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UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold live results, discussion, play-by-play for preliminary card

Live, blow-by-blow updates of the UFC 221 preliminary card, including the UFC debut of the undefeated striking phenom Israel Adesanya, plus lightweights Damien Brown and Dong Hyun Kim.

UFC 221 Ultimate Media Day Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Join Bloody Elbow tonight (Saturday, February 10th) for live results, discussion, and round-by-round scoring and commentary for UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

In the main event, former Strikeforce and UFC champ Luke Rockhold takes on Yoel Romero, but only Rockhold can win the interim middleweight belt due to Romero missing weight. Heavyweight legend Mark Hunt battles upstart American Curtis Blaydes in the co-main event.

This post will cover the seven-fight preliminary card. The featured bout is a lightweight matchup between Damien Brown and Dong Hyun Kim. Live results and play-by-play will commence with the Fight Pass broadcast at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT. The rest of the prelims will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. The main card will be covered in a separate post.

Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the each matchup.

The preliminary card fight lineup is as follows:


Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim - Lightweights

Round 1 - Sneaky right hand scores for Kim. Brown measuring up with the jab, then takes a leg kick. Kim with a good jab off of his backfoot. Perfectly placed leg kick knocks Kim down momentarily. The next one goes unchecked and buckles Kim again. Cracking right hand by Brown, who then absorbs a body punch. Head kick gets blocked at the last moment by Brown. Stinging right by Kim and then a left lands on Brown. Front kick to the body by Brown and that concludes the opening frame. 10-9 Kim.

Round 2 - Hard body kick slams home for Kim. Not much happening thus far but Kim connects on a right hand in close quarters. Big leg kick by Brown, then Kim reacts with a left hook to the liver. Kim showing off cleaner striking technique. Brown starts swinging and he landed one punch to the top of the head. Lots of feinting and not much willingness to engage as we approach the final minute of round 2. Leg kick by Brown lands, and Kim switches stances. Kim doubles up on the jab and snaps Brown’s head back. Leg kick again sweeps Kim off of his feet, but it’s Kim’s round again. 20-18 Kim.

Round 3 - Kim rips off a three-punch combination and mixes up his targets. Brown misses on the counter. The Korean lands a nice leg kick and evades Brown’s power shots. Just not a ton of really punishing blows connecting for either man. Kim with a sharp straight left from southpaw stance. Brown with a decent combination that ends with a thudding leg kick. Kim clips Brown with a left. Brown goes back to the leg kick attack and then goes upstairs, but Kim blocks that one. Good right hand catches Brown across the jaw. A fight that never really kicked into another gear comes to an end. 29-28 Kim.

Official result - Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


Israel Adesanya vs. Rob Wilkinson - Middleweights

Round 1 - Wilkinson misses on a right hand. Adesanya with a leg kick and a jab. Hard straight left lands for Adesanya. Kick is caught and Wilkinson presses for a takedown. Adesanya uses the whizzer, but Wilkinson has Adesanya’s neck, then lets go. Wilkinson just grinding this one against the fence. Wilkinson uses the trip to get Adesanya down, but he’s back up in an instant. Now Wilkinson has a single leg and works for another takedown. He can’t get it, but remains clinched against the fence. Twice Wilkinson gets Adesanya to the mat but he can’t hols him there. Adesanya with elbows to the side of the head, then separates. Outside leg kick by Adesanya. Another kick is caught but Adesanya rolls out of a takedown and back to his feet. Wilkinson doing well to stifle Adesanya’s vaunted striking. Officially, Wilkinson completed only two takedowns out of ten tries. 10-9 Wilkinson.

Round 2 - Adesanya just misses high with his deadly head kick. Lethal jab by Adesanya pierces through Wilkinson’s guard. Hard body shot clearly affected Wilkinson. Rob’s takedowns are getting stuffed, he’s getting rocked now by big strikes. Wilkinson completes this takedown and once again Adesanya is vertical again. Wilkinson tries to hold onto a leg and he cannot. Adesanya wriggles free and jars Wilkinson with a vicious knee. Right hand connects for Adesanya, and then a leg kick. Wilkinson eating a series of punches to the head and body, and he’s in trouble. Tremendous jab and now a knee by Adesanya. The end is near. Uppercut, right hand, left hand. More uppercuts and rights to the body. This is enough. Wilkinson collapses after another body shot and that’s a wrap. “The Last Style Bender” wins in style.

Official result - Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson by TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round 2


Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Volkanovski - Featherweights

Round 1 - Kennedy goes for the first takedown of the fight, and Volkanovski stays upright, then tries to lace the legs together for the trip. Volkanovski with short knees and then muscles Kennedy to the mat. The jostling for position rages on, then Volkanovski unleashes some good ground-and-pound, including a few elbows mixed in with the punches. Volkanovski is all over Kennedy and hammering the Canadian’s face. The shots keep raining down and Kennedy is hurt. Volkanovski is looking for the finish as he keeps wailing away. Kennedy tries to improve his position, but Volkanovski shoves him back down. This time Kennedy does get up, eats a knee along the way, and this round is in the books. 10-8 Volkanovski.

Round 2 - Kennedy with some early pressuring and a couple of punches thrown, but Volkanovski shoots a double leg and gets an easy takedown. Kennedy back to his feet and Volkanovski fires off a brutal knee to the body. Volkanovski is off-target on the elbow. Takedown try from Kennedy, as Volkanovski keeps a wide base and stays upright. Kennedy winds up on his back through Volkanovski’s overhook, and the Aussie resumes the ground-and-pound. Volkvanovski goes to the head and body with his ground strikes. This is a beating and Kennedy is probably in danger of being stopped. It’s just a series of painful shots that aren’t being answered, and Marc Goddard stops it with seconds to go in the round. Emphatic win by Volkanovski.

Official result - Alex Volkanovski def. Jeremy Kennedy by TKO (strikes) at 4:57 of round 2


Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen - Flyweights

Round 1 - Nguyen comes out aggressively throwing punches and pressing Formiga up against the clinch. Elbow by Nguyen and then a knee to the body, but Formiga reverses him against the fence, then they separate. Nguyen closes the distance quickly again and puts Formiga’s back against the cage. Back to the center they go once more. Nguyen’s head kick is blocked and then Formiga initiates a clinch, and another separation. Hard counter right hand by Formiga. Nguyen’s kick is caught and Formiga goes for the takedown, then gets it on the second attempt. Formiga is immediately in side control. The Brazilian immediately advances to full mount. Nguyen trying to buck Formiga off of him, but Formiga stays on top. Short, stay-busy strikes by Formiga all go to the head. Nguyen can’t hip escape, and he sees himself mounted for the rest of round 1. 10-9 Formiga.

Round 2 - Formiga’s left hook comes up short. Nguyen gets thrown aside as he came forward at Formiga. There’s a cut on the hairline of Formiga, but I don’t know what happened. Formiga sticks out the jab. Formiga going for the body lock takedown but Nguyen stuffs it. Good takedown defense by Nguyen. Looks like the cut was caused by an elbow. Spinning back kick to the body by Formiga lands cleanly. Nifty three-punch combo by Formiga. He changes levels but Nguyen stuffs the shot. Nguyen ducks the spinning backfist. Kick caught and takedown by Formiga, this time into Nguyen’s full guard. Formiga passes to half guard. Formiga goes for mount but Nguyen denies him and then escapes to his feet with just over one minute remaining. Formiga with a straight right counter. Nguyen with a 1-2. Kick upstairs is blocked by Formiga, who poked Nguyen in the eye. By the time the fight restarts the horn sounds to end the round. 20-18 Formiga.

Round 3 - Nguyen gets in a right hand to the top of the head, and Formiga answers back with his own right that was cleaner. Short right hand connects for Nguyen. HUGE spinning backfist by Formiga drops Nguyen and he’s hurt! Formiga takes the back, throws punches, and sinks in the rear-naked choke. Nguyen goes unconscious and that is it!

Official result - Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen by technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:41 of round 3


Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota - Lightweights

Round 1 - Pearson and Hirota trade leg kicks. Good short left hook by Pearson, now he sticks the jab out. Hirota lands a leg kick. Another leg kick for Hirota as Pearson looked to go forward. Nice shovel hook by Pearson catches Hirota on the chin. It’s a slow-paced fight and Pearson has thus far landed the better punches, while Hirota has had success with his kicks. Hirota shoots for a takedown and can’t get it. Pearson misses on a flying knee and a sad horn sound ends the round. 10-9 Pearson.

Round 2 - It’s a lot of waiting. And feinting. And then Pearson springs into action with a left hand. Leg kick by Hirota, followed by a second one. Good two-punch combination by Pearson, as Hirota’s nose has a little bit of blood. Pearson’s left hook tags Hirota on the side of his face. Short right hand by Hirota but then he gets countered and clipped. Pearson comes up short on a right hand. Inside leg kick by Hirota. Ross with the left hook. Hirota connects on two punches but nothing too damaging. Mizuto swings two left hook and then a knee. Hard right hand buckles Pearson badly and Hirota is going to work to end the round. Pearson survives. 19-19.

Round 3 - Hirota continues to land those leg kicks with regularity, and there’s welling on Pearson’s left knee. Pearson fires back with the same strike. Pearson slips a shot and glances a right hand off of Hirota’s cheek. Hirota appears to be the slightly fresher fighter at this stage of the contest. Pearson checks the leg kick, gets in a left over the top of Hirota’s right arm. Good right to the body by Pearson. Snaps that jab but eats a left shortly thereafter. One minute to go in this one. Left hook again for Pearson but nothing to follow that up. Nice jab by Hirota. Leg kick slaps the inside of Hirota’s thigh. Hirota with one more leg kick. The Japanese fighter is trying to turn up the pace and get Pearson in a flurry, but he can’t do it this time. Seconds tick away and Pearson fails on another flying knee. It’s over. 29-28 Pearson.

Official result - Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)


Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez - Bantamweights

Round 1 - They both throw kicks at the same time and that leads to Quinonez taking Ishihara down. Ishihara back to his feet and now it’s an underhook battle in the clinch. Knees to the body are exchanged but it’s largely a stalemate. Quinonez goes for the trip and Ishihara has the whizzer, but he’s given up his back and is in danger of being choked out. Ishihara has the body triangle and we have more than two minutes left in the round. Quinonez still has the body triangle, draped on Ishihara’s back, but Ishihara scrambles and escapes. There’s uh... a wardrobe malfunction, as Quinonez needs to readjust his cup. They restart from neutral position in the center of the cage. Straight left by Ishihara and then he misses on the next one. Outside trip by Ishihara in the clinch and now Quinonez spins and goes for a takedown, bails on it and then throws an elbow on the inside. Right hook lands for Ishihara, and then a massive left over the top stuns Quinonez as the round ends. I think he stole the round based off of that. 10-9 Ishihara.

Round 2 - High kick by Quinonez goes by Ishihara’s noggin. Both men now fighting from southpaw. Strong leg kick by Quinonez. Body kick connects for Quinonez. Ishihara phase shifts his way into a takedown. Quinonez is back up quickly. He throws a couple of leg kicks. Knee to the body and a leg kick by Quinonez. Ishihara isn’t really checking these kicks, but he did fire off two to the calf of Quinonez. There isn’t a whole lot to separate these men with 20 seconds left in the frame. And then Quinonez abruptly goes jelly-legged and falls down. Might have been a left hand behind the ear that did the job. Round ends and Ishihara probably won the round based off of that knockdown. 20-18 Ishihara.

Round 3 - Nice knee by Ishihara in the clinch but he gets clipped by an uppercut on the exit. Flush right hand over the top scores for the Mexican. Hard leg kick to the outside by Quinonez. And another one. Straight right by Quinonez, who has most of the offense in this round thus far. Quinonez catches Ishihara on the end of a left hand, then a good head kick. Takedown by Ishihara fails as Quinonez is able to sprawl. Ishihara with a leg kick to the back leg of Quinonez. Jose continues to find success with the leg kick. Ishihara misses on a power punch, hardly anything happens in the final seconds, and that’s it. 29-28 Ishihara but I wouldn’t be against 29-28 Quinonez if you gave him round 1. He probably should’ve gotten it, to be honest.

Official result - Jose Quinonez def. Teruto Ishihara by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe - Welterweights

Round 1 - UFC 221 is underway. Body kick by Abe is blocked and then Jumeau counters with a chopping leg kick. Abe goes wide on a right hand. Jumeau lands a check hook. Solid right cracks Abe. Left hook stumbles Abe backwards. Abe with a straight right that gets through. Hard right hand by Abe after Jumeau caught his kick. Big right hand stuns Jumeau and now Abe is teeing off with combination punching against the fence, but he can’t get Jumeau out of there. Jumeau looks to have been floored by a punch coming in, and Abe goes for the finish! Hammerfists and more ground-and-pound but Jumeau is back to his feet. He is bloodied, though. And he ate a knee. Jumeau survives the round. 10-9 Abe.

Round 2 - Jumeau gets a much-needed takedown, then Abe springs to his feet. Sloppy left hook misses but the right glances off of Abe’s face. Abe absorbs a liver shot. Thudding body kick connects for Jumeau. Abe has slowed a bit in this round. Jumeau lands a right over the top. He remains aggressive going to the body. A 1-2 by Jumeau and then a nice left hook as Abe was coming in. Abe gets kicked in the groin but action doesn’t halt. Leg kick from Abe. Thirty seconds remaining and Abe throws a right to the stomach. Labored leg kick from Abe. Left hook partially lands for Jumeau as the round ends. 19-19.

Round 3 - Hard body kick by Abe. And another one. Sharp right hand from Jumeau but he doesn’t follow-up with anything. Left hook, same result. He doesn’t throw in combinations whatsoever. Head kick by Jumeau catches Abe. Might have been a headbutt or something but Jumeau stopped fighting and has blood pouring out of his left eye. The replay shows it wasn’t a headbutt or an eye poke, but a clean right hand. Doctor has a look, the blood is cleaned up, and Jumeau will continue. The ref seemed to think it was an eye poke so he warned Abe about it. Neither man doing a whole much over this last minute. Body kick by Jumeau once again. He digs in an uppercut then jabs Abe. Leg kick is checked by Abe. Another leg kick buckles Abe and knocks him down. Stiff right hand and then a body kick follows for Jumeau. Abe swings and misses with 15 seconds to go. Jumeau drops Abe with another leg kick and dishes some ground-and-pound to end the round and the fight. 29-28 Jumeau.

Official result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)