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UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. McDonald post-fight results and analysis

Mookie Alexander recaps the fantastic night of action that took place at UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. McDonald in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Fight Night 91 is in the books, and what a card it was. It didn't offer much on paper in terms of name value, but there were some fantastic finishes, several insane back-and-forth battles, and just terrific action all across the board. The main event saw John Lineker wreck Michael McDonald so badly that all of his solo cuts, duets, Doobie Brothers hits, and songs where he sang backing vocals briefly ceased playing on radio stations across the world. Lineker is pound-for-pound one of the heaviest punchers in the sport. He's solidified his spot as a bantamweight contender, and the world is a better place because of it.

In all seriousness, there is no reason to ever stand-and-trade with John Lineker. It will not work. He hits harder than you (with the exception of John Dodson?) and doesn't care too much when you hit him back. If he lands, you will feel it, and it will hurt. That's the first time Michael McDonald has ever been clean KO'd -- Cole Escovedo TKO'd him several years ago -- and I cannot believe Mayday withstood that much punishment before finally going out cold.

Lineker called out Dominick Cruz in the post-fight interview, which is terrific. Would Cruz beat Lineker? Highly likely. And by a comfortable margin on the scorecards. However, I'm writing this up only minutes after Lineker just crumpled another human being, so while I'm functioning with elevated levels of irrational thought, John Lineker by KO.

More thoughts on tonight's event:

Main Card

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Landon Vannata was one of the craziest fights you'll ever see, and 2016 has been chock full of crazy fights. It looked very much like Vannata was going to knock Ferguson out and pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year, but Ferguson dug deep and got himself another d'arce choke win. All the credit in the world to Vannata even in a losing effort. I can't wait to see him fight again (presumably at featherweight, where he normally competes). Oh yeah, and short-notice fights carry high risk, and you nearly saw Ferguson's title aspirations take a massive hit.
  • What does the UFC do as far as the next title shot? Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson both ended up getting debutants at the last minute, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz may be fighting at 170, but their names have been floating around at 155, it's all so exciting! How can you not love the UFC's lightweight division? Eddie Alvarez is UFC champion, and the four names I just mentioned are the presumptive favorites to fight him.
  • Bloody Elbow's own Josh Samman was TKO'd by Tim Boetsch in the 2nd round. Samman had his face re-arranged. I have a feeling Samman will be kicking himself for so aggressively pushing for a clinch battle, where Boetsch thrives, as opposed to keeping the fight at range to utilize his striking. This was a bummer.
  • Daniel Omielanczuk busted up Oleksiy Oliynyk and won an ugly fight by majority decision, snapping Oliynyk's winning streak at 11. That's about as much as I have to say on that one.
  • Keita Nakamura nearly got dropped about 5 seconds into his fight with Kyle Noke, but he recovered nicely, outstruck the Australian, then forced the incredibly exciting buzzer-beating rear-naked choke. Noke was in huge trouble after he was knocked down by a K-Taro knee, and he had to succumb to Nakamura's choke with just 1 second left in round 2.
  • Louis Smolka is an animal. Actually, humans are animals, but what I mean is that Louis Smolka is a savage beast. He absolutely wrecked Ben Nguyen in the 2nd round, which was a continuation of the beatdown he started about 2 minutes before the end of the 1st. He's 5-1 in the UFC, with that one loss coming against Chris Cariaso, and he pushes an absurd pace. At just 24 years old, Smolka is one one of the top young talents at flyweight, and he continues to make massive improvements to his game.
  • Ben Nguyen's corner threw in the towel as Herb Dean was stepping in to stop the fight. They are my heroes. You never see this in MMA, as it's something that stupidly gets discouraged, but it had to happen. Well done to them. Nguyen was getting beaten senseless and you have to do what's best for your fighter.

Preliminary Card

  • Katlyn Chookagian got off to a winning start in her Octagon debut, using a sharp jab, effective combination striking, and making the most of her speed and striking advantages against Lauren Murphy. It was close for two rounds but Chookagian broke it open in the 3rd by dominating on the feet, with Murphy unable to get a fight-changing takedown. Chookagian remains undefeated in her pro career.
  • Sam Alvey made amends for that wretched fight vs. Elias Theodorou by (of all things) getting a standing guillotine choke on Eric Spicely, who was intent on getting a takedown to the point where Alvey made him pay for it. It's only the 3rd submission win of Alvey's 36-fight career.
  • Cortney Casey just destroyed Cristina Stanciu, who looked incredibly lost fighting off of her back. "Cast Iron" just blasted Stanciu with umpteen elbows on her way to the early stoppage victory. After two FOTN losses to start her UFC career, Casey is now in the win column on her third attempt.
  • Scott Holtzman put in a solid night's work with a unanimous decision over Cody Pfister, who survived a 2nd round head kick knockdown, and also had Holtzman rocked with a short elbow in the 1st, but otherwise struggled to generate enough offense to get him the win. We've likely seen Pfister's last fight (for now) inside the Octagon.
  • Lookin' For a Fight had a rough night. Devin Clark was knocked out in dramatic, slightly bizarre fashion at the end of his 1st round middleweight clash vs. Alex Nicholson. It was a fight he was dominating and had nearly finished midway through the round, but Nicholson was able to rally and get the KO, much to the dismay of the pro-Clark South Dakotans. Following that up at Matthew Lopez, who had a very competitive fight with veteran submission specialist Rani Yahya, but Lopez faded in the later rounds and Yahya's excellent BJJ skills capped off the Fight Pass prelims with a last-minute arm-triangle choke. Neither of the LFOF losers performed poorly, but the show has not had a good run with guys getting wins early in their UFC careers.

On a personal note, today (July 13th) is officially 4 years since I joined the Bloody Elbow staff. Time flies when you're writingbunch of penis articles.

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