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UFC 225: Whittaker vs. Romero prelims live results, discussion, play by play

Live, blow-by-blow updates for today’s UFC 225 preliminary card from Chicago, which is highlighted by big heavyweight fight.

Join us today on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC 225 goes down in Chicago.

The main event will see UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on Yoel Romero in a rematch. However, the title will not be on the line due to the fact that Romero could not make weight. This is the second time in a row he has had an opportunity at a title and lost it on the scales.

Also featured on the main card is an interim welterweight title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington.

This post will cover the preliminary card. That kicks off on Fight Pass at approximately 6:15pm ET with four fights. The card then moves to FS1 at 8pm ET for four more bouts, then onto the main PPV card. The full lineup and schedule follows. 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.

Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes

Round 1 - Lots of feinting to start. Seriously. A lot of it. Blaydes finally throws a left and high kick two minutes in. Overeem avoids it. Blaydes with a takedown. He slides Overeem over to the cage, but he’s not doing anything. Overeem looks for a leg lock. That was a total nothing round. 10-9 Blaydes.

Round 2 - Overeem with a big knee and a right. He looks for a guillotine but Blaydes slips his head out. Overeem looks for the heel hook again. Blaydes defends and Overeem is on his knees against the cage. Blaydes lands a knee to the body and controls him. Overeem explodes to his feet and Blaydes lands a knee. Blaydes with an uppercut. It looks like Overeem has maybe injured his foot or ankle. His body language is a lot different. Overeem with a step-in knee on an advancing Blaydes, who still gets a takedown. He’s sitting in half guard landing a few punches. Again, there’s nothing going on. 10-9 Blaydes.

Round 3 - Overeem stuffs a takedown but eats a knee and a right in the process. Body kick from Overeem. Blaydes with a straight right. He backs Overeem to the fence and lights him up with punches that were mostly blocked. He then takes him to the floor again. He smothers Overeem for a while, landing a few short punches. Overeem threatens the leg again but Blaydes isn’t having it. Back to full guard. Two big shots and Overeem is stunned! HUGE ELBOWS and Overeem is out! It looks like his face exploded on the last one!

Curtis Blaydes defeated Alistair Overeem via KO (elbows), 2:56 of round 3

Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza

Round 1 - They trade punches. Gadelha drops Esparza with a straight right as Esparza charged in for a takedown. She’s fight back up and trying again. Gadelha pushes her off. Esparza with a nice left over the top on the break. Low leg kick from Esparza. Gadelha with a counter right hook. Another one. Esparza hurts Gadelha with a punch! She’s on chicken legs! Esparza immediately took her down. Gadelha attacks a leg, goes for a heel hook, and uses it to get up and then on top. Gadelha stands up and Esparza follows. Gadelha with a takedown right into side. Good hammerfists. Gadelha sinks a deep guillotine but Esparza lasts to the horn. Good round! 10-9 Gadelha.

Round 2 - They step straight into the center and throw hands. Gadelha misses with a wild right. Esparza flurries. Two counter rights from Gadelha. Esparza clinches. They spend a while against the fence. Gadelha finally secures a body lock and drags Esparza to the mat. She tries to use the cage to escape but cannot. Gadelha’s top control is crushing. She moves here well off the fence, in complete control in half. Esparza finally pushes off with her foot and jumps on Gadelha, but it’s right at the end of the round. Easy 10-9 Gadelha.

Round 3 - Esparza flurries and lands a couple of punches. A hard right wobbles Gadelha a bit. Gadelha back to the counter right. Front kick to the face from Esparza. Esparza with another left. Leg kick from Esparza. Hard right from Esparza. Gadelha’s cut up. Gadelha caught a kick and got a body lock from behind. She throws her to the mat and worked right into side control. After about a minute Esparza reverses. She tries to posture up and throw punches. Some get through. 10-9 Esparza, but 29-28 Gadelha.

Claudia Gadelha defeated Carla Esparza via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic

Round 1 - Lots of feinting to start. Lamas ducks under and gets a takedown, but Bektic is right back up. Lamas isn’t giving up on it. They battle in the clinch for a while. Lamas with a few knees. Bektic fires one back and spins away with 2:40 to go. Nice jab and left hook from Bektic. Bektic with a right over the top of a Lamas low kick. Lamas slips on a kick but gets up immediately. He clinches again. Bektic tries to hit a throw, and manages to get Lamas to the floor. He’s holding onto a body lock. Lamas is squirming but he can’t get away. Finally he’s up with 40 seconds to go. More knees in the clinch from both men. They separate. Lamas misses with a spin kick. 10-9 Bektic.

Round 2 - They trade shots earlier this round. Lamas throwing los of kicks. Lamas shoots and gets stuffed, then Bektic immediately shoots and Lamas stuffs him. Inside leg kick from Bektic. Back in the clinch with knees. Lamas is cut on the cheek from an accidental clash of heads. The crowd is impatient with the clinch work. Bektic lands an elbow. They break about halfway through the round. Lamas comes up short on a combination. Bektic rebuffs a Lamas takedown attempt and they stall out. They break and Lamas lands a spinning attack. Lams lands a solid left. Bektic bullies The Bully into the fence. The ref separates them quickly. Lamas with a tricky cartwheel-like kick that connects. 10-9 Bektic.

Round 3 - Bektic with a counter combo that connects. He charges in on Lamas. They clinch up for a bit. Lamas with a spinning back kick. Bektic with a takedown. Bektic set up an arm-triangle choke. Lamas with a beatiful sweep. But he went for a guillotine and got swept himself. He again looked for a guillotine from the bottom. Bektic pops oiut, and Lamas gets up. Bektic drags him to the fence. Lamas looks for the guillotine yet again. It’s arm-in this time. He doesn’t have his legs in the right spot though so he abandons it. He tries to go for it again but slips off and Bektic ends up on top. Bektic with a knee to the body. 10-9 Lamas but 29-28 Bektic.

Mirsad Bektic defeated Ricardo Lamas via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Rashad Coulter vs. Chris de la Rocha

Round 1 - De la Rocha with a jab and misses badly on a takedown attempt. Big knee up the middle from Coulter. He cracks De la Rocha with a hard shot. De La Rocha takes it, and ends up securing a guillotine in a scramble. Right to mount. Gives up on the guillotine but has full back control. De la Rocha is cut from something. He falls back for a choke. Counter escapes to his feet and lands two HUGE shots. De la Rocha has a good chin. They both reset. Two more big sgots from Coulter. De la Rocha fires back. Coulter may have tired himself out. Big elbow from De la Rocha. They trade big shots. This is a war. Coulter just landed a right hook that he threw from his ankles. Holy hell. De la Rocha gets a takedown. 10-9 De la Rocha I guess?

Round 2 - De la Rocha wit ha right over the top. Coulter fires back with a monster shot of his own. De la Rocha clinches and gets a takedown. He’s moving to mount. He’s looking to secure a choke, palm-to-palm. De la Rocha opens up with punches instead, but he doesn’t seem to have the tank for a sustained barrage. Coulter is just covering up. Back to the choke. Nope. More punches, but not enough of them. The crowd is booing now. This is kind of embarrassing. He FINALLY steps up the pace enough for the ref to step in.

Chris de la Rocha defeated Rashad Coulter via TKO (strikes), 3:53 of round 2

Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith

Round 1 - Hard leg kick from Smith knocks Evans off balance briefly. Another one. Evans closes the distance and Smith just throws him away. Smith with a huge knee as Evans leans over and Rashad is done!

Anthony Smith defeated Rashad Evans via KO (knee), :53 of round 1

Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis

Round 1 - Leg kick from Benavidez. He’s continuing to kick. Pettis with a counter right. Nice jab as well. Pettis catches Joe with a left! He’s hurt! Pettis staggers him again. And again! Benavidez gets the desperation takedown. Benavidez gets some breathing time, but Pettis gets up with 3:15 to go. Benavidez continues to look for another takedown, but Pettis separates. Leg kick from Benavidez, and some body work. Pettis stuffs another takedown attempt. Pettis lands the left again. He scores with a right as Benavidez throws a high kick. Benavidez goes back to working the body. and throwing low kicks. Benavidez scoops a single. Pettis gets away. Benavidez presses. 10-9 Pettis.

Round 2 - Pettis jabbing. They trade kicks. Pettis with a counter right. Benavidez kicks the leg low and charges in for a takedown attempt. They end up stuck against the fence with Benavidez throwing light knees. Low single, and he almost lifts Sergio’s leg over his head. He STILL can’t get the takedown though. They stall out against the cage again for a while. Benavidez misses with a wheel kick and eats a Pettis kick instead. Body shots from Joe B. He misses with a head kick. Benavidez with a combo, but is popped with a counter. 10-9 Benavidez.

Round 3 - Benavidez with a hard spinning back fist. He looks for yet another takedown. Pettis pops him with a short left in close. They exchange shots. Joe B with a nice lead left. Pettis with a jab. Pettis stuffs a takedown attempt. They trade kicks. Pettis with a knee as Benavidez shoots. Pettis then looks to secure a guillotine, but Benavidez escapes. Benavidez clinches. They separate with 1:50 to go. Jumping kick from Pettis is blocked. Another takedown attempt comes up empty. Back heel kick from Pettis in the clinch. He looked like his brother there. Pettis catches a kick and lands a short left. Benavidez finally gets Pettis to his butt, but he’s back up just as quickly. They throw down. Pettis with a spinning kick. Benacidez with three rights. Good ending. I have it 10-9 and 29-28 Benavidez.

Sergio Pettis defeated Joseph Benavidez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira

Round 1 - Guida wouldn’t touch gloves. Oliveira with a hard leg kick. Fake uppercut lets him land a left hook. Guida pushing the pace but coming up short so far. Another leg kick, Guida responds with a counter right that is blocked. Guida with his own leg kick. Do Bronx misses with a jumping front kick. Oliveira opens a cut over Guida’s right eye. Oliveira with a knee and he drops for a guillotine. Guida taps! Wow!

Charles Oliveira defeated Clay Guida via submission (guillotine choke), 2:18 of round 1

Mike Santiago vs. Dan Ige

Round 1 - Ige charges in with an uppercut and immediately takes Santiago down. He takes the back. Big shots. Santiago is in trouble. Full back mount and flattened out, eating punches. It’s over. Wow.

Dan Ige defeated Mike Santiago via TKO (strikes), :50 of round 1

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