UFC on FOX 29 emanated tonight (Saturday, April 14, 2018) from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ and was headlined by a lightweight slugfest between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. As expected, the two engaged in a Fight of the Year contender until Poirier stopped Gaethje on fourth-round punches. “The Highlight” relentlessly pressured Poirier but often found himself on the receiving end of a multi-punch salvo. Poirier followed the blueprint set by Eddie Alvarez, working in copious body shots to the relentless Coloradan. Gaethje seemed to turn the tide in the third, where his relentless leg kicks slowed and staggered Poirier. But a straight left hand wobbled Gaethje in the fourth, and Poirier refused to let him off the hook. Both men left $50,000 richer for their efforts and with the eternal respect of the audience.
For his guillotine-choke finish of Carlos Condit, Alex Oliveira earned one of the two Performance of the Night bonuses. Condit held his own throughout their abbreviated contest, but “Cowboy” ultimately proved too physical. After Condit secured a takedown in the second – the pair went takedown-for-takedown all fight – Oliveira landed a gnarly upkick that seemed to change the complexion of the fight. Oliveira was able to scramble to his feet, and as Condit sought to reestablish top position, Oliveira snagged the guillotine. It took nearly 30 seconds of squeezing and adjusting, but he eventually forced the “Natural Born Killer” to tap out. Oliveira will leave Glendale $50,000 richer for his performance.
The other Performance of the Night went to undercard heavyweight Adam Wieczorek, who became just the second person ever to finish a fight by omaplata submission. Taken down several times by the grappling-minded Arjan Bhullar, Wieczorek never stopped trying to climb his guard up. In the second, he was able to gain the angle he needed, trapped Bhullar’s left arm, and sat up into the omaplata. He secured Bhullar’s hips with a seatbelt grip and forced his head to the mat. The tap came moments later. With that, Wieczorek joined Ben Saunders as the only fighters to stop a fight via omaplata in the UFC.
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