Leon Edwards badly busted up Donald Cerrone during the first three rounds. From kicking range to the clinch, he won almost every exchange in every facet and distance early on. It could’ve been a star-making performance for him had he secured a finish, but Cerrone somehow managed to tough it out and Edwards seemed to have slowed — or cruised? — through the latter half of the fourth to the fifth round.
It was an impressive outing nonetheless for Edwards, who was headlining his first UFC event. He looked bigger, stronger, and even faster than the long time veteran.
Following the bout, Cerrone says he has a lot of fights left in him. Father time seems to be catching up to the 35-year-old, and it may be wise for him to drop back down and compete against people closer to his size next time.
In the co-main event, Tyson Pedro made tactical errors that cost him the fight. He looked good on the feet, landing a question mark kick and a right hand that dropped Ovince Saint Preux early. But he then decided to go for a submission that allowed OSP to recover. Shortly after, he went for an ill-advised takedown but ended up on the bottom where he was quickly submitted. It showed good heart from Saint Preux, and bad decision making from Pedro.
- Considering all the crazy finishes early in the card, Jessica Eye vs. Jessica Rose-Clark became a bit underwhelming. It was a quality win for Eye though, who showed improvements with her striking and seems like a much better fit at 125 lbs.
- Li Jingliang kicked off the main card...and Daichi Abe’s leg. The Chinese star fought much more disciplined and technical, and he just absolutely destroyed that lead leg. One judge gave him a 30-26, and I don’t disagree.
- Petr Yan looked impressive in there. He walked Teruto Ishihara down, stayed calm and disciplined on defense, and picked his shots until he eventually landed a nice shot that dropped and finished his Japanese foe.
- I’m not sure how old Song Ya Dong really is — he’s billed as 20 by the UFC, but has been listed as much older in past regional fights — but he clearly is the Chinese prospect to keep an eye on. He’s fast, explosive, and just brutally finished Felipe Arantes with a huge elbow. He’s also training with Team Alpha Male and already showing improvements, so the future is bright for him.
- Shane Young and Rolando Dy was a very very fun back and forth brawl. Young edged the first, but was losing the second and eating a lot of big punches. He pushed through, kept pressuring, until he eventually landed a counter elbow that ended it.
- Jake Matthews completely dominated Shinsho Anzai. He also looked massive in there and looked like a middleweight. I can’t believe this guy used to fight at lightweight.
- Song Kenan was probably down on points, until much like his UFC debut, he landed a massive bomb to instantly end the fight. It’s not a victory against the highest level of competition — Aldana hasn’t had a pro fight in five years — but it was an impressive finish nonetheless.
- Yan Xiaonan fought much more disciplined this time around. The Chinese Sanda-based fighter controlled the pace and distance and picked apart Viviane Pereira to win a clear decision. The referee botched the announcement in a pretty hilarious moment. Buffer butchered Yan’s name and the referee raised Pereira’s hand during the confusion.
- Sasaki vs Lausa was a fun battle with two very contrasting styles. The Filipino boxer had his moments, but the Japanese grappler once again showed his creativity today with a pretty nifty back take.
- The last two Filipinos on the UFC roster went 0-2 on this card. They were both underdogs who fought well and showed improvements, but these losses could also mean they both get released.
- The Chinese fighters, who were all betting favorites, went 4-0 on the card.
- Lastly, can all the cards have this Fight Pass pacing?