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Colby Covington got the better of Tyron Woodley in their UFC Vegas 11 main event on Saturday in Las Vegas. Though the fight ended in a TKO stoppage because of an injury in the fifth round, Covington had already dominated the majority of the bout.
The UFC Vegas 11 main event was years in the making; a heated grudge match between former teammates that are divided on nearly any issue that comes to mind, inside the Octagon or out.
Regardless of their differences, it was Covington that trumped Woodley in the end.
After a quick trade of kicks, Covington shot and scored a takedown, planting Woodley on his back. Covington briefly landed punches to the body and head, but Woodley worked his way up the cage to return the fight to standing.
They traded blows for a couple minutes before Covington clinched and put Woodley on the fence, landing a couple of elbows on the break.
The final moments of the opening round garnered neither man much of an advantage, though Covington briefly held a clinch again on the fence.
Woodley started quickly in round two, but Covington used his height advantage to great affect, launching a couple of flying knees and again taking the fight into the clinch on the fence.
Woodley threw a few combinations that did little damage, but he did set up a takedown, though Covington was quickly back to his feet, pressing Woodley into the fence again.
They separated and Woodley landed a hard shot to the body, but Covington continued his clinch game, putting Woodley's back to the cage.
Late in round two, Covington landed a couple solid body and head kicks, but also ate a superman punch off the fence from Woodley.
Both fighters looked fresh after the second round, but Covington was clearly in control of most fo the fight to that point.
Just as round three got underway, Covington landed a poke to Woodley’s eye, causing a stop in the action.
Woodley stepped right back into the fight, but again Covington unloaded on him with a combination of body kicks, head kicks, and punches, before returning him to the fence.
Covington smothered Woodley for the remainder of the round. Woodley reversed position a couple times, but Covington largely maintained control for the majority of the frame.
Though he didn’t appear tired, Woodley looked frustrated following round three.
Covington opened round four with a kick to the head. Woodley returned fire with a kick to the body.
A minute later and Woodley was on the canvas, having stuffed one takedown, but getting planted by the follow-up attempt. Covington worked a strong ground and pound attack for the remainder of the round, relentlessly unleashing a combination of punches and elbows, bloodying Woodley’s face.
It was clearly Covington’s best round of the fight. He put Woodley in a position to have to find a way to finish the fight in order to win.
Woodley stuffed an early Covington takedown attempt, catching him in a guillotine choke. After they hit the canvas, Covington began working to pass guard, but as he did so, Woodley cried out in pain with an apparent rib injury.
The referee quickly moved in and called a halt to the fight, the victory going to Covington.
In his post-fight speech, Covington used his platform to stump for U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election bid and take some shots at Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the silent majority is ready to make some noise. If you though that was a beating, just wait until Nov. 3 when Donald Trump gets his hands on Sleepy Joe (Biden). That’s gonna be a landslide,” said Covington.
“I want to dedicate this fight to all the first responders, all the military out there. This world would not be safe without you guys. You keep us safe, not these woke athletes. I’m sick of these woke athletes and these spineless cowards like Lebron James.”
“And speaking of spineless cowards, Marty Fake Newsman (Kamaru Usman), Street Judas (Jorge Masvidal), we got unfinished business. There’s nowhere to run and there’s nowhere to hide. I’m coming for you. You’re next!”
Donald Cerrone and Niko Price co-main event ends in majority draw
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone went into the fight with Niko Price looking to end a four-fight skid. He did… sort of.
Cerrone and Price started trading right away, but Price was the one landing the heavier shots from the bell. A minute into the fight and Price landed a couple hard jabs, an elbow, and a head kick.
Cerrone was rocked and Price piled it on with more elbows across the jaw. Looking to stay in the fight, Cerrone tied Price up in a clinch, not doing much with it offensively, but buying some time to recover.
Cerrone fired off a head kick, but then took an accidental poke to the eye that briefly paused the bout.
The two fought on, trading shots as the round wound down, but in the final 20 seconds, Price landed another accidental eye poke. This one coupled with the first cost him a point, nullifying his quick start that had Cerrone on the ropes.
Price opened round two with several low kicks that landed, but Cerrone battled back, countering with several punch combinations, working off of his jab.
As Price kept working the kicks, Cerrone began working punch combinations to the body, looking to slow Price, who kept pressing with his kicks to the legs and adding kicks to the body.
Cerrone landed a hard elbow to the head that got Price’s attention, but Price kept firing off his kicks.
Going into the final frame, Price would appear to have the edge, as he was the much busier fighter. But the point deduction in round one put the scorecards into doubt.
Round three proved to be another strong start for Price, as he did a better job mixing in his punch combinations with his kicks. Cerrone still showed good movement, but Price pressed the pace.
But once again, Price landed the eye poke, this time to both eyes. Cerrone took little time to rest, and the referee did not see fit to deduct any further points, despite Pricer’s earlier infractions.
As soon as the got going, Cerrone and Price entered into a scramble with Cerrone taking Price’s back. Though he remained there for a moment, Price fought his way out.
Fighting on the feet again, both men appeared to be a bit tired, especially Price. Cerrone landed a kick to the face, but Price soldiered on.
They threw everything they had left at each other in the waning moments of the fight, but neither could find the finish.
One judge scored the bout 29-27 for Cerrone, while the other two had it 28-28, all scores including a point deduction from Price for the eye pokes, resulting in a majority draw.
Khamzat Chimaev blasts Gerald Meerschaert with 17-second knockout
Chimaev and Meerschaert walked around the Octagon, each eyeing the other, looking for an opening. Chimaev opened with an exploratory kick that went nowhere. He followed with a single right hand that went all the way.
That one straight right hand laid Meerschaert out cold. Chimaev connected and Meerschaert instantly dropped to the canvas.
The referee immediately stopped the fight at the 17-second mark, clearing the way for Chimaev to face Demian Maia in a quick turnaround on UFC Fight Island in October.
In 66 days, Chimaev has gone from 6-0 to 9-0, defeating three opponents in two months. He’ll now get the opportunity to make if four wins in less than three months when he faces Maia.
The best of the rest at UFC Vegas 11
Ryan Spann nearly had the win over Johnny Walker out with one blistering punch early in the first round, but Walker dug deep and fought his way back into the fight. Though Spann returned him to the canvas, Walker again survived and returned the fight to standing.
Spann then tried to take Walker back the floor, but Walker drove a couple of elbows and hammerfists into the side of Spann’s head for the knockout.
Jiu-jitsu sensation Mackenzie Dern again proved to have no trouble on the scale nor in the Octagon. She submitted Randa Markos with a highly technical armbar submission late in the first round of their UFC Vegas 11 main card bout.
Kevin Holland took a split decision victory over Darren Stewart in the main card opener.
UFC Vegas 11: Covington vs. Woodley results
UFC Vegas 11 Main Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Welterweight: Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley by TKO (rib injury) at 1:19, R5
Welterweight: Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone vs. Niko Price a majority draw (29-27 Cerrone, 28-28, 28-28)
Middleweight: Khamzat Chimaev def. Gerald Meerschaert by KO (punch) at 0:17, R1
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker def. Ryan Spann by KO (elbows and punches) at 2:43, R1
Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern def. Randa Markos by submission (armbar) at 3:44, R1
Middleweight: Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Vegas 11 Prelims (5 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
Flyweight: David Dvořák def. Jordan Espinosa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight: Damon Jackson def. Mirsad Bektic by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:21, R3
Women’s Flyweight: Mayra Bueno Silva def. Mara Romero Borella by submission (armbar) at 2:29, R1
Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica-Rose Clark def. Sarah Alpar by TKO (punch and knee) at 4:21, R3
Bantamweight: Randy Costa def. Journey Newson by KO (head kick) at 0:41, R1
Bantamweight: Andre Ewell def. Irwin Rivera by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Featherweight: Darrick Minner def. T.J. Laramie by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:52, R1
Bantamweight: Tyson Nam def. Jerome Rivera by TKO (punches) at 0:34, R2