Check out our breakdown of the post-fight bonuses from UFC 222: Cyborg vs Kunitskaya from Las Vegas, Nevada.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to an awesome night of fights, with four (T)KOs, no submissions and seven decisions, including an incredible five split-decisions. We also saw a rare disqualification on tonight’s card when Hector Lombard punched C.B. Dollaway twice after the bell, rendering him unable to continue.
Usually cards with a lot of decisions can feel like they are dragging, but UFC 222 delivered on all levels. Controversial judge Adelaide Byrd, the only judge (and person in the world) to give Canelo Alvarez a 118-110 scorecard, was one of the officials tonight, which Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik had some fun talking about.
Hahaha. Jon Anik says Adelaide Byrd is judging this fight.
Rogan: “Oh, God.”
Anik: “I met her and she’s a very nice lady.”
Rogan: “So is my mom, I wouldn’t want her judging fights.”
DC (crying with laughter): “Somebody come get Joe Rogan!”
— Iain Kidd (@iainkidd) March 4, 2018
This card definitely acted as a changing of the guard, with Mike Pyle retiring, Ketlen Vieira beating Cat Zingano, and Cody Stamann chalking up a win over the underrated Bryan Caraway, to say nothing of Brian Ortega being the first man to finish Frankie Edgar. Other prospect match-ups saw Sean O’Malley finishing–and winning–his fight on one leg and BJJ star Mackenzie Dern getting a hard-fought decision victory.
Performances of the Night: Brian Ortega, Alexander Hernandez
Brian Ortega became the first man in history to finish Frankie Edgar tonight. You could argue it was inevitable that Frankie’s chin would eventually start to show cracks, but I don’t think even prime Edgar could have survived the hellacious uppercut Ortega threw at him. Ortega rocked Frankie with an elbow and followed it up with a right hand, a head kick, and then an elbow that saw Frankie Edgar soar through the air like a majestic Jersey seagull before crashing to the mat and taking a couple more shots. Mercifully, the referee stepped in to save him, and Ortega walked away $50,000 richer for his historical win over “The Answer.”
Alexander Hernandez flew under the radar ahead of tonight’s fights. Beneil Dariush was a -400 favorite in this bout, having lost only twice in his last 10 fights. Someone forgot to give the 25-year-old Hernandez the script, though, and he absolutely blitzed through Dariush in just 42 seconds. Hernandez earned $50k for his performance, but might have lost some fans with his fake glove touch to kick the fight off.
Fight of the Night: Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
Sean O’Malley got a PPV main card spot in only his second UFC fight, and he justified that belief in him with a performance reminiscent of Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway. Like McGregor, the ultra-talented O’Malley was matched up against a more established prospect; like McGregor, he suffered a potentially serious leg injury during the fight, and like McGregor, he adjusted and still pulled out the decision win, with his dominating performance in the first two rounds being enough to outweigh his one-legged performance in the third. Given how much pain O’Malley looked to be in after the fight–Joe Rogan interviewed him while he lay on the mat, grimacing–it’s incredible he even managed to survive until the final bell.
Soukhamthath did everything he could to show he deserved O’Malley’s limelight, and he even survived some huge shots and strong submission attempts in the first and second rounds. That gritty performance almost paid dividends in the third when O’Malley ended up unable to stand after a checked leg kick, but Soukhamthath failed to capitalize on the injury, choosing to go to the mat instead of forcing O’Malley to hop on one leg. That’s a decision he will no doubt be rueing for eternity, but the 50 G’s he and O’Malley earned for their fight of the night performance will give him plenty of paper to wipe his tears away with.