UFC 216 emanated tonight (Saturday, October 7, 2017) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it delivered several pieces of history and sensational fights.
In the co-main event, Demetrious Johnson broke Anderson Silva’s title defense record, posting his eleventh consecutive victory as flyweight king. And he did it in jaw-dropping fashion.
After dominating the fight from the beginning and well ahead on the scorecards in the fifth, Johnson made his move to finish an exhausted and dispirited Borg. After yet another takedown, the challenger worked his way back to his feet but with Johnson clinging to a rear waistlock. Johnson then hit a belly-to-back suplex from which he transitioned to an armbar. In the air.
Borg hadn’t even hit the mat when he found himself hopelessly ensnared in the fight-ending submission. He fought valiantly to escape but was forced to ask out of the fight with only a minute left on the clock. Johnson took home one of the Performance of the Night bonus checks for his efforts.
The other Performance of the Night went to a former challenger of Johnson’s. John Moraga upset the apple cart of the highly-touted Magomed Bibulatov with a crushing first-round knockout. An overhand right stunned the Chechen and opened the door for the finish. After a missed head kick, a missile of a left hook detonated on Bibulatov’s chin. The upstart went stiff immediately, crashing to his back in a heap on the canvas. Moraga banked $50,000 for his efforts, putting a recent three-fight losing streak farther in the rear-view.
The Fight of the Night was a no-brainer. Bobby Green and Lando Vannata put on a war for the ages in the prelims in which both guys were nearly finished and Vannata’s face became a bloody mask.
After dropping and nearly finishing Green with a volley of right hands in round one, Vannata landed an illegal knee to Green’s face as “King” tried to regain his feet. The blow resulted in a point deduction and gave Green a much-needed moment to clear his head. The rest of the bout was nip-and-tuck, with both men landing clean punches upstairs and kicks to the legs and body. Despite his cut and bleeding face, Vannata seemed to be landing the cleaner blows. That changed in the waning moments of the fight
That changed in the waning moments of the fight, when Green rocked Vannata badly as the two threw leather to the finish. “Groovy” Lando was able to stagger to the finish line. That sequence wasn’t enough for Green to steal the fight, but it prevented Vannata from getting the win. The fight ended in a split draw. But both men took home matching $50,000 bonus checks for their efforts.
Keep it locked to LowKick MMA for all your post-fight news and notes for UFC 216.