UFC Recap

By Kelli Gustafson – RogersPlace.com

What had been eagerly dubbed the ‘Week of UFC’ at Rogers Place, finally came to a close on Saturday night with the long-awaited World Bantamweight Championship taking place between Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes and Valentine “Bullet” Shevchenko.

Six preliminary card bouts began the night, as Edmonton got its first taste of UFC.

Martins vs. Johnson

Starting the night off — the lightweight bout between Adriano Martins of Brazil and Canadian Kajan Johnson. Johnson walked away with the win, bringing Martins down in a third-round KO.

Bhullar vs. Henrique

Next up, Vancouverite Arjan Bhullar — in his UFC debut — faced Luis Henrique in the heavyweight bout. Bhullar dominated in the second round, taking a win by an unanimous judges’ decision following the third round.

Clarke vs. White

Fighting locally out of Edmonton, Mitch Clarke had the Rogers Place crowd behind him as he faced Alex White in the lightweight bout. However, the fan support wasn’t enough, with White finishing Clarke in the second round. Following his defeat, Clarke announced his retirement in front of the hometown audience.

Glenn vs. Tucker

As the evening continued, Rick Glenn and Gavin Tucker continued the UFC 215 Prelims in a featherweight bout. Despite continued crowd support for Canadian Tucker on home soil, “The Gladiator” Glenn won by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 29-27).

Moras vs. Evans-Smith

The women’s bantamweight bout of Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras and Ashlee Evans-Smith kept the energy high inside Rogers Place, as the women wasted no time making contact right out of the gates. The crowd showed their loyalty towards the Canadian, chanting “Cheesecake” in unison until Moras took the win after only two minutes and fifty-one seconds in the first round (winning by submission).

McMann vs. Vieira

In the next bantamweight bout, Sara McMann faced Ketlen Vieira to close off the preliminary cards. Viera won by submission of McMann after an armed triangle in the second round at four minutes and fifty-four second.

Stephens vs. Melendez

Kicking off the UFC 215 Main Cards, featherweight division Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez heightened the excitement inside the arena, with Melendez taking a massive blow to his left leg in the first round. As Stephens continued to target Melendez’s leg throughout the following two rounds, he humbly encouraged the crowd’s support as they applauded Melendez each time he returned to his feet. In a unanimous decision, Stephens took the win with a judges’ score of 30-26, 30-26, 30-25.

Pedro vs. Latifi

In the light heavyweight bout, Tyson Pedro and Ilir Latifi also turned to the judges’ scores to determine the winner, after Latifi appeared to dominate Pedro at the sound of the third bell. With a score of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, Latifi was declared the unanimous winner.

Cejudo vs. Reis

In the flyweight division, American Henry Cejudo quickly ended Wilson Reis via a second-round KO.

Magny vs. dos Anjos

In the co-main event and lightweight division, Neil Magny and Rafael dos Anjos entertained the crowd with a quick take-down in the first round by dos Anjos, winning the bout by way of submission.

Nunes vs. Shevchenko

With a passionate hype-up video to stir the Rogers Place crowd ahead of the main event, the entire audience took to their feet for the walk-ins of both Nunes and Shevchenko. While Nunes swung her legs in an agile warmup, Shevchenko calmly stretched while talking to her coach in the opposite corner.

Round 1:
Following roaring introductions by Bruce Buffer, the women quickly met in the centre — clearly anticipating this fight as much as the excited crowd. Both held their ground, moving into the second round after little contact.

Round 2:
Nunes kept Shevchenko towards the outskirts of the octagon, where little contact continued to be made, inspiring both fighters to exchange heated remarks at the sound of the second bell.

Round 3:
Nunes continued to hold her position in the interior of the octagon, but Shevchenko repeatedly dodged Nunes’ blows, pushing them to the fourth round.

Round 4:
Impatient chants by the crowd quickly turned to excitement, as both Shevchenko and Nunes landed more contact. It wasn’t enough to bring either to the ground, sounding the bell and moving on to the fifth round.

Round 5:
Pinning Shevchenko up against the cage before bringing her to her knees around the two-minute mark, Nunes begans to finally show her dominance over the “Bullet”, bringing the fight to an evenly-matched close.

Winning in a split-judge decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47), Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes successfully defended her title as World Bantamweight Champion.

Coming Soon:

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