UFC Fight Night 127 popped off today (Saturday, March 17, 2018) from The O2 Arena in London, England. The slate was main-evented by big men Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov. The Russian cracked Werdum’s chin in the fourth round and likely cracked the top-five as a result. His come-from-behind finish – he had spent much of the first 10 minutes on his back eating punches and elbows from the Brazilian – could net Volkov a crack at the winner of the Miocic-Cormier heavyweight title tilt. It definitely net him an extra $50,000, as Volkov was awarded one of the Performance of the Night bonuses.
The other Performance of the Night went to Scotsman Paul Craig, who authored an even more dramatic come-from-behind win. Craig got taken down and beaten up by newcomer and highly-touted prospect Magomed Ankalaev for most of their preliminary fight. But the Dagestani wrestler paid for his conservative approach – he had Craig in serious trouble from mount to end round one, but never got really aggressive on top again. With the clock winding down and Ankalaev again on top landing moderate ground and pound, Craig chucked up a Hail Mary submission – and got it. Ankalaev tapped to a triangle choke with one second left in a fight he might have won 30-26. Craig kept his spot on the UFC roster and goes home $50,000 richer for setting the record for the latest finish in a three-round fight.
The Fight of the Night went to the co-main event, as Jan Blachowicz and Jimi Manuwa put on a spirited war that far outshined their first fight from 2016. Blachowicz badly rocked and knocked Manuwa down in the first round, but the Brit proved resilient. “Poster Boy” continued to walk down Blachowicz, scoring with vicious left hooks to the body and kicks to all levels, but his deadly power punches could never quite find their mark upstairs. Blachowicz continued to jab, slip, and counter effectively, and rode out a decision victory. By the end, both men were bloody messes, but both will go home $50,000 richer for their efforts.
Keep it locked to LowKickMMA for all your UFC London post-fight news, notes, and analysis.