The Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada was home to a fantastic night of fights. The card saw five (T)KOs, one submission, and seven decisions, including three split-decisions.
Performances of the Night: Thiago Santos and Max Holloway
Put two knockout machines in a cage and you’re most likely getting a good fight. That was definitely the case with Jimi Manuwa and Thiago Santos. The fight was barely a few seconds in when Santos dropped Manuwa with a rocket right. He immediately gets a front headlock on the Brit, and then blasts him again on the break. Manuwa is down again. Manuwa survives and then lands a body shot that stunned Santos. They take center cage and go hell for leather. Manuwa lands a hellacious punch that likely would’ve dropped anyone else, but it just staggered Marreta.
The second round saw just a brief clinch before Santos stunned Manuwa with an uppercut followed by a huge right. He lands a concrete-crumbling left hook and Manuwa is on his hands and knees, face pressed to the canvas.
Thiago Santos gets the win and 50 Gs for giving the 205lb division a much needed infusion of talent
Fight of the Night: Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Max Holloway and Brian Ortega put on one hell of a fight that was punctuated by Holloway’s ability to keep landing on Ortega, from virtually any angle, all while absorbing occasional hard shots from T-City.
The opening stanza was the conventional meet and greet, feeling out period, and while Ortega did get a takedown, Max was quickly back to his feet, dictating the pace authoritatively by the final minute of the round.
The second saw Holloway throwing a stiff jab mixed in with some low kicks. He bloodied Ortega’s nose at some point, and like a shark in freshly chummed water, Max started throwing heavy leather and lots of it.
Finally, in round three, Ortega starts turning the tide, scoring a takedown and hunting for the choke, but crafty Holloway escaped. Back on their feet, they’re trading again, and Brian looks like he could be gaining momentum. This fight is fantastic, and everything is flying inside this phone booth.
Round four was a back-and-forth affair, but Holloway’s ability to absorb punishment was much better than Ortega’s. Max really did good work in the clinch and was landing 5-punch combinations for every punch Ortega managed to land. Brian’s eye was nearly swollen shut and his face was straight out of the Red Wedding. They continue trying to beat each other unconscious until the horn sounds.
After the round, the ringside physician determined that Ortega was not fit to continue due to the eye swelling.
*Holloway significant strikes stat: 290/490 for a 59% land rate
Max Holloway gets the win and both men get 50 large for putting on a seriously exciting scrap. Holloway also got an additional $50K as one of the performances of the night for being the first man to hand the Gracie jiu-jitsu ace his first “and 1.”
Attendance: 19,039 *SOLD OUT* (UFC’s highest attendance at Scotiabank Arena/ACC in history)