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How Poirier Beat McGregor at UFC 257


Dustin Poirier crushed Conor McGregor with a proper hand within the face midway by way of the second spherical, knocking McGregor to the bottom and resulting in a stoppage and a victory seconds later.

Poirier opened the spherical by repeatedly kicking McGregor’s lead leg, with commentator Daniel Cormier declaring that McGregor was “dead in that leg already.” McGregor appeared to proceed his first spherical technique and land punches, however the injured leg seemingly sapped his power. He managed to catch a few Poirier’s kicks, however wasn’t capable of convert them right into a takedown or every other benefit.

McGregor was quickly backed up towards the cage, and when considered one of Poirier’s punches in a flurry linked, the combat was over.

“The low calf kick was very good,” McGregor mentioned after the combat.

The victory by Poirier will certainly get him a light-weight title shot, whether or not towards an unretired Khabib Nurmagomedov or for a vacant belt, whereas McGregor’s U.F.C. future is now much more unsure.

Knockout

Dustin Poirier

defeats

Conor McGregor

McGregor promised he’d knock Poirier out in lower than 60 seconds. Didn’t occur.

Poirier may not have gained the spherical, however he managed to take McGregor down halfway although, and land a strong proper hook. However by late within the spherical Poirier appeared drained and McGregor nonetheless appeared quick and explosive.

Upcoming

Dustin Poirier

vs.

Conor McGregor

Michael Chandler, right, made quite the impression in his first U.F.C. fight after starring in the rival promotion Bellator.
Credit score…Zuffa Llc, through Getty Photos

Michael Chandler could have been making his U.F.C. debut, however he’s no combined martial arts beginner. Chandler has fought 23 instances for Bellator, a competing M.M.A. group, twice successful its light-weight championship.

In 2021, there is no such thing as a doubt that many of the greatest fighters on the earth compete within the U.F.C., however that doesn’t imply there aren’t nice ones in Bellator, One Championship or elsewhere. That Chandler might cease Dan Hooker, the sixth ranked fighter in one of many U.F.C.’s most stacked division, proves that.

Michael Chandler dispatched Dan Hooker in lower than two minutes in his closely hyped U.F.C. debut, after which he risked the whole lot.

Hooker, a 30-year-old New Zealander nicknamed The Hangman, didn’t pose a lot hazard to Chandler whereas the combat lasted. Chandler, a 34-year-old champion within the Bellator promotion who lastly signed with the U.F.C., stalked Hooker for many of their combat earlier than touchdown a proper hand to the physique and left to the face that dropped Hooker. When he hopped on Hooker and pummeled him some extra, the referee stopped the bout.

Then Chandler scrambled to the highest of the fence and did a again flip, inserting himself in additional hazard than Hooker ever did. He landed safely in the course of the ring.

Chandler, an instantaneous title contender at 155 kilos, improves his report to 22-5, and used his post-fight interview to name out main-eventers McGregor and Poirier, and retired light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Knockout

Michael Chandler

defeats

Dan Hooker

Upcoming

Dan Hooker

vs.

Michael Chandler

Joanne Calderwood of Scotland is moving up in the flyweight division following a win over Jessica Eye.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

Early in Spherical 2 of their flyweight bout, Joanne Calderwood dumped Jessica Eye on her again, and will have pounced. As an alternative, she let her downed opponent stand and hold preventing. In one other circumstance the transfer may represent a tactical error however Calderwood, a Muay Thai kickboxing professional, was reluctant to interrupt the rhythm that had her successful the combat.

In shut, she’d clinch the 34-year-old Eye and land laborious knee strikes to the rib cage. From a distance Calderwood, a 34-year-old Scot who now lives in Las Vegas, landed long-range punches and kicks. When Eye tried to shut the space, Calderwood would land entrance kicks to the abdomen. And when she succeeded in preventing at shut vary, Calderwood would pound her with these knee strikes.

After three rounds, all three judges awarded the bout to Calderwood, who improves to 15-4, and figures to maneuver up the U.F.C.’s flyweight rankings.

Unanimous Choice

Joanne Calderwood

defeats

Jessica Eye

Marcin Prachnio of Poland beat Khalil Rountree Jr. in a decision at light heavyweight, even though Rountree landed some big strikes early in the bout.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

Because the U.F.C. approaches its thirtieth birthday, it has matured into an enormous cash sports activities group. However an enormous purpose for its prosperity is below a direct risk.

An antitrust lawsuit was lately granted class motion standing by fighters who declare the U.F.C. is a monopoly that illegally suppresses their wages. Ought to the fighters win, the U.F.C. might be pressured to pay out billions of {dollars} and essentially alter its enterprise mannequin.

The U.F.C. pays a lesser proportion of its revenues to its athletes than different skilled sports activities organizations in the USA whose gamers are represented by unions.

A brand new presidential administration might imply extra scrutiny for the U.F.C., whose president Dana White spoke on behalf of his buddy Donald Trump at two completely different Republican Nationwide conventions and even invited Trump to a combat in 2019. A invoice that may regulate combined martial arts very like boxing was launched in Congress in 2016, however went nowhere. May it make a comeback?

There may be additionally the query of Conor McGregor’s authorized troubles, and whether or not they might prematurely finish the profession of the U.F.C.’s largest draw.

Upcoming

Jessica Eye

vs.

Joanne Calderwood

Makhmud Muradov of Uzbekistan beat Andrew Sanchez with big strikes in the third round.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

After Spherical 1, Andrew Sanchez’s coaches instructed him to maintain urgent as a result of his opponent, Makhmud Muradov, was already fatiguing.

Sanchez, 32, a former school wrestler, pressed ahead as instructed however Muradov, a powerful and long-limbed striker from Uzbekistan, was nowhere close to drained. He responded to Sanchez’s strain with well-timed proper palms, and stout protection when Sanchez tried to show their bout right into a wrestling contest.

After Spherical 2, Sanchez’s coaches begged him to not blow his nostril, which Muradov had bloodied with well-timed punches. And halfway by way of Spherical 3, a counter proper hand from Muradov wobbled Sanchez. Then got here a flying knee strike and the flurry of punches that prompted the referee to cease the combat.

The victory prolonged Muradov’s win streak to 14 bouts, and prompted him to hunt out U.F.C. President Dana White, who was seated close to the octagon, to ask why White doesn’t observe him on Instagram.

In the event you paid to look at tonight’s foremost occasion however can’t get ESPN+ to work, you’re not alone. Loads of U.F.C. fighters are coping with technical difficulties too:

The issues appear to be concentrated in the USA, the place Disney sells the pay-per-view by way of ESPN+, and never internationally, the place it varies relying upon the nation however typically is dealt with by the tech platform of Endeavor, U.F.C.’s father or mother firm.

“We are aware of an issue impacting some fans’ ability to access to tonight’s PPV event and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible,” a Disney spokesman mentioned in a press release.

Knockout

Makhmud Muradov

defeats

Andrew Sanchez

Brad Tavares, left, had live spectators on hand to watch him beat Antonio Carlos Junior.
Credit score…Zuffa Llc, through Getty Photos

That crowd noise you hear isn’t piped in.

About 1,800 followers have been allowed to buy tickets to U.F.C. 257, that means the newly constructed Etihad Area on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island will likely be about 10 p.c full. It’s the first time spectators have been allowed at a U.F.C. occasion since final March.

To attend, followers will need to have obtained a detrimental coronavirus check inside 48 hours of the start of the occasion, and as soon as inside they need to put on masks and observe social distancing pointers.

Abu Dhabi, which is without doubt one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, had been closed to vacationers for months, however started easing restrictions in late December.

Referee Herb Dean during a fight in Jacksonville, Fla., in May.
Credit score…Jasen Vinlove/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

Herb Dean is extensively thought-about to be the very best referee in combined martial arts, particularly after John McCarthy, often known as Huge John, retired a number of years in the past.

However like all referees, he’s made his share of curious selections, and the nonstoppage after Marina Rodriguez dropped Amanda Ribas with a proper hand is considered one of them. He appeared an immediate away from stopping the combat earlier than pulling out, awkwardly attempting to step out of the best way after he’d gotten in too near the fighters. The transfer prompted Rodriguez to cease preventing and stroll away as if she had gained.

Commentator Jon Anik speculated that Dean “saw something” in Ribas’s eyes that led him to proceed the combat.

In the end, the blunder had little consequence, as Rodriguez resumed, landed a number of extra punches and Dean stepped in.

Dean may have an opportunity to redeem himself in a few hours: He’s refereeing the primary occasion between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Upcoming

Andrew Sanchez

vs.

Makhmud Muradov

Marina Rodriguez of Brazil knocked out Amanda Ribas in their strawweight bout.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

Early within the first spherical, Amanda Ribas, the betting favourite, dumped underdog Marina Rodriguez on her again, then spent the following couple of minutes grinding her opponent into the canvas, the combat unfolding the best way bettors figured it will.

However Rodriguez, 33, is a Muay Thai kickboxing specialist, and harmful in fights that don’t go to the bottom. So within the second, when Ribas waded in shut, seeking to have interaction, Rodriguez popped her with a straight proper hand. When Rodriguez pounced to complete the combat, referee Herb Dean moved in and appeared to faucet Rodriguez, which might have signaled an finish to the combat. A clumsy pause ensued. Then the combat resumed. Then Rodriguez landed one other residence run of a proper hand and Dean waved the combat off earlier than Ribas, standing however barely acutely aware, might take up extra injury.

Rodriguez improves her report to 12-1-2, whereas Ribas, 27, falls to 10-2.

Knockout

Marina Rodriguez

defeats

Amanda Ribas

Upcoming

Marina Rodriguez

vs.

Amanda Ribas

Arman Tsarukyan of Armenia, riight, showed why he was a big favorite over Matt Frevola, winning a unanimous decision.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

Arman Tsarukyan’s bio on the M.M.A. database Sherdog.com says he’s from Russia. In keeping with the U.F.C.’s web site, the 24-year-old light-weight is from Georgia — the previous Soviet republic, not the battleground state in final November’s U.S. presidential election.

Combat night time settled it: Tsarukyan is from Armenia.

However there wasn’t a lot ambiguity about his combat night time technique. He got here to suffocate American light-weight Matt Frevola, dragging him to the mat seconds after the opening bell, then physique slamming him moments later. Frevola landed some flurries of his personal, and even opened a lower in Tsarukyan’s hairline with a tough punch.

However Tsarukyan, a 5-foot-7 pit bull of a fighter, spent the ultimate spherical stalking, tackling and mauling Frevola on the best way to a unanimous resolution win.

The victory improves Tsarukyan’s report to 15-2. Frevola is now 8-2.

Late in Spherical 1, Brazilian grappler Antonio Carlos Junior nailed Hawaiian striker Brad Tavares with a knee that landed laborious. The shot was Carlos’s better of the night time, however there was one drawback.

It landed between Tavares’s legs. Proper on his protecting cup. An unlawful low blow.

That meant Carlos’s greatest shot of the night time wouldn’t rely, however Tavares’ best blows did. A proper hand dropped Carlos late spherical two, and the 33-year-old landed a number of extra decisive blows within the third, as Junior labored in useless to show their combat right into a grappling match.

Tavares, who broke a two-fight dropping streak, gained a unanimous resolution, with two judges scoring the combat 30-27, and a 3rd scoring it 29-28.

Unanimous Choice

Arman Tsarukyan

defeats

Matt Frevola

For the U.F.C., the idea of Fight Island was born out of its need to find a place to stage bouts with fighters from outside the United States who faced travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit score…Zuffa/Llc, through Getty Photos

When the remainder of the sports activities world shut down in March due to the coronavirus, U.F.C. President Dana White vowed that he wouldn’t be deterred by a pandemic.

The start was rocky. 5 beforehand scheduled occasions have been canceled. Plans to maintain an occasion on Native American tribal land in California — with a view to bypass state restrictions on massive gatherings — have been deserted after Gov. Gavin Newsom of California requested Disney to intervene. When the U.F.C. did discover a extra hospitable host, in Florida, the U.F.C.’s staff and fighters struggled to observe insurance policies designed to restrict the unfold of the virus.

However over the summer time, the U.F.C. discovered its footing. It established American and worldwide residence bases, in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, alternating a number of weeks of fights between the 2 areas. In complete the U.F.C. held 41 occasions in 2020, only one fewer than the 42 it held in 2019.

Like different sports activities that finally resumed competitors, holding the coronavirus out has proved not possible. At the very least 53 fighters have been reported to have examined optimistic, in response to the M.M.A. information website Bloody Elbow, and headlining fights — like a scheduled welterweight championship bout between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns — needed to be scrapped as a result of one of many fighters examined optimistic.

Upcoming

Arman Tsarukyan

vs.

Matt Frevola

Unanimous Choice

Brad Tavares

defeats

Antonio Carlos Junior

Julianna Pena beat Sara McMann in the third round with a rear naked choke.
Credit score…Jeff Bottari/USA Right now Sports activities, through Reuters

In a previous profession, Sara McMann was a world-class newbie wrestler, however her Olympic-medal-level expertise — she gained a silver in Athens in 2004 — couldn’t save her when fellow bantamweight Juliana Pena dragged her to the mat early in Spherical 3 and pinned her again to the canvas.

McMann, 40, persevered. She’s so dedicated to successful that the printed crew identified that she did a full exercise on the aircraft throughout the flight from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi. However Pena, 32, persevered till she climbed onto McMann’s again, locked her legs round her opponent’s waist, and wrapped her forearm below McMann’s neck. Moments later, McMann — nonetheless totally acutely aware however unable to flee the chokehold — submitted.

Pena, now 11-4, used the post-fight interview to foyer for a combat with U.F.C. bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes. Nunes responded rapidly:

If legendary Panamanian welterweight boxer Roberto Duran had palms of stone, certainly U.F.C. mild heavyweight Marcin Prachnio’s head is constructed of one thing related. Late within the second spherical of his bout towards Khalil Rountree Jr., Prachnio walked right into a proper hook that just about dropped him.

Seconds later Rountree, a Los Angeles native who lives and trains in Thailand, whacked Prachnio throughout the face with a thunderous left-footed kick. Prachnio, 32, of Poland, wobbled however didn’t fall. Then he rebounded to win Spherical 3, turning up the strain on a tiring Rountree, and successful 29-28 on all three scorecards.

The win breaks a three-fight dropping streak for Prachnio, now 14-5. Rountree’s report falls to 8-5 with one no-contest.

Upcoming

Brad Tavares

vs.

Antonio Carlos Junior

Choke Submission

Julianna Pena

defeats

Sara McMann

Upcoming

Julianna Pena

vs.

Sara McMann

Unanimous Choice

Marcin Prachnio

defeats

Khalil Rountree Jr.

A camera operator during U.F.C. 249 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Credit score…John Raoux/Related Press

U.F.C. 257 is the primary huge combat of ESPN’s third yr exhibiting U.F.C. bouts, totally on its ESPN+ streaming service.

ESPN will likely be hoping to make tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} off tonight’s pay-per-view, but it surely has additionally used U.F.C. fights as one of many largest drivers of subscriptions to ESPN+. As of final month, 11.5 million folks subscribed to ESPN+.

A superb portion of these individuals are tuning into watch the U.F.C. In keeping with numbers obtained by The New York Instances, in 2020 the typical combat night time on ESPN+ attracted nearly 575,000 distinctive viewers — that’s, anyone who watched for no less than a small period of time — who collectively watched for greater than 80 million minutes.

The U.F.C. can also be making a push for a broadcast tv presence. Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar’s combat final weekend was proven on ABC — which is owned by Disney, like ESPN — the primary fight sport to look on the channel in 20 years. The U.F.C. hopes Disney executives are joyful sufficient with the viewership to proceed placing fights on ABC on Saturday afternoons, and maybe quickly on Saturday nights.



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