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Last Saturday night was the UFC’s debut on ESPN and ESPN+ from Brooklyn, which featured Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo defending his title against the Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw. In addition, we speculated the debut of Greg Hardy and much more. Here is a review of all 13 fights on the card, as well as an overall review on whether the debut was a success or failure.
1: Rencountre submits Stewart early
Making his debut on short notice for the early prelim card on ESPN+, Kyle Stewart faced off against Chance Rencountre, who ended the fight early in the first. Although this finished via submission, it was not an exciting win for Rencountre, who will move forward in his UFC career.
2: Neal puts on a classic with Muhammad
Geoff Neal vs Belal Muhammad wasn’t only a one-sided affair, but an exciting fight to watch from start to end. Neal perfected a dominant performance over Muhammad by stuffing 8 out of the 8 takedowns that were attempted. As for his striking, Neal knocked down Myhammad twice in 3 rounds to earn the unanimous decision win. It will be exciting to see who else feels the wrath of “Hands of Steel” Neal next.
3: Bermudez retires after Lightweight debut
Longtime UFC fighter Dennis Bermudez made his lightweight debut against Te Edwards after thoughts of retiring from MMA. Despite a knockdown from Edwards, Bermudez was able to control a majority of the fight. A dominant unanimous win led to an emotional retirement from Bermudez.
4: Sandhagen impresses over Bautista
The prelim card on ESPN was met with an impressive start from Cory Sandhagen, who landed a flying knee, which resulted in Bautista being dropped. After ending the fight in an arm bar, Sandhager extended his win streak to 5.
5: Menifield remains undefeated over Moreira
Light heavyweights collided as Alonzo Menifield defeated Vinicius Moreira via TKO. In result, Menifield kept his undefeated streak of 8 wins. On the flip side, Menifield ended Moreira’s 5-fight win streak, which could result in a case to become ranked in the light heavyweight division.
6: Calderwood upsets Lipski
Ariana Lipski hyped herself up as a strong athlete, but Joanne Calderwood dominated Lipski throughout the bout. Calderwood proved herself, and earned the victory through the judge’s scorecard. This is a fight that helped Calderwood build momentum in the strawweight division.
7: Cerrone halts Hernandez’s momentum
Donald Cerrone made his lightweight return against Alexander Hernandez, and showcased with an impressive performance. In the second round, he capitalized by knocking down and finishing off Hernandez. After the victory, speculation surfaced on whether Conor McGregor would emerge as his next opponent.
8: Teixeira bounces back against Roberson
In the first fight for the ESPN+ main card, Glover Teixeira faced off against Karl Roberson. Despite a shaky start, Teixeira bounced back and submitted Roberson with an arm triangle in the first round.
9: VanZant prevails from year-long lay off and submits Ostovich
This fight was close to not happening, due to Rachael Ostovich’s injuries from a domestic abuse situation last year. However, Ostovich made sure the fight happened, and despite coming out strong against Paige VanZant in the first round, it was VanZant who scored the arm bar that forced Ostovich to verbally tap out. Despite the loss, Ostovich proved that nothing can keep her away from the octagon.
10: Benavidez defeats Ortiz once again
In a rematch between Joseph Benavidez and Dustin Ortiz, it was an exciting flyweight fight that could have gone either way. In the end, Benavidez not only got the victory, but gave credit to Ortiz, who has grown as a fighter in the past few years. Benavidez hasn’t fought for the title in 5 years, and holds a split decision win over current champion Henry Cejudo. Could this be a title match in the making?
11: Gillespie dominates Medeiros
The undefeated Gregor Gillespie is on a mission to retain his winning streak, as he dominated Yancy Medeiros for 10 minutes straight. Gillespie is what would label “a poor man’s Khabib Nurmagomedov”, as the #15 ranked lightweight is climbing up the ranks to fight the best.
12: Hardy ruins UFC debut
The controversial debut of Greg Hardy was the co-main event of the night, and despite being a heavy favorite, Allen Crowder continued to land shots and takedowns. In the second round, Hardy struck Crowder with an illegal knee that spoiled his debut and gave him his first loss of his professional record. Will we see Hardy compete in the UFC ever again?
13: Cejudo saves the flyweight division
The highly-anticipated Flyweight Championship fight between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw served as the main event for UFC’s ESPN+ debut in Brooklyn. All the excitement was built for this moment, but 31 seconds into this fight, Cejudo shocked the world when he dropped Dillashaw multiple times before the referee stepped in to end the fight. Despite Cedujo desiring to move up and take Dillashaw’s belt, Dillashaw is looking to rematch Cejudo at flyweight, claiming the stoppage was premature.
Featured Image: Alternative Press