The UFC came back to Chicago for their yearly visit, and the action was intense (despite the Second City getting a second-rate card). We saw Edson Barboza get ever-closer to a lightweight title shot, and Holly Holm got pushed further down the women’s bantamweight ladder in a disappointing loss to Valentina Shevchenko.
-Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision. This was quite the fight that saw Holly Holm lose her first back-to-back fights in combat sports history. Here’s your fight recap.
-Edson Barboza def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision.
This was a barn burner, as expected. It’s like these two can’t get in a bad fight. It was exciting from the get-go as Barboza worked the legs of Gil into a puffy, bruised mess. Barboza is one of the few people to win multiple fights via leg kick TKO. You know he’s going to come in and kick the leg, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it. How are Barboza’s legs so strong? Gil had him in trouble a few times as he worked his way inside, but it was too late, the damage was done, and Edson Barboza would walk away the victor.
This puts Barboza in a solid position for a title shot, as his last two wins are now over Anthony Pettis and Gil Melendez. He does probably need to get his revenge over Tony Ferguson or a Khabib win if he wants a title shot, however.
These leg kicks…
-Francis Ngannou def. Bojan Mihajlović via TKO (round 1). This didn’t last long. In fact, it only lasted seconds. Bad stoppage?
-Felice Herrig def.Kailin Curran via rear naked choke submission (round 2). What a performance by Felice in her hometown. Check out the replay here.
-Eddie Wineland def. Frankie Saenz via TKO (round 3). Wineland has been missing from the bantamweight division with barely 2 fights over the last two years, and he looked refreshed and renewed tonight.
-Darren Elkins def. Godofredo Pepey via unanimous decision. This, after Pepey’s strong first round. Elkins got woken up by an illegal knee which took a point from Pepey and lit a fire under Elkins.
-Kamaru Usman def. Alexander Yakovlev via unanimous decision.
-Michel Prazeres def. J.C. Cottrell via unanimous decision.
Fight Pass Prelims
-Alex Oliveira def. James Moontasri via utter domination/unanimous decision. We saw a rare 30-25 score here.
-Jason Knight def. Jim Alers via split-decision.
-Luis Henrique def. Dmitry Smoliakov via rear naked choke submission (round 2).