It was a championship double bill atop UFC 227 on Saturday in Los Angeles — stick with us for ongoing coverage throughout the evening!
T.J. Dillashaw regained the UFC Bantamweight Championship last November after knocking out Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt in the second round of their emotionally charged title bout in the middle of Madison Square Garden. Can Cody Garbrandt win the immediate rematch he’s been granted or will Dillashaw redefine bantamweight excellence on Saturday Night in Los Angeles at UFC 227?
Demetrious Johnson will defend his Flyweight Championship against Henry Cejudo in the co-main event in a rematch from their first encounter at UFC 197. Mighty Mouse vs. Cejudo I reminded the world that Johnson could outclass anybody at 125 pounds.
A lot can be said about the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s need to book rematches in title fights; every division except 155 is extremely shallow and most contenders aren’t drawing the interest of casual fans.
Our UFC 227 main card coverage (w/ Highlights) will begin at 10:00 p.m. Stick with us as the night unfolds!
The show opens with Jon Anik telling us that this is one of the most important cards of the year. That’s true, but it doesn’t feel like it does it? Especially with Friday’s announcements and Conor McGregor’s return just around the corner it’s hard to be excited for these rematches, even if one of the main events is the best possible bantamweight match-up in the world.
In the prelims we were treated to this TKO by Marlon Vera:
— UFC Español (@UFCEspanol) August 4, 2018
And also this knockout by Alex Perez at Flyweight:
— #UFC227 (@ufc) August 4, 2018
Middleweight Bout: # 13 Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland
Thiago Santos was on a 4-fight win streak before being knocked out by David Branch at UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee in April. Can Santos get back on track with a win over newcomer Kevin Holland?
Joe Rogan notes that Thiago Santos was knocked out JUST FOUR MONTHS AGO and allowed to fight.
Round 1: Thiago Santos tags Holland early with punches before they lock up and Holland attempts a slick rolling omoplata that Santos gets out of. That would have been a thing of beauty if he could have locked it in and finished the fight there.
Holland now goes for an armbar from the bottom which he nearly sinks in, but Santos utilizes explosive ground and pound to put an end to any ideas Holland may have had.
Kevin Holland is comfortable on his back and eating many grazing shots on the ground, but Santos does occasionally land as he continuously looks for openings to land punches and elbows.
Now there’s just 1:45 left in the first around and Santos is starting to land as Holland winces with every blow received on the ground.
Holland is talking to his corner on the ground – but he pays for it 20 seconds later as Santos’s ground and pound is next level. Kevin Holland’s eye is giving him problems at the end of this round.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Santos.
Round 2: Referee Mike Beltran shows off the Portuguese as a low blow lands in the opening seconds of the round and the action is briefly halted.
Holland eats a head kick and then his mouth piece falls out of his mouth as he’s taunting Santos. The referee isn’t having that as he immediately calls for the newcomer to put the mouth guard back in.
Santos ends up on top as Holland takes more punishment on the ground. Interestingly enough, Kevin’s trying to talk to Santos and taunt him every time the fight hits the mat. The men make their way back standing and now Santos is unloading on Holland against the cage, but Holland fires back with a spinning attack and more strikes that rock Santos. Holland continues to press forward and pressure Santos.
Holland reaches for an arm and roles through for an arm submission as Santos stumbles to the mat with Kevin in control. It’s not quite in, but Santos would have been in danger if Holland had some more time.
Holland can definitely win this fight on the mat.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Santos. Not quite enough offense to give Holland that round, but he’s got momentum on his side for sure.
The Raw Data for Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland.
— Verdict (@VerdictMMA) August 5, 2018
Round 3: Holland eats a body kick without any movement.
Joe Rogan notes that both men are standing in front of each other and just eating shots.
Santos lands a trip takedown – his third takedown of the fight in eight attempts. Santos ends up in full mount, but Holland pushes his feet off the cage and flisp back to his feet.
Santos is unloading on a tired Holland and landing heavy punches and kicks now. Holland drops to his knees and Santos maintains control and lands many heavy punches before easily sliding back into top mount. He’s really going for a finish in this third round.
Santos is working towards an arm triangle and he’s gotten it all but fully tightened up before Kevin Holland slips from Santos’ grip. Holland’s attempting to throw up submissions now, but it’s just too little too late.
Winner: Thiago Santos via Unanimous decision.
Strawweight Bout: Polyana Viana vs. JJ Aldrich
Round 1: Viana held underhooks for the better part of three minutes before going for a toss and getting it for a brief second before Aldrich bounced right back up.
The referee calls for work directly after the three minute mark.
Aldrich tags Viana with a right hand in the first significant moment of the fight and Viana follows up with her own seconds later, though her punch lacked the power that Aldrich’s had.
Aldrich goes for a takedown but Viana jumps up and attempts a sloppy guillotine before Aldrich ends up on top in full guard.
The round ends before anything significant happens on the ground.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Aldrich, even though there wasn’t much action from either fighter. Could have went either way.
Round 2: Aldrich wins the first few exchanges of the round as Joe Rogan lashes Viana for keeping her hands down.
The two women lock up against the cage as Aldrich looks for a takedown as Viana maintains underhooks.
Viana charges forward but misses with majority of her punches and most of her kicks and Aldrich calmly waits for her opportunities and continues to be selective with her strikes. She’s landing the harder shots , but Viana does occasionally land a wild punch here and there.
Viana changes levels and goes for a takedown as she wrestles Aldrich to the ground and takes her back.
“This is where her skillset lies,” says Joe Rogan as Viana unsuccessfully attacks JJ’s arm and gives up her dominant position and Aldrich winds up in half guard as round two comes to a close.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Aldrich.
Round 3: I really hope this card doesn’t become a decision fest – but it’s not looking promising early on.
Aldrich lands a nice hook on Viana – whose chin is straight up in the air. JJ stuns Viana 1 minute into the round with a big punch. Viana pulls guard and forces JJ to the ground, but she’ll need a submission victory at this point in the fight as she just holds position.
There’s 2:22 to go and Viana NEEDS to finish this fight if she wants to win.
Aldrich stands up at 1:30 and Viana’s forced to oblige. Back on the feet now with a minute left.
“Her striking’s not very good,” says Joe Rogan.
The horn sounds to end the round.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Aldrich.
Winner: JJ Aldrich via unanimous decision.
Featherweight Bout: Cub Swanson vs. Renanto Moicano
The last time we saw Swanson inside the octagon he dropped a decision to Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 128 to make it two straight losses. If he ever hopes to work his way back up the ladder he needs to defeat Renato Moicano here – but that’s no easy feat as Moicano is 12-1-1, with his only loss coming against Brian Ortega.
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) August 5, 2018
Round 1: Swanson and Moicano are both dangerous strikers, though Cub may be a little more diverse with his attacks.
Both men trade back and forth and have moderate success during the feeling out process.
Moicano lands with a big jab at the three minute mark and drops Swanson. Cub’s trying to recover but now he’s got Moicano on him trying to advance his position to finish. Cub gives up his back and Moicano manages to squeeze his arm under Swanson’s chin. It’s only a matter of seconds before Cub taps out… and there it is.
Winner: Renato Moicano via rear-naked choke.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) August 5, 2018
Flyweight Championship: (c) Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson has defended his belt 11 times in a row.
Round 1: Mike Beltran is the referee for the co-main event.
Demetrious Johnson opens up the fight and circles the octagon and goes for a few kicks that miss. Cejudo is holding the center of the octagon and he’s sitting in a karate stance.
Henry Cejudo’s ankle roles for seemingly no reason and every few steps his foot completely gives out. This is incredible because he’s continuing to fight on and it looks like his foot has fully healed just a few seconds later. He couldn’t put any weight on it a few seconds ago.
Demetrious Johnson takes some chances and throws some wild punches and omes close to hitting Cejudo, but Cejudo lands with a few counterstrikes on the inside.
The champion lands a kick to the challenger’s body as Daniel Cormier notes how much punishment Cejudo’s body took in the first round of their first encounter.
Demetrious Johnson goes for a head kick, but Cejudo throws Johnson to the mat before landing a big left hand.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Johnson, but Cejudo is in this fight.
Joe Rogan thinks Cejudo’s injury is pre-existing because of how the corner is treating it between rounds.
Round 2: Demetrious Johnson attempts a takedown that’s unsuccessful before both fighters reset to the center of the octagon.
Cejudo is winning some of these exchanges. Johnson is landing kicks to Cejudo’s legs, but Cejudo himself is targeting DJ’s body. Cejudo lands a few more clean kicks to the body 3 minutes into the round.
Cejudo lands and inside-out trip and now Henry Cejudo is on top of Demetrious Johnson in half guard! Cejudo’s the bigger man, and DJ is tired on the bottom, even though he’ll quickly recover between rounds. Johnson tries to go for a single leg and circle out, but Cejudo is maintaining control and landing knees to a downed Johnson – but legal knees because they are hitting Johnson’s shoulders.
We have ourselves a fight!
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Cejudo.
Johnson comes out and lands a shot to the body and DJ chases a retreating Cejudo around the octagon. Cejudo goes for and briefly lands a takedown before the men end up in a clinch against the cage with DJ pressuring.
Once separated Johnson lands another clean leg kick. Johnson is seamlessly switching stances in between landed strikes.
Cejudo is successfully countering Johnson on occasion, but DJ is still landing kicks – and that leg from earlier is starting to once again become a problem. Cejudo lands a takedown but not before Johnson performs a high level escape to the delight of the LA crowd.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Johnson.
Johnson’s corner is calling for him to strike when the fighters disengage from scrambles.
Round 4: Johnson lands a counter right at the :45 second mark of round four.
Cejudo stumbles Johnson briefly at 1:30, but Johnson’s mixing up his attacks well and Cejudo’s leg is looking bad. Johnson looks like he’s barely been touched
Demetrious Johnson charges Henry Cejudo at full speed but Henry Cejudo changes levels and secures a takedown of his own and now Demetrious Johnson finds himself on his back with two minutes left in the fourth frame.
Cejudo rides DJ for the remainder of the round as Johnson just can’t manage to get free. That’s two minutes of top control for Cejudo.
Gillette’s scorecard: 10-9 Cejudo.
It could be 2-2 heading into the final round.
Round 5: Cejudo’s controlling the center of the octagon to start the fifth and final round.
Johnson lands a swift leg kick and a jab before backing out of harm’s way. A kick to the body lands for Johnson now.
I’m having satellite issues now, but my feed comes back just as the round ends and each corner believes they have the victory.
Gillette’s scorecard: N/A – issues with live feed. I wouldn’t do that round justice
WHAT A FIGHT!
— #UFC227 (@ufc) August 5, 2018
Winner: Henry Cejudo via Split Decision.
Henry Cejudo really took it to Demetrious Johnson tonight – which is impressive because after the first round it looked like Cejudo wouldn’t be able to walk the rest of the night. Henry Cejudo just shocked the world!
Cejudo calls out the winner of tonight’s Main Event during his post-fight interview and says he’s jumping up to 135lbs to get that belt too!
Bantamweight Championship: (c) T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt
Garbrandt’s been out with a significant back injury since UFC 217, has he worked out the kinks and can he slay the ‘Snake in the Grass’ and once again become the Bantamweight King?
Round 1: Garbrandt and Dillashaw both go for head kicks:20 seconds in, but neither man lands clean.
Each man is trying to be patient and only throwing when necessary during their combinations.
Garbrandt points down to the center of the octagon and the mind games are already starting.
Garbrandt lands a big shot and stuns TJ, but Dillashaw drops Garbrandt momentarily before they reset.
T.J. Dillashaw drops Garbrandt again with a right hand that connects on Cody’s jaw, Cody’s wobbled and in trouble! He falls again TJ Dillashaw is swarming Garbrandt against the cage! Herb Dean calls it!
T.J. Dillashaw has defeated Cody Garbrandt by the second time!
Winner: T.J. Dillashaw via TKO!