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UFC 218 preliminary card results: Medeiros rallies to stop Oliveira in Fight of the Year contender

Check out the results of the four televised preliminary card fights at UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2 in Detroit, Michigan.

MMA: UFC 218 Olivera vs Medeiros Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s a better fight than what transpired between Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira at UFC 218, then that fight will surely go down as one of the greatest in the history of MMA. Medeiros rallied from multiple knockdowns and being close to out on several occasions to defeat Oliveira in a back-and-forth slobberknocker. That was the highlight of the preliminary card and indeed the whole event thus far. Other preliminary card action included decision wins for Felice Herrig and David Teymur, plus another stoppage win via elbows for Paul Felder. Here’s how the fights played out.

Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira by KO (elbows) at 4:06 of round 2 - Lightweights

It took less than 30 seconds for Felder to be taken down by Oliveira, who immediately went for the back. In a scramble, Oliveira looked to grab control of the neck and tap Felder with a d’arce choke. Felder was in danger against the Brazilian submission specialist, and Oliveira was trying to squeeze Felder unconscious. Incredibly, Felder survived that sequence, but found himself with Oliveira draped all over his back. Moments before that, Felder was hit with an illegal knee to the head while he was downed. Oliveira couldn’t get the standing rear-naked choke, fell down, and Felder willingly went into his guard to deliver some ground-and-pound. Hard elbows opened up a cut on Oliveira’s head, as he rolled over for a leglock, but Felder was privy to it and bashed Do Bronx with a hard right hand. Felder finished a wild opening round with more ground strikes from top position.

Oliveira was unable to get the takedown in the second round, andin the clinch, Felder hurt Oliveira with vicious elbows and proceeded to throw more powerful strikes on the ground. Oliveira appeared to be tiring and the flow of the fight was in Felder’s favor. A heel hook by Oliveira didn’t net a submission and didn’t lead to top position for him, either. More elbows by Felder rained down, even as he played with fire dealing with the active guard of Oliveira. Elbows upon elbows upon elbows smashed Oliveira’s face, and replays showed that Oliveira actually tapped to strikes but the referee didn’t see it until six more elbows had landed. A third straight win by elbow TKO for Felder, and he had to overcome a rough start to round 1 to do so.

Yancy Medeiros def. Alex Oliveira by TKO (punches) at 2:02 of round 3 - Welterweights

“Cowboy” was extremely aggressive, attacking both the head and body with bad intentions. Medeiros knocked Oliveira down with a left hand, then went for a standing choke, but Oliveira recovered and came back with his own offensive assault. All of this was just within the span of about 60 seconds. As they were clinched up, an illegal knee to the groin meant that Medeiros needed time to recover. Shortly after the restart, a right hand dropped Medeiros, then Oliveira threw a hard knee to the body as Yancy went back up. Just absolute craziness, and Oliveira’s nose was busted up from the knockdown he suffered at the beginning of the contest. Another smashing right hand floored Medeiros, who was back to his feet but taking some serious punishment and inexplicably surviving punches, knees, and elbows against the fence. Just absolutely unreal toughness shown from Medeiros, who was taking a beating. Medeiros caught Oliveira with a right hand, but Oliveira was hellbent on getting the finish. Unbelievably, Medeiros survived the round despite being perilously close to getting knocked out on numerous occasions. It was truly one of the best rounds of 2017.

The two men hugged each other to start round 2, then proceeded to restart the war. Oliveira threw a series of kicks to the body, then Medeiros wobbled Oliveira with a hard left hand. A stiff straight left split the guard of Oliveira, who continued to bash the body with front kicks. Medeiros was getting in the more accurate, powerful shots in this round, including his own left hook to the body. Oliveira went for a takedown and it was stuffed, then he just missed on a wheel kick before going back to the body. Oliveira went for the takedown again and Medeiros tripped Cowboy and reversed his way into full mount. The Hawaiian was pummeling the Brazilian with elbows before slipping out of mount and back to his feet.

A three-punch combo staggered Medeiros in round 3, and Oliveira found a second wind to the point where he was able to complete a takedown on Yancy. Oliveira took Medeiros’ back, then lost the position and Medeiros wound up on top. They returned to vertical position to recommence the violence. Oliveira was exhausted, hurt by something, and Medeiros capitalized by busting up Oliveira against the fence until he collapsed to the ground, and that was the end of an absolute thriller. That was an all-time classic and an amazing comeback win for Medeiros.

David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) - Lightweights

Herb Dean, who was already under fire for his stoppage of the Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi fight, was under the spotlight in round 1 for bizarrely warning Teymur for “too many back steps” when Klose was the one who was often doing nothing offensively and standing with his hands down. It was an absolutely puzzling decision by Dean. Aside from that, Teymur definitively took the round off of throwing and landing more strikes.

Klose had an aggressive flurry early in round 2 to back the Swede up, but moments later he was on the receiving end of a hard right hook. Teymur showed great balance and strength to stuff Klose’s takedown attempt. Klose seemed to want to goad Teymur into fighting recklessly, but Teymur never took the bait and continued to land the more effective shots from the outside. It looked as if Michigan’s Klose would be able to pick Teymur up and slam him down, but Teymur avoided getting dumped on the mat and he whacked Klose with a head shot. A left hand got through for Klose later in the round, only for Teymur to land another inside low kick. Klose got too aggressive for his own good and Teymur turned that against him, taking him down late and getting in some ground-and-pound.

Teymur cracked Klose with a knee and then a head kick, and Klose did well to eat those strikes without getting wobbled. Klose was too often getting countered from the outside and he was bullrushing without much of an effective plan. An eye poke by Teymur halted proceedings momentarily, but when action resumed, Klose upped his urgency knowing he was down two rounds. A couple of body shots and opportunistic strikes in scrambles were there for Klose, but he remained as frustrated as ever that Teymur dare to strike from the outside and circle. Klose got a takedown with less than two minutes to go, only for Teymur to spring back up shortly thereafter. Teymur shot and failed on a takedown, some strikes were traded, and the horn sounded to signal a clear-cut win for Teymur, and the first loss of Klose’s career.

Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey by split decision(29-28, 28-29, 29-28)- Women’s Strawweights

Casey started well in round 1, using her reach advantage to land some nice right hands over the top from the outside. Herrig got going with multiple left hooks. With Casey connecting the more precise punches, Herrig went for the takedown and got Casey to the mat. Casey did well to use a kimura sweep to wind up on top, and eventually get to her feet. Herrig closed the round strongly with a flurry of punches, although Casey did clip her at least once on the counter.

Herrig continued to have success with the left hook, but little else on the feet at the start of the 2nd round. Casey picked her shots nicely and had the better of several striking exchanges with Felice. Interestingly enough, well past the midway point of the round, Herrig was content to engage in a kickboxing battle and not pursue the takedown. After a leg kick from Casey, Herrig cracked Casey with yet another left hook. As the round progressed, Herrig started to find her timing a little more and she tagged Casey with effective power shots.

Casey’s eyes were swelling as the result of the punches landed by Herrig. There was a small mouse under the left eye of Felice, who was clipped by a counter left hook just before the two-minute mark of the final round. Casey strung together a leg kick, two-punch combination and had some success with that. Herrig repeatedly landed the overhand right, while Casey worked off the backfoot and on the counter. For some reason they flipped each other off in the last minute of the fight. Casey and Herrig each fired off some heavy shots at each other and it became a mini-brawl as the bout drew to a close. It was a tightly-contested matchup, but it was a split decision win for Herrig, who ends 2017 with her fourth straight win.