Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie main evented the UFC’s return to New York with UFC 208, as the inaugural women’s featherweight title was on the line, while legend Anderson Silva fought Corey Anderson in the co-main event at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn

The five fight main card began in the lightweight division, as Dustin Poirier(20-5, #10LW) took on Jim Miller(28-8-1NC) with Poirier entering the bout as betting favourite

Starting out tentative, both fighters were reluctant to throw any big shots or try any takedowns, however towards the end of the round Miller and Poirier traded takedowns and in the last few seconds of the first round stood and traded punches, though neither fighter could land that elusive damaging blow before the round ended

Poirier began to assert his superior striking in the second round, as he was able to the harder and more dangerous strikes and despite Miller being able to counter with some good punches of his own, Poirier dominated the round as the fight moved into the third and final five minutes

Miller had more success in the final round, as he began landing some brutal leg kicks that hurt Poirier, however Poirier was able to secure a takedown against the fence mid-way through the round and was able to keep Miller on the ground for the rest of the round, seeing out the fight en route to a 28-28, 30-27, 29-28 majority decision

Former light heavyweight championship contender Glover Teixeira(22-5, #3LHW) was looking to get back into title contention as he took on rising prospect Jared Cannonier(9-1)

After a hesitant first few minutes on the feet, Brazilian Teixeira was able to secure a single leg takedown and keep Cannonier on the ground for the majority of the round, however after he was able to get back to his feet Cannonier was able to land some good punch combinations that landed as the round came to an end

Two minutes into the second round, Teixeira was again able to get the single leg takedown though again like the first round he was unable to do any damage in terms of ground and pound strikes, so the referee restarted them on the feet with little action occurring as the fight moved to the third and final round

It was more of the same in the third round with Teixeira going for and getting another takedown less than ninety seconds into the round, with the rest of the last five minutes taking place on the ground as Teixeira tried but failed to land any big ground and pound shots

In the end after three rounds, all three judges gave the unanimous decision to Teixeira
Brazilian Jacare Souza(23-4-1NC, #3MW)) was looking to secure a middleweight title opportunity while American opponent Tim Boetsch(20-10, #13MW) was looking to move into the middleweight division top ten rankings as the two fought in a 185lbs bout

Both fighters showed a willingness to throw big punches early in the first round, though neither was able connect fully with any of their strikes, however it didn’t matter as after securing a takedown against the fence Souza was able to transition into the mount and from there was able to apply a Kimura which gave Boetsch to choice but to tap at 3:41 of the first round, with the Brazilian also bagging ‘performance of the night’ honours

In the co-main event, legend and former long-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva(33-8-NC) was looking to break a two fight losing streak and remain relevant in the middleweight division, while opponent Derek Brunson(16-4, #8MW) was aiming to get into middleweight title contention

Round one started out very tentatively, though with two minutes left in the round both fighters decided to stand and exchange strikes, with Brunson being able to land a series of uppercuts from the clinch in the last few seconds of the round, however Silva was able to absorb the shots and even tried a flying knee though it didn’t land

The tentativeness was back in the second round however, with Brunson in particular not really trying anything meaningful on the feet, and even after being able to take Silva down Brunson was unable to either keep him down or do any damage as the round moved into the final round

Silva showed great takedown defence in the third round, sprawling excellently to avoid a Brunson takedown attempt mid-way through the round, however with ninety seconds left in the round American Brunson got a takedown and remained in Silva’s closed guard until the round and fight came to an end

All three judges gave the bout to Silva via unanimous decision, as the Brazilian legend bagged his first victory since October 2012

Former bantamweight champion Holly Holm(10-2) was looking to become a two-time champion as she faced Germaine de Randamie(6-3) in a five round main event to crown the first UFC women’s featherweight champion, with the Netherlands’ de Randamie the betting favourite to take the inaugural title

There was very little action in the opening round, as neither could land any of their big punches, however de Randamie was able to land some good counter punches and elbows on the inside after Holm had closed the distance with the first round overall being close and even in terms of the scorecards

Like the first round, there wasn’t much action in the second with the two clinching against the fence for the last two-and-a-half minutes, however the round ended with controversy as de Randamie landed an illegal punch after the horn had sounded to signal the end of the round with the punch landing flush on Holm who was rocked, however inbetween rounds Holm was checked out and she was deemed fit to continue

Round three saw more action and more controversy, as after a back-and-forth striking for the majority if the round, Holm landed a big head-kick with seconds left that rocked de Randamie however de Randamie was able to recover quickly and fire back with punches of her own, though two of the punches were clearly after the horn had sounded to end the round, and despite de Randamie landing more illegal strikes the referee still didn’t see fit to deduct a point from de Randamie as the bout moved into the championship rounds

The action and pace slowed in the fourth, as the round consisted mainly of tentative striking and clinch work against the cage with neither able to clearly gain the upper hand as the fight moved into the fifth and final five minutes

The final round was almost precisely like the previous, with neither woman landing any significant strikes on the feet, while likewise the clinch work against the fence didn’t result in any action or damage as the bout went all twenty five minutes

In the end, all five judged gave the bout 48-47 to de Randamie who becomes the first ever UFC women’s featherweight champion

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh