The first pay-per-view of the new year was nothing but spectacular. The event showcased the faces of many new fighters, such as the former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. The card also brought the Notorious — Conor McGregor back into the spotlight against Dustin Poirer.
Marina Rodriguez def. Amanda Ribas via. 2nd RND KO/TKO
Marina Rodriguez got it done with a second round knockout of Amanda Ribas. The hype-train was derailed as Rodriguez showed off her striking game early in the second round. The first round began with a slower pace, and a takedown by Ribas. Ribas clearly won it with the takedown and the control time of around three minutes. Rodriguez came out early in the second round seeking to knockout Ribas, and succeeded. After the fight, Rodriguez called out the women’s double champ, Amanda Nunes for a potential match.
Makhmud Muradov def. Andrew Sanchez via. 3rd RND KO/TKO
The former Ultimate Fighter winner couldn’t get it done Saturday night against Makhmud Muradov. The fight began at a normal pace with both fighters landing good shots that inflicted some damage. Sanchez and Muradov both attempted takedowns, but with no prevail, which led to this fight being a striking match. With no clear winner in sight, the fight was seeming to be a decision until the third round. Muradov seemed to pick up the pace as he began to land more dangerous shots — eventually finishing off Sanchez. With this win, Muradov is set up to fight a ranked opponent in the near future.
Joanne Calderwood def. Jessica Eye via. Unanimous Decision
The last women’s fight of the night was a face-off between two ranked flyweight fighters, Calderwood and Eye. The fight was nothing short of entertaining with a perfect mix of striking and grappling. Calderwood was ultimately able to get the job done with her poised striking. Eye led the fight in control time, but it was not enough for her to get the win. This fight brings Calderwood’s record to 15-5, and sets her up to challenge for the title in the flyweight division.
Michael Chandler def. Dan Hooker via. 1st RND KO/TKO
The former lightweight Bellator champion got the job done in his UFC debut against Dan Hooker. Chandler started off the fight on the hunt, closing in on Hooker. Hooker then attempted to use his height and reach to his advantage, but this plan seemed to be ineffective. Chandler was able to send Hooker to the ground with a nasty left hand hit to the jaw. With this win, Chandler is set up with plenty of opportunities at his disposal.
Dustin Poirier def. Conor McGregor via. 2nd RND KO/TKO
The rematch that everyone had been looking for: The main event showcased the second bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Leading up to the fight, Poirier was seen as the underdog, and counted out by nearly everyone — despite McGregor’s break from the UFC. The fight began at a fast pace with strikes being landed by McGregor and Poirier, and an early takedown for Dustin. Poirier was able to stick to his game plan, and continued to land heavy calf kicks to the legs of Conor. This allowed Dustin to set up the finish with the knockout thanks to his final punches. Overall, a very quick fight to watch.