It was a crowning moment for another likable fighter, while the usual occurred in the main event.
Israel Adesanya shuts out Marvin Vettori to retain middleweight title
In what played out similar to their first fight in the same arena three years ago, Adesanya controlled the pace, while Vettori did a little bit of work on the ground.
Vettori just had no answer in the striking realm and his only response was to change levels against the fence and try to take down Adesanya. There was a glimmer of hope in the middle rounds as Vettori took the back of Adesanya and nearly had a rear-naked choke sunk in, but Adesanya was able to reverse and get back on top of Vettori before getting back to his feet.
From there, it was all easy. Whether it be head kicks, leg kicks or one-two combos, it all landed for Adesanya.
It was a complete sweep for “The Last Stylebender” as he took all five rounds to defend the middleweight belt for a third time.
Brandon Moreno earns crowning moment with third-round submission over Deiveson Figueiredo
Just under five years ago, Moreno was the worst-seeded flyweight on The Ultimate Fighter.
Fast forward to June 12, 2021 and that same fighter is now the champion of the UFC Flyweight division.
After putting on one of the best title fights in UFC history, Figueiredo and Moreno met again to settle the score after the original went to a majority draw last December.
The first round was a surprise as “Figgy” said during the buildup to the fight that he would finish Moreno within the first five minutes. However, it was the exact opposite as Figueiredo wasn’t willing to pull the trigger and Moreno got the better end of the striking exchanges. Toward the end of the round, Moreno dropped Figueiredo and now Figueiredo had ground to catch up.
Figueiredo was able to stabilize the fight in the second round as he did some nice work on his back and nearly had Moreno’s neck to sink in a submission. Moreno was able to survive the round and on came the third.
This time, it was Moreno controlling the fight on the ground and he quickly took the back of Figueiredo. It wasn’t long before Moreno began searching for the neck and worked methodically to sink in the rear-naked choke to become the FIRST MEXICAN-BORN champion in UFC history.
It’s been a long road for Moreno, who was cut by the UFC after his first stint with the promotion, but second chances are earned and Moreno took full advantage of it to become the fourth flyweight champion in UFC history.
Leon Edwards runs over Nate Diaz to score ninth win in 10 fights
In front of a hostile environment, Englishman Leon Edwards dominated Diaz in the first four rounds. Diaz was left bloodied and battered, but still attempted to mask the damage taken with his clever mind games and elite trash talking.
Late in the fifth round, Diaz did what everyone expected him to do and that was to give the fans hope he could pull over the comeback of a lifetime after clipping Edwards with a left hand. With Edwards wobbling, Diaz looked for the kill, but Edwards was able to keep his bearings and hold off the surging Diaz to keep from being upset.
Edwards earned a 49-46 decision victory across the board and should be awarded with a title shot against Kamaru Usman in the near future.
Belal Muhammad holds off Demian Maia to stay in welterweight ranks
After a disappointing no-contest due to an eye poke against Edwards back in March, Muhammad had the opportunity to make a name for himself with a marquee matchup against future Hall of Famer Demian Maia.
One has to give credit to Muhammad for stuffing 20 of the the 21 takedowns from Maia, but outside of that feat, nothing of much came from the fight. Muhammad was able to score the victory, but it came with little reward except for the fact that it was against a big name.
The fight played out exactly how one would expect a Belal Muhammad vs. Demian Maia fight to play out.
Landing only 35% of his strikes, Muhammad moved to 19-3 (1 NC) in his MMA career.
Paul Craig mangles Jamahal Hill’s left arm in first-round finish
As one expected, the pay-per-view portion of the card saw all the action, but on the ground as Craig put on a masterful performance off his back.
Just a minute in, Craig took the left arm of Craig and began cranking on it in ways you wouldn’t wish your worst enemy to have. It didn’t take long to see the true damage appear as Hill’s arm was practically shut off and his humerus was where it shouldn’t be.
It was a highly-impressive victory for “Bearjew” on a big stage as he improves to 15-4-1 and is a winner in his last three fights.
All televised prelims on ESPN went to decision with Brad Riddell, Eryk Anders, Lauren Murphy and Movsar Evloev all earning victories.
Terrance McKinney was the only man to make a statement in the prelims and it was his UFC debut. Just seven seconds into his bout with Matt Frevola, McKinney dropped Frevola with a one-two combo and that was all she wrote. However, McKinney appeared to hurt his knee in his celebration, but he’ll take that victory.