LAS VEGAS — Jon Jones retained his title, Tyron Woodley lost his and UFC 235 delivered in a stacked card from top to bottom.
UFC 235 main card
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith
Jon Jones used his kicks and superior striking to win a unanimous decision over Anthony Smith on Saturday to retain his light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges scored the contest 48-44 for Jones. [More]
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman ground down champion Tyron Woodley over five grueling rounds Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to win a unanimous decision in a dominant performance and claim the UFC welterweight title. Scores were 50-44 twice and 50-45. [More]
Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
LAS VEGAS — Nearly stopped in the first minute of the fight, Ben Askren made his UFC debut a successful one by stopping Robbie Lawler with a rear naked choke in the first round Saturday at UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. [More]
Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
LAS VEGAS — Weili Zhang had the advantage over Tecia Torres in every position and scored a unanimous decision in their strawweight fight on the main card of UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena. Judges had it 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Zhang. Yahoo Sports had it 30-27 for Zhang.
Zhang, who lost her pro debut in 2013 and then has won 18 in a row, outlanded Torres by more than 2-to-1, 56-22, according to FightMetric.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
LAS VEGAS — With about 40 seconds left in the opening round of his fight with Pedro Munhoz, Cody Garbrandt forced his way off the canvas and started to fire big shots at his opponent. As Garbrandt landed a few in the opener of the main card of UFC 235 Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, the crowd began to roar.
At that point, Garbrandt elected to stand and trade big shots. With about 15 seconds left, both men threw wide rights, but Munhoz’s found its mark first. It landed on Garbrandt’s chin, and led to yet another knockout loss for the former UFC bantamweight champion.
Munhoz landed a couple of shots on the ground before referee Marc Goddard jumped in at 4:52 to stop it.
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2019
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Munhoz showed that his punching power is not to be underestimated. Egged on by the crowd, Garbrandt made the fatal mistake that led to his third consecutive loss after beginning his career 11-0.
“I just wanted to give this crowd the best possible fight,” Munhoz said.
Munhoz has now won seven of his last eight bouts.
UFC 235 prelims results
Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
LAS VEGAS — Zabit Magomedsharipov and Jeremy Stephens went at each other with a dazzling array of punches, kicks, spinning backfists and knees, but they weren’t done with each other when the final bell sounded.
Inspectors from the Nevada Athletic Commission had to get between them when the fast-paced, high-action fight ended. It went to the judges and all three saw it 29-28 for Magomedsharipov. Yahoo Sports had it 29-28 for Stephens.
Magomedsharipov is now 6-0 in the UFC, but this was by far his toughest victory. The powerful Stephens was moving forward much of the fight, looking to land his crushing right hand. Magomedsharipov managed to avoid the bulk of those, but he also never landed one of the showy strikes he’s become known for as he’s risen quickly up the UFC rankings.
He was working for a rear naked choke submission as the bell sounded to end Round 2, but beyond that, the bout was a battle of striking.
Magomedsharipov, who leaped off the cage in the second and threw a kick at Stephens, had an 83-45 edge in strikes, including a 70-41 advantage in significant strikes, according to FightMetric. Magomedsharipov also had three takedowns.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Johnny Walker
LAS VEGAS — Johnny Walker went down face first onto the canvas Saturday at the end of his bout with Misha Cirkunov on the preliminary card of UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena.
Walker appeared to injure himself after falling in celebration after yet another dramatic early knockout. A month after he needed just 15 seconds to finish Justin Ledet with a spinning back fist in Brazil, Walker finished Cirkunov at 36 seconds of the first with a flying knee to the chin.
Walker followed Cirkunov to the mat and landed a few strikes before referee Herb Dean stopped it.
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2019
Walker laughed when asked about his celebration in the cage by UFC analyst Joe Rogan, and said he injured his shoulder. That’s the most danger he’s been in in a long time in the cage, as he won for the ninth consecutive time. It was also his third consecutive first-round knockout in the UFC.
He knocked out Khalil Rountree Jr. with an elbow in just 1:57 in a Fight Night card in Argentina on Nov. 17. He followed that with a dramatic 15-second finish of Ledet on Feb. 2 in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Cirkunov was by far the best opponent Walker had faced, but Walker showed star potential with another knockout. The knee was perfectly time and landed right on Cirkunov’s chin.
Cody Stamann vs. Alejandro Perez
LAS VEGAS — In what largely turned into a kickboxing match, Cody Stamann narrowly got the best of Alejandro Perez and pulled out a tight unanimous decision. Judges favored Stamann by scores of 29-28 twice and 30-27. Yahoo Sports saw the fight for Perez, 29-28.
Each had their moments in the bout, but Stamann was slightly more busy and that was apparently the difference in the judges’ minds. According to FightMetric, each fighter threw 121 significant strikes. Stamann connected on 48 while Perez landed 41.
Perez had the most notable moment, scoring the only takedown when he spiked Stamann on his head at the start of the third round. Perez also stuffed all eight takedown attempts by Stamann.
Stamann is now 4-1 in the UFC, edging Perez after losing to Aljamain Sterling in his last bout.
Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall
LAS VEGAS — Diego Sanchez began his first winning streak in exactly seven years on Saturday when he used his grappling to set up a second-round finish of Mickey Gall in the opening bout of the UFC 235 preliminary card at T-Mobile Arena.
Sanchez hurt Gall with shots to the body, finally dropping him with a knee. Sanchez got top position and did not allow Gall to get up. He began battering him with elbows and punches, forcing referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight at 4:13 of the second round.
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2019
The victory gave Sanchez a two-fight winning streak. The last time he won consecutive bouts was Oct. 23, 2010, over Paolo Thiago and March 3, 2011, over Martin Kampmann.
Sanchez ate a right hand from Gall immediately as the bout opened, but he controlled the majority of the fight. He hurt Gall with a hook to the body early in the second round, which was the beginning of the end. Gall never seemed to fully recover from that punch.
But Sanchez landed several knees to the body, the last of which dropped Gall along the cage. Sanchez quickly finished him off to earn the victory, his 29th overall and his 18th in the UFC.
More UFC 235 coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Jon Jones picks apart Anthony Smith to retain title
• Kamaru Usman dethrones Tyron Woodley in dominating fashion
• Ben Askren survives vicious slam to win Octagon debut
• Johnny Walker injures shoulder during post-fight celebration