UFC 259 LIVE: ‘You choked a girl in 2018’ — Mics pick up ‘ugly’ in-cage conversation
Nigerian-born Kiwi Israel Adesanya will look to add the light heavyweight strap to his middleweight title when he takes on Polish champion Jan Blachowicz in the main event.
Before them, Megan Anderson must get past dominant two-division champion Amanda Nunes if she wishes to become the third Australian to hold a belt in the UFC.
Watch UFC 259, Blachowicz v Adesanya and Nunes v Anderson on Foxtel’s Main Event, on Sunday 7 March at 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
And if that isn’t enough, Petr Yan puts his bantamweight belt on the line against Aljamain Sterling in a 135-pound affair that could be the pick of the bunch.
UFC 259 is the third 15-fight card in the organisation’s history, and the first with multiple five-round fights scheduled.
IN-CAGE CONVERSATION CAUGHT ON MICS
Tim Elliott put together a dominant flyweight display against Jordan Espinosa, but it was their conversation in the second round that left commentators stunned.
Elliott won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25) in a fight he managed from start to finish; tallying over 10 minutes of ground control.
And it was with just seconds running down in the second, with Elliott in top control, that the American No. 12 ranked contender started talking.
Elliott: “I heard you choked a girl in 2018. Are you a woman beater? Are you a f*cking woman beater? [inaudible] messaged me.”
Espinosa: “You don’t know the full story.”
Elliott: “I know enough.”
Espinosa: “You don’t know s**t.”
“Wow, that’s ugly,” Daniel Cormier said in commentary. “There were some ugly words being spoken down there between these two.”
'Can't believe he's not stopping this!'1:09
STOPPAGE DRAMA HITS EARLY
It didn’t take long for controversy to grip UFC 259, with a late stoppage leaving those watching on in disbelief.
A first-round stoppage victory for Uros Medic at lightweight was ultimately marred by the nature of the finish and referee Mark Smith’s inaction.
Medic had Aalon Cruz hurt within the first minute of their bout on the early prelims, with Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier calling for the fight to stop.
“He’s got to stop it,” Rogan said with 4:06 left in the first round as Medic went to work on the ground. “Stop the fight, it’s over.”
With 3:56 left in the round, Rogan added: “This is unnecessary punishment. This is unnecessary.”
Cruz was squirming and moving just enough to keep Smith from stopping the bout, with the 31-year-old getting back to his feet at one point, only to be dropped again immediately.
“I don’t understand what he’s waiting for,” Cormier said.
“I can’t believe he’s not stopping this,” Rogan added with 3:24 now left in the first.
The fight was eventually stopped with 3:20 on the clock, with Medic having landed 48 strikes to Cruz’s zero.
Jaysus. That was a late stoppage.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 6, 2021
Cruz is tough and kept moving.
I can't blame Mark Smith for letting it continue.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 6, 2021
What in the hell was Mark Smith waiting for? Man. Awful stoppage and I hope Cruz is ok. That said, the Medic train comes through. #UFC259— Dan Tom (@DanTomMMA) March 6, 2021
1. Uros Medic is a name you should remember. His skills jump off the screen.
2. Ref. Mark Smith had a tough job there, but that stoppage felt like it could've been earlier.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) March 6, 2021
HYPE TRAIN DERAILED
Carlos Ulberg had a whole lot of hype heading into his UFC debut on Sunday. But it was quickly extinguished as Kennedy Nzechukwu left the Kiwi former male model on the canvas in a heap.
The second-round finish came as a surprise after Ulberg, a product of City Kickboxing in Auckland, started well against Nzechukwu, who was the underdog coming into the light heavyweight affair.
An early stoppage looked on the cards for Ulberg, but the 30-year-old slowed, had his chin in the air and his guard low, before a big right hand caught and dropped him.
And that's all she wrote!
Kennedy Nzechukwu just demolished Carlos Ulberg in the second round. Ulberg was all offense and no defense and he paid for it. #UFC259— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 7, 2021
Crazzzzzy. Kennedy Nzechukwu just willed that KO. Kept marching forward despite eating Carlos Ulberg's counter punches and kicks. Knew he had the power advantage. Bang, comes in the second round. KO. What a win.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 7, 2021
Ulberg’s CKB teammate Kai Kara-France had a better time of things against Rogerio Bontorin in a match-up between two flyweight contenders.
Kara-France survived what looked to be a certain submission, before securing a stunning walk-off knockout in a finish — with less than 20 seconds left in the first — that beggared belief.
HOW TO WATCH
Prelims: Watch Live UFC with ESPN on Kayo. Full Fight Night Events, PPV Prelims & More. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Main Card: Watch UFC 259, Blachowicz v Adesanya and Nunes v Anderson on Foxtel’s Main Event, on Sunday 7 March at 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
FULL CARD AND RESULTS
Main Card (2PM)
Jan Blachowicz (c) vs. Israel Adesanya (c) — light heavyweight title
Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Megan Anderson — women’s featherweight title
Petr Yan (c) vs. Aljamain Sterling (1) — bantamweight title
Islam Makhachev (14) vs. Drew Dober (15) — lightweight
Thiago Santos (2) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (4) — light heavyweight
Dominick Cruz (11) vs. Casey Kenney — bantamweight
Song Yadong (14) vs. Kyler Phillips — bantamweight
Joseph Benavidez (2) vs. Askar Askarov (3) — flyweight
Kai Kara-France (8) def. Rogerio Bontorin (8) — via first round TKO — flyweight
Early Prelims (9.15AM)
Tim Elliott (12) def. Jordan Espinosa — via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25) — flyweight
Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Carlos Ulberg — via second round TKO — light heavyweight
Sean Brady def. Jake Matthews — via third round submission — welterweight
Amanda Lemos def. Livinha Souza (15) — via first round TKO — women’s strawweight
Uros Medic def. Aalon Cruz — via first round TKO — lightweight
Trevin Jones def. Mario Bautista — via second round TKO — bantamweight
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