinov (20-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging: Adalaide Byrd (30-25), Junichiro Kamijo (30-25), Ron McCarthy (30-27)
Round 1 – No glove touch here, and Maheshate starts it off with a front kick to the body. A few moments later, a step-in knee is grabbed by Garcia, who uses it to look for a takedown. Maheshate keeps things standing though, and they return to the center. Garcia gets in on another single a few moments later, but once again is unable to complete the attempt. They trade punches as Maheshate looks to regain control of the center. Garcia evades well, and lands a nice punch to get Maheshate’s attention. A nice combination soon follows as Maheshate’s back is against the fence. A kick from Maheshate goes low, but the action is not paused. Maheshate charges ahead with a knee and punches, but Garcia covers up nicely. A moment later, Garcia lands a crisp two-punch combo. Another pair of strikes land for him before the horn. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Garcia.
Round 2 – Garcia comes out with pressure to start, looking to land a big left hand. Maheshate evades and fires back punches and kicks of his own. He then goes with a jumping knee that lands well. Garcia looks for a single but gives up on it after Maheshate keeps his balance. Maheshate lands a nice kick to the head, and more punches. A nasty cut is opened on Garcia after a sharp elbow, and blood immediately begins pouring out. It doesn’t stop Garcia from charging forward though, as he gets Maheshate against the fence and lands a couple of hard punches while looking for a takedown. Maheshate keeps it standing for the moment, but after a reset, Garcia gets a nice takedown in the center of the cage. Maheshate works his way back up and gets back to punches and kicks. Garcia then gets another nice takedown, this time securing a better position, and rains down hard punches and elbows. Maheshate adjusts and gets back to his feet, but Garcia keeps it clinched. Both fighters are soaked in blood now. Garcia lands a nice elbow on the exit. They exchange again before the end of the round. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Garcia.
Round 3 – Garcia goes first with punches and connects with a hard leg kick. Maheshate pumps out the jab, and then looks for the knee up the middle. Garcia catches it and gets the takedown in the center of the cage. Hard elbows from the top find the mark for Garcia, who then switches to a front headlock as Maheshate powers back up to his feet. Garcia keeps the clinch against the cage and begins to land knees to the thighs. The referee calls for the fighters to work, and they eventually separate on their own. Garcia looks for a takedown, but Maheshate keeps it standing. They exchange punches, and Maheshate goes to the jumping knee again and connects. Garcia resets and charges in to clinch a few seconds later. He gets the body lock, lifts, and slams Maheshate to the canvas. Garcia postures up and lands big punches until the horn. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Garcia, giving him the fight 30-27.
Result: Rafa Garcia def. Hayisaer Maheshate via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Rafa Garcia (14-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC), Hayisaer Maheshate (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Mark Smith
Judging: Mike Bell (30-27), Derek Cleary (30-27), Chris Lee (30-27)
Round 1 – Kakhramonov darts across the cage and unloads a big punch, but Nurmagomedov ducks under into a clinch. Kakhramonov changes levels looking for a takedown, but Nurmagomedov counters with a guillotine attempt. It’s a tight attempt from full guard, but Kakhramonov eventually works free. A moment later as Kakhramonov tried to pass guard, Nurmagomedov slapped on another guillotine. This one wasn’t as tight, but it stopped Kakhramonov’s pass. Nurmagomedov works his way up to the feet, but Kakhramonov took the back. They separate, and Kakhramonov keeps with relentless forward pressure. Unloading big punches, Kakhramonov connects on Nurmagomedov before getting another takedown. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Kakhramonov.
Round 2 – Nurmagomedov opens with a nice inside leg kick. Kakhramonov charges forward with a hard punch and smoothly moves into a takedown. Nurmagomedov scrambles back up to his feet, but Kakhramonov dumps him down to the canvas head-first, and unloads a series of punches. Kakhramonov takes the back and gains control of Nurmagomedov’s wrist before firing off a few more punches. Nurmagomedov attempts to roll out of the position twice, but can’t break the grip of Kakhramonov. After the scrambles, Kakhramonov got a little too high and Nurmagomedov found his way up to the feet. The scrambles continue and Nurmagomedov slaps on a guillotine choke. Kakhramonov realizes he’s in trouble. He tries to defend the attempt, but this choke is tight. Nurmagomedov adjusts and leans back to force the tap. What an incredible comeback for Nurmagomedov!
Result: Said Nurmagomedov def. Saidyokub Kakhramonov via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 3:50
Recap: UFC Fight Night 216 video: Said Nurmagomedov rallies to submit Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Saidyokub Kakhramonov (10-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Said Nurmagomedov (17-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
Division: Bantamweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Keith Peterson
Judging: Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato, Anthony Maness
Round 1 – Semelsberger looks for a right hand early. Matthews calmly measures from the outside and lands a leg kick. Semelsberger returns a kick to the legs. Matthews kicks to the body after a lull in the action. Semelsberger crushes Matthews with a right hand, dropping him to the canvas. Semelsberger rushes in to capitalize, but Matthews recovers well and gets back to the feet. A moment later, Semelsberger lands another hard punch, and uses his forward momentum to get a takedown. After controlling from the top, Semelsberger postures up to land heavy punches before going back into guard. Matthews tries his best to lock up the limbs to prevent more punches as the round ends with Semelsberger on top. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Semelsberger.
Round 2 – A fast exchange of punches gets the action started. Semelsberger goes first next, connecting with more punches. Matthews fires back though, adding a front kick to the body. Semelsberger dips under a punch from Matthews to get a quick takedown, but the fight doesn’t stay on the mat. Semelsberger charges ahead with a combination, but the counter from Matthews stuns. A few moments later, Matthews gets the better of a hard exchange. Semelsberger’s forward pressure slows now and Matthews begins to land more strikes. Just as the momentum appears to shift, Semelsberger lands a big right hand that sends Matthews to the canvas. Semelsberger doesn’t rush in this time though and Matthews returns to the feet. Semelsberger looks to land more punches before the horn. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Semelsberger.
Round 3 – Semelsberger pressures quickly to start, and with his first combination, drops Matthews with a right hand. Semelsberger follows him to the ground to follow up, but can’t finish the fight. Matthews works his way up and looks for a submission attempt. Semelsberger gets free from the threat as the clinch continues against the fence. The referee calls for work as Matthews presses Semelsberger into the cage. Matthews looks for a trip takedown on the exit and gets Semelsberger down to a knee for a moment. A hard punch connects as Semelsberger gets back to his feet. They reset to the center, where Matthews fires off a few sharp punches a moment later. Semelsberger covers up and then decides to hunt for a takedown. After clinch against the cage, they get back to trading punches in the middle. Matthews gets a trip takedown and takes top position, where he lands a few punches before the horn. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Matthews, but the fight goes to Semelsberger, 29-28.
Result: Matthew Semelsberger def. Jake Matthews via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Jake Matthews (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC), Matt Semelsberger (11-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging: Mike Bell (29-28), Chris Lee (29-28), Ron McCarthy (30-27)
Round 1 – No glove touch to start this one. They trade fast punches in the center of the cage, with McKenna leading the action. Vlismas answers with nice counters as McKenna moves forward. McKenna controls the center, continuing to fire punches first, but Vlismas counters well in the exchanges. Vlismas lands an outside leg kick as McKenna lands a right hand. Punching exchanges continue with both fighters connecting. After McKenna lands a nice two-punch combo, Vlismas answers with a much harder combination for the biggest punches of the fight so far. McKenna gets a takedown and begins throwing punches from guard, but Vlismas is active from her back as well. It was a close round, but MMA Junkie scores it 10-9 for Vlismas.
Round 2 – They get right back into the thick of it, exchanging crisp strikes in the center. McKenna mixes in a leg kick in a combination, but Vlismas then lands a pair of damaging punches in return. McKenna clinches and begins to work for a takedown against the cage. Vlismas counters with a Thai clinch, and fires off a few hard knees to the body. McKenna gets back to over/under. They separate for a second and McKenna lands a quick combo before going right back into the clinch. Vlismas gets the Thai clinch for a moment again, but McKenna changes levels and gets nice takedown just before the horn. Another close round, but MMA Junkie scores it for McKenna, 10-9.
Round 3 – McKenna looks to clinch early in the round, but this time Vlismas counters with a choke attempt. It looked locked in for a moment, but McKenna remained calm and worked herself free, ending up on top. Vlismas gets back to full guard, where she framed for a nice elbow that cut McKenna from bottom. Vlismas throws her legs up to threaten a triangle, but McKenna gets her shoulders through. McKenna gets a couple of short punches in as Vlismas looks for another hard elbow. McKenna improves her position for better ground and pound, but Vlismas throws up an armbar attempt. McKenna defends well and maintains top control. They both unload punches from full guard in the closing seconds until the fight concludes. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for McKenna, giving her the fight with a 29-28 score.
Result: Cory McKenna def. Cheyanne Vlismas via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Cory McKenna (8-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Cheyanne Vlismas (7-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Chris Tognoni
Judging: Derek Cleary (29-28), Sal D’Amato (29-28), Junichiro Kamijo (29-28)
Round 1 – Brundage lands a left hand in the opening sequence. A moment later he charges forward and completes a nice takedown. Oleksiejczuk gets back to his feet, but Brundage takes his back, and eventually drags him back to the mat. Oleksiejczuk gets back to his feet once more, and yet again, Brundage gets it back to the ground. Oleksiejczuk breaks the grip and turns into guard, where he looks to land big punches and elbows from the top. Oleksiejczuk postures up and continues to unload big punches and Brundage is hurt badly. More punches find their mark, and the referee steps in to stop the onslaught. What a vicious first-round finish by Oleksiejczuk.
Result: Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Cody Brundage via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:16
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Cody Brundage (8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Michal Oleksiejczuk (18-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Mark Smith
Judging: Mike Bell, Anthony Maness, Ron McCarthy
Round 1 – No touch of gloves as they meet in the middle. Dober opens with a big leg kick but misses. Green lets his hands go and connects with a nice combination. Both fighters are smiling and talking, and Green gets a takedown. They aren’t on the ground long and get back to trading fast strikes on the feet. Green is sharp with punches, stinging Dober with a beautiful left hand. Blood begins to flow from Dober’s nose. Green lands another nice punch as he talks to his opponent. Dober keeps the pressure high but is having trouble landing clean strikes on Green, who has his hands low. They clinch for a moment and Green bails on a takedown attempt. They continue to exchange punches in the pocket, with Green getting the better of it. Dober lands a nice right hand, but Green answers with a front kick to the body. MMA Junkie scores the high-paced round 10-9 for Green.
Round 2 – Green bounces around on the outside early and times a sharp two-punch combo. Dober stays in close proximity and returns punches of his own. Green lands a beautiful counter right. Dober connects in the next sequence, and then switches things up with a spinning backfist. Green kicks to the body, then lands a nice counterpunch as Dober darts in. They briefly clinch against the cage, but separate and get back to trading strikes. Green gets another well-timed body kick in. Dober is still keeping the pressure high while Green lands counters. Green lands a hard right hand, but doesn’t back away, and fires off more punches. The next two miss, but the third catches Green on the jaw, sending him crashing to the canvas to end the fight in an instant. Whoa. What a knockout for Dober!
Result: Drew Dober def. Bobby Green via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 2:45
Recap: UFC Fight Night 216 results: Drew Dober folds Bobby Green into unconsciousness with massive left hand
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Drew Dober (26-11 MMA, 12-7 UFC), Bobby Green (29-14-1 MMA, 10-9-1 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Keith Peterson
Judging: Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato, Junichiro Kamijo
Round 1 – They touch gloves, and Caceres get the action started with a leg kick, followed by a side kick to the body. Erosa fires back a leg kick of his own. Punches are traded upstairs, with Erosa ending with a right hand connection. Erosa then lands a leg kick followed by a punch as Caceres circles away from the fence. Caceres fires off a quick combination, then adds an overhand left. Erosa connects with a nice kick to the body a moment later. Caceres misses badly with a left hand, but puts smoothly puts a hard head kick behind it, and floors Erosa. Caceres rushes in for follow-up punches and the referee is right there to stop the action. Just an unreal finish for “Bruce Leroy” in the first round.
Result: Alex Caceres def. Julian Erosa via TKO (head kick & punches) – Round 1, 3:04
Recap: UFC Fight Night 216 video: Alex Caceres lands beautiful head kick, pounds out Julian Erosa
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Alex Caceres (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC), Julian Erosa (28-10 MMA, 6-6 UFC)
Division: Featherweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging: Sal D’Amato, Chris Lee, Ron McCarthy
Round 1 – Albazi takes the center as the feel-out process begins. Costa offers a pair of punches for the first strikes of the fight. A moment later, Costa punches to the body and Albazi responds with a hard outside leg kick. They exchange single punches, and then Costa lands a nice right hand at the end of a combination. Albazi then clinches, pushing Costa against the cage as he works for the takedown. Costa breaks free and returns to the center. Both fighters offer left jabs. Albazi looks for a combo, but Costa ducks and evades. A takedown attempt from Albazi is stuffed. A fast combination from Costa lands. Albazi goes to an inside leg kick. Costa lands a nice combination in the closing seconds. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Costa.
Round 2 – Costa looks to land punches in combinations early in the round. Albazi feints a takedown to keep Costa honest. He then lands a snappy two-punch combination to drop Costa. Albazi rushes in and takes top position, but can’t immediately get any more punches off because Costa grabs a hold of both arms off his back. Albazi keeps working to get his arms free to sneak in a few short elbows. Costa keeps his guard closed while Albazi stays heavy with top pressure. Albazi postures up and unloads a few big ground and pound punches to the body and head. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Albazi.
Round 3 – They meet in the middle and trade punches. Costa mixes in a leg kick before charging forward with more punching attempts. Albazi lands a front kick, then surprises Costa with a perfectly-timed takedown with just under four minutes to work. Costa doesn’t keep his guard closed this time, and gets back to his feet. As Costa looks for a left hand, Albazi connects with a fantastic counter right uppercut. The punch drops Costa and the swarm for the finish is on. It didn’t take long for the referee to step in to stop the action because Costa was out of it from the uppercut. Beautiful finish by Albazi.
Result: Amir Albazi def. Alessandro Costa via knockout (uppercut) – Round 3, 2:13
Recap: UFC Fight Night 216 video: Amir Albazi uppercuts Alessandro Costa for TKO finish
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Amir Albazi (16-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), Alessandro Costa (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Division: Flyweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Keith Peterson
Judging: Mike Bell, Derek Cleary, Chris Lee
Round 1 – They touch gloves, and Tsarukyan opens the action with a head kick. Islmagulov catches a kick to the body, causing Tsarukyan to lose his balance, but they reset to the center. Tsarukyan keeps the pressure high, going first with punches and kicks. Ismagulov attempts a leg kick, but Tsarukyan counters with a takedown attempt. He get the fight to the ground, but Ismagulov gets back to his feet quickly. Tsarukyan keeps wrestling to get the fight back to the mat, but the balance of Ismagulov is tough to deal with. A moment later, Ismagulov reverses with a takedown of his own and ends up on top, landing punches. It’s a short-lived moment though, because Tsarukyan hit a beautiful sweep to escape, bringing the fight back to the clinch against the cage. They separate with less than a minute to go, and Ismagulov begins putting punches together. Tsarukyan lands a kick to the body, then misses with a spinning backfist. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Tsarukyan.
Round 2 – After another glove touch, they immediately begin trading strikes. A right hand to left high kick just misses the mark for Tsarukyan. The left jab finds a home a moment later. Then Tsarukyan gets a takedown and takes the back. Ismagulov worked his way back up just to get lifted and slammed to the canvas. Tsarukyan takes the back again, this time more securely in the center of the cage. He looks for the rear naked choke but it’s not there. Ismagulov adjusts his position and they return to the feet. Tsarukyan is right back in on another takedown attempt, but it doesn’t get to the mat. Ismagulov offers punches, but Tsarukyan closes the distance for another clinch, where they both land a few close-range punches and elbows to close out the round. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Tsarukyan.
Round 3 – Tsarukyan looks for the left high kick again early in the round. A kick to the body is blocked by Ismagulov. A moment later a kick from Tsarukyan goes low, causing a break in the action. The fighters embrace and then get back to the fight. Fast striking exchanges follow the break, but Tsarukyan changes levels for a nice takedown. He gets the back for a moment, but Ismagulov is quick to get out of the bad position, and the fight returns to the feet. Tsarukyan doesn’t give up on the clinch. With two minutes to go, Ismagulov gets away and looks for a big right hand. Tsarukyan lands a nice combination of punches to the body. Ismagulov finds himself on the mat once again after a single-leg trip by Tsarukyan. He gets the back again and works for the rear-naked choke. Ismagulov shakes off the attempt, gets back to his feet momentarily, but Tsarukyan drags him back down once more before the horn. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Tsarukyan, giving him the fight 30-27.
Result: Arman Tsarukyan def. Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Damir Ismagulov (24-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Arman Tsarukyan (19-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Mark Smith
Judging: Mike Bell (30-27), Sal D’Amato (30-27), Ron McCarthy (30-27)
Round 1 – The main eventers touch gloves and get to work. A quick exchange of single punches serve as the initial strikes. Cannonier stalks forward and throws a hard kick to the body. Strickland circles away to get his back away from the fence and then paws out the left hand to jab. Cannonier punches to the body as Strickland continues to pick his spots upstairs. A pair of Cannonier punches are parried. Strickland lands a kick up the middle and then catches Cannonier’s kick to get a takedown. Cannonier gets back to his feet quickly, but Strickland sticks with the clinch. They separate and get back to the striking game. A hard leg kick lands for Cannonier, then misses with a big combination. They exchange hard leg kicks. Strickland lands a sharp left in a combination. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Strickland.
Round 2 – Cannonier opens with a leg kick and a right hand. Strickland lands a left hand. Another kick from Cannonier is caught by Strickland, but this time he doesn’t use it for a takedown. They get back to exchanging punches, with the snappy Strickland jab finding a home. Cannonier gets an overhand right around the guard. Strickland’s jab continues to score as Cannonier focuses on attacking with leg kicks. Cannonier then lands a nice combination of punches, and Strickland answers. Circling on the outside, Strickland creates just enough distance for Cannonier to miss with more powerful offerings, causing frustration. Strickland puts together a nice series of punches, causing Cannonier to retreat and reset. Before the horn, Cannonier lands a nice right hand. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Strickland.
Round 3 – Strickland continues to play the jab game early. Punches fly from both fighters early, with Strickland seemingly landing a little cleaner than Cannonier. More jabs are offered from Strickland. Cannonier turns up the forward pressure while working behind the left hand. Strickland defends well initially, but Cannonier gets a hard 1-2 combination to find a home. They continue to trade punches, but now Cannonier is landing well. Strickland fires off a series of punches to start another heated exchange. Left hands land for both fighters as the volume of strikes turns up. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Cannonier.
Round 4 – Strickland takes the center and begins working behind his jab. Cannonier presses forward with punches and Strickland circles away. They continue to trade upstairs. Cannonier adds an outside leg kick. After another exchange, Cannonier has his next leg kick checked. Strickland begins to march forward with a combination, tagging his opponent. Another heated exchange sees Strickland land well. Cannonier responds with another hard leg kick. He then fires a hard left a moment later. A kick to the body from Strickland is partially blocked. They ramp up the volume of strikes as they exchange punches. Both fighters land well, Cannonier with more pop. MMA Junkie scores the round 10-9 for Cannonier.
Round 5 – Cannonier lands a right to start the final round. A moment later Strickland fires off a three-punch combo. Cannonier gets a kick to the body in. Strickland lands a combination that causes Cannonier to circle and reset. Another three-punch combo for Strickland scores. Cannonier lands a big right hand at the end of a combination of his own. Strickland answers with another combination, as they begin to just let the punches fly. The volume is high now. Cannonier finds the mark and bloodies Strickland’s nose, but that doesn’t stop him from firing back. Cannonier connects with a nice left hand. Strickland lands punches of his own. A spinning backfist from Cannonier misses. Hard exchanges continue: punches from Strickland, punches and kicks from Cannonier. It goes to the final horn. MMA Junkie scores the final round 10-9 for Cannonier, giving him the fight 48-47.
Result: Jared Cannonier def. Sean Strickland via split decision (49-46, 46-49, 49-46)
Recap: UFC Fight Night 216 results: Jared Cannonier takes split decision in evenly matched main event with Sean Strickland
Photos: UFC Fight Night 216: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Jared Cannonier (16-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC), Sean Strickland (25-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging: Derek Cleary (49-46 Cannonier), Sal D’Amato (49-46 Strickland), Junichiro Kamijo (49-46 Cannonier)
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