Sean Strickland prevailed in his first-ever UFC main event appearance on Saturday night, defeating Uriah Hall via unanimous decision after five rounds of battle (50-44, 50-45 & 49-46). The fight headlined a UFC “Fight Night” card at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Strickland used his punching to do damage on Hall in all five rounds of the fight. Hall showed his toughness throughout the fight, being able to stay in it and survive near-finish circumstances. With that being said, he hardly offered up responses to Strickland’s striking and only took one round on one of the three judge’s scorecards.
Strickland mentioned afterward how important the fight was, giving credit to veteran Hall.
“He’s a guy that I’ve always respect … I came up watching his highlights, so it was an honor to battle with him,” said Strickland in his post-fight interview.
The victory continues a strong run that Strickland is on. The 30-year-old fighter has now scored four wins since returning to the UFC in October, coming back after a near two-year layoff.
The middleweight fight capped off a quick and explosive night of UFC bouts. The card was 10 fights in total, shorter than usual due to many bouts being removed from the lineup on short notice. It also had many upsets, including gambling odd favorites not winning in the first six bouts of the card.
The show also had many finishes, with more than half of the main card fights finishing via stoppage.
Buys Kicks Down Door of First UFC Win
Strawweight Cheyanne Buys earned her first UFC victory in an explosive fashion in the co-main event, stopping Gloria de Paula in the first round.
Buys first got de Paula in trouble while transitioning from positions. Buys scored with a head kick while de Paula was returning to her feet, connecting at the right time so that it was a legal strike.
Buys then followed up with punches on the ground until the referee stopped the fight.
Both fighters were coming back after losing their UFC debut in their previous performance.
Buys’ victory was given a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award following the conclusion of the show.
Gooden Makes Most of Short-Notice Opportunity
Short-notice fill-in Jared Gooden made the best of his opportunity on Saturday, finishing Niklas Stolze in the second minute of their bout.
Gooden floored Stolze with a counter-right when on the feet, dropping him and causing an end to their fight shortly after.
It was reported earlier this week that Gooden would be replacing Mounir Lazzez, who withdrew from a bout against Stolze due to visa issues. Gooden had lost his two prior UFC bouts via decision.
Stolze is now on a two-fight losing streak in the UFC.
Baghdasaryan Shows Striking Skills In UFC Debut
Melsik Baghdasaryan had a strong UFC debut on the main card, finishing fellow promotional newcomer Collin Anglin in the second round with a head kick.
Both fighters were getting their first UFC fight after a contract-earning performance on TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
Baghdasaryan only has seven pro wins in MMA, but also has a background in pro boxing and kickboxing.
Baghdasaryan was given a “Performance of the Night” award for his win.
The Rest of the Card
Jason Witt won a close battle against Bryan Barberena to open the main card, defeating him via majority decision after three rounds. The back-and-forth fight that saw a wild mix of striking and grappling was given the “Fight of the Night” award.
The win put Witt back into the win column after being stopped by Matthew Semelsberger earlier this year.
Here are the results for the five-fight preliminary card…
Chris Gruetzemacher scored his first win since 2018 when getting the scorecard nod over former Combate Americas Champion Rafa Garcia.
After a close battle and a point deduction that was handed out due to accidental fouls, Kai Kamaka III and Danny Chavez settled with a majority decision draw.
Former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Jinh Yu Frey picked up her second UFC win when defeating Ashley Yoder.
Zarrukh Adashev snapped a two-fight losing streak and earned his first UFC win, getting the decision over Ryan Benoit
Phillip Rowe spoiled the UFC debut for Orion Cosce, stopping him in the second round with strikes.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 6:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 10: Sean Strickland def. Uriah Hall via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 9: Cheyanne Buys def. Gloria de Paula via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:00)
Bout 8: Jared Gooden def. Niklas Stolze via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:08)
Bout 7: Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Collin Anglin via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:50)
Bout 6: Jason Witt def. Bryan Barberena via Decision, Majority
Preliminary Card (6:30PM EDT / 3:30PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 5: Chris Gruetzemacher def. Rafa Garcia via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Kai Kamaka III vs. Danny Chavez via Draw, Majority
Bout 3: Jinh Yu Frey def. Ashley Yoder via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Zarrukh Adashev def. Ryan Benoit via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 1: Phillip Rowe def. Orion Cosce via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:21)